Purchasing a used YZ450, what to look for

I scanned about the first 6 pages of this forum and didn't see anything, so I figured it'd be safe to start a thread.

Anyway, I'm a two stroke guy but I'm looking at buying an 03 YZ450F. I was wondering if there is anything I need to look out for in particular. Also, I don't really have any experience with four stroke engines so are there telltale signs that something is minor (like a valve adjustment needed) vs. something major? ie, if it starts right up and runs good and I can rail it around the track is it a safe bet, or can these bikes have issues that can only be observed by physically pulling the engine?

Thanks!:thumbsup:

For the most part it is like any other used bike, and alot of it goes for how well you think the guy looked after it or he can prove any work thats been done to it with receipts etc.

I would check the airfilter to see what condition that is in, if it is filthy than thats the first bad stroke against the bike. 4 strokes valves wont last if your air filter maintenance is poor. Apart from that you cant really check the valves or clearances but should ask the guy whether he had to adjust clearances recently or ever has.

Check the dipstick to see if there is any coolant/milky stuff but chances are there wont be. Basically if it starts easy enough and sounds good (which is hard if your new with these yami 4 strokes because they sound like they have marbles rolling around in the bottom end, and will be louder if they have a bash plate) . Take for a run through the gears and see if that feels good. Also it is normal to have a little bit of noise when the clutch lever is out in neutral and goes away when you pull the lever in.

Also it would be worthwhile to read the the stickies/FAQ's at the top of the forum as there is alot of useful info that can help you there too.

A bike in good order will start within 3-5 kicks when cold and 1st or 2nd when warm. However if it doesn't it could be a number of things (jetting sizes/fuel scew/valve clearances etc) But that doesnt mean the bike is crap when all it could need is just a size smaller/bigger on the pilot jet

i second the above and will add to look at the side covers and frame rails for evidence as to how much its been ridden. Just go with your gut

OK cool, thanks for the heads up. I've been listening to videos on youtube to see what they sound like. If all goes well I might be crossing over to the 4 stroke side of the fence by the end of the day :-)

Great "buyer beware" comments. My primary suggestion is bring a SECOND set of "eyes". Buyers tend to let their excited emotions get the better of them when shopping for a new/used bike. Many times the disinterested friend will see potential issues that the excited buyer doesn't.

One other tip when YZF shopping is closely inspect the rear spoke nipples. Look for black around the nipple where it passes through the rim and the hub. If you see black, this is bad, and means the spokes have been rubbing from excessive looseness. This gets VERY expensive to correctly repair (trashed hub and spokes) if the p/o did not maintain correct spoke tightness !! good luck, hope you find a well cared for gem!

Nice call on the rims, I'll definitely keep an eye out for that. It sucks that the place I'm going to look at the bike is like 2 hrs away, which is making it very difficult to get anyone to go with me :-/

My advice is don't buy a 03. Their are plenty of 06 and latter for sale in the $2500 range. I don't know how much you will be spending for this bike but the 06 and latter with a perimeter frame is a much better bike and probably not much more money. Plus when you get ready to upgrade it will be alot easier to sell.

+1 million! First thing I do. If the air filter is all snotted up you can pretty much assume the engine internals and valves may not be as pretty as the clean bike he spent all night washing.

I would check the airfilter to see what condition that is in, if it is filthy than thats the first bad stroke against the bike. 4 strokes valves wont last if your air filter maintenance is poor. Apart from that you cant really check the valves or clearances but should ask the guy whether he had to adjust clearances recently or ever has.

My advice is don't buy a 03. Their are plenty of 06 and latter for sale in the $2500 range. I don't know how much you will be spending for this bike but the 06 and latter with a perimeter frame is a much better bike and probably not much more money. Plus when you get ready to upgrade it will be alot easier to sell.

It's would be better to purchase a clean, adult owned '03, than a beat to death, raced but never fixed '06...

Post up a pic if ya do end up buying it.

A well maintained 06 that has been raced should look similar to mine in the left of the pic. i always kept a log on fluid changes(forks,rear shock,radiator) and when the valves were adjusted and when a new top end was done.

