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Tested: 2018 Yamaha YZF250

While the YZF450 has got the all-new treatment, the baby YZF250 model hasn’t seen any major upgrades in 2018 other than blue rims and a new cosmetic look. This model has been improving quite a lot in previous years and it’s been a huge success, which is why it’s a bit disappointing it’s not had any upgrades that make any difference.

With its reverse-mounted engine, this latest breed of fuel-injected Yamahas really lifted the game in the 250 class and we even named the YZF250 as our class winner of the 250F class in recent years. And the development of the bike has a huge impact on race track success globally. So it’s a shame the bike hasn’t moved on this year.

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The 450 has had all the love in 2018 with the new chassis, but Yamaha says they didn’t feel the need to change the 250F as it has a different feel on track and the little engine doesn’t push on the front end like the 450. That was the major complaint around the bigger bike.

We believe them as the bike is awesome to ride, but we know we’ll see the a new frame in 2019 on this model and their story will change for sure!

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Putting that aside, the engine development on the 250F has been immense over the last couple of years and its still one of my favourite quarter-litre machines. The reason we like the bike so much is that it’s fast, reliable, and handles. And there is instant response.

The machine feels comfortable from the moment you sit on it. The motor pulls and never seems to struggle, pulling right through the rev range with a good over-rev to match the torque. The bike is well balanced and the spring suspension offers a plush feel as it never blows through the stroke.

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It’s a great bike that many riders love, especially as it’s weight is 100.6kg which puts it within a pound or so of the other Japanese bikes. And 4.1kg lighter than the Honda.

Let’s hope for 2019 Yamaha use the new 450-style frame, change the motor and add electric start and manage to keep the weight down. Then the Austrian bikes will have a serious fight on their hands.

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