ancient and clumsy by comparison. We still feel like
Yamaha has a slight edge in suspension over most
250Fs, with the possible exception of the Suzuki. This is
a very close call, because the bar is very high across the
entire class. The others were extremely close in 2012,
and all of them have changed while Yamaha stood still.
Yamaha’s motor represents a mixed bag of strengths
and weaknesses. On paper, it hasn’t changed that much
since 2002. It still has the five-valve head design, which
has been abandoned in most other Yamaha models. But
between the good old-fashion carburetor and the magic
piston from 2012, the YZ’s engine has a great feel. It has
a free, lively throttle response and a real hit in the powerband. With the coming of fuel injection, most of the fun
factor has been tuned out of other motors. An EFI
powerband is typically a little jerky when you first open
the throttle, but then drones featurelessly through an
overly progressive delivery. Not the Yamaha. It has a little
bang along the way, and it still revs out to a decent top
Back in 2002, the YZ250F motor was
introduced and has gone through a
few major changes since then.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, carburetors have to
go away. From the racer’s point of view, there’s no hurry.