First Look: 2023 Yamaha YZ450F

All New YZ450F For 2023

Yamaha dropped a bomb that we knew was coming, but how big is in the details. For 2023 the YZ450F and Monster Energy® Yamaha Racing Edition YZ450F are all new and changed in ways that could catapult or kerplunk the Blue Crew ride.

Changes typically mean different characteristics and here is a list of the majors. The bike is claimed to be over 5 pounds lighter, maybe more. The entire chassis and engine have shrunk to be more narrow and lighter. The engine is both shorter front-to-back and side-to-side with the frame tuned to match. Wheels, swingarm and suspension components remain the same but everything else, including the plastics are all new.

Inside the engine the YZ is still a 450cc, but they changed everything about it. The power character is adjusted to be more powerful yet easier to ride. Sounds like marketing speak but inside sources say it is true. Expect a smoother bottom end and a more progressive transition to the top-end with a 500 RPM increase in rev-limiter ceiling. They have gone to a dry-sump lubrication system, something tried on the 250cc in the past, but the oil is kept inside the engine in an area around the ignition cover. Power alteration is also courtesy of a new exhaust and intake port shapes, larger diameter titanium intake valves, new forged aluminum piston, new cylinder body, crankshaft and balancer assembly.

More important is the improvement of features on the Yamaha Power Tuner app.  It retains the platform of the previous version, but now claimed even easier to use with more functions. Engine mapping can now be made using an intuitive new slide bar. There is also a new lap timer, Traction and Launch Control tuning, and bike set-up guides. Additionally a new Traction Control System communicates wheel slip to the ECU, tuning the engine to maintain ideal rear wheel traction. Three levels can be selected: HIGH, LOW or OFF. The updated Launch Control System now features an rpm limiter which can be rider preference tuned in 500 rpm increments between 6,000 rpm and 11,000 rpm for optimized starts. Both systems are controlled through the Yamaha Power Tuner App making it even more advanced tool.

Still a cable-actuated clutch design, the coil springs have been replaced with a new diaphragm disc spring and integrates primary gear and basket into a single steel unit. This is very common in European-built engine now for a long time and definitely has some advantages in weight and size. The result is a more compact, lightweight and durable assembly. Then a tri-shaft transmission layout vertically layers the transmission shafts, raising the center shaft and forming a triangle between the crank, drive shaft and main shaft for a lighter, more compact transmission and a shorter engine with a different center of gravity.

Holding it all together a completely redesigned aluminum bilateral beam frame consists of more than 10 different aluminum components welded together. Not much info has been released on the specifics of the frame but we have heard it is in some places 50mm more narrow, an issue riders sometimes complain about on previous YZs. The KYB suspension components are familiar and proven with updated settings to match the rest of the new machine.

The new slimmer, flatter and more compact bodywork is said to give a much lighter, more precise riding feel. The new air intake pathway, airbox and filter allow for a narrower fuel tank, significantly slimmer front shrouds and a lower airbox cover.  More seamless, rounded features including seat edges and side covers further are said to help rider movement. The rider triangle is also improved with increased legroom between the seat and footpegs, and revised handlebar position, also common complaints from riders moving onto a Yamaha.

At $9899 and $10099 for the Monster Energy® Yamaha Racing Edition we are anxious to get to ride this bike in October. 

Learn more from Yamaha:

2023 YZ450F Features & Benefits

  • The ultimate open-class YZ, the new 2023 YZ450F takes the superior race-tested qualities of its predecessor and expands them in a lighter, faster, slimmer, sharper and more usable package designed to continue dominating the competition
  • Completely redesigned 450cc four-stroke engine is lighter, more compact and more powerful with an increased rev limit for longer over-rev
  • Overall weight savings of 5 pounds over previous model
  • Revised Yamaha Power Tuner App is even more user-friendly with intuitive new “Quick Setting” slide bar, Traction & Launch Control tuning, and additional new features
  • Two-mode adjustable engine mapping allows on-the-fly selection between two tuneable engine maps via new lightweight, handlebar-mounted push-button switchgear
  • New Traction Control System communicates wheel slip to the ECU to maintain ideal rear wheel traction with three selectable levels: HIGH, LOW or OFF
  • Updated Launch Control System now features adjustable rpm limiting for improved launches when the gate drops
  • More compact, lightweight cable-actuated clutch design replaces coil springs with a new disc spring for smoother engagement and excellent feel
  • New tri-shaft transmission layout shortens the engine from front to back for more optimized engine positioning
  • Redesign air intake path, airbox and filter allow for slimmer airbox cover and radiator shrouds
  • Ultra-compact 44mm Mikuni® throttle body ensures optimum fuel atomization while saving weight and improving mass-centralization
  • Completely redesigned lightweight aluminum bilateral frame carefully balances rigidity and flex characteristics for a lighter feel, improved bump absorption and increased traction
  • Slimmer, flatter and more compact body includes narrower fuel tank and front shrouds, and more seamless, rounded features for easier rider movement and improved control
  • Rider triangle is also improved with increased legroom and revised handlebar position for a more natural posture and enhanced comfort
  • Fully adjustable Speed Sensitive System KYB® coil spring-type fork and linkage-type KYB® rear shock offer best-in-class suspension performance with revised damping characteristics to match the new YZ450F’s chassis
  • Front fork now features a new hand-operated compression damping adjuster for simple, toolless adjustments
  • Large 270mm front brake rotor is coupled with a Nissin caliper and aggressive pad compounds to provide excellent braking performance
  • Rear brake feel is improved by reducing the rigidity of the brake hose providing a wider range of control at the pedal
  • Advanced computer-aided wheel design shaves weight without sacrificing durability, while rear wheel comes laced in a three-cross-spoke pattern for improved impact absorption and rider feel
  • Compact, lightweight push-button electric start provides effortless restarts
  • Lightweight aluminum tapered handlebar
  • Rubber-mounted four-position adjustable handlebar mounts reduce vibration
  • Premium Yamaha Blue and dark blue graphics scheme is embedded to provide excellent durability and scratch resistance
  • Race-developed Dunlop® Geomax MX33 tires


The new 2023 YZ450F will be available from dealers this November in Team Yamaha Blue for $9,899 MSRP. The new 2023 Monster Energy® Yamaha Racing Edition YZ450F will be available from dealers this October for $10,099 MSRP.


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