Just bought a new 2012 YZ450F (pics)

Since I'm stuck in without even being able to do a full break in on the bike due to the weather, I've been making up for it by tossing on parts as they slowly come in and taking photos. Since I couldn't find tons of info about turning one of these bad boys into an offroad ride, I thought it would be nice to post some photos. Granted, I agree it's ridiculous I'm putting more parts on the bike than hours, but that'll change next week.

Thanks a ton to Berkeley Honda Yamaha for the great deal and the awesome customer service, by the way!

Pics 1 is the bike as it sat stock, day one.


Pic 2 is with ss brake line (which basically blocks the bleeder and hand guards...), scorpion skid plate and radiator frame, 2.4L IMS tank, handguards, re-routed breather into airbox, a few red plugs/caps and of course, stickers!


Once the next round of parts show I'll post another pic. What you won't see is the GYTR flywheel and GYTR filter, but what you'll hopefully see soon is the FMF slip on as I can't ride without the spark arrestor!

Ride review to come after I break it in, try some maps and ride enough to actually do a review.

Congrats on the new bike ! Great choice !

I absolutely love my -12 ! I got the complete FMF exhaust on it and togheter with the new -12 map this bike rips ! I also have the cycra shrouds and they might have something to do with it aswell, bike breathing a little better.

I liked my 2011 yz450 but somehow this -12 even feels better. I ride my suspension completely stock right know and it feels really good right of the showroom floor, this KYB SSS suspension really outshines most other stock suspensions out there.

Finally got some riding without snow this weekend ! :thumbsup:

Wow awsome bike, congrats! I hope this weather gets better, I took my bike around the block today just to keep it running...

After i looked at the first pic I was thinking re-rout the breather, good looking bike.

Thanks guys. Any thoughts on the hand guard mounts? I can't get the brake lever to a reasonable height with the Acerbis guards. It's either too high to clear the guard, or too low. I know it will get a little better in terms of fit when I put on the GPR bar mounts (up 10mm or so), but it's still a crappy fit. I'd rather not have to switch to something like Cycra CRMs as I'm really happy with how the Acerbis hold up mounted to the triple clamp mounts.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised as the fit on the YZ250 is basically close to the same without the GPR mount. Maybe toss the right guard in a vise and see if I can bend some room into it around where the front master banjo is?

Finally got around to putting everything else on from Berkeley Yamaha in the past few weeks and have been riding as much as possible. The bike looks a little different, with a 49t rear sprocket, the fmf exhaust, the gpr and other bits. I'm really, really enjoying it and already put the yz250 up for sale! I can't see going back to it to be honest.


Edited by Joe846

As for a ride report I was hesitant to put one up at first because there seemed like a decent amount of info on the bike. However, the more I rode the more I had to search high and low for offroad info. What gearing were people using offroad, sag, were they sticking with the stock suspension, what map (other than the woods map...), etc. So, that having been said, here's a short review of what's worked for me so far, and my feedback, having never ridden a 450 before this one.

First think I noticed stock was the bike pulled over whoops and trail junk like it was plowing the earth! I had set my sag to around 108mm's after my break in rides as I noticed that in 4/5th gear the bike would shake heavily with whatever stock sag was on the bike. The throttle was quite snappy though and it was fairly hard to hold it steady around the parking lot or on tight single track.

From there I added the GYTR flywheel and started playing with the mapping. With the flywheel, stock gearing and the "Smooth" Yamaha map the bike pulled harder, longer, and was smoother off idle. This set up chugged, snapped off mid throttle, and was much more enjoyable to ride on all types of trails. However, the unsteadiness down low was still there for the most part. Still, this is where I started working from in terms of final set up.

After that I settled on 108mm of sag, forks flush and started to tune the mapping as well as trying different rear gearing. I worked back and forth between the "smooth map" and a modified version of that and the "woods" map. Basically I added more "woods" down low, and more "smooth" up top. To be honest, I couldn't tell much of a difference overall, but with the modified map the bike did seem to chug and hesitate too much down low when you needed it. In this setting, the bike seemed to stall the least, but was also too slow when you need to hammer it up short hills or after short run ups to huge hills. This forced me back towards the stock "smooth" map, with a little more fuel down low, less fuel than the stock "smooth" map in the middle and even less up top. That's when I realized I was basically getting closer to the "dirt rider" map.

