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2009 Yamaha YZ450F Shootout Photo Gallery

Yamaha's buttery-smooth YZ450F is back and the choice of James Stewart. Easy to ride, plush and fast, the 2009 YZ-F is a title contender.

Slideshow
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2009 Yamaha YZ450F
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In addition to the Yamaha’s outstanding suspension compliance, once you set rider sag (between 102-106mm), you’re not going to need to make a whole lot of adjustments.
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Due to its mild bottom end, working the clutch seemed to be a necessicity on the Yamaha in order to get the power up.
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Charging on the Yamaha is easiest in the rough stuff. As in years past, the Kayaba suspension is ridiculously smooth and forgiving.
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'Cadillac. This bike is the Caddy of the lot,' said Simon. 'The fork and shock were just really plush feeling and soak up everything, high- and low-speed, doesn’t matter. Definitely the most forgiving suspension out of all the bikes.'
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Plain and simple, the Yamaha’s power is easy for anyone to access and won’t wear a rider out. Not only that, but since it’s the only bike that is still carbureted so it’s easy to start and has far more engine character than the other computer controlled bikes, which in itself makes it entertaining to ride.
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The YZ450F is fairly mellow in the corners, but it loves going in deep and using its big set of brakes to get slowed down.
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'The Yamaha is probably the mildest mannered bike here,' remarked Armstrong. 'It turns easy and is quite good most of the time, except in the really tight stuff. There it was hard to get it to dive in and sometimes the front end wanted to push a little at entrance.'
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One of the biggest attributes of last year’s machine was just how supple its Kayaba suspenders felt. And we’re happy to report that this impressive trait is back.
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2009 450 MX Comparison - Horsepower
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2009 450 MX Comparison - Torque
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Smmoth doesn't necessarily equate to slow. As the only carbureted Japanese 450, the Yamaha isn't as snappy as the other machines.
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At the end of the day there was no doubt in any of our testers minds that the YZ450F is the easiest bike to just hop on and ride. Its forgiving suspension, mellow powerband, and trustworthy handling make it a solid choice.
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Yamaha may be behind in the technology war of 2009, but there's still plenty of winning qualities about the YZ450F.
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It’s got more than enough power, handles great, costs the least and is the only bike to offer a warranty on its product (30-day).