Anyone unhappy with the new yz450f bodywork???

That makes little sense...not a show off...but worried about how the bike looks rather than performs......hmmmmm I don't get it.

Anyway...good thing your not a show off....otherwise you would not have pictures of tricked out choppers and near naked women on your website! LMAO!!!!!

:D

HA, HA, made you look! :) But really, are you comparing a chopper that is almost entirely about looks to a dirt bike, which should be more about function? No cigar for you. :)

What I meant about not being a show off is I see lots of riders who have the latest, trickest bikes, gear and accessories at the track and the riding areas. Then they get on the bike and they ride like spodes. This isn't unique to dirt bikes, by the way. The only thing they are really trying to accomplish is to impress other people when they would probably be better served in keeping their older bike and the money they saved not buying a new one and going to a riding school.

A lot of riders think they get a psychological advantage by intimidating the other riders with their high-dollar, tricked out new bike at the starting gate. That may be true, to a small extent, but those riders that are intimidated are probably already slower to begin with. A confident rider who knows what his skill level is will likely be so focused that he isn't even looking at other riders bikes. And when the guy with the new bike continues to lose, he'll blame the bike and probably switch brands the following year anyway. :D

This is a perfect example on how marketing sells. Remember the 97 cr250. I do. The frame was horrible. Frame design has come a long way in the last 10 years and the engineers realized that flex in the right places is good. The cr250 was the number 1 selling bike then and it was not that good. It just looked real good compared to the rest. The dealerships couldn't give away the 05 yzf450 this year. There was a couple of reason's for this, but I think the main one was appearance. I don't care if you like Honda or not, but the bike looker, not only a performer. The yzf looks dated compared to the Honda. Now the 06 yzf450 has the newness factor and it will sell a boatload becuase of this alone.

Erik

This is a perfect example on how marketing sells. Remember the 97 cr250. I do. The frame was horrible. Frame design has come a long way in the last 10 years and the engineers realized that flex in the right places is good. The cr250 was the number 1 selling bike then and it was not that good. It just looked real good compared to the rest. The dealerships couldn't give away the 05 yzf450 this year. There was a couple of reason's for this, but I think the main one was appearance. I don't care if you like Honda or not, but the bike looker, not only a performer. The yzf looks dated compared to the Honda. Now the 06 yzf450 has the newness factor and it will sell a boatload becuase of this alone.

Erik

Yep. Very good points. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Radrick you answered your own opinion:

"The only reason Yamaha felt the need to switch was to keep up with Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki. It has more to do with marketing than performance.

Erik

I think this is only part of the reason for the Al frame switch. Keep in mind that for the past 3 years every shootout pointed out that the YZF's were top heavy while turning. the new frame design has allowed them to get the center of gravity lowered. Even if nothing else on the bike changed that much, this fact alone will help make the new YZF's more competitive in both classes.

I think this is only part of the reason for the Al frame switch. Keep in mind that for the past 3 years every shootout pointed out that the YZF's were top heavy while turning. the new frame design has allowed them to get the center of gravity lowered. Even if nothing else on the bike changed that much, this fact alone will help make the new YZF's more competitive in both classes.

This may be true, but I think the "top heavy" feel of the YZF's is more a function of frame geometry, engine placement and the oil reservoir rather than frame material. Yamaha did need to update their bikes to stay competive, but from a purely performance standpoint, I don't think the frame needed to be aluminum. From a marketing standpoint it absolutely had to be aluminum.

This is a perfect example on how marketing sells. Remember the 97 cr250. I do. The frame was horrible. Frame design has come a long way in the last 10 years and the engineers realized that flex in the right places is good. The cr250 was the number 1 selling bike then and it was not that good. It just looked real good compared to the rest. The dealerships couldn't give away the 05 yzf450 this year. There was a couple of reason's for this, but I think the main one was appearance. I don't care if you like Honda or not, but the bike looker, not only a performer. The yzf looks dated compared to the Honda. Now the 06 yzf450 has the newness factor and it will sell a boatload becuase of this alone.

Erik

Just so everyone is clear on this, these motorcycles are retail products; the market is the only reason they exist.

The reasons the YZ450 never sold as well as the CRF are mostly bad press and public misperceptions. To wit:

> "It's a pure, race-only machine, too high strung and powerful to be ridden by the average rider for recreation". "It hits like a big two-stroke" Remember that? The earlier ones are beasts, but to say things like that is to exaggerate ridiculously. I've owned 3 big two strokes, including a CR500, and even a raw '03 YZ450 is nothing like one. But I know several people who passed on one because of this.

