The ’11 YZ-F is all around fun to ride and has all the positive characteristics you could want in a 250F. Great power, suspension and handling that give great confidence are what riding motocross is all about. Dirt Rider was impressed with the Yamaha and gives props to the crew in blue for making it happen with a carbureted bike that is a serious threat to the fuel-injected models.
Specifications: 2011 Yamaha YZ250F
MSRP: $7,150; white/red, $7,250
Actual weight (tank full): 227 lb
Seat height: 36.9 in.
Seat-to-footpeg distance: 20.3 in.
Footpeg height: 16.6 in.
- Handles like a champ!
- New white side shrouds look clean. Also comes in black, white and red (a great color combo!).
- Overall, this bike is extremely comfortable and easy to get used to.
- This YZ-F definitely does not need an electric start, first kick fires it up!
- Still carbureted, when do we get fuel injection?
- Fifth gear doesn’t pull as long as we’d like.
- The white on the side shrouds will show some signs of wear and discoloring after a while.
The new 2011 YZ250F was a blast to ride. It seemed to have a little more bottom-end than last year and still pulled well once in the mid to top-end ranges. We rode it at Glen Helen on a perfect day with the big hills, and I must say the bike pulls from third to fourth gear really well. On other 250s it’s hard to shift to fourth without changing the sprocket size, but for this day the gear ratio seemed great and bike pulled from gear to gear really strong. The only things I would like to see are fuel injection and a little more throttle response. The bike does bog or cough on hard landings or G-outs. I think I am getting spoiled with fuel injection on the 250Fs nowadays. Suspension and chassis are the strong points for the YZ250F. It is a very stable, confidence-inspiring bike. It loves straight-line choppy downhills or straights. The bike will stay planted, and it feels like it’s a part of your body. The front end has good bite coming into corners, and leaning feeling is also light. Ergos feel fine for my 5-foot 11-inch frame, and the bike as a whole is just an all-around good setup. You can hop on it and go and feel comfortable right away! Great job by Yamaha, but I would love to see the FI next year!
5’10″/185 lb/Sr. Pro
For an unchanged bike, well, I felt better throttle response, better torque down low, better handling and more fun in a very familiar package. Call it production differences, tolerances, a better day or just plain luck of the frame number, the 2011 YZ250F I rode was better than the one I rode last year. Sometimes this happens and no brand is immune to it, but it makes me think we got a bit of a lemon last year since our bike (and I know it wasn’t the only one) was a bit finicky in the carburetion. And that really affected the whole bike. I would have liked it the most of the 2010s if it were just fuel injected. The 2011 feels pretty much fuel injected in comparison, and now I really like this machine. More than I liked last year’s. So if you’re resisting technology in the FI department, maybe this Yamaha is your last chance to have an analog, not a digital, gas delivery system on your 250F. And after seeing the black, white and red one, I’d go for that!
5’10″/155 lb/Vet Novice
The 2010 version of this bike felt a little longer, slower handling and less responsive. The 2011 felt stronger but still not near FI 250F response standards and too slow-revving in the low rpm for my speed. One thing I have loved about the YZ-F’s KYB suspension is that the compression clickers really do just stiffen or soften the ride; they don’t affect the YZ-F’s attitude or handling anywhere near as much as when turning clickers on other bikes. I think the Yamaha is the least exciting of the new 250Fs, both in the brochure and on the track, but it also doesn’t have any faults that you have to learn to live with. The Two Brothers exhaust made a surprising boost in the fun with increased quickness of rev at low rpm that made the whole bike feel lighter, easier to lean into turns and a lot more fun. If you want a bike that you can ride low in the revs with great response, the stock YZ-F isn’t your ride. But if you want a bike that you will have a great day with regardless of track conditions or the level of coordination you wake up with that morning, get on a blue bike.