New year’s YZ450F intends on taking even further the levels of performance and sweetness that come together with the Yamaha name so it brings up a range of small, but decisive refinements concerning especially handing and style. This might be exactly the bike you’ve been craving for as Yamaha ruled the AMA Motocross Championship last year.
Yamaha hopes that 2009 will be a very successful year for them on the tracks and trails around the world and it doesn’t just pray to God for that to happen, but launches improved bikes that will surely give it a bigger point on the map.
Of course, their big-bore YZ450F couldn’t have missed an improvements year at Yamaha, especially after the 2008 success.
The distinctive features which position it on top of the class are the five-titanium-valves of the consecrated motor, the lightness and yet great resistance of the frame, as well as the reviewed suspensions. Of course, Yamaha engineers felt like slightly modifying the engine’s pull so it redesigned the gas flow through the exhaust and obtained more grunt from down low and all through the midrange.
In order to handle as well as it accelerates, the YZ is now equipped with adjustable racing ProTaper aluminum handlebars and Excel wheels, as well as a gripper seat to keep that enthusiastic rider in place.
2009 Yamaha YZ450F
Mated to a five-speed gearbox, the engine’s capabilities are properly exploited and its versatile character reaches higher expectations. This year’s model comes with a new, shortened clutch lever which, as the bars, can be adjusted and fit a variety of riders.
Very well known is the fact that racing engines haven’t got quite a long life, but with the new dry sump lubrication system on this thing, your bike will have more oil flow and it will go on and on for years if properly maintained.
It is very easy to get caught up by the new Yamaha YZ450F, and the entire lineup actually, as you think at how great the 2008 model year proved being and how it could be improved. They actually upgrade the riding position through the four handlebar positions (standard, 10mm back, 10mm or 20mm forward). It features a redesigned swingarm as well as redesigned suspension linkage together with it. There are also weight reduced pieces such as the front brake hose clamp - which is now made out of aluminum - , the clutch lever, and lighter axle blocks.
We recently got the opportunity to experience the performance of a 2009 Yamaha YZ450F, but until sharing our impressions with you, let’s see where the Yammie is coming from in order to easily understand where it’s heading.
1998 is the year when the big Japanese manufacturer launched the R1 and also when the YZ400F was born from the need to replace two-stroke bikes on the motocross tracks. The bike is also known as the first production four-stroke two-wheeler and its specs page threatened every two-stroke bike that would have had plans for a brilliant future. With a 233 pounds weight and a redline going as high as 11,600 rpm, those worries were surely justified.
Ingeniously built and with practicability in mind, the engine would have slowed the machine down when the throttle was turned back, something that required a bit of practice for riders, but proved very efficient and once got used with.
Two years later (in 2000), the YZ400F had its engine displacement increased to 426cc, something that made all the difference when you would widely open the throttle and expect it to go like a train. One of the smartest moves that Yamaha had made with this bike is the fact that in 2001 it had titanium valves replacing the steel ones. The replacement had the great effect of reducing weight and implicit perform better. The frame was now made of aluminum instead of steel, also.
Having learned a very useful lesson from the first engine displacement increase, Yamaha people decided that it was time for yet another success jump and this one came together with the 449cc engine. It was the best engine ever and it stood up on the bike ever since with the necessary refinements, of course. In order to mark the big update, there have been also added new plastics on the YZ450F which now looked pretty close to what you can see today in its latest pics.
The big disadvantage was the fact that the new engine was pushed too much and there were only four gears to back it up. This made it a little rough on the rider, but things had come back to a normal in 2006 when the power was reduced and a fifth gear smoothened things out. Also in 2006, the YZ saw the aluminum single backbone frame and a 10 pounds weight reduction together with it.
A next big revision was to come together with the 2008 model year. This last before 2009 brought the revised intake port shapes, larger diameter titanium valves, shorter steering head pipe, and new front brake calipers.
2009 Honda CRF450R
In the motocross arena, Honda stands out with their 2009 CRF450R. The most distinctive feature of this open-class bike is the Honda Progressive Steering Damper and the innovative fuel-injection system (that actually requires no battery) feeding the 449cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine. So they make sure that they have a strong pulling and sharp handling motorcycle, a real opponent both for the Yamaha and the rest of the Japanese crowd.
2009 Suzuki RM-Z450
Suzuki sure fits this scenario perfectly and the RM-Z450 doesn’t fail to impress in any matter for 2009. This too features fuel injection and the engine configuration is pretty much the same: 449cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke, DOHC engine. Suzuki claims to have improved aerodynamics for 2009 so their biggest RM should be a smooth flying bike on the motocross track.
2009 Kawasaki KX450F
Also knowing that winning on the track means big sales in most other segments, Kawasaki introduced the 2009 KX450F. The Lime Green competitor is being powered by a 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke single, DOHC, also fuel injected, and features a light and easy to work with chassis. Not bad at all!