YZ450F & a new rider

I've been riding street bikes for about 18 years and road racing and track days for about 3 years. I've never riden in the dirt on purpose and I'm trying to sell one of my street bikes and to get into dirt riding. I'm 6'2" and weigh around 230, would a 2004 YZ450F be too much for me or is it close to the size and power needed. I've been riding a GSXR 1000 for 3 years on both the track and the street, so I'm use to a little power. Any info or ideas would be appriciated.

Thanks

I would say a 450 would be about right, the best way to tell is make some friends that have 450's and try them out.

Are you going to MX or Trail ride the yz is not that good of a trail bike for beginner dirt biking :cry:

I'll be doing both, but the people I know don't ride trail very often. The shop I use told me They are going to take me out on a KTM 250 EXC and a YZ426F to see if I like a 2 or 4 stroke, but I pretty set on a 4 stroke.

I'd have a hard time recommending a 450 for a beginner. If you've never ridden in the dirt before why would you want to buy a bike that built from the ground up to go fast on an MX track. I'd suggest something more along the lines of a Suzuki DRZ-400, which is terrific trail bike and offers enough performance to give you some thrills without putting you in the hospital. You could pick up a used DRZ for pretty cheap and see how you like it. If you develop as a rider and decide you need a fire-breathing rocket launcher, you could trade up.

The 450 can get an experienced dirt rider in a world of trouble in a big hurry...

If you have been riding that GSXR on the track I assume you have pretty good throttle control and dont think you would have any trouble on a 450. I think riding a road bike agressivvely on a track is closer to riding a motocross bike than people realize.

I agree with mikedabike. You will have a great time on a 450. The hardest thing you'll have to learn will be the difference in how you corner a dirtbike. On the street, we're taught to keep the weight as much on the back tire as we accelerate through the turn...that's where the emphasis is. On the dirt, you have to load up the front properly and then accelerate, transferring the weight to the back on the exit, not much before. Just happens quicker, is all.

This will make you a better street rider, too.... :cry:

I did the same thing you are doing.Went from a dialed in 929 to the dirt.

Wish I would have gone straight to the 450 and not messed around with other "trainer" bikes.Have you thought about an 05 yz 450?It is a bit tamer than the 04 and the suspension is a bit better for your weight.I took one ride on the 05 and felt comfortable from the beginning.

Like others have said it's about throttle control... if you can handle the gxr you can handle a yz450.

The 450 won't put you in the hospital. Yeah, it is fast as hell but manageable. Much more so than a 250 2 stroke. My buddy road races alot and does very well. He says that street and dirt are very different so don't expect your road experience to translate all that well. But, you are already comfortable on bikes which is enough to make the 450 acceptable for you. If you had never been on anything, I might recommend against it but you will be fine.

I don't think I would trail ride on it though unless it is pretty open stuff. The 450 has a very high first gear and not alot of flywheel weight. You will stall it alot trail riding and have to abuse the hell outta the clutch in tight stuff. As a 426 owner and can tell you what to expect going from your test ride on that to a 450. The 450 is lighter and has a more responsive engine. Faster? Sure, but hard to notice at our level. The 450 will also stall easier. If you get it, had flywheel weight.

i switched from a gsxr 1000 last year to a 450 and was in the hospatal the same week but it was my stupidity that did it. I used to ride back in the early 90's then gave it up for the street. Just because you can handle a big bore street bike doesnt mean that it is wise to start out on a big dirt bike they are two total diferent demons.

Put it on them to take you out on a 450, its a lot differnet bike than the 426. The 450 is more torquey but can be rolled on slower while the 426 comes on really sudden, much like the two stroke.

If you like cracking your 1000 then I think you better go straight toa 450 or you might feel under powered in sections where you can open it up. Im sure a 250 youd learn the other skills quicker as you wouldnt be scared.

I disagree about the 426 power coming on more sudden that the YZ450F. I own a 02 426 and my main riding buddy has an 03 YZ450F. The 450 has more snap and come on quicker.

If you were comparing a 426 to a CRF450 then I would more inclined to agree.

I used to ride a 1000cc on the street many years ago and switched to dirtbiking for my weightloss program. 2 months ago I bought my first 04 YZ450. At first, I couldn't make those turns. It has a different kind of power than a streetbike. For about 2 months, all I ever did was practice riding in circles and figure 8s. It looked stupid but now I can execute those turns with more confidence. I am 5'8, 210 pounds so I thought a smaller bike may not be enough. Anyways, I still think the YZ450 was a wise decision I made. I still have a long way to go. Attacking those jumps are my next goal.

I had a Ducati 916. You'll love the YZ450!

Joe

I'd have a hard time recommending a 450 for a beginner. If you've never ridden in the dirt before why would you want to buy a bike that built from the ground up to go fast on an MX track. I'd suggest something more along the lines of a Suzuki DRZ-400, which is terrific trail bike and offers enough performance to give you some thrills without putting you in the hospital. You could pick up a used DRZ for pretty cheap and see how you like it. If you develop as a rider and decide you need a fire-breathing rocket launcher, you could trade up.

The 450 can get an experienced dirt rider in a world of trouble in a big hurry...

I agree 100% with this guy.

:cry:Thanks for all your feedback! Now,I'm looking forward to that test ride even more. :cry:

I just did my first track day a couple months ago. I can for sure say I was expecting the road racing bikes to have alot of snap compared to a dirtbike, but was wrong. The street bikes don't have a "hit" like the dirtbikes. I think they are totally different and wouldn't try to compare them. I do agree however that a real agressive road racer would put out alot more energy, which is comparable to a fast woods/trail rider, but again not really like motocross that punishes your body.

My recomendation would be to ride some before you purchase. Some people like alot of power on a dirtbike, and for others too much power causes problems, regardless of the rider skill level.

start out on a smaller dirt bike to learn the basics. riding a 450 with no mx or trail experience is a bit of a leap. Learn on a bike where the power is not always ready to leap out and bite you. You will have way more fun and much lower medical bills. A YZ450 is capable of clearing 85 foot triples with about a 20 foot long approach. Mistakes on bikes like these are very painful and expensive.

my dirt bikes were xr70, xr100, kdx200, xr400, wr250, yz426, yz450...

(from an ex-AMA superbiker/FX/Supersport/250 GP pilot)

Just from personal experience I think that a beginner can learn just about anything they want to ride given the time and practice. Just for a little perspective, prior to buying my YZ 450 the last thing I rode with two wheels I had to pedal around. I had never even rode a dirtbike in my entire life! Fortunately for me my wife, a Victorville CA native just so happens to be the kind of person who was riding dirtbikes before regular bikes. She's a pretty good teacher too. In any case because of my location I have the oppertunity to ride easily in excess of three days a week. After a lot of practice and a few falls I am now quite comfortable on the bike. Still looking at those triples though, scratching my head. HAHA

I think this notion that experience with a hot street bike prepares you for a hot dirt bike is just wrong. Even the best of us get a little out of shape on a dirt bike and grab a handful of throttle we didn't mean to and beginnners will be doing this all the time. A handful of throttle on an MX bike will put you into a tree before you can say "granny gear."

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