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Big 4-Stroke News From Yamaha in Vegas


2001 Yamaha YZ250F

Somehow passing as a member of the elite Temecula Motorsports crew, I entered the Yamaha off-road dealers’ show in Las Vegas this morning. As reported earlier by MD, the big news was the introduction of a new 250cc four-stroke — in both YZ and WR incarnation.

These 250cc bikes are new from the ground up. They share absolutely nothing with the larger, YZ/WR 426s (yes, the WR displaces 426cc this year — more below), except for brakes and suspension. These bikes are incredibly high-tech and light. Yamaha claims a dry weight of 215 pounds for the motocross version (expect 226 pounds wet, with an empty gas tank). This is lighter than most of the 250 two-stroke motocrossers currently available. Phenomenal!

Featuring titanium valves (like the updated 426s), the 250 motor is extremely small looking. Comments from someone on the floor who had tested the bike indicated it will stomp 125cc two-strokes (legal competition for this 250 under current AMA rules).

The WR version features a larger tank, lights, etc. — no electric start. The WR has a wide-ratio, five-speed transmission. The YZ has a close-ratio five-speed.

The WR400 becomes the WR426 next year — sharing the full-spec YZ426 motor, now featuring titanium valves. Sorry, no electric start. The 426s are otherwise largely unchanged, except for detail improvements. Enjoy these pictures of the new 250 four-strokes. More later about the show.

2001 Yamaha WR250F

2001 Yamaha YZ250F