Motocross

A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike

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A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
Take a brand new YZ450F, add in the most experienced and professional team in the pits and a rider with years of racing knowledge and you get a race bike that is the envy of others.

Kirk Gibbs is entering his second season with the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team and now having a full 12 months of racing in both Australia and New Zealand he had the kinks all ironed out on his YZ450F. But for 2020, the Yamaha YZ450F came out with a several significant changes and as Kirk is only on board for motocross, he didn‰Ûªt race the updated bike during the Australian Supercross Championship late last year.

So, as a rider, Gibbs needed to encompass what he liked about last years‰Ûª race bike, then go through a range of updated parts on the 2020 bike and find a motor and suspension package that works for him across a wide ranges of tracks and conditions. This is where the experience and knowledge of the rider and team can really shortcut the testing process and make the right changes at the right times.
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
Same Old
One thing that didn‰Ûªt change on the 2020 YZ450F was the ergo set up. Gibbs retains the standard clamps and even runs the bar mounts in the standard back / forward position. He mounts a set of Renthal 996 handlebars and Renthal diamond pattern grips and instantly feels at home. The standard levers and perches remain.

The only other change to the layout is a slightly higher seat for rider comfort. CDR Yamaha found in testing that some padding in the centre of the seat gave the riders a better position on the bike and combined with a gripper seat cover, he feels more planted on the machine. Add to that some sharpened footpegs and Kirk is dialled in as far as comfort on the bike is concerned.
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
Motor
It‰Ûªs a tired old line, but a lot of racers aren‰Ûªt looking for more outright horsepower in a 450cc motocross bike. When a standard bike pumps out somewhere around the 58-60HP at the rear wheel, chasing big dyno figures is pointless if the rider can‰Ûªt control it or the tracks don‰Ûªt require it.

For Kirk and the CDR team, its more about enhancing the already impressive motor package on the standard YZ450F. The changes made to the 2020 motor, were to make it more rideable, broaden the power out and allow the rider to run taller gears for longer and not fatigue as fast as shouldn‰Ûªt need to crawl all over it front to keep it on the ground.

This style of power delivery is right up Kirk‰Ûªs alley as he rides the bike in the torque and not in the high rpm. For those who have been track side when Gibbs rides by, you can hardly hear him as the motor is in a tall gear, the rpm is low and its almost as though he is in stealth mode.
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
The GTYR motor package ‰ÛÒ head, cams and piston ‰ÛÒ are exactly the style of power Kirk likes in his bikes. There is an increase in power but just as importantly, it keeps it in the same delivery as a standard motor. With the GYTR motor package, the power is broadened right across the rev range that allows Kirk to run that higher gear and pull that low rpm now the motor has the grunt and torque to take it.

The use of the Vortex ECU gives the team some adjustability in the power delivery. Using the low, mid and high rpm clicker adjustments, the team can fine tune the power and they can also program maps that increase or decrease the rev limit as Kirk or the conditions require. Many people would think that riders chase as much power as possible and as aggressive as they can make it, but those days are long gone and often teams will reduce the rpm limit and add fuel to give the power give a nice, fat feel and ensure traction is optimised.

The CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team also have a long relationship with Pro Circuit and have been the exhaust of choice for the team for nearly 30 years now. The relationship is so tight that special exhausts can and have been built for the team in the past, but with a motor package that is readily available, the PC exhaust is now an off the shelf unit and one that works perfectly the GYTR motor combination.
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
Chassis and Suspension
‰ÛÏOne area we think is important to invest more is in suspension,‰Û
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
As far as the action goes, the overall feel of the bike is undoubtedly firmer than standard to handle the pace of a professional racer, but also keeps a plush feel for rider comfort. Modern suspension can be tuned to be plush at the top yet still have good bottoming resistance and can be hard without being harsh.

The rear shock uses a base line of 102-105mm ride height while the fork can be slid through the clamps to get the front wheel feel Kirk requires. That can range anywhere from flush with the clamps on a whooped out sandy track, to five millimetres through to sharpen up the steering. Kirk rides with a lot of faith in front end traction and you can see how well the CDR Yamaha is set up as he is able to change directions on a hard pack and smooth surface easily and effortlessly.
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
Attention to Detail
It‰Ûªs the little things that make a good race bike. The lock wiring of nuts and bolts, the protective mesh over the radiators to stop mud and rocks from reducing airflow, the hours put into designing the team look with the graphics kit and not mention the man hours in building, greasing, polishing and then maintaining the bike in as new condition for a full motocross season.

‰ÛÏI raced Yamaha all my junior career and up until 2012, but when I came back in 2019, the bike had changed considerably in so many ways.‰Û
A rundwon of Kirk Gibbs’ CDR Yamaha YZ450F race bike
SPECS

Spec Check - Kirk Gibbs YZ450FL- #5
Technician ‰ÛÒ Allister Kent

MOTOR
Cylinder Head: GYTR
Piston: GYTR
Camshaft: GYTR
Clutch: GYTR
Throttle Body: OEM
ECU: Vortex
Exhaust: Pro Circuit TI6
Airfilter: UNIFILTER
Gearing: 14/52
Engine Covers: GYTR
Engine oil: YAMALUBE RS4GP
Spark Plug: NGK

CHASSIS
Fork: KYB FACTORY
Shock: KYB FACTORY
Handlebars: RENTHAL 996
Handgrips: RENTHAL FULL DIAMOND
Triple Clamps: OEM
Chain: DID 520ERT3
Tyres: DUNLOP
Mousse: DUNLOP
Wheels: KITE
Seatcover: TOPLINE CDR SPEC
Decals: FLEETWOOD PRINT GROUP
Disc Rotors: OEM
Fuel Cell: CRM CARBON
Glide Plate: CRM CARBON
Brake Clevis: GYTR
Launch Master: GYTR
Chain Blocks: GYTR
Front Brake line: GYTR BRAIDED

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