2017 Yamaha YZ250FX Review | First Impression

For 2017, Yamaha has continued to push the envelope as the leading Japanese manufacture to offer a variety of closed-course competition off-road motorcycles. Their lineup includes the YZ250X (two-stroke), YZ250FX, and YZ450FX; all of which are considered by Yamaha to be GNCC/woods-ready racers, based off of their flagship motocross models. For our initial impressions of these models, the Dirt Rider crew headed out to our testing grounds in order to learn more about what the Yamaha YZ-X motorcycles have to offer.

2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
Out of all the X's the 250FX has the most changes.Photo by Pete Peterson

Based off of the already dominant YZ250F motocross machine, the FX has been greatly improved for 2017. A host of changes grace this motorcycle for the new year, which highlight overall power output, smoother clutch and shifting performance, and improved stability, cornering, and traction.

2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
The chassis is more rigid with suspension changes compliment the new frame feel.Photo by Pete Peterson


For 2017, Yamaha set their sights on improving the heartbeat of the 250FX. A host of motor changes include a revised cylinder head, with straighter-angled intake and exhaust ports that pair with a new throttle body joint and mid-pipe. Yamaha also incorporated a new piston and connecting rod to reduce friction and provide more efficient combustion. “Quick-revving and extremely lively” is a series of descriptors that was used unanimously amongst our test riders throughout the day. This bike is an absolute blast to ride! The 250FX was already known for excellent low-to-mid range engine power, but for 2017, the overall engine package has been improved. Power output has been increased between from the mid- to top-end, giving the bike excellent throttle response. In addition, this motorcycle comes standard with a wide-ratio six speed transmission with enough bottom end torque that allows riders to cruise in taller gears. But, in the event of needing immediate power on the fly, the 250FX still requires you to be ready to shift quickly, in order to harness the true potential that this motorcycle has to offer.

2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
The engine mounts are a different shape and the lower mounts went from aluminum to steel.Photo by Pete Peterson


Sharing the same components as its motocross predecessor, the 250FX uses a KYB SSS fork and shock specifically tuned for GNCC-style racing. In the fork, a softer slow-speed valving spec to aid in off-road capability is utilized on this bike for 2017, aimed at helping the initial part of the stroke in loose, rocky terrain. In addition, valving in the mid-to-high speed section of the fork has been increased, to provide a more stable, progressive feel for higher speed and rougher sections of the trail. The shock also saw some minor setting changes to keep pace with the front end of the bike. Overall, we feel the suspension package is fantastic, and required very minor tuning to make the bike feel great in stock form. A simple sag adjustment, and a few clicks to soften the forks proved very worthwhile on this motorcycle and inspires confidence right off the showroom floor.

2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
There are 13 internal engine changes that make for a more exciting motor.Photo by Pete Peterson


A few other 2017 improvements include 5mm lower foot peg height and increased frame rigidity that translate into a light-feeling, easy-to-maneuver machine. Combining the fun and playful feel of the motor with the KYB suspension, creates a motorcycle that is sure to put a smile on your face! The bike feels light and nimble, allowing you to stick and move your way through single-track sections and rock gardens. In general, our test riders agreed that the bike just feels smaller overall, especially when compared against its bigger brother, the 450FX. The cockpit of this machine is comfortable and roomy, but the tank/shroud area still feels wide compared some of the other off-road bikes on the market.

2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
The chassis feels as nimble as any off-road bike.Photo by Sean Klinger
2017 Yamaha YZ250FX Specs
MSRP: $7,999
Fuel Capacity: 2 gal.
Claimed Weight with Fuel: 249 lbs.
2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
A new air funnel in the air box is 15mm shorter to help get more air into the combustion chamber.Photo by Sean Klinger
2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
The 18 inch rear wheel is a must for off-road riding.Photo by Sean Klinger
2017 Yamaha YZ250FX
Even though it is light and nimble, the 250FX also has a planted, stable feeling.Photo by Sean Klinger