If you fancy a new motocross bike, you could do what everyone else does and buy a four-stroke. Or you could keep it old school and buy yourself a shiny new two-stroke model instead. Because the notion that manufacturers aren’t developing their two-stroke models any more is a myth. Some of them are; and Yamaha certainly is. The all-new YZ125 is exactly that; ‘all-new’. For 2022, it gets a completely redesigned, higher performance engine, an upgraded chassis and slimmer, more aggressive bodywork.
The engine is the most powerful motocross engine ever to be slotted into a YZ125. It makes significantly more power from the mid-range and up, thanks to a new piston, cylinder and cylinder head. You’ve got a longer conrod and a heavier crank, a new carb’ with a V-Force reed block, a new intake system and exhaust. Oh, and there’s a new clutch and gearbox too. So when someone tells you two-strokes are old-hat, and that there is no thought or development gone into their production… they’re talking out of their derriere.
And of course that’s not all. You get better brakes, new suspension settings, a new frame and sportier ergonomics. Yamaha seem to think it would be the perfect bike to go motocross racing on if you’re a teenager, but I think it’d be pretty good whatever age you are.
Because let’s be fair, unless you’ve got very generous parents, the £6,749 price tag (or £6,949 if you want the Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Edition – same spec but racing graphics) is going to be fairly exclusive for most teenagers.
For a little bit more money – £7,549 – you could have a YZ250, the YZ125’s big brother. If you think you can handle it. The YZ250 is also new, sort of. The 250cc two-stroke engine is the same as it’s been for a few years, but it does come with better brakes, new suspension settings and a few ergo’ changes. But make no mistake, the YZ250 will still be a weapon of a bike. Still more than capable of separating the men from the boys.
If the sound of two-strokes and the smell of burning oil isn’t your thing, you could always buy an ‘F’. The YZ250F and the YZ450F (four-strokes) are £7,899 and £8,199 respectively. But I think I’m going to join the back of the two-stroke queue, thanks.