Tuesday, October 3, 2006

2007 Yamaha YFZ450 High-Performance Test

The Dirt Wheels staff recently spent some quality time with the updated 2007 YFZ450. Our summary...

After making over 80 changes in 2006, Yamaha "only" made a handful of improvements in 2007! In fact, the 2007 YFZ450 has more changes than any other quad in its class, and while they did not widen the YFZ any, other improvements will be felt on the track and trail.

The most noticeable improvement was the addition of large diameter aluminum Pro Taper handlebars. The test riders experienced a better feel in all conditions, and thought the bend and sweep were so good that the rather stiff thumb throttle on the YFZ was hardly noticeable anymore. Also, with the top of the steering stem being changed to 1-1/8 inch clamps to accomodate the new handlebars, the machine will now accept any brand of "fat" handlebars including Renthal, Tag, Fasst Flexx in stock form.

The front and rear brake systems were improved. A stronger feel in the front could be applied with one finger, and no fading was felt in the year thanks to a vented rotor that will also help with overheating for people who might ride the pedal.

An oil port was added to the four-stroke engine, providing extra cooling that will help especially with any motor mods such as adding a high-compression piston. The port allows cool oil to coat the bottom of the piston, something that motor builders have been added to older models already.

For the full review, see the November 2006 issue of Dirt Wheels magazine.