Looking for a quarter-liter two-stroke dirt bike? Well, find out that the YZ250 is one of the most appreciated models in Yamaha’s 2010 motocross lineup not only for being designed to win with its YPVS Power valve-equipped two-stroke engine claimed to perform better than any previous generation, but because two-stroke motors are a very rare breed nowadays. Still present, this one is housed in a light aluminum frame, which allows it to turn the machine into an even greater blast out on the track, especially now that it is being fitted with ProTaper aluminum handlebars and Excel rims.
Although it didn’t suffer a major revision for 2010, Yamaha wouldn’t launch the thing until adding some brand new features and call it a step further for the racing bike. Already an extraordinary performer thanks to the 249cc liquid-cooled reed-valve-inducted two-stroke engine fed through a 38mm Keihin PWK carburetor with power jet and TPS (throttle position sensor), the engine now offers even greater response although much to do with that has the digital CDI ignition. Kickstarted and mated to a five-speed gearbox, this banger becomes the dearest friend during a motocross competition and not only.
Previous model years gave a clue about the bike needing a little bit more grip up front, so on the 2010 model year you will find fitted a Dunlop D742A front tire. Now that the grip issue was sorted out, engineers focused on reducing front end weight by using a front brake hose clamp made of aluminum. Since last year, the premium gold drive chain makes the YZ250 an old dog with new ligaments.
Yamaha first launched the YZ250 in 1975 as a competition two-stroke motorcycle and due to the amazing success that followed its launch, the maker kept improving it in order to gain and retain supremacy on the motocross track.
It was terribly important to have a strong-pulling motor and that is what made the new bike so popular decades ago. It was the time of two-stroke bangers and although Yamaha later added the YZ450F four-stroke bike to the lineup, it kept developing the popular 249cc two-stroke engine, which is now reed valved and features YPVS exhaust valve for more bang all the way up to the 9,000 rpm redline. Also, it now produces an impressive 43 hp and 39 Nm.
In what concerns the chassis, it is well worth noting that the aluminum perimeter frame found its place on the bike in 2005, replacing the single backbone steel frame. By simply reading the name of these two materials, you can imagine a great weight reduction for the entire package reaching a dry weight of only 212 pounds. In order to have the bike ready to blow everything away on the bumps and jumps of any dirt track, it was as well fitted with 11.8 inches travel telescopic inverted forks and 12.4 inches swingarm travel.
Today, we’re facing a perfectly refined bike that with development and effort has kept the YZ250 name on top of the racer’s preferences around the globe.
This brings us to the other bikes in the two-stroke motocross class, the Honda CR250R and the Suzuki RM250 . Sadly, the first was removed from Big Red’s lineup, but it’s still worth checking with your local dealer and with a little bit of luck find a 2007 model year for a bargain price. The RM250 continues to sell as a 2008 model year and stands out as our YZ’s direct competitor.
But 250cc two-stroke dirt bikes must also face the stiff competition of their more modern 450cc four-stroke siblings and the scale tends to swing in favor of these lasts.
All Yamaha motocross bikes in any lineup look the same, so the YZ250 can easily be confused with the YZ450F if the engine is turned off.
For next year’s model, they’ve smoothen out the bike’s look with new, stylish side panels and a two-tone seat made of grippy material. The fenders find their places high on the frame and forks, giving a clue on the racing abilities of this motocrosser.
You can have a Yamaha painted in any color you feel like as long as it is Blue. It isn’t just a stupid joke, but a real fact as the bike has to be easily distinguishable…at least until it gets covered in mud. So it is Blue and White for Yamaha with some classy new decals on the side panels. All that this racing bike now needs is its competition numbers.
While all dirt bikes might look the same, especially for newcomers to this world, the striking part about two-stroke motorcycles in general and dirt bikes in particular, is unveiled when actually getting the change to ride one.
