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Motorcycles Best Motocross Bike Winner—2021 Yamaha YZ250F

19:45  14 december  2020
19:45  14 december  2020 Source:   dirtrider.com

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In a class that is based heavily on engine power, a bike’s ranking is weighed most heavily on its output—both on the track and the dyno. Although suspension performance and handling characteristics certainly come into play as well, 250 four-stroke motocross bikes are somewhat defined by how their engines perform and what characteristics they have in stock trim. In years past, the YZ250F came to the fold with its trademark low-end to midrange power delivery and plentiful torque feel—the combination of which make it unlike any other 250F motocrosser on the market, but it lacked some high-rpm power in comparison to most of the competition.

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a man flying through the air while riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: The Yamaha YZ250F is the complete package in 2021 as a result of its increased high-rpm power, refined suspension settings, and improved handling. © Jeff Allen The Yamaha YZ250F is the complete package in 2021 as a result of its increased high-rpm power, refined suspension settings, and improved handling.

Related: 2021 Yamaha YZ250F Review First Ride

a person riding a motorcycle on a track near a beach: The Yamaha YZ250F wins Dirt Rider ’s 2021 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Shootout with its well-rounded package in stock trim. © Provided by Dirt Rider The Yamaha YZ250F wins Dirt Rider ’s 2021 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Shootout with its well-rounded package in stock trim.

Regardless, it has finished on the podium in Dirt Rider’s 250F Motocross Shootout since the 250F class has become a high-rpm horsepower battle in recent years. Most of what it needed to take the win was just that—additional top-end power. For 2021, the bLU cRU machine not only enjoys a more well-rounded powerplant, it also features chassis and suspension updates that yield even better performance in those areas, which enabled it to capture the victory in Dirt Rider’s 2021 250F Motocross Shootout.

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Related: Best Motocross Bike 2nd Place—2021 Yamaha YZ450F

a blue motorcycle parked on the beach: Although it looks fairly similar to last year’s model with the exception of the number plate and fork guard colors, the Yamaha YZ250F received some calculated refinements to its engine, suspension, and chassis for 2021. © Provided by Dirt Rider Although it looks fairly similar to last year’s model with the exception of the number plate and fork guard colors, the Yamaha YZ250F received some calculated refinements to its engine, suspension, and chassis for 2021.

2021 Yamaha YZ250F Engine

All five bikes in the comparison test were run on the Dirt Rider dyno before the on-track testing commenced, where the YZ250F spun 39.0 hp at 13,000 rpm and 18.0 pound-feet of torque at 9,700 rpm. With those numbers, the YZ250F sits tied with the Honda CRF250R for the least peak horsepower, while also producing the least peak torque.

The YZ250F makes the least horsepower of all the bikes from 4,500 to 5,500 rpm, where it passes the Kawasaki KX250, then rises above the CRF250R shortly after at 5,700 rpm. From that point, the YZ250F produces the third most horsepower until it meets the CRF250R from 7,300 to 7,500 rpm, then gets passed by the red machine from that point until they meet once again from 12,100 to 13,100 rpm.

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chart, line chart: The Yamaha ties the Honda CRF250R for the least peak horsepower of the bikes in this comparison test with 39.0 hp at 13,000 rpm. Its 18.0 pound-feet of torque at 9,700 rpm is the lowest peak figure of the five motorcycles gathered here as well. Despite not being the top performer on the dyno, the bLU cRU’s engine is remarkable on the track. © Provided by Dirt Rider The Yamaha ties the Honda CRF250R for the least peak horsepower of the bikes in this comparison test with 39.0 hp at 13,000 rpm. Its 18.0 pound-feet of torque at 9,700 rpm is the lowest peak figure of the five motorcycles gathered here as well. Despite not being the top performer on the dyno, the bLU cRU’s engine is remarkable on the track.

