Do you find yourself in need of a Dakar-ready bike? You’re in luck: Yamaha has one to sell you.
Yamaha Racing has announced a Yamaha WR450F Rally Replica that you can buy, if you’ve got the money. Put together in conjunction with aftermarket manufacturers Rally Raid and DRAG’ON. Yamaha claims the machine is an exact replica of the bike Xavier de Soultrait won the 2017 Merzouga Rally with.
As for what exact components the builders used, the press release gives no specific details, just a dry list of specs: 449 cc single-cylinder motor, wet sump, five-speed tranny, 31-litre fuel tank. Check out Yamaha Racing’s website for a complete by-the-numbers breakdown.
However, the website does list another very interesting option; If you buy the bike, you can also sign up for a support crew at the 2018 Dakar Rally. DRAG’ON is offering a complete package of spare parts and on-the-ground mechanical support at next January’s event, to go along with the bike (presumably at extra cost).
All in all, this is an interesting move by Yamaha, as it could potentially give them an option to compete with KTM’s offerings to privateers. For years, KTM has sold rally replica models to not only the top teams at Dakar, but to most of the other fast guys as well. It’s possible Yamaha, arguably the Japanese manufacturer with the most competent bikes at Dakar, sees its own opportunity to grab some of this market. Maybe Honda will follow suit next?
Yamaha doesn’t list any price for the Rally Raid machine. Chances are (as the saying goes), if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.