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macklikesbikes

2009 YZ 450 as Enduro Ride

11 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

I am looking at buying a new to me bike for enduro riding mostly in colorado and utah.

There is a mint (40 hours) 2009 yz 450 with carbon exhaust near by for only 3,300.

I have heard rumors that this bike makes very good bottom end and am wondering your thoughts on this as an enduro. I am also looking at a 2008 CRF450R as well.

Thanks for the input yamaha forum.

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Like all MX bikes, the YZ450 has a rather tallish first gear, and a close ratio transmission, so top speed is normally limited by overall gearing. With stock gearing, it's capable of exceeding 80 mph on dirt, so depending on the venue, you can gear them down a little. Doesn't always help much, though. Installing a Rekluse auto clutch does, however.

The '08 and '09 models have much "smoother" power delivery at low speeds. Some refer to this as a lack of low end power. It's quite fixable, though. A CDI from an '06 or '07 model (or a programmable ignition), and any decent slip-on exhaust to replace the cute little muffler they came with cures this problem, too.

Otherwise, again like all MX bikes, the suspension is set up for MX, and is a bit stiff for enduro. But it can be used as is with adjustments for a very respectable ride, or revalved for an excellent one. I desert race an '06, and with mods, it's a very good, very reliable ride.

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one issue I have noticed in tight technical terrain is I have to feather the clutch like crazy and keep the rpm up, a weighted flywheel I believe would help with this, as well as gearing, just my .02 or Rekluse clutch system helps like Grey said

if youre going cross country why not go WR or CRF-X ? already decently setup for your application, no sense spending time and money on changing things to try to meet the performance these x country bikes.

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The 450 X takes allot of money to turn into a fast bike. Cam, exhaust , intake, re-jet. Cant stand the look of the older WR's.

Honeslty I think id like a shorter gear box, not having to clutch wheelie would be nice in 3rd and 4th gears.

My old 450X did OK on the track but 2nd was always a little short and 3rd too high, would often get stuck inbetween gears on the larger doubles and triples. But it did race enduro very well.

If I could afford a 012' WR450 Id go for it with the fuel injection, but new bikes are still not a reality for me.

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I use my 09 mainly for off-road/enduro and it works great. For a 450 it feels very light and nimble. This is really the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden (stock suspension and seat, could use taller bars), and is almost too easy to ride/haul ass on. Feels very stable at any speed so a stabilizer isn't necessary.

Gearing is the only issue, especially in single track, but with the DRD exhaust and 06 CDI mod I put on mine, that added enough power and low end to where the stock gearing works good enough. that said this has become one of my favorite "all around" bikes with only a few mods.

Edited by rhinoracin

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I have an 07 450 that I have ridden in the mountains by Idaho City here outside Boise. It does just fine, even compared to WR450, CR250X and KTM200EXC my riding buddys have. Biggest issue IMO is with the tall first gear. I recently went from the stock 49 to a 50 tooth rear sprocket which should help. Its really not bad though if your good with the clutch. Motor is very smooth, easy to manage and suspension is just fine. The WR450 is just so heavy, my friend who owns it even prefers my YZF with the weight being the biggest factor.

If you ride really tight stuff all the time the YZF might not be the best choice though. I ride a mix of things and in the faster stuff its no contest as the YZF is far better.

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The new WR450 is a game changer, and partly because the newer YZ450 is so much more difficult to adapt to off-road/enduro work than the '09 and earlier models are. But he point about the older WR's is well taken, as they need at least as much help to be a fast enduro bike as a '06-'09 YZ450 does to adapt from MX, just in a different direction.

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your question:

if you're going cross country why not go WR or CRF-X ? already decently setup for your application, no sense spending time and money on changing things to try to meet the performance these x country bikes.

a major part of the answer:

Honestly I think i'd like a shorter gear box, not having to clutch wheelie would be nice in 3rd and 4th gears.

I dunno about the crfx but the wrf's I've ridden (fully uncorked) could barely get out of their own way compared their MX counterparts.

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I use my 09 mainly for off-road/enduro and it works great. For a 450 it feels very light and nimble. This is really the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden (stock suspension and seat, could use taller bars), and is almost too easy to ride/haul ass on. Feels very stable at any speed so a stabilizer isn't necessary.

Gearing is the only issue, especially in single track, but with the DRD exhaust and 06 CDI mod I put on mine, that added enough power and low end to where the stock gearing works good enough. that said this has become one of my favorite "all around" bikes with only a few mods.

About the gearing comment. That was a huge issue for me until I added a Rekluse. Seems to take away the tall first gear feel.

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