In order to create a motocross bike that can race and win at every level against the toughest opposition, Yamaha’s engineers have analysed every single component and made a wide range of improvements.
As a result of this intensive part-by-part analysis the entire motorcycle has been subject to an extensive redesign, and the team of engineers has succeeded in achieving significant weight savings together with power gains and enhanced handling performance for the 2020 YZ450F.
The good news is the new model has already won its first shootout from a reputable, independent media source in the US – see the movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uvjAqQ2LRI The Aus/NZ media – including Yamaha’s latest ambassador and former world champion Ben Townley – tested the new model at Park4MX in VIC last week and early indications are super positive. Pricing is $12,999 inc GST ready-to-ride, which includes freight and pre-delivery charges. And the new model is available in two colours – Team Yamaha Blue or SE Grey.
More powerful and compact new 450cc engine
Already renowned for its enormous power output, the YZ450F engine has been thoroughly redesigned for 2020 to deliver stronger and more controllable performance. The new engine is significantly more compact and lighter, and the revised configuration enhances the bike’s mass centralised design to make it one of the easiest-handling open class motocross machines.
Featuring a high compression reverse cylinder head as well as a durable forged piston and aggressive cam profiles, the compact new 450cc engine is designed to deliver the best balance of race-winning performance together with ultimate controllability.
Rearward-slanted cylinder with all new head
One of the key engine improvements for 2020 is the rearward-slanted cylinder with a new cylinder head that is lighter and more compact. Because this innovative design is positioned close to the bike’s mid-section it helps to achieve an idealised mass centralisation, and this contributes enormously towards the YZ450F’s dynamic handling characteristics.
The rearward-slanting cylinder is equipped with a new high compression bridge-box design piston, and together with the new high-efficiency head with its long and straight inlet, produces a fine balance of 450-class power combined with exceptional controllability.
Yamaha smartphone tuning
The Yamaha YZ450F was the first motocross bike with inbuilt connectivity, that enables remote wireless tuning using a smartphone, and the 2020 model continues to lead the field in terms of digital technology.
By downloading the free Power Tuner app for IOS or Android devices, YZ450F riders or mechanics can easily adjust the fuel/air mix and ignition timing to set the bike up for different tracks and changing riding conditions. This feature makes the 2020 YZ450F the most adaptable motocross machine that can be tuned instantly at the trackside, enabling its rider to master a wide range of surfaces and weather conditions.
In addition to its engine re-mapping function, the Power Tuner app can also record race log information and monitor a range of data, including system diagnosis, engine run time and more, making it an indispensable part of every rider’s toolkit.
Handlebar-mounted adjustable mapping switch
After pre-programming the 2020 YZ450F, there’s a handlebar-mounted mapping switch (blue button) that enables the rider to select one of two maps on the fly. This simple adjustment allows instant mapping changes to suit changing track or weather conditions, from a super-aggressive map for fast dry tracks to a more useable map on muddy surfaces.
Compact electric starter
The new 450 engine is equipped with a compact and lightweight electric starter that gives push-button convenience and saves valuable seconds when restarting under pressure during a race. Powered by a high capacity four-cell lithium-ion battery, it keeps the 2020 YZ450F’s weight down to a minimum.
Launch Control System
The YZ450F’s Launch Control System (LCS) optimises the engine’s power output and running characteristics during the first few seconds of the race after the gate drops. By helping to transmit power more efficiently, the LCS gives greater controllability and traction off the line, increasing the rider’s holeshot-winning performance and giving a real advantage in the crucial charge to the first corner.
Advanced fuel injection system
The compact new engine is equipped with a highly advanced Mikuni® fuel injection system that features a light and ultra-compact 44mm throttle body. Delivering the fuel/air mix via a long and straight forward facing inlet, this advanced fuel injection system benefits from a high pressure electric pump that ensures optimum atomisation for excellent running performance in a wide range of riding conditions.
High efficiency angled radiators
To ensure that the new more powerful engine runs efficiently in all conditions, Yamaha’s engineers have developed radiators that are angled to directly face the incoming air. By maintaining a consistent airflow, this angled radiator layout delivers effective engine cooling for winning performance.
Robust 5-speed transmission
The YZ450F’s robust 5-speed transmission is built to handle even the most aggressive left foot. The specially-developed gears feature a large surface area that spread the load, and together with an updated clutch delivers high levels of durability – while the shift drum and selectors are designed to give improved feel and a shorter stroke when shifting gear.
