06 YZ450 review

Let me start by saying that I don't post very often, but have enough time on the bike now to give an honest opinion.

I ride mostly @ Elsinore(hard pack/lot's of jumps) here in So Cal, but have been going up to Racetown and Competitive Edge(outdoor) lately to break up the routine. I can honestly say that this is the best bike i have ever owned for two simple reasons: Suspension is amazing, and the power is everywhere. It took me awhile getting use to it's turning habits, but with some tweaking of my riding style it's coming along. I am running a completely stock set up, this is the first bike I haven't had to change ANYTHING on, except for the chain.

Being a VET novice rider, I have a tendency to get myself in to trouble and this suspension gets me out everytime. I can't say enough about it, I am 6' 195 lbs.

Regardless of my Thumper name, i really am not biased in my opinion. I have had the following bikes since 03, so you could say I have ridden just about everything. -

03 yz250

04 - kx250f (lot's of extras)

04 - crf-250 (lot's of extras)

04 - rm 250 - finally sold, practically gave it away

04 - yz450

05 - crf 450 - friends bike that sits in my garage (:

05 - kx250f (still have)

Did I mention how good the suspension is? (: Hard landings are nothing even at the biggest jumps in Elsinore, then on the flip side, the beat up vet @ Competitive edge felt cushy, this thing just rips through anything. Very happy with the bike! I don't attribute the turning issues I have to the suspension set up , rather rider error and misjudging breaking points, you seem to go faster then you think sometimes on this bike because the power is so smooth and the suspension is so good.

Anyway... if you are looking for a 450, get something other then Blue. i want to feel at an advantage lining up this spring - :crazy:

Are you still using the stock front tyre, the Dunlop 739? Maybe that's part of the reason you're having trouble with the steering, a lot of people ditch the 739? I went on my first day of riding my 06 YZ450 last weekend. I was having a great time riding, I love the bike, but I went down really, really hard when I hit the brakes and the front end washed out. I haven't crashed that hard in quite a while, so I'm putting a D742 on it for this coming weekend coz that's what I'm used to and they work a lot better for the terrain I ride.

Edit: :crazy: I found out today, while changing the front tyre to a 742, that the 739 had way too much pressure in it(I should have checked it after I bought the bike), which would have made the traction a lot worse.

The 739 would work excellent at Elsinore....except right after they water there (what is up with that place.....it turns to grease after the water truck goes by). The ground there is hard baked adobe.

I have never ridden in CA but I have never found a place where the 739 felt any good. IMO, they are crap.

Watering hardpack just makes it into a skating ring. I see that alot here as well. You have to run the ground up if you expect the water to do anything positive. But that takes effort.

how would yo recommend it to an intermediate rider currently on an 03 crf450r?

I echo the "Great suspension" statement, it really is incredible. Something else to keep an eye on is the sag. It makes a huge difference in your cornering, more so than the front tire. I had to reset my sag on each of my first 4 rides, maybe the titanium spring requires a longer break in period before it settles. I still run the 739 with no complaints, when it wears down, I'll try another tire to see if there is a difference. It's hard to say how it will feel coming from an 03 CRF450 but I had the same bike as you and I liked the CRF also, but this suspension is the best stock suspension I've ridden and the motor is bulletproof...

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