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2017 versus 2019 YZ450F

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Do the new 2018 and 2019 yz450f still have that super stable, rear weight bias feel of the 2017 YZ450f, or have they lost a bit when they made them turn in better? 

I am looking to buy the most stable bike possible. My search has led me to a 2017 YZ450f, which I found a great deal on nearby. Should I just do it, or pay a lot more for a 2019? 

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I've rode the 18's and they are every bit as stable and they definitely turn better and feel much lighter/thinner to boot. If you have the funds for the '19 get it.

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I have a 17. Took a lot of set up to get it to turn right. But the straight line stability is awesome. 

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I really want to buy a 2017 YZ450f. More so than the 2019 actually. Debating the 17' or a YZ 250, once I sell my YZ125 and street bike. I just love Yamahas, and that big stable feel. Again, its almost like a downhill mountain bike compared to the enduro mountain bike feel of Honda/Suzuki/KTM. They are all good in there own rights, but the Yamaha bulk and stability feels best for my big body. From everything I have read, the 2017 YZ seems to be one of the most stable bikes ever for desert and rough fast MX tracks. You give up a little front end feel, but I am 230 lbs in gear, tall and can get my weight over the front to make it bite, without even thinking about it. No problem I say! 

I have a 2018 FC 350 and its nimble as a MFer. I love it, but I want the opposite end of the spectrum. I don't mind the cruise ship feel for certain areas, and although they sit taller/bigger, I never had a problem when actually riding the Yamahas. Reading the Keefer review of the 2018 and 2019 YZs, he says the 2017 YZ was more stable, although the 2018 and 2019 are better for turning. I don't need that. 

I want the most stable 450 for desert and rough tracks. Which leads me to the 17'. I just don't think it will beat out the tried and true slightly modded YZ250 for me.. I'm 50/50 on which one for my next bike in June. 

Edited by Freakazoid

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The yz250 is a great bike, I rode one for many years. However, if you think it is as stable as a 14-17 or the 18-19 450 you are wrong. Not even close! I do agree with wrfrk, if you have the funds get the 19. It is every bit as stable as the 14-17 but with newer better technology. I have ridden them all.

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9 hours ago, rwebb35 said:

The yz250 is a great bike, I rode one for many years. However, if you think it is as stable as a 14-17 or the 18-19 450 you are wrong. Not even close! I do agree with wrfrk, if you have the funds get the 19. It is every bit as stable as the 14-17 but with newer better technology. I have ridden them all.

For sure a YZ450f is more stable than the YZ250, but I meant the 250 has a great all around fun/fast/stable/nimble package thats hard for me to beat when considering a new bike. I think the stock chassis and suspension on 2T YZs are more stable in rough sections than previous honda/suzuki 250f/450f I have ridden. 

 

I asked Kris Keefer and he said the 2017 YZ450f stock is more stable in a straight line, on rough tracks and in the desert, than 2019. The 2019 is still said to be one of the most stable bikes out there, and ultimately a better bike than the 2017, so probably still enough for me. But I really want the bigger feeling, most stable bike, and its like $3500 OTD cheaper new for leftover 2017..  I want a kickstart too. The future is push button and smaller frames/lighter weights, so i’ll get plenty of that in the future. Right now I want a big old (but new) 450. 

 

 

Edited by Freakazoid

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Get the 19. I just rode mine and it's way better than my 16 was. I'm still in shock how much better it is at turning and stability felt the same. 

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Is the 19' worth $3000 more for someone like me? I have a 2018 Husky FC350, and it feels super nimble and small. I want the opposite of that. Big feeling and steadfast. 

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10 hours ago, Freakazoid said:

Is the 19' worth $3000 more for someone like me? I have a 2018 Husky FC350, and it feels super nimble and small. I want the opposite of that. Big feeling and steadfast. 

The 17 might be 3000 less but it should be because it's 2 years older and used resale it's probably worth 1500 less so what are you really saving? If your really worried about stability then slide the forks flush with the clamps. And if that's still not enough then throw a steering stabilizer on it and be done. To me, that's better than trying to dial in a bike that will always have a vague front end feel even if you sat on the handlebars through a turn.

