why go with a yz450? 4speed?

5 replies to this topic
  • DieselSmoke5000

Posted January 08, 2009 - 01:10 AM


got ur attention?.
i'm looking at purchasing a yz450 as a very aggresive single track bike, but i also enjoy making longer trips through the wooded trail in michigan.

my main questions

are there anyyears to stay away from? whats the good and the bad. and please be honest.

Mostly trail riding do i have to buy an 06 or newer to have the 5 speed transmission or is a 4speed just fine. everyother bike/quad i've owned has either been a 6 or a 5 speed.

are these bikes like the crf450 where you have to constantly do valves or are they reliable?

how do they hold up for reliability... assuming it has exceptional maintence with nothing more than a pipe/filter/jet for mods

basically i'm looking for a good fun fast bike without having to wrench all the time. i'm sick of adjusting valves in the middle of the trail, or even worse being stranded in the middle of nowhere. i'm really curious to hear the owners opinions.. this bike may be ridden slightly on some smaller moto tracks but that has absolutly no bearing on its inteded purpose...

i'm looking dollars per smiles and would buy a 2t but the fuel milage/range would hurt me not to mention the torque of a thumper is nice in the trail..

I wanna go fast, and not have to wrench all the time.. i've posted a post in what bike should i buy but noone there seems to respond..

not to be short but its all explained here, and i am particularly interested in the yz... basically because i've heard the old 426 was a benchmark in reliability, and not too many other complaints... http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=730880

someone care to school me??

  • grayracer513

Posted January 08, 2009 - 07:09 AM


The 4 speed is not as big an issue as you might think. I've owned both, and the 4 speed was OK, although I do like the 5 better. The gaps between gears on the 4 speed are slightly larger so that 4th gear ends up being between the ratios of the 5 speed 4th and 5th, so the 4 speed gives up only a little top speed.

The trouble with the 4 speed is the same problem all MX bikes have. That is that the typical MX trans has a close ratio gear set, and a high first gear. This is great for a track bike, but not so great for a mix of tight trails and open areas. But you probably already know that.

The reliability of the YZF line is phenomenal. Of the 3 450's I've owned, I have not yet had to adjust a single valve, and on my '03, that covered roughly 400 hours of engine time. The only maintenance I've done outside of oil changes has been timing chains. I had one that we thought might have a leaking head gasket, so I put rings in it, and I had to do a water pump reseal once. Otherwise, not much of anything. You can browse around and find guys that have had problems with them, sometimes big ones, but overall, they're pretty damn dependable.

The way that an '06 handles compared to the earlier bikes is quite amazing. It's one pound lighter than an '05, but it feels like 40. These days, '06's sell for about $3k, so it might not be outside your budget. If you pay more than $2500 for an '05 or earlier bike, be sure it's in really excellent shape

  • live4speed

Posted January 08, 2009 - 12:34 PM


i love the 4 speed in my RMZ 450, but i wasnt a fan on my buddies 04 YZ...i can definitly vouch for the 06 and newer YZ's though..they are smooth..

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  • FinchFan194

Posted January 08, 2009 - 01:42 PM


I have an 04 450 with 4speed it isn't too much of a problem other than some really tight situations in the woods this is my second yzf. Never had any major problems change your oil every other ride minimum and when its dusty make sure you always have a clean air filter and that will save your valves and compression. The goal is do a lot of maintenance and you will likely not have any major failures.

  • kurtisjones

Posted June 17, 2009 - 08:22 PM


i agree preventative maintance goes a long ways with anything do the small stuff to not have to deal with the big, as for the 4 and 5 speed goes i own a 03 and 07 and to tell you the truth they get equal treatment, i ride my 4 on tracks and 5 on trails however they both get the job done swapped around, and no i have not had any big problems with these yzfs yet but i do constant oil changes, air filter changes and keep em overall clean, hope this helps

  • Stroker06

Posted June 17, 2009 - 09:58 PM


I have an '07 and ride trails only as well. I just geared it down to a 13T front and a 52T rear. This allows me to ride in 3rd and 4th gears mostly, but makes 1st and 2nd better for really tight areas and steep climbs.
I think that the 4 or 5 tranny can be made to work for your riding style it may just take a little bit of trial and error first. ( read going to a 51T rear next season.)
As far as reliability goes, the other posts are pretty accurate. My local dealer told me not to even check the valves on the Yz450 for at least a year after I bought it new, because for trail riding most people won't rev the motor too hard to do any wear to them. I still did it anyways because I am very anal about maintenance for a $6-7K machine. Just my .02

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