2020 Yamaha YZ450F First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

After overhauling the YZ250F last year, Yamaha turned its sights to the YZ450F for 2020, giving the 450-class motocross racer a redesigned engine and a revised frame. The YZ450F did receive a small update a year ago, but the last major revisions came back in 2016, so it was due for some attention.

2019 Yamaha YZ450F Review

The 449cc liquid-cooled four-stroke rear-slanted Single receives a new, more compact cylinder head, a reshaped combustion chamber, steeper valve angles and more aggressive cam profiles. The connecting rod is slightly longer and a new bridge-box piston design increases the compression ratio to 13.0:1 from the previous motor’s 12.8:1 ratio. Yamaha also updated the transmission’s shift drum and selectors for smoother shifting.

According to Yamaha, the updates give the 2020 YZ450F’s engine more power across the rev range in a lighter, more compact package. As with the previous model, the YZ450F can be tuned with a smartphone using the Yamaha Power Tuner App, but for 2020, riders can now switch between two preloaded ECU maps on the fly using a switch on the handlebar. The YZ450F also comes with a launch control system.

At a quick glance, the aluminum bilateral beam frame doesn’t look much different from the previous one, but Yamaha says it’s been completely retuned with thinner main spars, thicker down tubes and new engine mounts. The result, according to Yamaha, is improved cornering performance, traction and bump reaction, along with a reduction in weight.

YZ450F YZ 450 USA CAN 2018

The top triple clamp, front axle and fully-adjustable KYB suspension have been refined for additional weight savings. Also new are the front brake calipers, and the brake pads and discs for both wheels.

The 2020 Yamaha YZ450F should arrive in showrooms next month with a choice of Team Yamaha Blue or Gray for $9,299.

2020 Yamaha YZ450F Specifications

Engine Type449cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 titanium valves
Bore x Stroke97.0mm × 60.9mm
Compression Ratio13.0:1
Fuel DeliveryMikuni fuel injection, 44mm
Clutchmultiplate wet clutch
Final DriveChain
Front SuspensionKYB spring-type fork with speed sensitive damping; fully adjustable, 12.2-inches travel
Rear SuspensionKYB single shock; fully adjustable, 12.5-inches travel
Front BrakesHydraulic disc, 270mm
Rear BrakesHydraulic disc, 240mm
Front Tire80/100-21 Dunlop MX33
Rear Tire120/80-19 Dunlop MX33
Length86.0 inches
Width32.5 inches
Height50.2 inches
Seat Height38.0 inches
Wheelbase58.3 inches
Rake/Trail27.0°/4.7 inches
Ground Clearance13.0 inches
Fuel Capacity1.6 gallons
Wet Weight245 pounds (claimed)
Warranty30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
ColorsTeam Yamaha Blue; Gray
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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Join the conversation
  • Craig Hoffman Craig Hoffman on Jun 06, 2019

    New 450s are the Ducati Panigales of dirt bikes. Few of us can ride them properly. They are able to go from walking speed to holy sh%t! with the mere flick of a wrist :P

    • Old MOron Old MOron on Jun 06, 2019

      Yup. I'll take the 250. Thank you.
      Heck, maybe even the 125.