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2012 Yamaha WR450F Enduro

2012 Yamaha WR450F Enduro

New fuel injection system and compact new chassis

Yamaha’s WR450F is recognised as being one of the toughest and most reliable bikes in the enduro world, claiming prices in the AIM Cross-Countries World Championship, the Enduro World Championship and of course the gruelling Dakar Rally. The current model accounts for around 30% of all sales in the 450cc enduro market in Europe, North America and Australia. This strong demand for the model underlines its enduring popularity with enduro and trail riders all over the world, and for 2012 the company will introduce a new WR450F which is designed to keep the Yamaha name at the forefront of the highly competitive E2 class.

Featuring an all-new tuneable fuel injection system, the proven WR-F’s 450cc 4-stroke liquid-cooled 5-valve engine now delivers even more responsive and adaptable performance to suit the wide range of conditions experienced by enduro riders. As well as the new fuel-injected engine, the 2012 WR450F runs with a compact new bilateral aluminium beam frame which brings new levels of agility to the 450 class. Manufactured from a combination of forged, extruded and panel aluminium components, this innovative new lightweight frame has been constructed to 250-class dimensions, giving the quick-turning WR450F a real advantage in the tight corners and twisty woodland riding found in the typical enduro.

In addition to the uprated engine and new frame, the 2012 WR450F also features new slimline bodywork which underlines its 250-class dimensions - and with new black Excel rims, Pro-Taper bars and a new headlight cowl, this front-running E2 enduro machine comes with winning looks to back up its winning performance.

New WR450F from Yamaha. The Real Enduro Racer.


New tuneable fuel injection system

The WR450F’s ultra-reliable liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, single-cylinder, 5-valve 449cc engine has become a real favourite with enduro and trail riders looking for a wide band of strong and controllable power – and the demand for this rugged and reliable racer looks set to grow significantly now that it is equipped with an advanced new fuel injection system.

By the very nature of the sport – in which riders can typically cover hundreds of kilometres or more each day – enduro bikes can often experience major changes in altitude, air temperature and weather conditions in a matter of hours. In order to ensure efficient and effective engine running in a constantly changing environment, the compact new fuel injection system that is fitted to the 2012 WR450F is programmed to continuously adjust its settings to match the prevailing conditions.

A series of miniature sensors transmit information on throttle position, intake pressure, intake temperature, air pressure, crank rpm and coolant temperature to the compact ECU, and this calculates and activates both the optimum fuel injection volume and ignition advance required to ensure high levels of combustion efficiency for enhanced engine performance. And to keep weight to a minimum, the 2012 WR450F uses the same lightweight and compact fuel pump already featured on our YZ-F models.

The addition of a new fuel injection system for 2012 not only ensures that the WR450F delivers even more stable and responsive performance in a wide range of operating conditions – the wide powerband and excellent driveability of the uprated engine also enables the rider to concentrate fully on the terrain ahead, while the seamless engine performance helps to reduce rider fatigue.

Competition kit parts
The new 2012 WR450F will be supplied by Authorised Yamaha Dealers with WVTA specifications. A separate Competition Kit for the 2012 WR450F is also available for those riders who will be using the machine in closed course enduros. The kit comprises a number of race-specification performance parts including an exhaust pipe, silencer, tail pipe, 13/50 sprocket set and other items.

New racing exhaust system with resonator
The exhaust pipe included in the Competition Kit features a built-in resonator which has been designed to optimize the pulse effect of the intake/exhaust system. This resonator system is already used successfully on Yamaha’s MXGP-winning factory YZ-F models, and it contributes to improved power output in the important low to mid-speed range, which is particularly significant on an enduro bike where races are often won or lost in the slower tight and twisty conditions.

Easy-to-use Power Tuner
Following its success on our YZ450F motocross bike, Yamaha will offer WR450F riders the option to purchase a Power Tuner. This pocket-sized device has been designed to allow riders to fine-tune the performance of WR450Fs fitted with the Competition Parts kit, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

The WR450F is supplied by the factory with a standard fuel injection map which is designed to give the machine strong performance in a wide range of riding conditions. However, on bikes fitted with Yamaha’s Competition kit parts, riders can use the Power Tuner to make adjustments to the fuel injection volume and ignition timing to suit specific track conditions and also to complement their riding style.

