INSIDE ELI TOMAC'S FACTORY STAR RACING YAMAHA YZ450F
Eli Tomac has now made the switch to Factory Star Racing Yamaha. He has a one-year deal with the team and a one-year option. We met up with mechanic Josh Ellingson to go over the factory goodies features on Eli Tomac's Yamaha YZ450F. Will the 2020 Supercross Champion be able to bring some wins the blu cru in 2022? Only time will tell, but so far he is looking extremely fast on the YZ450F.
Starting at the front of the bike, Eli runs an ARC folding lever. ARC Bob can make custom designs on the levers for rider preferences. Bob can make a different ratio change for the rider needs. Eli is also running an aluminum G2 throttle tube. This helps with durability of the throttle in race scenarios.
You can see in this photo the CORE front brake line CORE is steel braided similar to what you will find on a KTM/GASGAS/Husqvarna in OEM trim.
ARC supplies the clutch lever and perch. This is a custom design for Eli Tomac. He does like to run his front brake and his clutch lever just slightly pointed down. Eli prefers to run a full waffle grip made by Pro Taper. He ran a similar set up on the Kawasaki last season.
Pro Taper SX race bend handlebars are used on Eli's race bike and positioned pretty neutral to the forks. The mounts themselves are on the smaller side in comparison to taller riders in the 450 class. He is on a +5 riser with the Neken triple clamps shown above. We noticed he does run his forks at the first line in the clamps. We will explain later about Eli's set up for stability.
You can see on Eli Tomac's race 450 that his buttons look a little different. On the starter and kill switch the team builds these housings to protect the button. They don't want Eli hitting the buttons with his chest or debris knocking off the buttons during the race. Both the kill switch and start button have this type of housing around them for added security.
Here is the kill switch side with protective housing. You can also see the map switch on Eli's handlebars. He has one start map that he prefers to run and engages it himself when on the grate at Supercross.
Star Racing Yamaha is using a KYB LSF A-Kit set up. This is a hybrid front fork design. It is air and spring combo. We have seen similar designs in years past. Interesting to see Yamaha play with air forks a bit and factory KTM has played with spring for their riders at times. You can also see the front brake guide that is a GYTR part in the photo.
Eli Tomac is using a Works Connection holeshot device. This is a one button set up and about as deep as you can go before the fork guards get ripped off. Eli doesn't find the need for a second position on the forks for the starts. With the metal grate in Supercross riders are trying to suck the front end down as far as they can. The button will be up further on the guard for outdoors in comparison to Supercross.
The front wheel has a KITE hub, EXCEL rim, OW Yamaha spokes and a Dunlop 768 front tire.
The spokes are wire tied at the cross point on Tomac's race bike. Just in case the spoke breaks, it won't wrap around the wheel or stick itself into the front brake system. The spoke will be broken but it will sit in place with the wire tied to them.
The front brake consists of a 270mm Braking front rotor. A Nissin front brake rotor and caliper are added to the bike. Most of the factory riders are running larger pistons for better braking power. You can also see the Light Speed carbon cover the team is using to protect the braking system on the bike. The hangar is sure to be an OW Factory Yamaha part.
You can see Eli and the team are trying to get as much air into the intake as possible. The team adds a hole into the scoop and adds the Twin Air Powerflow kit.
Light Speed provides the full coverage skid plate for the motorcycle. The team doesn't have it rubber mounted and hasn't noticed anything significant in the change of flex characteristics on the bike.
The team is using a 1.8 radiator cap opposed to the 1.1 that comes stock on the 2022 Yamaha YZ450F. It allows the hot point to be a little higher. You can also see the Twin Air radiator skins to protect the radiators from damage during the race. A lot of dirt and rocks get flung into this area of the bike and the last thing the team needs is a radiator to go out. On the back side of the radiators there is a brace that keeps them in place and if hit won't push in. This reinforced area can keep Eli on the track and finishing versus being sidelines. Otiker clamps are used on all the hoses to again add durability to the cooling system and keep Eli on the track at all times.
Looking directly at the side of the engine you immediately see this metal piece mounted to the cam cover. This is a water temp relocation that the team is using.
