FIRST LOOK: 2017 Yamaha Motocross and Off-Road Updates

YZ250F and YZ450F MX bikes donate parts to 250FX and 450FX series.

Yamaha’s successful off-road and motocross line sees a few updates for 2017, the most significant being to the YZ250F race bike. The tuning forks count 11 changes to the 250F’s engine, and seven changes to the chassis, with an emphasis on gaining top-end power and easier rider movement.©Motorcyclist

Priority #1 for Yamaha’s YZ250F motocross bike in 2017 was to extract even more juice from the YZ-F’s 250 cubic centimeters. To do that Yamaha made a few big changes, like a revised cylinder head with new cams, valve angles, reshaped ports, and a shorter intake. The cases are said to be stronger, too, and the material and shape of the connecting rod has been upgraded. In order to extract the most from the mechanical changes, the ECU has been remapped, and the transmission has been made burlier. The result, says Yamaha, is more power between 7,000 and 14,000 rpm.

The YZ250F has won a Motocross and a Supercross title in the past two years. In part because of that, sales have been good, and Yamaha continues to pour updates and resources into the model.©Motorcyclist

The tweaks to the 250F chassis are mostly just that—engine mount brackets have been made steel rather than aluminum and revised to change rigidity, and the frame near the swingarm pivot has been made stiffer, as have the fork tubes. The rear brake rotor has been made more tolerant to high temperatures, and the footpegs are 5mm lower than 2016. Lastly, as a note to anyone who has caught gear on the dzus fasteners holding the air cleaner cover in place, rest easy knowing Yamaha has redesigned the clips and recessed them into the plastic to avoid that problem. The 2017 YZ250F will be available to in two colors—blue/white and red/white—starting in June of 2016, with MSRP listed at $7,699.

On the 450F, things are much the same as 2016. The only updates of note are Dunlop Geomax MX3S tires as stock for 2017, an updated oil management around the countershaft, as well as the same rear brake disc rotor material change and recessed dzus as on the 250F. The 2017 YZ450F will be available in the same two colorways as the 250F, with a base price of $8,699.©Motorcyclist

On the off-road side, Yamaha’s YZ250FX hosts a slew of upgrades for 2017, including now using the same piston from the 250F and adopting all of the engine upgrades from the MX bike—Yamaha also removed the kickstarter assembly, saving 1.75 pounds. The 250FX’s chassis also sees the same updates as the 250F, in addition to a WR-style plastic skid plate, a 270mm front brake rotor (up from 250mm), and a rim-color change from bare metal to black. (Dash indicator lights for fuel level and engine warning have also been added.) It’s available in August of 2016 with an MSRP of $7,999.

Ready for the woods: Yamaha’s YZ250FX receives a gaggle of trick parts from the 250F MX machine for 2017, all for a price bump of about $100.©Motorcyclist

The lineup of WR-F off-road bikes inherit some of the upgrades of the competition models, like the recessed dzus fasteners (and the 270mm rotor on the WR250F), as well as black rims. The WR250F will be $8,099 for 2017, while the WR450F will list at $9,099. Further down the spectrum, 2017 models of the WR250R dual sport ($6,699), air-cooled XT250 ($5,199), and fat-tire TW200 ($4,599) will be available between June and September.

Yamaha’s venerable WR250R will be back on showrooms in 2017, now with a $6,699 price tag (up $9 from $6,690).©Motorcyclist