Driving report Yamaha WR 450 F 2-Trac
All-wheel drive Yamaha
The 18-inch model pushes at the rear, the 21-inch model pulls at the front: That sounds pretty adventurous, but two-wheel drive is already available in series, namely in the Yamaha WR 450 F 2-Trac. A development by the Yamaha subsidiary Öhlins, more or less the Audi Quattro of the motorcycle industry.
The drive principle is convincingly simple: a second chain drive for the hydraulic pump is flanged to the pinion. Two hoses lead to the front wheel, in the hub of which there is a small hydraulic motor and gearbox. The components come from the German manufacturer Brüninghaus, a subsidiary of the Bosch Rexroth group. The translation of the system is designed in such a way that hardly any torque is transmitted at the front when driving on a non-slip surface. Only when the rear wheel spins does the hydraulic system build up more pressure. In the maximum case, 30 percent of the drive power is diverted to the front, and a pressure relief valve limits the torque.
From May 2004 there will be a small series with spring elements and steering dampers from Öhlins. Together with the front-wheel drive, the Öhlins result-
Share a surcharge of around 50 percent compared to the basic version of the WR.
A rather expensive pleasure, the advantages of which MOTORRAD was able to convince itself of as part of the Shamrock Rally in southern Morocco, where a 180-kilometer day stage with the WR 2-Trac was on the program. The
first impression is unspectacular, which is to be understood positively: drive reactions to the steering are only slightly felt when trying to circling around on hard ground. The 2-Trac version appears a little stiffer around the steering axis than the companion machine, a standard WR 450 F, is not quite as agile. The two-wheel drive does not require any getting used to, however, even the rear brake can lock for quick turning. A freewheel prevents the front wheel from slowing down.
The advantages of the 2-Trac should be
Pay off especially in slippery conditions or deep sandy and muddy floors. For example in the grandiose dune landscape of the Western Sahara, in which the entourage dives after the first time control. While the rally drivers take the direct route in the stress of competition
the testers are allowed to play a little. Hill climbing on the first moving dune is surprisingly easy. So stop on the slope and start again. That works too. It can be clearly seen how the front-wheel drive starts working when the rear wheel is spinning. When cornering on the
The 2-Trac also keeps its course surprisingly well on the steep lee side of the dune.
Then the same for comparison
Program with the conventional WR. She also climbs the dune ridge at a run-up, but you shouldn’t stop, when starting again she digs herself into the sand. The first curve on the slope ends with a fall. Despite full throttle, the machine plunges deep at the front, so the thrust is no longer sufficient. The difference to the 2-Trac, whose front wheel always pulls itself out of the sand, is amazing.
It continues over well-worn sand tracks with deep truck grooves. At
At full throttle, around 140 km / h, the all-wheel drive WR is much more stable, which is partly due to the Öhlins chassis and the steering damper. On the other hand, the driver sometimes feels the additional weight of the front end. The drive in the front wheel weighs around three kilograms, the entire 2-Trac system weighs seven kilograms. A wheelie isn’t a problem, however
the forehand cannot be lifted so spontaneously over suddenly emerging bumps. The performance losses in the hydraulics are quite small. What can already be seen from the fact that
the two drive variants do not differ significantly in terms of top speed. The 2-Trac-Yamaha is even faster in deep sand. Measuring sensors on the rally machine owned by David Frétigné, who won this year’s Shamrock rally on an all-wheel drive WR 450 F, showed the maximum temperature in the front-wheel drive being a moderate 60 degrees.
Rally operations are consequently the preferred field of application of the all-wheel drive WR, even in extreme enduro races the better traction could occasionally be
Nbe useful. Less savvy drivers will appreciate the safety and stability. The 2-Trac can also be used in normal enduro sport, but occasional advantages hardly outweigh the handling disadvantages and the extra weight in the special stages.
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