Full Test of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F

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Full Test of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F
Full Test of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F (Credits: Dirt Bike Magazine)

Yamaha made a significant impact last year by unveiling the all-new YZ450F, a motorcycle that surpassed its predecessors in terms of weight, speed, and technological advancements.

Our team was invited to Florida, where we had the privilege of exploring the impressive Star Racing Yamaha facilities and riding at “The Goat Farm,” a location synonymous with the team’s current training regimen and where Ricky Carmichael once honed his skills.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, Yamaha’s new machine became the focal point of our testing in the subsequent year, with only minor changes made to the 2024 model.

The 2024 Yamaha YZ450F is notably fast, so much so that for the majority of riders, the emphasis is on detuning rather than seeking more speed. Interestingly, it didn’t claim the title of the overall dyno champion in the 450 class last year, despite its powerful performance right off idle.

Full Test of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F
Full Test of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F (Credits: Dirt Bike Magazine)

However, it stands out with the most rapid power gain between 7,500 rpm and 10,000 rpm, a crucial range when navigating through gears towards the first turn. Yamaha has effectively managed the power delivery, and the convenience of making mapping changes through the Yamaha Power Tuner smartphone app is an enticing feature.

Upon initial testing, we opted to install our preferred maps from the previous year. Test rider Pete Murray collaborated with Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development to create a map that enhanced power delivery for the average rider.

Instead of the usual approach of drilling holes in the airbox to increase airflow, we took a different route by restricting the air intake.

By taping off one side of the airbox lid, we achieved reduced intake noise during acceleration, providing a more manageable feel within the power curve. This modification, accomplished with a few strips of duct tape, can be easily reversed.

Yamaha offers an optional complete hydraulic clutch system, replacing the standard cable version. While it can be a game-changer for some bikes, the YZ450F didn’t show a significant preference for either system among our test riders. Both the hydraulic and cable versions performed well.

The major changes introduced last year centered around the Yamaha chassis. A standout feature loved by all our test riders is the roomy layout of the 2024 Yamaha YZ450F.

In contrast to the cramped feel of the 2022 model, the new chassis eliminates the need for taller riders to opt for the optional tall seat and lower aftermarket footpeg assembly. Smaller riders may have reservations about the increased seat height, but for those around 6 feet tall, the new Yamaha offers a comfortable fit.

The YZ450F boasts quicker steering and lighter overall handling, changes appreciated by some testers.

Adjustments such as setting the race sag around 102mm, increasing rebound damping at the rear, and running the fork height at 7mm in the front cater to those favoring quicker cornering characteristics. Riders seeking increased stability opt for a race sag of 105–108mm, slightly slower rebound damping, and a flush fork height.

Just like the previous year, there’s no denying that the 2024 YZ450F surpasses its predecessor. It is lighter, faster, slimmer, and offers enhanced comfort to a broader range of riders.

However, fine-tuning is essential to harness the newfound power, and achieving the optimal handling balance may present challenges, albeit in the opposite direction.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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