Was wanting to get your opinion on the 2018 vs. 2019 Yamaha YZ450F. I currently have a 2008 and a 2014 YZ450F and was planning on picking up a leftover 2018 for a good price. I live in Wichita, Ks and was at the local track the other day and Tommy Hahn helps out with a local shop on suspension setup for guys. I had heard Travis Preston mention his name on the Pulp show about helping him test and get the setup for the 2019 bike. I told him I was planning to get a leftover 2018 and he told me I would be making a big mistake and should get a 2019. I am 47, 5’5″ 160 and a Vet B rider. Will I be able to notice the small change with the fork lugs and spacers or whatever else they changed.? I can go from my 2008 to my 2014 and feel good on both bikes so I dont think I would ever notice. I currently love my 2014 and it has about 115 hrs on it and just rebuild it this winter but I am feeling the need for a fresh ride.
I would appreciate any input you might have for this Blu-Crew member.
I also sent you an email a few weeks back on getting some Fox Instinct boots resoled. I have started using my new ones but would like to get some more life out of the old ones.
Thanks and keep it pinned.
I would think if it is cost effective go with the 2018 version, put the 2019 wheel spacers on and stiffer seat foam in and you would love it!
The lugs help cornering, but from what you’re coming off of the 2018 is a huge improvement.
I don’t know much about re-soling those, but there is a motocross sole place in Orange County,Ca. that does good work. Maybe look them up?
Have a great weekend and enjoy your new Yamaha!!
You’ve mentioned before how close all the new bikes are and I was wondering how close a shootout winner from 5 years ago (2013) would be to 2018’s last place last place. Would the best from 2013 be better than the worst from 2018? -Jeremy
Tough question. I did ride a 2008 Honda 450 the other day and although it is good, it still doesn’t stack up against new bikes. It didn’t turn quite as sharp and felt somewhat heavy in corners compared to today’s mass centralized machines.
The 2013’s were fairly good and I can tell you the 2013 KX450F would of beat the 2018 KX450F in the shootout! LOL.
New bikes these days are so good, its tough to compare them to older models.
I just got done listening to your Beginners guide to racing podcast. All the detail were great. I get what you were saying about just start at the beginner class and let the race promotor move you up.
I’m 38 now, and haven’t raced since I was 16, so about 22 years ago. The last class I raced was 125/250 Novice before hanging my boots up do to burn out. Now that I’m back on the bike I want to go racing again. I’m planning on racing the TWMX Terra Firma series here starting on July 7th. I know I’m “no beginner”, so should I jump in on there Amateur class, so race 25+, 30+ Amateur? I feel like I could go 30+ Novice but would get my ass handed to me.
Your thoughts are always great to here.
I am pretty sure “amateur” is higher than Novice. Well at least it was when I was racing those classes! Maybe you should try beginner and see how you do? If you smoke them than move up ASAP. Doesn’t hurt trying it your first ride back.
If you don’t want to do that, I would go race Novice for sure. That’s my .02.
Good luck and I’m stoked you’re racing again! Have fun!
I listen to your testing pods and am really enjoying them. I have been riding moto for a couple years and had a few different bikes but I have learned I am very much so a front end steering guy. I currently ride a 2015 kx250f but am struggling to get that good front end feel. The bike is totally stock, apart from some cool tomac replica graphics ?? but is there anything you can help with getting some more front end feel. I have slid the forks up 2-3 mm and noticed a quicker turn feel. But still looking for that planted front end feel. In the next 12 months I’ll be in a position to buy a new bike. What would you suggest I go? I’ll be looking at bikes 2016 and up, I’m not loyal to any brand really just a nice front end feeling bike.
Thank you so much for your help and your pods. I listen all they from New Zealand.
Thanks of listening!
Here is a set up to follow and this may help front end feel!
Compression: 6 clicks out
Rebound: 11 clicks out
Preload adjuster: 20 clicks in
Fork leg height: 5mm up
Race sag: 100-102mm
Hi-compression: 2 turns out
Lo-compression: 8 clicks out
Rebound: 12 clicks out
As far as a new bike I would look towards a Honda or Yamaha. The Yamaha suspension is so much better than what you’re riding now and the Honda is a great cornering machine. Both have great stand out qualities..
Have fun ripping the Tomac 250F!!
My name is DJ, I’m 21 and from Florida. I race off-road stuff here on the east coast on a 2016 KTM 250SXF FE. I’m originally from New Hampshire, since I turned 16 and got my license I’ve always tried to drive around to ride/race as many places as I can. I’ve traveled alone to pretty much every state on the east but I’ve never really been west of Alabama. Since age 14 I’ve been working for a graphics company (HBD MotoGrafx) and am currently in college.
My best friend is in the army and he’s stationed out at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. He just drove home this week and I’ll be driving back to Texas with him next weekend, then flying back to FL. However, while looking at plane tickets I noticed that it would pretty much cost the same as it would to fly from TX straight to FL, as it would for me to fly from TX, to southern CA, and then back to FL. I’ve always wanted to go west, so this is a really good chance for me to finally somehow make it to southern California to finally immerse myself into the heart of motocross. I don’t really want to find myself a SoCal hoe, but I’m dying to ride places like Milestone, Pala, and everyone seems to hate Glen Helen but I’m down to know what it’s like to hate it too.
