Is a new YZ450 right for me? Whats with the bad rap?


20 replies to this topic
  • f150jokerstyle

Posted December 10, 2012 - 10:33 PM

#1

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I'm really confused guys? The mags and bubba and Matthes all say the bike is unstable and you all say it is great. I personally think the 3 I just mentioned have runined this bikes reputation but really what is the deal? I don't want to know how to fix it I just want to know how stable is it over long natural woops/rocks/sand and fast desert. I'm not to concerned about cornering because any bike has the ability to corner better than I can make it. I'm more interested in stability you know the thing that Yamaha used to pride it's self on! Cornering was never a strong Yamaha attribute so why crucify it now?

Like I said I don't want to hear about lowering links and motor mounts and bla bla bla bla. That is all motocross gimic crud in my eyes where maybe you are trying to gain half a second on lap times. Sorry not interested in that.

I'm 27 6'2 225 I think you gather where and what I ride from above but just to put it out there I ride hare & hounds, enduros, and a few GP's. I have been ridding Yamaha 4 strokes exclusively all of my days riding except after a long break from riding this last year I went to a yz250 to improve my overall riding abilities like clutch work throttle control and breaking. Overall it was a great move for me to get my self back to where I was and beyond. But I have ridden my buddies 03 450 a few times recently and it's time to take what I have learned and get back to my comfort zone.

So I guess my question is, Are these new 450's trying to become twitchy 2 stroke 250's or are they still the stable platform from say 06 like my last thumper. Also as a side note I do like the harsh power of the 03 450 better than even the 06 I had. How do the new bikes compare to them?

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  • MtuSmoker

Posted December 11, 2012 - 04:11 AM

#2

I don't know your skill level, but I am a solid B class rider in hare scrambles. First time out with it and was blown away with how stable it felt on the hare scramble track. Rocks, tree roots, everything. I am a bigger guy as well and am very very pleased with it. Bubba is a dumbass, he had to make some excuse for not winning after making his reality show.

  • MX763

Posted December 11, 2012 - 06:11 AM

#3

If you're not riding MX, who cares what the MX guys have to say.

1.) The magazines are garbage anymore with their bike tests.
2.) Matthes always has had hate for Yamaha since Ferry left. I've sent him 4-5 emails asking for an explination why he always grills the Yamaha riders about "how they like the bike" and why he doesn't ask other riders of different brands these questions.

I don't do Hare and Hounds but we do have a huge national forest here that I ride in a lot. The Yamaha 450 is incredibly stable at any speed and always has been. Go for it!

  • Stu2

Posted December 11, 2012 - 08:42 AM

#4

I have an 11, I have ridden the 12 Crf, 12 Rmz, Ktm 300, and a few others recently, my Yz is solid, yes it does have a slight wiggle at turn in but with what i have done its all but gone, and what you would need to do to any bike is set it up with relatively small adjustments,

I race cross country with it, A level rider, and it is very stable and I do very well on it, I think what those mx's boys have done is blow the handling 'quirks' way out of proportion because one rider, and a top rider at that, could not keep it on two wheels !

So whats easier for them to say, that JS is at a low point in his career and made a series of schoolboy error's ? Or blame it on the tools ? Most racers have ego's (read all) and I dont think they would blame themselves over a bike.....

I have watched nearly every crash James had this season (I got bored after a few hours) and all of them bar none were really down to him riding the bike badly and way beyond any bikes capability, there is no bike in the world that would have kept him upright with the way he was riding,

Also, in most if not all of his crashes it was the suspension that bucked him off, or sent him over the bars, now I ask, does he not have access to the best stuff available ? You bet, so was it rider or bike ? Suspension or chasis ? Its simple, he was over riding the bike, no one seems to take into consideration that this is a rider that is at the end of his career, not the beginning, so he may be riding differently than when he started, but now its the bikes fault ? Strange that he led many races, qualified first, and set fastest laps on this poor handling bike..........strange that

I have never done as well in my racing carrer (off road) as I have on this bike, it is so stable that i do not even run a steering damper, and I have never had an OMG moment at speed!

I have the DrD engine relocation, revalved suspension, moved the rear wheel as far back as possible, and set it up how i like, of all of those 4 things I have done the only one you would not do to any other bike or that would cost anything extra is the DrD kit, and its the best bike ive ever raced,

Now lets look at the pro's vs. cons:

Pro's:
- Great engine especially for off road
- Most reliable 450
- Best looking imo
- Best stock suspension
- Handeling good once setup

Cons:
- Some say quirky handling (which is subjective)

  • Joe846

Posted December 11, 2012 - 10:07 AM

#5

I do think the bike seems to be a little tough to hold in turns without forcing it down and really leaning in on your outside knee. That having been said, I don't get much of a stinkbug feel having set the sag a little soft, and slowed the rebound out back. I find the bike to be epicly solid and smooth in whoops and rough stuff. You really can't do much wrong by weighting the rear and letting the awesome suspension do it's work.

