Yamaha have announced an all-new YZ450F for 2018 with a heavily revised engine, larger radiators, electric starter with a lightweight lithium-ion battery, and uniquely, the ability to tune the motorcycle with a smartphone app.
Thanks to the on-board Wi-Fi enabled control unit, riders can make simple and easy fuel and ignition changes to the motorcycle, all via an iPhone or Android system. This means it’ll be easy to adjust the map of the motorcycle to suit the track, riding conditions, weather and riding style, giving riders a much simpler way to make their bike competitive.
It’s the first time this technology has been used on a production motorcycle and makes adjusting the tune of the bike much simpler. The app will also allow riders to log different setting for different tracks, making it simple to create base-settings for different tracks that can then be easily fine-tuned. It also makes it easy to make notes on maintenance carried out, system diagnostics and engine running time, creating an overview of what the bike has been doing and how it is performing.
Accompanying this on the 2018 model is a very heavily revised engine, which has a more upright position to centralise mass in the all-new aluminium bilateral beam frame make the YZ450F better balanced and improve cornering feel and increasing overall rigidity.
Changes to the engine include a brand-new cylinder head, which is now lighter. There are also new cam profiles, a new crankshaft and a new stronger high-compression “box bridge” piston design with a Diamond-like-Carbon coated pin that breathes through a new Mikuni throttle body. This all adds up to what Yamaha describe will give the rider “an ideal balance of 450cc class power with exceptional control and response.”
Keep it cool
Helping to keep things from getting too hot are the new radiators, which have been made larger and angled in a position to take advantage of the incoming air stream, making for better cooling efficiency.
Revised gears that feature a wider surface area matched with uprated clutch plates and a stiffer outer pressure plate all combine to make the transmission and clutch more durable and offer the rider a more direct connection to the bike.
Making things easier
The lightweight lithium-ion battery and compact starter motor help to keep weight to a minimum but also allows for a push-button starter to be used on the bike too, making engine restarts easier and quicker when it matters against the clock.
Helping to get an advantage out of the gate is Yamaha’s Launch Control System, which has been developed to give quicker and smoother race starts when accelerating hard.
The KYB rear shock has also been tweaked to give new damping characteristics and now features a lighter spring and an uprated reservoir capacity by 30cc, which will help damping performance in longer races.
Yamaha join KTM and Husqvarna in announcing their 2018 models in the past few weeks, with the two European manufacturers announcing fuel-injected two-stoke machinery for the first time.
Yamaha say that the new YZ450F will be available in dealerships from August but are yet to inform MCN of the price of the machine. Contact your nearest dealer for more.
Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN's Bikes For Sale App.