Yamaha YFZ 450 Review

 
The Yamaha YFZ 450 is a single cylinder 4-stroke quad bike. It is chain-driven and has a 5-speed manual gearbox.   It was built to replace the Yamaha TRX250 and, when it first appeared, mid 2003, caused quite a stir.  By 2004 it had carved a niche for itself in the motocross world, YFZs taking up 17 out of 20 places at the start of the Glen Helen, the famous racing venue in California.
 
Its intention was to corner the off-road / motocross area of the market but the power band is sufficiently wide for it to be used as a sport / leisure machine.  Out of crate competition is likewise catered for by its high power band.
 
The front A-Arm and suspension design cope well with the stresses put on it by aggressive riding.  It handles the jumps and bumps of rough terrain admirably, while still keeping the rider relatively comfortable.  The width, (46.1 inches), makes for a stable ride and solid cornering, while the seat height, (31.9 inches), affords a good view of what's going  on around you. 
 
All credit to Yamaha for innovation.  Until the YFZ quads came onto the scene, ATV Racing chassis were built along the lines laid down by Honda.  Yamaha did it their own way, and what a success story it turned out to be.  The solid frame is tough and built to last.  The YFZ450 has become so popular that many racers have put their own engine on to the frame, often with winning results.  Yamaha have gone for a round tube design of mild steel with a sub-frame of aluminium.  The swing arm and hubs are also cast from aluminium, making them long-lasting and light.  The overall weight, (350lb), is good compared to quad bikes in the same class. 
 
As for the feel of the quad, the power is where you need it in the mid-range and easy to control.  The Keihin FCR carburettor helps keep the throttle response smooth. The engine is kept cooled by a dry sump system - situated ahead of the engine - that holds sufficient oil to keep it at just the right temperature.  The YFZ 450 is fitted with twin-piston hydraulic discs front and rear, which boast a stopping efficiency second to none. 
 
A solid and durable workhorse, the Yamaha YFZ 450 has a lot to recommend it.  Well-designed, stable and responsive; it's a bike that does well for itself in the dirt or simply out for the fun of the ride. 

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