improved, but when you raise the exhaust port height,
you have to trade bottom to get top. Thankfully, a little
clutch action goes a long way towards getting the YZ85
into the meat of the mid-and-up powerband. Overall, the
2016 YZ85 engine has a very usable style of power for
a wide range of skills and ages. Reliability is very good,
as you would expect from a bike that has stood the
test of time.
Q: HOW IS THE HANDLING OF THE 2016
A: It is okay. The YZ85 doesn’t have the fabled
Kayaba SSS suspension that always gets rave reviews on
the YZ125, YZ250, YZ250F and YZ450F, but it does have
Kayaba components. For smaller, younger and lighter
riders, the suspension will be on the stiff side; it has
obviously been designed for more aggressive riders.
Overall, this is a very stable and strong suspension
package. Since I am on the low side of Yamaha’s target
weight for the YZ85, I had to make adjustments to
soften up the front and rear, but this was fairly basic
and straightforward. Plus, over time, I will grow in
size, weight and speed.
Q: WHAT WERE THE 2016 YAMAHA YZ85
A: There are a few areas that need attention on
the 2016 Yamaha YZ85.
(1) Shifting. You might want to do some foot
workouts before trying to shift the YZ85. It takes a bit
of oomph to shift the transmission when the bike is new,
Q: IS THE 2016 YZ85 IMPROVED OVER THE
A: Mechanically, no. Visually, yes.
Q: WHAT ARE THE CHANGES TO THE 2016
A: If you recall, the 2015 Yamaha YZ85 received
massive upgrades, at least they were massive by
minicycle standards. These upgrades enhanced the strong
features of an already solid machine. The improvements
included all-new plastic, improved port timing (for more
power across the range) and an adjustable clutch lever
(for a wider range of young hand sizes). But that was last
year. What has Yamaha done for us lately? Visually, the
2016 Yamaha YZ85 has been updated and improved to
be more appealing to buyers. It has new black D.I.D rims,
which give the bike a touch of modern appeal. The D.I.D.
rims are strong enough for kids who want to hammer
the bike through big holes. In addition to the D.I.D rims,
the YZ85 has received new graphics that resemble the
bigger YZ models.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2016 YAMAHA YZ85
A: The 2015 mod to raise the exhaust port height
by 0.5mm changed the YZ85’s power output more than
any mod Yamaha has made in the 10 previous years.
The 2016 YZ85 pulls stronger at high rpm and has a
longer-pulling feel. The bottom end could still be
What’s new: The Yamaha
YZ85 got a bevy of
mechanical updates for
the 2015 model, so the
2016 YZ85 only gets new
graphics and black
anodized D.I.D rims.