The Power Tuner is compact and simple to use, and does not require a PC to activate any changes to the map. All the rider has to do is simply connect the Power Tuner to the coupler located on the bike and key in the desired performance characteristics. The bike’s ECU runs with two 3-dimensional programmes which feature a fuel injection map and an ignition timing map, and these maps include engine rpm and throttle opening as parameters. The Power Tuner allows riders to independently adjust fuel injection volume at 9 different setting points, and likewise the ignition timing can also be adjusted at 9 different setting points.

Using the Power Tuner, a rider can select any one of 15 different values at each of the 9 setting points on the fuel injection map, with each ‘step’ representing a 3% change in fuel injection volume, giving a range from -21% through to + 21% from the standard factory setting. Similarly, on the ignition advance map, Power Tuner users can select any one of 14 steps, with each step representing a 1º change in ignition advance, giving a total adjustment from -9º to +4º from the standard factory setting.

By experimenting with various fuel and ignition settings, riders are able to create their own customized maps that best suit their individual style and the prevailing riding conditions. After evaluating and noting which maps work best in specific situations – for example map 1 for sand, map 2 for mud, map 3 for rock and so on – riders can save a total of 9 maps on their Power Tuner and then reprogramme their WR450F on the morning of the enduro with the specific map that will suit that day’s riding and surface conditions. WR450F owners can also benefit from other riders’ data by comparing each others’ maps and sharing them, allowing more experienced riders to pass on their set-up knowledge to newer riders.

Another advantage is that the Power Tuner also has a monitor function which allows the user to look at data from the various different sensors, as well as see engine running time. There is also a malfunction self-diagnosis function which gives greater ease of maintenance.

Vibration-resistant radiator design
For outstanding heat dissipation qualities together with increased strength the WR450F is equipped with a new radiator design which ensures stable running even in tricky low-speed going where airflow is reduced. First used on the latest-generation YZ250F, this vibration-resistant radiator features a thicker core, and for added durability the mount is changed from a two-point to a three-point system.

High-capacity ACM and new condenser
To match the demands of the new fuel injection system the latest WR450F is fitted with a high-capacity three-phase AC magneto generator – and for reliable kick starts in the event of a problem with the battery function, a condenser has been added to the bike’s electrics.

Engine Technical Highlights

  • Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, single-cylinder, 5-valve, 449cc electric-start engine
  • New Fuel Injection system
  • Compact YZ-style fuel pump
  • Separate Yamaha Competition Kit with resonator exhaust system, 13/50 sprocket set and other parts
  • Optional Yamaha Power Tuner for customized fuel injection volume and ignition timing settings
  • Linear power delivery with stable performance in differing conditions
  • Titanium valves
  • 12.3:1 compression ratio
  • Balancer mechanism
  • High-capacity three-phase AC magneto generator
  • New condenser for reliable kick starts
  • Vibration-resistant radiators with new 3-point mounting
  • Enduro-specific camshaft profile
  • Dry-sump lubrication system with inbuilt crankcase 1.2 litre oil tank
  • Enduro-specific 5-speed transmission


Compact new aluminium bilateral beam frame
The new 2012 WR450F has been designed to offer new levels of handling performance for a 450, and for quicker cornering together with easier direction changes and a feeling of lightness, the bike runs with an all-new frame design which is one of the most compact designs in the class.

Featuring twin aluminium spars running from the headstock right down to the engine cradle, this new bilateral beam frame has been developed from the latest YZ250F design, and it offers a number of important advantages over the previous design.

The bilateral design has enabled our designers to relocate items such as the fuel tank and radiators in order to achieve a greater centralisation of mass for quicker and easier direction changes when entering tight corners. As every competition rider knows, races are won or lost in the turns, and over the course of a day’s racing, a fraction of a second saved in every corner can add up to a massive advantage by the end of the event.

Unlike some conventional frames, the new Yamaha bilateral design is manufactured from a unique combination of forged, extruded and panel aluminium parts which are welded together to create a unit offering an idealised balance of rigidity. Not only is this frame extremely compact – in fact it feels more like a 250 than a 450 – but its finely balanced lateral and torsional rigidity values gives excellent rider feedback, allowing the rider to feel what the bike is doing and respond accordingly.