The biggest problem is renting a bike. I’ve seen a few people who rent out KTM’s, which would be nice because I can just bring my shock with me and then set the air pressure up for myself on the AER 48’s and it would be just like riding my bike here at home. The only problem is every rental company charging $280-300 a day, plus track fees, etc to get there. On top of that I still would have to get an Airbnb for a few nights (hotels are too expensive in CA lol) and then find a cheap car to rent off Turo (I’d rack up a million dollars in Uber bills because there are a million places I want to see.) With being 21, I’m trying to keep cost down as low as I can. I sort of assume most of these places maybe cater to newbies that want to try riding out before maybe getting a bike. I don’t really need someone there to work on the bike, set it up for myself, teach me to ride it, and hell, I could even try to rent a truck or a van to take it to a track myself then find a car wash to clean everything after.
Do you know any places (or maybe even someone) that I can rent from cheaper than these companies? It would be cool to ride a KTM 250F or 350, so that I could just bolt my shock up and pump up the air forks (I’m a big dude so my suspension would be nice) but I’d ride anything other than a 125 or 150 because I’m too fat for them lmao.
Also, I’ve never flown with moto gear. I have a Ogio 9800 gear bag and it’s technically a few inches over the limit of being able to be checked without being charged as “oversized.” I know it’s maybe the most common bag in motocross and I was wondering if you’ve had any experience flying with one? And I’ve seen a few people check in their helmets as a carry on, is that a thing too?
I apologize for the lengthy email, but thank you in advance for any help you can offer! You’re the man and I always know I can count on the things you write or say on your podcasts. Ever since I was younger and read what you would write in Dirt Rider it was, and still is really cool how you can break so many things down about a bike or product and simply word it to people. So thank you for helping everyone out!
Maybe try Sean Lipanovich. I know he has rental/vacation place and he is a cool dude. Maybe he can help you a little? I don’t have his number but I am sure you can find him on Instagram or website? He has KTM’s as well….Perfect for you!
As far the gear bag I trail with mine all the time and never get an oversize charge unless its over 50 pounds which is easy to do since the bag itself weighs a lot. I manage to get everything in there without having a carry on! Easy peasy….Oh but remove your visor from your helmet so the airline doesn’t break it!
Have fun in Cali!!!! Maybe I will see you around! Cheers!
Hey Kris – I know you mostly wear 6D and Fly, but have you got an opinion on Bell?
I know fit is most important, but do you think the technology in a 6D helmet is better than what Bell uses in their Moto-9 Carbon Flex?
Thanks in advance if you have time to answer my question.
I’m eating lunch so you got me at a good time. The technology (to me) is better in the 6D than the Bell. Now of course this is subjective because there are so many different types of technology that you just have to trust in what a company is trying to market. That being said though the Bell is a great helmet and it has been of years. However, the 6D just fits my head better than the Bell. I trust the guys at 6D a lot as they care personally about everyone who uses their helmets. That’s good enough for me.
Kris, thanks for all your help and support with information you provide online, Twitter, Instagram, and Pulp show.
I do have a question but it may actually be more suited for your son. My son is 8, weighs about 70lbs, and stands about 50 inches tall. We are looking to purchase a new 65. Looking at the 18 yz65 and 19 KTM65. Either bike will have to be purchased from a dealership at least 2 hrs away so dealer support won’t be a factor. I will use a local shop for parts.
My son has been racing for about 1yr and will be coming off of a Cobra 50. He is a decent little rider but no where near a top level 50 rider. He is just getting into jumping but it is still very minimal.
Any suggestions on which one may be the best to step up to to learn how to shift? I know the KTM has a hydraulic clutch, with the YZ being a cable.
Thanks for any help you can provide. -Robbie
For me as I watch the kids and my son ride the YZ65 it seemed to be a friendlier machine with better suspension as he grows. I feel like the KTM’s stuff is soft and the Yamaha is a little stiffer so they can progress without having to change springs, etc. Of course this is just me viewing things, but it seems the Yamaha has been a great bike for little guys or gals. Both bikes are great, but going with better suspension and less hassle of the hydraulic clutch (for reliability) I would ride blue.
Hi Kris! I’m in a tough predicament and could use your expertise if you have time. In advance I’m sorry this is a long message. I’m 32 and just moved to +30 b, I won mammoth this past year (had to share as I’m still f’in pumped lol). I currently ride 17 yz450. Current state, Love the motor, like the stability, and liked my suspensions until I rode the 18 husky at zaca and suspension was really good in bump absorbtion considering I don’t like air in general. Then out of nowhere I put a deposit on crf we because it has a kit suspension which I’m not sure it does now. I’m lost dude. Stay yz, or try something different. I just wanna be faster without being out being unsafe and out my comfort zone. Cornering and handling are above all to me. I have listened to every podcast you have and still need a push into a direction. Again sorry so long and thank you for you’re time.
I can let you in on a little secret! The 2019 Honda CRF450WE or R is a great bike and corners well! I don’t know if you will need the “kit” stuff, but regardless it is a great machine. I should know I have had some help in development.
However, that being said, if it was my money and I had to go spend it on a bike (which I just might do this year) I would put my money towards a 2019 YZ450F. It has a great engine, clutch, suspension and corners much better than your 2017 version. The engine is a noticeable change as well one going with the “TP” map.
I understand your dilemma as I get emails like this one daily! I would say either way you go, you will be happy. Both machines are fun to ride and have great engine characters, but for me I like the stability more on the Yamaha. Yes, it corners slightly slower once in the turn, but I can get into the corner much better on the Yamaha. Also for me the reliability of a Yamaha is a big win for me.
Hope this helps and congrats on Mammoth dude! That is rad! Let me know what you get! Cheers!