Ride Engineering 2014 YZ250F Linkage

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Tested: Ride Engineering 2014 YZ250F Linkage

Rating: Vital Review
Review and photos by Michael Lindsay and Andre Barbosa

Whenever an all new model hits the market, it usually gets the most attention when it comes to aftermarket support. This also includes our attention, as we want to address everything we possibly can with the bike. With the new YZ250F having an all-new chassis, we've spent quite a few hours this year seeing if it was possible to improve on the stock characteristics. After trying a few triple clamp options (which you can check out here), we decided to try out a shock linkage option from Ride Engineering.

Ride Eng. Linkage Features:

Review and photos by Michael Lindsay and Andre Barbosa

Whenever an all new model hits the market, it usually gets the most attention when it comes to aftermarket support. This also includes our attention, as we want to address everything we possibly can with the bike. With the new YZ250F having an all-new chassis, we've spent quite a few hours this year seeing if it was possible to improve on the stock characteristics. After trying a few triple clamp options (which you can check out here), we decided to try out a shock linkage option from Ride Engineering.

Ride Eng. Linkage Features:

  • 1.25mm longer than stock linkage (2014 YZ250F).
  • Comes complete with bearing and seals installed.
  • Recommended sag 102-105mm.
  • MSRP $224.95.

First Impressions:

The Ride Eng. link comes with pre-installed bearings and seals. This means you do have to re-use the sleeve and bearing caps from the stock linkage, but this only takes just a minute to swap once you've removed the stock linkage. This is also a great opportunity to thoroughly grease the bearings before installing the new linkage. From there, instillation is fairly straightforward, with no special needs or instructions.

On the Track:

The most immediate difference was with the stance of the bike, and as you'd expect, the longer link lowers the rear end. Although the Yamaha isn't the biggest culprit when it comes to stinkbug stance (high rear end), it was still a welcome change. Especially if you're not the tallest in stature, or just prefer a lower to the ground feel.

From a performance point of view, the biggest plus was the bike's attitude in ruts. Once you'd entered the rut, the bike settled in much more naturally and the rear end continued to track from mid-turn on more consistently. On flat corners however, it was a bit more inconsistent under heavy throttle, as the bike would squat and wallow a bit. A few adjustments of the high speed compression on the shock helped remedy this. The bike's balance under braking had changed a bit as well. Under lighter braking in slower sections, the bike felt more balanced and easy to control. But in higher speed sections under heavier braking, the rear would go from squatting to an unloaded feel too quickly and would sometimes upset the balance of the bike entering corners.

Long-Term Durability:

Any linkage takes abuse from rocks, or casing jumps, logs, etc. With the Ride Eng. version being anodized, you can expect some small rock nicks and other wear based on your riding conditions. Beyond that though, the bearing life has been superb with no notable issues.

The Last Word:

We spent some time testing this linkage with both stock and different offset triple clamps. When used with the stock clamps, it had notable improvements but also suffered from a few drawbacks. Our best combination was to use the linkage with a different offset triple clamp and some shock/fork adjustments. This brought improvements from each product, but allowed us to offset any negatives we found. Even though it's an easy to install product with some upsides, the downsides when not using it with our other changes made it not quite as desirable as a standalone part.

Vital MX Rating:

To find out more about Ride Engineering's linkages or their other products, check out Ride-Engineering.com.

About the Test Riders:

Michael Lindsay - is a born-and-raised moto freak and gearhead from the heart of motocross in Southern California. First swinging a leg over a bike at the age of five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. While swinging back and forth between moto and the off-road scene, giving him a wide range of experience on the bike. Of course, all of this led to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about them. When he’s not in the Vital MX forum or writing his latest product review, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, snapping some pictures, or drooling over the latest parts for his bike. With an outspoken personality, gearhead background, and as Vital MX’s guru for product, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion.

Andre Barbosa - is a part-time photographer / videographer, part-time film student, and full-time motocross enthusiast. He started as a mechanical engineer, because of his love for all things motorcycle related, but switched to the banking industry after getting his MBA. He currently lives in Irvine, and can be found riding the local SoCal tracks a couple of times a week. Although he regularly raced Districts 6 and 34 when he lived in NYC, currently his friends call him a professional practice rider.

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Specifications

Product Ride Engineering 2014 YZ250F Linkage
Type
Features With feedback and testing results derived from Star Racing Factory Yamaha, Ride Eng. came up with this link spec for 2009-14 YZFs. Our link improves handling mid-corner and balances out the bike. Less effort is required to initiate turn-in and it keeps the bike tracking straight in whoops allowing the rider to be more aggressive. It also keeps the back end planted in breaking bumps. This link lowers the back of the motorcycle 10mm (09-13) and 6mm (2014). It comes complete with bearings, seals & steel roller. Recommended sag with the Ride Eng. Link is 102-105mm.
Construction
Miscellaneous Application: 2009-2014 YZ450F/YZ250F
Price $224.95
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