> "The four-speed limits its usefulness to the track only". There is no technical reason the YZ450 needs more than 4 gears for MX. None at all. With first gears at the same ratio, a YZ426 has a 3 mph advantage on a 4 spd YZ450 at the rev limit on pavement. Mine goes 90 mph, and none of my riding buddies run away from me on the grades roads in the desert (except for the guy with the XR650 :) ). The CRF's didn't pull me up the hill at Carlsbad, or down the street at the Elsinore GP. All MX bikes have close ratio transmissions with high first gears, and they could all use an overdrive in the desert. Hopefully, now that Yamaha has decided to take this objection off of the table, they will have used the opportunity of the extra gear to spread the speed range out a little, instead of building an unnecessarily close ratio gear set.

> "It's heavy". It never weighed more than one pound more than a CRF in any model year.

As far as aluminum frames is concerned, the advantage of the material is that its lower weight per mass allows more mass to be used at the same weight. This enables the construction of more rigid frames, and regardless of what anyone says, frame flex is just plain bad. (Who uses steel swing arms anymore?) In particular, the steering head area is critical. It must be able to rigidly maintain the steering axis in one place relative to the rest of the vehicle in order for the bike to handle precisely. A sturdily built steel steering head represents a considerable amount of weight in a location well above the center of gravity.

The 97 CR250 was not the first screwed up frame Honda ever built. You may remember that Jeremy McGrath and several others rejected the '94 CR250 frame (steel) in favor of running the '93 on their factory rides. It had everything to do with geometry, and nothing to do with material. The same is true of the '97. If you have a problem that surfaces once all frame flex has been eliminated, it is because of flaws in the suspension, engine mounting, or geometry, and rather than de-engineering the frame to cover the problems up again, you should improve the components that are actually inadequate to match the frame. A lighter, less flexible wheel will necessitate changes to the suspension. Does that mean you shouldn't try to use one?

I think it looks cool, I don't really like the "All Frame, look" on a bike.

I think they look sweeeet!

I like the fact there there is not too much Aluminum.

I am getting one as soon as they hit she showroom floor!!

Interesting points. I think that a steel frame, with a similar design to the new AL frame could work just as well, but Yamaha couldn't stand the visual similarity to a 97 KX250. The first time I saw the spy photos of the blue painted AL YZF from the Jap nationals, I thought for a second that I was looking at an old, blue painted Kaw.

A steel frame designed as is the new alloy frame might indeed be as rigid and work as well as the new one, but the steel frame would be several pounds heavier. The larger tube cross sections and two spars rather than one backbone are some of the reasons.

As far as aluminum frames is concerned, the advantage of the material is that its lower weight per mass allows more mass to be used at the same weight. This enables the construction of more rigid frames, and regardless of what anyone says, frame flex is just plain bad. (Who uses steel swing arms anymore?) In particular, the steering head area is critical. It must be able to rigidly maintain the steering axis in one place relative to the rest of the vehicle in order for the bike to handle precisely. A sturdily built steel steering head represents a considerable amount of weight in a location well above the center of gravity.

The 97 CR250 was not the first screwed up frame Honda ever built. You may remember that Jeremy McGrath and several others rejected the '94 CR250 frame (steel) in favor of running the '93 on their factory rides. It had everything to do with geometry, and nothing to do with material. The same is true of the '97. If you have a problem that surfaces once all frame flex has been eliminated, it is because of flaws in the suspension, engine mounting, or geometry, and rather than de-engineering the frame to cover the problems up again, you should improve the components that are actually inadequate to match the frame. A lighter, less flexible wheel will necessitate changes to the suspension. Does that mean you shouldn't try to use one?

Gray,

For the most part I agree with you, but I don't know if I completely agree all frame flex is bad. Here's what I'm thinking. Suspension components only take care of motion in one degree of freedom and in a certain frequency range. There are many forces acting on bikes that don't necessarily act in the direction or in the frequency the suspension systems are designed to work in. Without some "good" frame flex, a motorcycle would feel harsh and unforgiving. A rigid bike may be very precise, but would not have the "feel" most of us have come to expect when we ride. I would say "bad" frame flex is where the frame is flexing in response to the same forces the suspension is supposed to react to. Your example of the head stem is a great example of bad frame flex. The head stem should be rigid to allow the forks to work like they should. During Yamaha's development of the 2 smoke AL frame they tested 3 different frames. One was "soft" one was "rigid" and one was in between. Since they were trying to duplicate the '04 steel frame geometry, all three frames were identical geometry wise. Testing showed that the soft frame was too soft and the rigid frame was too rigid and just like Goldielocks, the middle frame was just right. A well designed frame is more than just a structural member to support all the other components, it is also suspension member. No matter how you design a frame, it is going to flex, the secret is to make it flex in a way that compliments the suspension.

Grey racer i agree with most of your points except that the 97 cr250 was a perfect example of too much flash not enough function. Yamaha would never let what happened to the early honda frames happen to there bikes. No geometery could fix that bike. The frame just was bad.

Erik

Gray,

For the most part I agree with you, but I don't know if I completely agree all frame flex is bad.

