14 YZ450 handling question?

What's up guys? I'm in the market for a new 450. Never had a Yamaha. The new changes have caught my interest. I've heard it's night and day over the 10-13 models. I'm mostly looking at handling. Cornering. Coming off a Suzuki im really worried I might struggle with the yamaha.

I've been on a Suzuki for a while. 2011 RMZ450 then to a 12 RMZ250 with a big bore and motor mods. Of course they turn on a dime. Just maybe looking to try something different. I'm 40 23bs VET A rider. Been riding. Racing for almost 30 years. Just looking for some info.

Does anybody have any time on the 14 yz that came off a Suzuki or a honda? How's the Cornering compared to a Suzuki. Honda and even the 10-13 yamaha. Any info will help.

Thanks in advance!

Yes, I came directly from a very good handling fuel injected RMZ 450.  First thing you'll notice is that the engine on the new YZ is unreal. Unlike my RMZ the entire RPM band is a sweet spot.  Also I felt like the RMZ had excellent front wheel turn in while  the YZ likes to be steered with the rear end a little more (Ive actually gotten used to this already and dropped my lap times). Lastly the new 2014 YZ  feels extremely light and balanced in the air.  It will take some adjusting but the engine and gearing have been great thus far.  

What's up guys? I'm in the market for a new 450. Never had a Yamaha. The new changes have caught my interest. I've heard it's night and day over the 10-13 models. I'm mostly looking at handling. Cornering. Coming off a Suzuki im really worried I might struggle with the yamaha.

I've been on a Suzuki for a while. 2011 RMZ450 then to a 12 RMZ250 with a big bore and motor mods. Of course they turn on a dime. Just maybe looking to try something different. I'm 40 23bs VET A rider. Been riding. Racing for almost 30 years. Just looking for some info.

Does anybody have any time on the 14 yz that came off a Suzuki or a honda? How's the Cornering compared to a Suzuki. Honda and even the 10-13 yamaha. Any info will help.

Thanks in advance!

The engine is a complete, wall-to-wall monster, isn't it? 

Mine has been re-mapped as it was lean from the factory, but will say that it is a BEAST in 3rd gear.

I also remapped the engine because the power for me was too much for day to day riding. I have owned Kawi, Honda Suzuki, and other yamahas before and I can honestly say that this is by far the best overall package I've been on. Also Yamaha motors top and bottom are built like tanks. I know this bike is not the best in the corners but it's right there once it's dialed in, but cornering in my opinion is only a small part of handling. It handles in the air the best I've been on as well as the straight rough stuff. I'm a bigger guy at 230 and the suspension is by far the closest to fitting me for a factory bike. The tuner is really a cool feature and worth the 250 at least for me.

I feel the '14 YZ450F turns more like the newer KX450F. Get any idea about comparing it to a 250F in terms of cornering, you're just looking for disappointment, but for a 450 the new Yamaha will not disappoint in any area regarding turning or power.

I bought the 2012 and thought it was awesome till I sold it and bout the 2014. They are so far apart its unreal. I find myself having so much more confidence riding on the 14'. The 2012 compared to the 14 felt like a TANK! My riding style favors steering with the rear and this bike does that with ease. The suspension is VERY stiff on the 2014. I am 215lbs and I have the clickers set on 7 up from soft in front and 10 up from soft in back and it is still a little stiff. Guess they were compensating for the majority of us big boned (fat) Americans?

I got a new 2014 YZ 450 about 4 weeks ago.  I finally had time to break it in and ride it this past weekend.  It is a different bike than the 2010-2013 bikes that I have.  My impressions compared to my YZ 2012 bikes with Ohlins front and rear suspension:

 

1) power.  Not much more, but very tractable and I didn't ever have to stab the clutch coming out of a turn. It has more grunt than the 2012 with a 2010 (stock) pipe on it with a new map in it. The 2014 has the MXA map.  I never even tried stock. Also, the bike sounded like a 250-seemed to rev higher in pitch.  That may be to the airbox noise not being as loud on the 2014.  Power is good.  Not leaps and bounds better, but more torque.  I wouldn't think this bike would make you a holeshot king if you couldn't get a holeshot on the old design.......

 

2)Suspension is good out of the box. I thought it was great-I usually have to get my bikes with stiffer springs.  I know Yamaha stiffened the valving and installed .49 in the front- I thought they worked good out of the box.  I am running 12 out on compression.  I thought the back was slightly busy and slowed down the rebound to around 10 out.  High speed to 2 out. Low speed-Haven't got exactly right yet, but I'm thinking 10-12 110 sag.  No link.  On my Ohlins stuff I ran .51 front, and they feel comparable.  Bike is firm but the faster you ride it, the plusher it feels-good stuff

 

For what it is worth:  I talk to Ohlins a few times a year.  The new stuff that comes on the Yamaha is pretty good-they even admit it is good stock. Now I did talk to two different shops about possibly valving the bike, too see what they proposed, and they both started off with trashing the whole valving mechanism and installing their own proprietary valving. Look guys, even Ohlins said that all the suspension works basically the same and re-engineering the wheel, or in this case the fork and shock, is futile. KYB/Yamaha didn't spend countless hours to manufacture junk. Of course they know me, but confided in me that the new KYB stuff is about as good as it gets without being "gold" and it wasn't a bad platform.......

 

3)Handling.  The bike handles differently.  It feels very nimble and light.  I still didn't think it felt like a 250 in the air, but on the ground, I thought it felt like my sons 250. This and the way it sounded made me feel as if I was on a 250 going in to and around turns.  Coming out, it still felt like a 450. It has power .  It turns easier than the previous model, but I also like the previous model. And with the Ohlins on my 20102, it turned about as good as a Suzuki. But what this new 2014 bike did that the old bike wouldn't do is as I approached a turn, I could change lines in the braking bumps and change the rut I was intending to hit in an instant. I couldn't do that on the old bike. It felt rigid and would not deflect in the ruts. Also , on the approach to the apex in these braking bumps, the bike only moved on one plane-fore and aft. It never kicked sideways no matter how hard I charged. I haven't got everything dialed in yet clicker wise, so it still would kick slightly on these bumps, and in the smooth straights coming into corners, I got a little wheel hop, but I got that lessened as the day went along.

 

Anyhow, that is a quick study on what I felt the bike did on my first ride on it. I am not sure about dropping $3500 on suspension again because it only made me about 2 seconds a lap faster. For $3500, I could practice a whole lot for that money and probably be faster with a personal trainer!

Lykens - Any more rides on the 2014?  

Greg. Amazing report. Thanks a lot.

Just I think the springs of the YZ450F 2014 regarding the manual are:

USA: 4.9 N Front 58 N Rear

Europe: 4.7 N Front 56 N Rear

On my 12. I'm running KYB fork on the front with 4,9 N springs and Ohlins TTX44 MKII shock with 58 N spirng.

I agree with Greg that bike is firm buy excellent stability and bottoming resistance.

Lykens - Any more rides on the 2014?  

Yes, two more rides last weekend.  I din't really change much.  The bike works well. The suspension worked better, as I might have just gone faster, or the tracks were preped this week. Going to start racing soon, like this weekend.

 

I really don't know what more I can say.  I did lower the radiators with DR D kit, but had to use two kits from my older bikes, as the new bike needs 8 pieces instead of 6.  I had the stuff so I lowered one side so far. I didn't take the kit off the Ohlins bike yet.

 

I also let my son ride it. He thought there was a gap between 2nd and 3rd gear.  He doesn't read any magazines, but related the same info that I read in MXA a couple of months ago.  Not bad, just he noticed it. I put on a Renthal Twinring rear, new front and DID ERT chain today. The stock chain has been adjusted 6 times with 3 tanks of gas.

 

My boy is a fast 16 year old, and he thought the suspension was in his words "Glorious".  He could flatland everything and it soaked it up.  Yep, he's about 120 in street clothes-about as big as AC last year!!

Did you get to a race this weekend?  How did bike fare under race conditions?

I also remapped the engine because the power for me was too much for day to day riding. I have owned Kawi, Honda Suzuki, and other yamahas before and I can honestly say that this is by far the best overall package I've been on. Also Yamaha motors top and bottom are built like tanks. I know this bike is not the best in the corners but it's right there once it's dialed in, but cornering in my opinion is only a small part of handling. It handles in the air the best I've been on as well as the straight rough stuff. I'm a bigger guy at 230 and the suspension is by far the closest to fitting me for a factory bike. The tuner is really a cool feature and worth the 250 at least for me.

AMEN! Im also 230, and stock suspension was pretty descent.

Compared to the 2010YZ450f, the 14 is just easier and more fun to ride, but more powerful and faster! Ive had the 2014 bike since july or August of 2013, and immediately sold my 2010 despite planning on keeping it as a backup...

if Kawi didnt have all of the advertising, I do believe that the 2014 450 would hands down be bike of the year... just my 2 cents though

Greg,

hillsville thursday if you wanna come play in the sand...

Yes, two more rides last weekend. I din't really change much. The bike works well. The suspension worked better, as I might have just gone faster, or the tracks were preped this week. Going to start racing soon, like this weekend.

I really don't know what more I can say. I did lower the radiators with DR D kit, but had to use two kits from my older bikes, as the new bike needs 8 pieces instead of 6. I had the stuff so I lowered one side so far. I didn't take the kit off the Ohlins bike yet.

I also let my son ride it. He thought there was a gap between 2nd and 3rd gear. He doesn't read any magazines, but related the same info that I read in MXA a couple of months ago. Not bad, just he noticed it. I put on a Renthal Twinring rear, new front and DID ERT chain today. The stock chain has been adjusted 6 times with 3 tanks of gas.

My boy is a fast 16 year old, and he thought the suspension was in his words "Glorious". He could flatland everything and it soaked it up. Yep, he's about 120 in street clothes-about as big as AC last year!!

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