Motocross

2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.

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2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
On Monday the 18th of November 2013, Fullnoise.com.au were lucky enough to be invited out to the Australian press launch of the all new 2014 Yamaha YZ250F.

Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to ride one of the most anticipated motocross bikes that have been launced in the past few years, myself (Aaryn Minerds) and Mat Cox headed to Toowoomba in Queensland for an introduction to the new Yamaha machine on Sunday night before heading to the Eco Valley track just outside the heart of the Toowoomba city centre to spend a day riding the new quarter litre blue thumper.

There is no doubt that there has been a lot of hype around the 2014 YZ250F with it's radical new design which based on it's big brother the YZ450F, with the biggest features on the 2014 YZ250F being the new reversed cylinder, 4 valve fuel injected engine along with a new chassis with the emphasis all being on Mass centralisation.

While the motor is obviously the biggest change for the new bike as Yamaha move to a fuel injected engine for the first time on their 250F in 2014, the bike from the ground up is completely new, with only a handful of parts from 2013 carrying over to the new model.

While we could sit here and type every new feature on the bike and have you reading for the next half an hour, we think it is easier if we let Yamaha Australia's Scott Bishop and GYTR Yamaha Racer Jay Wilson take you through the new 2014 Yamaha YZ250F features in the below video. For those wanting read the specifications on the new 2014 Yamaha YZ250F CLICK HERE
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As mentioned above both myself and Mat Cox were on-board to see first hand what this all new bike from Yamaha was all about. Myself representing the clubman / C Grade Vet rider while Coxy a former top 20 national supercross and motocross contender was on hand to give a better insight on how the bike reacted for the expert level rider.

As for how the pro riders found the bike, well we left that up to the Yamaha Factory riders and with every single current factory Yamaha rider from both the Motocross teams and Off-Road teams on hand, we have plenty of opinions on how the 2014 bike compared to the 2013 model bike that won everything before it in 2013, including the Australian MX2 Motocross Championship, the SX Lites Supercross championship, the under 19s Australian Supercross championship, and both the outright and E1 classes at this years Australian Off-Road Championships (AORC) and the Australian Four Day Enduro.

Read below as Myself, Coxy and a couple of Yamaha Factory Riders give our thoughts on the 2014 Yamaha YZ250F.

THE VENUE:
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
Matt Coxy took no time at all to come to grips with the Toowoomba circuit that was in perfection conditions for the Launch of the all new 2014 Yamaha YZ250F - Credit: FourohFour
Before we get to far into the review, just a little regarding the venue used for this years event.

The Venue for this years Yamaha YZ250F launch was the Eco Valley circuit located just outside of Toowoomba in Queensland, the same venue used for round nine of the 2013 Monster Energy MX Nationals.

The track which is clay based was treated to a nice down pour of rain the night before the launch, leaving us with a tacky and near perfect surface to review the new Yamaha. The track really did offer a little bit of everything for the riders, from long fast up hill and down hill straights, a host of jumps, some off camber corners, some deep ruts and everything in between.

In total there were ten bikes on hand for the day which proved to be plenty as we were able to grab a sweet looking blue YZ250F first thing in the morning and keep hold of it until it was time to pack up mid afternoon. Ride time was plentiful and we certainly clocked up as many hours as our bodies would allow us to!

AARYN MINERDS (Clubman / Vetran Rider)
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
After taking some time to get familiar with the track, it quickly became apparent just how good this new Yamaha was - Credit: FourOhFour
I am not going to lie, the launch of the 2014 Yamaha YZ250F is one that I have been waiting not so patiently to come around. I have always been a fan of the Yamaha 250F dirt bike after owning both a 2004 and a 2007 models in my travels. While I never owned the current 2010-2013 generation of Yamaha 250F, I was lucky enough to spent a little time aboard most year models and very much felt at home on the bikes.

