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What to look for in a '97-'98 YZ250

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First post!

 

Alright, I'm looking at a couple of local YZ250s and I want to know what I should look for. 

 

They both have extended tanks, but the 97 seems to be in better shape, including a recent rebuild. The guy just texted me that he's "pretty firm" on 1350 though (his ad says $1250? :rolleyes: and it's been for sale for 17 days...)

 

The 98 has obviously been ridden hard but according to the owner "runs great, no issues". It also has no title, just a bill of sale from the PO. Asking $1K...

 

What should I be looking for?

 

Thanks all! The 97 and 98, straight from CL...

 

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Ooh, there's also a '04 YZ125 asking $1700. Is that a fair price? How will the newer 125 compare against the old 250s?

 

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from the ad:

"rod and crank replaced, top end redone with a 56 mm bore (stock is 54mm), has a milled head, front and rear sprockets have two rides on them brand new vortex handlebars"

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250 will have a lot more power. The 97 looks to be a much better deal especially since the other has no title. Just look for small things like clean air filter, greased pivot points, chain and sprockets in good shape, revs out clean. Just things that show that it was taken care of.

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250 will have a lot more power. The 97 looks to be a much better deal especially since the other has no title. Just look for small things like clean air filter, greased pivot points, chain and sprockets in good shape, revs out clean. Just things that show that it was taken care of.

I hear the YZ's transmissions can be soft, does that seem true?

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I've heard of 3rd gear problems. Just ride it and go through all the gears. If it shifts smooth and every gear engages you should be fine.

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Pictures only tell part of the story. Pick whichever one you like better and go check it out. Bring you own bike stand, crate, so that you can put the bike in the air.

Walk around the bike and take note of imperfections. Throw the bike on the stand. Wiggle the wheels side to side, if there is play bearings are gone. Next squeeze all of the spokes while you rotate the wheel. Take note of any blown out, loose or missing spokes. Take note of the rims are cracked, etc. Check fork seals and shock shaft for leaks. Check brake pads. Check slop in the rear wheel, should be minimal. Check the pipe for dents. Check clutch lever, should be nice and smooth. Check throttle for proper operation, check brake levers for proper resistance. If everything checks out (safe to ride), ask for a test ride. Feel kicker for proper compression. Should crank in a few kicks, if it takes numerous kicks and very little resistance than the top end is needed at minimum. Let the bike warm up and take it for a spin. Click through all of the gears at very low rpm and focus on the transmission and how it feels whole shifting to each gear. Bike should be fully warmed up by this point, do a 2nd gear pull to see how the engine runs. Should pull strong all the way through the RPM's. Bring the bike back and negotiate the price using the potential problems that you noted in your head from earlier.

At that price range, I wouldn't buy anything that needed a wheel set or top end,transmission work. You will be forced to invest more than what the bike is worth (poor ROI).

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Hey all! I actually bought an '01 (lots of changes I know) And am loving it, now just need to modify it some for trail work.

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Hey all! I actually bought an '01 (lots of changes I know) And am loving it, now just need to modify it some for trail work.

Nice thing about the 01, the engines haven't really changed since 99. Lots of parts can swap over.

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Hey all! I actually bought an '01 (lots of changes I know) And am loving it, now just need to modify it some for trail work.

 

Excellent choice!

Consider adding the intake spacer from the newer YZs (2002 & up);

 

1 - PLATE, REED VALVE part # 5NX-13624-00-00

 

5 - BOLT part # 91317-06025-00 (6x25mm)

 

The spacer makes the powerband a little less Moto, and a little more Woods by softening the hit a pinch and adding a bit more to the bottom. A fast, easy, and noticable mod.

 

Have fun!

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