Upgrade my 01 YZ250 or buy 06+

Ok, so I bought an 01 YZ250 as my first 2 stroke. I'm a Yamaha guy, but wasn't very familiar with the smokers. From everything I've seen it seems like 00-01 are the same bike, but anything newer has the different plastics, exhaust, and some others. I'm a big fan of being able to pull from other years because it makes it that much easier to find parts. I was looking for a sparky and everything I could find used was 02+.

So here is my question that I am looking for opinions on. I currently live in CA, so my bike is green sticker. But I will be moving to NV by the end of the year. So as a green sticker bike it should help the CA value some....some. But I am trying to decide do I start building my 01 how I want it. Or sell it when I move and pick up an 06+ YZ250 and start from there and build? Going with an 06+ am I really gaining anything major other than the suspension and a "newer" bike?

Also I am considering the idea of buying a left over bike new from a dealer. I've always bought my bikes with cash so I have been forced to buy older bikes. But the new job that is taking me to NV, should double my income. So I could potentially have the funds to buy a new bike with cash. Is it worth the extra money to buy a bike brand new and not have to deal with someone else's "mess"?

I know this is a very wide ranging question that will differ form person to person, but just looking for peoples insight and thoughts.

In terms of power and delivery there is no major "advantage" of the 06 or newer. My 99 YZ250 is still the favorite power mill of all my bikes, the 93 was my least favorite and my 09 a very 4 stroke feeling delivery in comparison to the aforementioned years. Some riders don't like the stiffer aluminum frames and actually go super fast on the steel framed YZ. I'm on the fence about that one.

Honestly I don't think I am a good enough rider to notice much difference in the frame. But who knows. I've only ridden steel framed yamies.

I just don't want to put money into my 01 and then wish I would have just got a newer bike. I want to add a fly wheel weight and some other things. But wondering if I should hold off and do it on a different bike.

99-12 effectively have the same motor. al vs steel chassis is a wash. 06+ susp is night and day better.

How much will a 06+ cost you vs what you can sell the 01 for? The last 2 sets of SSS forks I picked up were $150/each

I've also been on the fence about the same thing. I have an 00 that I mostly trail ride and race Hare Scrambles - pretty tight woods stuff.

I decided to build out my old bike a little more for the time being because I didn't see enough advantage in the newer bike other than being "newer". Seems there's been no big changes in power or geometry of the bike, Biggest real upgrade would be the SSS forks, but you can still get a lot out of the older stuff with a decent revalve. If you're going to be mostly riding dez, I would think you could dial the 01 pretty good for that.

At this point, I think I have the most well-sorted 13 year old bike out there! I'm basically buying time to see what I really want in a year or so - may be something like a Husky 310, who knows.

How much will a 06+ cost you vs what you can sell the 01 for? The last 2 sets of SSS forks I picked up were $150/each

Hard to say for sure. Here in CA my bike I could probably get right around $1500-1700ish. Maybe a little more.

Are the SSS forks a straight bolt in item? Was the rear suspension different or better on the 06+?

If you had the money, absolutely find a 2006+. I went from a 2004 yz125 to an 07 yz250. While the displacement is obviously higher, the suspension is AMAZING.

If you are attached to your bike, a suspension swap would be fine, but with a newer bike the potential for upgrades are way higher.

Hard to say for sure. Here in CA my bike I could probably get right around $1500-1700ish. Maybe a little more.

Are the SSS forks a straight bolt in item? Was the rear suspension different or better on the 06+?

they are bigger so youll need new clamps

Edited by gabe_k

I had a sweet 2000 yz250 with way to much $ in it, raced it for 2 or 3 years. Picked up an 07 last fall. Couldn't be happier. Suspension is obviously amazing and the seat is much flatter, which allows me to get up on the tank easier.

Edited by GMO397

My experience with YZ prices last year, just so you know what prices you might be seeing.

I was trying to get a dealer leftover 11 bike last summer paying cash, I called what seemed like every Yamaha dealer in CA and the best I could find was consistently ~$6500 OTD. There was one place in Temecula that was ~$5800 OTD, they sold it before I could buy it though. I ended up getting a used 11 at a dealer for ~$4500 OTD, I did 11 hrs of driving down to LA and back to get the bike. There was a place in Vegas that had slightly better prices but I didn't want to drive that far.

You'll probably get something like ~$1500 for your 01 in CA. I sold my 05 for $1950(and put that bike as close to stock when I sold it) to get the 11 and I'm 100% happy.

Hard to say for sure. Here in CA my bike I could probably get right around $1500-1700ish. Maybe a little more.

Are the SSS forks a straight bolt in item? Was the rear suspension different or better on the 06+?

You need new triple clamps. The shock went to a 18mm shaft and Ti spring in 06. Many think the 05 was the best shock, but all are close in performance.

My experience with YZ prices last year, just so you know what prices you might be seeing.

I was trying to get a dealer leftover 11 bike last summer paying cash, I called what seemed like every Yamaha dealer in CA and the best I could find was consistently ~$6500 OTD. There was one place in Temecula that was ~$5800 OTD, they sold it before I could buy it though. I ended up getting a used 11 at a dealer for ~$4500 OTD, I did 11 hrs of driving down to LA and back to get the bike. There was a place in Vegas that had slightly better prices but I didn't want to drive that far.

You'll probably get something like ~$1500 for your 01 in CA. I sold my 05 for $1950(and put that bike as close to stock when I sold it) to get the 11 and I'm 100% happy.

