Shortly after the conclusion of our 2005 450cc Four-Stroke Shootout, we ran into our good buddy Donnie Luce at our local Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. On his lunch break from nearby White Bros., the former quad-god was anxious to hear the results of our comparison. Even as he stuffed his face with black beans and salsa, we could tell that the wheels were spinning inside his head. Before we could finish our first taco, “On the Loose” had already run outside, unloaded our Yamaha YZ450F and stuffed it inside the back of the White Bros. box van he was driving. “I’ll call you in a few days,” he yelled, waving as he peeled out of the parking lot…
A few days later, Luce returned our YZ450F, completely decked out with just about every chi chi offered in the White Bros catalog. Though most of the accessories could be considered cosmetic and/or not related directly to the performance of the machine, we must admit that we were super anxious to throw a leg over our made-over beast.
Our biggest issue with the ’05 Yamaha, believe it or not, completely contradicts our criticism of its predecessors. Previous models hit so hard and with so much intensity that we often felt that the powerband made the bike hard to ride. Furthermore, the violent power delivery of the pre-’05 YZ450s actually hindered the performance of the suspension, as the wheel always seemed to be spinning, thus placing an extra load on the rear suspension. The ’05, however, has been mellowed out considerably, and faster and/or more aggressive riders have even commented that Yamaha went too far. Though riders with average or below abilities will likely prefer the easy-to-ride motor of the ’05, more grunt is definitely on the wish lists of faster pilots. That said, White Bros. installed its Carbon Pro Exhaust system-the same pipe used on Heath Voss’s factory YZ450F-on our scooter. Coupled with the better-breathing White Bros. Powerfilter air filter that comes with each exhaust system, the kit gave our YZ450F a considerable boost in the horsepower department. The once-calm, linear powerband of the YZ450 was livened up considerably, as the pipe made the motor rev quicker and cleaner from the crack of the throttle. Low-end power remains strong, but it seems to come on a little quicker and into a meaty mid-range hit that is reminiscent of ’04 and earlier YZ450Fs, yet with a more refined feel that tugs at your arms without yanking them off the bars. Seat-bouncing obstacles that lie right out of corners or lofting the front end to clear an obstacle comes easier with the system installed, as throttle response is instantaneous and strong. Though the bike will rev to the moon with the Carbon Pro installed, it is still our opinion that four-strokes-and big ones especially-are most effective when short shifted and not overrevved.
The second-most-exciting new items we found on our scooter were the new White Bros. branded footpegs, which are made of steel, feature an extra-wide platform for your feet, but most importantly have a unique raised ridge in the middle. Though we thought the design looked odd at first, the concept behind the pegs is solid. When you lean forward or back, your boot pivots on the raised center ridge of teeth and rests on either the lower front or rear ridge. With a set of standard pegs, your foot is likely resting on only the forward-most or rearward-most row of teeth as you lean forward or back. On the track, the WB pegs offer superb boot traction, and the raised center row is undetectable. (Perhaps it is this higher row of teeth that actually makes the pegs feel extra grippy.) While leaning forward or back, it is possible to detect the extra traction and support offered by the pegs, and we have been won over by the design. We only wish that WB will eventually offer titanium versions; in the Yamaha’s instance, the steel pegs are heavier than the titanium units that come stock from the factory.
We’ve ridden on many wheels built by White Bros., and the blue Talon hubs and silver Excel rim combination that they outfitted our bike with are no different from previous wheels in that they stay true and never loosen up. While stock wheels bend or lose their true easily, we must compliment the wheel builders at White Bros., as every wheel they have ever built for us has stayed tight and true, even after break in.
Moto Master brake components grace each end of our bike, and after some break-in time, the front and rear binders have proven to be much stronger and offer better feel than the stock units. The front brake, especially, has a much stronger feel and requires less pull at the lever, while the rear does feel better, yet not as measurably. Even in the muddy conditions that we tested in after a freak January SoCal rain storm, the binders proved to be bulletproof and resisted any hint of fading.
Lightspeed carbon fiber components replace the stock clutch cover, ignition cover and sprocket guard. Though they may not offer measurable performance gains on the track, they are lighter and stronger than the stock parts that they replace.
All in all, the biggest gains were provided by the Carbon Pro Exhaust, which helped liven up the powerband of our YZ450F considerably. However, with a catalog full of aftermarket goodies for the rest of the bike, White Bros. truly is a one-stop shop when you are looking to spruce up your ride.Now, if we could only get Luce to do something with our Art Director’s clapped out old BSA…
PARTS IS PARTS
White Bros Carbon Pro Exhaust$895
White Bros PowerFilter (Free with purchase of exhaust)
White Bros Works Kit(oil filler cap, fuel screw and carb cover) $49.95
White Bros Foot Pegs$99.95
White Bros Front Wheel Assy.$504.95
White Bros Rear Wheel Assy.$594.95
Fasst Company Rim Lock Spacers$9.99
White Bros Sprocket Kit$144.95
Moto Master Front Brake Kit$199.95
Moto Master Rear Rotor$139.95
Fastline Brake Line$85.99
Lightspeed ’05 Fork Guard Kit$39.95
Lightspeed Cable Clamp $29.95
Lightspeed Clutch Cover$199.95
Lightspeed Ignition Cover$199.95
Lightspeed Sprocket Cover$45.95
UFO Front Number Plate$18.85
UFO Front Fender$21.20
UFO Rear Fender$19.45
UFO Radiator Covers$40.05
White Bros Graphic Kit$64.95
N-Style Number Plate Backgrounds$21.95Renthal Dual Layer Grip$15.95
Works Connection Pro Perch$165.00
Call 714/692-3404 or visit www.whitebros.com