Yamaha’s motocross line, the YZ line, consists of the YZ85, 125, 250, 250F, and 450F. The “F” signifies the four-stroke engines, and the remainder and tried and true motocross two-strokes.
Originally released in the mid 1970’s, Yamaha’s pure dirt machines have a well-known pedigree of durability and performance in the rough and tumble world of motocross. Yamaha’s commitment to dirt racing was evident throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s and led to the development of the first mass-produced four-stroke motocross machine, the YZ400F, in 1998. For 2012, all of Yamaha’s YZ two-stroke line (YZ85, 125, and 250) are carryovers from 2011, but both of the four-strokes (YZ250F and 450F) are upgraded for 2012.
The 2012 Yamaha YZ250F and YZ450F are available in Team Yamaha Blue/White or White/Red and both retain the straight-up motocross styling that is a result of function more than anything else. With fully-adjustable handlebars, a long seat for easy movement during braking and acceleration, and well-placed foot controls, the YZ line is built for speed on the dirt.
Considered by many to have the most reliable motors in their classes, the Yamaha four-strokes have great low end power and easy revving up to the high end, a testament to Yamaha’s years of engine development. Because they are carbureted versus fuel injected like their competition, the Yamaha four-strokes are lighter than most bikes in their class, and thus more maneuverable in the ever-changing conditions of motocross. Handling is also excellent because of aggressive mass centralization by Yamaha engineers, putting as much of the bike’s weight as possible in the mid-point of the motorcycle.
Not unlike liter sportbikes on the street, the most hotly-contested segment of the motocross market is the four-stroke 250cc motorcycle. Yamaha was the first to produce one, and riders looking for an exciting and reliable machine to take to the track or just out free-riding should look no further.