It showed the Media testday of the 2010 factory Rinaldi YZ450FM. The video didn´t tell much about the bike really...
But what most of us did not know was that the video was a teaser for the upcoming issue of english mx-magzine Moto magazine.
Here is the video I´m talking about, and below that is the complete biketest....in words !
[COLOR="Green"]"The 2010 season saw Michele Rinaldi´s Yamaha GP team take to the track with not one but two hugely changed bikes after years of developing the proven and massively successful previous incarnations of the YZ450F and 250. Their YZ450FM was all new for the first time in over a decade, with its new chassis and reverse cylinder engine, and the ageing YZ250F had a whole new chassis plus a sleek new look, albeit using a modified version of their exiting motor. One team, two designs, one goal – to win.
Racing at the highest level is no easy task, both for rider and manufacturer. And when its done using a major change to the bike – say an engine or chassis – its even harder. So when Yamaha unveiled their all new 450 and hugely revamped 250, the task for Yamaha Monster Energy racing of taking world championship glory became tougher than ever.
For the previous five seasons since the switch to the aluminium chassis, Yamaha have been able to make minor adjustments to an already good motorcycle, making the mechanics and the riders job just that little bit easier. The knowledge gathered up until 2009 – including MX1 World Championships in 2006 and 2008 with Stefan Everts and David Philippaerts – meant that the bike was always being refined. Then Tony Cairoli proved the bike´s worth the following season by captureing his third World crown, his first in MX1.
Everything changed for the 2010 model though and the new bike meant the team would have to venture way beyond their comfort zone and into the unknown. The production bike was very good, but DP19 (David Philippaerts) was not able to test the bike until after the MXoN last October to avoid any conflicting feeling on the bike that might arisen as a result. According to team boss Michele Rinaldi however they didn´t need to change too many things in the engine, leaving more time for crucial chassis development which extended to the suspension after the team ended a long standing partnership with KYB and signed with Ohlins for this year. Once again this left Phlilppaerts starting from scratch in order to find what would hopefully be the ultimate setting to go racing.
Despite an extremely tough winter testing programme, it appeared that there was still a fair amount of work to do as the team departed the Mantova Starcross pre-season international a few weeks before the first GP in Bulgaria. But never one to shy away from challenge, Rinaldi had histeam working around the clock to make sure they were as best prepared as possible. And they were, as David proved with a superb second place in the first moto in Bulgaria. Had it not been for a silly crash while in third in the next outing, the Yamaha could have been on the podium first time out.
A few more crashes and the odd bit of misfortune, not to mention the dominant form of Tony Cairoli, meant it wasn´t until the seventh round of the world championship at St Jean DÁngeley in France that the team took their first and only GP win of the season with a 3-1 result, a massive relief for rider, team and manufacturer. Although Phlippaerts was unable to repeat that performance, he did score another race win in Brazil, en route to third place in the overall standings.[/COLOR]
[COLOR="green"]Aboard the 450:
The outgoing 2009 bike always seemed like quite a big, tall bike to the majority of people who rode it, although the overall sitting position was nice and slim. The new design of the 2010 450 with airbox sat under the tank gives the appearance of more bulk towards the front of the motorcycle. But looks can be deceiving and the bike is equally. This bike in particular seemed to have lost the tall tag also. I was expecting the bike to feel a lot bigger because David is a big guy and his riding style amplifies this, he looks tall on the bike and stands over it a lot.
David´s also very aggressive and attacks everything hard with a real charging style. When you watch him you think `man, he must have that bike set up so hard´just to allow him to hit such aggression. However, as soon as you sit on the bike its amazing how soft his shock feels, similar to the 250 of Gautier Paulin. Its has a nice light action, nice and quick in its motion when you bed yourself into it while stationary, doing the psychological bouncing up and down thing that we all do, with no slow lethargic felling due to the way its been damped. It sound great when you fire it up, too.
