2014 Yamaha YZ450F- First Look Review- Photo Gallery | Cycle World

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - First Look

All-New, still backward.

Yamaha YZ450F off-road action

Let's face it, Yamaha’s YZ450F has gotten a bad rap. Blame James Stewart’s less-than-stellar results on the bike in 2012 prior to his leap to Suzuki, combined with slanderous comments on Internet forums. But guess what? The “backward” design is back, and Yamaha’s engineers, led by Mr. Hiroshi Ito (WR450F project leader, too) still believe in the rearward-leaning cylinder with intake at the front and exhaust at the rear.

Highlights of the all-new engine include reshaped intake and exhaust ports with larger-diameter valves. The piston now has two rings instead of three. Wet-sump lubrication is now used, and the smaller engine is placed farther forward in the frame.

A good indication that the ’14 YZ is significantly more powerful is the 20-percent-stronger clutch. The five-speed transmission features new ratios; the gap between second and third is closer while the jump from third to fourth is wider. A new gear-position sensor tells the ECU to select individually optimized maps for first through third gears.

Chassis updates include an all-new frame, subframe, shock, fork settings, fuel tank with hidden filler, revised and easier air-filter access and fresh bodywork. Next step? Get it on the track with the current class leaders (Suzuki, KTM and Honda) and see if these changes add up to success.

Front 3/4 right-side view of Yamaha YZ450F

Front 3/4 right-side view

Close-up of Yamaha YZ450F

Engine close-up

Slim body profile of 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

Slim body profile

View full-size images in photo gallery:

Off-road action shot #1 - 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

Off-road action shot #2 - 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

Off-road action shot #3 - 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

Off-road action shot #4 - 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

Off-road action shot #5 - 2014 Yamaha YZ450F

2014 Yamaha YZ450F (Blue) - studio 3/4 front right-side view

2014 Yamaha YZ450F (Blue) - studio right-side view

2014 Yamaha YZ450F (Blue) - studio left-side view

2014 Yamaha YZ450F (Blue) - studio 3/4 front left-side view

2014 Yamaha YZ450F (White) - studio right-side view

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - front suspension/larger axle

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - handle crown damper

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - easy-access air cleaner

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - frame

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - engine

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - rear suspension

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - in-mold graphic printing

2014 Yamaha YZ450F - slim body profile