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Yamaha Introduces Redesigned 2012 WR450F

Yamaha led the way in four-stroke innovation off-road here in the United States, beginning with the YZ400F ridden to a National championship by Doug Henry more than a decade ago.  Its WR line of off-road four-strokes also forced the hand of the Japanese competition, who eventually caught up to Yamaha.

For 2012, Yamaha is fighting back with a thoroughly redesigned WR450F (the first major redesign since 2007).  If the last WR450F you rode felt heavy and slow to turn, expect a big change.

The new, big WR gets a compact aluminum chassis based on the ultra-nimble YZ250F, combined with new slim bodywork.  The suspension is motocross grade stuff, as well, fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping, with the shock even providing separate adjusters for high and low-speed compression damping, as well as spring preload.  Spring rates and valving will be designed for off-road use rather than motocross, of course.

The other big news is that the WR450F gets fuel injection for 2012  Say goodbye to carburetion and the need to re-jet for different altitudes.  Yamaha has also confirmed that there will be a replacement ECU available to tune the new stock, green sticker WR for competition.

Of course, the 2012 WR450F still comes with electric start and premium parts including ProTaper handlebars and Excel rims.  You also receive a digital enduro computer with numerous features (not just speedometer, clock and trip meter).  We will ask Yamaha for a test unit and report back.  U.S. MSRP is $8,090, and the bike should be in dealers in March of next year.  For additional details and specifications, visit Yamaha’s web site.

33 Comments

  1. Mohd says:

    The wr are the best enduro ,is there s big major change other than fi..?

  2. NorthRider says:

    So can we expect a revised WR250F?

  3. Brad says:

    By the way, the engine set up in this new WR 450 has been around for about three years now in the YZF450R racing quad. It has the very same engine and fuel injection system, and it has worked great in this application pushing around a much heavier ATV.

  4. Brad says:

    This very same 2012 WR 450 in New Zealand is street Legal, it has turn signals rear view mirrors and reflectors. We should get this bike also as an option. I mean it is already being built, let us have it to. Here is the link http://www.motorcycletrader.co.nz/New/Article/All-new-Yamaha-WR450F-launched/1531

  5. Greg C says:

    Now if they only had a minimal streat legal version a.k.a. Husky and KTM

  6. GP says:

    No directionals – No interest. The Japanese manufacturers have to wise up to the fact that off road riding is fading fast. Street legality is the only way many of us in the US can trail ride at all. At least offer a factory “street kit”. KTM, Beta, Husky, and ‘Berg are the only manufacturers to offer anything good in this regard. What is stopping Japan???

  7. John says:

    I’m waiting for the WR450X

    • MikeD says:

      Im waiting for all of Japan Inc. to wake up and offer all of their 450 singles with EFI in a lower state of tune(14-16k mile valve check intervals) on street legal form.

      • FloridaSteve says:

        Sadly is still a “war” among the manufacturers so “reasonable” bikes are not allowed no matter how much they make sense.

  8. Dave H. says:

    Yamaha, congratulations on the new WR450. It looks awesome. Now please, get to work on a street legal version along the same lines as KTMs EXC line.

    Oh, and one more thing: 2.1 gallons is about half the amount of fuel capacity I’d like to see on a bike like this.

    • MikeD says:

      +1…and yes, i think a standard 4Gallon Tank is reasonable and not asking too much…for this kind of bike anyways.

  9. Nome says:

    Isn’t the real news that it doesn’t use the reverse-head MX engine and what implications that might have?

    • MikeD says:

      U would think that being that most of the motorcycle OEMs are in financial pain and cutting costs left and right every possible way that:

      They would share and modify one platform and engine as many times as possible and spin off of it as many versions as possible…right ? I mean, is only logical financialy, right ? Why not milk it to the last drop all that R&D that u just poured into making these sharp fanged 450s ?

      Apparently not…and that’s almost all Japan Inc.

      I know there’s a lot to it and easier said than done…but hey…u already have the bare bones kit…take it from there…is better than starting from 0, right ?

    • yetimcclin says:

      That’s what I was wondering about as well. Looks like, instead, they just reworked the old engine. But making two engines is always gonna be more expensive than making one. I wonder if the MX frame wasn’t up to offroad duty for some reason. That’s the only way I could see using this engine make sense.

  10. Stinky says:

    These are some VERY good motorcycles but my gosh are they heavy! You can only make a 275 lb. bike feel so light. They’ve done a good job of making them feel light but it’s only a feeling. It seems like most of the light feeling comes from taking away gas capacity so they don’t feel as heavy when full. Physics can’t be changed by emotion or feeling. I’ll stay with my 300 XCW. It’s a pig when the 6 gallon tank is full, but it’s gets better as the day goes on. You’ll really feel the 250+ pounds when you have to push it back when it runs out of gas!

  11. Joey Wilson says:

    Yeah, why doesn’t Yamaha make a midsize Dual Sport ? Oooops, I forgot; they DO:

    http://www.yamaha-motor.eu/eu/products/motorcycles/adventure/xt660z.aspx

    Sure would be nice to see these here . . . .

  12. Marc says:

    When are we going to get a dual sport version?

  13. MonsterJ says:

    Hey Yamaha, how about a street legal version like KTM?

  14. Josh says:

    I grew up riding Yamaha’s in the woods. I had an ’83 Yamaha IT 250 with extensive mods that I *LOVED*.

    I look at bikes like this and wonder why? Where is the fuel capacity and cushy seat that my IT had? I see the picture above and wonder how long I could ride before I either get sore or run out of gas? I used to ride for hours..sometimes from 9-10pm until the sun came up.

    • rokster says:

      Yeah I remember the good times on my modded early 80′s IT 175 with great fondness. It could do everything, from flying around enduro tracks to out-dragging Honda XR500′s to commuting to work. Sweet!

    • Dave H. says:

      Right on! I rode a 1980 IT125 all through my high school years back in the mid 80′s. My brother rode an ’80 IT250, I always thought that thing was such a beast! I loved those bikes, bulletproof, fun, easy to ride. Now I ride an ’07 KLX250S (which I also love for the same reasons), but I’ll always be a Yamaha fan. (my first two bikes were YZ80s from the 70′s)

  15. Kagato says:

    I love dirt bikes–I wish I was taller

  16. E-Ticket says:

    The next enduro shoot-out should be *very* interesting with KTM and Beta also launching newly redesigned scoots! I just hope they include the new 2012 KTM 350 EXC into the tests as well.

    Cheers! E-Ticket

  17. casatomasa says:

    Sweet, Finally fuel injection for off road. Now Japan needs to answer the Open class 500cc+ torque monster demand.

    • paul246 says:

      Personally, I prefer a carb. Gravity always works, fuel pumps don’t.

    • MikeD says:

      KLR650? DR650? Wrong bikes? Perhaps with an MX kind of frame(like the beauty pictured above?)…I think those mill are OK(alright, the DR Thumper is ancient by now and hasn’t been updated in decades, the Kawi mill got a refresh not too long ago)…just the frames are not up to snuff(tubular craddle spagetti frame).

      Maybe these engines are too old for what u ask ?