2016 Yamaha YZ250F Review
The Yamaha YZ250F has come a long way since it was first released 15 years ago. The 2016 Yamaha YZ250F features several changes over its predecessor, including a new crankshaft, new connecting rod, revised piston design, a lighter DLC coated piston pin, leaner ECU settings, a new clutch boss, shift stopper lever, and a new oil sprayer. Revisions made to the chassis include a new valving spec in the front forks (still spring equipped), a softer rear shock spring, and a 270mm front rotor.
The engine on the 2016 Yamaha YZ250F is incredibly strong throughout the entire powerband. The bottom end power of the 250cc powerplant comes on strong with a slight twist of the wrist. I found that I could navigate even the inside lines at Perris Raceway in a gear as high as third and the bike still pulled out of the corner with authority.
The engine features an equally impressive mid-range power, which quickly climbs into the top end power before hitting the rev limiter at 14,000 RPM. Thanks to Yamaha’s front intake design, the down draft and symmetrical port layout provides optimum airflow into the engine. As a result of this, the air has a straight shot into the cylinder head and produces a broad powerband.
We look forward to more time on the Yamaha YZ250F and the ability to delve into the world of powerband modification with the GYTR Power Tuner.
The Kayaba Speed Sensitive System (SSS) front forks and Kayaba rear shock are unbeatable. Without touching the front and rear clickers, both the front forks and rear shock are not only progressive, but amazingly plush as well. When coming up a bit short or overjumping, the Kayaba units absorb the impact with ease. It is also nice to not to have to check one, two, or even three, air pressure chambers before you hit the track.
As this was a first ride, held as the sun was setting on Perris Raceway in Southern California’s Inland Empire, there wasn’t time to dial in the highly adjustable front and rear suspension. However, even though I’m a lighter than average rider, the stock setting were a superb starting point and allowed me to hit the track hard.
The new 270mm front brake rotor works much better than the previous 250mm rotor; a bike with such a strong engine and great suspension should be complimented with a good front and rear brake, and such is the case with the 2016 Yamaha YZ250F. The new 270mm rotor allows me to drive harder and farther into corners without being concerned about blowing through them. The rear brake works like any good rear brake should as well.
The crossbar-equipped aluminum handlebars have a very neutral bend to them, which I like. The clutch lever lacks a defined place to pull in with your index finger. However, the front brake has a nice, agreeable bend.
Yamaha’s stock exhaust system is impressive. The exhaust note features a deep, throaty sound similar to an aftermarket exhaust. The Bridgestone front and rear rubber hooked up great on the loamy Perris Raceway soil.
I am very pleased and impressed with the 2016 Yamaha YZ250F after my first ride. The engine is user-friendly, yet unbelievably fast. The KYB SSS forks and rear shock are the most progressive and plush units I have ever tested.
The changes made for 2016 are a big step in the right direction for a bike that is already a championship winner. The future looks very bright for the retro black-and-yellow 60th Anniversary Edition 2016 Yamaha YZ250F.
- Helmet: 6D ATR-1 Flo Graphic
- Goggles: Oakley Airbrake MX
- Neck Brace: Leatt-Brace GPX 5.5
- Pants, jersey, and gloves: Moose Racing Sahara Raceware
- Boots: Sidi Crossfire 2 SR
Photography by Don Williams at Perris Raceway
Andrew Oldar is sponsored by Moose Racing
2016 Yamaha YZ250F Specifications
- Engine: 250cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke
- Valve train: DOHC with four titanium valves
- Bore x stroke 77.0mm × 53.6mm
- Compression ratio: 13.5:1
- Fuel delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection, Keihin 44mm throttle body
- Ignition: Transistor Controlled Ignition
- Transmission: Constant mesh 5-speed, multiplate wet clutch
- Front suspension: KYB Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: KYB monoshock; fully adjustable, 12.4 inches of travel
- Front brake: Hydraulic single disc brake, 270mm
- Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245mm
- Front tire: 80/100-21 Bridgestone M403A
- Rear tire: 100/90-19 Bridgestone M404
- L x W x H 85.2 in x 32.5 in x 50.4 in
- Seat height: 38.0 inches
- Wheelbase: 58.1 inches
- Rake: 27.1 degrees
- Trail: 4.6 inches
- Ground Clearance: 12.8 inches
- Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gallons
- Wet weight: 231 pounds
- Warranty: 30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
- 2016 Yamaha YZ250F MSRP: $7590 (blue/white); $7690 (60th Anniversary Yellow)