Photos by Adam Booth
You see Yamaha YZ250 two-strokes everywhere: On the motocross track, out in the woods, and even being flipped, flung and flopped around on the freestyle circuit. But what is it that makes this bike relevant in a world that has forgotten how to use a ratio rite? The answer, it seems, can be summed up in one word: Performance.
When mixing the ingredients for the YZ250 two-stroke, Yamaha got the recipe right by combining stable handling and great power. The bike is in no way finicky or slow; in fact, it can almost run with a stock 450cc four-stroke with the right pilot on board. But the engine is a snappy combination of steady roll-on, strong mid-range and good top-end pull. The factory jetting is great for most applications at sea level, and we felt that the power was delivered in a crisp and precise manner.
The handling is a good mix of stability and flickability, as the bike feels lighter than your standard MXer but does a good job of staying planted and not stepping out, bucking or kicking on the track. It can be turned with minimal effort and changes direction in the air like a charm, yet there is something about this bike that makes is fairly safe-feeling for riders just coming off on thumpers who maybe have not ridden a two-stroke in a while. Granted, the YZ250 is not exactly a beginner bike, though the engine will chug down low and the overall package does not wear the rider out nearly as fast as some other bikes.
We put Chris Barrett, a sub-200 pound pro motocrosser and off-road junkie, onto the Yamaha for his initial impression. Here is his breakdown of the YZ: “It’s hard to do a lap on the YZ250 without smiling. The sound alone gives you the warm fuzzies, but that’s just the start – as always, this bike flat out rips. The crisp snap of the 250 two-stroke is a breath of fresh… well… pre-mix, but that too is still a welcome break from the world of four-strokes. Yamaha has the YZ250 motor dialed in with a strong bottom to mid pull that still revs really well. This 250 two-stroke has amazing roll-on power, but can quickly breathe some fire with just a snap of your wrist. If you feel that is still not enough, than just give the clutch a quick dab and I’m sure you’ll be satisfied. The suspension works well and does a decent job of keeping the two-stroke dance to a minimum. Just make sure your sag is set and you should be good to go with just a click here or there to match your preference. And of course the biggest benefit of the two-stroke – this bike is light. It feels light, corners light and jumps light. Even with the raw two-stroke power, this bike is so easy to ride. If you are tired of your four-stroke riding you around the track, maybe it’s time to give the YZ250 a throw and bring back some great memories.”
Yamaha has recently announced that the YZ250 will once again be back for 2013. Although unchanged, the bike still has more than enough potential to remain a great option for riders looking for a fun motocross bike, an incredibly capable woods platform, or simply a fun do-it-all machine to play ride on. Whatever your flavor, don’t discount the YZ250 just because it doesn’t like straight gas—there is a lot more to this machine than meets the eye.
Visit www.yamaha-motor.com for more info on big blue’s 2013 model lineup.
MSRP* $7,150 (Team Yamaha Blue/White) 2013s available from August 2012
|Type||249cc liquid-cooled 2-stroke; reed-valve inducted|
|Bore x Stroke||66.4 x 72.0mm|
|Fuel Delivery||Keihin® PWK38S|
|Transmission||Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch|
|Final Drive||Chain Drive|
|Suspension / Front||Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 11.8-in travel|
|Suspension / Rear||Fully adjustable single shock, 12.4-in travel|
|Brakes / Front||Hydraulic single disc brake, 250mm|
|Brakes / Rear||Hydraulic single disc brake, 245mm|
|Tires / Front||80/100-21-51M|
|Tires / Rear||110/90-19-62M|
|Seat Height||39.1 in|
|Ground Clearance||15.0 in|
|Fuel Capacity||2.1 gal|
|Wet Weight***||227 lb|
|Warranty||30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)|