Another reason my excitement levels were up for the launch of this all new bike was due to the fact that I was more than a little impressed by the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F that we had the opportunity to rider just a couple of months back (You can read our thoughts on the 450F by CLICKING HERE) and with the new 250F heavily based off its bigger brother added to the fact that even though I am a little heavier set, I really do enjoy riding the small bore machines over the bigger 450's, there is something about needing to shift up and down the gear box constantly that make a riding experience more fun!

The first time I saw the new bike in the flesh was on the Sunday afternoon, the day prior to the launch. Myself and Coxy just happened to be at the Eco Valley circuit when the crew from Yamaha rolled up to set up for the following day;s action.
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
Though I am not the most confident jumper in the world, jumping the 2014 Yamaha 250F was not problem at all - Credit: Kendall Jennings
My initial thoughts on the look of the new Yamaha to be honest were a little mixed. Overall I quite like the look of the bike and much like when the 2010 model was first launched, the bike does look better in real life than it does in a picture. The only thing that had me taken a little aback was how wide it did look across the tank and shrouds.
Br> I wasted no time jumping on one of the 10 bikes that were lined up side by side, mainly just to feel if the bike was going to feel as wide as it looked. To my surprise it did not, it actually felt quite comfortable and very much like the 2014 YZ450F, though the real test was to come on the Monday.

The other thing I will say is I am a much bigger fan of the Blue bike over the predominately white colour scheme which is again available for 2014.

After letting Coxy have the first ride on Monday morning I prepared myself and waited patiently for his return. As with every launch I started the day by having the bike set up exactly the way it came out of the crate, including the bars in the central location, with the only changes being made being the the set up of the bike being sag on the rear shock.

Rolling out on to the track for the first time, I felt instantly at home on the bike, the track on the other hand was going to take some time to get used to!

The first though going through my head was wow this bike really does fell small! The width of the tank really is deceiving, and it did not take long to get an understanding of just how light and nimble this bike was.

The other thing that quickly became apparent on the new Yamaha 250F was just how much power was on tap, and right from the bottom. Now I certainly am no light weight and coming from my current ride which is a 350 four stroke it did take a little while to adjust to the extra gear shifts required to ensure that I was in the correct gear coming out of corners, but after a couple of rides the realisation of just how well this bike pulled out of corners and up hills was pretty amazing.
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
The 250 four-stroke motor sitting in the middle of Yamaha's 2014 YZ250F is a little beast with plenty of pull from bottom to top - Credit: FourohFour
The night before at the presentation we were shown the picture you can see above of a dyno comparison between the the 2013 and 2014 model YZ250F and the race bike used by Jay Wilson in 2013, it was a pretty impressive power curve the 2014 250F has in stock form following near on the same curve of Wilsons race bike from this year and it definitely transfers to the track!

Like the YZ450F launch earlier this year , we had the opportunity to play around with the Yamaha power tuner and try out some different maps with the new fuel injected bike which lead to a bit of a surprise! At the 450 launch I played with a couple of maps, including softening the power hit form the bottom on the 450, I was not a fan and quickly went back to the stock map.

This time around aboard the 250F, we went the opposite way, opting to try a more aggressive map that had the bike pulling even harder from the bottom. As you will read below, Coxy loved that particular map, while myself much preferred the smoother power from the stock map. That in itself is one of the great features of the new Yamaha engine, the ability to purchase the power tuner and customise the way the power comes on.

Another thing I noticed about the 2014 Yamaha 250F was just how deep of a bark it makes. Sitting on the hill at Toowoomba watching the riders hit the track first thing in the morning I had to do a double take a couple of times to make sure that the bikes on track were actually 250F's and not 450's! It was quite a pleasant sound coming from the back of the bike Coxy was on when he cracked the throttle on hard for the first time.

As for the handling of the new blue machine it has to be said that this bike loves an inside line, especially when combined with a deep rut! The overnight rain had left the Toowoomba track surface nice and soft in places and it did not take long before some great lines were formed and some decent ruts through quite a few turns.

