2013 Yamaha YZ250F & YZ450F
Minor changes heading into next year
2013 Yamaha Blues
Photos provided by Yamaha Motor Corp
We hate to do a play on words with regard to the headline, yet it is what it is. Yamaha has unleashed or, should we say, re-tagged the 2013 YZ lineup with a very short list of changes, none of which are performance or handling driven. Rumors swirled at the water cooler that they were going to make a few changes to the 450 with a possible repositioned engine and some minor revisions, but in the end Yamaha has once again held true to their guns with minor changes heading into 2013. There has been talk for the past few years about a new fuel-injection engine or at least fuel injection intended for the 250F, but it has yet to come to fruition.
Despite the negative and the simple fact the competition will be tossing some new gear into the market for 2013, there is nothing wrong with the YZ lineup as it sits. Both the YZ250F and YZ450F are sound machines and plenty capable of winning, even when James Stewart rode one. Just because a brand makes a bunch of changes does not always mean it’s better. There are some that still believe the 2008 CRF450R is a better bike than the 2009-2012 model. It will be interesting to see if releasing the 2013 lineup, which is very similar to the 2011 lineup, will affect how many new Yamahas will be at the track. Developing a new machine often takes up to five years, which means that right when the process would have put pen to paper for ideas, the economy took a huge hit and motorcycle sales and profits were jumbled into the mix quite heavily. This means Yamaha could be sitting on new technology and aims to maximize sales with existing tooling and parts and then possibly strike when the iron is slightly hotter 12 months from now. Or motocross technology has pretty much peaked and there is no need to change what are already two solid machines—for now?
Until then we have a new color scheme and a white rear fender, Yamaha-branded handlebar, and black fork guards on the white units. Still good bikes but the other guys have some new stuff for 2013. Some have all-new chassis, some all-new air fork, some new engines or upgrades. We know how the YZ four bangers stacked up against the 2012 lineup, now we have to see how these bikes will fare against some of the new talent in both the 250 and 450 classes. Who knows, maybe Yamaha will toss us for a loop and release a new YZ250 two stroke . . . one would only hope.
2013 YZ250 Specs
2013 YZ450F Specs
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