running gear will produce a better product for the
consumer than some random hop-up mod. The YZ250F is
already a 250 shootout contender, and the engineers
don’t need to add performance mods until they increase
durability. Of course, we would have preferred all of the
durability mods and one more horse on top, but given a
choice, we think Yamaha made a wise choice.
Q: IS THE 2016 YAMAHA YZ250F FASTER
THAN THE 2015 MODEL?
A: No. Nothing that was done to the 2016 engine was
going to return heaps of horsepower. Plus, the Yamaha
YZ250F already had a fast engine. As it sits, the YZ250F
delivers a style of power that riders of all skill levels can
use to the fullest. It pulls harder through the middle,
doesn’t require a quick-draw clutch hand to keep it on the
pipe and has just enough rev to get the job done. Even
when it runs out of over-rev on top, the engine signals the
end of days by having a slower pulse to the rev limiter’s
cut out in 2016 than in 2015. Instead of going rat-a-tat ratty,
it has a slower da-da-da sound. You need to memorize that
sound, because it is the Def-Con 4 signal to shift.
With the exception of the rev limiter’s engagement, the
2016 YZ250F feels just like the 2015 YZ250F. No shame
in that. The 2016 YZ250F powerband is remarkable in its
power placement. Yamaha put the power where every rider
can get the most out of it. It really shines in the midrange,
which is a good thing, because it can’t come close to
touching the 2016 KTM 250SXF on top. The KTM 250SXF
is best suited to Pro riders—after all, it makes its peak
replaced the bearing roller with a solid metal roller.
Unfortunately, this solid metal roller was only supported
by an arm on one side and would flex. Now, for 2016,
the solid roller is supported by arms on both sides and is
held into the shift detents by a 20-percent-stiffer spring.
( 5) Suspension. Although Yamaha would be foolish to
abandon its class-leading Kayaba SSS suspension, Yamaha
did make small changes to the front and rear units. The
forks have less low-speed damping and more high-speed
damping, while the rear shock gets a softer spring rate
(from 56 N/m to 54 N/m). Both of these changes are
designed to make the suspension more absorbent,
especially for smaller riders.
( 6) Front brake. For 2016, Yamaha has joined the
“Let’s Catch Up to KTM” movement by going from its
previous old-school 250mm front rotor to a 270mm rotor
(along with higher MU friction brake pads). That leaves
Suzuki as the outlier in the brake world.
Q: WHAT EFFECT DO THESE CHANGE HAVE
ON THE 2016 YAMAHA YZ250F?
A: If we are talking outright performance
improvements, only the oversized front rotor is going
to be noticeable. The rest of the 2016 modifications are
all made in the name of durability. Although Yamahas
have a reputation for incredible reliability, that reputation
comes largely from the bulletproof YZ450F. Over the past
few years, the YZ250F has suffered some high-profile
failures, most recently with the water pump shaft and
shift stopper roller. Thus, 2016’s efforts to beef up the
2016 Yamaha YZ250F: The focus
of the 2016 YZ250F wasn’t on
mega-horsepower, but instead
on maximum reliability. Every
mod was made with durability