Feature

Getting Settled On The Fullnoise.com.au, 2018 Yamaha YZ450F

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

Our first big race meeting aboard our 2018 Yamaha YZ450F was a great learning experience with some big improvements made on the day - Credit: Eric Mcconnochie
There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting completely comfortable on a new bike.

Sure the feeling of having a brand spanking new bike is great, and no matter what that first ride feels excellent, but it always takes some time and a few adjustments to completely feel at home on a bike.

Over the past month and a bit I have been able to find some spare time to put a few hours on our 2018 Yamaha YZ450F and work towards getting the "at home feel".

With any bike that I have ever owned I like to spend a few weeks riding it dead stock, with barely any adjustments at all and then after a few hours of riding start to take some time to playing around adjusting a few things at a time.

It has been no different this time around, and after spending the first month riding the Fullnoise.com.au YZ450F, it was time to start playing around and getting ourselves set up.
With three 10 minute plus one lap moto's at Renmark, we had a great chance to get a feel for the bike under race conditions. - Credit: Eric Mcconnochie
I have spent some time with local South Australian suspension tuner, Grant Beale from Bike Tune who has helped me to get the bike feeling both stable and predictable on track. As my speed and confidence has slowly increased on the new bike, we have tinkered around continuously and without taking the forks or the shock apart we have a very good setting that I am very happy with.

As we approach 15 hours on the bike, we will soon strip both the fork and shock down for a full service and make a few internal changes as we continue to make small adjustments to my set up, but for what it is worth, I am more than happy with both the front fork action and the stability in the rear of the bike, so I can’t see us doing too much at all apart from running some fresh oil.

The next thing on the bike that I changed that actually made a considerable difference was merely adjusting the handlebars!

I was struggling to get the bike turned into ruts to begin with, the suspension adjustments helped, but I just felt I could not get over the top of the front of the bike and get my body positioned correctly. Even in a straight line, I did not feel as though my arms and elbows were high enough.

The 18 Yamaha comes with taller bar mounts and by just rolling the bars back, so they sit right between the -1 and -2 markers in the bar mounts, gave the bike, or more so how I felt on the bike a complete change.
Seriously how cool is the Yamaha Power Tuner App! My current engine map setting and some basic suspension details to revert back to.
Tipping into the very first corner with the bars rolled back, things felt more natural, and I flowed through the turn with much more ease. It did feel a little strange in a straight line and to jump as I felt like I was about to fall over the front of the bike, but after a few laps that felt natural and my corner speed in ruts had improved noticeably.

While the stock bars are great, I do have a set of TAG Metals bars on their way in a slightly lower bend with the hope to improve that feel even further, it has been a few years since TAG bars have been on the market, but they are a brand I once ran religiously so I am pretty pumped personally to see John Titman Racing bringing them to Australia.

At the same time as I rolled the bars back, I also started playing around with the Yamaha Power Tuner App, one of the coolest features that Yamaha have with their latest model YZ450F.

The power the new YZ450F produces in stock form and with the stock map is more than impressive to say the least, and with my lack of ride time in the lead up to picking up, the YZ450F had me struggling to hold on to the beast out of turns, I just could not keep the front wheel on the ground!

I honestly thought it was going to take a bit of time to find a map or design a map that would work for me and I really did not want to get lost and spend hours on end chasing different maps. However after popping in the Linear Trq (Hard Pack ) map that is one of the three optional maps that come when you download the App I found myself more than happy with improvement of how the power rolled on for myself.
With a couple of minor adjustment to the bike set up after the opening round of the SA State titles, our next race day out at Kadina was one of the best days of racing every - Credit: Trevor Allen
The map that slightly increases the fuel injection then mildly retards the ignition across the entire rev range and throttle opening, took the edgeoff the power hit coming out of corners, helping me to keep both the front end down and the rear end hooking up.

With my confidence now growing on the bike I am now feeling that this map, especially in loamy conditions is holding my corner speed on exit back a little bit, so I will use this map as a base and work on designing my own map. As soon as it is finished, I'll upload it, and if anyone else out there want to try it, we will send it through.

For the most part these are all the main adjustments we have made so far, and over the past two weeks in particular, my confidence and my speed has really come back. Sure I am not the fastest rider in the world, a very very long way off that, but I feel as though I am as quick as I have ever been as I approach 40 years of age, so that Is not bad!.

We do have a few more changes coming up with a host of GYTR parts rocking up over the past week along with a few parts from some great companies who have jumped onboard to help us out and sent us a number of parts to try out throughout this year. I'll get into those in more detail in the next couple of weeks.
Thanks to Yamaha Australia we have plenty of Yamalube and GYTR products to protect our Yamaha YZ450F
I have just finalised our graphics with Ringmaster Images which have just gone to print so by our next update our YZ450F will have a fresh new look.

While things on the bike have been great, it has also been quite fun to get to know the bike off the track, the little quirks, how things go together, what it is like to get to the battery to charge it, to take the plastics off, changing an oil filter, changing the oil, all the day to day, weekly and monthly maintenance to keep the bike running at its best on track.

Over the coming month, we will have more of a look on how to perform some of the general maintenance on the YZ450F, how to give the bike a fresh batch of Yamalube oil to keep her running smooth, the ease of changing out our pre-oiled Uni Filter O2 rush filters along with some other basics.

For now, it is back to racking up some hours, we are 15 hours deep so far and with Hattah quickly approaching we will start to turn our attention to the most excellent race on earth, well in my opinion It is!

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