The engines are done in house by Calma. Eli likes a smooth power curve and not a hard hitting motorcycle. Josh explained to us that Eli immediately fell in love with the engine and hasn't done much testing to try anything different.
The GYTR cover that you can buy online or at your local dealer is stronger in comparison to stock. This is used to keep from rocks from puncturing the side of the engine and causing a loss of oil. The shifter on Eli's bikes is the exact one that comes on the 2022 Yamaha YZ450F
In this photo you find the clutch arm guard used by Star Racing Yamaha. This keeps rocks or debris from getting packed up in the area causing the clutch to malfunction.
FMF provides the exhaust to Star Racing Yamaha. The exhaust is tailored for the engine package and rider preferences. Above is a cool shot of the custom guards they are making for the factory riders. The bracket they use is also custom in comparison to stock.
Rekluse provides the clutches to the entire team. It is a standard Torc Drive system. He normally is known for being a heavy clutcher but since his switch to Yamaha that doesn't seem to be the same case. Eli is also on a cable clutch system again in comparison to his hydraulic clutch on the Kawasaki KX450.
You can see in the photo above that the team is using an auxiliary start button. This is a back up button to be used if the one mounted on the handlebars is damaged or ripped off. Eli would still have a way to get the bike going again. Now that the bikes aren't kick start the teams make sure there is another way to get going. They add a little grip tape here so the button doesn't slide on the frame spar.
The swing arm pivot is titanium for Eli Tomac's Yamaha YZ450F. The nuts are aluminum and made in house at Yamaha. This goes for the rear axle as well. You can also see that the team is using Delran plugs to keep the mud out.
This side of the swingarm pivot is used to keep mud out but for a different reason. It is used to keep the mud out and possibly locking up the rear brake system. The last thing Eli needs is rear brake failure or the brake to be dragging while he is on the bike. The rear brake can drag with the rider on it and heat up causing the rear end to lock. We have seen it happen. You can see the rear brake stop in this photo well. The rear brake stop helps avoid the guts of the master cylinder getting blown out if the rear brake is jammed or damaged during racing.
Eli Tomac is using grip tape on his frame only. They don't run any grip tape on the numbers or anywhere else on the motorcycle. This grip tape is used to lock into the bike on the whoops or in between rhythm sections.
Raptor titanium footpegs are used on the #3 machine. These feature an added channel of teeth in the middle for when he gets on his toes in the whoop section and the bike tilts back. The titanium pin is a Mettech component and the mount itself is made in house at Yamaha. He is a back 10mm on footpeg position in comparison to stock.
The team is using Vortex sprockets and an RK chain. This is a riveted chain to avoid the master link getting bumped off during practice or race. He is running a 13/50 sprocket combination.
The rear shock is a factory KYB shock. It has a factory body and Eli's preference is he runs a stiffer rear shock for more hold up. It puts more pressure on the front end and allows him to turn quicker on the motorcycle. He is running a standard length pull rod on the linkage system.
In this photo you can get a good look at the rear chain guide provided by Light Speed. This is a standard length and made out of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber just saves weight from the aluminum one that comes stock on the Yamaha YZ450F OEM model. You can also see the wheel base for Eli's bike is adjusted. They run a longer wheel base off the back for stability down straights and improves the handling of the motorcycle. Josh also uses titanium rear sprocket bolts on the back end of the bike.
The Factory OW Yamaha rear master cylinder. As you can see in the photo above the window is removed to avoid damage during the race. The mechanics are around these bikes 24/7 and don't need a window to see the fluid. It's a small chance but a rock could hit the window and cause brake failure. Toward the front of the brake line the sheathing is removed to save some weight on the motorcycle.
A titanium brake pedal tip is added to the bike. This gives Eli a better feel on the brakes. You can also see the brake snake in the photo that is attached to the tip. The brake snake keeps debris out of the rear brake arm and keeps it from bending. The mechanics all use these on their bikes for added insurance purposes. They want the bike to make it through the entire race even if things are tweaked a little bit.
Tomac is running a standard foam and seat his for his Yamaha YZ450F. It does have 6 ribs in the Dcor seat cover. He likes his seat ridden in at least once at the practice track before they go racing.