The MXA testers were shifting the
YZ250F around 11 grand, because it
felt as if the power leveled off, which,
in a way, it did. So, they shifted early,
thinking there was nothing left on the
table. Little did they know that when
they passed the 11 grand mark, the
bike hit its afterburners. They were
leaving more than three ponies on the
table. The burst of power from 11,000
to 13,500 rpm was incredible—thanks to
the second injector. And when shifted
at peak rpm, the bike would be right in
the meat of its best power.
The test riders were enamored
with the sheer power of the Twisted
Development-built YZ250F. They had
to shift up and rev the engine out until
their eyes bled, which made the engine
feel a lot like a KTM 350SXF engine.
When they learned to ride it where the
power was, the test riders started to
get further over the jumps than on the
smoker. In hard-packed conditions, the
thumper tracked the ground like it had
glue on its tires, whereas the smoker
would try to break loose. As a bonus,
you could be lazy and make mistakes
on the four-stroke and the power would
be right there at your fingertips. On the
track, it was hard to feel the big difference in torque between the two bikes.
The added torque did make the smoker
easier to ride, but it was still harder to
ride than the four-stroke.
Both of the Yamahas’ suspension
components were reworked by Enzo.
The thumper was equipped with A-Kit
components. They both handled incredibly better than they did in stock trim,
but the newer YZ250F chassis made all
the difference in straight-line stability
and precision cornering. Our testers
liked the narrow feel of the YZ250.
Other than that, the YZ250F thumper
was superior in its ergos.
THE SHOWDOWN TO END ALL
To be honest, it really comes down
to how deep your pockets are. If you
are looking for a close-to-50-horsepower
racing engine, go with the YZ250 two-stroke. It is mechanically simple, cheap
to repair, easy to hop-up and is competitive with top-dollar factory equipment
for a fraction of the price. It is great
for the guy on a budget who wants to
have fun and be competitive at the local
level. The problem with the YZ250 is
that it is built on an antiquated chassis.
It’s not just the YZ250 engine that is 10
years old, but the frame geometry and
layout are also way past their primes.