Mark Tilley centralizes his own
mass on the YZ450F at
There’s la-la land, and then there’s the real world. La-la land, for makers of motorcycles, is a place where you can rewrite all the rules and break all the traditions with absolute
success on your first try. In la-la land, everyone else quickly admits that they’ve been doing
it wrong all these years, and your new designs become universal. The real world is a place
where you learn that tradition, rules and convention all have purpose, and to ignore all that
is an act of arrogance.
Was the reverse engine of the 2010 Yamaha YZ450F a product of la-la land or the real
world? As it turns out, it was a little of both. The bike was bold and revolutionary. But, it
wasn’t quite right, and 2014 represents Yamaha’s first sincere attempt at adjustment. And
make no mistake, the new bike is just that: an adjustment. Yamaha engineers still believe in
the concept as much as ever, and if anything, the new bike is even more devoted to the
thinking that spawned the 2010 version.