Good info! Thank you. I'll probably be looking to buy towards the end of next summer if I go new. And would be in Utah or S.E. Idaho area. But I sure prices would be pretty close. although they may drop more as people will stop buying bikes and start looking for sleds....Maybe keep my 01 and buy a sled....hmmmmm

The fuel tank sits lower on the "new" bikes..02 and newer. I like that feel better. Notice I did not say it is better. Forks? YES..the 06 and newer bikes have better forks. Better design and MUCH better set up. Personally, I'd keep an 01 and spend some money on suspension. Your older bike will always be a few lbs heavier (5-10lbs), but big deal. I keep the cheaper bike. The 01 might have even handled better thna the newer 06-13. I THINK it may have been Yamaha's best yz 250, but thats my opinion.

The fuel tank sits lower on the "new" bikes..02 and newer. I like that feel better. Notice I did not say it is better. Forks? YES..the 06 and newer bikes have better forks. Better design and MUCH better set up. Personally, I'd keep an 01 and spend some money on suspension. Your older bike will always be a few lbs heavier (5-10lbs), but big deal. I keep the cheaper bike. The 01 might have even handled better thna the newer 06-13. I THINK it may have been Yamaha's best yz 250, but thats my opinion.

I can stand to loose 20lbs of fat, so an extra bit on the bike is no biggie to me.

I guess I should also mention I am a trail rider mostly. Although I do enough putting around the track, but am by no means a track rider or good at it. I like to do it all, just go out have fun and explore!

I'm pretty much with Roland on this one (hey Roland, heh)

The first thing to ask is type of riding, but you just said mostly off road with a little track but not fast.

If you had said "fast track" I would have said an '06+ for the SSS, but for off road, imho, the older OC forks

can be made just as good.....the SSS advantage is mx jumps+whoops plush, but if you're less mx then they can all be trail plush.

I used Rick at TooTech, but all can do it, those forks are pretty much figured out. And for trails, I think the old forks revalved for you/riding type

are more plush than factory stock SSS forks simply due to the SSS mx emphasis. Also, imho, the Al frame transmits more vibs which you may notice for long trail rides.

So the only other question is tank-position feel and just the idea of a newer bike. Imho, fix up the '01, you know what you have and it will be sorted.

When you buy someone else's used bike, you're sort of starting over and at a higher starting cost.

Edited by carver

I'm pretty much with Roland on this one (hey Roland, heh)

The first thing to ask is type of riding, but you just said mostly off road with a little track but not fast.

If you had said "fast track" I would have said an '06+ for the SSS, but for off road, imho, the older OC forks

can be made just as good.....the SSS advantage is mx jumps+whoops plush, but if you're less mx then they can all be trail plush.

I used Rick at TooTech, but all can do it, those forks are pretty much figured out. And for trails, I think the old forks revalved for you/riding type

are more plush than factory stock SSS forks simply due to the SSS mx emphasis. Also, imho, the Al frame transmits more vibs which you may notice for long trail rides.

So the only other question is tank-position feel and just the idea of a newer bike. Imho, fix up the '01, you know what you have and it will be sorted.

When you buy someone else's used bike, you're sort of starting over and at a higher starting cost.

That is some VERY good input!! Thanks. I already have a IMS desert tank and would put one on an 06+. And from my understanding even on the 06 it would push the seat up, so that negates that part. Looks like its the 01 for the win. I got it for $1500 a couple monthes ago and have maybe $1800 into it now with registration and a sparky!

Imho, fix up the '01, you know what you have and it will be sorted.

When you buy someone else's used bike, you're sort of starting over and at a higher starting cost.

spot on.

The only time I would say sell would be if you fell into a 06+ for close to what you could get from your current bike.

My yz is a upgraded frankenbike. I have no desire to replace it with a newer yz with to get BNG.

Im a Northern California rider also and a D36 Senior racer. Im getting ready to pick up a used YZ250 and Ive gone round and round with these same questions. I can buy which ever year I choose and ive narrowed it down to either a 2002 or a 2004. Being that I live in California, the green sticker 2002 is probably the best choice, however the 2004 has larger/better forks and a slightly more rigid frame over the 2002.

Being that I ride 80% trail and 20% mx an aluminum frame is out. As a mountain biker since the late '80s, I truly feel the difference between alu and steel frames. Steel frames absorb more of the small bumps, roots, chatter than you think. So as an Off Road rider/racer, steel is the way to go for me.

If I were only riding MX then I would be all for an alu framed bike. On a MX track I feel there is an advantage to the stiffness of an alu frame over a steel frame.

I cant wait to get my YZ!

The biggest difference I noticed between my 01 and 06 framed bike is the tip in weight.

The 02 on frame is not much difference here than the 06, but the 01 frame rails are much higher and subsequently

carry the weight higher.

Therefore, on that basis, I would recommend the 06+ over the 01.

I found an 05 frame on ebay and made an offer of $350 plus shipping which was $50 less than he was asking. Swapped the stuff from my 01 that would fit. I had a set of plastic and tank from my 06 YZ125 which helped. The swingarm shaft on the 02 and up is larger so I had a set of sleeves machined for each side of the frame. Had to buy head stays, rear brake caliper, subframe, airbox, and some other small things. You have to take some metal off the steering stops if you use your 01 front and the CDI is larger and harder to mount. I mounted it where the 05 goes but didn't take off too much metal off the stops so it wouldn't get smashed. I have another fresh motor with new bushings that's getting the ESR 325 that'll go in soon. Just got a set of white restyle plastic off eBay and added some yellow stuff to match my 125 that has the complete yellow retro look. I had a new Ohlins shock that I used and my front has been revalved, but plan on getting a set of SSS in the future. On the first ride it did great till I smacked a tree plus I didn't get to mount my hand guards resulting in a very broken index finger. I also have an 04 CRF250 that I dropped an 01 YZ250 motor into that's pretty cool you can do a look to see some pictures.

Craigus

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