Yamaha’s All new YZ450F arrives!
Yamaha has announced details of an all new 2018 YZ450F. This ground-breaking new model features the world’s first smartphone engine tuning app on a production motocross bike, as well as electric start and all new engine, frame, bodywork and more.
The new motorcycle is born out of the white heat of competition using input from champion motocross riders around the globe. Riders like US AMA Champion Cooper Webb, MX World Champion Romain Febvre. And of course the current Australian MX1 Champion, Yamaha CDR rider Dean Ferris.
Yamaha’s NZ Team Manager and former World MX GP competitor Josh Coppins was also involved in development of this new model that heralds a new era of advanced racing technology with a level of power, handling and rider interaction never seen before.
The bar has once again been raised to deliver a class leading 450cc race bike. Its all-new engine works together with a new frame to deliver class leading power with even more controllability.
World’s first power tuner phone app on the YZ450F
The 2018 YZ450F is the world’s first production motocross bike with a wireless smartphone based engine tuner. The all new Yamaha new Power Tuner iOS and Android app and communication control unit connects the rider with the bike like never before. The new Yamaha Power Tuner app can make fuel and ignition mapping changes – uploaded wirelessly to the bike via the onboard Wi-Fi system – for the ultimate in track-side tuning.
A Log function allows you to make notes about your riding location, conditions, bike settings and more, giving you a baseline for future rides. The app can also monitor a range of data such as race settings, maintenance and system diagnostics, engine run time and more.
The app can be downloaded free from App Store and Google Play and allows even greater engine mapping in greater detail than ever before, but also allows users to share settings among the team or with friends along with other features – making it even easier to share setup information across a wide range of bLU cRU riders.
All new electric start
Yamaha has refined its distinct rearward-slanted cylinder design for the 2018 YZ450F engine – complete with a rear exhaust and forward-mounted downdraft intake system. The all-new cylinder head is lighter and the cylinder slant is more upright to work with the bike’s updated frame for optimised front weight distribution.
Inside, the engine features, new cam profiles, a new crankshaft, a stronger high-compression box bridge piston design with DLC (Diamond-like-Carbon) coated pin, and now breathes through a new 44mm Mikuni® throttle body. These updates increase the ability to get the power to the ground and give the rider an ideal balance of control and response.
The transmission and clutch have been overhauled for a more direct connection as well as enhanced durability. Revised gears with a wider surface area, updated clutch plates and a stiffer outer pressure plate combine to boost durability.
The YZ450F radiators and exhaust have also been modified for improved performance and weight distribution. The updated radiators are larger and angled more directly in the incoming air stream for improved cooling under the most demanding race conditions.
The innovative wraparound exhaust pipe design improves mass centralisation as well as power development, and now the rear end of the exhaust pipe moves forward to position the muffler closer to the centre of mass.
Returning for the 2018 model, Yamaha’s Launch Control System (LCS) is integrated into the YZ450F for optimised engine output that results in a quicker, smoother race start, boosting controllability out of the gate and ensuring the rider has the best chance to get the holeshot and lead the competition into the first turn.
New YZ450F frame and optimised ergonomics
The all-new compact bilateral beam frame was designed for the best possible balance of bump absorption, stiffness and cornering.
Upper frame rigidity is increased with a straighter top tube and increased triangulation. This provides 25% increase in vertical rigidity, 9% in the horizontal plane and 15% torsional rigidity increase. Meanwhile rear frame spars and all new engine mounts centralise mass to provide an ideal balance between cornering feel and straight-line rigidity.
Surrounding this fully rebuilt chassis, the 2018 YZ450F features a new lighter, compact body from tip to tail. The radiator shrouds incorporate a narrower air duct with a concave shape that not only improves styling, but offers better knee grip and overall riding support. Rad shrouds are 16mm thinner at the knee location point.
A new seat is 9mm narrower and is almost 20mm lower towards the tail end, giving the rider better manoeuvrability on the bike. Bars are 5mm higher and run a stronger material allowing thickness to be reduced for weight saving.
All plastics are new and a thinner front mudguard is specified in order to direct more cooling air flow onto the larger capacity radiators.
