VIDEO: 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX First Ride

In The Dirt With Yamaha's Newest Contender

The 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX is one of the most talked-about new off-road models this season, and for great reason: this is an off-road variant of a shootout-winning motocross bike. Dirt Rider got a first chance to test the Yamaha late last week, and our initial impression is very positive. Given that there are a surprising number of changes to the YZ450FX's engine, the revised transmission and power character make for an extremely versatile and capable off-road package. At the same time, Yamaha took to the suspension modifications with a light touch, revising the bike's fork and shock just enough to make for a more off-road-oriented ride without sacrificing the raw performance of the MXer. The following video provides a good first look at what we initially thought of this bike, as well as some predictions about how it stacks up against the king of the cross-country category, the KTM 450 XC-F. As with any new machine, we've thrown the YZ450FX into a regiment of testing at all of our various MX, off-road, and GP-style testing locations, and we'll have a full first test soon. In the meantime, check out some of the footage from the press intro at Cahuilla Creek.