As with all special editions, the 2011 YFZ450R and Raptor 700R SE models were launched as platforms for the market to experience a portion of the sport ATV lifestyle. A year later, Yamaha is back with another special edition model of the YFZ450R, packed with a new look, as well as some new features.

The overall look of the YFZ450R SE is a lot more aggressive than the past model, thanks to black and red bodywork with a metallic vertebra graphic scheme. The fenders have also been modified and are held on by simple quick-release fasteners, making for easier maintenance. The 2012 also has a black GYTR grab bar that has been installed on the front, while the swingarm has been blackened with a gold drive chain offering a sharp contrast.

In terms of performance, the YFZ450R SE is powered by an impressive 449cc five-valve engine, offering superb power characteristics that are smooth and strong off the line. The engine is then mated to a five-speed manual transmission that offers plenty of drive options, while dual overhead cams rev quickly with a very linear power curve. The fuel injection is crisp, thanks in part to the the 42mm Mikuni throttle body while the thumb throttle has a nice, smooth feel that the pilot can modulate all day without fatigue.

As far as the chassis and suspension set-up is concerned, the ATV was fitted with 44mm Kayabas front shocks that allow 10" of wheel travel while the rear was given 46mm KYB shocks attached to an aluminum swingarm and straight axle with 11" of wheel travel, providing for super handling characteristics that makes this ATV a fun and enjoyable ride.

Find out more about the Yamaha YFZ450R SE after the jump.

  • 2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    five-valve engine
  • Transmission:
    five-speed manual transmission
  • Displacement:
    449 L


2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE Drivetrain
- image 421177
  • The fuel-injected 449cc engine has superb power characteristics.

Power delivery is smooth and strong off the line with lots of low
and mid range where you need it.

  • The crankcase holds a crankshaft that’s ready to handle the

increased balance ratio, as well as a counterbalancer for superior
vibration control. The crankcase also houses the oil tank, which
helps to centralize mass for unmatched handling and makes
maintenance easier.

  • Camshafts are designed to maximize the torque available in the

low and mid ranges.

  • Fuel injection uses a 12-hole injector that provides exceptional

atomization of the fuel for maximum combustion efficiency and
power delivery. The system also uses a big, 42mm Mikuni
throttle body and includes ISC (Idle Speed Control) for easy,
reliable start-up and warming.

Chassis and Suspension

2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE Exterior
- image 421170
  • The chassis is very spacious, allowing room for even an

aggressive racer to move around during the moto, and the
ATV’s body panels that the rider contacts during operation are
of a softer plastic material for greater comfort. The seat is
narrow in the front, yet wide and padded in the rear to provide a
more comfortable ride, even when hanging off on the side of the
seat in a turn.

  • The wheel has been designed with the inner lip rolled in.

This increases the rigidity, allowing a reduction in weight while
maintaining strength.

  • Wheels are set motocross-spec wide, near the maximum

allowable 50 inches, for great cornering ability. The Dunlop®
tires are grippy with a great pattern for cornering, and at 20
inches in the rear and 21 inches in the front, provide much better
ground clearance than the competition. That makes the YFZ450R
fun to ride off-road, too.

  • ProTaper handlebars are mounted on 4-way clamps for

exceptional adjustability. There are two sets of holes in the
handlebar crown, and eccentric clamps so the rider can choose
the standard setting, 10mm or 20mm forward, or 10mm back.

  • Foot pegs are a generous 2.6 inches wide, something riders will

appreciate every time they want to get up on the pegs, with good
kick-up on the ends for solid footing.

  • The frame is aluminum for lightweight, except for the frame

member under the engine. Here tensioned steel is used for its
combination of strength and thinness. This allowed the designers
to sit the engine lower overall for excellent mass centralization
for unmatched handling. The aluminum frame is bolted together,
rather than welded, for maximum durability.

  • The front frame is noticeably narrow at the A-arm mounting

points. This dramatically reduces changes in camber as the long
A-arms travel through their full range of motion. The front 44mm
KYB® shocks have Kashima coating for smooth operation with
superb bump absorption and excellent anti-bottoming
characteristics. The 9.8 inches of wheel travel means this
racer is up to even the most challenging tracks.

