WHAT IS IT? Race Tech offers a complete suspension
package for the Kayaba SSS suspension on the 2014
WHAT’S IT COST? $794.92.
CONTACT? www.racetech.com or (951) 279-6655.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Race Tech Yamaha YZ450F
(1) Stock. It’s no secret that MXA test riders love
Kayaba SSS suspension. For 2014, Yamaha stiffened the
spring rates and damping characteristics to cater to
heavier and faster riders. The bulk of the MXA wrecking
crew like the 2014 YZ450F suspension settings, but they
aren’t nearly as supple as the settings found on previous
models. Low-speed damping on the forks is too stiff for
riders under 180 pounds or for those who tend to be a
bit shy about using the throttle. Yamaha’s stiffer shock
spring and damping caused us to tweak the race sag
and high-speed compression and rebound to compensate
for smaller or slower test riders.
( 2) Modifications. After delving into the stock
components, Race Tech determined that the mid-valve
was too tight, which created harshness in the mid-stroke.
They changed the float on the mid-valve and did a
complete re-valve. The goal was to make the forks
plusher initially while still controlling bottoming. They
also noticed that the fork and shock-spring coils had
open ends, which changed the preload. They installed
their own springs. With the shock, Race Tech focused
on creating a plush feel initially while giving more
control over major impacts.
( 3) Performance. Race Tech dialed in our YZ450F
suspension for a 180-pound Vet Intermediate. This is
important to note if you race Supercross or weigh 145
pounds; however, we are sure that the Race Tech
mods will satisfy the needs of a wide variety of speeds
and styles. We found comfort in the plush feel of the
suspension at low speeds without sacrificing bottoming
( 4) Price. Don’t let the sticker price shock you. Our
total cost was nearly $800, but you don’t necessarily
need every component to find satisfaction. You could
have the forks re-valved for as little as $160 and the
shock for around $275. We spent extra money on new
fork and shock springs.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two complaints.
(1) The price. But as we already stated, there are ways
to get around spending $800 on a full service if you are
willing to be realistic. ( 2) Even though the suspension
mods balanced the chassis, the YZ450F’s handling was
still imprecise at turn-in.
Race Tech did a commendable job of dialing in
the YZ450F suspension for our exact needs. We
would recommend Race Tech’s workmanship
to any YZ450F owner.
RACE TECH YZ450F SUSPENSION MODS
MXA TEAM TESTED