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Well I went with the 03 because I was doing an even swap. I ended up making the deal for my 03 CR250. This guy literally had an entire building devoted to bikes and wasn't initially looking to trade but I think we all know how guys with too many bikes are and when they're missing something from their collection they tend to gravitate toward that one missing piece. He didn't have any 250 2t's so we ended up doing an even swap.

It worked out well since the blue book on 450 was a bit higher than on the cr250 I swapped. Air filter and airbox were clean, no issues with the rims and the oil looked good.

The positives:

-Suspension sprung and revalved for my weight 6 months ago by a reputable local suspension specialty shop (and had the paperwork to prove it)

-Excel rims

-Protaper bars and grips

-ASV unbreakable levers

-MSR bark busters

-unique graphics (the guy was sponsered by speedgraphix)

-New in the bag Acerbis rear fender (the one on it was broke)

-New rear dunlop with the stickers still on it from cycle gear (plus the tire on it now still has some rides on it though, at least as much as the bike I traded)

Negatives:

- there's a puncture in the silencer. The bike runs and starts fine but backfires on decel some. I know this could be the silencer as I seen reports that a silencer that needs repacking can cause this. It is a DRD slip on though, and I haven't messed with the fuel screw yet so that may solve the issue. I was planning on having a valve adjustment anyway, so even if it's the valves, its not really a big deal. In the end, I'm going to buy a new slip on anyway.

- vortex sprockets are a little worn, though still serviceable.

- I gotta order new number plates since the ones off my CR250 of course won't fit :-(

Overall, it's a monster and runs exactly as I had hoped. I was a little leery about the suspension because it seemed too good to be true but the suspension is absolutely perfect for me, and that's always where I end up spending all my money. I didn't even need to adjust the sag!

Well I went with the 03 because I was doing an even swap. I ended up making the deal for my 03 CR250. This guy literally had an entire building devoted to bikes and wasn't initially looking to trade but I think we all know how guys with too many bikes are and when they're missing something from their collection they tend to gravitate toward that one missing piece. He didn't have any 250 2t's so we ended up doing an even swap.

It worked out well since the blue book on 450 was a bit higher than on the cr250 I swapped. Air filter and airbox were clean, no issues with the rims and the oil looked good.

The positives:

-Suspension sprung and revalved for my weight 6 months ago by a reputable local suspension specialty shop (and had the paperwork to prove it)

-Excel rims

-Protaper bars and grips

-ASV unbreakable levers

-MSR bark busters

-unique graphics (the guy was sponsered by speedgraphix)

-New in the bag Acerbis rear fender (the one on it was broke)

-New rear dunlop with the stickers still on it from cycle gear (plus the tire on it now still has some rides on it though, at least as much as the bike I traded)

Negatives:

- there's a puncture in the silencer. The bike runs and starts fine but backfires on decel some. I know this could be the silencer as I seen reports that a silencer that needs repacking can cause this. It is a DRD slip on though, and I haven't messed with the fuel screw yet so that may solve the issue. I was planning on having a valve adjustment anyway, so even if it's the valves, its not really a big deal. In the end, I'm going to buy a new slip on anyway.

- vortex sprockets are a little worn, though still serviceable.

- I gotta order new number plates since the ones off my CR250 of course won't fit :-(

Overall, it's a monster and runs exactly as I had hoped. I was a little leery about the suspension because it seemed too good to be true but the suspension is absolutely perfect for me, and that's always where I end up spending all my money. I didn't even need to adjust the sag!

Congrats and enjoy.:thumbsup:

Good stuff, glad your happy with the swap

post a pic if you can be bothered

a little popping on decel is normal on these bikes, read the stickies at the top of the page

Yeah, I've been reading about the popping. It hauls though, scared the crap out of me today when I cracked the throttle in 3rd and front end came up off the ground so fast it nearly dumped me, lol.

Here's a few pics the wifey snapped off while I was tooling around in the unloading area. Hopefully I'll get out to the track next week and get some good pics :-)

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Looks good, They're awesome bikes hey

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