Everyone who owns a dirt bike wants to know how fast it goes – including you (and me). In this article, we’ll look at the YZ85 top speed.
Whether you’re a young racer wondering how fast the YZ85 is that your parents bought you, or if you are the parent who is purchasing this bike for your kid and you’re wondering what the top speed of YZ85 is, we will be covering that here in this article.
YZ85 Top Speed
Yamaha, known today for its motorcycles and musical instruments, released its first dirt bike in the mid-1950s.
It hasn’t always been this way, but today, many people are starting to think of Yamaha as having the fastest machines. At least in the motocross racing world and with Yamaha’s big bikes, like the YZ250F and YZ450F.
Naturally, this interest and popularity spread down to Yamaha’s smaller bikes, like the YZ85, and even the TTR 110.
What does this mean for the YZ85 top speed?
The YZ85 top speed is about 60-65 mph.
Why did I pick these two machines to compare the YZ85 to?
First, the YZ125 is a natural progression for kids moving from a YZ85 to a big bike. There are superminis in between, which a lot of kids do ride, but a YZ125 is the next step in moving up on bikes. It’s a very common “first big bike” for many kids.
For the CRF150R, I chose this one to compare it to because it’s a similar race machine, but as a 4-stroke (and a Honda, of course). Depending on which series you race, if you race at all, you may see the CRF150R racing against the YZ85 in some classes (against superminis in some series as well).
There are several things that greatly impact the YZ85 top speed. Let’s take a look.
What changes the top speed of YZ85?
It’s in our nature as dirt bike riders to want to know how fast our bikes can go. Really, all motorheads want to know the top speed of their cars, trucks, snowmobiles, or other machines. Even boats.
However, it can be tough at times to calculate the true top speed of a dirt bike because there are quite a few different variances that affect it.
Engine Work and Aftermarket Parts
This might be obvious to some, but engine work and aftermarket parts are going to impact the YZ85 top speed. Arguably, most of anything.
If your YZ85 has engine work (especially a big bore kit) and a pipe, that’s not really comparable to the top speed of a stock YZ85.
The top speed of YZ85 that hasn’t had any work done to it will be significantly lower than the top speed of YZ85 that has undergone mods.
The more work you do to the bike, the greater the difference in speeds will be.
There are other factors at play here too – such as gearing, riding conditions, and more.
The second most important factor in determining the YZ85 top speed is its gearing. Gearing refers to the size (and ratio) of the front and rear sprockets.
For reference, the stock gearing for this bike is a 14-tooth front sprocket and a 47-tooth rear sprocket (depending on the year of your bike).
Riders normally pick different gearing depending on the situation they’re riding. If the rider is racing supercross (which most YZ85 riders won’t be doing, but for illustrative purposes…), they would typically want more acceleration (referred to as more bottom end). To achieve this, they’d use either a smaller front sprocket or a larger rear one. This is known as having a low gear ratio.
If the rider is racing motocross, which is very commonly the case with a YZ85, they may want more top speed (known as top end). To do this, the rider would use a larger front sprocket or a smaller rear sprocket; in other words, they would be changing to a higher gear ratio.
Riding in the woods can require an entirely different gearing combination than that of supercross or motocross.
This might not sound like much to some people, but it has a large impact on the top speed of YZ85 (or any dirt bike, for that matter). Depending on the gear changes made, it can increase or decrease the YZ85 top speed by more than 5-10 mph.
A YZ85 with a 6-tooth front sprocket will have a different top speed than one with the stock 14-tooth front sprocket (I made the difference wide to make a point — no one is running a 6-tooth front sprocket on their YZ85….).
Additionally, a change to the front sprocket has a great effect on the YZ85 top speed and bottom end than changing the rear sprocket. Going up or down one tooth on the front sprocket is not equal to one tooth on the rear sprocket.
Rather, changing the front sprocket by one tooth is equivalent to 3-4 teeth in the rear.
The top speed of YZ85 is going to be slower if the rider weighs more because it takes more work from the bike, while the bike and engine maintain the same ability/capacity. The heavier the rider, generally the lower the YZ85 top speed is going to be.
In addition, an experienced rider can make the YZ85 go faster than a beginner who is just learning. A rider who knows how to quickly and smoothly shift gears can hit a higher top speed than someone who is just learning how to use a clutch.
Consider Haiden Deegan in his 85 days versus a kid who got his first dirt bike as a YZ85 for Christmas. Big difference.
The YZ85 top speed can also be impacted by riding conditions, including both location and surface.
For example, a dirt bike’s power output is generally higher closer to sea level than at high altitudes. So if you’re planning to ride your YZ85 in the mountains, it will likely have a lower top speed than if you were riding at sea level.
Or, even if you’re not in the mountains necessarily, but you’re just riding in Colorado, you’re much higher above sea level than the coasts of the US. That will cause your YZ85 top speed to be lower.
Smaller-size bikes (bikes with small cc engines) are more impacted by elevation changes than larger bikes, too. For example, the top speed of YZ85 is more impacted by elevation than a CRF450 top speed.
Are you riding in the woods, on a motocross track, or on a paved road? If it’s in the woods, your top speed might be limited. If you’re racing motocross, you can only go so fast while remaining safe and within bounds (and, sometimes slow is fast).
Apart from the elevation and location, another factor that affects the YZ85 top speed is the surface on which it is being ridden. The top speed of YZ85 ridden on flat pavement will be different than if it were driven on a tight, sandy motocross course; even the type of tires can make a difference.
A Few More Factors of the YZ85 Top Speed
Your YZ85 top speed can also be impacted by a few more things, including the condition of your bike, the weather, and how you’re recording the data.
A bike that is regularly maintained will run faster and more efficiently than one that isn’t. For example, a YZ85 that has had consistent maintenance done to it will be able to reach a higher top speed than one not taken care of properly.
The weather and temperature can both affect your YZ85 top speed. If it rains, the pavement will be wet and your top speed will probably be lower than normal. Similarly, if it’s an abnormally cold or hot day, that could impact how well the bike is running, which could then lower the top speed.
If you want to get an accurate reading of the top speed of YZ85, use an onboard GPS device rather than relying on someone pointing a speed gauge at you as you zoom past. This doesn’t mean the bike will actually go any faster or slower, it just changes what you end up seeing on paper.
Waving the White Flag on the Top Speed of YZ85
As we pass by the white flag of this article and enter into the last lap, we want to summarize what we’ve covered so far.
Ultimately, most people want to know their bike’s rough top speed. Yes, mods and other items impact a YZ85 top speed potential, but at the end of the day, people just want to have an idea of how fast their bike is.
With that in mind, a YZ85 top speed is approximately 60-65 mph.
Frequently Asked Questions About the YZ85 Top Speed
Yes, the YZ85 is powerful, but it’s all relative and depends on who you ask. If you ask an adult who has been riding a 450, then a YZ85 is not powerful. If you ask a kid whose first bike is a YZ85, then it’s likely going to be really powerful.
A YZ85 is a 2-stroke, not a 4 stroke. Yamaha bikes typically have a letter after the numbers to indicate the 4 stroke bikes, such as an F.
Yes, a YZ85 does have a clutch.
A YZ85 has a 6-speed manual transmission, meaning it has 6 gears.
In most cases, the best ages for a YZ85 are 10 to 13.
Yes, Yamaha is still making the YZ85.
It has now been 48 years since the very first Yamaha YZ80 came off of the production line in Japan. In 2002, it was upgraded to a YZ85 model.
A 2022 YZ85 uses a 6-speed manual transmission, meaning it has 6 gears.