New bike’s are all the rage at the moment and Yamaha’s MX and Off-Road models have just been announced. Like most other pubs, we could have just copied and pasted Yamaha’s press release, but we wanted to spend some time to learn more about the changes to the “new and improved” machines before giving you guys the run down. After a little briefing with the bLU cRU, this is what we have found.
The YZ450F is still relatively new in its generation life cycle, but the Yamaha crew has continued to make some big changes year after year and 2020 is no different. Although it “won” our 450cc MX Comparison last year, it receives a host of new changes including a new frame, an updated motor package, several updated chassis parts, and a new front brake. The frame has been altered quite a bit but keeping the same shape. The bilateral beams are thinner and the tubes on the cradle are thicker. Additionally, engine mounts have been swapped out with the front mount going from 6mm thick steel to 8mm aluminum and the rear mounts swapping materials in the opposite direction (most of the factory supported MX teams have been running different mounts throughout the year). The top triple clamp and front axle have also seen refinements for less rigidity. Remember last years model saw different front fork lugs and wheel spacers and every tester approved of the change, so seemingly small updates can make big improvements once on the track. The Yamaha boys were looking for a more 250F-like handling characteristic–Less weight feel and less input needed from the rider while giving a better feel for the ground.
On the power side of things, the YZ already had one of the best motor packages in the class. Yet, Yamaha has introduced a slew of changes including a more compact cylinder head and redesigned combustion chamber shape, steeper valve angles, and more aggressive cam profiles. In addition, a higher compression piston produces more power and is paired with a longer connecting rod and different rings. The transmission has been redesigned for smoother operation and an altered crank breather system is in effect. The cams are 6mm lower and 14 mm closer together in the cylinder head allowing a steeper valve angle which allows more efficient porting. All these changes are said to add up to more power at smaller throttle openings and help with a lighter feel for the machine which will remain, for the most part, visually unchanged except for the new Grey color option. The new tires weigh almost a pound more but the rest of the bike lost that pound to keep the scale happy. The new 2020 YZ450F will be available from dealers next month in Team Yamaha Blue and Gray for $9,299 MSRP.
Similar to the ‘19 YZ250F, the YZ250FX receives all the same upgrades. A new frame, updated engine and chassis components, and a new look all adorn the 250FX. Oh, and quite possible the best feature is we can now use Yamaha’s GYTR Power Tuner App to make quick adjustments to the bikes fuel and ignition timing in a matter of seconds. The tuning app has done wonders for the other blue models, and we expect no less out of this bike.
All of our testers who rode the 2019 250F felt the changes were a positive, and we suspect the same feeling out of this years 250FX. We felt the lighter and more nimble chassis without sacrificing much stability paired with the exceptional 250cc four-stroke powerplant and tuning abilities was a favorable combo in the 250cc ranks. And with some success on the previous generation 250FX, we’re looking forward to ripping up our favorite race courses and trails to give you an accurate report on how the new bike performs. The 2020 YZ250FX will be available from dealers in September in Team Yamaha Blue for $8,499 MSRP.
Last summer, we built ourselves a concept YZ125X to turn the MXer into a capable off-road race bike. Well, for 2020 Yamaha decided to do some of the dirty work for us. As you can read HERE, the new two-stroke features off-road specific CDI settings and a combustion chamber, a revised suspension setup, and the typical off-road goodies like an 18 in. rear wheel, kickstand, etc. Still, we wish it would’ve come stock with a skid plate, larger fuel tank, and some handguards. But there’s always next year! Stay tuned to see how the off-road oriented 125cc two-stroke compares to the motocross version and if it truly is better suited in the off-road world. The all-new 2020 YZ125X will be available from dealers this month in Team Yamaha Blue for $6,699 MSRP
The rest of the YZ, YZX and YZFX models will return with minor changes at best.
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