FIRST LOOK: 2012 Yamaha YFZ450

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Big Move by Sport Industry Leader

With a fading Sport ATV market across the collective industry, Yamaha has once again taken a leading role in innovation.

This time though, the innovation is evident in the way the company is approaching this vulnerable market segment.

Yamaha was the first OEM to offer a true race level performance ATV and its success cannot be denied when you consider Yamaha supported racers like Bill Balance, Dustin Nelson and Thomas Brown.

Based on its success, the proven YFZ450 platform is unquestionably the envy of Yamaha’s competitors.

Yamaha obviously nailed the set-up on this quad with its powerhouse YZ based engine, cast aluminum swing arm and sub frame, aluminum upper A-arm, long travel suspension and lightweight, nimble chassis.

For 2012, Yamaha has elected to make a YFZ that appeals more to the average recreational rider and just as important, have made it affordable for the average ATV sport rider to buy one.

Adjustments to the cam timing has improved bottom and mid range power and has made it easier to ride for recreational riders. A new, larger Mikuni 42mm BSR carb with TBS has also improved throttle response while creating reduced throttle effort.

New KYB front shocks (non piggyback) perform well and are more than enough cushion for the average recreational rider and the Showa piggyback rear shock absorbs the bumps nicely.

The move to a new lighter wheel, with rolled inner lip that protects the inside of the wheel from dirt and muck, and new, lighter Dunlop front tires that reduce steering effort are welcome upgrades.

Here’s where things get really interesting though. The new price tag on this 2012 YFZ450 has been slashed to just $6,799.

If you need a better understanding of just how good a deal this is, the 2012 Honda TRX450R is $7,999 and the Kawi KFX450R is $8,099. If you’re scratching your head right now thinking there has to be a catch, think again.

The 2012 YFZ450 out-performs its competitors in every feature from weight to suspension travel to all-round performance at an incredible price. Yamaha is serious about maintaining its ownership of the sport market. Make no mistake about it.

This is the right product, at the right time. The YFZ is absolutely priced to bring back the core demographic. In case you’re wondering, Yamaha still offers the EFI equipped YFZ450R (including Special Edition) for the serious hardcore racers out there.

Look for the full story in the November issue of Dirt Trax Magazine. We’ll have more photos and more details about this exciting move by Yamaha. Visit for more details right now!

Matt Lester
Matt Lester
Matt Lester is an Account Manager for Dirt Trax TV. He is also a Contributing Editor and Guest Correspondent on the show focusing on tourism & adventure segments.

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