Weight reduction and centralization of mass are the key design components on this ride. The rearward-mounted engine allows for an under-seat fuel tank, putting the fuel weight closer to center, and leaving room for the forward-mounted airbox. Even the exhaust system is placed to centralize its mass and contribute to the nimble handling.

Lack of a traditional fuel-tank bump gives the upper lines an almost board-straight appearance with a gentle swale in the middle similar to trials bikes, just not as pronounced. The result of all this weight juggling is a bike that turns around its center of mass with no need for pronounced body shifts fore or aft in the turns. There is a downside to the shape of the seat and tank, though; no place to really hang a knee so it may feel a little nervous in the corners at first. Not a dealbreaker by any means, just something to get used to.

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Yamaha tweaked the aluminum, bilateral-beam frame a bit for the new 450F. The rider triangle got five mm deeper at the footpegs; a move that helps draw the rider’s weight down and keep the overall center of gravity low. Triple-clamp offset increased by 3 mm reduces trail and improves the feel in the corners, and the top clamp was bulked up a bit for strength.

KYB comes well represented on this ride with components on both ends of the bike. Inverted, spring-loaded forks tame the front end with compression- and rebound-damping adjustments. Riders report the forks are surprisingly responsive to even the smallest bumps, and you won’t really miss air-charged forks at all. A coil-over monoshock supports the rear, and comes fully adjustable as well. This is one bike that likes it rough and it handles better and better as the day wears on and ruts deepen.

Brakes got a boost as well with a 270 mm front disc (up 20 mm from last year), 245 mm rear disc and special pads. The wave-cut, front and rear discs help dissipate heat and act as a sort of self-cleaning mechanism — features that prevent heat fade and brake pad contamination.

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The 449 cc, DOHC, short-stroke engine aspirates through a 44 mm, fuel-injected Kehin throttle body and four titanium valves. Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) and a transistor-controlled ignition manage the engine, and automatically adjust for changes in air density or temperature, and the engine comes with the GYTR Power Tuner function that allows you to dial in your engine map on demand. Also on demand is the Launch Control System (LCS) that allows you to limit power output at the touch of a button. It doesn’t nerf the engine too much, just enough to ensure a good bite when you come out of the hole. The 2016 engines get a new cam ground specifically to expand the torque band down into the lower rpm ranges. A five-speed, constant-mesh transmixer sends that torque to the rear wheel via the chain final drive.


Engine Type: 449 cc liquid-cooled DOHC four-stroke; four titanium valves
Bore x Stroke: 97.0 mm × 60.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), Keihin® 44 mm
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: Constant-mesh five-speed, multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Suspension / Front: KYB® Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: KYB® monoshock; fully adjustable, 12.4-inch travel
Brakes / Front: Hydraulic single disc brake, 270 mm
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245 mm
Tires / Front: 80/100-21 Dunlop® MX52F
Tires / Rear: 120/80-19 Dunlop® MX52
L x W x H: 85.8 inches x 32.5 inches x 50.4 inches
Seat Height: 38.0 inches
Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
Ground Clearance: 13.0 inches
Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gallons
Wet Weight: 247 pounds
Warranty: 30-Day Limited Factory Warranty
Colors: Team Yamaha Blue/White or 60th Anniversary Yellow
Price: $8,590 Team Yamaha Blue/White, $8,690 60th Anniversary Yellow

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