When the YFZ originally came out way back in 2004, it started a trend of racing ATVs that continues today with the newer YFZ450R. This year, Yamaha reintroduced the carbureted YFZ450 with a few big changes to act as their value-priced 450, but there are also other inherent advantages it possesses over the YFZ450R. Being that it is carbureted and trail-width (46 inches), it is 22 pounds lighter than the fuel-injected R and feels even more so. It’s also a full $1800 cheaper than the R, $1200 less than a Honda 450R and $1000 less than the DS 450.

On the original carbureted YFZ, adding a slip-on pipe woke the machine up quite a bit, and on the 2012, it works the same way. The stock exhaust is restrictive, quiet and not much to look at—and Yamaha knows that, which is why they have a new line of exhaust systems produced by FMF for their GYTR line. You can purchase these exhausts at a Yamaha dealer with a Yamaha part number; the only difference between this pipe and FMF’s slip-on is the decal work. FMF’s Powercore 4 slip-on exhaust is the exact same price. At $299.99, it’s an inexpensive way to make a lot more power, but you will need to re-jet the carburetor with a 170 main and remove the airbox lid to make it run right.
With more power on tap from mid to top, the YFZ regains its racy character and feels more like its R-type stablemate.

Installation of the slip-on system is simple: loosen the muffler clamp, pull the two exhaust hanger bolts and slide the stock muffler off. Reinstall the new muffler with the included hardware. Rejetting the carburetor requires removing the float bowl and changing out the stock main jet for one that is not included with the exhaust (you will have to purchase it separately). Jets are cheap, so make sure you get one! Once it’s rejetted, remove the airbox lid and turn the fuel screw out 1.5 turns from closed. This was our best setting for around 2400 feet elevation.

With the GYTR pipe installed, the YFZ pulled hard from bottom to top and carried more power on the top end than the stock system did by a ton. Gone is the need to short-shift; the YFZ sings until redline and pulls hard again when you upshift. It’s amazing what a difference a slip-on pipe and jet will make—it’s night and day more fun to ride.  The GYTR by FMF pipe is strong, and we haven’t had any problems with FMF’s Powercore mufflers failing in the past. It adds good looks, strong performance and great sound for a good price.
The GYTR pipe looks, sounds and performs much better than the stock muffler. It comes with a spark arrestor and bolts up with ease, shaving quite a few pounds off the machine.


For the YFZ, we wouldn’t spring for a full-exhaust system unless we were building the motor too. The stock head pipe is more than adequate for the airflow the stock motor puts out, and it has a nice-looking heat shield that protects you from pipe burns! To purchase one, contact your local Yamaha dealership or call (800) 962-7926. q

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