Yamaha Offroad Competition Models 2023

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It's been almost 50 years since Yamaha won the first Motocross World Championship. Over the past half-century, the company's off-road competition models have consistently demonstrated their winning potential, claiming some important FIM Motocross and US Supercross titles on both four-stroke and two-stroke motorcycles. In 2022, Monster Energy Yamaha factory riders Jeremy Seewer and Maxime Renaux (MXGP) and Jago Geerts (MX2) have been regular podium finishers in FIM Grands Prix and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing riders have dominated US Supercross, with Eli Tomac the 450SX Championship and Christian Craig won the 250SX West title.

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This year Yamaha continues to demonstrate its commitment to all aspects of off-road sport by offering one of the widest ranges of competitive motocross and enduro motorcycles - with a range of youth machines on offer including the legendary PW50. After the last major upgrades, the 2023, 250, 125 and 85 motocross models as well as the 65 and 450 enduros will be launched with new graphics in 250. For the upcoming 2023 model year, Yamaha has focused entirely on the development of an all-new YZ450F. Lighter, faster and easier to drive, it lives up to its significant heritage.

The all-new YZ450F

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The focus is on the driver: A new way into the victorYZone. With a lighter and more powerful new engine, as well as a newly developed lightweight chassis and all-new ergonomic bodywork, the YZ450F takes a big step forward for 2023 and is Yamaha's flagship product in the motocross segment. With every motorcycle, the harmonious interaction of man and machine is important, because this is the only way to achieve optimal performance. This is especially true on a motocross bike, which requires constant shifting of body weight during acceleration, braking and cornering. A successful off-road competition motorcycle must behave like an extension of the rider's body and mind. As such, the YZ450F development team also focused on the needs and expectations of the rider.

Driver-centric design

Rather than introducing new technology for its own sake, Yamaha designers put the rider first and adopted a rider-centric approach. The potential benefits that each new feature would offer to riders of all skill levels were constantly evaluated. The result is a competitive motocross bike that's fast and fun on any type of track, whether the rider is a seasoned pro or a weekend racer. With 5% more power and weighing just 109kg (full tank) this new model aims to reinforce Yamaha's position as one of the leading brands in motocross.

The All-New YZ450F Engine: Lighter, Faster, Simpler.

For 2023, the YZ450F engine has been completely redesigned. Each component was checked and analyzed. The result is the most significant engine change since the original inverted head layout was introduced in 2010. With a forward-facing intake and rear-facing exhaust, this unique engine layout ensures high efficiency. The positions of the airbox, fuel tank and exhaust, as well as the backward-sloping cylinder, all contribute significantly to the centralization of masses. The new engine is lighter, more agile and delivers a more linear performance characteristic. This results in stronger and better pulling power with improved drivability and the 2023 model is easier to drive in all engine speed ranges.

New piston, lighter cylinder and redesigned crank mechanism

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The inverted head engine benefits from an optimized combustion chamber and a new piston and lighter cylinder. The result is an improvement in performance and power delivery. In order to enable the engine speed limit to be increased by 500 rpm, the new engine was fitted with a high-precision, low-friction timing chain. The crankshaft and connecting rod have been redesigned for more efficient operation, and a lighter plain bearing replaces the previous needle bearing. The new hollow balancer shaft also has a new single counterweight. This improved, lighter construction significantly reduces vibration.

Increased air intake volume

For 2023, the highly efficient, forward-facing intake tract has been improved. This is ensured by a newly shaped intake port with a straighter transition to the cylinder head and titanium intake valves with a diameter increased to 39 mm. The intake volume at maximum valve lift was increased by 9%. Complementing the tweaks to the intake layout, the shape of the exhaust port has also been revised for a smoother connection to the exhaust.

New air intake routing with Vortex airbox

For 2023 there is an all-new air intake, where fresh air is now channeled through the space between the fuel tank, frame, seat and side panels. This new airflow routing prevents water and debris from entering the airbox. Further advantages are the saving of weight and the slimming down of the add-on parts. The 2023 model also has a highly efficient airbox design. It creates a vortex so that contaminants are separated from the intake air by centrifugal forces before it enters the new, round filter.

