TUNED: 2024 YZ450FX Night Racer Stage 1 Build

Going Night Racing On A YZ450FX

Story by Trevor Hunter, Photos by Trevor Hunter/Logan Stupin

Yamaha’s YZ450FX has been one of our go-to bikes for night racing over the years, and with an all-new model debuting for 2024, we figured what better way to break it in than with a SRA GP Night Race at Glen Helen Raceway. The trio of Tyler Belknap, Cody Lee, and myself (Trevor Hunter) rode to the Overall win on a near stock platform. We’ll go over the little changes made from stock and how we were able to power the light setup.

Our light setup for the night was KC HiLites’ Flex Era 1 combo. With no time to ride the bike at night before the race, we adjusted the lights the best we could in the parking lot and in the end we thought they were aimed a little low. Overall, they don’t have quite the throw that some other lights we’ve tested have, but the spread and pattern is VERY good and easy to look at. You can read our full Product Test on the lights HERE.
To power the lights, we were only able to get our hands on a 2024 WR450F Flywheel (Part #: BNK-81450-00-00), though we hope to get our hands on a Stator soon to complete the package (Part #: BNK-81410-00-00). Because we didn’t have the complete setup, we powered 2/4 of the lights off the bike directly off of the battery, with the other two powered off THIS EXTERNAL BATTERY mounted under the lights. Each KC HiLites Flex Era 1 LED pod is ~23W, and we were able to comfortably power the 46W of lights with just the flywheel mod. We consistently held 13.9-14V on the bike’s battery throughout the course of the 2 hour race. You can read more about how to power lights on a dirt bike HERE.
The mounting is quite simple using Baja Designs’ standard fork mounts and this custom frame made for these lights. We’ll be working with Modified Machine Works on getting a standardized frame setup built for these KC pods.
We ran a Corner Coach Seat Bump to help us harness all of the power the YZ450FX puts to the ground.
Despite the new Yamaha 450 being ultra fast in the power department, we felt like we could’ve used more power in our 7 minute sprints on the fast GP track. We ran Map 1 stock with all zeros, though we could’ve gone a tad more aggressive for this race.
Cody Lee, one of Yamaha’s R&D test riders and the one responsible for developing the ’24 YZ450FX for his second ever off-road race and first time riding at night.
On suspension, we ran sag at 100mm, Fork Compression at 12 clicks out, and High Speed Compression 1 5/8 turn out from all the way in. Fork Rebound, Shock Rebound, and Shock Low Speed Compression were all ran at stock.
Dunlop Tires and Nitromousse put the power to the ground on the YZ450FX.

This bike is VERY stock, but performed very well. Aside from the Flywheel, Tires/Mousses, the Corner Coach Seat Bump, and some clicks in the suspension, the bike is off the showroom floor and delivered with the overall win. We were able to go 1 hour on the fast GP track before needing to refuel, so the 2.2 gal tank is ample enough for most off-road racing. While we were really happy with the setup, there are a few things we want to try on this bike. We’ll play with gearing and see if we get any of the same benefits of running a 14/52 or similar setup like we did on last year’s bike. Also, we’ll play with chassis setup to see if we can get a touch more stability in the high speed chop.

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