Yamaha YZ250F Media Launch at Alabama’s Monster Mountain MX Park

Yamaha YZ250 Monster Mountain

By Scott Rousseau, Contributing Editor and DirtBikes.com Editor

About 10 years ago while discussing the abundance of new and revised models that were being pumped into what was then a vibrant and dynamic period for the motorcycle industry, former Sport Rider editor Nick Ienatsch said something that has always stuck with me, “Scott, right now is really a good time to be a motorcycle journalist.” It always has been, even through the critically lean times at the end of the last decade, and yet sometimes those of us in the motorcycling press are guilty of forgetting just how fortunate we are.

But then the occasional gig comes along that can snap even the most jaded journalists out of a funk. That was certainly the case when MO asked me to accept Yamaha’s invitation to sample its all-new reverse-incline-motored YZ250F at Monster Mountain MX Park outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Excitement and trepidation fought for the holeshot in my brain as I packed my riding gear. While I’ve ridden and raced just about every class of motorcycle imaginable during my career, my recent professional life had been spent mostly on streetbikes, and it had been years since I had ridden on any motocross track.

The day finally came when I was sampling Yamaha’s new quarter-liter marvel on the most perfectly groomed red clay racetrack I’ve ever seen. The place is a Valhalla for berm bashers, with perfect traction, fun elevation changes and plenty of jumps to challenge any rider. And when rain tried to spoil the second day of riding, we had a blast tearing up Monster Mountain’s sandy vintage track located adjacent to the main track. I realized what a great time I was having, and I found that I still have the desire to ride motocross (off-road racing and trail riding are already perennial faves).

Since then I have been hitting some of the local Southern California tracks at least once a week, and my confidence is already far greater than it was at the 250F intro. I plan to continue that trend in 2014, as I’m enjoying it way too much to stop. Now is a really good time to be a motorcycle journalist.