After years of incessant nagging by owners, dealers and MXA, Yamaha finally
addressed the universal complaints
about the YZ250F by unveiling an
all-new YZ250F. The YZ250F had
been showing its age for the last
decade, but Yamaha didn’t do
anything about it. The YZ250F had
the distinction of being the last
carbureted four-stroke from the “Big
Five.” Not anymore.
The 2014 Yamaha YZ250F is as
new as new can be. What did the
blue crew do? (1) The cylinder is
slanted rearward and blessed with
a four-valve layout instead of five.
( 2) Electronic fuel injection has
finally replaced the Keihin FCR
carburetor. This opens up infinite
mapping options. ( 3) Although the
frame geometry is identical to the
2013 YZ250F’s, the frame, subframe
and engine brackets are all new. ( 4)
Yamaha went stiffer on the spring
rates and adjusted the damping. ( 5)
It doesn’t take a graphic artist to see
that the YZ250F has new styling.
In a single model year, the YZ250F
has jumped from an also-ran to
a front runner. The 2014 Yamaha
YZ250F came very close to edging
out the KX250F for top honors (on
the test riders’ forms, it got its fair
share of first-place votes), but the
general consensus was that it was
the second-best bike in the class.
Still, there’s no denying the explosive
engine and race-ready suspension.
40. 61 horsepower at 12, 100 rpm.
The YZ250F is the spitting image
of the YZ450F. That’s not bad, but
it’s not good, either. The YZ450F
has a tendency to feel very loose
at corner entrance, and the YZ250F
also hunts and pecks for traction.
The difference is that the uncomfort-
able looseness isn’t as apparent on
the YZ250F. Test riders struggled to
find the proper race sag and fork-leg
height to balance the chassis. Even
then, test riders had a hard time
with looseness at turn-in, the weak
front brake and the handlebar bend.
The 2014 YZ250F is a great choice
for those who don’t like green. It is
well equipped to win off the showroom floor, and at only 221 pounds,
it’s the lightest 250 four-stroke in the
field. If not for a few peccadilloes,
the YZ250F would be back on
top of the podium after years of
exclusion. Regardless, this is a great