The battle for EPA-legal off-road supremacy continues, as the 2021 Yamaha WR450F gets both motor and chassis updates this year. Tuned for high-performance with low emission (sound and fumes), the WR450F is re-invigorated to do battle with the latest iteration of the Honda CRF450X. It’s time to dive into the updates.
- The 2021 Yamaha WR450F gets a new cylinder head. Inside the head, you will find steeper valve angles and cam profiles that are more aggressive. Atop the new cylinder head is a new smaller, lighter magnesium valve cover.
- The cylinder has updates inside. A new piston bumps up the compression to 13.0:1, and it gets low friction rings. There’s also a larger connector for the header.
- Yamaha did not forget the bottom end. There is a longer connecting rod for 2021.
- More air was needed to feed the new top end, and Yamaha provides it. There’s a new air filter with increased flow, along with the breather system enjoying improved efficiency.
- Predictably, the EFI system gets reworked to cooperate with the other motor changes.
- The frame on the 2021 Yamaha WR450F gets new flex characteristics. Although it’s not an all-new frame, Yamaha engineers have adjusted the frame’s flex in a variety of ways. The thickness of the lateral beams, engine cradle, motor mounts, top triple-clamp, and front axle have all be adjusted. According to a Yamaha spokesman, the modifications “give riders the ultimate combination of precise cornering performance, traction, and bump stability.”
- With revised frame flex comes new suspension settings. Damping rates on the 2021 Yamaha WR450F’s outstanding KYB suspension units have been altered to maximize the value of the frame changes.
- More power and better handling require improved braking, and the 2021 Yamaha WR450F gets it. The front caliper receives a boost in rigidity, along with new brake pads. The disc is designed to dissipate heat more quickly, keeping braking action consistent when riding hard.
- The electrical system has been made more compact.
- There’s a new dash, with a higher-contrast LCD that’s easier to read. For 2021, the meter also has a real-time fuel-consumption readout.
- All those changes result in an MSRP that is just $100 higher than last year. The 2021 Yamaha WR450F is scheduled to arrive in dealers this month with a $9799 price tag.
2021 Yamaha WR450F Specs
- Type: 4-stroke single
- Displacement: 449cc
- Bore x stroke: 97.0mm x 60.8mm
- Compression ratio: 13.0:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC, four titanium valves
- Fuel delivery: Mikuni EFI w/ 44mm throttle body
- Transmission: Wide-ratio constant-mesh 5-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate
- Final drive: O-ring chain
- Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
- Front suspension: Fully adjustable KYB Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; 12.2 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable KYB piggyback reservoir shock; 12.5 inches of travel
- Tires: Dunlop MX33
- Front tire: 80/100 x 21
- Rear tire: 120/90 x 18
- Front brake: 270mm disc
- Rear brake: 245mm disc
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
- Rake: 27 degrees
- Trail: 4.6 inches
- Seat height 37.6 inches
- Ground clearance: 12.6 inches
- Fuel capacity 2.2 gallons
- Wet weight: 262 pounds
- Color: Team Yamaha Blue
2021 Yamaha WR450F Price: $9799
2021 Yamaha WR450F Photo Gallery