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Dirt and Trail Dec 2019

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South Africas Enduro, Adventure and MX magazine.

That’s Richie

That’s Richie VDWwithout the shirt.the change results in “improved corneringperformance, traction, and bump reaction.”• The KYB suspension gets revisedcompression and rebound damping rates.Yamaha has also fine-tuned the enginemounts, top triple clamp, and the frontaxle to work with the new suspensionsettings. The wheelbase and rake have beenreduced.• The seat on the YZ450F sits over ahalf-inch lower. The seat is now right at 38.0inches, down by 0.6 inches.• Yamaha has worked on the brakingfor the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F. There’s a newfront brake caliper, plus a new front discthat retains the 270mm disc size. In the rear,the disc diameter has been reduced by fivemillimeters to 240mm. The brake pads arealso updated.• The weight of the Yamaha YZ450Fis static, with it still hitting the scales at113KG’s.• Yamaha Power Tuner: Yamaha’sYZ450F was the first motocross bike withinbuilt connectivity, that enables remotewireless tuning using a smartphone. Bydownloading the free Power Tuner appfor IOS or Android devices, YZ450F ridersor mechanics can easily adjust the fuel/air mix and ignition timing to set the bikeup for different tracks and changing ridingconditions. This feature makes the 2020YZ450F the most adaptable motocrossmachine that can be tuned instantly at thetrackside, enabling its rider to master a widerange of surfaces and weather conditions. Inaddition to its engine re-mapping function,the Power Tuner app can also record racelog information and monitor a range of data,including system diagnosis, engine run timeand more. Cool huh!• Handlebar-mounted adjustablemapping switch: After pre-programmingthe 2020 YZ450F with the Power Tuner inthe paddock, there’s a handlebar-mountedmapping switch that enables the riderto select the map of their choice. Thissimple on-the-fly adjustment allows instantmapping changes to suit changing track orweather conditions, from a super-aggressivemap for fast dry tracks to a more useablemap on muddy surfaces.52 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

Ride impressions:Our brief to Mike and Enrico was: Go out, have fun,ride fast, tell us what you think of the new bike. Bothcame back looking very impressed… this is one verycompetitive bike.“I love the instant power. The trendthese days is to make the big borebikes get smoother and smoother– but this time round, it feels to meas though Yamaha has focussed ongiving this model significantly moretorque – or old school aggression.”Mike says: I love the instant power. The trend thesedays is to make the big bore bikes get smoother andsmoother – but this time round, it feels to me as thoughYamaha has focussed on giving this model significantlymore torque – or old school aggression. And that’scool. You open the throttle and if you want, youeasily send that wheel skywards. You know thatthis is a 450 the minute you ride it.BUT: the changes to the chassis and all thathas paid dividends. I am really impressed. I read acouple of international reviews on the bike – they talkabout frame flex and stuff – but I cannot feel anythingweird at all. The 202 feels a lot softer over thebraking bumps, softer on your feet and arms.Also, although I know the bike weighs just aboutthe same as the 2019, it feels lighter to me. Theyhave lowered the centre of gravity and it shows. I’mmore confident throwing the new bike around- andyou can bring it back easily. I got it a bit sidewayson the one jump and I though “oh-oh!”, but thebike actually saved me.So from what I can tell, Yamaha hasmade a bike that is more powerful than lastyear’s model, but they have upgraded thesuspension and brakes to reign it in and keepit all under control.To me… this is a bit more exciting than lastyears model, with more torque on tap whichmeans that you don’t need to ride the bike ashard as the previous models.This will probably pay dividends in theengines longevity.DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 5 3