I went on a trail ride today and of course most of my buddy's were on red, green and yellow bikes. Most of them read more magazine articles than I do and that was very apparent before the ride. Anyway we went out and I rode against an 04 Crf 450, 05 RMZ 450, and an 05 YZF 450. We are all good friends and rode each other's bikes from time to time. I did not come out and say it but my 04 yzf 450 was a complete beast (in a good way) compared to the other bikes. I did do quite a bit to help it in all handling areas and I think I perfected it (for me). I am 5'9 and 150lbs, I did extensive work to the suspension and it paid off. The engine is completely stock and I would not change it. If you know the bike well enough it can be all you want it to be.