On September 13, 2023, Yamaha officially announced the 2024 WR450F, which is all new for the coming model year. The fast enduro bike shares many elements in common with Team Blue’s current YZ450F motocross model, yet retains its own character designed to give enduro riders what they want. Let’s take a look.
The 2024 Yamaha WR450F is powered by the same engine found in the current YZ450F. Lots of new internals with this one, from 39-millimeter intake valves to a new piston, connecting rod, and bearings. Special attention was paid to optimizing for lightness and strength, resulting in an engine that’s a full 2.4 pounds lighter than the previous version. Yamaha also adds that it tuned its engine control unit (ECU) on this bike specifically to “offer tractability at low speeds and high power at medium to fast speeds.”
On top of the new engine, the 2024 WR450F also gets a newer, more compact clutch. According to Team Blue, it’s been optimized with the intention of giving a lighter feel in operation, as well as offering a more positive engagement point. These are the kinds of things that sound great on paper, but the true test is always in how riders feel about it once they throw a leg over.
Frame And Suspension
Yamaha also worked to lower the center of gravity on the 2024 WR450F, moving the head pipe joint on the frame a full 15 millimeters (just over half an inch) lower. This, in turn, positions the frame rail and tension pipe lower, which helps with handling. Both rigidity and flex characteristics were carefully considered and implemented in designing the frame, and the compact fuel tank and shortened muffler also aid in the seemingly endless pursuit of centralizing mass.
The 2024 Yamaha WR450F also gets an entirely new KYB suspension. It offers a full 11.8 inches of suspension travel in the front and 12 inches of suspension travel in the rear, and also features compression damping adjustability on the fork with no tools necessary.
Yamaha focused on mass centralization and weight reduction in some of its other choices, as well. Shaving off the ounces everywhere was key, including in the rear wheel hub, revised rear brake system (which is the same one found on the YZ450F), the lithium-ion battery, and other lightened components. In total, Yamaha says it managed to save four additional pounds off the weight of the previous version of the WR450F.
Other new features include a new airflow management system with the bodywork, resulting in shrouds that are 50mm (nearly two inches) narrower; a flatter seat with more rounded edges for easier rider movement; new skid plate; new switchgear on the left hand controls; new multifunction meter; new rear fender; and redesigned, more durable fork seals.
Pricing and Availability
In the US, Yamaha will start rolling out the 2024 WR450F to dealerships in November 2023. MSRP is $10,199, and it’s available in just one color: Team Yamaha Blue.
Yamaha is also bringing back the WR250F for 2024, and that bike remains unchanged for the new model year. It will also hit dealerships in November 2024, at an MSRP of $8,999.