Enduro-specific 250-class dimensions
When we set out to develop the new WR450F, our main priority in the chassis department was to create a machine with a feeling of lightness and agility which would deliver class-leading cornering performance. Any enduro racer who gets on the new WR450F is sure to be impressed with the compact feel and slim dimensions of this new-generation race bike.
Developed from the latest slimline YZ250F design, the 2012 WR450F frame features a number of enduro-specific changes to the shape and thickness of various components, as well as redesigned engine and subframe mountings, and the use of a different alloy for the subframe.

Running with a compact 1,475mm wheelbase – 25mm shorter than the existing model – as well as a 27 degree caster and 115mm trail, the new WR450F gives a feeling of lightness and agility together with excellent front wheel tracking and rear wheel traction. The result is a new kind of 450 whose lightweight aluminium chassis feels and behaves more like a 250 in the twists and turns, and once out in the open the rider can exploit the wide powerband and explosive acceleration of the new fuel injected 450cc 5-valve engine.

Enduro-specific suspension settings
As well as its all-new bilateral beam frame, the WR450F is also equipped with a new air/liquid separation type front suspension system which is based on the design used on Yamaha’s MXGP winning YZ-F models. Running with lightweight flex-resistant 48mm tubes, the upside-down front forks benefit from enduro-specific damping and spring rate settings for smooth and responsive low speed characteristics in tight turns, combined with good high speed stability.

The link-type monocross rear suspension system also runs with specific spring and damping settings which have been developed to suit the needs of enduro riders, with a softer initial stroke for smoother low speed handling in tight corners. And with full adjustability at the front and rear, the WR450F chassis can be fine-tuned to suit individual riding styles and different terrain.

New-design slimline plastic resin 7.2 litre fuel tank
The new bilateral aluminium frame carries the new plastic resin fuel tank between its beams which helps to increase mass centralisation for more agile turning. This specially designed tank offers a capacity of 7.2 litres (1 litre more than the YZ450F), giving a good range for competition and trail riders. And for added convenience a fuel warning lamp is fitted to the instrument console, and this alerts the rider when the level reaches 2 litres.

Slimline bodywork
To underline the compact dimensions of its 250-class frame, the new WR450F is equipped with all-new bodywork which gives the bike a sharp new profile to match its high specification. Lightweight air scoops direct cool air into the new vibration-resistant radiators and offer plenty of knee grip when standing – and newly-designed side covers accentuate the bike’s feeling of lightness. And with an all-new headlight cowl and an LED rear light, the 2012 WR450F’s cutting-edge styling perfectly complements its sophisticated engine and chassis specification.

High-grip seat

To accommodate the long periods that enduro riders can spend in the saddle each day, the new WR450F is equipped with a specially-developed seat which is designed to give greater comfort and reduced fatigue. The tank and seat profile are designed to allow smoother body weight shifting, and the seat features a high-grip cover for improved rider control in wet conditions. For improved useability the new seat height is reduced to 960mm, which is 30mm lower than on the existing model.

High specification components

For 2012 the WR450F comes fully-equipped with black Excel rims which give the bike an impressive new ‘factory racer’ look, and Pro Taper handlebars are also fitted as standard. These high quality components not only underline our designers’ close attention to detail, but they also reinforce the pride of ownership felt by owners of this outstanding new enduro bike.

Chassis Technical Highlights

  • New all-aluminium bilateral beam frame
  • Manufactured from a combination of forged, extruded and panel aluminium components
  • Centralisation of mass for easy turning
  • Idealised balance of strength and rigidity to suit enduro conditions
  • Compact and slim design for light handling character
  • 1,475mm wheelbase, 25mm shorter than existing model
  • Enduro-specific 250-class dimensions
  • YZ-F type front suspension with air-liquid separation
  • Optimized enduro-specific rear suspension settings
  • Enduro-specific high-grip seat
  • Lower 960mm seat height
  • New-design slimline plastic resin 7.2 litre fuel tank
  • Black Excel rims
  • Fuel level warning light shows when level reaches 2 litres
  • New-look headlight cowl
  • Newly-designed side covers
  • Wave-shaped front and rear discs
  • Wide footrests for optimal grip and comfort
  • Pro-Taper handlebars
  • Lightweight aluminium sidestand
  • Tough one-piece resin engine guard with 335mm ground clearance