Check out photos from Motorcycle USA’s review of the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F in this First Ride photo gallery.
- The YZ makes use of a wrap-around exhaust, the header rotating out the left side, to the front and terminating in the silencer, which is moved in closer to the center of the bike. Engine revisions tally up to the usual claims of increased power throughout the rev range – which is now increased by 250 rpm.
- Our tester gives a hearty thumbs up to Yamaha’s gas cap, discreetly tucked away underneath a flip-up front section of the seat.
- The 2014 YZ enhances the intake with air box capacity increased by a claimed 265%. The air filter shape is also revised and surface area increased (the air filter located right behind the steering head, where a fuel cap would be in a traditional dirt bike).
- Out back the shock reservoir layout is altered to mate with the few fuel tank and exhaust.
- Our test rider found the new YZ mill similar to its predecessor, with a strong bottom end pulling out of corners.
- The 2014 Single sources a new piston, with a flatter crown shape for the four-valve head. The new crown profile increases combustion chamber volume by 0.9cc, and Yamaha claims combustion is improved for low to mid-torque feeling.
- Yamaha opts to not switch to the air-shocks adorning most of its competition. Instead the Tuning Fork brand sticks with its tradition Kayaba suspension – with revisions to spring rates and valving.
- “This thing definitely packs a punch on the bottom end,” notes test rider Chris See of the revitalized Single. “From a quarter throttle turn it definitely takes off and has a very strong mid-range that goes all the way into the top end."
- The gap between second and third gear is shortened, widening the ratio between third and fourth. The goal is to make the YZ pull harder in shifting to third and fourth.
- The YZ clutch is revised for 2014, with 10% stiffer springs and clutch plate material. The transmission package also includes a new shift mechanism to smooth out gear changes, with new shift forks, lever and shaft as well.
- Centralizing mass remains one of the overriding concepts in this year’s revamp.
- An all-new frame features revised rigidity to improve handling. It also moves the front wheel closer to the center by 10mm, helping put more weight on the front.
- The 2014 Yamaha YZ450F is significantly revamped from its previous iteration.
- “The front brake wasn’t super strong, which for me was just perfect – not too touchy, so you could grab a handful and not worry about the front end tucking or getting away from you," mentioned Chris. "The rear brake got a bit mushy during a long moto, but it’s no worse than most bikes and is just something I would like to see improved.”
- “Overall, I think the bike looks new age and badass,” deems Chris, which one exception. “Looking at it makes me want to go ride and slam some berms, but I just wish they would have put something over the subframe, because to me it looks like it kind of was just forgotten."
- Getting the rider weight up front was one of the complaints of the previous model, as the YZ feels broad and bulky – particularly at the radiator shrouds. This year’s more compact YZ claims slimmer ergos, with the bike 14mm narrower at the air cleaner ducts (behind the shrouds).