The 2019 Yamaha YZ250F is new from the ground up. BikeReview head to the Aussie launch to test the weapon out... Review: Guy Streeter Photography: iKapture
The Yamaha YZ250F has spent the last few years lurking around the head of the field, here in the MX Nationals as well as around the world. Yamaha already had a great starting point in which to make the YZ250F even better for 2019 as well as moving forward and they have…
Bikereview.com.au were lucky enough to be invited to the Australian and New Zealand launch for the 2019 Yamaha YZ250F to find out what the all new bike was all about. Yamaha also treated us to a four-race championship at the local kart track, which was a perfect way to get a group of ex-racers and current moto journalists amped up for the launch.
Once at the track we were presented with our bike for the day, which had our personalised number and name on it, real cool touch for the media photos…
The Launch was held at Willowbank MX in Queensland on a prime track with near perfect conditions. The main track itself is a mostly sandy natural terrain track with a few hard pack sections that formed some decent ruts all of which was really well prepared by the track owners. Perfect for testing out Yamaha’s new MX2 weapon.
Everything on the 2019 YZ250F is new, literally from the ground up! The wheels are new, chassis and suspension; motor and ergos are all changed for 2019. Josh Coppins was on hand for the launch and gave us some background insight into the development of the bike, which he had a big hand in developing over the last four years.
Straight from the horse’s mouth the main focus on the new motocrosser was to, “Enhance performance, rideability and increase fun factor, so when you get off the bike you are buzzing from your ride…”
Jumping on the bike you notice straight away that there are two extra buttons on the handlebars! Awesome new technology for the Yamaha 250F, electric start and a mapping switch. The electric start is amazing, Yamaha have removed the kick-starter altogether and now rely on the old electric leg. Maybe it’s a sign of my age or maybe I am just getting lazy, but once you start using an electric start it’s hard to see yourself going back to the kick-starter ever – we are definitely getting spoilt these days.
The other button on the left side of the bars is the dual mapping switch. This is a really cool addition to the bike which the 2018 YZ450F didn’t receive last year. You have the choice of two different maps, which you can upload wirelessly from the tuner. The Yamaha tuner has also been replaced by an App on your phone that is free from Yamaha, which is really cool.
The App allows you to program the two different maps on your bike and play around with the settings for different tracks and conditions, riding styles etc. The App allows you to download different mapping options from Yamaha, or you can swap with your buddies or create your own.
It allows a different element to your riding but could also end up being a bit of a distraction as well. The settings that come standard on the YZ250F are a really good starting point and for the average rider they are going to be spot on for 90 per cent of your riding.
The big advantages from the App are the other things that you can monitor. Keeping track of maintenance, changing oil, oil filter, piston and how many hours the motor has done etc. It is really invaluable, as you can keep track of what you have done to it and what needs attention.
You can also connect to your bike while it’s running and find out what the engine is doing, including battery, coolant temp, intake air temperature, air pressure, throttle position. The best benefit from this from Josh Coppins’ point of view is, “The changeability, which is free for the customer where in the past you had to buy a tuner or spend money on the bike. Now the customer can spend that money on going racing or just enjoying riding their motorcycle…”
Once you are out on the track it is immediately easy to see what Coppins was talking about in regards to riding experience, and after only one or two laps you can notice how light and nimble the bike feels in corners. The motor is lively and feels like it wants to rev freely while still being great off the bottom, even in the deeper sandy parts of the track the motor had plenty of torque to pull out of corners and felt really strong at the top of the rpm range.
Ergonomically the plastics and seat have been changed from the previous model. The plastics are all-new and help move the overall feeling of the bike away from the previous model, which had a wider feeling when gripping the bike with your knees.
The radiators and radiator shrouds have been refined to give you a better contact feeling with the bike. The seat itself has been lowered and that feels a little easier getting on and off the bike but has also allowed for setting up the bike a little easier as well.
The chassis and suspension feel really good. The bike is more agile than ever and tipping the bike into corners felt easy and effortless, changing direction mid corner was no problem, which can be accounted for from the new chassis design. The new chassis has allowed for the centre of gravity to be lowered in the bike, which only adds to the good handling.
The suspension feels comfortable from the get go, perfect for the rider of 70-80kg, which was right in my range. The forks felt great at the end of the day and didn’t blow through the stroke in the rougher sandy sections of the track well. The 2019 bike felt more stable both under brakes and under acceleration compared to the previous model and over all felt a little firmer in the suspension. The brakes front and back are powerful and have good feeling especially in the front lever, notably, the front brake rotor is now 270mm.
Down to the most important part of any 250 four-stroke motocrosser, the motor! The YZ250F motor is really strong. In the past Yamaha’s quarter-litre weapon has been well known for its great power down low to the mid part of the engine range, but the changes to the 2019 engine has really improved the way the engine pulls all the way up top as well.
The engine feels very lively and makes the bike really fun to ride. I got caught in a gear too high on a couple of occasions and with a little clutch the motor was able to still get moving without too much problem at all and pull the bike out of a hole.
My overall impressions are that the 2019 YZ250F is that it really is an impressive bike, looking back at the comments Josh Coppins made about Yamaha’s aim of making a bike that improved from the previous 2018 platform the 2019 Yamaha YZ250F certainly delivers in spades.
There is no doubt Yamaha engineers and designers have improved on the previous model and parting with your hard earned cash for this new bike wont be too difficult, especially after your first ride.
For me the standout features of the bike are the handling and power. The power and revvy feel of the engine along with the nimble handling really make your ride fun, exciting and enjoyable.
