Yamaha Motor Australia (YMA) has added an all-new model to their competition motocross range, with the ‘YZ65’ reaching local dealerships in June. The YZ65 arrives as the new entry-level model in Yamaha’s MX lineup. Before the YZ65, there was something of a gap in the brand’s off-road range: the PW50 has been the traditional kids’ starter bike, but the smallest MX model after that is the YZ85 (see separate News item for more on the new MY19 YZ85). The YZ65, which is designed to suit riders aged seven to twelve, aims to make that step from first-timer to future champion a little easier.
Launch events around the country this past June saw more than 200 kids try out the new mini-motocrosser, with YMA even conducting a ‘YZ65 Cup’ at the Raymond Terrace round of the Pirelli MX Nationals this past 14-15 July. “It’s great that we finally get the YZ65 in our hands and it’s a huge addition to the YZ line up,” said Yamaha Junior Race Team boss Scott Bishop.
“Feedback from everyone who test rode the bike was glowing and the national demo day saw heaps of young riders get to experience this exciting racer.”
As Yamaha’s smallest dedicated motocross model, the YZ65 sits under the YZ85 and YZ85LW, allowing budding motocrossers to build their skills and confidence on a machine with true YZ DNA before they step up to a bigger model.
A 64.8cc two-stroke single-cylinder engine is at the heart of the YZ65, with the liquid-cooled single featuring a case-reed vale intake and YPVS – the Yamaha Power Valve System - from the larger YZ125 and YZ250 two-strokes.
While tuned for performance with lots of torque, the (Keihin) carb-fed powerplant is also said to be durable and reliable, making riding easier for youngsters.
A number of features aimed at reducing engine vibration, including a lightweight conrod and piston, have been applied, with a balancer in the YPVS also contributing on that front.
The 6-speed gearbox features close ratios that are designed to optimise power output, while clutch plate design and spring load is light, enabling easy clutch operation for young riders.
Familiar Frame The engine sits in a conventional steel cradle frame, similar to that employed on the YZ85, but takes everything Yamaha has learned on that model and scales it down to suit the smaller powerplant. The high-tensile tube steel frame connects to a lightweight, removable aluminium subframe and aluminium swingarm that claims to offer the right amount of flex for off-road conditions.
Being a true performance model, the YZ65’s suspension needed to be up to the job, so quality KYB 36mm forks feature at the front (the same size as the YZ85), with 215mm of travel, plus twelve levels of compression and ten levels of rebound damping adjustability.
At the rear, a new ‘monocross’ link-less single shock features 269mm of travel and offers ten-level compression and rebound damping adjustability. That’s down on the 275mm front and 282mm rear travel on offer with the current YZ85, but the YZ65 is a smaller package. Combined with the frame’s rigidity and overall balance, this suspension package is said to offer easy-to-manage handling
Bigs and Littles. . . and Brakes The YZ65 wheel combination consists of a 14-inch spoked rim up front and a 12-inch spoked rim at the rear. Maxxis tyres (60/100-14 front and 80/100-12 rear) are standard fitment.
Braking comprises a 198mm wave pattern disc with a twin-piston caliper on the front and 190mm disc with single-piston caliper on the rear.
Ergo and Style With growing riders in mind, the YZ65’s handlebar mounts are adjustable, offering four different positions for a spread of 27mm. Clutch and brake levers are adjustable, too.
Seat design is similar to the rest of the YZ range in being almost flush with the top of the tank, with a narrow cross section and grippy cover. The actual seat height may seem a little tall for juniors at 749mm, but it’s almost 100mm lower than the YZ85.
Other essential measures include a maximum 267mm ground clearance, 26.4-degree rake, 63.5mm trail, 1143mm wheelbase and LxWxH dimensions of 1613mm x 762mm x 1003mm. With the 3.4-litre fuel tank full and all fluids in, the YZ65 weighs 60.8kg; almost 10kg lighter than the YZ85.
With the YZ65 being a bona fide member of Yamaha’s motocross family, its styling reflects that of the championship-winning bigger bikes. A ‘Team Yamaha Blue & White’ colour scheme is standard, with white side plates and fork shrouds, blue anodised rims and graphics similar to the YZ450F/YZ250F.
Race Ready Now available from Yamaha dealers nationwide, the YZ65 is priced at $5,999 (incl. GST). See your Yamaha dealer for more information. For details on upcoming Yamaha bLU cRU activities, including future YZ65 demo days and YZ65 Cup competition events, go to: yamaha-motor.com.au/discover/news-and-events/