After overhauling the the YZ250F last year, Yamaha turned its sights to the YZ450F for 2020, giving the 450-class motocross racer a redesigned engine and a revised frame. The YZ450F did receive a small update a year ago, but the last major revisions came back in 2016, so it was due for some attention.
2019 Yamaha YZ450F Review
The 449cc liquid-cooled four-stroke rear-slanted Single receives a new, more compact cylinder head, a reshaped combustion chamber, steeper valve angles and more aggressive cam profiles. The connecting rod is slightly longer and a new bridge-box piston design increases the compression ratio to 13.0:1 from the previous motor’s 12.8:1 ratio. Yamaha also updated the transmission’s shift drum and selectors for smoother shifting.
According to Yamaha, the updates give the 2020 YZ450F’s engine more power across the rev range in a lighter, more compact package. As with the previous model, the YZ450F can be tuned with a smartphone using the Yamaha Power Tuner App, but for 2020, riders can now switch between two preloaded ECU maps on the fly using a switch on the handlebar. The YZ450F also comes with a launch control system.
At a quick glance, the aluminum bilateral beam frame doesn’t look much different from the previous one, but Yamaha says it’s been completely retuned with thinner main spars, thicker down tubes and new engine mounts. The result, according to Yamaha, is improved cornering performance, traction and bump reaction, along with a reduction in weight.
The top triple clamp, front axle and fully-adjustable KYB suspension have been refined for additional weight savings. Also new are the front brake calipers, and the brake pads and discs for both wheels.
The 2020 Yamaha YZ450F should arrive in showrooms next month with a choice of Team Yamaha Blue or Gray for $9,299.
2020 Yamaha YZ450F Specifications
449cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 titanium valves
Bore x Stroke
97.0mm × 60.9mm
Mikuni fuel injection, 44mm
multiplate wet clutch
KYB spring-type fork with speed sensitive damping; fully adjustable, 12.2-inches travel
KYB single shock; fully adjustable, 12.5-inches travel
Hydraulic disc, 270mm
Hydraulic disc, 240mm
80/100-21 Dunlop MX33
120/80-19 Dunlop MX33
245 pounds (claimed)
30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Team Yamaha Blue; Gray
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Source: All Bikes news one