Yamaha rounds out its 2018 motocross lineup with new model for the little ones
Start ‘em young. Whether you’re a motorcycle or a tobacco company, it’s not a bad business strategy and Yamaha has just doubled on in this area with the release of its newest kid-friendly MXer; the 2018 YZ65. bLU cRU’s newest pint-sized two-stroke machine has reportedly been newly designed from the ground up, boasting a brand new engine, suspension, frame, and bodywork, all offering —in the words of Yamaha’s press release: “The very latest technology and performance features designed to make enthusiasts the best riders possible, win races, and help riders become one with their machine.”
Starting at the heart of the new YZ65 we have a brand new liquid-cooled, 64.8cc, two-stroke single that sports reed-valve induction, a six-speed close-ratio transmission, digital CDI, an efficient and compact radiator, and many other features found on Yamaha’s larger YZ125 and 250 MXers. The all-new steel semi-double-cradle frame is another highlight on the small-wheeled dirt-goer, complete with a removable aluminum square-section tubing sub-frame. The new small-displacement scoot also offers adjustable ergonomics allowing the aluminum taper handlebar clamp to be setup in one of four positions, as well as adjustable foot-pegs, and clutch and brakes levers.
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Married to the chassis are new adjustable (rebound and compression damping) suspenders consisting of an inverted 36mm KYB coil spring fork up front (with 8.5-inches of travel) and a new link-less mono-shock design in back (with 10.6-inches of travel) paired with YZ125-style chain adjusters. The brakes on the little YZ are both hydraulic disc units, 198mm fore and 190mm aft.
“With the addition of this exciting new youth motocross bike, aspiring young riders who are beginning to experience the thrill of competition can do so as members of the bLU cRU,” said Yamaha Motorcycle Product Line Manager, Derek Brooks. “This all-new bike builds on Yamaha’s renowned history of performance and durability, which translates into great value for parents and endless moto fun for their kids.”
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It’s clear that Yamaha’s aim here was to deliver a kid-sized MXer that lives up to the YZ name, offering many of the same advancements in technology born out of Yamaha's decades of racing and real-world experience. The YZ65 even boasts remarkably similar styling and bodywork to its larger siblings, down to the signature blue Excel rims found on the 134 lbs (wet weight) Yamaha.
It appears the 2018 YZ65 will only be offered in Team Yamaha Blue, though obviously aftermarket graphics kits exist. The new model is set to hit dealership floors starting in April 2018, making it eligible for this year’s Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Motocross National Championship. The all new YZ65 carries an MSRP of $4,599. To learn more about the model, see additional photos, or see a 360-degree view, you can check out the YZ65 on Yamaha’s website.
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Photos: Yamaha Motor Corp.