  • The rear swingarm is crafted of strong, gravity-fed aluminum,

and it’s matched to a fully adjustable 46mm KYB® piggyback
shock absorber for excellent handling. Rear wheel travel is 11.0
inches for comfort even on tough terrain.

  • For excellent stopping ability, YFZ450R features dual front

hydraulic disc brakes and a trick looking, lightweight wave-type
rear rotor.

Additional Features

2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE High Resolution Exterior
- image 421174
  • The throttle lever requires low effort, and it’s very comfortable

to use. That means less fatigue during all-day riding.

  • The instrumentation is all business. The discrete panel on the

fender in front of the rider gives vital indicators about low
fuel, coolant temperature, check engine, and neutral gear via a
straightforward LED display.

Key Selling Points

2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE High Resolution Exterior
- image 421176
  • The YFZ450R SE features striking metallic plastic with quick-release fasteners for no-tools installation and removal of the front and rear fenders, special graphics, a black swingarm and a dealer-installed GYTR black front grab bar.
  • The prestigious “ATV of the Year” Award from ATV Sport Magazine. “Best in Class” from ATV/SxS Illustrated. Winner of shootout after shootout. The YFZ450R took ’em all – in its first model year, right out of the starting gate. This is one amazing ATV!
  • In ATV motocross, great power output doesn’t mean much without superior handling. YFZ450R delivers! The stance of the YFZ450R is motocross ready. The weldless frame is designed from lightweight aluminum, with a tension-steel bottom frame that lets the engine sit lower for excellent mass centralization. Suspension components have more travel, carefully chosen for best performance, and the front shock bodies feature Kashima coating for even smoother operation.
  • Fatigue can sometimes be a racer’s worst competition. That’s why the YFZ450R’s designers made this ATV so comfortable. It boasts racerfriendly ergonomics with plenty of room to hang off in the corners, and the seat is padded just right to be more comfortable regardless of riding position. Handlebars are 4-position adjustable, too, so every rider can choose the best position, and the throttle has been designed for all day comfort.
  • This 449cc engine uses titanium five-valve cylinder head technology, with a camshaft designed just for this machine to deliver abundant low to midrange torque for performance where you can really use it to take the lead – while still maintaining a super strong top end to let you pull away from the pack.
  • The YFZ450R incorporates Yamaha Fuel Injection for precise fuel delivery. With big 42mm Mikuni throttle body and 12-hole injector, this system provides exceptional atomization of the fuel for maximum power. The system also includes ISC (Idle Speed Control) for easy, reliable start-up and warming.
  • This ATV is designed to make race prep easy. Body panels come off easily for service; there’s no need to remove the battery or other components to get the fenders off. The aluminum frame is bolted together, rather than welded, for maximum durability. And the oil tank is integrated with the crankcase so it’s easier to service the engine.


2012 Yamaha YFZ 450R SE High Resolution Exterior
- image 421190
Engine Type 449cc, liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke; DOHC
titanium 5-valve
Bore x Stroke 95 x 63.4mm
Compression Ratio 11.6:1
Fuel Delivery Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) , 42mm
Ignition TCI (Digital)
Starting System Electric
Transmission 5-speed manual clutch
Drive Train 2WD; sealed O-ring chain, eccentric
Suspension/Front Independent double wishbone, w/ Kashima
coated piggy back shocks, High/Low speed
compression, rebound and threaded preload
adjustment, 9.8-in travel
Suspension/Rear Cast aluminum swingarm w/ piggyback
High/Low speed compression, rebound and
threaded preload adjustment, 11.0-in travel
Brakes/Front Dual ventilated hydraulic disc, twin piston
Brake/Rear Wave-style ventilated hydraulic disc,
twin piston
Tire/Front AT21x7-10 Radial
Tire/Rear AT20x10-9 Radial
L x W x H 70.7 x 48.8 x 41.9 in
Seat Height 31.9 in
Wheelbase 50.0 in
Ground Clearance 4.5 in
Fuel Capacity 2.6 gal
Wet Weight 405 lb
Lighting Dual 30W Krypton Multi-reflector
Headlights and 3.9/0.5W LED Brake light
Color Yellow/Black Metallic
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: