Ride Impression: 2022 Yamaha WR450F
It’s fair to say that Kirk Hutton knows a thing of two about Yamaha dirt bikes. Over an illustrious 20-year off-road racing career, the 49-year-old has amassed 15 Queensland state titles, 12 ISDE Gold Medals (from 15 attempts), and seven national enduro title wins (one in the AORC and six at the A4DE). And incredibly, he achieved all that aboard Yamaha machinery.
During that time, however, Hutton has only campaigned Yamaha’s WR450F a couple of times – neither of which were necessarily his choice. Like many elite-level enduro racers in Australia over the past decade or two, Kirk’s chosen the lightweight, race-ready YZ450F for the high-intensity Sprint-format racing that dominates enduro competition in Oz, rather than Australia’s biggest-selling bike, the WR450F.
And that’s exactly why we wanted to get this Yamaha ‘lifer’ to throw a leg over the just-released 2022 WR450F – a machine significantly updated a year ago and billed as the lightest, most nimble, most race-ready enduro bike Yamaha has ever produced.
So, what did “King Kirk” think of the thing? Check out his video feedback after a day-long test on a variety of flowing grasstrack and snotty, rock-strewn trails. Let’s just say he would have been happy to take it home.