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1982 Yamaha YZ490 J
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1982 Yamaha YZ490 J

Date Added March 21, 2000

Page Views

24,717

Reviews

Read 9 Reviews
Write a Review

Average Rating

91/100

Photos

1

Specifications

Yes

1982 Yamaha YZ490 JSpecifications
  Engine

Engine Type

2-stroke

Displacement

487 cc

Bore x Stroke

87 mm x 82 mm

Engine Cooling

Air
  Carburetion

Carburetor

Mikuni 38mm
  Transmission

Transmission

4 - speed
  Chassis

Frame Type

double downtube

Steering Rake (Castor)

28 degrees

Steering Trail

4.7 in

Wheelbase

59.1 in

Ground Clearance

12.6 in

Seat Height

37.4 in

Weight, dry

249 pounds

Fuel Tank Capacity

2.6 gallons
  Forks

Forks

Kyb

Fork Travel

11.8 in
  Shock

Shock(s)

Kyb

Shock Travel

12.6 in
  Wheels and Tires

Front Wheel

21 in

Rear Wheel

18 in

Brakes

drum/drum
  Other Information

Intended Use

Motocross

Color Scheme

Yellow

Cost when new

$2349

Country of Origin

Japan

1982 Yamaha YZ490 JReviews
blackhorse

Joined: 06/05/2009
Posts: 1

Posted: Jun 7, 2009 12:17 AM   Back to Top
The Last Widow Maker (Score: +1, Amusing)
Power
Well let me tell you about power...I used to be a professional Stuntman and I was trained and paid to push the envelope. My project bike "Venom" (a YZ490), in its first 24 yrs of existence, it hurt and/or maimed anyone who dared to cross it's path. It's power just doesn't push the envelope, it slashes right through it! It's ferocious power band and speed will turn the best young riders into sniffling preteen girls at a Jonas Brothers concert. You young guys out there with 250 and 450 four strokes have no idea what real power is...
Ergonomics
The layout and the size of the YZ490 is great. Especially for the big rider. It feels like you're on an angry dragons back. I'm 6'0 tall, 210 lbs and it fits me perfectly. It's strength is in it's old school simplicity, no games, no flash, let's just get down to business.
Suspension, Front
It's so-so. I'm changing out the front forks with disc brake capabilities. By adding the best of the new to the best of the old, I'm hopeful that will increase the performance of the front suspension.
Suspension, Rear
When I bought it, the rear shock was shot. I had to rebuild and re-valve it. I had a place in Chatsworth, Ca. (Works Performance) do the job. They did outstanding work and it now hooks up extremely well.
Brakes
Brakes are so-so for the time, I'm in the process of fabrication a disc brake system.

Rear brakes: Who in their right mind considers the importance of the rear brakes when they purchase the YZ490? There's only two things that I think about - putting a parachute on my back and making sure my wife always knows my coordinates.
Comments
In my career and personal life I have rode them all but the mystique of the 490 has always and still does intrigue me. Even the numbers: 4 + 9 = 13. Some would say 13 is an unlucky number, I don't know if I believe in all that but what I do believe in is that I'm lucky to have lived in the time of the 490 and happy to have scorched the earth on one. The last of the Widow Makers.
Rating
100
Rider Height / Weight / Skill
6.0 / 210 / Expert
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lord_of_two_strokes

Joined: 06/01/2006
Posts: 48
Location: Going Sideways somewhere in California

Posted: Jun 1, 2006 9:51 PM   Back to Top
The big yellow monster *updated* (Score:1)
Power
Love the power delevery, smooth predictable and very rideable. Does a 4th gear power wheele like no other.(4 speed) Hits hard and revs like you would expect for a big bore two stroke. Good vintage racer. More power than most mortals (accept me of corse) can hold on to. Wide gear spacing makes ya tent to ride it like a 250 on uphills but ur doing a wheele the whole way. Wide gear spacing keeps the motor reving the whole time. Pay attention to this it can get ya in trouble if ur not paying attention.

UPDATE: In the persute of yet more power i have torn down the motor once again and started from scratch. After completly remapping the transfer and exaust port timing along with comp bumped up to around 11:1 and some very interesting mods to the crankshaft to help boost port preasure i think i might have perfected the YZ490 motor. Also ive mated a 1987 5 speed tranny, as it seems to be the stoutest of what ive seen. As well ive added an 86 model year clutch because it had the best overall oil flow and cooling properties. The power this motor produces is just plain scary. Off idle in any gear the bike just wants to go. Low end to mid range power pulls like a big block chevy, then at about...say 4000rpm the pipe kicks in and this thing ignights. From 4000 til she hits the end of the useable ingition curve around 9000rpm you would swear you were riding a rocket. Throttle responce is absolutly electric, smooth as a little thumper. From idle to redline with no flat spots or heasitation, just hold on tight. Not for the faint of heart. This bike outdragged my buddies clem reaserch factory KX500. no joke
Ergonomics
Feels like A yz of the erra. Controls feel smooth and happy with themselfs. Seat cover material leaves something to be desired. Overall the bike feels rather thin considering i usually run a malcome smith dessert tank. Good overall ride height not so tall ya cant find the ground or think ya gonna tip over but not so low ya think ya draggin your butt on the rear wheel.
Suspension, Front
Rebuilt and re valved for aggresive off road riding. Better frount end geometry than the later model YZ490,s. Holds a firm line if you can somehow keep the tire down. Drifts around under power nicely, and sticks well. Not bad with a little love for an old timer.
Suspension, Rear
Cushy when your just sitting on the bike. Feels great on rough terrain but can be bottomed. This takes some effort. The bike has a case of mono hop but not as bad as the 250's. Good on jumps, soaks up big landings rather well. 7w shock oil will help the bigger riders on the all out wide the bleep open trails and tracks.

