Yamaha YZ250X 2016 non-review

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by B1, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    a new low in dodgy motojournalism, giving first impressions without even riding the bike :)



    a tongue-in-cheek vid, but on a serious note... this bike really puzzles us here in australia where two strokes are easily registered. when the news first came out a lot of us who used to ride jap bikes were rapt, thinking finally the japanese might start to claw back all the market share they have lost to ktm and increasingly other manufacturers.

    then we start to get the details - only five gears, clutch cable, not able to be registered, no electric start, no 300cc option (although aftermarket athena kit available) etc.

    sure it's cheaper than the katos, but only about $1000 cheaper than the beta RR300, and same price as the beta xtrainer.

    is it more targeted at the USA market? i figured possibly most of the offroad riding there doesn't require road rego so the YZ250X will fit a niche over there?

    AND MORE OF A PROPER REVIEW HERE
    i did get to ride a modified YZ250 that is very similar to the YZ250X and reviewed it in the vid below. the bike IS a great unit and holds it age well, but i still think the japanese need to pull their finger out and modernize their dirt bikes.

    #1
  2. Bump Stop

    Bump Stop 2 Wheeled Drifter

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    Probably just a primer with parts they had while retooling for a new motor and chassis. I would bet they would need a complete case makeover for E-start and a 6 speed.
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  3. Greco

    Greco Braap!

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    This is the exact bike that the Yamaha off road racers in the US have had to build using the YZ250 as a base model for years. 18" rear wheel, wider gearing from the WR426, softer valving in the suspension, and softer hit from the motor. Yamaha is just doing the upgrades for them and selling them as closed course racing machines. I would love to see them add a larger fuel tank and a spark arrestor, but both are easily and cheaply added from the after market.

    I think its Yamaha's intention to "dip a toe in the water" to see how well these sell before jumping full bore into the off road racing market for years. They did the same mods releasing the 250FX and 450FX 4 stroke models. All 3 X models are flying out of dealerships. Their MX models are so good that off road racers have been converting them rather than trying to upgrade the WR series models to race spec. IMHO, I think the WR's will be headed more towards the XR, DR, KLX types and the X models will be headed to the GNCC and National Enduro/Hare Scrambles racers in the US. FIM spec lights are easily added for ISDE type races to all the X models. I'm riding a 2014 YZ450F and I'm looking really hard at the new 2 stroke 250X....if I can still find one to buy.

    This bodes well for the US market. If they sell well - and from all indications they are - I can see Yamaha expanding the lineup as you say. ie a 300 or maybe even a 360 2 stroke and the like. Having ridden a 250X 2 stroke, that 6th gear is really not needed. 5th gear is WAY up there, almost like a well spaced 4 speed with an over drive 5th. I can see an easy 90mph in 5th gear with plenty of power to bridge the gaps in the gearbox. It never bogged or felt stretched to reach the next cog. My 450 tops out at about 75mph depending on how I gear it.
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  4. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    thanks for the insights greco, we can only hope this is a precursor to developing a proper enduro bike. the more i read it seems the YZ250X as is suits a lot of the GNCC events because all the basic fundamentals of the YZ are so good, but it is totally wrong for the aussie market. once it can be registered that lets us ride it in all our state forests and it will start selling well.

    if they then add the features that all the other enduro bikes have i think it will really take off, there are plenty of us just waiting for a japanese manufacturer waiting to do this.
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  5. stevo7706

    stevo7706 Been here awhile

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    What an idiot. He couldn't ride that YZ to half it's capabilities even if it had everything he whines for. A complete tool.
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  6. Bump Stop

    Bump Stop 2 Wheeled Drifter

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    What Was the purpose of posting that here? That isn't an X.
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  7. stevo7706

    stevo7706 Been here awhile

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    Good eye...but like the X it has that pesky cable attached to the clutch lever with a 5 speed, a kickstarter and only 250cc. Also not street legal. I didn't notice any go fast graphics on Stewarts though.
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  8. AlpinaE24

    AlpinaE24 Long timer

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    I'll take my 95 husky WR over one of these anyday

