2020 Yamaha YZ450F First Look:Although not an entirely new motocross motorcycle, the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F gets significantly upgraded for the coming year. The massaging of the YZ450F applies to the chassis and motor, so expect the newest flagship motocrosser to feel noticeably different from its predecessor. Let’s take a look at what Yamaha has done to the YZ450F for 2020.
Motor and Chassis Updates
- The cylinder head on the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F is all-new, and it is still canted rearward. To flow the fuel/air mixture more efficiently—the intake is still in the front—the new YZ450F cylinder head features a steeper valve angle and an updated combustion chamber shape. The cylinder head is also a more compact design.
- Inside the new cylinder head are cams with more aggressive profiles.
- A new piston and longer connecting rod complement the new cylinder head. The new piston ups the compression by 0.2 points to 13.0:1, and it has low-friction rings. Although the bore and stroke are unchanged, the connecting rod is longer.
- In the bottom end, the transmission gets smoother shifting and an improved crank breather system. The new crank breather system is designed to reduce pumping losses.
- Overall, Yamaha claims “increased power across the entire rpm range for stronger and more linear pulling power.”
- There are new Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires on the YZ450F. These tires replace last year’s Dunlop MX3S rubber. Highly regarded and optimized for soft-to-intermediate terrain, the MX33 tires are the latest from Dunlop. The sizes of the tires are unchanged.
- The 2020 Yamaha YZ450F’s aluminum frame gets new flex characteristics. According to Yamaha, the change results in “improved cornering performance, traction, and bump reaction.”
- The KYB suspension gets revised compression and rebound damping rates. Yamaha has also fine-tuned the engine mounts, top triple clamp, and the front axle to work with the new suspension settings.
- Steering on the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F should be quicker, as the wheelbase and rake have all been reduced. The wheelbase has been cut 0.2 inches to 58.3 inches, and the rake tucked in 0.33 degree to an even 27.0 degrees.
- The seat on the YZ450F sits over a half-inch lower. The seat is now right at 38.0 inches, down by 0.6 inches.
- Yamaha has worked on the braking for the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F. There’s a new front brake caliper, plus a new front disc that retains the 270mm disc size. In the rear, the disc diameter has been reduced from by five millimeters to 240mm. The brake pads are also updated this year.
- The weight of the Yamaha YZ450F is static, with it still hitting the scales at 245 pounds.
- The 2020 Yamaha YZ450F runs $100 more than last year. The MSRP this year is $9399, and the motorcycle should be on the showroom floors this month.
Type: 4-stroke single
Bore x stroke: 97.0 × 60.9mm
Compression ratio: 13.0:1
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 titanium valves
Fueling: 44mm Mikuni throttle bodies
Final drive: Chain
Frame: Aluminum twin-beam
Front suspension: Fully adjustable inverted KYB Speed-Sensitive System fork; 12.2 inches of travel
Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable KYB piggyback-reservoir shock; 12.5 inches of travel
Tires: Dunlop Geomax MX33
Front tire: 80/100 x 21
Rear tire: 120/80 x 19
Front brake: 270mm disc
Rear brake: 240mm disc
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
Rake: 27.0 degrees
Trail: 4.7 inches
Seat height: 38.0 inches
Ground clearance: 13.0 inches
Fuel capacity: 1.6 gallons
Wet weight 245 pounds
Colors: Team Yamaha Blue; Gray
2020 Yamaha YZ450F Price: $9399 MSRP