We’ve had the 2009 YZ 250F for a weekend and this is what’s lingering from our first taste.The testing crew at Dirt Rider Magazine converged upon a well-prepped Racetown 395 motocross track on Friday, August 8th 2009 and were welcomed by a much-improved 2009 Yamaha YZ 250F. After a day at Racetown, we then romped across the Glen Helen Raceway circuit for some more fun. This is our first impression of the 2009 YZ 250F, enjoy!It’s standard operating procedure to corner the manufacturer media rep and drill him about all the changes a bike we’re about to test has. This was the case, again, with the YZ 250F. We’ll go over all the improvements in our full test due up on dirtrider.com soon, for now, these are the ones that stand out after hours of real testing.Power delivery on the 2008 Yamaha YZ 250F was less than mind-blowing. It was consistent and strong, just not exciting or the type of power that exudes confidence. For 2009, Yamaha addressed this by simply bolting on a new exhaust system. It seems to be working.In back-to-back testing with our freshly rebuilt 2008 YZ 250F, our initial results showed a marked improvement. The ’09 YZ is delivery ponies sooner and keeping them there longer. Most impressive is the bottom end grunt now strongly present inside the once-sleepy YZ motor. After a year (literally) of hanging on to 450′s, I was more than ready for some smooth, slow 250F power. After the first day of testing, the YZ250F impressed me with ample juice to slap a smile on my face every time I cracked the throttle open.The changes to the exhaust system aren’t drastic by any means. Simply put, the header is 60mm longer and the muffler is 50mm shorter. This length gain and loss really makes a difference. Also, the header is no longer a stepped design but now features 50.8mm tubing all the way to the mid pipe.Connecting this lovely power to the ground is a completely new clutch assembly. No more judder springs and a new basket assembly claims longer clutch life with less oil contamination and easier maintenance thanks to universal, one-style-fits-all clutch plates. What impressed us most, likely because we haven’t opened the clutch cover yet, is the engagement of the new system. It’s rock solid with zero fade or inconsistency. The bike has a great feeling clutch control and with a new adjustable reach lever, we’re hoping to find an ideal setting on the left side of the bar.There are a lot of smaller chassis changes to the YZ (position adjustable bar mounts/top triple clamp, for example) but none is even close to the new swingarm and linkage. Considering that this is the only major chassis change directly related to the handling character of the bike, we’d say it’s a success.Immediately, the ’09 YZ feels lighter, yet just as planted, in the bar, more maneuverable in the air and as settled and controlled as any YZ four stroke we’ve tested. The bike has been nailing ruts and staying calm in berms at every track we’ve been to in the past few days. The bike maintains that YZ straight-line stability we’ve grown to love and seems to have found a happy place in the compliant corner department as well. Again, compared directly to the 2008, this bike is a marked improvement.Probably the most surprisingly effective change is the most simple in design. The front tire on the YZ is an all-new Bridgestone exclusive to Yamaha. It’s an M403A and has the same wonderful 403 pattern with a flatter profile. Instead of being as domed, it’s simply flatter with a wider footprint hitting the ground. The tire proved a solid companion in every soil sample from slightly hard-packed and backed to wet and loamy. We’re assuming this is a big part of the handling improvements Yamaha found in 2009, as well. Only in the softest, driest fluff-berms did we feel a bit of floating (and less bite) than a standard profiled M403 generally delivers.So, that’s it, really. The bike is new, it’s here and our first full test covering all the changes will be online shortly. Keep checking back to dirtrider.com for more 2009 motocross and off-road bike introductions as new bike season gets under full swing.Want to know more? Help us test this bike for you by telling us what else you want to know about the bike. Click here to go directly to our message board thread set up for these questions.