PROJECT YZ450F

Yz450f Opener

A complete face lift and a new suspension set-up for the Yamaha YZ450F.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY MATT BERNARD

The Yamaha YZ450F project has been a great success so far. Dane Thompson has taken the ball and run with it. The pair have ripped holeshots, won motos and become comfortable up front in the DIRT ACTION Amcross series. This has all be done on completely standard suspension, a tip of the cap to the Yamaha technicians. However, there is always room for improvement and Dane has been searching for those extra one-percent’s, especially when the track gets brutally rough at the end of the day in Amcross and to help with his starts. Enter Shock Treatment.

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Spending time with Terry Hay from Shock Treatment.

TUNE THOSE SPRINGERS
Terry Hay is a well-known suspension wizard. His technical knowledge combined with an excellent testing venue and first-class workshop offer a world-class suspension service based in Western Sydney. The service at Shock Treatment for Dane started with a track session with Terry to dial in a setting on the standard suspension. This gives a chance for Terry to set the sag of the motorcycle, analyse the riders style, speed and how the bike is performing in standard form and identify the good and the bad of the standard suspension. Dane was impressed at how well the YZ was handling after some simple clicker adjustments by Terry. After the initial track session, the YZ headed into the Shock Treatment workshop to be stripped down ready for some suspension magic. A re-valve of both the fork and shock, plus softer fork springs was on the menu the Yamaha YZ450F. Upon return, Dane hit the track for a final track session with Terry. The unique facility that Shock Treatment has on offer allows for a truly personalised suspension tuning service and for Dane, the results were exceptional. The YZ felt more balanced, offered an increase in confidence and in turn a faster way around the track. With Terry track side to make adjustments and increase his personal comfort, Dane left Shock Treatment with a grin from ear to ear.

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LET’S RACE
With the Shock Treatment suspension treatment complete, Dane headed to Appin to compete in a round of their club championship. The increase in performance was obvious, the #59 managed three holeshots and three victories – impressive. From their it was the Goulburn round of the Dirt Action Amcross. The track became brutally rough, but Dane managed to fight up front and rip some great starts. Matching the suspension to the already impressive Akropovic enhanced Yamaha YZ450F engine has created one very good motorcycle.

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LOOK THE PART
After almost a year of racing at an A-Grade level, the YZ needed a facelift. Although the in-plastic graphics are an excellent idea, just like traditional graphics, they do wear out. We contacted Link International who supplied a complete Polisport plastics kit for the Yamaha. An all-blue front with a black rear has given the YZ a new lease on life. Combined with a matte Moto Kit graphics kit and you have a pretty sweet looking 450! While upgrading the looks, we fitted a Polisport disc guard and a set of Polisport radiator fins in blue to complete the new image. Dane has also felt that the standard seat is a tad slippery, so CFX Seats have supplied a ribbed seat for some extra grip under the butt.

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WHAT NOW?
There’s one more round of the DIRT ACTION Amcross series, so Dane will be aiming to rip more good starts and give the YZ a solid finish to the race season. He is now leading the Macarthur Club Championship also, so without doubt the goal will be to bring home a club championship for the YZ. The bike itself could do with some fresh Pirelli tyres and the chain and sprocket is getting close to needing replacement. Further to that, Dane has some new maps to play with via the smart phone app. There’s no slowing down for the YZ450F.

 

ODI HANDLEBARS
ODI GRIPS
WWW.LUSTYINDUSTRIES.COM

PIRELLI MX32 PRO TYRES
POLISPORT DISC GUARD
POLISPORT PLASTICS KIT
WWW.LINKINT.COM.AU

CFX GRIPPER RIBBED SEAT
WWW.COVAFLEX.COM

MOTO KIT CUSTOM GRAPHICS KIT
WWW.MOTOKIT.COM.AU
GYTR BILLET CLUTCH COVER
GYTR IGNITION COVER
GYTR MX GLIDE PLATE
GYTR FUEL FILTER
FULL AKROPOVIC EXHAUST SYSTEM
GYTR AIR FILTER
Engine oil Y4R 15W – 50 Full synthetic with ester
Off road Chainlube
Foam Air filter oil
Foam filter cleaner
Wash and wax Concentrate
Yamalube/GYTR Race Pitt Matt
Available from https://yshop.yamaha-motor.com.au/ and your local Yamaha dealer.