To win more races, Yamaha has made the YFZ450 faster. Nearly three inches wider than the non-R, the 2009 Yamaha YFZ450R pushes its wheels out to an overall width of nearly the 50 inch maximum allowed by motocross regulations. Combine that track with the lower engine position brought about by a tension steel bottom frame and you’ll begin to get an idea of how fast this quad should be. But that’s only part of the story. With two Grand National Cross Country championships under its belt, Yamaha has realized that its biggest enemy isn’t other quads, but the strain brought on by riding its machines. The YFZ450R should be capable of going faster for longer, because it takes significant steps to reduce rider fatigue too.
Not only is the seat narrower at the front for easier position changes,
but it’s wider at the back for more comfort. The chassis has been
altered in the name of comfort too, making it more spacious, which
creates more room for hanging off, which will be more comfortable
because what plastic you do still end up touching has been made softer.
In case that’s not enough, a revised engine balancer reduces vibrations
All this should make the revised 499cc engine — it uses the cylinder
head and cylinder from last year’s championship winning race quad — and
the fancy KYB piggyback shocks —wheel travel is now 10.4” — more
Just like the Euro-spec 2009 Yamaha R1, the white version uses a
red-painted frame. Even though it looks more like purple here (we
suspect too much retouching to the press photos), this could become a
new element of Yamaha’s branding. That bike is a good analogy for this
quad, it represent the pinnacle of the company’s know how and ability
to build the fastest possible vehicles.