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Newly developed gearbox and lighter clutch

A newly developed gearbox is used to cope with the 5% increase in overall engine performance. The distance between the drive shafts has been increased, as has the diameter of the individual gears. This saves weight and increases the strength of the five-speed gearbox. The previous model's two-piece steel/aluminium clutch is replaced by a durable and lightweight one-piece steel construction with disc springs instead of the traditional coil springs. This new clutch is significantly lighter and slimmer, 0,75kg lighter and offers a more direct feel and lighter lever pull.

Increased durability

To increase the durability of the more powerful engine over a wider RPM range, the new YZ450F engine has a revised cooling system and a new dry sump lubrication system. There is also a new timing chain, a new tensioner and a new connecting rod.

Redesigned double cradle aluminum frame

In line with the rider-centric approach, Yamaha engineers also redesigned the double-loop aluminum frame. The aim was to achieve a lighter driving experience, greater agility and improved stability. The character and behavior of the new chassis are determined by many factors. This includes the geometry, the specific stiffness balance of each individual component and the way they interact with each other.

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A major change for 2023 is the relocation of the connection between the tank tubes and the head tube, which is now 15mm lower than before. The connection between the frame tubes, which connect the tank tubes to the down tube, has also been lowered to the same extent. Other important changes include increasing the stiffness of the down tube as well as the cross tube and swingarm pivot. The new frame has a 4mm thick steel motor mount with three thru bolts instead of an 8mm thick aluminum motor mount with a single thru bolt.

Next generation compact and slim bodywork

The YZ450F has all-new 'Horizontal Movement' bodywork. It gives the flagship of the motocross segment a new, sleek and streamlined look. The result is a leaner and more compact bodywork with a seamless and rounded finish that increases opportunities for quick weight shifts. The new fresh air supply to the intake tract means that the front air ducts are no longer needed. Thanks to these measures and the narrower, new fuel tank, the center section has been significantly slimmed down. The compact front fender is complemented by a new, shorter rear fender. Along with the new seat, air cleaner cover and fuel tank, the YZ450F has a flatter, horizontal profile and is significantly shorter. New side panels and fork guards complete their dynamic new look.

Revised ergonomics

The positions of all three elements of rider ergonomics - seat, handlebars and footpegs - have been changed to achieve an ideal riding position for riders of different builds. The seat height has been increased by 5 mm and has a significantly flatter surface. Another improvement is the rounded profile of the left and right sides of the seat, which facilitates lateral body movements. The footpegs are now positioned 5mm lower, giving a total of 10mm more leg room for taller riders. The 4-way adjustable handlebars have been relocated to allow for a more natural riding position and the rubberized handlebar mounts ensure a more comfortable ride.

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Revised KYB suspension elements

New valves in the spring elements improve damping performance and increase traction. For easier adjustment, the best-in-class KYB fork features manually adjustable compression damping. Drivers can now access clear information and recommendations for chassis settings via the Power Tuner app on their smartphone, taking the guesswork out of settings to a thing of the past.

Improved rear brake feel

The rear brake is important when changing direction and for effective cornering. The feeling it conveys to the driver is crucial for vehicle control. Therefore, the new model has a new rear brake line with reduced stiffness, which improves the balance of the braking intervention and allows the driver more precise control.

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New adjustable traction control

The use of a new traction control is another example of how Yamaha's rider-centric philosophy focuses on introducing technology to benefit the YZ450F rider. This electronic control system offers two support levels and a switch-off function. It prevents the bike from losing traction and the rider can fully concentrate on the track. The YZ450F's new Traction Control System is controlled via the Power Tuner app and allows the rider to select the level of intervention they prefer based on track conditions, weather and riding ability.

Revised launch control system

The launch control system has a new 'Rev limit' function, the maximum engine speed of which can be set between 6.000 rpm and 11.000 rpm in 500 rpm increments. This allows the rider to leave the starting line at full throttle and focus on the holeshot. When the launch control system detects that the launch process is complete, the rev limiter switches off automatically. The launch control system is also deactivated when shifting into third gear.

Lighter weight

Every component, major and minor, has been analyzed by the development team to make the new YZ450F one of the lightest bikes in its category – measured in running order and with a full tank of fuel. A new fuel pump, airbox and chain guide are major contributors to the reduced weight, helping to centralize mass and improve chassis agility. Even the smallest parts - including the throttle cable, handlebar switch and water pump impeller - have been redesigned. The weight was reduced by 2,3 kg to just 109 kg when ready to drive and with a full tank of fuel.

