New 2016 Yamaha YZ450F
Launched as all-new models for the 2014 season, Yamaha’s game-changing YZ250F and YZ450F have made a deep and lasting impact on the motocross scene at local, national and international events. Equipped with high-tech reverse cylinder heads featuring a front facing intake, these cutting-edge race machines have taken motocross bike design to the next level.
Yamaha’s factory riders have demonstrated the winning performance of the new generation bikes in both MXGP and MX2, and in the USA the YZ250F dominated the AMA 250 Pro Motocross class in its debut season. These winning performances by our Grand Prix and AMA riders have reaffirmed Yamaha’s position as a leading force in motocross, and lessons learnt at the highest level have been fed through to the factory and used to make important changes for the 2016 models. Availability of the 2016 Yamaha YZ250F and YZ450F should be around August.
2016 YZ450F: Forward thinking
During the two years following its radical redesign for the 2014 season – in which virtually every major engine and chassis feature was modified – the legendary Yamaha YZ450F has cemented its position as the ultimate YZ motocross machine.
With its rearward-slanted cylinder and innovative reverse 4-valve cylinder head featuring a highly efficient front-facing inlet, this hugely capable motorcycle has reaffirmed its status as one of the most competitive motocross bikes at every level. Its ability to win ‘straight from the crate’ – combined with Yamaha’s high levels of reliability and durability – has made the YZ450F the clear choice amongst many local, national and international racers.
In the YZ450F’s debut race season, Jeremy Van Horebeek took 2nd place overall in the 2014 MXGP standings to underline the bike’s outstanding performance. During the first part of the 2015 MX season Valentin Guillod has shown the winning ability of his factory YZ250F in the MX2 World Championship, while MXGP rookie Romain Febvre has already signaled his ability to make it to the top.
For 2016 Yamaha’s engineers have focused on honing and refining the YZ450F in order to maintain its winning advantage – whilst at the same time delivering even higher levels of performance, controllability, feel and usability. Yamaha’s MX development team persisted in thinking forward to introduce a wide range of engine and chassis changes to bring the YZ450F to the next level, with 4 key objectives:
- Achieving a smoother and easier engine character for enhanced controllability and usability without sacrificing power output
- More effective bump absorption, as well as improved controllability, traction and front grip feeling
- Improved braking power and controllability
- Faster race starts using an electronic Launch Control System
All-new launch control system (LCS)
Races can be won or lost in the charge from the start to the first corner, and in order to give Yamaha riders a key advantage in this high-pressure situation, the 2016 YZ450F is equipped with a sophisticated new Launch Control System (LCS) for smoother and quicker acceleration off the start line.
This performance-enhancing electronic system makes precise engine rpm adjustments in order to optimize engine output, and by doing so the LCS limits rear wheel spin and also the tendency to wheelie when powering hard out of the start gate in 1st and 2nd gear. Unlike some other designs that merely retard the ignition and reduce the ignition spark rate, the new Yamaha LCS is an intelligent system that constantly monitors the ECU and modifies the power delivery to suit different track conditions.
Activated by pressing the left handlebar-mounted button at idle speed, the LCS increases the YZ450F’s holeshot-winning performance by enabling the rider to concentrate more fully on clutch control and machine positioning.
New camshafts and optimized valve timing
The 2016 YZ450F engine is characterized by its enhanced usability and increased feel, and this has been achieved by making small but important changes to the camshaft designs and valve timing that contribute towards the 2016 model’s improved combustion efficiency.
The 4-valve head uses revised intake and exhaust cam profiles that give a slightly reduced overlap – while the use of a higher lift exhaust cam and new exhaust valve spring reduces exhaust resistance for increased rideability in the low to mid-speed range.
Yamaha Power Tuner
Available as an option, the Yamaha Power Tuner enables riders to adjust engine running settings at the trackside to suit different riding conditions. This easy to use device plugs straight into the bike without needing a laptop, and for 2016 the software has been modified with new factory settings and recommended settings that are designed to complement the engine changes.