Great rear wheel traction too!

6' 200lbs with stock suspension for off road and scrambles.

  • f150jokerstyle

Posted December 11, 2012 - 06:13 PM

#6

All great info that you all. It is about what I was expecting but I wanted to hear it from the people rather than my gut. How is the bottom end power delivery compared to say a 03 or 06? I know it can be tweaked with the tuner.

  • Stu2

Posted December 12, 2012 - 12:28 AM

#7

Joker, It has very good bottom to mid, I have rode other fuel injected 450's which have more up top, but for woods i tried the marmot map in the sticky and the mxa map, both are good, its personal preferance, i stuck with the marmot woods map,

My bike is geared 14-48 so its really smooth, and I weigh 220, lighter guys running stock gearing complain that bottom end in too strong and tires them out

All in all, the way the engine perfoms is great for woods with a few tweaks

  • MX763

Posted December 12, 2012 - 05:49 AM

#8

All great info that you all. It is about what I was expecting but I wanted to hear it from the people rather than my gut. How is the bottom end power delivery compared to say a 03 or 06? I know it can be tweaked with the tuner.


I can't really compare it to the 03-06 becuase I don't really remmeber how those feel. I can say from riding in the sandy forest here the stock gearing is ok. I went to 13-50 gearing and it seems to pull a little better out of corners and 3rd-4th seem a bit more usable. I too am running the Marmont map and that makes it pretty good for all the riding I do. I would say I ride 70% MX and 30% woods.

  • YamaLink

Posted December 12, 2012 - 09:33 AM

#9

The "bad rap" is almost a mob mentality fueled by the online and magazine comments of racers who find it easier to blame the bike than it is their inability to set a bike up, their riding ability, physical conditioning, etc.

  • ah665

Posted December 12, 2012 - 12:45 PM

#10

Now lets look at the pro's vs. cons:

Pro's:
- Great engine especially for off road
- Most reliable 450
- Best looking imo
- Best stock suspension
- Handeling good once setup

Cons:
- Some say quirky handling (which is subjective)

This is pretty accurate, I'd add to the cons though: Too heavy and wide. Otherwise, it wouldn't hold me back from getting one.

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  • YZF831

Posted December 12, 2012 - 01:54 PM

#11

The "bad rap" is almost a mob mentality fueled by the online and magazine comments of racers who find it easier to blame the bike than it is their inability to set a bike up, their riding ability, physical conditioning, etc.


I mostly agree with you. This "bad rap" reminds me when Grant Langston started racing a KTM 125 over 10yrs ago and all the controversy and talk that came with that (mainly no linkage).

  • migs647

Posted December 12, 2012 - 05:09 PM

#12

This is pretty accurate, I'd add to the cons though: Too heavy and wide. Otherwise, it wouldn't hold me back from getting one.


Wide can be fixed with the Cycra powerflow shrouds.

I wanted to chime in here...

Not all magazines think it's a bad bike. Ask Pat Foster (one of the top testers for TWMX). He has a decent length video on the bike. Watch the tests that RacerXOnline did for the 450 shootout for 2013. Beat the Honda in their testing. Phil Lawrence and others eluded to the fact that any one of the 450s this year are competitor bikes. Add suspension and triple clamps, and any one of them would be a race machine.

After having a few races and a few practices on my 2013 YZ 450, I have learned one thing. Never trust the masses. Try it, if you like it, buy it. I'll admit, mid-flat corners, it feels like it wants to tuck, but the DRD relocation kit fixed that. I'll admit, it's a bit wide, but the Cyrca Powerflow Shrouds fixed that. I'll admit, the front is a bit soft for a rider of my weight (190lbs), but suspension revalve / springs fixed that. I now have 0 complaints about the bike. I'm riding faster than I have in a long time (30+ A/B), and feeling more confident. I've ran a 2010 YZ 250 two stroke the last few years (still have it), and love going between the two bikes. I couldn't be happier with this bike. And yes, Mathes does have a hard on for knocking Yamaha.

Is the bike for everyone? No it isn't. But there isn't a bike that is. It is what best fits you.

