Motos On The 2018 Yamaha YZ450F

Riding Yamaha’s flagship motocross bike

2018 Yamaha YZ450F
"I was curious to see if I could tone the bike down enough to make it less aggressive and a little easier to ride for my first few motos back on a bike." —Cody JohnstonTami Lack
Primary Use: Motocross
Main Mods: Mika Metals handlebars, grips, front and rear sprockets, and chain
Moment of Glory: Adjusting the mapping with the use of the Power Tuner app to accommodate riding for the first time after a wrist injury.
Forgettable Experience: None
Hours: 22
Aftermath: Three oil changes, two oil filter changes, multiple air filter cleanings, and numerous bike washes

As the hours keep climbing on the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F, I am enjoying the bike more and more. Engine-wise, the bike is still as powerful as the first time I rode it. One thing I overlooked is how easy it is to do regular maintenance on the bike. For example, changing the air filter is quick and simple. I used to dread coming home knowing I would have to change and clean the air filter. However, with Yamaha's new design, it is one of the easiest maintenance jobs on the bike. I was especially thankful for this after I fractured my wrist as I was able to change the filter with one hand. I only hand to deal with a quarter-turn tab screw by the top of the filter, two locking tabs holding it down, and a filter screw through the middle. The filter's flat surface also makes changing it a lot easier and takes a lot less time to clean.

2018 Yamaha YZ450F
"The plush KYB suspension came in especially handy during my first few rides after recovering from my injured wrist." —Cody JohnstonTami Lack

After healing from my aforementioned wrist injury, I was curious to see if I could tone the bike down enough to make it less aggressive and a little easier to ride for my first few motos back on a bike. I opted for the softest map, and with the use of the Yamaha Power Tuner app, switching was easy. I just connected my phone to the black box underneath the rear left number plate and selected the map I desired. I did it after the first practice session in the morning, and the tuning change felt quite noticeable when I went back out. The bike now had a less aggressive hit at the initial crack of the throttle which was easier on my wrist throughout the day.

2018 Yamaha YZ450F
"Changing the air filter is quick and simple.… I was especially thankful for this after I fractured my wrist as I was able to change the filter with one hand." —Cody JohnstonTami Lack

The plush KYB suspension came in especially handy during my first few rides after recovering from my injured wrist. I always thought the stock suspension was soft on both the YZ250F and YZ450F models, but in this case, it was appreciated. If I were to race this bike, I would set up the suspension more to my personal liking and go stiffer on both the fork and shock. I'd also like a little more bottoming resistance for the big jumps that come along with racing the nationals.