2019 YAMAHA YZ250F TECHNICAL TALK
The 2019 YZ250F has a 250cc liquid-cooled DOHC four-valve engine. Yamaha have for some time now used a reverse-cylinder-head design. The 2019 YZ250F engine however is completely new to accommodate an electric start and shed some weight in order to keep the overall weight of the motorcycle down due to the new starter motor and battery.
Firstly the new motor has been rotated 1-degree forward from the previous model to and the mounting brackets, which were previously steel have been changed to aluminium and moved slightly to sit better in the new frame and centralise mass.
The new electric starter features a high output, low current draw starter motor, which has been mounted at the centre and drives the clutch basket. The 2.4Ah/13.2 volt Lithium Ion battery is only 713.5g.
Upgrades to the engine include: the previously mentioned electric start, more efficient cylinder-head, new valve train, intake camshaft, high compression piston, larger diameter clutch.
The cylinder-head has been made more efficient by making the exhaust port outlet straighter, to match up with the header pipe to allow the exhaust to flow out freely. While the intake port shape has been smoothed out, by using a new two-step CNC machining process on the port and seat. The flow rate has then been increased as well.
The clutch plate diameter has increased 7mm from 137mm to 144mm and now have six clutch springs while the friction plates have been reduced from nine to eight and the steel plate thickness has increased from 1.2mm to 1.6mm.
Further upgrades include: a stronger conrod and lighter crank, offset cylinder, new balancer weight and a new crankcase, dual electrode spark plug and revised ECU settings.
A notable change to the throttle body is Yamaha have moved from the Keihin model and began using a 44mm Mikuni unit which is 12 per cent lighter, 12-hole injector and has a more compact throttle position sensor. The cold start has also been updated for 2019 with a push type knob system, which is turned off after closing the throttle.
The new valve train has bigger lift buckets and the intake valve spring rate has been increased significantly in conjunction with a new high compression piston. The compression rate has increased from 13.5:1 to 13.8:1.
The five-speed constant mesh gearbox has been strengthened and improved by using new high impact steel.
As mentioned previously the YZ250F frame is new and shares the frame from its bigger brother the YZ450F. The frame itself is a bilateral beam frame. The frame has been made stiffer with a straighter tank rail as opposed to the curved frame.
The steering pipe position has been moved 6mm forward, which has given a better overall rigidity. Vertical rigidity has increased vertically by 25 per cent, 9 per cent horizontally and torsional rigidity has been increased by 15 per cent.
The seat is flatter and lower thank the previous design, 8mm through the saddle area and 19mm at the rear fender which makes it easier to get on and off the bike.
The rims are lighter and the handlebar thickness has been reduced by using a stronger material while still using the same bar bend and dimensions. The handlebars are easily adjusted in the four-position adjustable handlebar mounts, which are rubber mounted for better comfort and reduce vibration.
KYB suspension front and back have been revised with an all-new shock. The forks are a 48mm coil spring-type fork with speed-sensitive damping provides exceptional balance between handling and bump absorption.
The linkage-type rear suspension is a KYB shock with revised damping characteristics to match the new chassis. The shock spring itself is lighter while still retaining the same spring rate. The shock also features updated internal valving for more controlled damping characteristics and the sub-tank is 30cc larger in capacity.
Along with the narrower frame, the radiators are 6-degrees more vertical and 6mm closer to the frame, which helps give the radiator shrouds a much narrower feeling. The 6.2L fuel tank is 16mm narrower and has lost 1.2L in capacity. The saddle area of the seat is 18mm slimmer.
The tool-less airbox has been redesigned without the shroud that was present on the 2018 model and has made accessing the airfilter a little easier. The filter itself is now a flat element and the cleaner joint is 29 per cent larger while the cover uses a Dzus fastener.
The plastics have been redesigned, which has reduced weight and made movement by the rider around the bike a lot easier, especially with the new radiator shrouds.
Yamaha has made tuning the 2019 YZ250F a breeze with the introduction of a free smartphone based power tuner. You can change and monitor your fuel and ignition mapping, log race data, monitor bike maintenance. This is also supported by a two-position map switch, which is mounted on the handlebars. Maps can be uploaded from the power tuner map.
2019 YAMAHA YZ250F SPECIFICATIONS
Price: : $11,399 RRP
Colours: Team Yamaha Blue or Competition White
Wet weight: 106kg
Fuel capacity: 6.2L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder, 250cc, 77 x 53.6mm bore x stroke, 13.8:1 compression, DOHC, four-valve, 44mm Mikuni, TCI ignition, electric start.
Clutch: Wet multi-disc
Chassis: Semi double cradle, Rake: 27.1°, Trail: 119mm
Suspension: KYB(r) Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-in travel KYB(r) single shock; fully adjustable, 12.5-in travel
Brakes: Front: Hydraulic disc, 270mm Rear: Hydraulic disc, 245mm
Wheels & Tyres: Spoked wheels, 80/100-21 51M, 100/90-19 57M
Seat height: 970mm
Overall height: 1285mm
Overall width: 825mm
2019 YAMAHA YZ250F GALLERY
The Verdict | Review: 2019 Yamaha YZ250F Launch Report
Yamaha have spent four years developing an all-new MX2 bike, with the release of the stunning 2019 YZ250F. Guy Streeter headed to WillowbankMX for a day testing on two tracks, and discovered that the engineers and designers have done a sensational job on the all-new, easy to ride and more exciting 2019 machine…