Mods:
JMR Suspension
Dr. D engine relocation kit
Dr. D NS-4 Titanium Exhaust (lighter)
Pro Taper Evo Henry/Reed bend
Pro Taper Pegs (high in the middle)
Pro Taper throttle tub (the action seems snappier than the plastic)
Uni Filter
Cycra Powerflow Shrouds
One Industries gripper seat
13/50 gear ratio
GYTR map for their exhaust

  • f150jokerstyle

Posted December 12, 2012 - 09:03 PM

#13

Thanks for all the honest straight talk everyone. I appreciate it!

  • motomike137

Posted December 13, 2012 - 09:34 AM

#14

I own a 09 YZ250 2 stroke a 05 YZ450 and a 2011 YZ450. The 2011 definitely is different in how it wants to be ridden. I always had the habit of initiating a turn a little early and leaning my body forward and in on the entrance to turns.The 2011 would twitch the front end on me when I first started to ride it and I had to break myself of that habit. I learned to ride it into a corner a little more upright and deliberate and then make my pivot whether I was using a berm or turning on flat ground. It also seems very very stable in a straight line as long as you don't get sloppy. I had a couple of instances where I was tired out and let it get away from me and into a tank slapper and I felt like it was harder to recover from that than my older model bikes. I have added the Dr D engine relocation kit and that helped somewhat also. Once I adapted to what the bike seemed to want from me in riding technique, got the suspension sprung and valved for me (6'1" Vet Expert, 210 lbs) and then spent some time on it I love riding it and the handling and technique changes became second nature. The bike from a mechanical standpoint is rock solid as the 4 stroke Yamaha's have been since the 400 came out. I absolutely am sold on the air cleaner and pipe locations. The air cleaner stays cleaner longer and you will never injure or get rock dings in the headpipe on it. Motor wise it is a bit of a beast in the low to mid with what feels like less top end over rev than the previous motors and is another thing to adapt to as it likes to be short shifted in my opinion. I have a Yoshimura pipe on it also and that seemed to give it a little more top. I have the white with red and black trim, and black rims model and think it is the coolest looking bike I have ever owned.

  • grayracer513

Posted December 13, 2012 - 10:41 AM

#15

I had a couple of instances where I was tired out and let it get away from me and into a tank slapper and I felt like it was harder to recover from that than my older model bikes.


This is an unintended consequence of mass centralization, which Yamaha has been pretty big on since the development of the '06 started. With any two objects fairly equal weight and overall dimensions, the one with more of its mass located near the center of gravity will be more easily rotated around that center. That makes the bike easier for the rider to twist, turn, pivot, pitch, roll, etc. But it also makes it easier for outside forces that come from the wheels striking bumps and obstacles to do all those same things to the bike. That creates a problem for the suspension tuner, since he has to come up with something supple enough that the ground won't toss one end of the bike around totally independent of the other, yet still be robust enough to take the whole weight of the machine landing on it when that's called for.

If there is any legitimate complaint to be made regarding the '10-'12 (and presumably '13) chassis it would be that the suspension folks haven't caught up with the rest of the engineering yet, and that if there's such a thing as too much mass centralization, the current YZ450 may be getting close to it. In the real world, most things beneficial also have a detrimental aspect attached to them, and everything ends up being a trade-off of one kind or other.

  • f150jokerstyle

Posted December 13, 2012 - 07:44 PM

#16

This is an unintended consequence of mass centralization, which Yamaha has been pretty big on since the development of the '06 started. With any two objects fairly equal weight and overall dimensions, the one with more of its mass located near the center of gravity will be more easily rotated around that center. That makes the bike easier for the rider to twist, turn, pivot, pitch, roll, etc. But it also makes it easier for outside forces that come from the wheels striking bumps and obstacles to do all those same things to the bike. That creates a problem for the suspension tuner, since he has to come up with something supple enough that the ground won't toss one end of the bike around totally independent of the other, yet still be robust enough to take the whole weight of the machine landing on it when that's called for.

If there is any legitimate complaint to be made regarding the '10-'12 (and presumably '13) chassis it would be that the suspension folks haven't caught up with the rest of the engineering yet, and that if there's such a thing as too much mass centralization, the current YZ450 may be getting close to it. In the real world, most things beneficial also have a detrimental aspect attached to them, and everything ends up being a trade-off of one kind or other.


That makes sense I like it!

Well just so all of you know my buddy and I worked out a deal for the short term I'm getting his 03 yz450 for now (getting married in a month lol) then maybe in a year or so I'll be looking for one of the 10-13's or who knows maybe a new 14. Thanks to all that replayed you all helped out!

