Did yamaha have it right the first time?

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2/19/2019 9:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/19/2019 9:47 AM

Talking with a few people last Saturday. Topic of 450's being to much, driving out 250 2t from racing,ECT ECT.
This got me thinking did yamaha have it right when the ycame out with the YZ400F. I know the rule allowed them to go up to 540cc and yamaha did at times go much bigger on their factory bikes. Looking at how they have developed over the last 21 years I would think a 400 would have more hp then the 350 stock, less rotating mass then a 450 and might be a even better all around bike. Not only that i think 250 2t would have held on longer if not still been competitive. I always thought honda picking 450cc was a way for them to get rid of two strokes. They knew with development over time at 450cc 250s wouldn't cut it. thoughts.

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2/19/2019 10:00 AM

Had a 400 KTM, loved that motor. Had a 450 at the time as well (Suzuki). Have a 350 now and much better for me. But im a nobody. Why they picked 450 is probably up to the boardroom like you said. Not sure what the formula was, but the 450 is more than too much.

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2/19/2019 10:24 AM

This is why my next bike will be a Husqvarna FC350.

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2/19/2019 10:28 AM

At their level does it matter though. They're so damn fast, it's not like the 125/250 days where a 125 could not do what the 250 would. But now, a damn hot 250 4 stroke in the hands of professional riders is still deadly fast.

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2/19/2019 10:29 AM

I thought there was plans to limit it to 400's in 01 but Honda had a 450 designed all ready. Honda being Honda got thier way in the end.

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2/19/2019 10:36 AM

Personally i think 450 are easy to ride. You dont med to shift as much and always have the drive if you need it. I feel much safer om a 450 then on any smaller bike and they dont wear me out as much as the smaller bikes do.

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2/19/2019 11:26 AM

Bramlett321 wrote:

At their level does it matter though. They're so damn fast, it's not like the 125/250 days where a 125 could not do what the 250 would. But now, a damn hot 250 4 stroke in the hands of professional riders is still deadly fast.

That was another point we talked about a 200-225cc 4t would be still fast as hell but 125-150cc 2t would still be competitive. BUT the biggest factor with the 4strokes is the usable spread of power. I feel like that would still make them the preferred motor. 4strokes help talentless people and make the talented riders even faster.

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2/19/2019 11:31 AM

250f is enough.

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2/19/2019 11:32 AM

DA498 wrote:

Had a 400 KTM, loved that motor. Had a 450 at the time as well (Suzuki). Have a 350 now and much better for me. But im a nobody. Why they picked 450 is probably up to the boardroom like you said. Not sure what the formula was, but the 450 is more than too much.

Had a ktm 400 as well after the motor blew ktm threw me a new motor. They even let me get it sent in all parts not a complete motor. I got that bike built and it was so fast still. Loved it. I feel like a 400 would be that happy medium between a 350 and 450. More torque then a 350 and less overall power then a 450. I just think it would be a better overall platform.

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2/19/2019 11:37 AM

peltier626 wrote:

250f is enough.

This^

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2/19/2019 11:49 AM

A change to 250f and 350f classes would be cool. I wonder if we will ever see a factory backed 350f rider in the 450 class here in the states. I know a GP rider or two(?) did well on one. I don’t follow GP and can’t recall who, but I’d imagine they’re more than competitive against a 450. Lap times of 250s indoors are usually very close to that of 450s.

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2/19/2019 11:54 AM

Yes, they did. After it won a premiere class main everyone should have said "well it can win at 400cc, so that's the mark"

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2/19/2019 11:58 AM

I think that racing 450 four strokes in SX today is about the same as if they were racing 500 two strokes in SX in the 1980's.

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2/19/2019 12:05 PM

I see it like this- Big Boy Pants Class- Around 40 HP, Baby Underwear Pants Class- 30 HP, "Open Full Grown Pants Class"- 60+HP. And yes, I think there needs to be 3 classes outdoors, not just 2. People wanna race more classes locally? Wanna sell more new bikes? Give people 3 classes, give them something to be happy/pissed about, just get them excited about something "new" coming back to mx.

