Thursday, October 6


Yamaha’s press release cheekily headlined the release about the company’s all-new WR450F ‘The Bike We've All Been Waiting For….’ and for many off-road riders around the world that is probably true.

It’s been a long-time between drinks since the last significant upgrade (to an aluminium beam-frame) way back in 2007!

So what’s different for ’12?

In short, a lot, starting with an all-new ‘bilateral’ aluminium frame similar to that of the 2012 YZ250F, new, upgraded USD-type forks and Yamaha Monoshock rear shock absorber, plus a heavily revised, now fuel-injected engine which will come complete with a pocket-sized Power Tuner so that fuel/air changes can be made on the fly.

The transmission remains a five-speeder with ratios adjusted to suit the power characteristics of the upgraded engine. There is also a new seat, new - wider, more efficient - radiator, new 7.2 litre fuel tank, even a low fuel warning light!

The look follows current Yamaha practice with the traditional ‘competition blue’ off-set by white headlight surround, radiator shrouds and number boards, and black Excel rims.

Australia and New Zealand comprise Yamaha’s biggest ‘single’ market for the WR450F, hence local (OK, Australian) enduro legend Geoff Ballard’s role in helping development the new model across the Tasman and in Japan.

Until production versions arrive (which looks like early in the New Year) Yamaha dealers have a special on 2011 WR450F models with up to $1000 Yamadollars, a free pit tent and jet washer plus big loan savings thanks to YMF promotional finance rates from 5.99%.