Being reintroduced to a two-stroke dirt bike, a rare breed these days, means getting back to the essence of dirt riding and the 2010 Yamaha YZ250 is all prepped up for you. The smell, the sound and the rush are all there and they leave no sign of weakness whatsoever. As the other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers quit making their two-stroke models, Yamaha gets all the benefits from theirs and a YZ250 in a pair of good hands can always leave a four-stroke 450cc dirt bike behind, so we reckon we won’t see the end of it soon.
It will be awful to as the Yamaha YZ250 is a straight on machine that doesn’t spare its rider from the greatest times it can get with his clothes on. The engine is what sets it apart and I love the oil and gas mixing procedure, which is almost like a ritual for fans of two-stroke engines. Starting isn’t the easiest thing for those who haven’t given a go on these kinds of bikes before. Unlike four-stroke engines, a two-stroke one requires a little bit of throttle opening before attempting to kick start it or you’ll have no results, which means no smell, no sound and no adrenaline, no nothing. What a shame!
It’s a good thing I learned how to ride on two-stroke bikes and getting on one again is like being reunited with an old friend. Featuring goodies of modern four-stroke dirt bikes (aluminum frame, Kayaba suspension, Pro Taper handlebar and wave-type rotors, just to mention a few), the bike makes the “I’m here to stay!” statement once again before enjoying my ride on it.
The engine delivers an incredible amount of low-end torque and that rhythm is sustained all through the mid-range and the following four gears. Climbing steep hills is what the YZ250 knows conquering best, but you really have to be careful as it demands all of your riding skills and more. This is one of those machines which’s performance is only limited by the rider’s abilities to exploit it and I have to admit that it got me from the start. You have been warned!
Powerful and ready to step up to any challenge, the Yamaha YZ250 is backed up by a light and fairly nimble chassis. Have it cut corners aggressively, accelerate hard when you shouldn’t and stay alert at all times in order to find out what real dirt riding means or, better said, the original dirt riding means. The bike remains stable at all times and you won’t have troubles showing it the way to go.
Ergonomics are as good as they can be on a motocross bike, which doesn’t necessarily mean that spending a great deal of time on that narrow seat won’t have repercussions. Ouch! But what I love about it is that it sure knows how to jump and it is so inviting when the time comes to do so. While all bumps will be easily absorbed by the titanium shock springs and KYB suspension, jumping feels free and the only thought in a rider’s head when flying is that Yamaha sure did a good job when reducing the bike’s overall wet weight to 229 lbs.
Without a doubt, the YZ250 has evolved into a lighter and better overall product, but, you’ll agree with me at this one, it doesn’t lose its original charm and that’s what keeps the sales going.
The latest 250cc two-stroke dirt bike of them all comes with an MSRP of $6,990 and it stands as a cheaper and easier to maintain alternative to modern four-stroke bikes. Old technology at the end of its way always proved better than new one, but the four-strokes aren’t quite starters in this business, aren’t them? That is why they speculate about the retrieval of the YZ250 as well.
But not yet! Featuring modern design, being lighter and a little bit more powerful, the new Yamaha YZ250 enters first on the scene and throws the glove. We don’t yet know who’s going to catch it, but we do know that we’ll go there to find out.
Engine and Transmission
Type: 249cc liquid-cooled 2-stroke; reed-valve inducted
Bore x Stroke: 66.4 x 72.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.2 – 10.9:1
Fuel Delivery: Keihin® PWK38S
Transmission: Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain Drive
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 11.8-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Fully adjustable single shock, 12.4-in travel
Brakes/Front: Hydraulic single disc brake, 250mm
Brakes/Rear: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245mm
Length: 85.7 in
Width: 32.6 in
Height: 51.4 in
Seat Height: 39.1 in
Wheelbase: 58.3 in
Ground Clearance: 15.0 in
Fuel Capacity: 2.1 gal
Wet Weight: 229 lb
Warranty: 30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Features & Benefits
Removable aluminum rear subframe is constructed of square-section tubing for reduced weight.