MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2019 YAMAHA YZ450F—NOT REALLY NEW, BUT BETTER

Four-year production cycles are the curse of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. They lock a design in, which is brilliant if you have a great overall package but a curse for machines that have flaws—even easily fixable flaws. It seems as though the only manufacturers with the budget to constantly pump out new machines are in Austria. With no budget for 2019, the Yamaha YZ450F could have been expected to stagnate until the bosses freed up beaucoup bucks, but we give the Yamaha engineers props for improving the 2019 YZ450F without raising the ire of the pencil pushers. They made practical mods that actually did something. It’s a better YZ450F with only three wheel spacers, a bigger rear sprocket, some fork and shock shims and a chunk of foam. Oh yeah, we are discounting the blue valve cover.

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