Buying a used YZ250

As the title says I'm looking to buy a used YZ250. I'm thinking 2006 or newer but really don't have much knowledge about these bikes. This bike will be mostly for trails. I had a 1996 yz125 sometime around 2001 but I was really young. I want to get back to the manic mayhem that two strokes can be.

What should I look for in a used bike?

Any problem years?

Any weak spots on the bike in a particular year?

How many hours do they usually go between rebuilds?

What does a basic top end rebuild take and cost?

Anything else you can recommend?

Also this is my first post here so fyyff!! :)

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

Go for it!  Look for wear patterns.  the normal stuff.  Look for leaks.  Fork seals are a weak area, just the nature of the beast.  Plan to do a top end, just to be safe.  You have no idea what time that piston has on it.  Safe than sorry.  Look for slanted teeth on the gears.  OH, I have seen some of the aluminum frames have a neck break in the weld areas.  I have an 04,(steel frame) so it will flex with my big ol' but on it and not break like alum.

 

Feel for smooth operation of swing arm (up and down), see if forks cycle smooth.  One thing I used to do while it was running was feel the cases for vibration.  Used to tell me a little about bottom end.  See if the clutch cable is smooth and not nothchy.  should be 1-2 finger pull to disengage the clutch.

 

Most issues are with the motor.  Should have a lot of compression and start fairly quick cold.

 

go for it, ride hard, take aspirin and repeat as necessary

mrjata nailed it. Look the bike over with the attention of trying to find stripped bolts, standard fastners, etc. Check the air filter and it's cleanliness. I've never seen a used bike that didn't need new suspension bearings, so just assume you will have to do that, along with a new top-end, just to be safe. When you start the bike, try to concentrate on the engine vibration, to get a feel for if the crank is in decent shape or not. Check out the "weep" hole and make sure nothing is leaking out of the waterpump seals. Steel framed bikes might not be as pretty as the newer aluminum ones, but they are just as good, so don't pass up a good deal on one.

Compile a list of wear items such as sprockets, chain, slider, wheel bearings, linkage and swingarm bearing, etc. and their associated costs and factor them in you offer.  You may think that it's a decent price until you realize it needs a $1K in work to bring it up to par.  Be sure to take off the rear wheel and free the shock from the linkage so you can check out the condition of the swingarm.  If the seller is hesitant to let you go over the bike with a fine tooth comb they are likely hiding something and potentially trying to sell you their problems.

Awesome! Thanks guys.

How much to do a top end and how easy is it?

When did the frames switch from steel to aluminum?

Is there a weight distance?

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

Edited by alvincullumyork

2005 switched to the aluminum frame, which saved 4 pounds.  The 2005 bike was a total of 7.5 lbs lighter.  Do a search on the web for an article by Motocross Action magazine on the 2011 YZ250.  There's a good lay down of all the changes since 2005.

 

You need to learn to do the top end unless you like shelling out money, it's practically part of routine maintenance.  When buy a used bike, if the seller will let you take off the pipe you can have a look at the piston and get a general idea of it's condition, although I would not use this as a gauge to determine if it is truly servicable.  It may look fine, but have 60 hours on it!

I am planning on doing most of my own maintenance which is partly why I'm trying to get a two smoke. I've been told that doing a top end is pretty simple but to be complete honest I have no clue what it involves.

What parts get replaced? Where do you get the replacements?

Is there any machining involved?

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

Piston, rings, wrist pin and circlips.  A rebuild kit will have all of these things and can be gotten from your local shop, the TT Store, RMATV, and many other mail order/online retailer.  There are a number of threads in this forum that go through the rebuild preocess for the top end and there are numerous videos on Youtube as well.  There's no machingin involved unless you are modifying the head or having your cylinder replated (such as after getting nicked because you piston fell apart after you left it in for 100 hours, i.e. don't do this).

 

Grab a factory service manual for your year bike.  They are a wealth of valuable and accurate information.  Getting specs from posts in forums is convenient, but you should always verify!

Check out my 2013 250 for sale in the classifieds. It is woods ready with only 20hrs!

Check out my 2013 250 for sale in the classifieds. It is woods ready with only 20hrs!

The soonest I'll have money by is the end of this month and I'm looking for something in $2k price range. I doubt yours is that cheap. Thanks though.

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

The soonest I'll have money by is the end of this month and I'm looking for something in $2k price range. I doubt yours is that cheap. Thanks though.

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

 

 

There's always a very good chance that a $2k bike will cost you another $1k or more to get it back in shape.

There's always a very good chance that a $2k bike will cost you another $1k or more to get it back in shape.

I'd get to know the bike pretty well...

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

Well played Alvin...

Rather than me go into details of how to do a top end, search youtube, tons on there.  I think Rocky mountian ATV has some.  Not that hard, take your time.  GET THE SERVICE MANUAL!  Oh, did I say get the service manual?  Everything is in there in detail.  Specs and how-to  Ebay for cheap.  Only takes a couple of hours if you take your time and get everything "perdy".  

 

One thing I do is to polish the power valve and head.  Carbon doesn't stick to slick very well at all.  Just go slow and keep everything clean!  You can do it.

 

As for saving a few lbs?  I have ideas on that.  If you are worried about a lb or 2 here and there, maybe the skills need some honing.  Less weight doesn't win races, the right hand and a big pair does.  That is the reason I usually wrench on them more than riding.  At my age (50), there is a lot more gravity than there used to be.

 

Have fun, take your time, do your homework.  I got a yz250 fresh and very clean, needing rubber for $1500.  the seller let me do a leak down and compression check too and had all the tickets.  

 

I think 04 was the last year for steel frames.  Someone else chime in here if I am wrong.

At my age (50), there is a lot more gravity than there used to be.

Gravity is strong here in NY also.

 

And yes, the 2004 was the last steel frame.

Get the manual. Check.

Not really worried about weight. I'm coming from a XR650L!

How are hours measured on these bikes? Is there an hour meter or is it a seat of your pants deal?

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

Small electronic meter hooks up to you coil and keeps count of how long impulses are being sent to the plug (or from the stator).  Everyone sells them in one form or the other.

 

Are you in Georgia the state (as in U.S.) or Georgia the country?  I thought everyone who ever owned a dirt bike knew what an hour meter was.

Small electronic meter hooks up to you coil and keeps count of how long impulses are being sent to the plug (or from the stator). Everyone sells them in one form or the other.

Are you in Georgia the state (as in U.S.) or Georgia the country? I thought everyone who ever owned a dirt bike knew what an hour meter was.

So they come from the factory with an hour meter? I know what they are. I have just never seen one on a dirt bike. I've always had four strokes with odometers except a brief and torrid love affair with a yz125 that I was way to young for.

I'm south of Atlanta.

I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it a little gas.

No, they don't come stock.  $30-40 will get you one from the TT Store or your local shop.

 

https://www.thumpertalk.com/shop/Hardline-Hour-Meter-with-Log-Book-HR-8063-2-p4791582.html

 

You will have a hard time keeping track of your hours without one.  How many times will you start and stop (or stall) your bike while riding and keep a log?  I guess you could do it with a digital watch and use the stopwatch (if you remember).

 

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I got mine off ebay for about $15 and they have an active tach on them(not that I need one).  Different colors too.

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