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Gonzo 1971

New Yz 450's. Why so hated?

28 posts in this topic

Did some searching but just decided to post. What is the real scoop on this bike? I have not rode one but I have been looking at them. The most common complaint (I have heard) is surging at low rpm and losing front wheel traction. The pro moto guys seem to universally despise the chassis. From my objective view one problem is the shock tends to run hot do to the exhaust. Causing fade later in the race. Whibley's on the fly compression knob reinforces that imho. What's the dealio? Can you guys bring me up to speed on this bike? Thanks!

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Its all a pile of crap. Brayton seems to do fine on it and i know some local guys that put a wooping on the comp around here and they dont have any complaints about it. Each brand demands a little dif riding style and once you get seat time you figure it out. Yamaha does'nt have a factory effort like the others, if they did, you'd see more guys on them. It's got the best suspension out of the box on the market, bar none. not the most power and the power is a little gapped in the rpm range, but you put a FMF 4.1 slip-on and add your tuner and a 50 T rear sprocket and head to the track. Oh ya!, Durability? use a good oil, ie AMSOIL mcf, change it often. Keep the airfilter clean and no other engine on the market will last as long. Ask any of the knowlegable engine gurus.

The bad rap started with stewart and he proved it wrong by crashing everything else he rode. Don't be afraid to buy one, its a great bike.

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It's a great and reliable bike. And it is very sensible to set-up, that is a te the same time an advantage and an inconvenience. Because if you dont't run the right springs for your weight, with the right SAG it will be uncormtable.

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Its an awesome bike. I havnt experienced any "quirks" that this bike is soppused to have. It does need different gearing and some aftermarket protection.

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I will preface this by saying that I have been riding for 38 years and have enjoyed (sometimes not so much) owning and riding many different brands of dirt bikes. At the time I thought each one was the best one I had ever had..until I got the next newer version.

I bought my 2012 yz 450 after having a yamaha yz426, Honda CR500 and CRF450 and up till recently a KTM380 (still love a big two stroke if someone would just put it in a modern chassis for less than $10K).

I ride off road primarily in NE Georgia (hard clay when dry, like greased ice when wet) and believe the current YZ 450 is a more than capable machine for what I do with it. I had the option of a KX450,CR450 or the YZ when I bought. I read all the reviews, forums and comments. The things that swayed me to the YZ was the suspension and reliabilty. Below are my thoughts from an average off road rider on the 2012 YZ450.

Suspension. By far the best I have ever had right out the box once sag and settings were adjusted. In the past I have spent considerable $'s on revalves and springs on other bikes but the YZ is hands down better than them all. The stock suspension, for offroad, is incredibly versatile.

Power. I found the stock 12 YZ 450 to be punchy down low and restrictied on top and way too responsive right of idle for technical riding or even riding through the pits. The stock longer and smaller core muffler has been replaced with a Yoshimura slip on and a G2 Throttle Tamer throttle tube has been installed. With these two simple bolt on it transformed the bike to everthing engine and rideabilty wise that I wanted and expected. Add to this the ability to move the power around with the power tuner and the bike has become a swiss army knife in that it can do just about anything very well.

Reliability. The Yamaha looks to be well made. Bolt quality is high, the layout is intelligent and people that have far more hours on their bike than I do mine report exceptional longevity.

Handling. If I had not read any of the test's before purchasing, I probably wouldn't have thought there were any issues at all. The stock front end does feel a bit "lighter" that other bikes but I compensated for this by changing my riding style some getting more weight forward than before but it never caused and issue for me. I did install the Dr.D engine relocate kit more out of curiosity and noticed that the front end felt more planted in the turns and "heavier" up front. It made a good handling bike even better in my case.

Basic Maintanence. Excluding the engine oil drain bolt that has to battle the lower frame rail for the same space, the bike is no worse than any other late model four stroke. The air filter is not as big a deal as the magazine guys make it out to be (especially compared to the some of the CRF450's I have owned). It's not as easy as the KTM's but not bad. Everything else is well laid out and easy to get to. While on the subject of the air box, if you ever put a cold air induction on your tow vehicle or flipped the air cleaner lid on a car with a carburetor you will know what to expect in terms of noise. The air intake is in your lap and the sound on the intake side of things is different that the exhast valve side if things. You get used to. The slip on will take care of the noise anyways as in you wont hear it.

Bottom line is that I really like this bike for what I do with it. Would I buy it again? You bet. I quite reading the motocross magazines for affirmation of my dirt bike purchases a long time ago. The pro's get paid to say that their Hondasuzkikawasaki sponsored bike is the best thing they have ever ridden. Why is the late model YZ450 hated? Bad press that is perpetuated by the media and a lack of real development in the past 3 years of known or perceived issues (aftermarket takes care of that for Yamaha).

Edited by gofaster450
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There's rumours of big changes for the 14 model, would be interesting to see if any of those come to fruition

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Ive done a few mods, but nothing really more than I have done to my other bikes, and my 2011 Yz 450 is probly the best bike I have ever raced, and I have had some of my best results on it

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Thanks guys. Good write up Gofaster! It is time for me to move on from my trusty Yz 250. Found some great deals on the 450. I do hare scrambles and trail ride. Getting better on the moto track and am having fun. Not sure what i am going to get but I like my Yamahas for sure. It just sticks in my head that the exhaust will cook the shock in a 3 hour race?

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bunch of BS. this crap is stirred up by Suzuki riders due to Bubba. Look how Bubba has done since he got on the Suzuki. He hasnt won any SX races and has been on the ground quite a bit, got injured on it, and even suffered a DNS! The YZ is great. Put tall bars on it and I second the choice to install the FMF 4.1 ti slip on. I also put the most aggressive map in mine. It does jerk around if you ride it around in the pits in first gear, but who cares. its well mannered on the track. if it loses front end traction its due to the back end hooking up and the power so you just continue a turning power wheelie just like on any other bike.

