Inspired by the specially developed YZ250s of woods and scrambles racers, Yamaha’s YZ250X begins with the two-stroke YZ250 motocrosser but adds numerous mods to increase its off-road skill set. Compared to its MX fraternal twin, the YZ250X has a lower compression ratio, revised port and power-valve timing, and a dedicated CDI to idealize the power delivery. Other powertrain amendments include a compact expansion chamber (helpful on tight trails), a wide-ratio five-speed gearbox, and a sealed O-ring chain.
In the chassis department, up front is a wider 21-inch knobby in an off-road pattern and compound, while out back is an 18-inch wheel (versus 19 inches for the YZ250), likewise carrying off-road-specific rubber. Dedicated suspension tuning dials in the YZ250X for trail conditions, while an inch less seat height helps you horse the beast around. Finally, there’s a sidestand and a reserve petcock position for the 2.1-gallon gas tank. Ready for a surprise? The weight penalty for all these features is a mere 2 pounds more than the standard YZ250. But equally remarkable is that the YZ250X retails for just $100 more than the MX version. Deal!
Likes: Most of the good off-road racing mods in a production model
Dislikes: The endurance-racing YZ250X's fuel capacity is identical to that of the YZ250
Verdict: A motocross racer for woods, desert, and trail