In 2005, Yamaha unveiled the aluminum framed YZ250. With two-stroke sales in the dumps, this bike was going to be either Yamaha’s crowing jewel or ultimate folly. Yamaha spent millions of dollars on the development of the most advanced two-stroke motocross bike of its time. Was it worth it?
Yamaha had rolled the dice. They hoped there were enough loyal two-stroke fans to appreciate the revolutionary development that produced the all-new smoker. Hoping die-hards would appreciate the machine enough to buy the smoker rather than the popular four-strokes.
In the end, the results weren’t what they wanted them to be, although it is safe to say they aren’t heart broken about it. Two-stroke sales continued to plummet and the diehards had betrayed the smokers for the appealing thumpers.
Over a decade later, the 2005 YZ250 is still virtually the same bike that is produced in 2016. A few small things have changed, but the chassis, engine and suspension components have remained the same, and we aren’t complaining. To this day we still adore the YZ250. It may not be the ultimate race bike that it once was, but it is a bike that was ahead of its time. It has good handling, great suspension and an easy to ride fun engine. It wasn’t until this year that a better 250 two-stroke was put into production, the 2016 KTM 250SX.
We can only hope that Yamaha will get back on the two-stroke band wagon like they once were. With two-strokes gaining popularity by the day, with an updated YZ250 it would give KTM a run for their money.