QUIKSPIN: Yamaha YZF250 - Old Dog New Tricks

26 September 2012

For 2012 Yamaha has done its homework on its already solid YZF250 and has lifted the bike to an all new high, with numerous changes and upgrades to all the areas that needed it.

In a stacked class of quality 250cc MX bikes, even little improvements can potentially catapult a new model to the top of the class. With the major upgrades that the 2012 YZF250F has been blessed with, it’s now a real contender for the 250cc MX throne.

The engine has a new lighter piston, a new crank and balancer shaft, and a revised CDI, along with a 2mm increase in carby size to a massive 39mm, all resulting in a stronger power delivery with minimal vibration – something the previous model suffered. We had to make several changes to the jetting to get it perfect but when dialled in, you would have to double-check to see that it’s not fuel injected. Yamaha stands firm as being the last company to be still running an “old-school" carby, but there is method behind the madness: the YZF250 is four- to five-kilos lighter than the competition!

Chassis-wise, Yamaha pulled out all the stops and completely redesigned the YZF250 package with new longer forks, new top triple-clamp and offset, and a completely new rear shock. The changes result in a plush, quick-turning and very stable machine, which leaves the previous model in the dust.

I felt comfortable straight away on the new machine and barely had to touch a thing all day, apart from the jetting tweaks. Highlights of the new package are the minimised vibrations, the light throttle and the superb stability. And it turns on a five-cent piece, which is credit to Yamaha’s development crew.

Configuration Single-cylinder
Cylinder head DOHC, five valves per cylinder
Capacity 250cc
Bore/stroke 77 x 53.6mm
Compression ratio 13.5:1
Cooling Liquid
Fueling FCR-MX37 carburettor
Type Five-speed
Clutch Wet
Final drive Chain
Frame material Aluminium
Frame layout Bilateral beam
Rake 27.4?
Trail 119.6mm
Front: 48mm USD fork, fully adjustable,
300mm travel
Rear: Monoshock, fully adjustable,
310mm travel
Wheels Wire-spoked, aluminium alloy
Front: 21 x 1.6 Rear: 19 x 2.15
Tyres Bridgestone M403A/M404
Front: 80/100-21 (51M)
Rear: 100/90-19 (57M)
Front: 250mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Rear: 245mm disc, single-piston caliper
Weight 102kg (wet, claimed)
Seat height 990mm
Max width 825mm
Max height 1304mm
Wheelbase 1473mm
Fuel capacity 6.4L
Improved mid- to top-end
Handling and stability
Light throttle
Looks like last model
Carby needs time to sort
Dry sump design

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