All new in 2014, the Yamaha YZ250F is the result
of forward-thinking ideas combined with modern
technology. Defined by its reverse engine and downdraft
fuel injection, the YZ250F is the very essence of what
a 250 four-stroke should be. It has an incredible engine,
superb Kayaba SSS suspension, decent handling traits
and comfortable ergonomics. Yamaha made several
minor revisions to the 2015 model with an eye on
boosting its standing in a very competitive 250 four-stroke class.
Engine. It’s hard to deny the YZ250F powerplant’s
superiority in the scope of breadth and usability. Slower
riders raved about the blast of power off idle, while the
fastest of the fast could tap into the engine’s top end.
Suspension. We have long loved Kayaba’s Speed
Sensitive System (SSS) suspension. With each passing
year, Yamaha continues to improve the performance by
focusing on its target audience—racers.
GYTR Power Tuner. Yamaha’s accessory
department, GYTR, makes an intuitive EFI tuner. It
does wonders for the powerband.
Durability. We’ve heard of isolated incidences of the
2014 YZ250F suffering water-pump shaft failures, but the
2015 has an upgraded water-pump shaft, which can be
retrofitted on 2015 YZ250Fs.
Handling. Whether it’s straight-line stability,
cornering or jumping, the YZ250F feels right at home.
It’s not the best in any specific area, but as an overall
package, the YZ250F handles well.
Tires. Although it is going the way of the Siberian
tiger, Bridgestone’s 403A/404 tire combo is great. We’re
sad to see the rubber go but happy that the YZ250F still
comes with these sneakers.
Front brake. Yamaha decided to tread water at
a time when other manufacturers improved their
front-brake systems. The stock brake rotor lacks power
Handlebars. The stock handlebar bend is not favored
by a single MXA test rider.
Exhaust. It’s not that we mind the performance of
the YZ250F exhaust. It’s just that we simply cannot like
it based on the principle that the exhaust is
nearly impossible to remove.
Airbox. We’re not fans of how large the upper
radiator shrouds are, because they make the YZ250F feel
wide. The Dzus fasteners are a nice touch, but we lost
two within the first few hours. Lastly, we don’t like the
sound emitted by the airbox.
BEST SUSPENSION SETTINGS?
Forks. These are MXA’s recommended 2015 Yamaha YZ250F
fork settings (stock settings are in parentheses).
Spring rate: 4. 7 N/mm
Oil quantity: 335cc
Compression: 14 clicks out ( 10 clicks out)
Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 12 clicks out)
Fork-leg height: 5mm up
Notes: Lighter riders will find comfort in lowering the oil
height or, at worst, dropping down a spring rate. Also, be
mindful of fork-leg height, as it’s instrumental in finding chassis
These are MXA’s recommended 2015 Yamaha YZ250F shock
settings (stock settings are in parentheses).
Spring rate: 56.0 N/mm
Race sag: 102mm
Hi-compression: 1-1/4 turns out (1-1/3 turns out)
Lo-compression: 21 clicks out ( 10 clicks out)
Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 14 clicks out)
Notes: The shock has a tendency to hop under heavy braking and down rough straights. We slowed down the high-speed
compression and softened up the low-speed compression.
WHAT DID WE CHANGE?
Here is the short list of things the MXA wrecking crew
changed on the 2015 Yamaha YZ250F.
(1) We plugged a GYTR Power Tuner into the YZ250F and
changed the mapping to an aggressive setting, as it livened up
( 2) We installed an oversized front-brake rotor for better
( 3) We removed the D-rings in the Dzus fasteners, because
they would lift while riding and cause the fasteners to come
out. We had to use a straight-blade screwdriver to remove the
Dzus fasteners. It was the lesser of two evils.
( 4) We round-filed the stock air-filter cage (with integrated
backfire screen) in favor of a Twin Air Powerflow kit
( www.twinairusa.com, $259.95).
( 5) We liked the stock exhaust, but not as much as the
WHAT DO WE THINK?
It’s hard to ignore the race-ready powerband, supple Kayaba
suspension, comfortable ergos, lasting durability and overall
performance of the 2015 YZ250F. Last year the bike finished
second in our shootout, edged out by the Kawasaki KX250F. It’s
quite possible that blue could end up at the top of the pile for
2015, because the YZ250F is that good. ❏
MXA RODE TEST