1981 Yamaha XT250 --looking into as first bike for short woman rider

I need to know what kind of maintenance I'd be getting myself into. I have an absolute respect for the classics--especially cafe racer bikes. I'm 21, but not down for any kind of "crotch-rocket". I am going to take my time to find a beautiful classic, but again I need to know what I would be looking at as far as repair costs and regular maintenance. Please help! I am drooling over this '81.  :goofy:

Throw an oil change at it now and then and give it a smile when riding it ;-)

Requires only basic maintenance as it's a simple engine compared to today's motocross bikes (those are the ones everybody says are maintenance-intensive), and it doesn't make a lot of power for it's size so it is under-stressed and can go lots of miles between overhauls.


Change the engine oil at reasonable intervals.

Service the air filter at least once a month (more often if you ride off-road).


As far as the engine goes, those two are the main ones.


If you get the bike (or any bike), buy the factory service manual.

Edited by YZEtc

Thanks so much!! Sounds like it's the bike for me.. I love going off the beaten path a bit too. I've ridden a few dirt bikes--so sounds like a good fit. Thanks for the reply. Good info

Don't forget to keep track of valve clearance. Enjoy your bike.

Nice bike, I had one when new. Had lots of fun on it.

When going to look at it for buying, check out the swingarm pivots for sign of grease. If it has a bunch of grease all around there it means someone actually lubed them. If it is nice and clean, beware, could need new bearings/bushings. Otherwise as said change oil frequent , clean air filter, maybe give it a hug once in a while, and it should be a good runner. The old classics are the best, that why I have 6, most are the big brother of the XT250.

Edited by jjktmrider

This is my 'custom' '84 XT 250


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