2006 YZ450F, YZ250F Impression

Well today I took both my new 2006 YZ250F and 450F out to a local private track made up of mainly whooped out sand section, small uphill,downhill sections, rutted corners and sweeping berms. I have had some time on the 250F but it was my very first ride on the 450F. Before riding the bike all i did was adjust the race sag and mess around with the clickers a bit. I am about 6'3" and 165lbs and I race 125 and 250 C class. Previous bikes I have rode/raced was a 2004 CRF250R and 2004 YZ250F. Riding both of the Yamis was a good way to find the flaws and good attributes of each. Here is what I have found....

First of all, going from one bike to the other was extremely easy. When sitting on both bikes, they feel identical, I wouldnt know what bike I was on if I didnt see the backgrounds or rear fender decal telling me what one it was.


these bikes are night and day different from the 03-05 bikes. They feel much lower, flatter, way more narrow. The bars are the perfect bend in my opinion. A little wide, but the height and the pullback is exactly what I would have picked. I have heard tall people complain that the seat height to footpeg distance was short, but I had no problems with it. The bike feels roomy even for me. The is probably the best feeling bike I have ever ridden. It took almost no time to get used to it.


The 250F motor is incredible. Plenty of low end midrange and top end. It even likes to be revved out to the limiter. I know that there was not many engine changes, but this bike felt plenty faster than the 04YZF everywhere. The 04 had a quickshot and a yoshi exhaust. This bike completely blows away my old CRF engine which had the DR.D exhaust, head and cylinder work. The 250F is very easy to ride and has smooth power but does not feel sluggish in any way like the honda. Now to the 450, all i can say is that I have never ridden a faster, smoother, thrilling motor. It literally has power EVERYWHERE. It feels like a tractor, pick a gear and go. It can do anything that you want it to. The 5-speed tranny is flawless. I never felt that I was lugging it or over revving it. 1st gear is a bit useless but who ever rides first gear anyways. this thing can do 2nd gear starts no problem and I dont think I ever even used first, and of course i never hit 5th either. I love this motorcycle, I would pick the 450F over the 250F in any situation. This may sound odd, but it is easier to go faster on the 450F than on the 250F. I never got tired riding it at all. The only complaints I have about these motors, is that on the 250F, it has a slight bogging problem which makes jumps out of corners hard to do. I installed a quickshot and it works fine now. On the 450F, the only thing that bothered me was starting. I was a little hard to start hot or cold and it hates the choke. I guess you just have to find the right method, but I havent got it yet. Other than that, I love the motors more than anything ive ever ridden, 250F or 450F.


The suspension on the 450F was perfect. I just fooled with the clickers a bit at the beginning and never had to touch them agian. I am really suprised because it feels no stiffer than the 250F, both the fork and the shock. The 250F was harder to set up correctly, I still have not got it to feel as good as the 450F, which is odd because at 165lbs, I would guess that the 450F would feel more harsh. Bottoming was not an issue on either bike. The forks on both are incredible, but the shock feels a bit harsh. The compression/rebound definatly need to be adjusted on the shock. Once i had the 450F set up perfectly, I had no complaints at all. Felt just as plush as my showa suspension on the Honda. Im sure that the 250F would be the same once i get it set up correctly.


Im sure this is one of the most critical areas of a test for most people looking into replacing their 03-05 bikes, or people looking into switching brands to Yamaha. Ive heard some say that they cannot even tell a difference. I would strongly disagree. On the 04 YZF, I felt that the bike could not hit the inside rutted corners at all. And if you managed to stay in the rut, it would feel as if it just wanted to fall over. These bikes are night and day different. The 450F is probably the best handling bike I have ever ridden. It finds the ruts and stays in them no problem. Its almost as if you just have to get in a rut and turn the throttle. Neither the 250F or 450F felt like they were ever going to fall over. I could lean them both over as much as I wanted to and they tracked perfectly. Now the center of gravity issue. Both machines feel MUCH MUCH lighter, especially the 450. I could barely tell the difference in weight between both bikes. Im not saying that the 250F felt heavy in any means, its just that the 450F's weight is perfectly distributed on the bike. I never once thought that either of these bikes felt heavy, both in the air, or in the corners. Overall, I felt that cornering the 450F was easier than the 250F. It may have been the super powerful smooth engine, but It just wanted to grip much better. I felt that the 250F kept wanting to slide out. I have also heard the rumors about front end push on both machines. This was not an issue at all. It never even crossed my mind once when cornering these bikes. On the 250F, I moved the fork tubes up 5mm, but left the 450F stock. I never once had an issue with the front end pushing. I loved the way these bikes cornered, I just felt more comfortable on the 450F. It felt as if it was doing most of the work and the rider just had to open the throttle. I had to use more effort to turn the 250F but not nearly as bad as the 04 YZF. This may make the 250F sound like it doesnt handle well. Both of these bike handle as good as my old CRF, its just that i felt way more comfortable on the 450F than the 250F. This may be because the 450F was much better suited for the sandy track that I rode them on. In general, I could not complain about anything on these bikes regarding handling. i have absolutely no problems with either of the bikes.


There is no other bikes I would rather have than these two. Forget about what any of the shootouts say, I beleive that these bikes are the best in both classes. I am not brand bias by any means, I have had suzukis, hondas, all of them. I have ridden the Honda 450Fs, and all of the 250Fs except for the KTM. What pushed me over the edge in buying the yamahas this year would be the durability, quality and engineering of them. These bikes were well thought out in every aspect. The welds on the frame are second to none and they are just made better than any motorcycle I have ever seen. You cant go wrong with either of these bikes, they will last longer than any of their competitors and Have the best overall package. I have no regrets what so ever about purchasing these bikes. Another thing that I like about these bikes is that it seems as if many parts will fit between them. all the plastics are the same and even the exhausts are interchangeable. Definatly an advantage. Like I said, there are no other bikes that I would rather have than these two.











Great review! I've been drooling over both bikes and your review of the 450 makes me think the 450 might be just the ticket for me.

if I had to pick one bike between the two, it would be the 450F

great writeup/review.

.."private track"..?...a 250 and 450?....congradulations, your my new hero.

Good review! Where in Cali are you from?

central cali a little south of san jose

nice review man...thanks

I agree...you cannot really rely on the shootouts. Go out and ride them yourself and decide. Nice review, very thorough. :applause:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm so tired of the shootouts it's awesome to get a real world impression of these bikes. Can't wait to get my 450. :ride::applause:

Read the review in the 250F section. Let me tell you guys, both the bikes are out of tihs world.

Great review, looks like the bikes are from outer space (I like that phrase) :applause:

Nice Review!

Great photo's

I really like the 3rd one.

Read the review in the 250F section. Let me tell you guys, both the bikes are out of tihs world.

How much is shipping? :applause:

Great review, looks like the bikes are from outer space (I like that phrase) :p

Is that FedEX? :applause::ride:

Is that FedEX? :applause::ride:

No, that is FedUp.

Fastfwd, great review.:-)

Since I do both MX and off-road (and need a street-legal looking bike sometimes) the 450F would be my choice, but modded with lights, etc. Wonder if that can be done very easily?

Evan I assume?

Well...very good job on the review and the write up. More insightful and trusting than just about all of the magazines that I have read.

And are you still on the 739s?

Yes I was still on the 739 front. it was really sandy so no tire would really make a difference. the tires really suck on anything really wet though

Great review! I am waiting for a east coast off road review. Anyone?

Is there a shootout on the new 450s, yet? I haven't seen any and from what I heard, the YZ450 is top of the list. Am I wrong on this? I just was curious...

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