After passing the KX250 on the horsepower curve at 5,500 rpm, the YZ250F engages in a back-and-forth battle with it. The Yamaha maintains a sizable gap over the green machine until 8,800 rpm, where it gets overtaken by the KX250 from that point until 10,200 rpm. The two bikes meet from that engine speed to 10,700 rpm, where the KX250 once again pulls a gap on the YZ250F before meeting it for the last time from 12,400 to 12,600 rpm. Team Green maintains its lead in the dyno duel against the bLU cRU from that point until peak. The YZ250F is unable to match the Austrian duo of the KTM 250 SX-F and Husqvarna FC 250 from 4,500 rpm to peak along the horsepower curve.

On the torque curve, the YZ250F performs similarly as it does on the horsepower curve in regard to where it stacks up against the competition at different rpm ranges. It makes the least pound-feet of torque from 4,500 to 5,500 rpm, passes the KX250 and CRF250R at 5,500 and 5,700 rpm, respectively, then gets passed by the CRF250R at 7,500 rpm and the KX250 at 9,000 rpm. The YZ250F then matches the KX250 from 10,000 to 10,700 rpm before getting surpassed by the green bike once again from that point until matching it for a final time from 12,000 to 12,600 and equaling the CRF250R from 12,000 to 13,100 rpm. Although it comes close to doing so at 8,000 rpm, and from 10,000 to 10,300 rpm the YZ250F does not tie or beat the 250 SX-F and FC 250 at any point along the torque curve.

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a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: “The YZ250F’s low-end power and torque feel throughout the rpm range are unmatched, and with the updates made to the cylinder head and intake for 2021, it is comparable to most of the other bikes in the upper part of the rpm range.” —Andrew Oldar © Provided by Dirt Rider “The YZ250F’s low-end power and torque feel throughout the rpm range are unmatched, and with the updates made to the cylinder head and intake for 2021, it is comparable to most of the other bikes in the upper part of the rpm range.” —Andrew Oldar

If you were to only look at the dyno chart, you might not think the YZ250F possesses one of the most potent engines in the class, but nothing could be further from the truth. With its class-leading low- to midrange power and torque feel throughout the rpm range combined with its crisp throttle response, the YZ250F accelerates the quickest of all the bikes and reaches its rev limiter in a swift manner because of how strongly it pulls from bottom to top.

Producing 0.8 more peak horsepower at 500 rpm higher than last year’s model, test riders appreciated the YZ250F’s additional top-end and longer powerband as they no longer felt the desire or need to short-shift the bike like in years past. Possessing more bottom-end power than any other bike in the class enables the YZ250F to remain the most capable at riding a gear high in most areas around the track as well; it even comfortably pulls third gear in some fairly tight corners.

a person riding a motorcycle on a track: “Yamaha might have the most balanced engine package of all. Its power delivery is slightly harsher off the bottom in my opinion, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it allows you to get up to speed out of a slow corner or hit a jump out of a tight line. The only downside is that it’s still loud!” —Michael Gilbert © Provided by Dirt Rider “Yamaha might have the most balanced engine package of all. Its power delivery is slightly harsher off the bottom in my opinion, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it allows you to get up to speed out of a slow corner or hit a jump out of a tight line. The only downside is that it’s still loud!” —Michael Gilbert

The YZ250F features the best cable clutch in the shootout with an easy pull, but it does fade a little when abused unlike the hydraulically actuated units on the 250 SX-F, FC 250, and KX250. Also, although the bLU cRU machine has some detectable engine-braking, it is not excessive and easy to control. One of the only minor downsides to the YZ250F engine is that although the 2021 model’s new muffler is 70mm (2.75 inches) longer than the outgoing unit, the bike is still fairly loud.

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2021 Yamaha YZ250F Tunability

Yamaha is currently the only manufacturer to offer free and wireless EFI tuning capability for off-road motorcycles with its Power Tuner app, which is an iOS- and Android-based smartphone application that connects to the bike via Wi-Fi and enables the user to adjust the fuel delivery and ignition timing of the bike for different power delivery characteristics.

