2010's Best Dirtbike: Yamaha YZ450F

There's nothing backwards about it

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're tired of the television commercial featuring James Stewart riding and talking backwards. We're even a litle tired of James Stewart, who nowadays seems to care more about his reality-TV show, Bubba's World, than his racing career. But we're not tired of the bike Bubba is pimping. Never mind the inevitable comparisons to the late, ill-fated Cannondale or the similarly revolutionary Husaberg, Yamaha was the first major manufacturer to design a clean-sheet motocrosser since it sprang the groundbreaking four-stroke YZ400F on us back in '98. The 2010 YZ450F is not only the Tuning Fork Company's first MXer with EFI (tunable at that), it's also got a unique engine layout with a rearward-sloping cylinder, forward-facing intake and a Tornado exhaust that spirals around under the seat (the airbox is up in front of the tank). The resultant mass centralization makes the bike more stable and feel much lighter than it is. One appreciates that at the end of a long moto.

Alternative Take
KTM 150 SX
Keeping the two-stroke 125 alive

With the advent of the Four-Stroke Revolution, dirtbike enthusiasts figured the days of 125cc two-strokes were numbered. And they were, just not in the way they'd imagined. When the new 250cc four-strokes proved too fast, engine builders bored and stroked the 125s to displace somewhere around 144cc. KTM followed suit, and 125 fans couldn't be happier!

Best Dirtbike: Yamaha YZ450F