Ass soon as you take to the track you instantly feel the awesome spread of power that this motorcycle has to offer. Its not an overly aggressive monster like Max Nagls 450 KTM we rode in the last issue, but there is more than enough to let you know this bike might need a bit of man handling.[/COLOR]
[COLOR="green"]The bike is fitted with dual mapping switch like so many 450 team bikes, and I started with the switch set in the second, rearward position and after a couple of laps of being hung out to dry I pressed it into the forward position, hoping that the power would be softened in some way. Fortunately, my prayers were answered, and the already enjoyable bike became much more so. The little red flick switch is responsible for changing the engine mapping and fuelling, of which there are two settings. Map one, which is how I rode the bike first, was very responsive and very hard hitting in its power delivery, perfect for e violently fast starts needed in MX1 GP´s and maybe the first few laps of the race when David is pushing hard to make his race or make passes. It would also be good in the sand I would think. Map two was easier to ride for more than a few laps. It was much smoother and more progressive in the way it built up, and certainly more controllable for long 40 minute GP moto. David can switch between maps at any time during the moto, but I would assume that like many riders he uses the hard map for the early part of a race and then spends the majority of his time in the soft map where he can really get the bike wound on and make the most of the bike. Not surprisingly the hard map on David´s bike is not as aggressive as Nagls monster KTM but it is still impressive to say the least, right up there with the best in the world. The production bike in general is already very good, but a factory bike needs to have that little bit extra. As Michele Rinaldi said, they didn´t do so much work on the 450, but the gains are noticeable and over the entire power range. Of course the overall spread of power is very impressive indeed, but it’s a factory 450 so you expect it. The key to being able to ride a 450 harder for longer is to soften it off just a little, and that’s exactly what you have with the DP19 machine. As for the chassis, the new frame and overall set-up meant this bike was unbelievable in the turns. You could get in and turn with no hesitation or unbalancing, even where there was no definitive line. I felt like I could switch it up and change lines at speed at any time, and for a big bike that is very impressive. For a big bike it cornered so well, I was very impressed indeed. There was no nervousness with the front end whatsoever and the bike had a good balance all around.
The factory Ohlins TTX rear shock seemed to work very fast, with a good high-speed action. I was Expecting a hard ride after watching DP19 all season but the bike is very middle of the road, so much so in fact that I´m struggling to say much about the suspension other than it was excellent at its job. It was not too fast, nor too slow, didn’t have any odd habits or quirks, and was just all round rock solid.
I have to say, I felt so comfortable on this bike, much more so than the bike of Cairoli of 2009, this new chassis just shaded it for me. The bike didn’t feel heavy in any way, and lets face it, a 450is going to be around 100 kg or thereabouts no matter what you do to it – but it felt such an easy bike to ride compared to Nagl´s bike I rode a week earlier at the same Mantova venue. I could quick shift secong to third out of the turns on the Yamaha but felt frustrated to only be able to ride in second on the KTM, which felt too harsh and too aggressive by comparison. With a season´s testing now under their belt, things are looking good for Yamaha and DP19 in 2011. Despite their problems and bad luck you can´t help feel that Yamaha should have won more than the one GP in France in 2010. Of all the factory bikes I have ridden from 2010, this is probably the surprise package and most comfortable"[/COLOR]
[COLOR="green"]Tech Spec YZ450FM:
Mods: -intake/exhaust camshaft, -ignition cover,- clutch cover, cylinder head (all parts YRRD)
Exhaust: Arrow Titanium
Frontdisc: 270mm Braking
Reardisc: 245mm Braking
Brake pedal: CNC Ergal YRRD
Forks: Ohlins TTX 48mm
Shock: Ohlins TTX Works 16/46mm
Shock: Ohlins Titanium
Clutch: Brembo Hydraulic
Triple clamp: X-trig
Hubs: CNC machined Ergal KITE
Fueltank: Carbonfibre CRM
Bolts: Ergal- Titanium[/COLOR]
Edited by HRC, January 11, 2011 - 11:39 AM.