After working between those two maps, my modified "smooth" map and the "dirt rider" map, I settled on Jimmy Lewis' map. I did richen that map down low and a hair at full throttle (I think they have it at -5 or -3), as well as retarding the ignition at full rpm/low throttle and a point at full throttle/full ignition. I won't be hammer this bike as much as Jimmy probably did at MX tracks, but this modified map has worked great, doesn't stall almost ever unless I hammer something in too low a gear and chop the throttle open/closed, and pulls smooth and strong in every condition I've tried it in. Finally, having settled on a map, I tried a 50t rear compared to the 48t. It was nice in sections but definitely felt like it made the bike rev too quickly in first, and work through the gears too fast. I didn't buy a 450 to shift it like a 250. However, as one would expect, after I went back to the 48 I found myself chugging out too much on hills and sections where I could just carry 2nd gear with the 50 rear. Based on that, I choose a 49t rear and will hopefully live happily ever after.

With the flywheel, (mx51 or M5B rear), the 49t rear, the FMF Powercore slip on, the modified "dirt rider" map and me following the starting technique, the bike has been a joy to ride. It pulls through 4th on monster hills, rolls smoothly along open single track in 2/3rd, carries tons of inertia in 1st on tight single track with the clutch in, never dies when you hit an obstacle as slow speed with the front wheel like before (coughing and dying just as you thought you'd make it over), and rips hard on the throttle. I don't notice the weight much any where accept when I drop it, and with the IRC M5B this past ride I've chugged up rocky, steep hills without concern.

In regards to the steering oddities that everyone reports, having not ridden it at an MX track yet, I don't have many negative things to say. With the GPR the bars are raised a bit, hand guards magically fit better mounted to the top triple. With 108mm of sag and the compression dialed back a 4 clicks up front and 2-3 in the rear, with less high speed by 1/2 turn, the front floats over obstacles and you can power through whoops so much better than my YZ250. When I need it to turn I sack up on the front, crank it in, and it turns. I don't notice it being vague, tucking, etc. And, I can't emphasis this enough, the stock suspension for my 210lbs with gear has been AWESOME! It might be a little stiff over small hack offroad, but on the throttle it's simply awesome for stock suspension. I was planning on revalving, but for offroad at 210lbs I probably won't touch it.

In regards to steering quarks what I did notice was the stock MX51 was great on the first few rides. I really, really liked it in a straight line and noticed it skipped politely through single track and through ruts. When I wanted off a line or out of rut it seemed to oblige. Fast forward a week or two to a dry, dusty, hard pack day and the MX51 tucks onto its side through hard pack, doesn't have much traction on it's side and doesn't seem to love changing lines on rocks. So, off with the MX51 and on with my favorite hard/dry tire the Bridgestone M603. If that don't work, it'll be back to the M403.

Other than that, what else. The filter is not hard to get into it. If you've ever ridden a street bike, the magazines complaining about the Yamaha set up is a joke. I definitely recommend not hustling the starting method described in the manual. Find neutral, kick smooth, or clear it out and follow the previous. It's been worthless trying to kick in gear when I've stalled on steep hills. I also loved the MX51 rear, but the 450 chewed it up quickly... Then, I've switched to an ss front line and AP offroad front pads. I honestly think that combonation with me adjusting the lever has been better, but probably not by tons in feel or strength. Stock I could barely do stoppies! Finally, the clutch has been awesome offroad, doesn't heat up too much, and a 1.8 radiator cap has prevented any boil overs, although it doesn't seem to run too hot.

