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In between races, we took some time to browse our hard drives and look at photos taken throughout the year. We’ll highlight each shot in a daily post, with the image sized to fit your computer screen or smartphone and described with a small backstory…

Back in April, we traveled to Kumamoto, Japan, for our annual Japan Spy Photos feature and we came back with photos of several all-new machines, including this works Yamaha YZ450F that’s piloted by Team Yamaha Japan’s Yu Hirata.  The team was very secretive with the machine early in the season and kept it shrouded inside an enclosed pit area. We were able to get a good look at the machine in the staging area and also on the race track, and the bike features an all-new chassis, engine, suspension, and bodywork. More often than not, the bikes we see in action in Japan are a good indication of what’s to come the following production year, so we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F to look exactly like this bike that Hirata is racing in the All Japan MX Nationals. Wanna see it in action? Scroll down to the bottom of this post.

PHOTO INFORMATION Photographer | Donn Maeda Camera | Canon EOS1DX Lens | Canon 70-200mm f2.8 Shutter Speed | 1/1250 Aperture | f5.6 ISO | 400

Flash | Not Used