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Josh Green hosts enduro legends at Stroud track

Yamaha introduced its all-new WR450F – Australia’s best selling enduro bike – to media, dealers and staff recently. The two-day event was held at AORC Champion Josh Green’s private property at Stroud, NSW.

Day one was reserved for media and journos who arrived from around the country – with veteran ISDE rider Jock MacLauchlan making the longest journey from North Island New Zealand on behalf of Kiwi Rider.

Image: Yamaha

The bike is all-new from the ground up and heavily based around Yamaha’s new YZ450F which means its lighter, slimmer and easier to ride than before. Yamaha Motor Australia was keen to showcase the new model on a range of tracks both within the property and outside in the form of a trail ride led by #1 enduro rider Josh Green. The tagline for the new model is ‘Master of all Trades’ due to its ability to tackle a wide variety of terrain and appeal to an equally wide variety of riders.

The bike feels unlike previous WR450Fs in that it is indeed slimmer and lighter and carries its weight lower due to a redesigned frame, engine and suspension. However, ground clearance is increased, while the seat height remains the same due to a flatter seat. So, the frame and engine are significantly more compact.

Thanks to a downpour the previous day and continued rain during the test loop ride, conditions were challenging. But the WR450F handled everything thrown at it – helped no doubt by the engine’s new traction control feature. You can select one of three settings using your smartphone and Yamaha’s Power Tuner app. Then you can also switch between two preset power maps on the fly – that can also be personalised via the Power Tuner – using the blue button on the right side of the bars. The combination allowed the bike to hook up well in the mud.

Team ShopYamaha riders Kyron Bacon and Will Dennett joined Team Manager AJ Roberts as sweep riders while Josh Green led nine journos around Stroud’s local tracks  – which would have been simple and fun in the dry but now were now technical and slippery. Typical enduro conditions that showed the competence of the new bike.

Image: Yamaha

The next day Yamaha dealers and staff arrived at Stroud to sample the new WR450F and while the sun came out, Josh’s private tracks were rooted from the previous rain – so it was off in the local bush again to put them through their paces.

The consensus is that Yamaha has produced a more versatile bike that is easier to ride – both fast and slow. The Master of all Trades is perfectly positioned to once again claim the title Australia’s best selling enduro.

Image: Yamaha

Aussie born and bred

Yamaha’s WR450F is developed specifically for the Australian market, and has been since its launch in 1998. This is largely due to government restrictions on road registration in other territories – Australia is one of the few places where the WR450F can be road registered and features the full power ECU that can be easily tuned using your smartphone. This is not the case in the US, which is the reason Australia sells four times more WRFs here.

Both WR250F and WR450F come fully ADR-compliant with a free off-road competition kit in a box that you can use to set your bike up for closed course or competition riding.

Image: Yamaha

Current Team ShopYamaha members AJ Roberts and Josh Green have been involved in the development of the current model, which is essentially an enduro version of the YZ450F motocross bike. Josh Green won the 2023 Australian Off Road Championship riding a race version of the current production WR450F.

King Kirk the tradie

All the new MY24 WR450F images you see around the world were shot in Australia – in Kobble Creek, QLD to be precise. The introduction movie features QLD enduro legend ’King’ Kirk Hutton and his family – who all ride Yamahas. Kirk is a plumber when he’s not racing, so the Master of all Trades tagline is not just invented by marketing suits, the line is based on Kirk, who has been riding WRFs for as long as Yamaha has produced them.

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