[Features]

2022 YAMAHA MX MODELS: REVEALED

6 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Yamaha Motor Australia

For more than 20 years – in fact, ever since Yamaha’s revolutionary YZ400F first arrived in 1998 and changed the course of dirt bike history – Yamaha’s new-model information about its motocross bikes has focused almost entirely on its high-revving, high-tech, high-performance four-strokes. Admittedly, there’s been a few standout Yami two-stroke models released in that time, but that was kind of 15 years ago now, and upgrade info about the YZ250F and/or YZ450F has otherwise headlined the Japanese brand’s annual marketing material.

Well, not for 2022. While Yamaha’s 2022 four-stroke MX models claim handling gains via reducing unsprung weight (lighter drivetrain assemblies, lighter rear wheels and sprocket, plus an all-new three-cross-spoke pattern) and revised suspension settings, these two machines remain otherwise unchanged. The 2022 YZ125 two-stroke, on the other, hand is a completely new machine. How “completely new”? Very! Here’s a snapshot:

  • New engine (with all-new cylinder, cylinder head, intake tract, piston, piston pin, conrod, crankcase, expansion chamber, muffler and high-precision Hitachi Astemo Keihin PKW38S carb);
  • New bodywork (new flatter seat, narrower fuel tank, slimmer radiator shrouds, and more integrated/seamless plastic panels);
  • New brakes (a redesigned 270mm front brake disc with 30% more pad contact area, a move from 245 to 240mm rear disc for more feel and less unsprung weight);
  • New suspension settings; and
  • New styling.

According to Yamaha, the 2022 YZ125 is “an important evolution in Yamaha’s two-stroke lineage” and “marks the first full model change for the revered Junior race model in more than 15 years, and positions it back at the top of the 125cc two-stroke class by offering a blend of race-winning performance and real-world usability”.

And that last bit about “real-world usability” is interesting because Yamaha is very intentionally making the point that its engineers “have put considerable thought into developing a motorcycle that would be both dominant on the racetrack and user-friendly for developing riders looking to bridge the gap between recreational riding and competitive motocross”.

The 2022 YZ250 is also the beneficiary of the new 125’s sweeping mods to seat and bodywork, brakes, suspension settings and graphics. Meantime, the 2022 YZ85 and YZ85LW (Large Wheel) get revisions to frame, subframe and swingarm, new rear brake, new seat and bodywork, new handlebar, and inlet tract updates for improved bottom-end power. The 2022 YZ65 remains unchanged from its predecessor except for updated Team Yamaha Blue embedded graphics.

2022 YZ/YZ-F RANGE – UPGRADES AT A GLANCE 

  • All-new YZ125 with new engine, suspension, brakes, ergos and styling.
  • New YZ85/LW featuring new inlet, ergos, subframe, swingarm and styling.
  • New YZ250 with revised ergos, intake, carb, brakes and styling.
  • New Monster Energy Yamaha Racing YZ125 and YZ250 editions.
  • YZ250F and YZ450F get lightened rear wheel and drivetrain for improved handling.

Stayed tuned next week, when we’ll bring you a more detailed insight into the specific upgrades that appear on Yamaha’s 2022 MX models – both two- and four-stroke.

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of the pricing for Yamaha’s 2022 MX models and when they’re expected to arrive in Aussie dealers…

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