Originally Posted by montesa_vr
Gryphon, great post overall but there is no way Yamaha can make a WR450R. People keep forgetting that the WR250R is one cylinder from a four-cylinder Yamaha street bike, and actually detuned from its parent engine. That's why it's so reliable. The 450 is a purpose built dirt bike and if Yamaha tried to turn that engine into something street legal, it would be either much heavier or much slower and probably both.
Yamaha could make a WR450R from a clean sheet of paper, but it would not compete with a KTM for weight or engine performance. If you're just looking for a bigger, heavier, more powerful WR250R, that's a possibility.
I don't know, montesa...KTM is doing something similar with the "Freeride" model, aren't they? They don't really break down all the components from everything I've seen to date, but it's based on the DOHC 350EXC...just heavily tweaked down on the stress level...or at least so it appears...a 24hp rating would seem to confirm that. Everything I see on the WR450"F" indicates that it's a durable, reliable engine as it is. If Yamaha did a similar detune for max torque and power in the low revs, it seems like a possible candidate. Apparently the "clean sheet of paper" approach is kind of expensive, I guess as evidenced by the "stolen" cylinder from an older R1 on the WR250R. Still, the Japanese seem the least likely to think there's a market for this bike. I'm even amazed that KTM seems to be pursuing the Freeride model.