Yamaha have taken the covers off the updated YZ450F for 2023, which boasts a new powerplant, updated chassis and better than ever power ratio, making this one to keep an eye out for.
Arrival in Australia is slated for December this year, 2022, with pricing at $14,499 ride-away, while in the US that pricing is $9,899 plus at least $725 in destination and freight.
So what’s new? A whole lot as it turns out, so here’s a quick run down.
First up, the new 450 cc liquid-cooled DOHC single adds an extra 500 rpm to the rev limit for more top end, thanks to new exhaust and intake port shapes, larger diameter titanium intake valves, a new piston, cylinder, crackshaft and balancer, while also switching over to dry sump lubrication. Yamaha promise the result is more power everywhere, alongside a more compact powerplant. Mikuni provides the 44 mm throttlebody for the EFI.
A new clutch is also run, replacing the coil springs found on the outgoing model with a new disc spring, integrating the primary gear and basket into one steel unit. A new clutch cover is also run, which should be more scratch resistant and Yamaha reckon the overall result is a lightweight, more durable clutch, with smoother engagement and better feel.
A new tri-shaft five-speed transmission is also run, with raised central shaft for a more compact overall transmission, while the air intake is new, drawing from the side covers and seat, with a more compact shroud, leading to a lower, narrow airbox and slimmer radiator shrouds.
The Yamaha Power Tuner app offers a more user friendly interface for 2023 too, with a Simple Tuning slide bar for mapping, traction and launch control tuning, while guides are also provided for tuning.
The traction control system is new, with updated launch control, the former communicating slip directly to the ECU, with High, Low or Off settings available. The launch control system is meanwhile more optimised, with 500 rpm increments of adjustment between 6000 and 11,000 rpm.
The chassis has also seen updates, with a new aluminium bilateral beam frame, which Yamaha says will boost traction, feel and confidence.
Lightweight wheels see a three-cross-spoke pattern at the rear, which is meant to improve impact absorption, and strength hasn’t been compromised while shedding weight.
Suspension has been updated overall to match the rest of the chassis changing, with the KYB forks fully adjustable and offering 310 mm of travel, with a compression clicker found on the fork cap, and adjustable by hand, in a quality of life improvement.
The KYB rear shock, also fully adjustable and running 315 mm of travel, has been revalved to suit.
Brakes consist of a 270 mm front rotor with Nissin caliper, while the 240 mm rear rotor is also mated to a Nissin single-pot caliper, and the brake hose rigidity has apparently been lowered for better feel at the lever.
On the other end of the ergonomics, the handlebars run adjustable mounts, with four positions and rubber mounting for better comfort and less vibrations.
Those are aluminium tapered bars, with a compact PVC handlebar pad, and other new features include the throttle cable, and aluminium allow brackets for the wide footpegs. A quick-adjust clutch perch is also fitted, and the rims are blue, with a gold chain, that runs a YZ450F specific chain guide.
Riding and movement on the bike should also be easier thanks to a slimmer,flatter and more compact set of bodywork, with seamless and rounded lines, and the already mentioned narrow tank and shrouds.
There’s more legroom too between seat and footpegs, with the handlebar position meant to offer a more natural perch on the bike as well.
That seat height is a lofty 965 mm, although that’s not unusual, and the bike weighs in just shy of 109 kg wet. Fuel capacity is 6.2 litres and there’s a generous 351 mm of ground clearance.
The wheel combo is a 21 inch front and 19 inch rear, running 80 by 100 and 120 by 80 tyres respectively, and those are Dunlop Geomax MX33s.