1989 Yamaha YZ 250
Yamaha continued making improvements to the YZ 250.
Power: The '89 YZ engine produced rather mellow low-end power. The engine power capacity advanced smoothly into a powerful mid-range! The bike could wind out into the upper RPM's with some power to spare.
Suspension: Yamaha replaced the cartridge forks with upside down forks that offered very good action on all terrain, except when riding slowly over small bumps. The rear suspension did not receive much design change. The rear suspension performance was not that different than the '88 model. It was good, and that was as "good" as it got. The YZ suspension could be adjusted to suit most riders and terrain competently.
Handling: The '89 YZ 250 could be dialed in to handle a shade better than the '88 model. Its turning abilities were, again, very good, but not in the same league as the Honda CR 250. The YZ retained its marvelous high speed stability too!
Reliability: The YZ was a reliable bike that held together well.
Odds & Ends: Yamaha tried improving the shifting, and the effort resulted in a marginal improvement. The '89 YZ's make good trail/play machines. They can be still be raced on an amatuer level.
Other notable design updates: