Motorcycles2019 Yamaha WR450F First Ride Review
Remember When Toyota Partnered With Yamaha To Sell Trucks?
In 1974 Toyota promoted its "Yamahauler" pickup truck. Yamaha and Toyota have had an interesting relationship over the years. Yamaha has designed and supplied the engines for several Toyota cars over the years, from the Celica and MR2 to the classic 2000GT. In the 1970s, Toyota created a show truck called the Yamahauler specifically to promote its small pickup's motorcycle hauling capabilities. In 1974, Toyota introduced a long-bed version of its Hilux pickup truck—or, as it was creatively named here, the Toyota Truck.
As the off-road and enduro bike markets are heating up, motorcycle manufacturers are continually looking to get their fair share of the sales pie. Most do this efficiently by taking their best, most popular motocross bike and adding the features needed to make them competitive in several other categories.
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Ride Review
Upgrades for Yamaha’s successful small-bore sportbike
Yamaha introduced its all-new 2019 WR450F hoping to attract customers looking for a highly competitive enduro bike. The YZ450F was all-new in 2018, and the YZ450FX was completely updated with the new engine and chassis for 2019. Yamaha kept the 2019 WR450F under wraps for some time before its introduction to the world.
By now you are probably familiar with the latest-generation YZ450F engine, and it’s the same one that’s being used in the WR450F. Naturally, the “WR” comes with a wide-ratio, five-speed transmission that is actually the same as the one used in the YZ450FX. In comparison to the motocross model, it is as you would expect. First gear is very low for single-track conditions such as tight woods. Second gear is between the YZ450F’s first and second gear. Third gear is just a touch lower than the YZ450F. Fourth is almost the same and fifth is much taller.
2019 Yamaha MotoGP Team And YZR-M1 First Look
Yamaha shows off its factory MotoGP race team for the 2019 season
With Yamaha having such a good 450 engine, the wider gaps in the transmission are not all that noticeable. First gear was perfect for low speeds while riding through extra tight sections and playing in some bigger rocks, but not so low that you had to immediately shift up as soon as you got past half throttle. Second was very useful in slower sections, but tall enough that you could let it rev out a fair bit. Third gear was just about perfect. Once you got rolling, you could click into third and ride from about 5 mph to 30 mph without any need to shift or use the clutch. Fourth could carry you up into some higher speeds—what would be about as fast as you would need to go for enduro riding. Fifth is the afterburner gear. If you needed to get somewhere in a hurry, it would get you there quickly.
The final drive gearing of 13/50 seemed to fit the transmission and power quite well. You would only consider possibly going to taller gearing if most of the riding you did was at higher speeds, point-to-point, or on two-track roads.
Someone Has Already Built A Turbo Yamaha Niken
Leave it to the Aussies to put mad power into a mad ride. It was only a matter of time until somebody hot-rodded the new Yamaha Niken. Yamaha Motorsports Australia recently shared a build by Trooper Lu's Garage of New South Wales that is believed to be the first turbo Niken in the world. Three-WheelingYamaha Unveils Leaning 3-Wheeled Niken2019 Yamaha Niken GT: Everything We Know Details remain sparse on the specifics of this build, but the photos shared by Yamaha and Trooper Lu's provide some details.
We would say the “WR” could also be used in the description of the engine’s powerband. The bike comes with several EPA requirements that reduce the engine’s overall and peak horsepower. However, there is still plenty of power to get anywhere you want to go. It could be said this slight reduction in power makes the bike easier and more fun to ride over longer distances. Yamaha achieved this by tuning the intake and exhaust system, along with fuel and ignition maps, to provide usable, race enduro power down low with a good amount of high-rpm power and over-rev.
The clutch lever is easy to pull and does not have any fade. Even in slow rocks and repeated tight turns with significant clutch abuse, the clutch remained consistent. Yamaha accomplished this with a slightly different combination of regular and highly heat-resistant friction plates that eliminate the judder spring.
Falkor: The Sweet Custom Yamaha Scrambler
Two years is a short time when you're not a pro custom builder, right? As a child of the Eighties, I was excited to see a lovely custom motorcycle build named after the fluffy main character in a classic film straight out of 1984. And while I am a little bit disappointed that the bike is not white and furry (OK not really), I do love a nice custom scrambler, and the best part here is, the name of the bike is a joke. Charles Murillon of Panache Customs in France spent two years building this bike.
The previous WR450F chassis was good, but it didn’t have the exact same features of the YZ450F. For 2019, Yamaha gave the WR all of the same latest and greatest features of the YZ450F. In addition to the all-new chassis, the WR450F has the most current KYB Speed Sensitive System (SSS) coil spring fork and KYB shock that come on the YZ450F. The only difference is the enduro-specific valving and spring rates.
The suspension is a very good starting point and, with some adjustments, could possibly work very well for a wide range of skill levels and rider sizes. While I did feel like it was a tad soft for some of our more open trails on the West Coast, I didn’t experience any extreme bottoming. In the lower-speed and rocky sections, the fork worked well, offering enough feedback that I could feel the ground and rocks but did not want to deflect off things.