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The hate is all magazine and internet hype. By far the best bike I've ever owned. I was a little apprehensive at first, so I got a leftover '11 for a steal to try it out. In fact, I liked it so much I just picked up a '12 for another smoking deal. With only slight mods - correct springs for your weight, a better front fire, FMF Factory 4.1, and G2 throtlle cam the bike is nearly perfect. It runs good bottom to top, and requires very little maintenance. Plus, the suspension is so good I didn't even revalve the '11 and won't touch the '12 either. Oh - and 50T rear sprocket and Windham Pro-Tapers. That's it. Try it - you'll like it!

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for me the width of the shrouds, i prefer a narrower tank area, that sob is wide, the jgr team makes a custom tank and shrouds ti make the bike slimmer up front. Not a bad bike, but there are better ones IMO

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It just sticks in my head that the exhaust will cook the shock in a 3 hour race?

Were you planning to sit on the bike in a trailer for three hours with the engine running, or maybe your races are held outside in the open, moving air. Go look at how exposed the shock is to the air on the new bike and understand that the old bikes would heat the shock at least as much as the new one does. Then look at how close the rubber radiator hose is to the exhaust on yours and ask yourself why it doesn't melt. Or your air box, for that matter. The moving air carries away the exhaust heat much faster than it can transfer heat to anything around it. More BS made up by people who don't know anything about it.

BTW, shocks heat themselves up just fine without help. Ride yours hard for 30 minutes and touch it.

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Thats my point. I know how hot my shock gets. I cant imaginge a fourstroke headpipe is going to help matters. I notice Whibley rund an on the fly adjuster to help with a fading shock. I understand he is a pro but it does pose a very logical question.

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The suspension is amazing stock in a straight line with limited bumps. Besides that I think the intake makes too much noise. There is not enough over rev, the bike comes with the biggest stink bug ever and the cornering suffered big time. It feels heavy even though it is the second lightest 450. This has to be the pickiest bike when it comes to set up. I spent more time on the ground than I did riding the bike. Not to mention the back end bounces all over. Once suspension gets done it is much better but the bike still slides and corners like crap. It's all about opinion but I would rather ride any other brand than that evil bike.

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I thought I was done with this thread, but I can't let some of the comments go. The width of the shrouds is not noticible for riders over 5'10" tall, I've never noticed the airbox noise, and the stink bug effect is drastically reduced by smoother mapping and the throttle cam - the "jerkiness" seems more responsible for the perceived weight transfer to the front end than any chassis imbalance. Look, I grew up on Hondas and have well over 35 years of riding experience. The new YZ's really are good bikes and I hope they don't change a whole lot going forward. It is great that all stock bikes are so good now we're arguing about details. I probably could hop on any color of bike and be just as happy, but the YZ simply works for me.

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The suspension is amazing stock in a straight line with limited bumps. Besides that I think the intake makes too much noise. There is not enough over rev, the bike comes with the biggest stink bug ever and the cornering suffered big time. It feels heavy even though it is the second lightest 450. This has to be the pickiest bike when it comes to set up. I spent more time on the ground than I did riding the bike. Not to mention the back end bounces all over. Once suspension gets done it is much better but the bike still slides and corners like crap. It's all about opinion but I would rather ride any other brand than that evil bike.

You wanna talk stinkbug?how about 09-11 crf?now that's a stinkbug ,the forks feel a little soft stock in relation to the shock on the yzf , but can be fixed easy with correct spring rates.doesnt have the geometry problems that the Honda does.other than that the Yamaha is really good,suspension is the best I've ridden,stock or modified bar none.i wouldn't even revolve for fear of screwing it up.

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I can't believe that this stuff is still debatable after 3.5 years. I have three of them, I was one of the first people to own one and set it aside for 6 months. I really hated it because it rode that much different It is very different, but once you accept what it does, it is a great piece. I personally told people I hated the bike the first year, even after I fell in love with it in late July of 2010. After I beat two former Loretta Lynn Champs in the + classes in 2010, one whom won in 2010, I never, ever looked back.

I told people I hated the bike because I felt I had that much of an advantage on the bike. It is that good. I didn't want them to know what I had. In 2010, the suspension was that good, and the motor was that strong. ( Actually, I run a 2010 pipe on my 2012, as the 2010 was a stronger overall power plant than in 2012 and beyond)

Measure the width of the tank above the cylinder, and you might find it is slimmer than a lot of bikes. It is all about presentation on the bike. The width of the radiators right behind the triple clamps is not a problem for mortal people. Maybe for JS7, but he isn't mortal, or maybe he actually has become mortal. I challenge anyone to ride with their legs that far forward.

Statistics don't lie. JS7 isn't winning anymore than when he was on a Yamaha. At this time last year, he was doing much better on that piece of crud than he is on the Suzuki.

Oh, and I came off a Honda in 2008. Before 2008 and all the way back to 1977, my first year of racing, I never was loyal to any brand of bike. That was 31 years of buying what I thought was best. The Yamaha has been about the best bike I have ever owned, they are cheap to operate (tires and chains and brake pads with the and a few fork seals), and that leaves more time to race with all the money you save.

I personally think the exhaust issue on the 2010 and 2011 is a non issue. The tuner can do what that $700 pipe can do. You just have to work at the maps. And if you work at the tuner thing and really read the manual, You can find more hidden power in theri than using a pipe. I have never seen a map posted that is as good, or looks like anything our shop uses.

Forget about me posting the map. Do your own homework like we did. I bet others NEVER give out the advantage they discovered with the map either. Marmount map is OK for starters, but work at it and it gets better than that map. Trust me.

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