I think the current 250 class has way too much power, as do the 450s. For not only the "average" rider, but also for the Pros when racing indoors. I think less power would equal less severe injuries. I don't care what displacement or stroke an engine may be, I just think the HP numbers need to be around 30, 40, and 60+.... just my -.00002 cents...

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2/19/2019 12:12 PM

mx617 wrote:

Yes, they did. After it won a premiere class main everyone should have said "well it can win at 400cc, so that's the mark"

On its debut in Vegas no less.

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2/19/2019 12:13 PM

My 450 RMZ has good power if you stomp it but for the most part very rideable, predictable and mellow.. The newer bikes can be programmed to suit your needs so it's not really an issue anymore.


Some have said the 250f is enough and I'm on board with that. The yz250f has the power personality that fits many riders just fine. If I had the budget I'd own one.

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2/19/2019 12:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/19/2019 12:21 PM

peltier626 wrote:

250f is enough.

You're on to something that many of the tough guy Vitards will disagree with. I haven't ridden a 250F newer that 2004, I would have to imagine there isn't much comparing the two. The new ones are obviously up about 10 hp over the first 2001 YZ250F's.

I remember Jimmy Button telling me about his early works YZF's twisting the dyno to 76 hp. He didn't specify displacement (wink ) but he did state that it made most of that power over a very narrow rpm range. Pretty much unridable, he said.

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2/19/2019 12:25 PM

Bramlett321 wrote:

At their level does it matter though. They're so damn fast, it's not like the 125/250 days where a 125 could not do what the 250 would. But now, a damn hot 250 4 stroke in the hands of professional riders is still deadly fast.

rob162 wrote:

That was another point we talked about a 200-225cc 4t would be still fast as hell but 125-150cc 2t would still be competitive. BUT the biggest factor with the 4strokes is the usable spread of power. I feel like that would still make them the preferred motor. 4strokes help talentless people and make the talented riders even faster.

Yeah and make it more dangerous because its so easy to go fast, but inevitably there will still be crashes and the with the increased speeds come increased severity of injurys

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2/19/2019 1:27 PM

observeroffacts wrote:

A change to 250f and 350f classes would be cool. I wonder if we will ever see a factory backed 350f rider in the 450 class here in the states. I know a GP rider or two(?) did well on one. I don’t follow GP and can’t recall who, but I’d imagine they’re more than competitive against a 450. Lap times of 250s indoors are usually very close to that of 450s.

when the 350 first came Alessi and then Short rode them. Both opted to go back to 450. It gives up grunt so on US tracks where soil is deep or starts are short in SX, losing that edge puts you back in the pack and in the 450 class its much harder to come through, unless your name is James stewart.

The 350 is much improved from 2011 but again the start. Its much easier to to pass 39 guys at once than to pick off 10 guys over 30min

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"If you feel in control, you're not going fast enough" ~Mario Andretti

2/19/2019 1:54 PM

When the four stroke rules were first written in the late 90's, the LIMIT was much higher (like 600cc's or something).
Guy Cooper rode a KTM520 in the nationals one year, and it may have been overbored beyond that. I remember one of the top riders that that got interviewed after one of the races saying something to the effect of "Yeah, Cooper pulled the holeshot on his 750 or whatever it is...". Yamaha had already bumped up to a 450 when they finally settled on the 450cc mark. But yeah, they should have limited it to 400cc's from the start IMO.

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2/19/2019 2:04 PM

SmokinJoe439 wrote:

I thought there was plans to limit it to 400's in 01 but Honda had a 450 designed all ready. Honda being Honda got thier way in the end.

Honda didnt get 'their way', the rules allowed a 450cc engine and thats what they ended up settling on....if there were plans on limiting it to 400 (which I am not aware, but not to say that isnt correct) then Honda would of built a 400 like any other manufacturer would of. Yamaha went to a 426 then a 450 (when the other 450's came out), they certainly had the advantage over everyone else.

