Yamaha WR450F (2019) Review

Yamaha Wr450F 2019

Visordown went to Wales to put the new 2019 WR450F through its paces. 

Switchable power modes
Not road legal out of the box

A few days ago Yamaha invited me to ride the all-new 2019 WR450F at the Yamaha Offroad Experience in Wales. The scenery was stunning and the riding was mega technical, especially to an offroad noob like me. But with some expert guidance from the instructors and a couple of hours saddle time, I felt right at home on the new lighter, more responsive and improved WR450F. 


The styling gets an upgrade on last years model, taking inspiration from the sharper YZ450F MX bike, the headlight and upper radiator guards are now sharper and much narrower.  


2019   WR450F    £7599

Another reduction comes in the form of the price tag, which is coincidentally £450 lower than the 2018 model. This is due to the 2019 model being sold as a non EURO4 homologated machine, for off-road use only. Good news is you can get it road legal in the UK for around 400 quid, and a brand new road legal 450 enduro bike for just under eight grand is a pretty good deal. 


The engine is a 450cc liquid cooled DOC single piston thumper, which has a lightweight electric starter motor - so no more kicking like a mule. What’s trick about this motor is its MXGP reverse cylinder head construction and switchable two-stage power modes. Unfortunately, the exact power figure is hush hush, but my best guess is around 50hp or slightly more - plenty of boot to keep your adrenaline pumping. 

Frame and Suspension

Whilst I ripped along the Welsh countryside the internally upgraded fully adjustable KYB front suspension and 30cc larger KYB rear shock was doing some pumping of its own, even down slippery muddy steep trails the bike felt planted and offered plenty of feedback. The upgraded suspension in combination with the improved bilateral beam frame has created a great handling off-road bike - which soaks up just about anything you put in its path. 


The handling characteristics of the 450 actually felt more like the smaller 250, it's not until you crack the throttle that you realise it’s the big boy. However, being slightly heavier I felt the 450 was more planted and predictable (especially when trails got muddy). The only limit to the handling was the clueless lump sitting on it (me), although I’m sure that someone more capable would have good things to say about the WR450 handling also. 



Of course, being an Enduro bike it’s tall with the seat high being at 955mm (with lowering kits available), so some gymnastic leg swinging might be required to mount it, but Yamaha has shaved 2cm of the side of the seat and lowered the middle (to help the vertically challenged among us). 

Once onboard it’s a nice ergonomic place to be, with the wide raised bars offering plenty of control and the seat being comfy yet grippy. No complaints in the comfort department - even after riding offroad for six hours.   


As I mention the new WR450 comes with two power modes which you can switch via the handlebar button. Blue mode is a calmer, smoother and less aggressive option, the option I chose to ride in mostly. Then the second mode (no blue light) is the full-blown bat shit crazy option, it’s equivalent to A mode on Yamaha's road bikes - bloody mental (but really fun). 

Now, if you don't like the power delivery on the bike you can link your smartphone to the bikes onboard WiFi and change each engine mode to match your exact requirements via the Yamaha Power tuner app 3D map. This system does away with the antiquated Power tuner box and is completely free!


The tweaks that have been made to the new WR450F have added it to create an impressive and manageable offroad machine. And at just under eight grand fully road legal the 450 is undercutting its competition by quite some margin. I had a blast on this bike, it gave me the feeling of riding on a 1000cc road bike for the first time, yet I wasn't doing more than 50mph. 

If you fancy a challenge and love a proper dose of adrenaline, get yourself one of these bikes. Or failing that have a raz on one at the Yamaha Offroad Experience. 

Click here for more details: www.yamaha-offroad-experience.co.uk

Switchable power modes
Not road legal out of the box