I got to ride my new 450 today at Blue Diamond MX in Delaware. Very very hardpack with a little bit of loose dirt/wood chips on top. It was very windy, so doing the jumps wasn't really safe. temp was about 40*F. Im a C novice rider, 210lb, age 27. First off, the jetting is very lean. The bike pops and misfires at partial throttle and on decel but was easy to start. I have the stock jets other than a 170 main jet installed. It runs awsome at full throttle, the power is much much better than the 03 CRF Im coming off of. Hopefully a richer pilot will show up with ups this week in a big box of parts, as well as warmer weather will help out all this situation. The suspension seems incredibly stiff on the little bumps and sharp edges. I turned the compression 5 clicks back on fork and 4 back on the shock. Didn't help much. I really really hope this is a "break in" kinda thing and it will smooth out with some riding time. I wasn't able to do most of the jumps due to the crosswind, so no idea on those. I have alot of problems with steering. The fork are up in the clamp so that the scribed line in the fork tube is just a hair above the clamp. Stock bars, stock tire @ 13psi. The front seems to feel like it just doesn't have traction and wants to slide around. Im not getting along with it at all. It feels like it wants to run wide and come out of the berm alot, it just never feel solidly planted. The sketchy front end is a confidence killer for me, I don't trust it. Gearing: I think Im going to move up to a 51t rear sprocket to make 2nd gear more usable for slow me in tight corners. I had to shift down into first in some of the tight inside lines to keep from stalling, but when I get back on the gas, I can't keep the front wheel on the ground to steer. Got a DID chain on the way, my stocker stretched out about 4 clicks on the axle blocks in the total of 1.2 hours I rode today (very slow). Ergos: I have windham bend protaper bars on the way that should be significantly taller. Think Im going to drop the seat off at a local appolstry shop and have a significant dip cut into it to keep me up front and lower. Im 5'11". I liked the feeling of my buddies CRF That feels like your "inside" the bike rather than "on top of it". My buddy has an 05 CRF, we swapped bikes. His has a SGD cut down seat, about the same bars as I have on order, 20mm clamps, and factory connection suspension. we are same weight, he is a bit faster than me. After swapping bikes I was pulling away from him while riding his bike, he didn't get along with my new yzf either. He has the same complaints: wicked stiff suspension on the hack, low bars, high seat, and sketchy front end. His bike feel like you are sitting IN the bike and the front tire sticks like glue...you don't even worry about where the tire is going, as it's going right where you point it...I was pushing harder through the corners on his bike on the first lap. Both of us are much faster on his CRF sadly. The zyf definatly vibrates much less, feels lighter, and seems to be equal on power but niether of us could get used to the handling. Any advise? will the suspension soften up after some riding time? Any specific tips on making the front tire feel more planted? As of the first ride Im not happy with the bike at all with the setup.