2015 Yamaha YZ125 & YZ250 Two-Strokes - First Impression

Fresh New Look With Key Updates

Amazing what just some cosmetic restyling can to make a bike look modern!

It finally happened; the old look of the YZ two-strokes is gone! A lot of premix burning fans out there didn’t think the styling of the YZ two-strokes would ever change, but the 2015 YZ125 and YZ250 have an all-new look. From the tip of the front fender to the end of the back fender, the 2015 YZ two-strokes look modern and appealing. Along with the aggressive look is an all-new fork – the latest version 48mm KYB SSS fork, similar to fork that comes on the current Yamaha four-strokes. The engine, chassis and rear shock have not changed on either bike but that has never really been a complaint of the YZ two-strokes. They are bikes known for their excellent powerplants and great handling. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The lower triple clamp is also new, but not to change handling; it is only to accommodate the new front fender, which is the same as the YZ four-strokes. Once you move towards the back of the bike the new radiator shrouds use the same mounts as the old ones (the gas tank hasn’t changed). The airbox is new to accommodate the new styling and side panels and still uses the same air filter. You will not be able to bolt up the 2015 side panels to your old bike without updating the airbox, which you can easily do because the subframe remains unchanged for 2015. Other changes include a black rear disc guard, black rear brake caliper guard and the front brake hose guide is now black. The new rear sprocket shares the same styling as the four-strokes. The footpegs, for added comfort and better grip are 10mm wider, going from 45mm to 55mm. Both the YZ125 and YZ250 now come standard with the Dunlop MX52F on front and the MX52 out back.

Kai Mukai is the perfect size for a 125, 5’5” and 135 pounds.

With just one day on a beautifully prepped Glen Helen track we can say the 2015 YZ two-stroke models are just as fun as the 2014 models, just much more appealing to the eye. With only two-strokes ripping up the track for the day it was a trip down memory lane back to the time only premix was the smell in the air and the theme song was buzzing bees. Is the updated and all-new KYB fork better than the before? A few more days of testing will tell, but we weren’t complaining about the old version and we aren’t complaining about the new one, either. Performance wise the 2015 models run just as strong and smooth as the 2014 bikes, as they should, since there were no changes to the proven engines. Keep an eye on dirtrider.com for more on these bikes and upcoming tests in the pages of the magazine.

2015 YZ125 MSRP: $6,290

2015 YZ250 MSRP: $7,150

Changes to the YZ two-strokes apply to both the YZ125 and YZ250.
Gary Sutherlin had a blast holding the 2015 YZ250 wide open around the Glen Helen track.