YZ250 vs YZ250F: Which Dirt Bike Is Best For You & Why

The YZ250 vs YZ250F rivalry has been around since 2001, but how do you know which one is best for you?

In this article I’ll cover the basics, as well as practical differences between this motocross bikes to help you make the best decision possible. 

What’s the difference between a YZ250 and YZ250F?

The YZ250 is a 2 stroke dirt bike and the YZ250F is a 4 stroke dirt bike. Both Yamaha 250’s are motocross bikes, but they’re quite different in how they ride because of the engine and chassis differences. 

2010 Yamaha YZ250F motocross bike
Yamaha YZ250F 4-Stroke

Weight

2 stroke bikes used to be so much lighter because of less moving parts, but 4 stroke technology has improved so much that they’re not much heavier today. 

However, the YZ250F will still feel slightly heavier while riding it because of the extra moving engine mass and being more top-heavy. 

Horsepower

Again, a 250cc 2 stroke used to be way faster than a 250cc 4 stroke. Today, the YZ250 still has more peak horsepower, but the new YZ250F has considerably more torque below the curve, giving it a broader powerband. 

So what does this mean? The YZ250F is easier to ride faster for longer because the power is smoother and more predictable. Plus, it doesn’t have as much vibration that busses your hands like the YZ250 does. 

What does the F stand for?

The “F” in YZZ250F simply stands for “Four Stroke” engine.

2 stroke vs 4 stroke

Which is better: 2 or 4 stroke? It’s the age old question, and it will probably never go away. Each type of engine has its own advantages.

The 2 stroke is lighter, simpler, easy to rebuild, and makes a little more power for the same displacement.

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The 4 stroke makes better torque, broader power, and is surprisingly tunable with EFI on most newer bikes.

These are just generalities, as each dirt bike has its own characteristics, so let’s get into more about the YZ250 vs YZ250F.

Is a YZ250 2 stroke hard to ride?

It depends on what you’re used to riding. A YZ250 2 stroke is hard to ride if you’re a beginner rider. 

Compared to a 125cc trail bike, such as the TTR125, a YZ250 is a huge step up. 

Why choose a YZ250?

The Yamaha YZ250 is a big bore race bike, but it’s surprisingly versatile. Many people mod them for enduro riding because it has decent bottom end power and suspension that’s tunable. 

2006 yamaha yz250 motocross bike
Yamaha YZ250 2-Stroke

With that said, I’ll give you a practical list for why or why not the YZ250 2 stroke is a good dirt bike for you. 

You should get a YZ250 if you:

  • Want a fast 2 stroke mx bike
  • Like a 2 stroke powerband
  • Want a relatively lightweight and versatile bike
  • Prefer the simplicity of a carbureted 2 stroke
  • Enjoy mixing gas and smelling premix
  • Want a bike with plenty of parts and mods available
  • Want a kick-start for reliability

You should NOT get a YZ250 if you:

  • Want a dirt bike that’s easy to ride
  • Ride tight single track trails
  • Don’t like mixing gas
  • Prefer the latest in technology
  • Don’t want to kick-start the engine

Is a YZ250F a good beginner bike?

The YZ250F is more beginner-friendly than the YZ250, but I believe you should find a better suited bike if you’re new to dirt biking. The YZ250F not only has a lot of power, but the suspension is stiff and the seat height is tall. 

YZ250F Athena Big Bore Kit 290cc
My buddy riding an older ’05 YZ250F

All of these things just make it harder to ride because you’re worried about staying in control rather than working on your riding technique. For a list of best beginner bikes click here. 

Why choose a YZ250F?

So, if you’re not looking for your first dirt bike, why should you get a YZ250F 4 stroke over the YZ250 2 stroke?

Here’s some reasons:

You should get a YZ250F if you:

  • Want an mx bike that’s easier to ride
  • Don’t want to mix gas
  • Want fuel injection (2014+)
  • Like the latest technology
  • Want electric start

You should NOT get a YZ250F if you:

  • Are looking for your first dirt bike
  • Want a simple, low maintenance dirt bike
  • Only ride single track trails
  • Need a short bike for your short legs

Which faster: YZ250 vs YZ250F?

For most riders, it’s easier to be faster on the YZ250F because of the broad torque. However, if you know how to keep the RPM in the meat of the powerband and have the stamina, the YZ250 may be faster.

Best 2 stroke dirt bike

Not sure the YZ250 is the right bike for you after reading this article? It’s my goal to help you make the best decision possible, especially for a big decision such as buying a dirt bike. 

That’s why I made an article on the best 2 stroke dirt bikes, whether you’re a beginner or expert. Click here to learn more. 

Best 4 stroke dirt bike

Maybe you want a 4 stroke but the YZ250F doesn’t quite fit your needs. That’s okay, I also have an article that covers the best 4 stroke dirt bikes available. Click here to learn about them.

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Kelley Fager

I help newer riders learn to safely ride with confidence by teaching basic techniques in a way that's easy to understand. Learn To Ride With Control Here

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