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I went with the 17', after a month long deliberation as well as going down to check out the bikes a few times. After sitting on the 17' and 18' back to back, the 2017 feels taller/larger and is a better fit for me stock. The bike also feels longer, or feels like my body is more in the middle of the bike. This is compared to the newer YZ and my 2018 FC350 as well. I recently got rid of a 2015 RMZ 450 too, which was a great bike, just with some minor flaws I didn't want to pay my way out of. That bike felt big like the YZ though, which I loved. This is a bit weird, because all the dimensions on the newer bikes are actually longer and taller than the 2017 YZ, but that's not how it feels at all. Nor does it look that way, I am staring at my Husky and 2017 YZ right now, and the YZ physically looks larger. I was looking at the newer 2018 KX and RMZ 450 as well, right next to the 17 yz, and the YZ still looked much larger physically. The shrouds are definitely wider, that's for sure, but that took all of 2 seconds to get used to, and since I am a larger guy I don't notice it much. It doesn't seem to get in the way either, when I was putting my foot out the first hour on the bike. It almost feels like it was designed for a larger person, or at least more so than the other recent bikes I have tried. Like designed for the average American market, more than the Japanese market. OR that Yamaha just had a pig of a bike, and I just simply like larger bikes. 

First and foremost, this engine rips. Huge standout, this is the fastest engine I have ever ridden, I haven't ridden newer CRF450s though. It makes this big bike feel a lot lighter than it weighs on paper. I haven't gone further than half to 3/4 throttle either. The YZ at 6250ft above sea level, feels significantly faster than the 2015 RMZ 450 did at sea level. No doubt in my mind. This engine at sea level is going to be nuts. The character of it feels gnarly, hard hitting and intense, which is really fun, but I definitely have to be a little more careful. I may mess around with the GYTR tuner, but am thinking of just riding it stock for a while, and trying to tame the beast since I am heavy enough to. I think I am at the point in my learning curve that this will make me a faster rider. I am still keeping the 2018 husky, which is just as good of a bike, just different. It has a smaller more nimble feel, but still feels more stable than the 2015 RMZ 450 did. Just doesn't have much low end power at altitude. 

On the first ride, this chassis feels very natural and easy going for me. I am so glad, because I was afraid of spending my money on a 17' model year bike, instead of waiting for 2020. I was riding up and downhill, but mostly around on flats, where I read in all the shootouts (besides Keefer and Dirt Rider) how the 2017 YZ can't turn on flat fast corners to save it's life. Before I even bought the bike, I had lined up a pair of 2015 22mm offset triple clamps, but I don't think I need them anymore. Not yet at least. This bike turns just fine on flats. I need to get it to the track and then I'll be able to tell more on that, but I can't see it handling too much different, especially with the added helps of berms and bumps to turn off of. My 2018 Husky is super nimble, almost too nimble, and I have to ride it much smoother, or I can oversteer it and it will wash out or just turn "too much". I feel like I am used to Yamahas over the years though, and their neutral handling. I have gotten used the Husky more and more, and I do like it more with every ride, it's just different from what I am used to. Honda and Suzuki seem to chase aggressive cornering too much for me, versus a planted and stable feel. I don't like that. Maybe the frames are too stiff, I don't know.. Although I haven't ridden the 2018 and newer red/yellow bikes, but all the reviews say the same thing.

 

I feel excited to ride this bike. I'm an avid skier, and it's ski season, yet all I can think about is the 2017 YZ450F. I will report back once I have a few hours of track time and have a better initial feel on how it rides in it's intended environment. 

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Nice one. Looks like the amount you saved is about the same cost of a timbersled raw. When people ask me what snowbiking is like i tell them it’s like skiing and dirtbiking put together. Where do you live?

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I'm in Tahoe

 

Damnit! The engine on my new leftover 2017 YZ450F is backfiring/popping a bit already. I just got it last week. Funny that my Husqvarna has already proven to be more reliable than a Yamaha! Just Kidding, this is just a hiccup that is bound to happen when you buy enough left over bikes. It is still under the 30 day factory warranty so I'll work it out one way or another. I am wondering if it's just the spark plug coming out a little, which I read is a common occurrence, or one of the fuel/air sensors or whatever is messed up from sitting around and not running for 2 years. The engine runs strong, but it sounds "ratty" and is making popping sounds at certain parts of the RPM range. I have never experienced this before. 

The engine runs extremely strong actually, so it's almost a minor problem and I am just hearing it, not feeling anything. Is that just what this thing sounds like, or should I have this looked at by a professional mechanic? 

Edited by Freakazoid

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For the record, I didn't mean to bash on 2018 and 2019 YZ 450fs. The 19' gets great reviews. I am going to ride a 19' in the next week or two. I may love it, and I will report back how I feel. 

Before I bought this 2017 I had emailed Kris Keefer, and he guided me towards the 2017. He loves the 2019, but said the 2017 was better for what I was looking for. Watching all the Pat Foster Transworld reviews, I got the same idea, that the 2017 was better for what I am looking for currently. I am always chasing different feels in bikes, as it depends where I'm riding, and I move to different parts of the country all the time haha. The MXA review also says the 2018 put all it's chips in entering the corner, and it doesn't have the same corner exiting or straightline/chop stability as the 2017. 