    250cc with utterly simple power valve design
    6 speed
    Lighting coil
    Decent Husky valved Showas
    Fold away kick stand
    Pop off seat
    18/21 excel rims
    Brembo calipers and SS lines

    I think I'll go ride it now:lol3
    #8
  9. Bump Stop

    Bump Stop 2 Wheeled Drifter

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    And still has the best suspension of any bike out of the box. Are you here to bitch about the bike or Bubba? It's hard to tell.
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  10. stevo7706

    stevo7706 Been here awhile

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    Huh? dude, read/watch the original posting. Are you bipolar?
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  11. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    well there you go. not denying the YZ250X isn't based on a very solid design with a great engine and supension, but things like a six speed gearbox have been around a long time... although admittedly even KTM was a bit late to the party on that one, i think it was around 2011 they finally added this to their enduro bikes.
    #11
  12. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    B1, I understand your confusion, especially from your point of view.

    Greco did tell it right about many racers building pretty much the same or similar bike from the stock MX YZ250. And for fast guys racing harescrambles or GNCC type events the motocross based bike seems to work pretty well. It doesnt hurt that alot of these same guys used to race motocross so are very used to a MX bike.
    In fact Im always a bit surprised at how often I see guys just out for a fun trail ride and riding motocross bikes. These are guys who dont (or never) race motocross. And quite often these guys will struggle on the more difficult/gnarly/tighter terrain. I feel that almost all would do much better on a purpose built enduro or what we sometimes call a "woods bike".
    I think most of it has to do with the American dirtbike market. If you go look at used dirtbike online, the vast majority will all be motocross bikes. So most people starting out will buy a used motocross bike for casual trail riding.

    A few years ago when KTM's Freeride was seen over in Europe and the other trials/enduro/hybrids. Our local riding group wanted them but one of the guys who sells bikes for a living didnt think they would ever come to the US and if they did not enough people would buy them. "If its not a race bike then it wont sell..." And to a certain extent he is right. Years ago I did work at a bike shop (selling mostly street bikes). The dealership sold Harley-Davidson and Yamaha. Being the only guy there who didnt ride a Harley I would often talk with people looking at the sportier Yamahas. I was often flabbergasted that I couldnt sell anything unless it was an R6 or an R1. I though the FZ6 and or the YZF600R were both great bikes and generally better unless you were doing track days or racing. But instead every idiot wanted a full on crotchrocket.

    I love some of the new "non-race bikes" like Beta's Crosstrainer and some of the bikes from AJP. Trail/enduro bikes that are easier to ride and not trying to be fire breathing race bikes. I feel these would be better for almost any trail rider and certainly any beginner.
    I finally got a ride on a Crosstrainer and I thought it was great. I didnt feel it was some sort of watered down beginner bike. It was just easier to ride. Plenty of power and less wheelspin.

    Sorry, I got a little offtrack.
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  13. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    thanks bucho, that makes a lot of sense to me now as over the years i've been a bit puzzled at times by reviews in US dirt bike magazines and how they differ from ones here. and of course the YZ250X starts to look like a much better proposition for the US market. i think motocross is relatively small here compared to the huge number of guys who just take their registered enduro bikes out into our many state forests every weekend.
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  14. Greco

    Greco Braap!

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    Ok folks. I just went to the dealer and put my money where my mouth is and ordered a new 2016 YZ250X! I should pick it up this weekend. The weather here has been incredible and I'll try to give you guys a real review as soon as I can swing a leg over it.

    Bucho is spot on with his description. I, too, used to sell motorcycles for the local dealer....albeit about 30 years ago. He is completely right about the bike sales. If it wasn't marketed as the fastest, lightest, racing machine on the planet, it usually sat until it was highly discounted. Then and only then would a more mature rider come in and buy it for a steal. As soon as the Interceptors came out, the Nighthawk S models were blown out on the clearance rack. Once the Hurricane/Ninja models came out, forget about selling a Fazer or even a V Max......but I digress.

