2021 was another successful year for the Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Supercross team. While Aaron Plessinger, Malcolm Stewart, and Dylan Ferrandis finished fifth, sixth, and seventh (respectively) in the AMA 450SX standings, Colt Nichols topped the 250SX East field and Justin Cooper won the 250SX West crown. On the heels of the Supercross season, Team Blue went back to work, revising its off-road range based on the data collected in 2021.
The YZ250F may have been the most successful Yamaha on the circuit, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for improvement. First up, the 2021 model earns a new rear wheel with a 2.15-inch-wide rear rim. Shod in 110-width Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires, the wider footprint delivers more grip and better bump absorption. The wheel’s new three-cross spoke pattern mitigates impacts too but also provides additional feel and response.
Additionally, Team Blue lightens the load with a lightweight rear sprocket and drive chain. Of course, with lower unsprung weight and wider wheels, the fully adjustable KYB suspension receives an update to balance the motocrosser’s stability and agility. Revised graphics round out the YZ250F's 2021 features. The standard version retails for $8,499 while the Yamaha Racing Edition carries an $8,699 price tag.
Similar to the YZ250F, Yamaha focused on reducing unsprung weight on the flagship YZ450F model. The lighter rear wheel hub, rear sprocket, and drive chain not only sheds precious grams but reduces driveline inertia in the process. Yamaha adapts the KYB suspenders to the new setup while maintaining the 450’s sharp handling and damping characteristics. The updates and new livery pump the YZ450F’s MSRP up to $9,599 and the Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Edition commands $9,799.
Gallery: 2022 Yamaha Four-Stroke Off-Road Lineup
On the enduro front, the YZ250FX earns several upgrades in 2021 as well. Based on the YZ250F motocross platform, the cross-country off-roader now boasts a lightweight braking system with a more rigid caliper featuring larger front pistons. Higher friction pad material and a redesigned 270 mm rotor increase pad contact area by 30-percent. While the rear disc shrinks from 245 mm to 240 mm, the 250FX doesn’t sacrifice braking power or feel.
Lastly, a high-capacity muffler improves high-rpm power delivery. Outfitted in a similar graphics kit, the YZF250FX retails for $8,799 and its unrevised cousin, the YZF450FX, runs for $9,899. Yamaha’s 2022 four-stroke, off-road range will be available in July, September, and October, 2021.