Dan headed out to MX Farm in Gympie, Qld, to test out the heavily updated 2024 Yamaha YZ250F. Check out how it stacks up against the previous model… Photos: Josh Evans, Yamaha.
The 2024 Yamaha YZ250F offers an out-of-the-box race-ready bike like no other and comes dressed in that absolutely gorgeous 50th-anniversary colour-scheme. Excited to take the new machine for a pelt at the MX Farm in Gympie is certainly an understatement…
Considering the reputation Yamaha holds with their YZ250F being the most dominant bike in the 250 class, I’m excited, to say the least. Five AMA MX and seven AMA SX titles since 2014 are just some of the things the YZ250F has on its resume. Yamaha has also been the overall US shootout winner eight of the last ten years, and in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, Yamaha took the MX2 Manufacturer title.
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Beginning the trip with a quick flight from Melbourne to Gold Coast and a drive to the accommodation in Gympie, Queensland. After checking into the hotel, we went to the local Gympie RSL, where I got to focus on the new 2024 YZ250F for the first time, followed by an introduction to the team and the presentation before a nice bite to eat.
The following day, after a quick breakfast, we head up to Mx Farm to put the updated machines to the test. It was scheduled to be a scorcher of a day with a peak of 37 degrees, so we headed to the track nice and early to get the riding done before the height of the day.
With 2024 being a significant 50-year milestone for Yamaha, they have also released their 50th-anniversary model based on the iconic colourway featured on the YZ250, YZ125 and YZ80 two-stroke bikes launched in 1993.
The Changes For 2023
Straight away, it is clear to see that the 2024 YZ250F is a lot skinnier than previous years. It is 50mm narrower at the radiator shrouds and 6mm narrower at the knee grip area. Allowing for easier rider movement and a comfortable ride. Not only does the 2024 YZ250F look different, but Yamaha has changed the entire bike to provide a lighter, sharper and more advanced ride.
One of the changes is to the weight, a total of 105.6kg wet weight, which is 1.14kg lighter than the previous 2023 model. This has been achieved with multiple changes to the engine, chassis and body. The new chassis gives the YZ250F a corning capability like no other, making the YZ250F feel very nimble and agile. Some of the main changes to the frame are:
The frame is now all new bilateral beam type,
The tank rail to head pipe joint has been lowered 15mm,
Tension pipe has been lowered 15mm at down tube,
Increased rigidity at the downtube, swingarm pivot and footpeg cross member,
Engine mounting brackets have been tuned to frame and are now 5mm thick.
With all the changes to the chassis, Yamaha has also changed the rider triangle, giving you a taller seat to footpeg distance, and the bars are back one position rearward.
You cannot forget about the engine. The changes to the 2024 YZ250F engine give a more robust mid and over-rev making. This has been achieved by changes in the intake, cam chain and the ECU. Some of the main changes are:
New high-flow intake
New low friction and thicker cam chain
A revised electrical system
Next up was the updated KYB forks and shock. The forks now come with tool-less operation compression clickers, an increased lip size on the fork seal dust covers for increased fork seal life and larger coverage on the fork guards. Allowing for an easier adjustment to allow you to set up the YZ250F to how you want to ride.
For 2024, Yamaha has also substantially changed their smartphone app. Allowing easier engine tuning. The free-to-download app features:
The engine tuning is a simple slide bar for tuning,
traction control is low, high, and off,
launch control rev limiter function for launching off the gate,
lap timer to track lap times with the push of a button,
tuning guides for how to change the engine character and suspension setting guide,
The real-time dashboard shows rpm, speed, throttle position, and more.
To pair with the new smartphone app, the YZ250F comes with a new handlebar-mounted switch, allowing easy map swaps while on the go. Two maps can be loaded into the bike by using the Yamaha Power Tuner app.
Arriving at MX Farm, I’m welcomed by the massive Yamaha race truck with a lineup of eight brand-new 2024 YZ250Fs. With a grin from ear to ear, I could not wait to get ready and jump on the bike. I’m lucky enough to get the chance to ride one of the white 50th-anniversary edition models.
Having the mechanics at my disposal means I get the suspension and sag set my weight to give me the optimal feeling straight away. With the electronic start button working perfectly to fire up the YZ250F, it’s finally time to hit the track. The first thing I notice through the pits is that the seating position, even just at a slow pace, is extremely comfortable and makes me feel in complete control.
“The first thing I notice through the pits is that the seating position, even just at a slow pace, is extremely comfortable and makes me feel in complete control.”