New, more intuitive Power Tuner app

For 2023, the Power Tuner App has been updated and now offers an intuitive "Quick Tuning" function. It makes it much easier and faster to select the desired engine characteristics by scrolling from "Smooth" to "Aggressive" via a scroll bar. The new app includes additional features such as a lap timer, engine RPM, fuel consumption, speed and other data. There is also a Suspension FAQ page to help the YZ450F owner find their optimal setup.

Technical highlights

  • All new, lighter, slimmer and more compact 450cc engine
  • Increased linear performance at all engine speeds and a 500 rpm higher rev limit Increased air intake capacity with 39mm titanium intake valves Revised five-speed gearbox and new, lighter clutch
  • New dry sump lubrication system Reduction of the total weight by 2,3 kg to 109 kg ready to drive with a full tank Newly designed double loop aluminum frame with revised stiffness balance Updated damper valves of telescopic fork and strut
  • New, manually adjustable compression damping on the telescopic fork
  • Slimmer and more compact bodywork for more freedom of movement for the rider Flatter and narrower seat for more freedom of movement
  • New 3-mode adjustable traction control system Updated launch control system New, more intuitive Power Tuner app with Quick Tuning New lap timer function and much more FAQ-based suspension setup guide

Availability and color options

The new YZ450F will be available from November 2022 and will be offered in two color variants: Icon Blue, Monster Black. The YZ450F Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Edition has black hardware with blue accents and Monster Energy graphics, reminiscent of the look of the factory race bikes.

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Yamaha motocross and enduro models for 2023

With a wide range of four-stroke and two-stroke models - from the all-new YZ450F to the YZ65 - as well as the WR-F Enduro models, Yamaha's 2023 off-road competition offering is one of the most competitive and diverse. With a track record of racing in MX2 Grand Prix and US Supercross – including Maxime Renaux winning the 2 MX2021 World Championship – the speed and agility of the YZ250F is legendary. With its highly efficient inverted head engine and lightweight aluminum chassis, the 250cc XNUMX-stroke is the choice of serious racers.

Yamaha made their name with two-strokes and the YZ125 and YZ250 are undoubtedly among the best in their respective classes. With their super-agile handling and explosive performance, these lightweight motocrossers have garnered a large and loyal following among two-stroke fans. The current YZ85 cements its position as one of the leading motorcycles in the youth category and the YZ65, with its pure racing DNA, offers new riders the best start in motocross.

The WR450F and WR250F enduro models were developed on the basis of the successful motocross models. They offer enduro-specific features such as a wide-ratio gearbox, revised intake and exhaust systems, dedicated mapping and cooling systems, and more to ensure strong and usable performance.

Yamaha's TT-R range of children's motorcycles offers models for riders of all ages. Powered by reliable and easy-to-service air-cooled four-stroke engines, the TT-R50, TT-R110 and TT-R125 will provide years of family fun and lasting memories. And of course there is the legendary PW50 two-stroke motorcycle. It's the ultimate entry-level motorcycle with a fully automatic transmission, shaft drive and dual handlebar-mounted brake levers. With around 400.000 copies sold, it has been the number one choice for children for 40 years.

Availability and color options

These motocross and enduro models come in the latest generation Yamaha Icon Blue racing color scheme with new graphics and will be available from August 2022, availability will vary by model. The YZ250F, YZ250 and YZ125 will also be available as Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Editions. They feature black bodywork with blue accents and Monster Energy graphics, inspired by the design of Yamaha factory riders' winning bikes.

Yamaha genuine accessories

Yamaha is constantly developing GYTR® performance parts and kits, which are extensively tested and evaluated by the Yamaha Racing Teams. They end up being available for privateers and teams to bring their bikes to ultimate condition. In addition to the GYTR® performance parts and kits, Yamaha Genuine Accessories also offers a selection of high-quality off-road and leisure clothing for adults and children as well as individual accessories and an extensive range of Yamalube lubricants. Yamaha owners can rest assured that every item in the Yamaha Genuine Accessories line has been engineered to offer the best performance with premium quality and a perfect fit.

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Yamaha Offroad Competition Models 2023
Photo credit: Yamaha
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