2012 Yamaha WR450F

Yamaha | April 12, 2012

2012 Yamaha WR450F is now here. However, before I write about how every thing updated, new, borrowed & unique, you may wish to ask your self what a perfect off-road 450 cc-class bike should be. Do not compromise. Your expectations should be set high. This is 2012 after all.

I’d think that manufacturer can build perfect bike now & never mind fact that they’ve EPA, DOT, CARB & some other acronyms for appeasing. We’d want 2-stroke lightness, fuel-injected smoothness, four-stroke traction, plush suspension which doesn’t bottoms out ever, & we’d want it looking really awesome & unique at same time. We’d want it to be legal on street & I’d want for racing too. Finally, it should be cheap.

Knowing the consumer-bred difficulty that is going in to such exercise is why it is pretty exciting for testing latest goodies from off-road motor cycle makers. How close can they all get? Yamaha 2012 WR450 is end result of whole lot of tuning, listening, tweaking, manipulating, theorizing, fixing & breaking stuff in name of looking for nearest thing to the perfection.

Read on as I travel at central Florida & opening round of GNCC series of Racing for test of fuel-injected 2012 Yamaha WR450F.

2012 Yamaha WR450F

The all new

The manufacturer has some really good dedication to the off-road driving with launch of this bike. 2012 WR450F launch breaks stalemate of the Japanese improvement, innovation, & excitement all in segment of off-road. Last new model & only version that is fuel-injected– we have seen from Japan was Suzuki RMX450Z; it debuted in the year 2010 as moto crosser in disguise & it’s now off altogether from the American market. Honda CRF450X is workhorse for red big brand, however, it has not really changed a lot of with the small tweaks here & there. Kawasaki KLX450R came in very quietly in to market in the year 2008, & we have had some nary bold new from of graphics of Team Green since then. Yamaha it self has not really released new WR since the year 2007! The bike here is now over due, & faithful Yamaha can get fully stoked.

Yamaha has some time to new WR450F in market but it looks like they have done it along with some direct intention. WR family is beacon of durability, dependability, customer satisfaction & user friendly for long time. For most-previous rendition, WR450 particularly enjoyed aluminum frame that is more-than-capable that kept bike looking new for a lot of years. Motor is work horse, having a lot of ponies through the great performance of carburetor & good ride on board along with suspension plush tunable which can be of any use. The stability is the king with WR, & performance straight-line hasn’t been question ever. Neither is dependability along with the 5-titanium-valve traditional head of cylinder having lot of hours of the flawless performance. Put in enduro highly-functional computer, stock decent head light, good ergos for pilot sizes range, & you will now see why Yamaha did not mess along with this bike for such a long time.

But, older WR comes with limits if it is used for more than dependable trail of bike. It is heavy by the racing standards & does not have total confidence for tightest of the trails along with highest potential for the tip-overs due to sheer mass. It’s low-slung & prone for finding edge of the ruts sooner as compared to & it had case of wallows if went past suspension stock limits of valving or speed.

The consumer demand by numbers

Yamaha is listening to the customers (& especially the WR owners) for some time. They have seen what the people are purchasing & they know how they are using the machines.

One more surprise for people might be fact that plenty of the WR owners race the machines. Focused recreationally off floor of dealer or not, Yamaha customers are taking up WR250 & WR450 bikes & paying for racing. They are mostly racing Enduros, Cross Country races & the Hare Scrambles.

2012 Yamaha WR450F

Sure, you have seen team of Randy Hawkins & AmPro Yamaha tear it on the highly modified WR for couple of few years. In spite of what fastest racers, the manufacturer studies show the every day owners of WR race the machines & they are self proclaimed intermediates. They are not really first-timers. They are not paid for racing. They are people just like us who yearn for do-it-all bike which does everything perfectly.

With such data in the hand, Yamaha had gone to owners who ride tight trails & racing on weekends & then asked them regarding what could be done for improving this favorite bike. Answers are quite obvious – to make things lighter, improve suspension, give some fuel injection, give some more range of fuel. Make it sound more awesome (I put in one, but I am sure that some one said this in surveys). Finally, they had this concept: combining 450F of power along with 250F chassis for making potent & precise off-road weapon, which is squarely focused on the cross-country & enduro racing.

It isn’t as bold as the KTM “Ready to Race” tag line, but the focus from Yamaha for competitive under belly of the off-road motorcycling is really aggressive. Executives at Yamaha further promised for nimble ride, easier-to-handle ride with faster pace (which is more tuned to the racers of higher level), @ highest components of spec available.

Engine Injection & More

For getting to the new race-focused WR, the manufacturer is not fixing what it not broken. DOHC 449cc, Titanium 5-valve, dry sump powerplant of Yamaha does propulsion business. Connected to new system of fuel-Injection & wide-ratio five-speed, power & drivetrain on WR is reliable, proven, & really powerful. But they are refining the things amongst the innards.

2012 Yamaha WR450FEngine orientation in side chassis (I will get to chassis very soon) is back kicked for giving cylinder a vertical stance. The crank center is picked up at 5mm & puts rotational mass of dual cams close to chassis center. The gyroscopic forces in side top of 4-stroke motors come with significant effect for handling the character & weight feel. More spinning stuff gets closer to center of machine, better especially while flicking this bike on side for trying direction change by just leaning or while leaning along with front-end off ground (raising spinning pieces higher).

On the low, big-end connecting and bearing rod are taken up by 1 mm in the width for increasing durability. Also, cam surface treatment of heat is revised for boosting life span of top spinners.

Biggest news for WR450 engine is new EFI. Yamaha is using 42 mm fuel-injection Keihin system for this bike along with 12 holes injector to give you performance & EFI lustful throttle response bikes of MX are experiencing for some years. Altitude, humidity, and temperature don’t have a lot of effect on the WR’s performance. With tunability of beaucoup, the manufacrure makes sure that you get a lot of customizing options on race day.

System of injection is pretty standard by the off-road & MX options of today. There is lean-angle sensor along with tip-over switch for killing engine if there is any inversion or fall for more than hand full of seconds. The manufacturer is not telling for how long but it is said that in the situations of race, this bike will shut if you are non-responsive & throttle is stuck. Also, this bike will not turn too soon for the silly tip-overs or the playful loop-outs which your buddies can capture on the film. I tested it on Florida sand, & it did not shut off.

Sending signals to system of fuel delivery is sensor of in take air pressure, position throttle sensor, sensor of air temperature & sensor of water temperature. ECU isn’t tunable in the stock form, but the manufacturer has good solution for this. There is new intake boot for going along with system of EFI, & easy-access air door of filter stays on for the filter changes which do not cause any cuss words for spill out from the face.

Fuel it self is held with all-new 2.0 gallons tank of fuel along with YZ450F-spec pump of fuel inside. I put 2.0 because I wished it said something like 2.5 which is more substantial behind point. However, 2.0 is what you get now. The range wasn’t estimated at press launch however, some of the journalists went past thirty miles @ decent clip for power-sucking sand with out any problem. We will guess some where in range of 50-mile when riding of trail. Bike comes with a light which tells you when you have got half a gallon left.

With battery on-board (for starting this beast), new stator pumps are on electrical out put to about 160 watts as compared to previous 120 W. All this juice goes at EFI (no light juice here). But, system of EFI may be totally independent of battery if you wish to eliminate the sucker to get maximum savings of weight to race heck out of the dirt bike. Personally speaking, I’d go for this key all the time, but it is nice to know that battery does not have to be alive for making this bike fire.

Yamaha says that new radiators of WR450F add 5 percent more capacity of coolant, but they are bigger than this. Coolant over flow tank of catch is really intact & works pretty well. If overcook system, there is escape hose which spews steam from below cradles of frame. When it happens you should take this bike for spin up & down road or straight section & then lay off clutch.

2012 Yamaha WR450F

Last of 2012 Yamaha WR450F updates of engine is longer (15 mm longer) pipe of head which incorporates resonating chamber. The techs at Yamaha blame mid-range dearth of excitement which according to them is natural along with EFI as need for the change is aimed at the mid-range maintenance of torque.

The sassy chassis

Previous gen WR was pretty capable at range of riding and racing situations, it had some limits in terms of speed & agility. The manufacturer addressed it directly along with 1 of most well-mannered modern motor cycle frames in market—YZ250F frame. It was stable for speed and pretty confident in corners & solid, aluminum bilateral-beam frame blends best of both the worlds new & old. It looks narrower as compared to twin-spar full jobs & does not feel unsubstantial or non-existent like older Japanese frames of steel are. While engineers at Yamaha say that frame of WR450F is “based-off” YZ250F frame, which we had poked around & found that it’s really is identical save for engine mounts. The engine mounts do plenty of things, do not get fooled.

New frame for WR is more torsionally & horizontally rigid ride, but head tube flexes little bit more than as compared to old frame. New frame eliminates the wallowing & makes the rider input move this machine very efficiently. Such little trick masks some girth of big-boy off-road. If it is easier for moving & does not move against you, this bike will start feeling lighter & this is really important for saving energy while you ride. When you pick this bike up post going few bars; the new frame won’t help. The engineers at Yamaha & the test bike riders said that new setup of frame/chassis was coolest part of this bike & something we would feel on dirt immediately.

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