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Push It Forward: DR. D YZ450 Engine Relocation Kit

Chaparral Motorsports
September 6, 2016

After a complete make over for the 2014 model, you would think Yamaha's 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 corners.

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.

combinedThe Collars

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.




twm-0916-tips2-02Starting Point

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.

twm-0916-tips2-03Make it Easy

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 additional support.

twm-0916-tips2-04Socket To Me

Using a socket and ratchet loosen the swingarm pivot shaft nut then remove the nut and washer.




twm-0916-tips2-05Punch It

Next use a punch to lightly tap the end of pivot shaft.





twm-0916-tips2-06Wiggle & Twist

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.




twm-0916-tips2-07Swing Away

With the pivot shaft out you can then remove the swingarm.




twm-0916-tips2-08Pop That Collar

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.

twm-0916-tips2-09Beat The Bind

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.


twm-0916-tips2-10Lip Locked

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.


twm-0916-tips2-11Tilt A Whirl

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.



twm-0916-tips2-12Time To Bolt

Remove the lower engine mount bolt.





twm-0916-tips2-13Get Loose

Next, the bolts securing the upper engine mounts need to be loosened but not removed. There are three bolts on each side.




twm-0916-tips2-14The X-Files

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 surfaces.


twm-0916-tips2-15The Double Tap

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.

twm-0916-tips2-16Lift & Align

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.

twm-0916-tips2-17File It Away

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 minimal effort.



twm-0916-tips2-18Torqued Off

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.



twm-0916-tips2-19On Point

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.


twm-0916-tips2-21Shift Your Weight

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.


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