Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 29 July 23

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 68 of 119

FIRST RIDE P70 2014 YAMAHA YZ450F ALL THE RIGHT MOVES Yamaha rewrites the books again with the all-new YZ450F BY THE CN STAFF PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIT PALMER F rom its extreme mass centralization, straight-shot air intake system to its out-ofharm's reach airbox, there's a lot about the YZ450F that just makes sense. Put it all together and you'd think you'd have the ultimate motocrosser, at least that's what Yamaha was hoping for when it completely redesigned the YZ450F in 2010. With such radical changes, expectations, however, were very high for such a revolutionary machine and for many of us those expectations were not quite achieved. The new YZ was, in fact, an excellent motorcycle but ended up having some quirks. As a result, not everyone who rode it loved it, thus the YZ didn't become the game-changer many had thought it would. On paper, the radically different YZ looked awesome, but on the track, it was just another very good moto- crosser, one that pretty much fell into that either you love it or hate it category. For 2014, the YZ450F got its first major overhaul since 2010. With the intentions of getting rid of those quirks, Yamaha went through the YZ450F with a finetooth comb and pretty much tweaked and re-tweaked every part on the machine. Even though it looks fairly similar to last year's YZ, it truly is an all-new motorcycle. Something like less than five components are interchangeable with the previous model. However, Yamaha stayed true to its primary concept. The 2014 YZ450F retains its reversed motor (though the motor really isn't reversed, just the head), rearward slanted cylinder, forward-mounted airbox and under-the-seat fuel tank configuration, all for the sake of lowering the bike's center of gravity and tightening up mass centralization for improved handling. But, look- ing back, Yamaha engineers felt they didn't go far enough with the previous model. Yamaha's primary focus with the 2014 YZ450F was to improve mass centralization even further and to achieve this they did many things, like lowering the already low fuel tank (while giving it more capacity - 1.6 to 2.0 gallons) even further and rerouting the exhaust system. It still exits out the rear of the cylinder but instead of immediately coiling up in front of the shock (aka "tornado"), it now

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