New YZ450F KYB suspension
The next generation of industry-leading, fully adjustable KYB spring-type fork suspension with speed sensitive damping provides exceptional balance between handling and bump absorption for race-winning performance. In addition to new settings, cylinder diameter and piston size is up 1mm to increase rigidity and the mid-speed valve is has changed from coil to leaf spring for improved oil flow and damping.
The new model also runs a new top triple clamp shape which changes the offset from 25mm to 22mm – which in turn increases the trail by 3mm to 121mm for increased front end stability. At the other end the swingarm is newly designed to be 350g lighter and 5mm shorter for nimble handling.
A new KYB shock boasts new damping characteristics to match the new chassis. The reservoir has been increased 30cc to increase cooling during long motos. The shock runs a new lightweight spring that uses a thinner diameter wire but has a stiffer rating – up 2nM to 58nM – for those big hits.
The changes to the geometry and suspension result in a longer wheelbase (5mm) for increased driveability and handling, more ground clearance (also up 5mm) and longer rear wheel travel (up 2mm to 317mm). And because hookup is so important, the new model runs high grip Dunlop Geomax MX3S tyres.
Serious weight saving
The 2018 YZ450F has some notable additional features such as a starter motor, battery and bigger radiators with corresponding increase in fluid capacity. Yet it tips the scales at 1kg less than the 2017 model at 111kg. How is this achieved?
Factory engineers have gone back to the drawing board to save weight on components where Yamaha’s legendary reliability is not compromised. The following highlights some of the main areas where weight has been saved:
2018 YZ450F Weight Saving Components
- Fuel tank – 220g
- Rear shock – 350g
- Lightweight DID rims – 70g each
- Stronger, lighter handlebars – 90g
- Aluminium engine mounts (were steel) – 160g
- Lightweight drive chain – 70g
- Glassfibre/nylon battery box – n/a
- New plastics – 100g
- Lightweight Mikuni throttle body – 12% lighter
- Lightweight swingarm (5mm shorter) – 350g
- Lithium ion battery – 1386g lighter than YZ450FX
- Note that no kickstarter is fitted to the new model
Service with a smile
Servicing is a simple task on the YZ450F and for 2018 our engineers have made it even easier. The quick access airbox is now fitted with one rather than three quick release clips. And when you get inside, the filter cage is now clipped in rather than bolted – so no need for tools at all for a filter change.
2018 YZ450F Release and availability
The 2018 YZ450F will be released in Oceania at Coolum MX track in QLD on 20 July 2017. Australian and New Zealand media will be invited to ride the new bike and meet YZ450F Project Leader Mr Sakurai as well as MX1 Champion Dean Ferris.
The following day, key Yamaha dealers will get their opportunity to ride the new flagship weapon. And then in a first for the bLU cRU, customers who register on the YMA website at www.yamaha-motor.com.au/2018YZ450Fdemo will get a chance to test ride the 2018 YZ450F at the national launch event. After that, a number of units will head interstate in a Victory Zone Roadshow to offer other customers a taste of the future of MX.
The all new YZ450F comes in two colours – Team Yamaha Blue and a limited number – 100 units total – of Special Edition White models will be available for sale in AUS $12,399 RRP inc GST from August 2017. Customers are asked to register their interest in the new model at their Yamaha dealer.
2018 Yamaha YZ450F specifications:
Colours: Team Yamaha Blue; White
Warranty: Three months, parts only
Available: From August 2017
RRP (inc GST): $12,399
Engine: Liquid cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, Single cylinder, 449cc, 97 × 60.8mm Bore & stroke, 12.8:1 Compression, Electric starter, Wet sump
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc
Gearbox: Constant mesh, 5-speed
Wet weight: 111kg
Fuel Capacity: 6.2L
Chassis: Semi double cradle frame
Caster angle: 27°20′
Steering angle: Left:43°, Right:43°
Tyres: 80/100-21 51M Tube type, 120/80-19 63M Tube type
Wheels: 21 × 1.6in, 19 × 2.15in
Brakes: 270mm front rotor, 245mm front rotor
Suspension: KYB twin chamber, speed sensitive, 48mm telescopic fork, KYB coil spring/gas-hydraulic damper Shock absorber, Wheel travel 310mm/317mm (F/R)
Overall length: 2185mm
Overall width: 825mm
Overall height: 1285mm
Seat height: 965mm
Minimum ground clearance: 335mm