    I am the guy that Bucho describes. Older (pushing 50), former MX racer, raised on 2 strokes, and still racing against guys my own age. Our races around here (Colorado Off Road Championships - CORCS) are more like GP's. They are usually held at one of the local MX tracks with some of the surrounding terrain thrown in to make it palatable for the off road guy. We have a handful of MX tracks within a couple hours drive of my house. Those are much easier to use for putting on events. No land owners to fight with and the neighbors know there is a track there. We aren't surprising anyone on their way to church when we have a race.

    We also have the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit (RMEC) and the WeBe Hare Scrambles Series. Both of these series are more off road oriented, especially the RMEC. RMEC runs enduros the way they should be done. Single track through the mountains of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming etc.

    For my money the X just makes the most sense. I am coming off of a 2014 YZ450F. Super fun on the MX track with my son, but way too much for the RMEC. I do not get along with the orange beasts. I've tried. They are everywhere out here. I've had them re-worked, re-valved, re-sprung, etc and never felt as comfortable as I do on my blue bike. I tried 4 stroke and 2 stroke orange beasties and just don't get along with them. I cannot wait to try out the new X on our local riding area. It has just about everything. Sand, whoops, timber, hills, loamy dirt, and hard packed dirt.

    I totally understand the people upset that Yamaha didn't go after the KTM/Beta/Husky/Sherco market with the new X. I am certain that they aimed more for the KTM XC models rather than the EXC or XCW models. Yamaha does market a lighting kit in Europe for the X, but its just for show. Its not a viable kit for actual use after dark. The 6 speed is nice, but the Yamaha geared the X as a 4 speed with an overdrive 5th. Honestly, unless you are desert racing, 5th and 6th are only used for transfer sections to keep the bike from revving to the moon from trail to trail. The suspension is the same as the MX bike with a few tweaks to allow for slower speeds, roots, and the occasional g-out. Yamaha's SSS suspension has been the industry leader for some time now. The suspension on my 450 is the best I have ever ridden. If the X suspension is the same, it should be wonderful. Electric starting on a 2 stroke? C'mon Sally, grow a pair and kick it. I can see how that one in a million chance you stall it on a side hill, but really, how often does that happen? For a GNCC bike, it just adds weight and another possible thing to go wrong.

    With all that being said, I fully expect Yamaha to go after the KTM/Beta/Husky/Sherco market in the next couple of years. They have fuel injected two stroke boat motors and snow mobiles. That technology is going to go into a real enduro bike in the next couple of years. Until then, I'm out riding the X!
    #14
  15. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Have fun out there riding Greco
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  16. Greco

    Greco Braap!

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    Quick ride report. Very nice! One kick start from dead cold and it warms up quickly. Coming off of my 450, the bike feels like a mountain bike with a really fast motor. It almost seems to have a 2 stage powerband. It runs on top just like the MX version, but it will chug along at single track pace with no trouble. If you want to go fast, fan the clutch just a bit and off you go! I am at 7000' elevation (Colorado Springs) and I did not touch the carb at all. The dealer put Yamalube R in the gas mixed at 16-1 for break in per the manual. I rode around on the first gallon like that doing heat cycles and making sure to break it in properly. I then switched to Yamalube R mixed at 32-1 and the bike really woke up. An air screw adjustment cleaned up the slight burble off the bottom, but the rest was pure butter. The hit in the powerband just is not there. Everyone I have talked to says its just a detuned MX bike. Not so! This thing actually has more top end power than the MXer with way better hook up to the ground because of the smoother power.

    My son has a 2004 RM250 and it hits like a truck and lights up the back tire on anything other than tacky loamy soil. On nice soil he jumps out a bike length or 2, but runs out of gearing on top. On long straights, I pull right by him. If the traction is not ideal, he struggles to stay even with me and loses ground as I pull into gears 4 and 5. I have a buddy with a 250XC-W and we traded bikes for a lap at the off road park. The 250X feels like a really really strong XC-W. I would love to see the dyno charts, but seat of the pants tells me about 3-5hp more across the board on the 250X. Think really smooth MX bike. Still the same HP, just more controllable. You will not ride this bike and come back saying you want more power. It is strong.