Mass-centralised wraparound exhaust
A key feature of the YZ450F is its mass centralised design, in which major components are located as close to the bike’s centre of gravity as possible. One example of this is the wraparound exhaust that snakes around the cylinder, and this design also enables the fitment of a muffler that is mounted close to the bike’s centre. For 2020 the exhaust header outlet is wider to match the engine changes and achieve the goal of increased power with control.
Combined with the rearward-slanted cylinder, the exhaust centralises mass and contributes significantly towards achieving lightweight and dynamic handling performance.
Lighter aluminium frame for sharper handling
The YZ450F is already regarded as being one of the best handling bikes in the open class, and for 2020 the compact aluminium frame has been carefully retuned to match the new more powerful engine.
To reduce weight and fine tune the bike’s instinctive handling performance, the new bilateral frame features thinner main spars together with thicker bottom tubes and new engine mounts. These significant changes – together with the mass centralised design and class-leading suspension – help to deliver even sharper handling for reduced lap times.
Revised rigidity front end
In order to improve the front end feeling, the rigidity balance has been revised on the top triple clamp, front wheel axle and bar mounts. All these items are redesigned and ligher to offer a better front end feel – and the bars are moved 15mm further forward and 5mm lower to help the rider get over the front end easier to improve grip and steering.
Slimline body and firmer seat
The YZ450F’s compact fuel tank and radiator shrouds as well as the slim seat not only enhance rider mobility and enable an effective knee grip, they also underline the bike’s feeling and impression of lightness and maneuvrability to give the rider a psychological advantage before the race even starts.
New 10% stiffer seat foam enables the rider to shift their body weight quickly and easily, the ergonomic design helps to improve controllability and reduce fatigue.
Industry-leading suspension systems
The YZ450F is equipped with fully adjustable coil spring twin chamber KYB® forks that are widely regarded as being the ultimate in off road suspension design. Featuring new settings and speed sensitive damping that gives the idealised balance between handling and bump absorption, these exceptional front forks deliver best-in-class performance.
The fully-adjustable link-type rear end settings are aslo revised to match the new frame and front end. The setup features a specially tuned KYB® shock that delivers high levels of traction together with smooth suspension action at low and high speeds, giving exceptional handling in a range of track conditions.
Featuring factory-bike style blue anodised rims (black on the SE Grey model), the wheels are designed with low unsprung weight, while maintaining their renowned durability. In addition, new high traction Dunlop MX33 tyres are specified for the new bike.
A newly designed more rigid front caliper with progressive pad material and a larger contact patch works with revised, lighter 270mm front disc for improved braking performance and modulation while a new lightweight rear caliper and new rear disc feature increased heat dissipation and reduce unsprung weight.
YZ450F technical highlights
• Ultra-compact new 450cc engine, increased power with total control
• Lighter and more compact cylinder head
• Mass centralised design
• Yamaha smartphone tuning for instant track-side power maps
• Handlebar switch for easily adjustable power map changes
• Compact electric starter with ultra-light battery
• Launch Control System (LCS) optimises engine output for quicker starts
• Advanced fuel injection system for optimum power
• Angled radiators ensure effective engine cooling
• Robust transmission and clutch for positive shifting
• Compact mass-centralised wraparound exhaust
• Forward mounted muffler
• Lighter aluminium bilateral frame delivers sharper handling
• Slimline body and firmer seat for ultimate ergonomics
• Class-leading KYB® coil spring-type speed sensitive front suspension
• Link-type rear suspension with specially-tuned KYB® shock
• Lightweight wheels with blue rims
• 270mm front disc with uprated caliper aggressive pad material
• New 240mm rear disc and more compact caliper
• 4-position adjustable rubber-mounted handlebar clamp
• Embedded graphics give extended durability
• Tapered aluminium handlebars with quick-adjust clutch perch
• New lighter footrests
Full range of accessories
A wide range of GYTR accessories has been designed in conjunction with the factory for ultimate fit and performance. Over 80 items are available to increase the winning potential of the 2020 YZ450F. Australia’s most successful MX team – CDR Yamaha uses and recommends GYTR parts and Yamalube lubricants.
New 2020 MX riding gear
Yamaha has developed a new range of blue/black/green MX riding gear that will be available from late August 2019. The new line includes jerseys, pants, gloves, bodywarmers, enduro gloves, caps and body armour for adults and kids.
*Pricing quoted is correct at time of publication on 23 August 2019.