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2/19/2019 2:11 PM

JBecker 72 wrote:

This is why my next bike will be a Husqvarna FC350.

Son races the 350 in A class, always gets top 3 starts running against 450's and Mod YZ250's
the 450's have too much power at all the wrong times he says

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2/19/2019 2:29 PM

The rules allowed up to 550cc not 450! Then it was lowered to 450.

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2/19/2019 2:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/19/2019 4:48 PM

JBecker 72 wrote:

This is why my next bike will be a Husqvarna FC350.

STLSharky wrote:

Son races the 350 in A class, always gets top 3 starts running against 450's and Mod YZ250's
the 450's have too much power at all the wrong times he says

It seems like the perfect bike for me at 34 years old Vet B and maybe races once or twice a year. Currently I have a YZ250 and KX450F. I enjoy riding my friends 18 YZ250F here and there, but honestly I’m too big for one to be my only bike. At 6’1” 190-195 (in my boxers) it’s just not enough bike sometimes. If I were his size, 5’7” and 145 pounds, sure.

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2/19/2019 2:36 PM

mxrose3 wrote:

When the four stroke rules were first written in the late 90's, the LIMIT was much higher (like 600cc's or something).
Guy Cooper rode a KTM520 in the nationals one year, and it may have been overbored beyond that. I remember one of the top riders that that got interviewed after one of the races saying something to the effect of "Yeah, Cooper pulled the holeshot on his 750 or whatever it is...". Yamaha had already bumped up to a 450 when they finally settled on the 450cc mark. But yeah, they should have limited it to 400cc's from the start IMO.

I remember that. I think it was rc talking about Shayne King on his 800 laughing

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2/19/2019 4:01 PM

peltier626 wrote:

250f is enough.

Yep. I'm a bigger dude for a 250f (200lb) and was usually right up front in vet class against 450s, my last few holeshots were even on an uphill start with a couple sweepers as we climbed up, all it took was a bit more commitment and not letting off.

If I couldn't jump something it was because I was holding back, not that the bike couldn't.

On a 250x now for off road simply because of the lower range power and that it runs cooler... And sounds way better.

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2/19/2019 4:36 PM

Yes Yamaha did

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2/19/2019 4:48 PM

God I forgot all about the KTM 400. That was one sweet woods racer.

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2/19/2019 5:01 PM

I’m not going to knock 4 strokes. I’ve ridden them and liked them, but I prefer the two stroke. I just wish the powers that be would allow the two stroke to be competitive in the pro class. Maybe let a 300 2 stroke in the 450 class, or some form of a more equal displacement than 250 vs 450. And similar in the 250 class. Let privateers run the cheaper machines. There has to be a more accurate formula that would allow 2 strokes to compete. The rules are so skewed now that it doesn’t make sense. How could leveling the field a little hurt the racing?

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2/19/2019 5:09 PM

JBecker 72 wrote:

This is why my next bike will be a Husqvarna FC350.

STLSharky wrote:

Son races the 350 in A class, always gets top 3 starts running against 450's and Mod YZ250's
the 450's have too much power at all the wrong times he says

A 350 has holeshot or top 3'd at loretta's b or a class the last 4-5 years consistently.

It's so much better than people realize - but only in the hands of a rider who rides it correctly - aka a 250f type rider.

Web would have been an entirely different rider aboard a 350 rather than that yz450 - I'd venture to say he would have won races

I think we need the ENTIRE sport to go backwards.
Modern 85s in mod form for me - outrun many superminis on the market - and certainly that were common place 20 years ago.
Supermini class has gone from 105cc to 113 this year....why>???? It should go backwards
A good 65 will outrun the stock 85s from 10 years ago...

A stock 125 ktm is like a full blown factory 125 (better actually) back in the 125 days.

The class gaps were based of power at the time - and power has sky rocketed....
We need to step back - sell slower bikes - and make the riders maximize their talents.

Only negative to dropping back to say 400cc or 350cc - is costs for privateers goes up (and teams). Currently a 450 with a pipe, mapping, and fuel is totally sufficient to win sx races.

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