FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2014 YZ450F BETTER THAN THE 2013 YZ450F? A: Let’s be honest, James Stewart and his minions put the Yamaha YZ450F in a precarious position when he quit midseason last year (although it should be noted that Bubba won 8 AMA races on the YZ450F before declaring it unfit). Bad word of mouth stalled YZ450F sales, but Yamaha insisted on waiting out their four-year production cycle before trying to fix the flaws—or perceived flaws. Yamaha can breathe again, because the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F is better than the 2010–2013 versions. Q: WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES THAT YAMAHA MADE TO THE 2014 YZ450F? A: This bike was not released into a vacuum; there has been more prerelease publicity about the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F than any other bike this year. Why? Because the YZ450F, YZ250F and Honda CRF250 are the only bikes that got remakes for 2014. The KTMs, Kawasakis, Suzukis and Honda CRF450 are mildly reworked clones of the 2013 models. For those who have been hiding in a bunker somewhere, here is a quick primer on what’s new on the YZ450F. (1) What didn’t they change? The rear wheel, front fender and brakes. ( 2) What did they change? Everything else. For a complete rundown on the 2014 YZ450F, turn to page 42.
2014 TEST RIDE