Another benefit of the updated fork is the new fork lugs. They offer a more precise steering feel and allow the WR to use the 22mm front axle that has been used on the YZ450F since 2014. Continuing with the front wheel, the new speedo drive uses an inductive-type speed sensor, eliminating the old cable drive-type. The new, more compact headlight cowl is slightly lower and closer to the fork resulting in a little lighter steering feel. The WR450F also has updated brake line routing. Tucked neatly under the rear fender is an LED taillight. This is a taillight only; it does not have a brake light feature.
Check Out This Sweet Subtly Customized Yamaha XT500
Would you take this bike from Paris to Dakar? The XT500 is a pretty important bike in Yamaha's history. It first entered production in 1975, and using the ruggedly durable single cylinder thumper engine that also powered the SR500, the bike managed to win the first two Paris-Dakar rallies ever held. The bikes are great looking easy to maintain, and fun to ride, so it's no wonder that they're popular with custom builders, so much so, that Yamaha re-released the XT's sister bike, the SR400, in 2014.
The unique Yamaha chassis design with the reverse cylinder head configuration moves the airbox to the front, which allows the fuel tank to be under the seat. This has several benefits to an enduro bike that normally comes with a larger gas tank. The 2.2-gallon tank is completely concealed under the seat, which does not create any changes to the rider cockpit area. Additionally, with its relatively low location, there is less of a change in handling when going from a full tank to empty.
The skid plate/engine guard has been updated to offer better protection around the water pump and radiator hoses. The new shape of the guard also fits closer to the frame helping to reduce the accumulation of mud and debris between the engine and guard. Naturally, it comes with several other features you would expect to come on an enduro bike such as an 18-inch rear wheel, O-ring chain, steel rear sprocket, kickstand, and a mechanical muffler with a spark arrestor.
The cockpit and ergos are trademark Yamaha. The brakes are strong yet progressive, and the clutch seems bulletproof. The Dunlop MX3S tires are high on performance but low on durability. As for this test rider, I will take the performance over the durability all the time.
Riding this bike is a lot of fun. It has good power for its intended use and is really only limited by the rider’s ability to control the bike. With the wide-ratio gearbox, I thought there would have been more of a gap between gears, but if you are shifting somewhere in the normal rpm range, the engine just keeps on pulling.
Yamaha Patents 3CT Three-Wheel Scooter Design
Looks like there could be a new 3-wheel addition to the lineup. In the realm of three-wheel motorcycles and scooters, the number of contenders can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The Piaggio MP3, Peugeot Metropolis, and Yamaha Tricity are the best-known three-wheelers in the step-through category while for motorcycles, the Yamaha Niken is the only proud representative. Now that Yamaha has mastered the art of the leaning two-wheel set up, it looks like it’s ready to expand its selection of three-wheelers with a new scooter.
In comparison to the 2018 WR450F, the 2019 model is a more stable and planted-feeling bike. It is very comfortable moving along in medium, third gear, or higher trails. Turning it requires a little more rider input, and focusing to stay far forward over the bike certainly helps. With more time and some additional testing, a taller seat, or possibly moving the bar forward would be some of the suggestions that might help for tight, single-track riding.
If I were in the market for one of Yamaha’s off-road models and had to choose between the YZ450FX and WR450F, I would have to really decide what features I wanted most. The headlight, taillight, radiator fan, EPA spark arrestor-equipped muffler, and enduro computer are nice add-ons that don’t come on the FX. However, the FX has a more powerful engine package and slightly better stock suspension settings. I would say with a few performance upgrades, like an aftermarket muffler paired with the available GYTR ECU that is programmable through the CCU Bluetooth adaptor via Yamaha’s Power Tuner app, the engine could almost equal the YZ450FX. With some personalization to the suspension, I may have the best of both worlds.
|ENGINE||450cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke|
|FRAME||Aluminum bilateral beam|
|FRONT SUSPENSION||KYB Speed Sensitive System (SSS) coil-spring fork adjustable for compression and rebound damping; 12.2-in. travel|
|REAR SUSPENSION||KYB shock adjustable for spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping; 12.5-in. travel|
|FRONT BRAKE||Nissin 2-piston caliper, 270mm disc|
|REAR BRAKE||Nissin 1-piston caliper, 245mm disc|
|SEAT HEIGHT||37.6 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY||2.2 gal.|
|CLAIMED WEIGHT||262 lb. wet|
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700: Everything We Know.
If Yamaha played its cards well, this could be one of the best ADVs out there. Yamaha had a few things to show the world at EICMA in 2018. The all-new Niken GT—the travel-friendly edition of the three-wheel Niken introduced in 2017—shared the stage with the new-generation YZF-R3 and a special edition XSR700 XT500. The most interesting model the brand had to show, however, was the brand-new Ténéré 700. Its biggest flaw? It won’t be available in North America until next year. The Europeans always have all the fun.
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