Bike Review

2016 WR450F Australian Media Launch Overview

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


From the 8th to the 10th of December we were lucky enough to be invited by Yamaha Australia to Stroud, New South Wales for the official Australian media launch of the all new 2016 60th Anniversary Yamaha WR450F.

Before we jump into an overview of the new bike that will be online tomorrow and our ride review that we will upload ready for Christmas Day, we thought we would quickly break down the launch itself and what it entailed.

When it comes to launching new dirt bike models in Australia, be it motocross or enduro models, Yamaha always put on a great show and give us every opportunity to put their bikes through its paces in the environment which they are designed for

The launch of the 2016 WR450F was no different with Yamaha coming together with current Australian E1 champion Josh Green via Josh Greens Off-Road Advantage and the local Stroud pub to provide two days of sensational riding along with a night of information on the new bike followed by a night of bench racing with the rest of Australia’s moto media.

If you are not into reading check out the below launch overview video courtesy of Yamaha Australia

Kicking off the three day adventure was a introduction to the all new WR from Yamaha Motor Australia Communications Manager, Sean Goldhawk.

As we knew heading into the launch, this bike was going to be all new version of Yamaha’s ever popular WR450F range, with virtually nothing from the previous generation of WR450F carrying over to the new bike.

In fact it is fair to say Yamaha instead of updating their current WR, completely utilised the current YZ450F as a base and as you will see in tomorrow’s bike overview there are only a few changes that really separate the new WR450F from its YZ450F brother.
A half a day spent on the grass track was the perfect way to ease into two full days of riding aboard the 2016 Yamaha WR450-F - Credit: Ikapture
Day one of riding kicked off with a short trip from the Stroud Pub out to Josh Green’s property for a day of grass track riding that also included a couple of short single track trails to ease us into day two.

Rocking up and seeing over 20 brand new Yamaha WR450F’s was a pretty cool sight with an even mixture of the traditional Team Yamaha Blue bikes and the 60th Anniversary Yellow on display.

The 60th Anniversary colour way is certainly unique and will only be available in Australia and New Zealand in WR form as a thank-you from the Yamaha factory for our countries input and continued support of Yamaha’s ADR legal bikes which Yamaha have sold more units of in Australia than any other country in the world since the bikes original inception (as a 400) back in 1998!

Giving the launch that extra touch was the addition of Yamaha guest riders including the world renowned Kiwi Josh Coppins who played a major part in developing and helping with the finer details of the 2016 WR450F along with the majority of Yamaha’s home grown stars including ISDE and AORC champions, Josh Green and Beau Ralston from the Active8 Yamalube race team, ISDE superstar, four time and current A4DE champ, American based Daniel Milner and CDR Yamaha Off-Road racers Chris Hollis and Tom McCormack who all more than show cased the true potential of the bike that most of them will race in 2016.
Traditional Blue or 60th Anniversary Yellow the choice is yours - Credit: Ikapture
We were given our very own 60th Anniversary edition WR450F to spend the two days on and after gearing up spent a good portion of the day spinning laps around the grass track before venturing off into the single track loop after lunch.

My initial thoughts on the bike were all positive, but again we will get into that more in the next two days.

Being mindful that we had another full day of riding ahead of us and feeling the effects of kicking a tree stump not once but twice as hard as I could, we packed up a little early on day one and headed back to a big meal and some rest ready for day two.

Day two certainly put us and the new bike to the test!
When a current national champion is leading a trail ride, you know you are in for a fun but challenging day! - Credit: Ikapture
A 80km trail loop lead by none other than Josh Green himself certainly had myself pushing the limits of my trial riding abilities and more than gave us an idea of just what the 2016 WR450F is capable of.

Starting on a rocky, gnarly up and downhill 4WD track complete with plenty of wash outs, it became apparent from the outset that Green had a tough but fun day in-store for all of us.

From the 4WD tracks, to creek crossings, slippery uphills, single track, virgin single track, log crossings and everything in-between it was a full on day of riding that I will never forget and despite hating the nations current E1 champ at times throughout the day it left me with an even bigger desire to hit trails heading into 2016 and a huge smile on my face.

Day two ended with a stop at a local waterfall where half the riders on hand took the opportunity to cool off in the waterholes while the rest of us recovered on the rocks and watch on as some craziness unfolded.
With plenty of creek crossings, logs, single track, uphills, washouts, 4WD tracks, grass track and everything in-between, we were introduced to the 2016 WR450F in the best possible way.
As we mentioned at the top, it was another first class launch from Yamaha that provided the perfect riding conditions to ride a bike in the element it was designed for.

A big thanks to Yamaha Australia for the invite and Josh Green via Josh Greens Off-Road Advantage for their hospitality over the two days.

Also a massive thanks to the guys at Steve Cramer products for setting us up with JT Racing U.S.A gear, 6D helmets and USWE Hydration systems for the two days, Scott Goggles for the fresh goggles and Fox Head Australia for the latest FOX Instinct boots that proved more than there worth saving my toes on more than one occasion.

For a gallery of images including a little information regarding the 2016, 60th anniversary Yamaha WR450F from the lens of Ikapture / Greg Smith CLICK HERE

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