Push It Forward: DR. D YZ450 Engine Relocation Kit
After a complete make over for the 2014 model, you would think
YZ450F couldn't get much better, but in 2015 Yamaha backed up
the all new model with even more improvements to help handling and
performance. For the 2016 model year Yamaha made a few more minor
refinements and as it sits in its stock form the '16 YZ450F is a
great bike, but there are some out there that say the front end can
feel a little too light or even loose in the corners. This topic
came up with the earlier YZ450F model as well, so Doug Dubach of
Dubach Racing (aka Dr.
D) went to work to find a way to help combat the issue and
improve rider's confidence and frontend feel when charging
The solution Dr. D came up with was an [mageProductLink sku="drd-3101" title=""]engine relocation kit[/mageProductLink] that moves the engine slightly forward by using two offset engine collars. With the engine moved forward it puts more weight towards the front of the bike resulting in a heavier/better frontend feel. Currently Dr. D has two kits for the YZ450F, one that fits the '10-13 models and another that fits '14-16 models. The earlier model kit comes with the two collars, new lower engine mounts, and an exhaust spacer. The late model Dr. D Engine Relocation kit ($79.95, part# drd-3101) only requires the two offset collars. Follow along as we show you how to install this kit on a brand new 2016 YZ450F.
Here are the offset collars that come with the late model kit. The
machined offset incorporated into the collars move the engine
forward 1.5mm and while that might not sound like a lot, pushing
the weight of the engine forward that tiny bit can definitely be
felt at the frontend, keeping the wheel planted and improving
traction. The outside of the collars have index marks cut into them
to help with proper alignment during installation.
To get started you should remove the seat right side number plate
and muffler. Next remove the rear brake lever followed by the
master cylinder. The master cylinder is mounted to the rear right
side of the frame by two button head bolts. Since you'll be
removing the swingarm, use a zip tie or duct tape to secure the
master cylinder to the swingarm so it's not hanging by the brake
line or flopping around.
To make things a bit easier you can use some blocks of wood to
support the rear wheel/swingarm. Next, remove the bolt that
connects the swingarm and linkage assembly (red arrow). Then remove
the bolt that connects the linkage to the lower shock mount (yellow
arrow). The chain can be removed t this time as well as the rear
wheel, or you can leave the rear wheel in place to provide
Using a socket and ratchet loosen the swingarm pivot shaft nut then
remove the nut and washer.
Next use a punch to lightly tap the end of pivot shaft.
Once the right side of the shaft is out far enough grab and pull,
you may need to wiggle twist the swingarm a bit to make it easier
for the shaft to slide out.
With the pivot shaft out you can then remove the swingarm.
The next step is to remove the stock collars from the back side of
the engine case (where the pivot shaft slides through). In order to
do this you're going to need a punch that is about 7" or longer.
Start on one side of the engine case, slide the punch into pivot
shaft opening until the tip hits the inside lip of the opposite
collar and gently tap a couple times.
To prevent the collar from binding, reposition the punch to the
opposite side of the collar lip and repeat. Continue until you can
pull the collar out by hand or it falls out of the case. Repeat the
process to remove the opposite collar.
Here's a comparison of the outside lips of the stock collars (left)
and new Dr. D offset collars (right). You can see that the Dr. D
collars are sort of lobe shaped with a thicker front side (red
arrow) and thinner backside (yellow arrow). It's that offset that
moves the engine forward 1.5mm.
Even though this engine kit doesn't require new engine mounts the
stock mounts need to be removed to allow the engine to tilt
forward. There are three bolts securing each mount.
Remove the lower engine mount bolt.
Next, the bolts securing the upper engine mounts need to be
loosened but not removed. There are three bolts on each side.
Using the tip of a round file remove 1mm of material from the
backside of the engine case so that the pivot shaft will slide in
easier. Be sure not to file the machined area where the collars
seat. The best way to go about it is to use just the tip of the
file and angle the file so that you don't hit the collar
Working on the right side of the bike line up one of the collars to
seat it into position. When aligning the collar make sure the
thinner edge is towards the back of the engine case and the top
cross mark is aligned vertically. Then gently tap the collar in
place working side to side and top to bottom so it seats evenly.
Tap on the outside edge of the collar face so you don't
accidentally mar the inside edge and make it difficult to slide the
pivot shaft into place.
Before installing the left collar you need to install the pivot
shaft, this will help you get both collars aligned and clocked
together. Once the pivot shaft is in place push the slide the
collar over the shaft (you may need to use a T-handle under the
engine to lift the engine and align the color/shaft) collar into
position and then use a pair of channel locks to twist collar back
and forth while also pushing. You want to align the collar so that
the gaps at the inside edge and the pivot shaft are event top to
bottom. You can then pull the pivot shaft out and then tap the
collar the rest the way down and then the shaft should slide back
in place smoothly.
Next, use the file to remove some material from the left and right
side lower engine mounts until the engine mount bolt slides in with
You may need to do a little bit of filing for the front engine
mounts as well. Once you have all the mounts aligned tighten the
engine bolts but don't torque them just yet.
Next, reinstall the swingarm, pivot shaft and bolt. Now you can
tighten/torque all the engine and swingarm pivot bolt to spec.
Reinstall the linkage and lower shock bolts and then torque to
spec. Be sure to mount the rear master cylinder and secure the
brake lever in place.
After reinstalling the muffler, side plate and seat you are
finished. Take the bike out for a test ride and you'll notice how a
little bit repositioning the weight of the engine forward can make
a significant difference in the handling and stability of your
frontend-especially in the corners.