The SE and base 450s have the
same performance upgrades for 2014,
and there are more than any year since
the full redesign that transformed the
carbureted, steel-frame YFZ450 into
the fuel-injected, hybrid aluminum/steel
frame YFZ450R in 2009.
A new double-overhead-cam, five-valve head with increased compression
( 11.8:1 up from 11.6:1) and hotter
cams work with new engine control
mapping and a new exhaust system
to boost power and sharpen throttle
response. The new top end sits on dry-sump engine cases that incorporate the
oil tank for more centralized mass with
no vulnerable external oil lines.
A new slipper clutch, the first on
a production quad, allows some slip
on deceleration and more grip during
acceleration, with a lighter lever pull
than the previous conventional clutch.
The fully adjustable, piggyback-reservoir
front and rear shocks have new valving
for more compliance.
The tires are new for 2014 too.
Maxxis radials replace the Dunlop
radials on last year’s machine. The
new tires feature firmer construction for
crisper cornering response.
Yamaha introduced the 2014
Crimson Red/black 450R SE, along
with the Team Yamaha blue/white
and Blaze Orange/white base 450s,
and recently added a second SE color
choice, black/Crimson Red. In addition
to the special colors, YFZ450 SEs
come with black GYTR front grab bars.
Base and SE 450s share the same new
quick-release bodywork that includes a
more roomy rider’s area.
Sharper, stronger power and smoother suspension make the 2014 YFZ450R SE and the base
model, which shares the same upgrades, the most improved YFZs in years.
A new double-overhead-cam, five-valve head
with increased compression and hotter cams
work with new engine control mapping and a
new exhaust system. The new top end sits on
dry-sump cases that incorporate the oil tank
for more centralized mass with no vulnerable
external oil lines.
The recently released black/Crimson Red YFZ450R SE is the fourth member of Yamaha’s
2014 Special Edition family of sport quads. It joins the Midnight Blue Raptor 700R, Crimson
Red/black YFZ450R SE, and the Metallic Gray/white Raptor 700R.
IS STYLE EXPENSIVE?
The YFZ450R SE is $8999, $200
more than the base model. Can-Am’s
$9699 DS 450 X mx is the only other
machine. Kawasaki’s KFX450R is
$8299, and the Honda 450R goes for
$7799. Some Yamaha dealers still have
the carbureted, steel-frame YFZ450 for
HOW DOES IT RUN?
It rips. The YFZ450R SE’s instant
response and quick-building power
is astounding for a stock machine.
All competition 450s are seriously
powerful, but the Yamaha and Can-
Am’s DS450 X mx are outstandingly
fast. The YFZ’s power has always been
a force to be reckoned with, and the
newest model runs even sharper and
stronger than before.
Because the engine begins pulling
early and revs so high, there’s a huge
range of usable power. If you’re not in
the perfect gear for the situation, you
can use the engine’s generous overrev. It keeps pulling when most stock
450s start to flatten out. An aftermarket
exhaust and fuel programmer can bring
the power to an even higher level.
WHAT DOES THE SLIPPER CLUTCH DO?
A few things, and they’re all good.