I rode the 2017 again yesterday at a super choppy intermediate track. So rough that it was almost like "moguls", it was probably the roughest track I have ever ridden at. I absolutely loved the bike. It feels a little soft at my weight, and rides lower in the stroke, but they still perform better than any other fork I have tried. I can't wait to see how it rides with the correct springs. Overall the bike is so comfortable for me to ride anything. I took it out into the desert a little too. I get on the bike and it gives me confidence to ride faster and charge harder. Whether cornering, or through deep sand whoops in the desert, or a beat up track. I do get tired more riding this way, for sure, but that comes down to my conditioning. I never thought I would feel the most confidence on a big, pig of a 450. But after riding a lot of different bikes over the past few years, this is the most confidence inspiring stock bike I have ever ridden. 

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Couldn't agree with you more. My seat time is still pretty limited on my '16, but I am super impressed with it offroad, and I'm coming from a very dialed YZ250/300 two stroke, with a previous well-dialed in WR450F also. This bike just does everything (except for maybe super tight super technical stuff) much much better. It's easy to feel really comfortable going faster on this bike. Can't wait to get it out on the track also. Very cool that you checked in with Keefer on the deal and that he took the time to get back to you. I do miss Dirt Rider magazine.

For the record, I didn't mean to bash on 2018 and 2019 YZ 450fs. The 19' gets great reviews. I am going to ride a 19' in the next week or two. I may love it, and I will report back how I feel. 
Before I bought this 2017 I had emailed Kris Keefer, and he guided me towards the 2017. He loves the 2019, but said the 2017 was better for what I was looking for. Watching all the Pat Foster Transworld reviews, I got the same idea, that the 2017 was better for what I am looking for currently. I am always chasing different feels in bikes, as it depends where I'm riding, and I move to different parts of the country all the time haha. The MXA review also says the 2018 put all it's chips in entering the corner, and it doesn't have the same corner exiting or straightline/chop stability as the 2017. 
I rode the 2017 again yesterday at a super choppy intermediate track. So rough that it was almost like "moguls", it was probably the roughest track I have ever ridden at. I absolutely loved the bike. It feels a little soft at my weight, and rides lower in the stroke, but they still perform better than any other fork I have tried. I can't wait to see how it rides with the correct springs. Overall the bike is so comfortable for me to ride anything. I took it out into the desert a little too. I get on the bike and it gives me confidence to ride faster and charge harder. Whether cornering, or through deep sand whoops in the desert, or a beat up track. I do get tired more riding this way, for sure, but that comes down to my conditioning. I never thought I would feel the most confidence on a big, pig of a 450. But after riding a lot of different bikes over the past few years, this is the most confidence inspiring stock bike I have ever ridden. 
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3 hours ago, RockerYZWR said:

Couldn't agree with you more. My seat time is still pretty limited on my '16, but I am super impressed with it offroad, and I'm coming from a very dialed YZ250/300 two stroke, with a previous well-dialed in WR450F also. This bike just does everything (except for maybe super tight super technical stuff) much much better. It's easy to feel really comfortable going faster on this bike. Can't wait to get it out on the track also. Very cool that you checked in with Keefer on the deal and that he took the time to get back to you. I do miss Dirt Rider magazine.

I think I am having such a good time cornering this bike because the stock springs are soft for me, allowing this big, fast bike to feel comfortable at medium speeds. I normally like my smaller bikes stiff, but I don't need a super stiff YZ450f. I'm going to be conservative with my changes, and go up only 2 spring rates in the rear, versus the 3 or even 4 sizes up recommended for my weight, and only go up 1 or 2 spring rate in the front since it's already pretty stiff up front. I think sending them off to Enzo will make this bike the best I have ever ridden. 

I have found a nice sweet 2 bike set up with the 2018 FC 350 as my nimble play bike for tight tracks and technical offloads in the mountains, and the 2017 YZ450F as my go fast, rough track, or desert bike. My next bike is a YZ250 2T, but I wanna give 2T a break for a while, so when I come back they are like new and super duper fun again. 

I need a spark arrestor to ride here, and I have been debating buying the FMF GYTR Powercore 4, or the FMF Factory 4.1 RCT. From what I have read, the Powercore sort of mimics the stock power curve, but enhances throttle response throughout and maybe a half a pony in places, whereas the 4.1 RCT will clean up the bottom, and move some power to the mid and top? Correct me if I'm wrong. Thing is, the 4.1 RCT is only $50 bucks more in the slip on, and I like the full performance aspect, but I don't know if I really need more performance. I like the stock torque curve and power band. I don't care about the money, but I honestly like the stock curve for now. Maybe I get the GYTR Powercore 4 for now, and save that $50 towards a full exhaust a year from now, to make the bike "new again". I have a feeling I will be keeping this 2017 YZ for a while, even with the addition of other bikes. I'm just so comfortable on it. 

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