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HotRod250F

'06-'09 YZ 450 - differences?

19 posts in this topic

I'm looking to upgrade from my '04 CRF450, and go back to Yamaha! What are the differences between the years referenced, which one is preferred, best motor, suspension, handling, etc? I'm looking for a clean, low hour unit, for 50/50 MX and desert.

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I'm going to make this quick so I'm sure people can certainly add on. I owned an 06 and 08 so I can make some comments about them. I have also ridden an 07.

06 - First year with aluminum frame and SSS suspension. Very strong bottom to midrange power. Noticed that this bike tended to push the front in corners.

07 - Yamaha mellowed out the power significantly from the 06. A little too mellow IMO. Yamaha may have made MINOR fork changes (can someone verify??).

08 - Wave/Pedal brake rotors, shorty exhaust. Power-wise it is a mix between the 06 and 07. Not too strong, but not too mellow. The 08 handles significantly better than the 06 IMO.

09 - Very similar to the 08, but I believe the 09 got a new swingarm, most likely slightly enhancing handling.

Personally, I would try to find an 08-09. I hated how my 06 handled, the front end pushed really bad in turns, even with proper sag setup and fresh tires. The 08-09 stock shorty exhaust is known to be restrictive, so you may want to consider an aftermarket exhaust. I ran my 08 stock, but some people also decide to use the 06 CDI for better bottom end power.

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i have an 06 and a buddy of mine has a 07 granted i have some more work done to mine then he does but the low end hit on mine is alot stronger then his is. i love how snappy my 06 is the power is always there

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Thanks for the replies. So '06 had strong motor but questionable cornering, '07 mellow motor, '08-'09 are preferred. Anyone else have experience with these models and have helpful insight? thanks

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I've only rode the 06 (what I have) and it is a mean machine! My buddy that's been riding/racing his yz250f (07) for 5 years took a lap on my bike last weekend and came back bug eyed and scared shitless!

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Yep, the 08 feels and turns like a 250F compared to its predecessors. The 2009 went back to the new style (that makes almost no sense, ha) swingarm and linkage.

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Thanks for the replies. So '06 had strong motor but questionable cornering, '07 mellow motor, '08-'09 are preferred. Anyone else have experience with these models and have helpful insight? thanks

07 is when Yamaha quieted down the motor with a restrictive exhaust which did hurt the low end hit some but I heard the shorty exhaust on the 08 and 09 hurt the low end more, granted I have not ridden one just what I've read. I have to say my stock 07 has plenty of power across the board and handles excellent, no front end push at all.

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I have owned an '06 and currently own an '08.

The '06 motor is sweet...nice, strong, linear power from bottom to top. Unfortunately the '06 has some turning issues but they can be tuned out to some extent with proper bike setup.

The '08 motor gives up some bottom end but seems quite a bit stronger in the higher RPMs. The '08 handles MUCH better. Some slight suspension changes were made in '07 that carried into '08...nothing crazy, just a couple little tweaks that help a bit.

For offroading I would love to have an '06 motor in an '08 frame, although putting the '06cams into an '08 would for the most part do the trick.

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does anyone think that swapping out a linkage from an 08 to my 06 would work or make a difference in the handling?

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does anyone think that swapping out a linkage from an 08 to my 06 would work or make a difference in the handling?

No. You would do better to put an '07 or newer shock on it as they are slightly longer.

Better than that, put some 22mm offset triple clamps on the front.

Aside from swapping parts, try setting your rear sag to 95mm and raising the forks in the clamps 5mm or so (roughly to the line on the top of the forks). Basically what all this does is raise the back of the bike slightly and drop the front end slightly for a more aggressive cornering aspect.

Also, tweaking your fork rebound can make quite a difference in cornering. You want enough rebound force to keep the front tire planted on the ground, but not so much that it pushes the front end back up before you are done with the corner.

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does anyone think that swapping out a linkage from an 08 to my 06 would work or make a difference in the handling?

I believe the shock is longer on the 2007 and 2008. Not sure if the linkage would help much without the longer shock.

Guess I should have read further before answering.

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the tripple clamps off of an 08 have a different offset compared to my 06 correct?
No. All YZ4** clamps from '98-'09 are 25mm.

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I have a 09 yz450 and it was pretty good with a new pipe until I smashed now I'm back to stock and can feel the difference. 09 changed a few minor things like the swingarm everything else was pretty minor

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I had a 2007 YZ450 after coming off a 2005 YZ250F. I hated that bike and after a year I went to the 2008 KX250F. Then I had a 2009 KX250F. Now that i'm fat I need a 450. Rode my buddies 2008 YZ450F and it handles a lot better than the 2007. It doesn't push as much, still not a 250F but its better. I got a sweet deal on a 2008, so thats what i'll be riding for a while.

In 2008 Yamaha changed the frame to feed more flex into the chassis to make it corner better. In 2009 they cut off like 2lbs of unsprung weight with the linkage/swingarm and other stuff...which is like cutting off 6 pounds of weight when you calculate the physics of the chassis.

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even the stem is the same right?
The bearings in the steering head are the same across the board, but the stem itself is 5mm shorter in the '08/'09.

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okay thank you i was bidding on one off ebay i thought that the offset on those were different. i guess it wont make a dirrerence or even fit. thanks for your help

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