    I'm too heavy for the springs, so the suspension feels really soft. My first purchase will be correct springs for my weight. If I were back east, I would be ok, but out west we don't have the roots and rocks like they do. Its a much faster terrain here. Too much snow in the mountains until May or so, but we have a bunch of nice riding down here on the front range. The clutch pull is nice and I'm sure it will get better as it breaks in. Right out of the box, it felt just like my 450. I had heard they lightened the pull, but it didn't seem so to me.

    I rode the bike at an off road riding area and I rode the bike at 3 mx tracks. One MX track and the off road park are sandy soil that run in a dry creek bottom and then 2 dry MX tracks (slick). One of the dry tracks is natural terrain and the bike was incredible there. The bike tended to wallow in the sand MX track but tracked just fine at the off road park. I really liked the bike at the off road park. So light and flickable in the woods. The other dry track is a man made track with man made jumps. The bike did not object to the dry conditions and I hooked up like I was on a 4 stroke. I did bottom the suspension on a couple of the jumps, but at 235lbs, that is to be expected.

    The brakes, shifting, etc are all typical Yamaha smooth. The seat is a bit firm, but it will break in. Usually I switch out handlebars for a taller bend, but I don't see the need on this bike. Everything seems to flow nicely. I do like the wider pegs on the 250X. They are straight off of the YZs. The bike really is as advertised.....a GNCC or Sprint Enduro machine from the Big Blue Nation. That is exactly what I was looking for.

    All in all, I really like it. The MX kids that rode it came back with big smiles on their faces. My son with the RM is looking at selling it and jumping on the 250X bandwagon. If you have any specific questions about it, fire away! I'll try to answer as much as I can.
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  17. Greco

    Greco Braap!

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    Ok, a couple more weeks in and another update. Getting the first oil change done helped the shifting a ton. I replaced the stock muffler with a GYTR spark arrestor (Re-badged FMF Turbine Core 2). Really made the top end run rich. Opened up the low end and mid range, but the main was sputtering. Replaced the main jet with a 168. I'll take it out again next weekend and see how that effects the power. Why not this week? Because I just sent the bike off to have the suspension re-sprung for my weight. He will have it back to me on Monday, so no riding this weekend. I let a couple of buddies ride the X and they all came back with smiles. One rides a 2005 YZ250 and he says my bike feels way different. Odd, considering they are the same frame etc. I guess the suspension on the X was quite an upgrade from his '05. Right after he rode mine, he sent his off to be re-valved. Dear suspension guy, glad I could help send you some more business! The more I ride it, the more I cannot wait to replace the front tire. The rear is quite good, but the front is really terrain specific. If I am not in loamy or soft ground, the front just wants to push and skate. In fact, I tipped over in a creek bed because the front slid right out from under me. Dang it! First scratch! Once the bike gets back, I'll take it out again. I'm planning on doing a bunch of cross training on the MX track. Hopefully the springs help hold my big azz up in the stroke. I think if I were to stay off road, I could live with the stock springs. The bike tracks really well in the tight stuff, but I hit the bump stops when the terrain opens up. My smaller buddies do not have this issue.
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  18. Bump Stop

    Bump Stop 2 Wheeled Drifter

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    The 05 forks are really harsh for off road because Yamaha used springs that were too short and consequently the bike rides low in the stroke. I made spacers for mine and had it revalved. It's much better now but I still might go to a 10' up sss front end.
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  19. Greco

    Greco Braap!

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    Got the bike back from Full Factory Off Road with the new springs for my girth. Yeah baby! Full Factory is run by inmate Scaryfast. Super duper nice guy and truly helpful. Can't wait to get it into the high and tight stuff once the snow melts.
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  20. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

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    i still can't get my hands on a proper YZ250X to review it... no one here in australia wants to buy one so most of the dealers aren't stocking them.

    BUT i did get to ride the next best thing, this modified YZ250. the bike IS a great unit and holds it age well as a result, but i still think the japanese need to pull their finger out and modernize their dirt bikes. i would love to see the japanese compete with the europeans in the enduro market.

    #20
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