EPA- and CARB-approved. That is pretty much the
death knell to racing the bikes. The WRs have intake
baffles, restrictive mufflers, unprogrammable black
boxes, throttle stops and weigh 9 pounds more than the
YZ250FX. Additionally, the WR is very mildly tuned. It is
softer, quieter and slower than the YZ250FX (and a lot
slower than the motocross-bred YZ250F).
Q: IF IT’S SO GREAT, WHY IS MXA
A: That’s simple. We are motocross racers. Week in
and week out, we spend the majority of our time testing,
racing and riding on hardcore motocross tracks. Thus,
our primary focus is not on offroad, woods, enduro or
dual-sport bikes—unless we can race them in motocross
also. The MXA wrecking crew does a lot of offroad
riding in the hills, deserts and mountains of our SoCal
base; it’s just that we don’t need to spend $7890 on a
bike that can only do that.
Q: HOW FAST IS THE YAMAHA YZ250FX?
A: It is faster than the 2015 WR250F but not as
fast as the YZ250F. No matter what anyone tells you,
the YZ250F is faster, quicker and revs higher. Where the
YZ250FX shines is in low-to-mid throttle response. It is
very lively and accelerates at a brisk pace. It pulls strongly
into the midrange and then goes flat. This is where the
YZ250F motocross bike really has a major advantage.
You didn’t really think that it was going to be as fast
as a YZ250F, did you? It has a mellower ECU map (with
retarded ignition timing and lean fuel settings). When
you add in the Euro-spec muffler (with its restrictive
baffle), lack of high-rpm over-rev and wide-ratio gearbox,
you have a very usable powerband that is spread over a
broad set of gear ratios.
Q: COULD YOU RACE CROSS-COUNTRY
AND A MOTOCROSS RACE ON THE STOCK 2015
A: Yes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. And, to prove
it, we did just that.
Offroad: As an offroad racer, the FX is almost perfect.
Its perky low-to-mid powerband was perfect for picking
our way up rocky uphills. Thanks to its very low first
gear and very high sixth gear, we could plonk over
rooted trails or run at 80 mph on fast fire roads. The
electric starter helped us get out of steep ravines when
we stalled, and there was a handy kickstarter just in
case we ripped the battery terminals off in a crash. It
had amazingly plush suspension; although we bottomed
it on occasion, it never felt like it bottomed.
Motocross: We assigned three MXA test riders to
race the 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX. We thought they would
revolt, but instead they loved the challenge. And when
they finished their assignments, they all had minor
quibbles, but each rider admitted that it was raceable in
stock form—maybe not Supercross-ready, but perfect for
After the offroad and motocross portions of our test,
2015 YZ250FX: Yamaha deserves credit for
building an offroad-ready race bike that can be
used for anything from trail riding to GNCC to