Be it a tight inside rut or even a faster flowing corner this bike just loved to be tipped in and the power wound on. The added bonus of having the fuel cap tucked away underneath the seat meant getting forward was easier than ever. The front end responded exactly how you wanted it do and made turning a line breeze.
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
From sweeping turns to tight inside ruts, this bike loved them all - Credit: FourohFour
While the bike felt light and nimble through the turns it was just as impressive in the air, whilst I am not one to throw a bike side ways, I felt at home jumping the YZ250F for the most part. However the only negative experience for the whole day was on one particular jump where for some reason I would catch my left hand boot on the radiator shroud and twice has some pretty exciting moments while hoping the boot would release before landing.
Br> Know one else that I spoke to however had that problem, so at this point in time Ill put it down to my technique!

Suspension wise the bike was great all round, though at 98kg I was certainly to heavy for the stock fork springs, even though the spring rate has been lifted slightly for 2014. In saying that the only time it really became apparent was when braking into some semi decent braking bumps, where I could feel the suspension push through the stroke quicker than I would like, though I would say it would just be a matter of increasing the front fork springs from the 4.6Nm units to a 4.8nm spring and I would be sorted.

The feed back through both the front and rear of the bike was great and confidence inspiring and the rubber mounted handle bars certainly are a great thing for reducing vibration through the hands.

Overall the 2014 Yamaha YZ250F was a great bike which will suit a large range of racers straight out of the box, especially with power this bike has in stock form.

As I have always found with Yamaha dirt bikes, the brakes were great both front and rear, the clutch pull was exceptionally light for a cable operated clutch, the motor was super strong and the overall package felt light and very comfortable. It was very much a great bike to ride.

While the bike certainly felt great, as I mentioned above it did take me most of the day to get used to riding the Toowoomaba track and by the time I had the track sorted I was starting feel tired and could not really push the bike like I would have like.

It would be great to take this bike to one of my local tracks in South Australia where I feel comfortable and really see what this new Yamaha could do, I have a feeling I would be even more impressed than I already am.

MAT COX (Expert / A Grade Level Racer)
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
Fullnoise expert test rider was one of many riders who were more than impressed with the performance of Yamaha's new small bore thumper - Credit: FourohFour
Last time I reviewed the YZ250F I was very impressed by the only carby 250 four stroke motocrosser, so I had been really looking forward to getting my leg over the 2014 model after I had heard about the total overhaul of the bike.

The 2014 YZ250F has a totally different look to all the other major manufacturers. When I first saw it in photos I didn‰Ûªt really know If I loved or hated it, the more I looked at it the more it grew on me, then when I finally saw the bike in person I was in love. Now I can‰Ûªt decide if I like the White or traditional blue more?

Looking at the bike I was worried about the width of the tank at the front end, surprisingly I didn‰Ûªt even notice it once on the track. The new seat which goes over the fuel tank is really sweet, allowing you to get right to the front of the bike with ease. Then to fuel up, simply pop the front part of the seat off with your hands, no bolts or screws!
Br> The motor is totally different on this years model and I loved it! Yamaha finally came to the party with fuel injection which produced a smooth but powerful output. An awesome feature Yamaha offer is the ability to change your maps at the palm of your hand in minutes! No more going back and forwards to MX shops.

I was running the stock map and was pretty pumped with it, I then rode with one of Yamaha's Pro rider maps which come pre saved in the Yamaha Power Tuner. I noticed straight away how much harder it pulled and it was much more responsive making throttle control more critical. Even going up the steep Echo Valley hills I found myself wheel standing which in a stock bike is pretty cool to see that kind of power.



Another massive plus for me was how good the braking is. With the new motor, my body position was very central and under brakes I always felt in control. The bike just squatted in nice and even when jamming the brakes on hard, it would pull up quickly and set you up perfect for the turn. I felt so confident through the ruts, the bike just steered through perfectly and didn‰Ûªt want to push the front end in or the rear out.

The gearing on this years YZ250F is great, quick power out of the turns yet it keeps going up the straight too. On the long start straight even once in fifth gear I was still powering all the way to my braking point.

