Yamaha YZF450R: The only race quad to buy

Looking to go quad racing? Thinking of buying a new machine? Sure there are some high-buck chassis out there that you can bolt the motor of your choice into, but that takes time and money to get sorted.
And it needs a lot of knowledge to get it done right.
In truth, in 2020 there is only one choice if you want to buy a brand new quad racer – and that is the Yamaha YFZ450R.
Yep, that’s right, it’s the only race quad still being made by a leading manufacturer, and it hits the showroom floor at a tad over the £9,000 mark.
The good news is that out of the crate it’s a damn fine machine, and all it needs to go racing is a set of nerf bars, an ignition cut-out lanyard and a set of number plates.
In stock trim, the YFZ will kick ass at clubman and local level with a reasonably serious pilot on board.
As with every form of racing, if you want to compete at a higher level, then you are going to have to start upgrading chassis, suspension and powertrain components – and that can be a long and expensive journey.
But a sensible approach and advice from the right people and the YFZ can still be ultra-competitive at the higher levels of racing.
One person who knows the Yam YFZ450R series better than most is British Championship rider and recently-appointed Yamaha dealer, Oli Sansom from Sansom Motorsports. He has been riding the 450 Yam for over 10 years and knows his way around them.
Over to you Oli: “The standard spec 2020 YFZ450R is an awesome machine out of the crate and I practice on one all the time.
“My British Championship machine is carefully modified, as it is up against some hand-built £30k specials, and so no-one would expect a bog-standard machine to be fully competitive at that level.
“My first step on my national race-spec machine is to fit PEP Suspension all round with Laegers MGC A-arms on the front and a RPM Dominator axle at the rear.
“Next, I fit a Beringer master cylinder to the front braking system to improve race-long brake performance.
“I also fit a TLO oil chamber for increased oil capacity and a clear oil level viewing glass and aluminium WC timing side bungs to replace the standard plastic items.
“Beyond that, I do make limited engine mods and use different exhausts and engine set-up for different tracks, and, of course, different tyres to suit different surfaces and condition.
“But these mods will turn a great machine into a top-level contender.”
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