2018 Yamaha YZ450F

2018 Yamaha YZ450F
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2018 Yamaha YZ450F

Yamaha is pleased to announce details of an all new 2018 YZ450F. This ground-breaking new model features the world’s first smartphone engine tuning app on a production motocross bike, as well as electric start and all new engine, frame, bodywork and more.

The new motorcycle is born out of the white heat of competition using input from champion motocross riders around the globe. Riders like US AMA Champion Cooper Webb, MX World Champion Romain Febvre. And of course the current Australian MX1 Champion, Yamaha CDR rider Dean Ferris.

Yamaha’s NZ Team Manager and former World MX GP competitor Josh Coppins was also involved in development of this new model that heralds a new era of advanced racing technology with a level of power, handling and rider interaction never seen before.

The bar has once again been raised to deliver a class leading 450cc race bike. Its all-new engine works together with a new frame to deliver class leading power with even more controllability.

World’s first power tuner phone app

The 2018 YZ450F is the world’s first production motocross bike with a wireless smartphone based engine tuner. The all new Yamaha new Power Tuner iOS® and Android® app and communication control unit connects the rider with the bike like never before. The new Yamaha Power Tuner app can make fuel and ignition mapping changes – uploaded wirelessly to the bike via the onboard Wi-Fi system – for the ultimate in track-side tuning.

A Log function allows you to make notes about your riding location, conditions, bike settings and more, giving you a baseline for future rides.The app can also monitor a range of data such as race settings, maintenance and system diagnostics, engine run time and more.

The app can be downloaded free from App Store and Google Play and allows even greater engine mapping in even greater detail than before, but also allows users to share settings among the team or with friends along with other features – making it even easier to share setup information across a wide range of bLU cRU riders.

All new electric start

Running a compact high output starter motor and ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery, the 2018 YZ450F brings the convenience of push-button starting to the racetrack for effortless restarts under pressure and relaxed riding when the clock isn’t ticking. The system is designed to add minimal weight while saving valuable seconds in a trackside re-start situation.

Refined new high traction engine

Yamaha has refined its distinct rearward-slanted cylinder design for the 2018 YZ450F engine – complete with a rear exhaust and forward-mounted downdraft intake system. The all-new cylinder head is lighter and the cylinder slant is more upright to work with the bike’s updated frame for optimised front weight distribution.

Inside, the engine features, new cam profiles, a new crankshaft, a stronger high-compression box bridge piston design with DLC (Diamond-like-Carbon) coated pin, and now breathes through a new 44mm Mikuni® throttle body. These updates increase the ability to get the power to the ground and give the rider an ideal balance of control and response.

The transmission and clutch have been overhauled for a more direct connection as well as enhanced durability. Revised gears with a wider surface area, updated clutch plates and a stiffer outer pressure plate combine to boost durability.

The YZ450F radiators and exhaust have also been modified for improved performance and weight distribution. The updated radiators are larger and angled more directly in the incoming air stream for improved cooling under the most demanding race conditions.

The innovative wraparound exhaust pipe design improves mass centralisation as well as power development, and now the rear end of the exhaust pipe moves forward to position the muffler closer to the centre of mass. 

Returning for the 2018 model, Yamaha’s Launch Control System (LCS) is integrated into the YZ450F for optimised engine output that results in a quicker, smoother race start, boosting controllability out of the gate and ensuring the rider has the best chance to get the holeshot and lead the competition into the first turn.

New frame and optimised ergonomics

The all-new compact bilateral beam frame was designed for the best possible balance of bump absorption, stiffness and cornering. Upper frame rigidity is increased while rear frame spars and all new engine mounts centralise mass to provide an ideal balance between cornering feel and straight-line rigidity.

Surrounding this fully rebuilt chassis, the 2018 YZ450F features a new lighter, compact body from tip to tail. The radiator shrouds incorporate a narrower air duct with a concave shape that not only improves styling, but offers better knee grip and overall riding support. A new seat is 9mm narrower and is almost 20mm flatter towards the tail end, giving the rider better manoeuvrability on the bike.

All plastics are new and a thinner front mudguard is specified in order to direct more cooling air flow onto the larger capacity radiators.

Industry leading suspension

The industry-leading, fully adjustable KYB® spring-type fork suspension with speed sensitive damping provides exceptional balance between handling and bump absorption for race-winning performance. In addition to new settings, cylinder diameter is up 1mm to increase rigidity and the mid-speed valve is has changed from coil to leaf spring for improved oil flow and damping.

The new model also runs a new top triple clamp shape which changes the offset from 25mm to 22mm - which in turn increases the trail by 3mm to 121mm for increased front end stability. At the other end the swingarm is newly designed to be 350g lighter and 5mm shorter for nimble handling.

At the rear, the KYB® shock boasts new damping characteristics to match the new chassis. The reservoir has been increased 30cc to increase cooling the shock during long motos. The shock runs a new lightweight spring that uses a thinner diameter wire but has a stiffer rating – up 2nM to 58nM – for those big hits.

The changes to the geometry and suspension result in a longer wheelbase (5mm) for increased driveability and handling, more ground clearance (also up 5mm) and longer rear wheel travel (up 2mm to 317mm). And because hookup is so important, the new model runs high grip Dunlop Geomax MX3S tyres.

Serious weight saving 

The 2018 YZ450F has some notable additional features such as a starter motor, battery and bigger radiators with corresponding increase in fluid capacity. Yet it tips the scales at 1kg less than the 2017 model at 111kg. How is this achieved? Factory engineers have gone back to the drawing board to save weight on components where Yamaha’s legendary reliability is not compromised. The following highlights some of the main areas where weight has been saved:

Component  Weight saving 
Fuel tank  220g 
Rear shock  350g 
Lightweight DID rims  70g each 
Stronger, lighter handlebars  90g 
Aluminium engine mounts (were steel)  160g 
Lightweight drive chain  70g 
Glassfibre/nylon battery box  n/a 
New plastics  100g 
Lightweight Mikuni throttle body  12% lighter 
Lightweight swingarm (5mm shorter)  350g 
Lithium ion battery  1386g lighter than YZ450FX 
Note that no kickstarter is fitted to the new model.

Service with a smile 

Servicing is a simple task on the YZ450F and for 2018 our engineers have made it even easier. The quick access airbox is now fitted with one rather than three quick release clips. And when you get inside, the filter cage is now clipped in rather than bolted – so no need for tools at all for a filter change.

Release and availability

The 2018 YZ450F will be released in Oceania at Coolum MX track in QLD on 20 July 2017. Australian and New Zealand media will be invited to ride the new bike and meet YZ450F Project Leader Mr Sakurai as well as MX1 Champion Dean Ferris. And then in a first for the bLU cRU, register below for your chance to test ride the 2018 YZ450F at the national launch event. After that, a number of units will head interstate in a Victory Zone Roadshow to offer other customers a taste of the future of MX.

The all new 2018 YZ450F comes in two colours – Race Blu and a limited number of Special Edition Competition White models will be available for sale in AUS $12,399 RRP inc GST from August 2017. Register your interest in the new model at your local Yamaha dealer.