Yamaha YZ450F Unit Spotlight
Sitting atop Yamaha’s motocross line, the YZ450F is an elite motocross machine right off the showroom floor. It has the torque and power to satisfy the demands of competition, as well as the skilled weekend warrior.
A worthy heir to the legacy of the YZ426F, it kicked the move to four-stroke powerplants into high gear in the motocross industry with its first 449cc, 52HP offering back in 2003. Receiving updates in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018, the YZ450F continues to be an industry benchmark for race-capable motocross bikes.
Outfitted with a five-speed, wet-clutch, chain-driven transmission, the YZ450F offers a reliable combination that gives riders outstanding control. That control is now enhanced with the introduction of the Yamaha Power Tuner app. This app opens new possibilities for fine-tuned performance by moving the capability of the GYTR power tuner to a smartphone. Fueling and ignition timing changes can be made on the app and then uploaded to the bike for quick changes.
On board, the rider has a handlebar-mounted switch to toggle fueling maps on the fly. The engine is a 449cc, liquid-cooled four-stroke with four titanium valves. Inside the engine, a series of innovations include special attention to valve angles, and the ring and piston combination help fill out an aggressive setup under a lightweight magnesium valve cover. Fuel is delivered by a 44mm Mikuni fuel injection. Underneath, the YZ450F is hung on a fully adjustable front and rear suspension. Up front, the YZ450F is equipped with a spring-type fork with speed-sensitive dampening, offering 12.2 inches of travel.
Out back, a single shock system offers 12.5 inches of travel. Braking is handled by hydraulic disc, with a 270mm rotor up front and a 240mm in back. The dirt bike comes stock with MX33 Dunlop rubber. These race-ready components are mounted on a bilateral beam aluminum frame. Updated mounting points have helped centralize the mass of the bike, offering stiffness that helps in the corners, and once the bike is straightened out and opportunities to put down power emerge. The whole package weighs approximately 245 lbs. wet.
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