MotoOnline.com reviews the new 2024 Yamaha YZ250F.
Words: Caleb Tennant
An absolute powerhouse in the quarter-liter category, the Yamaha YZ250F has been a continued reference as the benchmark for race-winning performance in class. For 2024, it’s more refined and balanced than ever before, which MotoOnline recently Tested at Perris Raceway.
There has been a lot of hype and anticipation over the new YZ250F after the success of the current YZ450F, which made huge changes from the previous model for this year and provided the base for a lot of the updates made to the 250F.
The 2024 Yamaha YZ250F has a whole new frame and chassis, completely different plastics, an updated engine and revised suspension with a list of added upgrades, plus changes that made it exciting to get on-track with. Detailed has a full technical rundown.
This year is Yamaha’s 50th anniversary of the YZ line and they went back to the old-school retro look with the striking white, purple and pink livery as a color option alongside the regular blue variant. I love the new look and prefer the style of the 2024 model.
My first impression of riding the bike, I felt comfortable right away. I do feel the new chassis set-up and ergonomics of the bike are on-point and the YZ250F has a great feel to it. I felt the bike was balanced and I liked that it felt more narrow and lighter, plus with the seat being flatter all the way through to the front, it gave more room to find the seat position I was most comfortable in.
Yamaha has made a 2.5 pound decrease in weight and also narrowed the bike to make it slimmer. I found the biggest thing was the bike was very easy to pitch into the corners, it felt like it would stick really well in the ruts.
Through the sweeping turns, I was comfortable to push the bike through them with a lot of speed and could easily move the bike around which gained a lot of trust with my cornering. There was a bit of a struggle on the previous model with pitching the bike into corners and that was something they worked on with the new aluminium bilateral frame and KYB suspension settings.
The only place I felt a little uncomfortable was on the long straights when I was charging down and then let off a little bit into the harsh bumps, the bike would get somewhat unstable in certain areas. However, with more time and setup changes on the bike, I feel you would be able to try and find more stability on the fast sections once the bike is unloaded on power.
I thought the suspension changes were great and for standard suspension, the 2024 Yamaha YZ250F feels good. As the track roughened up, I did feel the front forks were a little too soft for me, so we stiffened the front up a few clicks and slowed the rebound down. We then took a quarter turn out of the shock, which made the rear a little softer and I felt that made the bike a lot more balanced when charging, providing with a lot more comfort all-round.
It also tracked really well coming out of ruts where there were a lot of chops, again the only thing I felt needed a bit of work were the high-speed sections where the bike could feel a little unstable when coming in super fast and letting off the gas. Overall, the new suspension and chassis setting, I really enjoyed!
Yamaha has long been the leading 250F when it comes to their engine package. It has had that extra power over the opposition and for the 2024 YZ250F, it’s not an all-new engine, but does have some changes to it. The difference from the previous model is the bike has a little less bottom-end, but more mid- to top-end power.
I felt right off the bottom when rolling on the throttle from no power that the bike needed a help with the clutch, but as soon as the throttle was on and power delivered, the motor was amazing the whole way through. The YZ pulls through the higher gears really well and I really enjoyed third to fifth gear, with third gear being used a lot, and it pulled hard from there.
I felt second gear was very strong, but it was a little short and felt if I went in the right corners in second, I would have to shift very early up to third. It would be interesting to try one tooth smaller on the sprocket to see if that second gear could be used a little more.
Yamaha has also upgraded the Power Tuner App, which has already been such a great addition to the YZ models. They made it, even more, user-friendly and you can really feel a difference when you tune the bike differently. I did a couple of laps, connected to the app and changed to a map that Yamaha recommended, then went right back out and felt a positive difference in the change. Depending on rider skill and feel, you have many different options to make the power curve suit your riding style.
Overall, I absolutely love the 2024 YZ250F – it feels smaller, lighter and very predictable. As the day went on, I felt really comfortable and was throwing the bike around and it was doing everything I expected of it. As more riders test the machine and work on small things, I feel the bike would have even more comfort and feel, but Yamaha did a great job with this new platform.
From a beginner to pro rider, many levels could enjoy what this bike has to offer. Personally, I would say the 2024 Yamaha YZ250F model is worth the upgrade from the last year, and it will be exciting to see how it continues to develop and perform moving forward.
Engine type: 250cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke
Bore/stroke: 77.0mm x 53.6mm
Transmission: Constant mesh five-speed
Clutch: Wet multi-plate
Traction control: Yes
Launch control: Yes
Front suspension: KYB telescopic forks, 310mm travel
Rear suspension: KYB link suspension, 312mm travel
Front brake: Nissin caliper, 270mm front disc
Rear brake: Nissin caliper, 240mm rear disc
Tires: 80/100 – 21 Dunlop Geomax MX33F / 110/90 – 19 Dunlop Geomax MX33
Weight: 231.485 pounds (wet)
Availability: October 2023
Price: $9099 MSRP (50th Anniversary Edition), $8,899 (Team Yamaha Blue)
Further information: www.yamahamotorsports.com