Product Review

Checking in on our new look Yamaha YZ65

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Our Yamaha YZ65 is going strong, we thought it was time for a little update on how things have been traveling
We have had hold of our YZ65 for a couple of months now, and things have been going great with our new little weapon.

Our little test rider, Jayden has been having a blast on the latest addition to Yamaha’s YZ range and has even managed to complete a couple of race days on the bigger bike.

Only having turned 7 in March this year, we never planned on actually racing the 65 this year, but after adapting to the bigger bike quickly and looking comfortable and confident on it, we decided to let him behind the gates for a bit of fun.

We have pretty much kept the YZ65 dead stock so far, though thanks to Grant Beale from Bike Tune here in South Australia, we were able to soften up the suspension and lower the bike ever so slightly to help Jay out and while he still can’t quite touch the ground on flat ground, he can now at least hold the bike up with one leg and touch the ground when in a rut.

Both the front forks and rear shock have been re-valved using the stock internals to soften the bike both front and rear as much as possible without going to a softer spring.
Jayden is certainly on the smaller side of size for a 65cc rider and is only just old enough to ride the class, but is having fun learning the bigger bike all the same.
Weighing in at just on 25kg, there was not much movement going on in the suspension department, and we were only getting around 40mm of sag with Jayden on the bike, a long way off the 80-85mm recommended.

With the changes made, we were able to get that figure to a touch over 60mm, and the softer suspension was instantly noticeable on track.

By pushing the front forks through the triple clamps as far as we could and installing a 6.5mm lowering spacer internally in the shock which lowered the bike 22mm plus the spacer helps to soften the top out effect of the standard shock.

While 22mm (2cm) is not much, it did make enough of a difference between not touching the ground at all and Jay just being able to reach the ground when needed.
The Kadina club in South Australia is a fun laid back club, with a great track that is great for building confidence.
After one ride with the suspension changes, we decided to head out to a local club meeting at Kadina in South Aus for his first gate start on the 65.

The club has a fun laid back atmosphere and allowed Jayden to line up on the gate but take off a few seconds after the more experienced 65cc riders. It worked out well with a couple of other riders doing likewise and was an excellent way for him to build his confidence in the bigger class that he will race in 2019.

As you can see by the pictures, we ran some pretty rough looking numbers at Kadina and thought if we are going to do a few more races this year, we best get the good people at Ringmaster Images to get us looking the part.

And that is what they have done. A quick email with a design brief followed by a phone call to Craig and Luke and we had a design drawn up, printed and ready to apply.

With the slick new look, we were able to get one quick ride in, before unbolting the plastics and taking them to Coolum to ride the YZ65 cup at the MX Nationals with a borrowed bike thanks to Yamaha Australia (You can read all about that great experience in the coming week!)
As always the team at Ringmaster Images have come up with a look we were after, in this case a nice clean race look for our YZ65.
With a lot going on over the past couple of weeks, we have only managed to get out on the YZ65 once since our trip to the Sunshine Coast, and that was on the weekend just gone. Despite that, the confidence and growth Jayden has found riding the YZ65 great fun.

The bike has proven to be a great platform to move from the 50 class up to a bike with a clutch and gears, the engine seems to have a great responsive motor that makes good power down low with a smooth transition to the meat of the power in the higher rev range, helping to build confidence.

Jay is still somewhat getting used to changing gears, while it is simple enough for him on a flat track, he is slowly getting better at changing on a rough and rutted track.
So far the YZ65 is proving to be the lowest maintence mini bike we have had to live with so far, it is great to not have to change oil after ever single ride.
LIVING WITH Yamaha’s YZ 65

While Jayden is undoubtedly enjoying riding Yamaha’s YZ65, for myself having another bike in the shed means another motorcycle to prep and get ready to ride on weekends and another bike to wash on a Sunday afternoon.

At this stage, the bike has been a breeze to work on regarding the week to week basic maintenance. The air filter is easily accessed by removing the seat which is held down with a single 8mm bolt at the rear.

The airbox has enough room to remove and remount the air filter easily.

We have done two gear oil changes so far, again a simple process with a single bolt drain, before topping up with half a litre of Yamahalube 2C 20W40 Trans Oil Plus - Gear Oil.

The bike we have was used at the South Australian YZ65 demo day, so we changed the oil once after that day and again after Jayden’s second ride just to make sure all was good, with the oil coming out like new on the second change, so we will head back to changing every fifth ride/race as recommended in the manual.
After riding one of the toughest tracks he is likely to ever see at Coolum a couple of weeks back, being back on the familiar soil of Gillman in SA had Jayden gaining some great confidence on the YZ65.
Taking the plastics off to take over to Coolum proved easy, and highlight just how well Yamaha have finished off this bike, with the plastics, interlocking into each other for a great fit.

As with all new bikes we have gone over every nut and bolt after the first couple of rides and are glad to report nothing has rattled loose or fallen out. I know something basic, but I have lost the occasional new bike in the past!

As for premixing fuel, it is something I have gotten used to again over the past 18 months, and we are running Yamalube Y2R Full Synthetic Racing Oil at 35:1, which is a little leaner than recommend in the manual which is at 30:1

To date the bike has run faultlessly, I thought at one stage we might have to look at the jetting, which is currently still as the bike came, but it turned out the bike was running a little rough due to a plug on its way out. With a young rider learning to ride a 65 that was always going to happen at least a few times, but happy to say at this point in time, that was the only plug we have fouled.
It is only early days on the Yamaha YZ65, and so far we could not be happier and are looking forward to a long future on the blue beast.
Whats Next:

With a few hours on the bike now, we will look at adding a few GYTR parts to our YZ65 in the coming weeks.

Again being only early days for Jayden on a 65cc, we won’t be going chasing performance parts, but a few parts that will help protect the bike and keep him going in case of a tip over.

High on the list are a set of flex levers, a skid plate to protect the bottom of the bike and radiator hose that runs under the bike, and a radiator brace, an hour meter and maybe one or two little bling bits because the kid keeps asking haha.

In terms of riding, Jayden will ride his first off-road event with a 45 minute endure style race, followed by another local club day, before jumping on a boat over to Tasmania!

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