This years YZ250F really is a huge step from last years model, it‰Ûªs the ultimate privateer racer bike for those who want to be competitive without spending the extra dollars on after market parts. It doesn‰Ûªt really matter what riding ability you are as you can re-map it so easily for your own style and have the power you want right at your fingertips.

PRO-SPECTIVE:

2013 Australian Motocross and Supercross Lites Champion, Serco Yamaha's Luke Styke:
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
Luke Styke had his first ride on the bike he will be racing in next years MX2 World Championship and was more than impressed with the stock version - Credit: Kendall Jennings
Today was my first ride and my first impression is it is a great bike, great power and great potential. Everything about it from the chassis set up to having the engine more centralised in the bike. The torque of the bike is incredible and it is the best stock bike I have ever ridden.

I am looking forward to progressing and developing with the bike when I head overseas to race the world championship next year.

We have played around with the gearing out here today, we have gone one tooth down on the rear, which I found suited my style a little bit more and we have also played around with a few maps.

I can notice some little changes with the different maps, mainly through the mid range, but at the moment it is early days and it is going to take a good month of playing around and getting the bike to a basic stage, then develop it from there once I have complete trust and a good feel for this all new bike and also waiting for more parts to come out so we can try them.

The power on this the new YZ250F is pretty similar to my race bike over the past couple of years. My race bike probably has a tad more power. Obviously the suspension on my race bike I am more used to as we have developed that over a long period of time, but for a stock bike the suspension on this new bike feels great, though just a little softer than I am used to having on my race bike.

2013 Australian Under19s Supercross Champion Jay Wilson:
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
Jay Wilson is another rider who will be mounted on the 2014 YZ250F in 2014 and could not believe that the new stock bike was near on par power wise with his 2013 race bike! -Credit: Kendall Jennings
These bikes are very quick, the power from stock on this bike is unbelievable. My first thoughts when I was told how much horsepower the new Yamaha would have I was thinking to myself that it would probably have no bottom to middle and be just all top end power.

I hopped on the bike and the whole engine as a package was great, there was power everywhere, button, mid and top was unbelievable. I am finding I can run third gear a lot on the new bike and that is the biggest thing people are starting to notice, you are able to run it in third due to the torque on the engine.

The power-curve on this bike sits pretty much just 1hp under what my race bike this year produced right across the power delivery, that is a huge advantage for a stock bike. It also means there is not a lot of work to do with these bikes to get them up there and be competitive.

The whole bike overall feels great, it feels like you are jumping onto a 125, it is so light you can turn it and put it where ever you want. The bike is comfortable, the first time I sat on the bike it felt like home.

2013 AORC and A4DE E1 and Outright Champion CDR's Daniel Milner:
2014 Yamaha YZ250F Australian Media Launch Ride Review.
While Daniel Milner is undecided if he will be on a 250F or 450F for 2014, he did agree that the 2014 250F would make a great bush weapon - Credit: Kendall Jennings
This new bike is awesome, it is completely new from the ground up and I am loving it. I love the new fuel injected engine and everything else with it. It feels great out here today on this Toowoomba track.

I have not done to much riding on the new YZ250F yet or done any testing, but this is coming and we will take it from there. It is definitely a big step up.

This bike would be great for Off-Road racing, especially the Enduro-X with the bike being so light and having so much power, even in the bush this bike will be great when we get the Off-Road series going again, once you get into the tight stuff it will be awesome, I am looking forward to it.

Activate Yamaha's Tom McCormack Raced E1 during the 2013 AORC:

I think the bike is a big improvement over the old bike, I think I would rather ride this new bike over my race bike honestly. It is fast and nimble and feels really light to throw around.

It turns really well, and the fuel injection on this new engine is unreal, I don;t think I have ever had a bike that runs that well.

I honestly think you could race this bike straight out of the box, it turns so well and is so nimble. I would probably just soften up the suspension a little bit and I would be good to go.

MXTV's review on the 2014 Yamaha YZ250F:

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