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nephic

2010 YZ450F - Not a Cannondale

19 posts in this topic

While people are free to ask their own questions, I congratulate MXA for such a pointed, supported, and informational response!!

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That's the main thing I like about MXA, they tell it like it is. But in doing so they do it from many hours of testing experience on several tracks and with multiple riders of various skill levels covering the range of novice to pro's over time. Unlike other mags who tend to have one or two testers at a single track or sessions.

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I've been reading MXA since the 70's. And to this day, I still consider them the best overall source for test results in pure moto applications. But in all that time, I've never known them to significantly apologize or backtrack on anything they've written. And If it did happen, it was a rare occurrence. So I certainly wouldn't waste my time asking them any (Cannondale) questions.

MXA's original Cannondale test doesn't require a retraction. The bike wasn't very good. Especially when compared to other offerings. And I don't think I, or anyone else, has suggested otherwise. But it was cutting edge at the time for a mass-produced dirtbike. Even MXA can't deny that, and didn't try to in their response. But they did take as many shots as they could in a backhanded sort-of-compliment way.

I think it is a bit presumptuous of MXA to believe anyone thinks they caused the collapse of Cannondale due do their review of the MX400, except them. But that's the way they roll. Hopefully the homage due Cannondale when they publish their Yamaha review will be of some merit. But I'm not holding my breath.

Being this is a Yamaha forum, I except it to populated mostly by zealots. Which is ok, imo, as long as you can pull yourself away from the (in this case) blue circle-jerk once in a while to see that there are some other (valid) opinions.

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The (MX400) wasn't very good. Especially when compared to other offerings. ... But it was cutting edge at the time for a mass-produced dirtbike.

Which is it, cutting edge or not very good?
I think it is a bit presumptuous of MXA to believe anyone thinks they caused the collapse of Cannondale due do their review of the MX400,
It was Cannondale and other media outlets that made that claim, not MXA.

Hopefully the homage due Cannondale ... will be of some merit.

Cannondale has already been given what it was due; rejection by the market for the offense of producing an inferior product in almost every respect.

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"Thanks, but no thanks. have you ever dreamed of building a your own motocross bike? Would your dream be slow, heavy, complicated, unreliable, poorly suspended, and bad handling? When you start with a blank sheet of paper there is no one to blame but your self. Cannondale needs to buy and eraser and start over." - MXA

That quote is why I love MXA! :busted:

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Which is it, cutting edge or not very good?

And it can't be both?

It was Cannondale and other media outlets that made that claim, not MXA.

It may have been said in the media, but I'm not certain. But I am quite certain, that there was never a press release or other official communication from Cannondale blaming MXA for the company's (or MX400) failure. Short of that, it would be presumptuous on the part of MXA to make such a statement.

Cannondale has already been given what it was due; rejection by the market for the offense of producing an inferior product in almost every respect.

This may be true. But it won't stop history from acknowledging Cannondale as being the first to mass produce a design which has now, in part, been "reinvented" by Yamaha.

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tk1 so what are you trying to say? Do you actually think the Cannondale is a great bike?

I think he is trying to say Yamaha has never used a reversed cylinder on any production motorcycle.And that cannondale did it first,but in the late 80's Yamaha used that reversed cylinder approach on its TZ road racing bikes that were available to the public.

Now granted they didn't have EFI like the cannondale, but they worked.

Cannondale took a concept already used, upgraded to EFI , but they forgot to make sure the whole thing worked well before releasing it.

I think they did very well for a bicycle company trying to build a very advanced motocross racing machine.

Lets hope the new 450 F is nothing like the feeble attempt cannondale made with the MX400.

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tk1 so what are you trying to say? Do you actually think the Cannondale is a great bike?

No, not even close. But it was the first mass produced package of its kind. And Yamaha obviously saw enough value in the Cannondale design to warrant building their own interpretation for model year 2010.

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And it can't be both?
By definition, no.
This may be true. But it won't stop history from acknowledging Cannondale as being the first to mass produce a design which has now, in part, been "reinvented" by Yamaha.
The Cannondale has already been relegated to the status of one of history's quirky oddities, like the DeLorean, which is where it belongs, and where it will likely remain. But inasmuch as you insist on badgering this particular point, let's take a look at the whole of it.