In addition to having preconfigured maps available in the app, Yamaha is constantly creating, testing, and publishing additional maps for the YZ250F and its other four-stroke motocross and off-road models that can be viewed and downloaded on its website. Another convenient factor about the Power Tuner app is that it logs the engine’s total run time, thereby alleviating the need to purchase and install an hourmeter on the bike. The Power Tuner app has enabled the Tuning Fork brand to remain at the forefront of EFI tuning capability since it was first introduced on the 2018 YZ450F, and the same rings true for yet another year.

a person riding a motorcycle on a track near a beach: The Yamaha YZ250F wins Dirt Rider’s 2021 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Shootout with its well-rounded package in stock trim. © Jeff Allen The Yamaha YZ250F wins Dirt Rider’s 2021 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Shootout with its well-rounded package in stock trim.

Although the YZ250F’s stock map is excellent and very well-rounded, Dirt Rider test riders spent plenty of time spinning laps with different maps uploaded to the bike that were created by Yamaha’s in-house test team. Test riders commented that the “Over-rev Map” provided a slightly broader delivery with longer pulling power up top, which was useful on the long straightaways and uphills of Glen Helen. On the other hand, the “Exciting Power (Low-Mid Pulling Power Feel) Map” performed great as well, but would be more beneficial on a tighter track with more short acceleration zones.

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2021 Yamaha YZ250F Suspension

a man flying through the air while riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: “There are only minimal changes to be made to the YZ250F’s suspension depending on the track conditions because it is so close to perfect in stock form. The balance is very close. I made no adjustments to the ride height and didn’t notice any excessive pitching either.” —Allan Brown © Provided by Dirt Rider “There are only minimal changes to be made to the YZ250F’s suspension depending on the track conditions because it is so close to perfect in stock form. The balance is very close. I made no adjustments to the ride height and didn’t notice any excessive pitching either.” —Allan Brown

With its KYB Speed Sensitive System (SSS) fork and KYB shock, the YZ250F easily has the best suspension in the class with the most comfort. The components are supple in the initial part of the stroke, maintain great holdup, and are very progressive throughout the entirety of the travel. Bottoming resistance is excellent and the balance from front to rear is near perfect.

a blue motorcycle parked on the beach: Although it looks fairly similar to last year’s model with the exception of the number plate and fork guard colors, the Yamaha YZ250F received some calculated refinements to its engine, suspension, and chassis for 2021. © Jeff Allen Although it looks fairly similar to last year’s model with the exception of the number plate and fork guard colors, the Yamaha YZ250F received some calculated refinements to its engine, suspension, and chassis for 2021.

The YZ250F’s suspension setup is the most well-rounded and versatile for the widest range of rider weights and skill levels, and is no more than a few clicks away from an ideal setting for those who feel they need to make adjustments. It is also worth noting that with the YZ250F’s standard shock spring rate of 56 Nm, we were able to set the bike’s sag to the recommended 102–106mm for a fairly wide range of rider weights; in our case, ranging from 125 to 175 pounds.

2021 Yamaha YZ250F Chassis/Handling

a man flying through the air while riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: “The Yamaha is stable over bumps, down straightaways, and in corners. Also, the wheelbase feels short, which makes the bike easy to control and put it where you want it.” —Tanner Basso © Provided by Dirt Rider “The Yamaha is stable over bumps, down straightaways, and in corners. Also, the wheelbase feels short, which makes the bike easy to control and put it where you want it.” —Tanner Basso

Retaining its accolade of being the most stable and planted 250F motocross bike, the YZ250F corners better than ever and has a slightly nimbler overall feel than in years past. It refuses to shake its head and stays as straight as an arrow in rough terrain, which makes it the most confidence-inspiring bike to ride as the day wears on and the track gets rougher. With that, it gives up a little bit of cornering ability in comparison to the other motorcycles—namely upon initial lean-in, but not much or enough for test riders to want to make any adjustments to try to improve it.

