The people’s 250F
The YZ250F has a huge following of devoted riders who
absolutely love it. It has long been the number-one choice
for novices and beginners, and there are even a few pros
who prefer it over any other 250. When it got the reverse-head, downdraft intake treatment in 2014, it became the
new standard of the 250 class in terms of horsepower
quality. And, it was still reasonably light, despite the addition of fuel injection. Yamaha stubbornly stuck with the
KYB coil-spring fork throughout the era of air forks, which
further cemented its status as the most-loved bike in the
class. Since its introduction, the bike has been refined
from year to year without Yamaha changing the fundamental formula. Now, it returns with almost no changes for the
new model year to face a class that has, for the most part,
completely changed over the last three years. It still weighs
222 pounds without fuel.
STRONG POINTS: The YZ250F still barks. The motor
has instant throttle response and great low-end power that
isn’t reflected on any dyno chart. The Yamaha gets more
done with smaller throttle openings than any of the others.
It also wins the suspension wars again. The YZ’s fork, in
particular, is the universal favorite among all test riders,
from novice to pro.
WEAK POINTS: The Yamaha has been near the top of
the class for a long time and is probably due for a major
update. It isn’t as easy to turn as some of the other bikes.
Peak power is good, not great. It lacks any avenue to tailor the powerband without purchasing the Yamaha Power
Tuner. And, when this bike was released four years ago,
no one could have known that electric start would soon be
mandatory in the 250 class.
BOTTOM LINE: The Yamaha still has a lot to offer. It
might still be the favorite for everyone below the pro ranks.
It is due for a change, though, and we expect the 2019
YZ250F to be completely new.
Weight without fuel: 222 pounds. MSRP: $7699.