The YZ400 was cutting edge. What made it so was that it was as light as any 4-500cc MX four-stroke that had been made up to that time, and much lighter than any liquid cooled thumper that size featuring full, long travel MX suspension, and it also clearly had both the power and durability to compete in its target class. It was functional in every regard, and although it was completely at odds with the existing paradigm, it nevertheless won acceptance, first by those looking to be rebellious, and then by those who just didn't like two-strokes, and then by people basically jumping on the bandwagon. Success does that. The YZF was so far ahead of the curve that it took Honda , a presumptive industry leader by anyone's standard, 4 years to produce a response to it.

Meanwhile your Cannondale shows up. You claim it was cutting edge, and innovative. Was it? The designers essentially co-opted Honda's two-stroke frames, which were "cool" and trendy because they were aluminum. The problem is they were poorly executed and didn't work. To add to that, they chose to use a rear suspension without linkage, which combined with the exaggerated design of the frame to leave no room for the intake on the tall four-stroke engine, which left them with the option to flip the head around. Then, of course, they botched the FI system, the engine, the suspension, and everything else.

It was, at the time, intriguing from a conceptual standpoint, but you can't ride a concept, and the Tucker, the Edsel, the Studebaker Avanti, and the DeLorean were also interesting as concepts.

The YZ400 evolved into the YZ426, and then to the YZ450. When the YZF underwent it's first major redesign since its inception, it finally got an aluminum frame, but one that was a different design from those used on the other Japanese bikes. The engineers also spent a great deal of time on the concept of mass centralization. It was this pursuit that lead to the current design that angled the cylinder back. That move cut the already limited space for an intake system even farther than in the crowded '06 design, which lead to the reversal of the head. So while there was a similar reason for the reversal of the head, unlike Cannondale, Yamaha seized on the opportunity to produce a nearly conceptually perfect intake tract. They copied nothing.

So what was new and innovative about the Cannondale, and what of that did Yamaha "copy"? The Cannondale's rigid twin spar perimeter frame? No, that was Honda's. Yamaha used a more resilient layout. Oil in the frame? Not new; first done for the masses by the Rickman brothers in the late sixties, then by a number of others, Yamaha included, all before Cannondale came along. Besides, Yamaha moved away from that as part of their mass centralization campaign. The reversed head? That was not at all common, obviously, but not new, either, and as I just pointed out, wasn't copied from the Cannondale. You can argue that until you turn purple, and you'll convince very few people otherwise.

So, let's see, what else? Fuel injection? Yamaha can hardly be accused of snatching up trends here, as pretty much everyone else went there first. The canted, no linkage rear shock and electric starter are not a part of the YZ450 design, although KTM uses both. Hmm, did KTM copy Cannondale?

The new YZ450 actually shares very little with the C'Dale. The only thing the MX440 will be remembered for is for being motocross'es Edsel.

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I think he is trying to say Yamaha has never used a reversed cylinder on any production motorcycle.And that cannondale did it first,but in the late 80's Yamaha used that reversed cylinder approach on its TZ road racing bikes that were available to the public.

Now granted they didn't have EFI like the cannondale, but they worked.

Cannondale took a concept already used, upgraded to EFI , but they forgot to make sure the whole thing worked well before releasing it.

I think they did very well for a bicycle company trying to build a very advanced motocross racing machine.

Lets hope the new 450 F is nothing like the feeble attempt cannondale made with the MX400.

Prediction: In a few weeks we will all sit down to begin reading the new Yamaha tests from all the mainstream US dirtbike publications. Every one of consequence, no matter how derogatory the comment, will make mention of the now deceased Cannondale MX. But not one will mention the TZ road racing bikes of the 80's. Food for thought.

By definition, no.

The Cannondale has already been relegated to the status of one of history's quirky oddities, like the DeLorean, which is where it belongs, and where it will likely remain. But inasmuch as you insist on badgering this particular point, let's take a look at the whole of it.

The YZ400 was cutting edge. What made it so was that it was as light as any 4-500cc MX four-stroke that had been made up to that time, and much lighter than any liquid cooled thumper that size featuring full, long travel MX suspension, and it also clearly had both the power and durability to compete in its target class. It was functional in every regard, and although it was completely at odds with the existing paradigm, it nevertheless won acceptance, first by those looking to be rebellious, and then by those who just didn't like two-strokes, and then by people basically jumping on the bandwagon. Success does that. The YZF was so far ahead of the curve that it took Honda , a presumptive industry leader by anyone's standard, 4 years to produce a response to it.

