WHY DID IT WIN MXA’S 250
Behold, the victor! It wasn’t easy.
On fast tracks, the Kawasaki KX250F
performed better, but overall, the
YZ250F was supreme. MXA test
riders loved the proven Kayaba SSS
suspension. It was light years
better than the air, single-spring and
Austrian competitors. Thanks to the
flawless suspension, the handling
remained neutral and the rear wheel
stayed connected to the ground.
Of course, we couldn’t overlook
Yamaha’s do-it-all engine, which is
one of the bike’s strongest areas.
The 2015 YZ250F is a winner.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE
2015 YAMAHA YZ250F?
(1) Suspension. Kayaba’s Speed
Sensitive System (SSS) suspension is
eight years old. Guess what? It’s still
the best stuff out there. The forks
are incredibly plush and consistent
with excellent bottoming resistance.
The shock is as good as the forks,
creating unity between the front and
( 2) Engine. Snappy, broad and
emphatic are three words that aptly
describe the YZ250F powerband.
It has very usable bottom-end hit,
excellent midrange and adequate
over-rev capability. Best of all it
exhibits and unweilding willingness
to pull tall gears. It is a jack-of-all-
( 3) Handling. Although it didn’t
win the cornering category, the
YZ250F is one of the best all-around-handling bikes in the class. Thanks
to a stable chassis and supple
suspension, big blue is steady at
high speeds and mostly agreeable
( 4) Durability. We put over 100
hours on last year’s YZ250F and
didn’t encounter a single problem.
This is a bike that is built to last.
WHAT’S BAD ABOUT THE 2015
(1) Brakes. The front brake is
the worst in the class. It is underpowered and lacking positive feel
at the lever. Yamaha needs to join
the 21st century by upgrading its
antiquated front brake.
( 2) Cornering. At times, the
YZ250F has to hunt and peck for
traction. It exhibits an uncomfortable
looseness on flat turns with nothing
to bite into.
( 3) Handlebars. We didn’t like
the handlebar bend. For our tastes,
a switch to Renthal’s 997 TwinWall
handlebars did the trick.
WHICH SKILL LEVEL BEST
SUITS THE YZ250F?
The magic of the Yamaha YZ250F
is that it performs well in the hands
of every skill level and age bracket.
WHAT ARE OUR FINAL
THOUGHTS ON THE YZ250F?
Yamaha narrowly lost last year’s
shootout because of its quirky
cornering traits. Although the
quirkiness is still evident, the 2015
iteration has slight revisions and
considerably better suspension. That
was enough to seal the deal and
make the Yamaha MXA’s “250 Four-Stroke Shootout” winner.