Yamaha overhauls the YZ250F motocrosser, YZ450FX cross-country bike for 2021

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Yamaha’s YZ250F gets an overhaul for 2021, including updates to the motor, frame, brakes and suspension—but the rest of the lineup gets Bold New Graphics.

Yamaha completely revamped the YZ250F MX bike for 2019, and next year’s changes are a collection of small tweaks, not a model line reboot. Having said that, there are many upgrades, so the bike should be noticeably different to ride.

The changes start with the four-stroke single-cylinder engine. Yamaha re-designed the top end, with a new cylinder head and camshaft. The intake system saw quite a bit of re-working, and Yamaha also put in a new clutch and re-worked the gearbox, too. Several other smaller engine bits are new, and so is the ECU. Just like the previous model, riders can fine-tune the YZ250F via the Yamaha Power Tuner App. The YZ250F comes with two power maps the rider can select via a handlebar switch.

The frame has been re-worked to handle the new engine, and the suspension sees some minor adjustments as well. Yamaha put beefier brake pads on the 250, and also changed the discs. 

On their own, none of those changes would make a big difference, but added together, the 250 should be considerably upgraded for next year. Pricing starts at $9,699.

The new Yamaha YZ450FX.

As for the YZ450FX, the cross-country bike gets an overhauled cylinder head, too, and a high-compression piston with longer connecting rod. The gearbox is supposed to be better-shifting. Yamaha also overhauled the frame, and tweaked the suspension’s compression and rebound settings for more control in the dirt. Yamaha also overhauled the brakes for 2021. Pricing for the 450 starts at $10,899.

As for the rest of Yamaha’s motocross machines, you’re basically looking at new paint jobs for 2021, but that’s it. The YZ250F and YZ450F are both available in Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Editions; you’ll pay more, but you’ll look like a pro. There’s no mechanical changes to these machines, though, just Bold New Graphics. For a look at the full line, and pricing, head on over to Yamaha’s Canadian website.

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