Ok got board again; revalved and resprung with a white bros progressive spring. Why didnt i think of that sooner. Sits up and feels very compliant. Went racin the other day and came to the realization that the thing has grown wings. I loaded the suspention for the first big jump at stead and anmost cleared my landing, but didnt bottom the rear shocks. Hmmmmm, also very nice in the roughest terrain mortals can imagine. Go figure.
Brakes
Go get new shoes, why are you reading this go get brake shoes right now..................Ok now adjust everything properly and we might talk about enough stoping power to mabey stop you from hitting that tree that you see coming at you right NOW. But they will do the job as well as can be asked for the technology availible.
Comments
Beautiful handling maching. Out does most modern bikes. FAST. I LOVE THIS BIKE, handles like a baby and is fast enough to blow the doors off a modern YZ450F. GET SOME!!! Good vintage racer and mabey even a good first 500. This bike has become my favorate tinker toy. You should see the look on peoples faces when i blast on the 450,s. Ok its a bit heavy, but go look it up, its not as heavy as you think. And you put a little love and attention into setting it up right you will really have something.
Rating
95
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Kevin-MI
Legacy Account

Reviews: 4


Location: Sterling Heights (Detroit) MI


Registered:
May 25, 2003

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Posted: Jun 16, 2004 4:33 PM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
power is great, you can power wheelie at will
Suspension
I only trail ride the bike and the suspension works well for me and I weigh 225.
Brakes
OK
Rating
90
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mxludwig
Legacy Account

Reviews: 1


Location: Sterling Heights (Detroit) MI


Registered:
Aug 31, 2003

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Posted: Aug 31, 2003 2:42 AM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
The power on this bike is unimaginable. You had better watch out when the power band hits because you are going for a ride. This thing goes about 75 in first gear so you can kiss all of the 250s goodbye.
Suspension
The suspension on this bike is ok for me. But I only weigh 130
Brakes
The back break is very good. Stoppies are easy to do with the front.
Comments
This bike is for the people with balls. And if you dont like power and speed up the ying yang, I suggest a 125 or something for ya.
Rating
95
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yz490piped
Legacy Account

Reviews: 2


Location: Canada


Registered:
Mar 6, 2003

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Posted: Mar 6, 2003 6:42 PM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
The power of this bike is outstanding.
I ride off road with it, and with the 4 gears the bottom end of the bike just pulls you everywhere from tight to the wide open. More low-mid power then a new 250 and bit more top.
Suspension
the suspension is good for what I need it for.
Brakes
If you wanted you could endo over in 3 gear!
Comments
Despite the 4 gears and the age this bike make a good woods bike! and I never rid'in it in the dunes before, but it would rip.
Rating
100
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Crusty
Legacy Account

Reviews: 4


Location: Canada


Registered:
Nov 8, 2002

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Posted: Nov 8, 2002 1:02 AM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
Motor is a low to mid range monster which launches off the bottom into a very meaty mid range with an ordinary top end. It will detonate and ping and blubber like mad otherwise as it needs head work to get the best from it. The four spped box really limits the bike as well.
Suspension
Forks are quite good and for their first attempt at a linkage suspension system yamaha did a fairly avreage job as it isn't a big improvement over the monoshock.
Brakes
The front twin leading shoe drum is suprisingly good when it has fresh shoes and good cables and has been adjusted properly. The rear is typical yamaha of that era and tends to be a bit off/on and locks easily. Not really on a par with modern brakes though and this beast will defintiely put them to the test.
Comments
Not Yamahas greatest achievement especially after the great 465. Fat, heavy, undersprung and with a motor that has more low end that most people know what to do with they do leave a little to be desired. Most of these things are fixable to a certain degree and this would make a great playbike and desert sled when sorted.
Rating
70
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crazyYZ80
Legacy Account

Reviews: 7


Location: Canada


Registered:
Apr 19, 2002

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Posted: May 13, 2002 11:30 AM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
the fastest bike i have ever hiden. the power is hard to control the front will pop up and throw back.
Suspension
good over bumps
Brakes
back tire will lock up and drag.
Comments
great bike for speed and long straight aways. fast as hell
Rating
90
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husqy
Legacy Account

Reviews: 5


Location: Canada


Registered:
May 13, 2002

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Posted: May 13, 2002 11:02 AM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
tons and tons of power,,bottom mid top it has it all
Suspension
good for the size of the bike,but dont kill the rear shock , it will cost a ton to rebuild it
Brakes
good but if they heat up stopping this monster will be tough
Comments
hard to start you need alot of leg,bike will win vintage race without breaking a sweat,bike is ugly by todays standerds,but will run with todays 250 with ease
Rating
80
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Motoman17
Legacy Account

Reviews: 9


Location: Canada


Registered:
May 11, 2002

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Posted: May 11, 2002 11:53 AM   Back to Top
Legacy Review (Score:1)
Power
Completely insane power, it will throw you off if you dont hold on.
Suspension
good suspension for suck a heavy bike
Brakes
great brakes
Comments
I love this bike, but it is not for beginers
You have to be an olympic athlete to start it because of the compression ratio
Rating
100
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Keywords: 1982, Yamaha, YZ490, J, 1982 Yamaha YZ490 J, YZ, 490, review, rate, opinions, photo, image, specifications, Dirt Bike Guide, GOR, georgiaoffroad.com

 







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