This was my favorite 450 engine last year and, based on my first impression, it is even better for 2020. The power is smooth when you want it to be; from zero to a quarter throttle it’s controllable, but when you get it past half throttle, you better get ready to hang on. It may not rev out like the Honda CRF450R, KTM 450 SX-F, or Husqvarna FC450, but it easily carries a higher gear. Its great torque enables it to accept upshifts on acceleration, even on the steepest of hills. There is a touch of engine-braking on the stock mapping, but I feel like that could be reduced by testing different mapping via the Yamaha Power Tuner app.