Yamaha YZ450F – 107.2Kg 54.80bhp
The Yamaha is the newest 450 for 2020. Just two years after the last redesign, the YZ-F gets a more compact and lighter engine, with mods aimed at sharpening up the power delivery even more. And it has a lighter frame, too. The brakes have also been replaced with the latest generation Nissin caliper at the front and lighter discs.
The KYB AOS 48 fork has always been good and this year is no different, although our fastest tester found it a tad too soft which made it dive into corners. Stiffening the compression damping cured it.
The rear KYB will give you a little kick until you get the sag and damping settings spot on. The sag was decreased by 7mm from stock which made it turn better.
Motor oil: 0.64 litres.
Oil and filter replacement: after break-in and then every 7.5 hours (oil) and 12.5 hours (filter)
Air filter cleaning: after each use.
Piston Replacement: every 12.5 hours
Valves: Check every 7.5 hours.
Starter motor: No maintenance required
Front : Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid Soft 80 / 100-21
Rear: Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid Soft 110 / 90-19
What the testers said:
Davide de Bortoli:
The bike just felt a bit strange at first, a bit cramped but still wide. When you get used to it, it’s OK but it makes me uncomfortable when I have to stand up.
The handling is precise in the slow stuff, and the bikes goes wherever you point it. But it is not so stable on the fast parts.
The suspensions works well, although the forks dive under heavy braking. But it’s always stable.
I think it has the best engine, always ready to get up and go at any revs. And the clutch is very precise.
The YZ450F is definitely not as wide as it used to be. The new chassis is slim and very precise. The KYB suspensions work well, even if I didn’t get much feeling when on the brakes. Stock form, it pushed so much in the corners so I reduced the sag.
You actually get the best out of the bike when sitting down more than normal. But I ride on the pegs a lot.
The engine is right up there among the best, although not as good as a KTM in terms of delivery. I tried both maps but couldn’t feel much of a difference.
In the past couple of years we have put the Yamaha right up there as one of the best bikes you can buy thanks to its impressive motor. It’s still a podium bike in terms of its balance and effectiveness on the track, but it loses out slightly to KTM and also to Honda.
It is by far the best for the balance between handling, stability and electronics with maps managed by a free App. It is always wonderful to ride but loses something out terms of precise handling due to the stock suspension settings. And that has always been
one of the strong points of the YZ450F.