2006-09 YZ450 vs newer models

About three years ago, I had a 2006 YZ450 that I bought used and rode offroad. I loved it, just decided to move on. The exact same bike I sold popped up for sale recently and a buddy of mine said he'd like to have it, so I picked it up for him (he lives 150 miles away).

 

Rode it today and remembered how much fun that bike is! I'm thinking if it had FI it would be the perfect bike for me. I currently have a 500 EXC which I also love, but I just can't seem to get it setup to where I can corner as well as on a Japanese bike.

 

My question is, how does that model compare to newer models? Specifically offroad. I've heard the 2010 was kind of weird. I've read that the 2014 is a nice bike. There's a dealer near me selling new models from 2013-2015 with varying prices, obviously.

 

Would a 2013 feel like an updated version of my old girl? 2014+ a good bike? I've been riding for 20 years, slow expert class (if it matters).

I started with a YZ426, then moved to a 2005 KTM 450MXC.  I really liked the KTM, but after awhile, I missed the light motocross feel of a YZ.  So I sold the KTM and bought a 2006 YZ450.  I currently own a 2010 YZ450, and I have ridden a friend's 2014 YZ450 a few times.  There are several recent threads on this forum comparing the 2006-2009 generation YZ to the newer generations, and my feelings are similar to most others in this respect.  The 2010 and newer generation is at least as much an improvement over my 2006 as the 2006 was over my YZ426.  The light feeling and "flickability" is pretty significant over my 2006.  I am not good enough to tell much difference in chassis response/handling of the 2014 over my 2010, although the engine power of the 2014 is incredible and is improved over my 2010.  Not that the 2010 is a slouch- it has more power than I am capable of using.  I don't ride motocross; I ride almost exclusively just desert riding in the local area here in Nevada.  I have my bike setup as an offroad bike, not as a motocross bike.  I run a Rekluse Core 3.0 clutch, a GYTR weighted flywheel, a rear lowering link, and now an 18" rear wheel with the Tubliss system.  My bike is absolutely perfect for me now, and although I really liked the 6th gear and e-start of my KTM, I prefer the light weight and handling prowess of my current setup for now.  My 2006 was a GREAT bike, but it is really no comparison to the newer FI generations.    

I had an 07 and now have and 11.  I think the 07 was more forgiving and better out of the box than the 11.  But if you are willing to put in the time to set up the 11 properly I believe it is a better bike.  Spring rate, sag and clickers are super important on the new bike.  Once I had it dialed in it turns way better but with improper sag and a few clicks of compression off and it is a mess.

I

I had an 07 and now have and 11.  I think the 07 was more forgiving and better out of the box than the 11.  But if you are willing to put in the time to set up the 11 properly I believe it is a better bike.  Spring rate, sag and clickers are super important on the new bike.  Once I had it dialed in it turns way better but with improper sag and a few clicks of compression off and it is a mess.

 

I feel that is how my KTM 500 is. I can't seem to get it set right. This YZ450 and the 06 YZ250 I also just picked up feel like they are perfect without any setup.

 

I guess that would be my next question. How does the newer suspension compare to the SSS of the 2006 vintage, which I think is great.

Suspension is very similar. I think the newer stuff has a bit stiffer valving but nothing a couple clicks doesn't fix.  I think the real difference is all the work they did to centralize the mass really worked.  But the off shoot is that now it is much more sensitive to set up.  My 07 you could change the compression 10 clicks and it would make a difference but not change the character of the bike.  10 clicks on my 11 and it is an entirely different bike.  Which can be good or bad.  I think that is where the 10-13 got the bad rap.  If you ride one that is not set up for you it can be a really horrible experience.

 

I like the motor on the newer bike better stock against stock but if you put a slip on it really tames the off idle bark and let it rev a bit.  At that point it is better than the 06-09 motor everywhere. 

Seeing how they came out with those motor relocation brackets for the 2010+ really made me think that gen was messed up handling wise. I guess I should try before I judge.

 

I'd just stick with a 2006-09 model, but I'm spoiled by FI now. FI and e start would make it awesome! Like say, a 2015 YZ450FX!

I liked the 09 a lot, improved on the 08 which was a giant step since 2007 and previous. As for the current bikes I like the 2015 even more than the 2009. Not an apples to apples comparison, but the little things just added up for me and my style/needs.

I'm trying to read up on the 2014 for offroad use. Can't find a lot just yet. I'd love a test ride.

sell the 450 and put a 295 kit in the 250 and ride it like you stole it....in the long run you'll be glad you did

Anyone with a 2014+ that has installed the DRD engine relocation brackets? Anyone at least heard if it remedies issues people say the newer YZ450's have?

 

Really interested in this bike but not if it comes with issues out of the box without a fix. 

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