lightweight aluminum frame bolts
together! The frame member under
the engine is steel. The steel allowed
the engine to sit lower in the frame.
The front of the frame, where the A-arms attaches, is quite narrow to minimize changes in camber as the suspension uses its travel. The controls
are all very nice in feel and for the
effort that’s required. The flip-out
parking brake is a great design. The
700 does have reverse, but the 450
does not. Instrumentation is minimal,
but sufficient for the intended purpose. Both machines use the same-size tire, but the 450 rolls on Dunlops,
and the 700 opted for a Maxxis product. The 700 has a more roomy cock-
When you start accelerating with the
700, it builds speed quickly and with little drama, but there’s this feeling that
nothing could hold it back.
reduce friction. During our testing, it
became very apparent that the YFZ is
set up motocross-stiff, so it jumped
and landed better. The 700 has more
comfort built into the ride, but it would
bottom on jump faces hard enough to
keep it from big air. Clearly the 700R is
built (in the U.S., by the way) with a
bent toward trail riding and recreational use.
Both models use hybrid frames that
combine aluminum and steel components for a state-of-the-art chassis.
The 700 combines a steel front section
with an aluminum rear section and a
detachable subframe. The 450 goes
another route with the frame. The
A long-stroke, big-bore engine with balancers, lots of cooling
and plenty of oil capacity—that’s a recipe for years of trou-ble-free fun.
The YFZ450R SE graphics package is aggressive and sinister,
but most liked it. Note how narrow the frame is where the A-arms mount.
The 450 is light and snappy-feeling in any
condition. It has aggressive power and
suspension designed to be pushed hard.