  • Schinkelm

Posted December 23, 2012 - 11:29 PM

#17

I love my 11 Yz450, I bought it brand-new 3 months ago, for a pretty good deal, since it was 2 model years old... Since then I have had factory connection re spring and revalve the suspension (235lb rider). I put the full fmf factory 4.1 titanium system with the mega bomb, 13/50 gearing, and I got the gytr tuner and added a tune for more mid to top. The only complaints I have with the bike are, on hard landings you can jam the throttle tube into the housing which will cause it to stick closed... ( installed a pro taper aluminum tube to mitigate this), also I'm not really a fan of how wide the shrouds feel bit I can live with that. Also, I installed a Galfer oversize rotor which helped a lot with brake fad e after a few hard laps..

  • mhog1234

Posted December 29, 2012 - 07:36 AM

#18

I also have a 2011. I'm coming off a 2010 ktm 250xc and rode a 2010 kx450f for several months before this bike. I'm about 165 lbs and ride 85 percent offroad.
Pros: feels very light (compares more to the 250xc vs the heavier kx450f)
Suspension is great (however I have a full factory connection suspension, so it should be good).
I think the issues from Bubba troubles are not the typical experience you will find from yz owners. Let's just say I know that race team very well and that yz450f chassis was so modified, it barely resembles a yz450f, so I think it's more of a head game in that case. I wouldn't shy away from the bike based on one pro's opinion; for most of us, we can't tell the difference in those types of minute settings.


Cons:
Power is a little lurchy at bottom, but can be easily mapped out with a FI map tuner.
Starting requires a very specific technique - it's worth your while to watch the Yamaha video out on the web about how to start it. Now that I have the technique down, it starts in 1-2 kicks. FYI: the kx450f is the best starting 4stroke I have ever rode bar none.

In summary, If you like yamaha's, you will like this bike as well. I have no regrets. I have also ridden the ktm450 and kx450 as well; they also do great offroad. For me, I just thought they felt a little heavier, but they're very nice bikes as well.



  • AquaNut

Posted December 29, 2012 - 09:31 AM

#19

I have an 11, I have ridden the 12 Crf, 12 Rmz, Ktm 300, and a few others recently, my Yz is solid, yes it does have a slight wiggle at turn in but with what i have done its all but gone, and what you would need to do to any bike is set it up with relatively small adjustments,

I race cross country with it, A level rider, and it is very stable and I do very well on it, I think what those mx's boys have done is blow the handling 'quirks' way out of proportion because one rider, and a top rider at that, could not keep it on two wheels !

So whats easier for them to say, that JS is at a low point in his career and made a series of schoolboy error's ? Or blame it on the tools ? Most racers have ego's (read all) and I dont think they would blame themselves over a bike.....

I have watched nearly every crash James had this season (I got bored after a few hours) and all of them bar none were really down to him riding the bike badly and way beyond any bikes capability, there is no bike in the world that would have kept him upright with the way he was riding,

Also, in most if not all of his crashes it was the suspension that bucked him off, or sent him over the bars, now I ask, does he not have access to the best stuff available ? You bet, so was it rider or bike ? Suspension or chasis ? Its simple, he was over riding the bike, no one seems to take into consideration that this is a rider that is at the end of his career, not the beginning, so he may be riding differently than when he started, but now its the bikes fault ? Strange that he led many races, qualified first, and set fastest laps on this poor handling bike..........strange that

I have never done as well in my racing carrer (off road) as I have on this bike, it is so stable that i do not even run a steering damper, and I have never had an OMG moment at speed!

I have the DrD engine relocation, revalved suspension, moved the rear wheel as far back as possible, and set it up how i like, of all of those 4 things I have done the only one you would not do to any other bike or that would cost anything extra is the DrD kit, and its the best bike ive ever raced,

Now lets look at the pro's vs. cons:

Pro's:
- Great engine especially for off road
- Most reliable 450
- Best looking imo
- Best stock suspension
- Handeling good once setup

Cons:
- Some say quirky handling (which is subjective)




Agree! When he was on the track, Stewart always seemed to have the fastest lap times......His challenges always come after the gate dropped.

  • Gunner354

Posted December 29, 2012 - 10:22 AM

#20

Agree! When he was on the track, Stewart always seemed to have the fastest lap times......His challenges always come after the gate dropped.

Seems that's what all the Yamaha haters forget to understand or listen to. How can it be the bike when he almost always clocked the fastest lap times? But maybe all those sheep are to busy rebuilding those wonderful Hondas and not looking at the facts.





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