06/09 vs 10/12 Chassis Size / Feel

I'm thinking about upgrading from my 06 YZ450F to an 11 or 12 YZ450F but I'm concerned about the comments I'm reading regarding the bulky feel of the bike given that I'm 5'6" and 155 lbs. For those of you that have upgraded from the 06/09 to the 10/12 does it feel bigger or smaller / heavier or lighter than the 06/09? My 06 is an excellent bike and I'm hoping an upgrading will result in a lighter feel with better turning, if not I'll stick with my current bike as I'm a fan of Yamaha's reliability. Any comments will be appreciated.

I rode an 04 YZ450 for a couple of years. I'm 5'7" and 170#.

I thought that bike was slim, long, and not terribly tall-- I could touch both toes, but not flat foot. It fit me well. It was dead stabile. And coughed and died in tight turns or when racing hare-scrambles (yes, I worked on the jetting; even put in a Rekluse).

A buddy of mine rode the 2010, and told me the handling of the 2010-up was awesome. No comparison to the old steel frames, and better than the 2006-2009, especially the cornering.

I sat on a 2011 at my local dealer, and it was TALL to me. Tall enough that I changed my consideration of buying one. I've started looking at 2009s, since they seem to be the most well sorted of that gen.

Oh, I hate having stalling issues. I've read on TT that the YZ450 FI stalls intermittently, and sometimes is reluctant to start. I've put KX450s on my list because of their reputation for ease of starting, and relative lack of stalling. If I'm going to ride a big, tall bike, then it had better start for me, and not stall all the time.

Good luck with your decision.

I had a new '09 and it was a great bike. Very light. Mostly due to the Ti shock spring.

I have an '11 now and it's so much better it's not even funny. Both motor wise and chassis wise. By the numbers it weighs more but you can't feel it in motion because of the mass centralization and placement of the cams closer to the CG.

All the new 450's are fantastic bikes. You can't go wrong with any of them. Trying to choose one based on what the magazines say will drive you crazy.

Properly set up the YZ turns like it's on rails. I can feel what the magazines say as far as a vague feeling in the front but they totally blow it out of proportion. It's not a big deal, it's just that-a feeling. It can be dealt with with set up. 450 "shootouts" can take a nuance of any aspect of any bike and build it up to the point of nonsense just to fill pages with opinions. All the bikes need tweeks in different areas to be just right.

If you go to the trouble to describe the positive aspects of the way the YZ handles they greatly outweigh the negatives. The Honda and Suzuki may turn "easier" but neither has as good a suspension or is as stable as the YZ in other situations.

If you can deal with the 06-09 the 10-12 shouldnt be that big of a deal, Im 5' 11 but I didnt notice the 12 being any taller than my 08. With coming of an 08 the biggest adjustment was having a motor with some punch and not having to rev it to make power. The chassis is very good on the new ones, initiates turns far easier yet still stable.

I have recently changed from an 07 Yz 250 to an 11' Yz 450 which I race off road hare scrambles

The 450 is a lot heavier pushing in my garage and loading in the back of my truck, but that's where the weight difference ends, once riding it even in first gear tech sections it feels no heavier than my 250, and once at speed it feels even lighter, it may be due to the available power, but it changes direction easier than the 250

Just get your suspension set for your weight and application and enjoy, you won't look back!!

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