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2023 YZ450 | New Generation TESTED

Hello everyone, my names Ryan Comer and I’ve been lucky enough to fly out to France to be involved in and test the all new 2023 Yamaha YZ450F at Mc Des Costieres for the press launch. So whilst Tristan has been out in Portugal on another project, I’ve been riding the new Yamaha. Dive inside below to find out what I thought about it!

How does the all new Yamaha YZ450F perform overall?

There has been a lot of hype and build up around the new 450 from Yamaha as the Japanese manufacturer has teased us all with social media campaigns and shared shadowed photos from press releases which we were lucky enough to be invited to attend  to bring you an in depth insight and review the new and improved bike. 

So, let’s get into it! Yamahas’ main focuses for the new bike were to revise the bike by focusing on the weight, power and feel. Hence the saying ‘Lighter, Slimmer, Sharper, Faster’ which you may have seen on the posters! These 4 aspects have been looked into, researched and applied perfectly!

Initial feel: Jumping on the bike for the first time, I instantly felt comfortable with the initial set up and the characteristics of the bike. The focus on making the bike slimmer really was noticeable straight away due to the design of the air box changing dramatically. By changing the air intake path, this has allowed the bike to be reduced in width by 50mm which has also allowed the seat to be a lot flatter, making it comfortable and easy to move around on the bike when on the track. This has also made it a lot easier to feel the bike and grip the bike with your knees giving you as a rider good feedback from the track. Another positive to changing the airflow is that it has also increased the pulling power of the bike creating very smooth power right the way through the throttle. 

Suspension: Yamaha have been using the KYB for as long as I can remember, but this year for the new bike they have upgraded to a new valving to match and balance the new chassis and engine. One of the biggest upgrades to the suspension is the new tool free damping adjuster on the forks, making adjusting the suspension quick and easy to do at the track with the quickly changing conditions. The bike felt incredibly stable and balanced which as a rider is important as it improves feel and makes me feel comfortable from the get go. As a standard bike out the box, the overall suspension feel was very good. With some very slight valving adjustments to suit riders preferences, I’m confident that the bike could be up front winning races with no other upgrades or money spent. 

Engine: From bottom to top end power, right the way through the power curve the new and improved motor is very consistent, progressive and very predictable. The pull and torque on the bike is like no bike I’ve ever ridden. There are no huge hits in the power but also no dead or low spots either. The bike has fantastic pulling power from the bottom making it so easy and smooth to ride. If in any way you think the power could be improved to suit different track conditions then you can easily adjust this using the new and improved power tuning app. In the app there is a 7 step slide bar from smooth to aggressive so you, as a rider can fully customise the mapping of the bike, how the power comes in and is delivered, traction control and also launch control settings all in a few simple slides and clicks of the app. The engine for this years bike is all new and I don’t think anything inside it is the same as previous years bikes from the air intake, right down to the piston, cams and even the ecu. 

Handling: The new 450 feels and rides really light, more like a 250 I’d say. The bikes total weight has been reduced by 2.3kg and this is really noticeable out of the track. It turns and handles amazingly, being reduced in width this really allows you to grip the bike in the turns and position the bike where you want it to be and make you feel like you’re the boss! Also with the seat changes being flatter this allows you to be more on top of the bike, automatically improving your riding position making it easy and natural to get your elbows up in the corners, this helps you put the bike exactly where you want it on the track. 

What would you change if anything?

For me, the main thing that stood out to me was the clutch. The cable clutch I personally wasn’t a fan of, I didn’t feel I had much feeling with it or could play with it also causing me to stall the bike a couple of times ,learning to adapt from other brands with hydraulic clutches. This isn’t the end of the world as Yamaha do offer a hydraulic GYTR upgrade option if you’re like me and would prefer this option. Other than that nothing stood out to me as being ‘bad’. My honest reaction of the bike was its amazing, so powerful, so light, loads of torque and it delivered all the power in the correct places! Every time I rode the bike I got off it with a smile on my face and was excited to go out again! 

  • Vision Off-Road Media


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