Yamaha Motors Australia have just announced an updated WR450F for 2021, a model which has seen pretty astounding success here in the land down under. In fact, the WR450F was the biggest selling motorcycle in the country, excluding the little 50 and 110 cc models, with the first half of 2020 seeing this particular motorcycle in the same position once again.
That’s no fluke either, the WR450F has sold like hotcakes for numerous years in Australia and even sits within the LAMS or learner approved motorcycle scheme for new riders, meaning it can be your first motorcycle, often leading that particular sales category as a result.
Not only will the WR450F receive an update for 2021, there’s also a special Limited Edition version that will be available here in Australia, specifically for our market, called the “Aussie Edition” and including a kangaroo in the livery.
There will only be 400 available, at a premium, with a few extras thrown in as standard to make this something truly special, including Barkbuster handguards, special aluminium radiator and bashplate and a titanium Akrapovic exhaust, and will come in at a more premium price of $17,099 ride-away.
In comparison Yamaha Motors Australia have announced the price of the standard 2021 WR450F as being $15,499, also ride-away with both coming with 12 months rego. Arrival is currently expected for December 2020.
These bikes are road legal here in Australia, and Yamaha are calling them a YZ450F with lights, plus of course a speedo system, radiator fan, road legal muffler, battery, sidestand, larger tank and fully modifiable ECU as standard. An off-road kit is also included with each WR450F for use on closed courses only.
What about the updates?
Yamaha tell us this is the latest generation YZ450F engine tuned for enduro, with compression increased over the outgoing model to 13 to 1, with the reverse cylinder head running a forged piston and aggressive cam profiles. The intake and exhaust valve angles are updated, and like the ECU are WRF specific, with the new high efficiency cylinder head 310 grams lighter and more compact, with a long straight inlet for controllable power.
Other updates include a new long reach spark plug, new top piston ring, revised cylinder body, optimized con rod, and magnesium cylinder head cover, while cam and crank are closer allowing for the use of a lighter, shorter cam chain. The 2021 model also now sees a YZ450F exhaust system with WRF muffler.
The WR450F also received the bilateral beam frame from the YZ450F tuned for this machine with thinner main spars and beefed up bottom tubes and with WR specific engine mounting brackets.
Yamaha also promise a stronger and lighter top triple clamp, front wheel axle and bar mounts, with the bars now 15 mm forward and 5 mm lower. The KYB fully adjustable coil spring twin chamber forks remain but with revised settings, alongside a fully adjustable rear shock with settings also revised to match the new frame and front end setup.
Braking performance should also be improved with the adoption of the setup found on the 2020 YZ450F, with larger caliper pistons, now 25.4 mm, and a 30 per cent more rigid caliper body. Brake pad surface area is also increased by 25 per cent, while the contact surface has increased by 16 per cent.
A minimalist front dash is slimmer, with built in warning lights, and has a new fuel consumption indicator, while a higher contrast display should offer better visibility in different conditions. Another new change is lighter foot-pegs, now chromoly steel, as was seen on the 2020 YZ450F.
Glancing over the spec sheets, it looks like the new WR450F still weighs in at 119 kg, fueled and ready to go, with a 7.9 litre fuel tank and 955 mm seat height.
Standard fitment tyres will be Metzeler Six Days Extremes, with a 90/90-21in front and 130/90-18in rear. The Yamaha Smartphone tuning system also returns, alongside the handlebar map switch, with an electric start standard fitment.
You’ll be able to pick up the standard 2021 WR450F in any colour as long as it’s Team Yamaha Blue, while the Aussie Edition Black version really stands out, both due to the extras and that lighter blue detail work and tasteful kangaroo details.
So if you’re a WR450F fan, or looking to upgrade from your WR250F, December may well be the right time, when these new models arrive.