We do disagree, then. The rear wheel and steering axis of a motorcycle have to be restricted to staying on the same centerline, and in the same plane, and as long as the bike is going straight, the front wheel has to be there, too. Any deviation from that causes steering anomalies, and if bad enough, makes the bike feel like it's wallowing in rough corners, or has a vertical hinge in the center. Vertical motion at both wheels has to be allowed, of course, and this is the job of the suspension, not the frame. There is no need for the frame to flex in any way that allows vertical motion of the wheels. If there is harshness in this motion, it is the fault of the suspension, and it is there that it can be tuned out.

Otherwise, in order to assure that the tires are were they are expected to be, and pointed the right direction, the frame must resist several different forces. The frame must not allow the rear wheel to be rotated out of a longitudinally oriented vertical plane (twisted top to bottom), and so must resist twisting lengthwise between the steering head and swing arm pivot. The rear of the frame must also prevent the rear wheel from being pushed left or right by resisting any twisting of the swing arm pivot through the vertical. The steering head has to, in addition to twist down the axis of the frame that I mentioned earlier, has to fight of forces that try to push the axle rearward at times and forward at others. Allowing this to happen would cause sudden bump induced changes in steering geometry, and steering would become imprecise. Of these, only the last one can be affected by the suspension. Any feeling of harshness that results from lateral or longitudinal rigidity should be very minor compared to the improvement in steering behavior it causes. Any harshness that results from vertical rigidity can be reduced by suspension improvements.

So unless you can demonstrate some benefit in allowing lateral deflection of the suspension points, or some reason that all of the vertical deflection control should not be handled by the suspension, I continue to say that the only good frame flex is none at all.

You brought up the question of frequency, and there is some merit to that in that the "feel" of aluminum and steel will differ because the natural frequency and resilience of the material is different. The Buick Division of GM has done a ton of work in this area, and they've come up with some intersting solutions. Unfortunately, most of them add weight. But some things they've discovered will probably find their way into motorcycle design as time goes on. Meantime, give me a good stiff frame. Please.

Grey racer i agree with most of your points except that the 97 cr250 was a perfect example of too much flash not enough function. Yamaha would never let what happened to the early honda frames happen to there bikes. No geometery could fix that bike. The frame just was bad.

Erik

You may be right, at least partly. But my point was that Honda has done that before with their steel frames. It strikes me as very odd that they had something that worked as well as the '93 frame (I'm talking about steering characteristics and manners) and then go back to something they had tried earlier. Maybe they thought it would work better the second time. :) Either way, I don't see all of the inadequacies of the '97 frame as having anything to do directly with what it was made from, and certainly not because it was too stiff.

But I do agree that Yamaha generally seems to think things through more completely and usaully doesn't need to make major revisions in their early releases.

i think the 06 yz450 looks like shit altogether

Well,.....let me say one thing. I have owned the 05 YZ250 (aluminum frame) bike for 6 months now. I have ridden 03 and 04 YZ250's back to back with mine. The bike FEELS lighter (and the frame is not the only thing they changed to make the bike lighter) but it is also better handing, not as "slow" in the way it manuvers and even an old fart like me can flick the bike around with ease. Most of this is due to lowering the center of gravity, making the bike lighter and of course other changes.

I have said it before and I will say it again....EVEN if the 06 YZF was the same weight as the 05, lowering the center of gravity (done by redesigning the frame and thus lowering the gas tank, radiators and oil tank) is the major improvement. As far as whether this could be done with steel VS aluminum is not the issue and really doesn't matter. If consumers want aluminum because there is no paint to worry about and because the big kid on the block has it.....then that is what has to be produced.

GrayRacer was correct.....the bikes are made to be sold....so marketing strategies do apply.

...If consumers want aluminum because there is no paint to worry about and because the big kid on the block has it.....then that is what has to be produced.

GrayRacer was correct.....the bikes are made to be sold....so marketing strategies do apply.

Agreed. I don't think anyone is disputing this and everyone would completely agree marketing strategies apply. Like I said a couple times, to remain competitive Yamaha had no choice but to use aluminum. I would say to a large extent they not only apply, but are the biggest driving force in the decision to use aluminum. This isn't to say the newer bikes with aluminum frames are not an improvement over their steel frame predecessors. They definately are. I think the only question under dispute is this: As a material for building motocross frames, does aluminum have an intrinsic quality that gives it a performance advantage not possible with steel? Some of us think yes and some of us think no.

I like the new body work!! Remember beauty is more than skin deep!

Did you notice how the bike is showing a November release date? Do you suppose this is so most of them can be pre sold?

I like the tank bodywork. Anyone who uses graphics will appreciate the new design. It might look a bit bulky, but I suppose Yamaha will slim it down in 3 or 4 years.

I love the way it looks, and the improvements, WOW!!, how did they squeeze more power from a motor, that is already increadible to begin with? Yamaha has always had an excellent product. I own many YAMAHA products, and they never let me down. That is why I am a YAMAHA FAN for life.

I am buying one ASAP. The turning ability should be top notch!!

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