Yamaha set the pace in the Hi-Performance ATV world with the introduction of their original YFZ 450, then upped the ante when they built a second generation racer, the YFZ 450R. The new ‘R came with a high tech aluminum chassis, fuel injection, a powerful engine, and racing quality, long travel suspension. Whether in the hands of a pro racer or an intermediate class rider, it made every rider better. Many riders hit the trails as well, however, and often that means a full width racer simply won’t fit between the trees.
The YFZ 450X is the trail-friendly version of the championship winning YFZ 450R and it carries the family DNA. Every part of the machine was designed with performance in mind beginning with its hybrid aluminum chassis. Suspension is provided by dual A-arms at the front, a cast aluminum swingarm and linkage system at the rear, and massive, fully adjustable, high quality shocks. Power is from a 449cc, 4-Stroke, Liquid Cooled, Titanium, 5-Valve DOHC engine which is unique in that the oil reservoir is carried within the engine cases rather than in an external tank. The 450X also benefits from EFI although mapping is designed for a strong bottom end and powerful mid range uniquely programmed for tight trail action. Ergonomics on the 450X follow the rest of the Yamaha Sport ATV family which rewrote the books on how a performance ATV should feel. The tank is slim and narrow, controls are high quality and well placed, the seat is firm and grippy, and the natural seating position places the rider in an aggressive stance perfect for attacking the trails or track. It even comes with extra wide foot pegs for all day comfort. We love it!
The YFZ 450X makes every rider better and, despite its high performance nature, won’t be intimidating to the less experienced but will reward highly skilled riders. Because of all the great features, its versatility on the track or tight trail, and its outstanding performance, the Yamaha YFZ 450X is our pick for the Best 450cc Hi-performance ATV of 2010.