www.dirtrider.com. And by the time you’re done reading this we’ll have started our 450 Shootout and seen firsthand if the YZ450F is as impressive as we think it is.You should already be aware of what’s new on the bike (if you need a reminder, click here for our 2010 Yamaha YZ450F Revealed story), but how does all that backwards-cylinder and under-seat fuel tank business work on the track? Let me tell you in one simple word: Awesome. The 2010 YZ450F is awesome. And maybe magic.The sensation of taking weight off a bike, as well as a rider’s back, arms and legs, and making it disappear into the motorcycle below is no easy feat. But Yamaha has done all of that by centralizing the mass of rotating forces inside the cylinder head and dropping the fuel under the seat (the completely new chassis helps as well, I’m sure).The bike feels just as heavy and bulky as other 450-class machines in the pits-pushing it around and hoisting it up and onto a stand will give zero insight into the ride. In fact, its claimed weight is seven pounds heavier than the 2009. Even when seated, the bulbous radiator shrouds, doubling as direct-air intake scoops to the under-tank airbox, give a not-so-subtle hint of heft and undeniable girth. But looks are deceiving. And pushing is not riding.When in motion, the bike feels svelte, slim, nimble and light. This feeling is hard to describe, but the 2009 Husaberg models are as close to a comparison as there is. For those of you lucky enough to have ridden the new Husabergs, you know what I’m talking about. Like the Bergs, this Yammie loses a good portion of its mass feel when it starts rolling and handles like it is a really fast 250F. This becomes truer in the corners than anywhere else.Have Yamahas cornered as well as their competition in the past? No, at least not for everyone. Some could coax them to commit to the ruts, but in general they were reluctant to follow your instincts into and through a corner. That feeling or inconsistency is now gone. The 2010 YZ450F has a light-as-air steering feel. This fits in quite nicely with the weight feel of the bike being so minimal at your feet and butt compared to convention. Corner initiation becomes automatic as the bike falls off its upright axis and into whatever lean angle you choose. It doesn’t flop over top-heavy like; it reacts predictably, and when you decide it’s gone far enough, it stops leaning. It followed the bends around Budds Creek beautifully. It was just as likable in the air.We were blessed with a nicely prepped track with a few leftover bumps, but most of the line making was up to us; as the track went from flat prep to rutted choices, the Yamaha transitioned brainlessly. It’s nice riding a bike that gives you confidence in flat corners, tight ruts, off-cambers (and there are plenty of off-cambers at Budds!) and even the fastest straight we could find. Somehow, it seems, Yamaha has mixed minimal effort cornering with above-par straight-line stability. I can’t wait to get it out West to some familiar tracks to see how it compares in low-to-no traction scenarios. As of now, this chassis is a big, big winner. But really, we shouldn’t take anything away from the motor.