stroke. Yes, it was too soft for Pro riders or tracks
with big jumps, but we were still able to cut competitive lap times on the YZ250X. And many of our
Vet test riders felt that the YZ250X suspension setup
favored their speed more than the YZ250 forks.
Q: CAN YOU RACE MOTOCROSS ON A 2016
A: Yes. The milder hit and tractable pull of the
engine, along with the ultra-plush suspension, make
the YZ250X a better motocross bike for Novices, Vets
and riders who want to do double- or triple-duty on
the same bike. One caveat: If you buy a YZ250X and
port the cylinder, mill the head and add an aftermarket exhaust, you might as well buy a YZ250 and save
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Front brake. For 2016, Yamaha upgraded its
YZ-F line with 270mm front rotors. It needs to do the
same with its two-stroke line. The stock 250mm rotor
( 2) Fifth gear. A large number of our test riders
never got to fifth gear. It is way up there.
( 3) Gas tank. On a motocross track, we loved that
we didn’t have to deal with a bulky, oversized gas
tank, but the stock YZ250 gas tank is too small for
long trail rides. Yamaha dropped the ball with this
crucial item, but the aftermarket will pick it up and
run with it.
( 4) Electric starter. We love KTM’s push-button
electric start on its 250XC offroad bikes. Kicking the
YZ250X on the side of a hilly canyon, not so much.
( 5) Clutch. It should be noted that we run stiffer
clutch springs on our YZ250 two-strokes, so we are
pretty sure that we will need stiffer springs on the
softer YZ250X clutch.
( 6) Flywheel weight. Yamaha’s engineers
depended on the mellower compression ratio to make
the YZ250X easier to ride and more tractable. We,
and most offroad riders, prefer to run a heavier
flywheel weight to improve the churn.
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list:
(1) Third gear. Bringing third gear closer to
second has been on our YZ250 wish list for many
years. Now that our prayers have been answered on
the X, we hope to see the change on the YZ
sometime in the near future.
( 2) Suspension. Mechanically, the suspension
components are the same class-leading Kayaba SSS
( 3) Engine. Although the venerable YZ250 powerplant has grown long in the tooth, it still offers nice,
manageable power. But, if Yamaha wants to keep
up with the competition, it needs to start bumping
up the ponies.
( 4) Maintenance. Anybody with a modicum of
mechanical skill can keep a YZ250 two-stroke running.
( 5) Parts. Even if the YZ250 parts cost the same as
their four-stroke nephews, which they don’t, there are
a lot fewer of them to buy. The MXA wrecking crew
doesn’t believe that two-strokes are more reliable than