If design would have had everything to do with the decisive vote, the Yamaha YZ450F would definitely occupy the first place as it is a very compact bike that has its body panels, seat and rear fender perfectly blended in one together with the other in a comma shape. I mean, just look at it from the side; it clearly gives a big clue on its track performance from a very first glance.
Even though not as close to the Italian stylish look Japanese builders keep trying to dethrone, the bike looks clean and easily stands out from the now last year’s model.
It looks tall, but at a 38.9-inch seat height it can easily be ridden even by small-sized persons. The fenders are very high and threatening for the competition lining up at the starting line and the Yamaha name on the white mudguards unveils the source of their nightmares. Handlebars have four adjusting positions and the seat has a new cover that offers better grip.
The bike also manages to exert that magical attraction with the help of the two color schemes available for it. Either Team Yamaha Blue/White or White/Red colored, it was the first thing that stood out on the tracks at the end of 2008 as it got a decent head start.
Straight off, the 2009 Yamaha YZ450F impresses due to an unmatched combination of linear power delivery and chassis stability making it easy for almost every motocross rider to get accustomed with the bike within a few lap times and not that much dirt spread. The bike has a natural evolution. They’ve improved the engine and the suspension, but not that much as the 2008 model year gets pretty close to the new model’s lap times.
The standard settings for the suspension and handlebars suit most riders and the 39-inch seat is the adequate solution for a bike in this class. But what amazes about the YZ45F is that it doesn’t show off its racing DNA if you’re not doing any efforts for that matter. Adaptive and very easy to ride, this racer won’t scare anybody with its engine’s jerks or anything like it at all.
Still, fast launches become the easiest thing after a few laps and that will be mostly because the rider would have experienced the cornering ability of this motocrosser. Yamaha has redesigned YZ450’s swingarm for 2009 and this not only lightens the chassis, but also ensures great traction and inspires confidence during high speed corners. The rear end follows the front wheel easily and the rider won’t struggle to impose ihis own rhythm, but simply comply with that of the bike.
2009 Yamaha YZ450F
The MX aluminum frame brings a major contribution at keeping the bike stable around corners and that is quite an invitation for twisting the throttle. Now, motocross four-stroke singles don’t feel most at home on top of their power bands, but YZ’s continues to pull strong even when you’d normally have to shift or prepare to brake before the corner that follows every straight track section.
Probably the best about the biggest Yamaha YZ is that it doesn’t actually feel like that. You can easily jump from an YZ250F straight on its seat and feel well at home with the riding characteristics while the performance is at a whole other level. I usually call beginner bikes confidence inspiring, but I guess I’ll have to make an exception here and say that if you give it time (which can very well be a weekend or so), the YZ450F is can be great second bike.
The brakes are very powerful and reassuring as well, but this won’t amaze you as much the fact that the front suspension won’t bottom out even where you’re expecting it too. Landing in potholes is no problems for that new swingarm, the piece that the major contribution to 2009’s upgrade.
We have to call it a great overall motocross bike as it invites you to ride, it is consistent in delivering power and it knows how to deal with that power. Experience sure counts, but the Yamaha YZ450F is a rule-breaker and it will make an exception for those tough characters that feel like going for it.
The resumed Japanese recipe to building dirt bikes consists in a powerful and easily exploitable motor that comes mounted on a light and nimble frame. Suspensions must be top notch and the riders properly accommodated through a great ergonomic triangle. Everything else is considered detail work for the masterminds with the drawing board in front of them, but the marketing department must really do its job in order for the bike to sell. And it very well did it as the Blue and White version comes with a suggested retail price of $7,399 and the White and Red with only $100 more.
With the 2009 YZ450F Yamaha proves that the best can be pushed even further and maintain its supremacy even if the competition is strong coming from behind. And if there was nobody to compete with, it would have done it with itself and we’d still be writing about it.