We were holding our breath as we approached this Yamaha YZ250F in the factory Yamaha pits, but we were greeted with the familiar Keihin carburetor on what looked to be a production 2012 YZ250F.
Initially, we believed that the factory Yamaha YZ450F featured new body panels when we spotted the team going through tech inspection. As they do in the States, teams have multiple mufflers sound tested and approved, so that they have not only spares in the event of a crash, but tuning options for the riders, as well.
Upon closer inspection, we recognized the Cycra Powerflow Shrouds on Takase Tanaka's factory Yamaha, and a phone call to Glen Lavins at Cycra confirmed that the team did, in fact, but a season's supply of the parts from the American aftermarket company. That's not to say that the team bikes were not cool, however. Rinaldi Racing parts, like this ignition cover, and works Kayaba suspension were worth drooling over.
While the top Yamaha rider in the AMA - James Stewart - chooses Showa suspension, Takase Tanaka's bike is outfitted with a factory Kayaba fork and shock.
We wonder when toolbox manufacturers are going to start including a laptop computer drawer. All kidding aside, every team could be spotted "plugging in" throughout the day. GET ignitions and data acquisition systems were everywhere.
This starting device hook had no visible mate on the fork guard, leading us to assume that an "old school" hole was cut into the fork guard, but covered by the sponsor decal.
Here's a look at the YSP Yamaha YZ250F, which was not actually raced at Kyushu, because its rider was injured.
If Takase Tanaka's bike is any indication, the 2013 Yamaha YZ450F may be quite similar to the 2012 bike. Word we get from Yamaha insiders is that both models will feature limited updates for '13.
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