Clutch and transmission refinements
For smoother gear shifting and an even more precise clutch feeling, the 2016 model benefits from the use of a refined transmission design. Changes include a new smoother clutch boss, as well as a redesigned shift stopper lever with a 20% higher spring load. These changes ensure faster and more efficient shifting – even when the transmission is being treated aggressively in high-adrenaline situations such as the start.
Larger diameter 270mm front brake
There’s no doubt that controllable and powerful braking performance is one of the most important attributes of a winning design, and the ability to brake later while retaining effective machine control gives you the winning advantage.
For this reason the 2016 YZ450F is equipped with a new large diameter 270mm front disc that not only delivers higher levels of braking force – it also gives plenty of feel, enabling the experienced rider to use the system more effectively. The 2-piston caliper is also equipped with a new type of brake pad that works with the larger disc to increase overall braking force together with higher levels of controllability.
New suspension settings and revised fork offset
To achieve better suspension characteristics as well as improved traction and front wheel grip feel, some important changes are made to the suspension systems.
The class-leading AOS (Air-Oil-Separate) front forks run with revised compression and rebound settings that are designed to give even higher levels of controllability over whoop sections and bumps. These changes are complemented by the use of new triple clamps that give 25mm fork offset – up by 3mm on the previous model’s – that give a good balance of handling performance with high agility and good stability.
The rear suspension is also changed for 2016, and now runs with modified low-speed and high-speed compression damping settings that are designed to match the new front end and give superior bump absorbing performance. There’s also a new 56 Nm rear spring – compared to the previous bike’s 58 Nm design – and this works efficiently and effectively with the revised front suspension to deliver an improved handling package as well as a feeling of improved controllability.
Revised chassis design
With the objective of achieving continuous improvement to the overall package, the 2016 chassis benefits from some small but important changes that are designed to give increased handling performance as well as improved machine control.
For increased lateral rigidity, the swingarm’s pivot assembly is 12mm wider, and the aluminium frame’s lower rear section is modified to accommodate this stronger design. Redesigned steel engine mounts also contributing towards the increased rigidity of the 2016 chassis – and to lower the rider’s centre of gravity and give greater freedom in terms of body position, the footrests are mounted 5mm lower.
Other minor changes
In addition to the important engine and chassis improvements, the 2016 YZ450F is fitted with a lighter muffler bracket, and a modified coolant impeller pump features a new 6-hole design to improve pressure distribution.
YZ450F – Changes for 2016
- Electronic launch control system (LCS)
- New camshafts and optimized valve timing
- Refined clutch and shift mechanism
- Larger diameter 270mm front brake
- New suspension settings and revised fork offset
- Refined chassis design
- Optional Power Tuner with revised settings
YZ450F Technical Highlights
- 450cc liquid-cooled DOHC, 4-valve engine
- Forward-positioned intake, fuel injection, rearward-inclined cylinder and rear- positioned exhaust
- Wet sump lubrication
- Muffler designed for mass centralization
- Aluminum bilateral-beam frame
- Air-Oil-Separate (AOS) type upside-down front forks
- Linked-type Monocross suspension
Limited Edition 60th Anniversary version
In 1955 Yamaha manufactured their very first motorcycle, the 125cc 2-stroke YA-1. To mark Yamaha Motor Corporation’s 60th anniversary – and to pay tribute to the numerous racing legends who have celebrated successes with Yamaha – the 2016 YZ450F will be available in a special Yellow/Black design featuring the iconic ‘speedblock’ design.
As well as its evocative colour scheme, this Limited Edition model will be equipped with a slip on Akrapovic muffler, GYTR clutch cover and hand protectors, and will also be supplied with the Yamaha Power Tuner for quick and easy trackside ECU reprogramming.
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EU Model Depicted – Australian Model may differ slightly