[ Fact or fiction? Yamaha says “photochop” but it is a convincing job. Only time will tell if the 2012 WRs will have any YZ450F-inspired features like the reverse cylinder head and rearward-slanted engine. ]
When this photo of what appears to be a Yamaha WR250F off-road bike magically appeared in our e-mail inbox, we were instantly skeptical about its authenticity. But if this “future bike” were legitimate, it would be exciting news for off-road and dirt riders everywhere. It wouldn’t be too difficult for a good photo illustrator like our own “Bako,” to create such a pixel fantasy, but the WR250F in the picture wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Yamaha to build as a production model.
At first, our eye shot to the WR250F graphic on the rear fender, but then went straight to the backward-facing cylinder with its rear-exiting exhaust (a la the YZ450F motocross bike). The motorcycle in the lead image definitely has WR rolling gear with its 18-inch rear wheel; it also has a kickstand, odometer cable, headlight and taillight, and a larger fuel tank, all items normally found on a WR off-road model.
Similar bodywork and rearward-slanted engine mean this image could have been the donor for the 2012 “WR” image.
Comparing photos of the 2011 YZ450F and WR250F with this image makes it appear that none of the motorcycles share much in common in terms of bodywork other than the front and rear fenders. Radiator shrouds are similar but the larger fuel cell is clearly unique.
This also raises the question: Is there a new fuel-injected WR450F off-roader in the works? This supposed 2012 WR250F image could very well be a fake, but if it isn’t, this would big and exciting news in the off-road and enduro world. Yamaha naturally would not comment on whether the 2012 WR250F would have any of these design features but did say the image looked a lot like a “photochopped” YZ450F. Here’s to hoping it’s real, and let the rumor-mill begin!
2011 Yamaha WR250F clearly has older-style bodywork.