MX Farm is a fantastic facility to test out the YZ250F with wide open sections, twisty corners, and big jumps. Allowing me to really put the YZ250F through a good test and get the feel of every aspect. The first couple of laps are my sight laps which I take at a chill pace, before really opening it up. I have to say, I’m not disappointed. Once you get into the mid to high RPM range, the YZ250F just wants to keep pulling with its endless pool of power.
Straight away, you notice the work put into the KYB forks and shock is second to none, offering a smooth and comfortable ride with the option of quickly changing the compression to suit the feel of the track. The suspension makes the ride feel smooth and handle soundly, whether it is over the large triples or through the tight corner sections MX Farm has to offer.
The brakes are by Nissan, with a powerful 270mm front disc and a 240mm rear disc, which add to the bike’s handling, allowing a smooth feeling yet still allowing you to stop in time for any fast-approaching corner or if you need to stop suddenly.
The latest Power Tuning app offers a more user-friendly interface. I’m able to try out different maps throughout the day by simply connecting the bike to a smartphone and changing the settings. The various maps make a massive difference to how the YZ250F performs in the corners and the straights.
The smooth map would be perfect for someone who is a beginner or just wants a nice, comfortable ride. The bike can be easily changed to the aggressive map to really show the YZ250F’s full potential and offers a very responsive throttle throughout the entire rev range.
I take the opportunity to test out a couple of custom maps the team had created. This really opened my eyes to how something so simple as a change in the app can affect the entire delivery of power from the engine. In addition to changing the aggression of the bike, you can also add traction control. I’m stunned and quite enjoy the feel of using traction control on the track. It helps keep the bike in a straight line and is controlled very well through the ECU with no jolty feel through the bars while riding.
“Straight away, you notice the work put into the KYB suspension, offering a smooth and comfortable ride with the option of quickly changing the compression to suit the surface feel.”
In the app, you also have the option to adjust the rpm of the launch control. You can adjust the rpm between 6000rpm and 14000rpm in 500rpm increments, which would be perfect to adjust your starts to suit the track’s terrain. It’s insane how much tech they’re pushing into these machines now…
With the changes to the chassis and engine mounts, the cornering of the 2024 YZ250F has changed for the better. Especially compared to 2023. The most significant noticeable difference is that the 2024 YZ250F feels very agile and nimble compared to the 2023 YZ250F’s stiff and rigid feel. This makes cornering feel effortless and more enjoyable, whether it be through tight ruts or long outside berms.
“The most significant noticeable difference is that the 2024 YZ250F feels very agile and nimble compared to the 2023 YZ250F’s stiff and rigid feel.”
Overall, the Yamaha YZ250F is a fantastic bike that offers a top-tier race-ready bike out of the box, with an excellent all-around performance and a never-ending pool of power. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, this bike has everything you will ever need.
With its comfortable riding position, new slim feeling, powerful brakes, KYB front and rear suspension and easy-to-use smartphone app. The tough choice is whether to go for the standard Yamaha blue or the white 50th-anniversary edition.
Pricing starts at $13,949 ride away for the standard colour YZ250F and $14,249 for the YZ250FSP 50th-anniversary livery. They’re both on showroom floors now!
2024 Yamaha YZ250F Specifications
Price: $13,949 Ride Away
Colours: Blue, SP 50th Anniversary
Claimed Power: N/A
Claimed Torque: N/A
Wet Weight: 105kg
Fuel capacity: 6.1L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: N/A
Fuel Consumption (measured): N/A
Engine: Liquid-cooled four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve, 77 x 53.6mm bore x stroke, 250cc, 13.8:1 compression, wet sump, EFI, electric start, TCI ignition, five-speed gearbox, cable clutch actuation
Chassis: Frame: Bilateral alloy beam frame.
Rake: N/A Trail: N/A
Suspension: Fully adjustable inverted KYB fork, 310mm travel (f) Fully adjustable KYB shock, 312mm travel. Aluminum swingarm (r).
Brakes: 270mm disc, Nissin two-piston caliper (f), 240mm disc, Nissin single piston caliper (r), Nissin master-cylinders.
Tyres: 80/100 – 21in Dunlop Geomax MX33F (f), 110/90 – 19in Dunlop Geomax MX33 (r).
Seat height: 970mm
Ground clearance: 350mm
Overall width: 825mm
Overall Length: 2180mm
Overall height: 1275mm
Instruments & Electronics: N/A instruments, Engine Mapping, Traction Control, Launch Control, Lap timer via Yamaha Power Tuner app.
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The Verdict | Review: 2024 Yamaha YZ250F, Australian Launch