WHAT IS IT? Ride Engineering specializes in
making triple clamps and shock links. On the all-new
2014 Yamaha YZ450F, the MXA wrecking crew decided
to test Ride Engineering’s 20mm offset triple clamps.
WHAT’S IT COST? $479.90 (triple clamps), $89.95 (bar
mounts), $9.95 (brake-line guide).
CONTACT? www.ride-engineering.com or
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with the Ride Engineering 20mm offset YZ450F
(1) Problem. The 2014 Yamaha YZ450F is the
newest bike on the block, but its overall feel is
altogether different from the previous generation. To
improve handling, Yamaha’s engineers moved the
engine 10mm forward, lowered the radiators, decreased
trail and steepened the head angle. The goal was to
eradicate the dreaded front-end looseness on the 2013
YZ450F and sharpen handling. Unfortunately, though
improved, the 2014 model still exhibits a fair amount of
looseness at turn in.
( 2) Solutions. The MXA wrecking crew discovered
several solutions that improve the YZ450F handling. They
are, in order of importance, a longer shock linkage, 5mm
more race sag, stronger front brake, better front tire and
moving the handlebar position to suit your tastes. Next
on MXA’s hit list was changing the triple clamp offset.
( 3) Offset. The 2014 YZ450F has 22mm of offset. We
wanted to see whether 20mm offset triple clamps would
be helpful. The main goal was to move the engine a
smidgen forward while increasing trail on the front forks.
( 4) Installation. Ride Engineering’s 20mm triple
clamps went on with ease, thanks to the installed lower
steering-stem bearing. We sprang for Ride’s eight-bolt bar
mounts, as they have proven effective against the handlebars twisting in a crash. Note that you’ll need to purchase the plastic brake-line guide ($9.95), since the lower
clamp does not have a mounting post machined into the
( 5) Performance. The Ride Engineering triple clamps
made a difference to the handling characteristics of the
YZ450F. It was easy to feel the broader contact patch,
thanks to the increased trail. We did notice a fair amount
of headshake on high-speed tracks, so we tried different
fork heights. Ultimately, we set the Kayaba SSS forks
flush in the top clamp to 5mm up, depending on the
track. Unfortunately, though the Ride Engineering clamps
reduced the front-end looseness at turn in, the sensation
was not totally eliminated.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The Ride Engineering
YZ450F clamps make a difference, but not a big enough
difference to erase the YZ450F’s loose sensation.
If you own a 2014 Yamaha YZ450F and
RIDE ENGINEERING 20MM OFFSET YZ450F CLAMPS
aren’t happy with the handling, look into
the Ride Engineering 20mm offset clamps.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the end-all solution
to the YZ450F’s disconcerting feel.
MXA TEAM TESTED