Out of all of the aftermarket parts I test, on any machine, it is the easiest to dissect what is good and what is bad on the Yamaha YZ450F. Why? Probably because it’s one bike (out of three) that I like to ride the most, so I am hypersensitive to any slight changes to any of those three machines. When I get to “choose” which bike I want to ride when I don’t have to “work”, a blue bike is usually one of those machines.
I tested the FCP Racing engine mounts on the 2018 Honda CRF450R a while back and was impressed with the positive changes that it made on the red bikes chassis balance. When I was presented with some titanium engine mounts for the 2018-2019 Yamaha YZ450F, I of course jumped at the chance to see if it made one of my favorite bikes even better. FCP offers titanium front mounts in soft, medium and stiff for the 2018-2019 YZ450F and I tried all three over the course of several months. Not only did I test at the typical tracks here in Southern California, I even spent time with all the mounts in soft, farm-fresh, deep dirt in Colorado. All you east coasters out there, I got you covered on this one ok! I understand that in most cases what works here for us in California might not work there for you on the east coast. This is why I made sure that I tested these mounts in very deep conditions to really get a full coverage evaluation.
For my weight and ability I can rule out the soft titanium mounts as it makes the bike flex too much (especially on soft dirt) coming into corners (on de-cel) and left me with a vague feeling front end. Maybe if you are a super lightweight rider (under 140 pounds) and wanted some added straight line stability (on-throttle) this could be good, but for what I was looking for this wasn't a good setting.
My favorite set of mounts were the medium titanium mounts as they improved lean in coming into corners and gave me increased front wheel traction. If you are still feeling a vague feel on the 2018-2019 YZ450F through corners these mounts can get you some added front wheel traction. I also noticed an increased tracking ability when landing off jumps when immediately having to turn the bike. Imagine a jump that is immediately followed by a sharp 180 degree corner (with ruts). You must land and immediately find a rut to get into and make the corner. Sometimes this can be tough with the stock mounts of the YZ450F, but this is where the medium titanium mounts improve tracking because it makes the YZ450F feel even more planted in these types of conditions. This allows the rider to get on the throttle sooner (after landing) and lets you lean the YZ450F over through the corner easier. Another improvement was though flat corners with no rut or berm to bank off of. The 2019 YZ450F is slightly improved in this area (over the 2018), but if you have a 2018 and are looking for increased front end bite through flat corners, these medium titanium mounts can help you with added traction. If there is one negative to these medium titanium FCP mounts it’s that I noticed a slightly stiffer feel (near head tube) when the track gets hard pack and square edge. This isn't a huge difference, but I do want to note that I did feel a slight change. That slight stiffer feel that I experienced gave me a little more deflection (on-throttle) in the front-end (fork). I am going to experiment with some fork settings (updated valving) to see if I can tune this out. I consider these titanium medium mounts an improvement over the stock pieces and if the stock mounts were a baseline 3 the titanium medium mounts were a 3.25.
The stiff titanium mounts only increased that stiff head tube area feel and the YZ450F lost some of that comfort that makes it so appealing to ride. I feel like these mounts are geared towards a bigger sized rider (over 220 pounds) or someone that is racing Supercross. The stiff mounts did increase lightweight cornering feel and also helped side to side movement (“flop” or “tip in”), but for the average consumer I feel like this is too much in the wrong direction.
After spending a couple months riding back to back with the stock mounts and the FCP Racing titanium mounts, I have come to the conclusion that this is a great option to make your 2018-2019 Yamaha YZ450F react quicker and increase tracking into ruts. For $199.00 plus shipping, it’s not so expensive where you're breaking the bank or pissing off your wife by making the purchase. The bad news is that FCP Racing only has an Instagram (@fcpracing) and Facebook (FCP Racing) page which can make it difficult for old school fellas to purchase. Contact them through direct message and they are usually pretty good about getting back to you ASAP.
If you have any questions about this product please feel free to email me at email@example.com or if you see me at the track, come up and ask away!