News 16 Aug 2019

Gibbs impressed by key changes to 2020 Yamaha YZ450F

Former champion hopeful to remain with CDR Yamaha Monster Energy next year.

Image: Marc Jones Photography.

Sampling the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F at the national press launch this week, Kirk Gibbs was impressed by the updated premier class machine as he remains hopeful of continuing with CDR Yamaha Monster Energy next year.

The new model features a lighter and more compact engine, redesigned frame with new flex characteristics and host of other updates to deliver a lighter, more powerful and better handling experience.

The 2015 Australian champion departed the launch with positive thoughts on the new YZ450F, explaining the improved handling and smoother power delivery were key characteristics that will make for a strong contender.

“It’s a really, really good base I believe,” Gibbs explained to “It’s obviously hard to compare it to a factory bike – you know, it’s completely different. For me, I never got to ride a completely stock when I got onto the Yamaha, but I was impressed.

“The suspension was a little soft for me [in standard trim] – it didn’t do anything wrong by no means, it was just a little soft for me. It handled really well – I feel it turned better with some of the changes they’ve made.

“Yamaha’s known for incredible power, and it still has that, but I believe it’s a bit smoother. There’s ‘map one’, which is still quite aggressive, and then ‘map two’, which is a lot more smoother. I was really impressed.”

Gibbs is contracted to race motocross only, and having just completed his first Pirelli MX Nationals campaign with the powerhouse outfit – scoring six podiums along the way – he’s eager to continue on as a CDR rider in 2020.

“I have a good relationship with the guys and we really had a great year, obviously the results weren’t 100 percent, but going into a new team and environment, I feel like we ironed out a lot of creases at the end of the season,” he continued.

“Ideally, if I can stay, that would be amazing to stay on [the YZ450F] and keep going and building that relationship with the guys. At the end of the day, hopefully Yamaha and Craig want to keep me.”

Team regular Luke Clout and supercross specialist Dan Reardon will pilot the 2020 Yamaha YZ450F in the upcoming Australian Supercross Championship.