Meanwhile your Cannondale shows up. You claim it was cutting edge, and innovative. Was it? The designers essentially co-opted Honda's two-stroke frames, which were "cool" and trendy because they were aluminum. The problem is they were poorly executed and didn't work. To add to that, they chose to use a rear suspension without linkage, which combine with the exaggerated design of the frame to leave no room for the intake on the tall four-stroke engine, which left them with the option to flip the head around. Then, of course, they botched the FI system, the engine, the suspension, and everything else.

It was, at the time, intriguing from a conceptual standpoint, but you can't ride a concept, and the Tucker, the Edsel, the Studebaker Avanti, and the DeLorean were also interesting as concepts.

The YZ400 evolved into the YZ426, and then to the YZ450. When the YZF underwent it's first major redesign since its inception, it finally got an aluminum frame, but one that was a different design from those used on the other Japanese bikes. The engineers also spent a great deal of time on the concept of mass centralization. It was this pursuit that lead to the current design that angled the cylinder back. That move cut the already limited space for an intake system even farther than in the crowded '06 design, which lead to the reversal of the head. So while there was a similar reason for the reversal of the head, unlike Cannondale, Yamaha seized on the opportunity to produce a nearly conceptually perfect intake tract. They copied nothing.

So what was new and innovative about the Cannondale, and what of that did Yamaha "copy"? The Cannondale's rigid twin spar perimeter frame? No, that was Honda's. Yamaha used a more resilient layout. Oil in the frame? Not new; first done for the masses by the Rickman brothers in the late sixties, then by a number of others, Yamaha included, all before Cannondale came along. Besides, Yamaha moved away from that as part of their mass centralization campaign. The reversed head? That was not at all common, obviously, but not new, either, and as I just pointed out, wasn't copied from the Cannondale. You can argue that until you turn purple, and you'll convince very few people otherwise.

So, let's see, what else? Fuel injection? Yamaha can hardly be accused of snatching up trends here, as pretty much everyone else went there first. The canted, no linkage rear shock and electric starter are not a part of the YZ450 design, although KTM uses both. Hmm, did KTM copy Cannondale?

The new YZ450 actually shares very little with the C'Dale. The only thing the MX440 will be remembered for is for being motocross'es Edsel.

You're being as redundant as I am. You seem to think for a design to be considered cutting edge and innovative, it must be also function as such. Many times that is the case, but not always. The Cannondale is one such exception. It managed to garner considerable positive press. And that was just at first sight! It may have been a conglomeration of ideas past, but they were assembled for the first time into the most cutting edge and innovative turn-key motocrosser being offered.

But as you mentioned before, the customer will have the final say. And in that regard, ultimately the Cannondale became a failure. But the concept has been reborn, reworked, and will live on. It's also worth noting that advancement is built from both success, and failure.

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Prediction: In a few weeks we will all sit down to begin reading the new Yamaha tests from all the mainstream US dirtbike publications. Every one of consequence, no matter how derogatory the comment, will make mention of the now deceased Cannondale MX. But not one will mention the TZ road racing bikes of the 80's. Food for thought.

You're being as redundant as I am. You seem to think for a design to be considered cutting edge and innovative, it must be also function as such. Many times that is the case, but not always. The Cannondale is one such exception. It managed to garner considerable positive press. And that was just at first sight! It may have been a conglomeration of ideas past, but they were assembled for the first time into the most cutting edge and innovative turn-key motocrosser being offered.

But as you mentioned before, the customer will have the final say. And in that regard, ultimately the Cannondale became a failure. But the concept has been reborn, reworked, and will live on. It's also worth noting that advancement is built from both success, and failure.

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... ultimately the Cannondale became a failure. But the concept has been reborn, reworked, and will live on.
What concept? The concept of an alloy framed MX thumper? Honda did that. The concept of a fuel injected dirt bike? Suzuki did that. The concept of an e-start MX'er? KTM. Gee, I guess the Cannondale is the grandfather of all modern four strokes. :busted:

Nobody was foolish enough to reuse frame routed intake or the rest of the true core concept of the Cannondale, which apparently was to be a hodge-podge of every off-the-wall, goofy idea anyone ever had, all in one place.

But, you're right, I concede; Yamaha did coincidentally use two of the stack of "cutting edge" ideas that the Cannondale had, FI and a reversed head, so it's only obvious that that amounts to a wholesale revival of the entire "Cannondale Concept", right? Clearly, the YZ450 isn't the only thing with its head on backwards.

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