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a blue motorcycle parked on a dirt road: At 235 pounds the YZ250F hits in the middle of the spectrum of the five bikes in terms of wet weight. © Provided by Dirt Rider At 235 pounds the YZ250F hits in the middle of the spectrum of the five bikes in terms of wet weight.

Coming in at 235 pounds on our automotive scales, the YZ250F falls right in the middle of the weight spectrum of the bikes in this comparison test. It is 3 pounds more than the lightest bike, the 250 SX-F, and 3 pounds less than the heaviest machine, the KX250. Despite that, it feels like it could be the heaviest when ridden on the track due to its weight feel, but it is a minor point and is mostly detectable only when comparing it back to back against the other bikes. Although the YZ250F’s Nissin brakes aren’t as strong as the Brembo units that come standard on the 250 SX-F and FC 250, the Yamaha’s binders are plenty powerful and have a remarkably progressive feel at the lever.

The YZ250F is noticeably a little wider than the other machines in the radiator shroud area and the upper part of the midsection where the fuel tank is. Also, its rider triangle is a bit off. One contributing factor to that is that the handlebar is positioned in the forward holes of the top triple clamp in stock trim; test riders prefer to have it mounted in the rearward holes to improve the steering control and make the rider triangle feel more neutral. Additionally, because the seat has fairly thin seat foam and a noticeable dip in it, the distance between it and the footpegs is a bit short. A relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install part to improve the rider triangle is the GYTR Tall Seat, which also makes it easier to go from sitting to standing.

a blue motorcycle: “The few downsides of the YZ250F are that it is not the most agile bike and its bulky feel makes it a little difficult to lean and carve corners.” —Michael Wicker © Provided by Dirt Rider “The few downsides of the YZ250F are that it is not the most agile bike and its bulky feel makes it a little difficult to lean and carve corners.” —Michael Wicker

Why the 2021 Yamaha YZ250F Won

The YZ250F boasts the most well-rounded engine with the best bottom-end power, a meaty midrange, decent top-end, and the most torque feel throughout the rpm range. It also features the best suspension in the class that is attached to a chassis that is stable, predictable, and nimbler than the outgoing model. Lastly, its EFI tuning capability is world-class, wireless, and free.

Why the 2021 Yamaha YZ250F Shouldn’t Have Won

It doesn’t corner quite as well as some of the other bikes, is a bit wide in the radiator shroud area and upper midsection, has a slightly disproportionate rider triangle, and is still one of the loudest bikes in the class.

Gearbox

chart, line chart: The Yamaha ties the Honda CRF250R for the least peak horsepower of the bikes in this comparison test with 39.0 hp at 13,000 rpm. Its 18.0 pound-feet of torque at 9,700 rpm is the lowest peak figure of the five motorcycles gathered here as well. Despite not being the top performer on the dyno, the bLU cRU’s engine is remarkable on the track. © Michael Gilbert The Yamaha ties the Honda CRF250R for the least peak horsepower of the bikes in this comparison test with 39.0 hp at 13,000 rpm. Its 18.0 pound-feet of torque at 9,700 rpm is the lowest peak figure of the five motorcycles gathered here as well. Despite not being the top performer on the dyno, the bLU cRU’s engine is remarkable on the track.

Helmet: Shoei VFX-EVO

Goggle: EKS Brand Gox Flat-Out

Jersey: Alpinestars Techstar Factory

Gloves: Alpinestars Techstar

Pant: Alpinestars Techstar Factory

Boots: Alpinestars Tech 10

2020 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Bike Comparison .
The 2020 250 four-stroke motocross shootout.We took delivery of each motorcycle and installed Factory Effex preprinted number plate backgrounds, then mounted Dunlop D404 street tires on the rear wheels for runs on our Dynojet dyno. Afterward, we switched to Dunlop MX33 soft-to-intermediate-terrain tires front and rear to ensure consistency in traction among the six competitors through the duration of the test. We then weighed each bike with a full tank of fuel and measured the seat heights.

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