Once Yamaha overhauled its title-winning YZ450F motocrosser last year, you knew it was only a matter of time before its off-road-specific version and closely related 450cc enduro cousin got the same treatment. Welp, that time came last week, when Yamaha unveiled the redesigned 2024 WR450F, a model that—like the retooled YZ—will now sport a revised chassis; a new, more powerful engine; revised ergos; and drastically improved suspension for the new model year.
And to cap it all off, Team Blue put the WR on a diet, even chipping in an updated transmission, new bodywork, and new smartphone tuning functionality as well, resulting in what’s very nearly a ground-up redesign. The bike is expected in dealers by this November, and will be priced at $10,199—just $200 more than last year.
As far as redesigned components for 2024, the new WR450F benefits from the improvements in engine and chassis technology seen on the race-winning YZ450F, with a combination of increased power and a reworked, lightweight chassis along with optimized suspension components and slimmer bodywork giving this enduro—in Yamaha’s words—an even higher degree of controllability in a wide range of situations.
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The devil is in the details here, and it starts with the redesigned aluminum bilateral beam frame featuring a 15mm lower head pipe joint. That allows the frame rail and tension pipe to sit lower and, along with model-specific front engine mounts, adds strength, giving the new WR450F better straight-line stability and cornering performance. Yamaha says the lower center of gravity also gives the WR450F a lighter feel for better handling and traction in tighter trail sections.
Sitting inside the new frame is a completely redesigned liquid-cooled 450cc four-stroke engine that’s lighter, more compact, and higher-revving, with improved pulling power across the entire rev range. For that you can thank internal changes, which include new exhaust and intake ports; larger 39mm diameter titanium intake valves; a new piston, cylinder, crankshaft, and balancer assembly; and a change to dry-sump lubrication. Additionally, revised ECU settings are now tailored to enhance low-end tractability to better suit trail riding, with an all-new three-level traction control system tuning the engine to maintain ideal rear wheel grip.
Working in concert with the frame is a drastically upgraded KYB coil-spring-type fork with speed-sensitive damping. As before, it’s fully adjustable, but it now features a hand-operated compression clicker for toolless adjustments along with redesigned fork seals to better protect the inner tube. The linkage-type rear suspension meanwhile consists of a KYB shock with specially tuned damping to match the chassis; new settings mean the WR’s seat is 10mm lower than on the YZ450F (as a result, suspension travel on both ends is reduced slightly from last year).
At the end of the revised suspension is the same 21/18-inch wheel combo, though for 2024, Yamaha has upgraded the rear hoop with a three-cross-spoke pattern for improved impact absorption and added a new YZ450F-spec rear brake system to shed even more weight (though the rear disc is now a smaller 240mm unit).
Both of the Premium Excel rims come wrapped in Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires.
You’d think all that would be plenty to crow about already, but Yamaha went even further in the new-and-improved department with a new disc clutch design replacing the six coil springs of the previous model. The primary gear and basket are now integrated into a single steel unit for a more compact footprint while still delivering smooth engagement. Along with the clutch the WR also gets an upgraded transmission; although it’s still a five-speed, the new tri-shaft layout vertically stacks the transmission shafts, for a lighter, more compact assembly, with gear ratios optimized for enduro riding.
In its quest to further cut the WR’s weight and improve mass centralization, Yamaha also added a new plastic fuel tank with a lower fuel pump location; a smaller muffler to redistribute weight; lightweight throttle cables; a new multifunction switch gear and meter; and a new skid plate. And thanks to new, more compact bodywork, the WR’s ergos also get minor tweaks, with a flatter seat, lower footpegs, and handlebar moved in slightly closer to the rider.
The 2024 WR450F is available only in the Team Yamaha Blue color this year, and should be in dealers by November.
2024 Yamaha WR450F Technical Specifications and Price
|Engine:||449cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled single; 4 valves|
|Bore x Stroke:||97.0 x 60.8mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||EFI w/ 44mm throttle bodies|
|Frame:||bilateral beam aluminum|
|Front Suspension:||KYB spring-type fork; fully adjustable; 11.8 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||KYB single shock, fully adjustable; 12.0 in. travel|
|Front Brake:||270mm hydraulic disc, 2-piston Nissin caliper|
|Rear Brake:||240mm hydraulic disc, 1-piston Nissin caliper|
|Wheels, Front/Rear:||Aluminum; 21 in. /18 in.|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||80/100-21; 120/90-18|
|Rake/Trail:||26° / 4.3 in.|
|Seat Height:||37.6 in.|
|Fuel Capacity:||2.0 gal.|
|Claimed Wet Weight:||258 lb.|