Sorry for the massively long reply, but I wanted to list off some offroad bits as I really haven't seem much in regards to the YZ450 in that medium. I feel like the magazine feedback of it being horrible offroad is off base once you get the map/ignition sorted out, get the flywheel and choose some good gearing. From there it's a matter of individualization, changing the oil and changing the filter, that seemingly never gets dirty!!

Damn fine bike! Where do you ride it predominantly? I'm in the Bay Area as well with an '08 yz450f.

I make it out to Carnegie a decent amount based on it being so close, but try to ride Cow when I can as well. When I've had people to ride with who wanted to do middle creek or penny pines, then I've headed there as well. In SF, so there isn't much "close"...

Great looking bike and thanks for the review. I'm going to try the 49t sprocket out when the stocker is done.

Yep, just rode the 49t this past week at Cow Mountain and I'm quite happy. There was one hill where I wish it was a 50, but heck, I could have done with a 51/52 on that hill to be honest. Other than that, I could still run 1st in the tight stuff with plenty of run out, 2nd almost every where else, and 3/4th on long hill climbs (up on trail 19) without feeling like it was gappy any where. I also didn't notice it being as choppy as the 50t, which is great.

Where did you get the sticker for the tank? That makes it look SO much better than just the banana shaped IMS

I wish I had an extra $9,000 to spend, Awesome Bike!!!

Very nice review, I feel the same with my 12, and I haven't even touched anything on it! I have bought a 50t rear sproket for it because i'm more tight trails than open but still waiting to install it. Last time we rode it warmed up for a weekend and was really, really sloppy out, that thing felt so stable it was unbelievable.

Congrats on the bike. I also came off a yz250, then a ktm 250 xc, and love the yz450f. The bad rap is a lot of hype for nothing, based on a rider that is doing the same on the Zuk (but enough about that or I'll have a different thread started - lol). I'm a little spoiled as I bought my 2011 off the Factory Yamaha offroad team, but with the vortex ignition and the factory connection suspension, this is the best bike I have ever ridden. Totally agree on the starting procedures; if I follow the video technique, it starts in 1 kick, maybe 2 every time, but if I don't, it won't start at all. I have the cycra bark busters and really like those. Enjoy the bike!

Thanks for resurrecting this old thread. I've got a 2011 that's being set up for woods and trail riding. I've added an FMF Q4 spark arrestor, 18" rear wheel, 50T sprocket, requisite guards and braces. The suspension is out right now being sprung and valved for my fat ass and riding style. 6'4" 230# woods assassin.

I have played around a bit with the GYTR tuner but haven't figured out a good map yet.

Joe846 what's your latest set up? mapping, supsension, gearing?

fat ass woods assassin.

This is a brilliant idea for my new racing nickname!

I take cash or check.


Edited by PilotHonda

Suspension and gearing having changed much from the first posts in the thread. I've slowly dialed in less sag as the front would hunt too much on and off throttle with tons of sag. Bike felt great trail riding, but you couldn't get it to turn very well in ruts, etc. I think I just stiffened the rear a few clicks on slow speed as well to help with big whoops.

As for mapping, I would tell you exactly what I have, but my GYTR tuner broke... Long story short, it's the Jimmy Lewis Dirt Rider map with a little more fuel/less ignition down low, and a little more fuel/more ignition up top. Jimmy had a little more fuel/less ignition on bottom but super lean with super advanced ignition up top, which made it a handful off road. Between that, the 49t sprocket ,the fly wheel and judicious throttle/clutch at slow speeds, the bike doesn't flame out much, pulls strong off the bottom, chugs a little in the middle to avoid spinning and rips up top. Stil stalls when plowing straight into obstacles though, or chopping the throttle in too high a gear...

Thanks for resurrecting this old thread. I've got a 2011 that's being set up for woods and trail riding. I've added an FMF Q4 spark arrestor, 18" rear wheel, 50T sprocket, requisite guards and braces. The suspension is out right now being sprung and valved for my fat ass and riding style. 6'4" 230# woods assassin.

I have played around a bit with the GYTR tuner but haven't figured out a good map yet.

Joe846 what's your latest set up? mapping, supsension, gearing?

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now