PROJECT: Coastal Racing Yamaha YFZ450

The most prestigious woods race series for quads is the GNCC series. These are races that last a minimum of two full hours through the woods. At the start of the two hours the course is far from pristine. Many events are run on trails that are used in other races, and the Pro ATV class runs in the afternoon race, so literally hundreds of quads have already pounded the course before these guys even start. The engines are run very hard, since the entire race is composed of relatively short full-throttle bursts followed by massive braking. Burning that sort of energy (for the bike and the rider) is how you go fast in the woods. Coastal Racing’s Brycen Neal has jumped up to a new level for 2016. A big part of that jump is his Coastal Racing Yamaha YFZ450.

While you may have no interest in actually racing your quad, if you ride in the woods, you should want to know what the top riders do to make the Yamaha wheelie in the woods. Experienced ATV racers know what the strong points are for each brand. Neal claims the Yamaha has an excellent engine, frame and a strong swingarm. The Suzuki LT-R450 has the most desirable front-end geometry, and the Honda TRX450R is reputed to have the best rear-suspension geometry. Lonestar Racing supplies A-arms, spindles, hubs and other front-end components that allow LT-R450-style front-end geometry. A new Lonestar linkage allows the rear to act more like a Honda. Custom Axis shocks handle the rest of the suspension. Custom Axis was purchased by Penske Racing Shocks and moved to Pennsylvania. That makes them close by so Coastal can do suspension testing conveniently.

The most far-reaching and expensive modifications are to the suspension and running gear. Lonestar’s XC A-arms and billet spindles allow the Yamaha to steer and track like the Suzuki LT-R450. Perfectly tuned Custom Axis shocks and Maxxis tires, Tire Balls and Douglas beadlock wheels complete the running gear.

Finishing races is the first part in doing well, so Neal’s machine runs Maxxis tires on DWT beadlock wheels with Tire Balls inside to eliminate flats but still allow normal tire action and traction. In the woods, cooling and mud are constant problems, so the team covers the radiator with a Twin Air cover to keep the fins clear of mud.

GNCC machinery has to walk a fine line. They need power, but they also have to endure two-hour races under brutal conditions. Coastal does all the engine work in-house. Most of the performance mods are aimed at making power without generating additional heat. The head gets the most work. Better breathing makes better power without adding much heat, and the same is true of the FMF full-exhaust system. A Vortex ECU is used, but the programming is all proprietary.

None of the motor mods are particularly expensive, but coming up with your own engine-management programming is expensive and time-consuming. Then there is the parts budget. A team like Coastal has a transporter, a crew, hotels, meals, entry fees, transportation costs and sponsors to please. It can’t take any chances on an engine failure. The Yamaha engine is very durable, but the minimum service between races is freshening up the head, a new piston and a complete clutch. The machine is completely torn down to the frame and rebuilt to make sure everything is clean, lubed and in perfect condition for the next race on the schedule.

You may not want to have this level of modification for your quad, but you can learn a lot from it. Look for engine mods that don’t produce a lot of heat. Concentrate on making your quad bulletproof so you always get to finish your rides. Take the time to inspect it for damage, and don’t spare the lubrication. You may not get as fast as Brycen Neal, but you can have just as much fun.

For Brycen Neal, this is what all the training and work on the machine is for—gathering the trophies, money and, most important, those championship points. For the average rider, learning about a pro’s program can help them finish and enjoy more quality rides with no equipment issues.

(800) 57-7223,
XC +1 A-arms: $1249
Billet spindles: $775
Hubs: $299
Tie rods: $40
XC nerf bars: $275
Steering stem +1: $265
Bar clamps: $97
DC Pro linkage: $300
Axcaliber axle: $399
Bumper: $55

PRS triple-adjust front and rear: $1320
`OUTERWEARS: (269) 679-3301,
Shock covers: $45.95
Wheels (all four with covers): $559.98 all four with covers
Razr2 front: $179
Razr rear: $141
Tire Balls:
Front kit: $189.95
Rear kit: $217.95
PROTAPER: (951) 736-5369,
Grips: $9.99-$14.95
Sprocket rear: $64.95
Sprocket front: $25.95
Handlebar: $74.99–$119.99
ACERBIS: (800) 659-1440,
Handguards: $109.95
MSR: (951) 340-3301,
AOF perch & lever: $29.95
SUNSTAR: (937) 743-9049 x 1334,
Chain: $114.95
TM DESIGNWORKS: (541) 772-4161,
Chain slide: $49.95
IMS PRODUCTS: (800) 237-9906,
Fuel tank with complete dry break: $500.51
Custom seat: Call for info
Custom airbox: Sponsored riders only
TWIN AIR: (800) 749-2890,
Air filter: $159.95
Radiator sleeve: $44.95
Battery: $185
ECU: $799
FMF RACING: (310) 631-4363,
MegaBomb: $349.99
Factory 4.1 silencer: $499.99
Complete clutch: $1054.99
BEL-RAY: (732) 938-2421,
Thumper 10w-40: $147.98 (case)
ZIP-TY RACING: (760) 947-4744,
XF2 coolant: $36.95
Coastal Racing engine mods and service: N/A

ATVATV RacingCoastal RacingGNCCRacingTrailsWoodsYamaha