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2006 Yamaha WR450F Photo Gallery

Yamaha's potent off-road weapon gets a bunch of updates as the blue company tries to stay a step ahead of Honda. No aluminum frame yet for the WR, but there's more to it than some trick alloy... Check out what we thought after our 2006 Yamaha WR450F First Ride.

Slideshow
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Yamaha put out a solid machine this year, but it's no trials bike. This boulder took some heavy lifting to conquer.
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Braking was good on the back with a 245mm disc and aluminum calipers to match the front.
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The deep blue paint on the WR frame looks sharp with its metallic sparkle, but not as cool as brushed aluminum would have been.
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As a facility, Honey Lake really isn’t that big, but they make good use of the space. The whole thing sits in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range with the motocross track placed between two draws.
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The twin-spar chassis has yet to receive the aluminum update like the YZF models did this year, but the steel version works well.
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When JC tried to fire up the 450, instead of a rewarding thump and quiet exhaust note he was greeted with the incessant whine and whir of the starter as it cranked unsuccessfully for some time.
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We showed up to a bunch of brand new WRs that came straight out of the box.
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This bike is definitely all off-road as the engine hits the rev limiter at 11 grand, spreading ample power somewhat deceptively across the powerband.
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The Yamaha loves to wheelie. Just twist and go.
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Yammies galore! Meanwhile, JC's note-taking suffers the wrath of hellish arm pump.
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Oh my gosh! Those wheels ain't even touching the ground folks.
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Despite repeated efforts, we never bested the WR in a staredown. The damn thing just wouldn't blink. Notice the bent front brake lever. Whoops!
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The wide-ratio tranny gets the power to the ground
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The '06 WR is a bit of a sandbagger. Seemingly harmless, the Yamaha off-roader can tear up the trails with its strong motor and handling.
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The WR proved adept at dodging the rocks at Honey Lake thanks to a nimble chassis. In the unavoidable event that you do hit a few of them, the Kayaba suspension works well at keeping things under control.
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JC takes a breather to contemplate the hill he's about to roll down with all the big ol' rocks.
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The DOHC, five titanium valve motor puts out plenty of power with its 449 cubic centimeters of displacement.
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The WR is equally at home with aggressive riding or a causal day on the trail.
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This particular drop was one of the nastiest sections on the course, but the WR made it as simple as possible.
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The bike gives a very narrow feeling at the knees, lending to a nimble feel.
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And in the blue corner, weighing in at 249 lbs...
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Watch the rocks, watch the ROCKS...
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The WR has engine case guards and aluminum skidplate.
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The best way to avoid those big rocks was to lift up the front end, something that JC was more than happy to do.
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The ’06 WR450F posts a claimed dry weight of 249 pounds.
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The fork had a tendency to squat when applying the fully floating, 250mm front brake as the bike’s weight transferred heavily to the front end which is very counter-productive when negotiating rocks.
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At first the 48mm inverted Kayaba fork seemed a bit mushy, but as the day progressed, JC began to appreciate the softness of the stroke.
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Despite a serious case of arm pump early on, JC emerged from the rocky hell relatively unscathed. If you're looking for a worthy off-road steed, the WR won't disappoint.
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Under acceleration, the shock resisted squatting and performed very well on all obstacles.
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Hilde lifts the front end on a rocky uphill.
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The stock settings on the fork were excellent on small chop and resisted bottoming and big deflections on high-speed impacts, like hitting the bottom of this steep little hill.
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The WR's motor isn’t necessarily tame, and especially isn’t weak. It’s just really, really smooth.
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Aluminum Nissin calipers give the Yammie good stopping power.
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Hilderbrand! Read the signs man, you're going backwards on the WORCS course!
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With such smooth power the WR seems a little sluggish, but in reality it's the exact opposite. This thing can move.
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Yamaha's new enduro computer is attractive, simiple and cool. The gizmo offers more than just a speedo with two different modes to choose from.
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Off-road riders will be pleased with the new WR, but we're still longing for an aluminum frame.
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At 5’11” JC isn't short, but still found it difficult at times to turn around in tight situations.
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Standard aluminum Renthal bars help cut down on the vibrations and shock from the trail.