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A Casual Rider review of the YZ250X

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I am going to attempt a review of my 250X.  Why a "Casual Rider" review? I just figured this would be for a regular rider like myself.  I don't race, never have, and maybe never will... (who knows what the future holds though). SO I am easily a caliber back in skills than the average rider on this thread.  I trail ride and I do like to go fast.  I love single track riding and have only been on an MX track a handful of times (not my Jam).  I can ride the gnarly all day long though.  I love it.  But with a demanding work schedule and 2 small kids, I have to really plan out time to ride.  

 

I have never owned a 2 stroke.  I grew up with small 4 strokes and then bikes like Suzuki DR's. Then mid 2000's I rode a WR250. I really loved that bike. After riding with my dad and he broke his leg really bad, We sold the bikes and I was off of them for a handful of years, until late 2012.  Enter my WR450.  This is the bike i have grown to love.  Fuel injected, fast as hell uncorked, tons of power to get me out of a bad spot, and a solid ride all around.  I never considered another bike.  Until this year when my dad picked up a KTM 500EXC.  Doing more reading and research, a KTM 300XCW or a YZ250FX seemed like bikes that would fit my riding style.  But I am a blue guy at the end of the day.  So when I saw the 250X come out, I ordered one figuring it would be more of a departure from the FX.  I had no idea what to expect.  But yamaha hasn't messed much up lately.  So I ordered it in June when it was announced.  A week and a half ago it arrived at my local dealer in La Crosse, WI.  

 

I did add some items to it when it came in.  A GYTR Fly Wheel Weight, GYTR Handguards, A FMF/GYTR TurbineCore 2 silencer (so it would have a spark arrestor).  I also have an FMF/GYTR Gnarly pipe.  This is NOT installed right now.  I may have the suspension gone through (I set SAG at 100mm) but I am not sure yet.., more on that later. 

 

Today I unloaded it at a local MX track that has 20+ miles of excellent single track riding.  I have ridden the WR there 3 times this year. and a few times last year.  

 

First Impression:

 

Holy shit is this thing light...  Keep in mind my WR is approx 274 lbs Wet.  I am very used to it.  This bike is 229 lbs.  That is a lot of weight loss.  But the first loop, this was the hardest part to get used to.  I actually didn't like the weight loss right away.  I wasn't used to it.  My back end flicked around more than I am used to and was hard to predict what it was going to do.  Until I got around some banked corners.  WOW, you can whip this thing around in a hurry.  It felt like a mountain bike.  Crazy.  

 

What I liked:

 

Power.  My WR has lots of it, and grunt too.  But this bike, even that it is delivered differently, has more.  I felt at any time I could pick up the front end with a flick of the throttle.  She scared the shit out of me a few times, but once I got to know her...  we got along great.  I felt like this bike was going to kill me right away, but after 20 minutes of riding, I got a good feel for the throttle and motor.  I never felt underpowered.  So smooth when you need it to be.  I was worried it would get jerky.  But again when I got used to it, it never scared me again. 

 

Low End.  My biggest worry on going to a 2 stroke was that I couldn't "lug" it through the tight stuff.  This bike NEVER stalled on me.  Unless I dumped the clutch on it in the wrong gear, this bike never hesitated ever.  On my WR, second and third gear are sent down from the gods...  you can do everything in those gears.  But you could still flame them out.  And I did plenty.  This bike did not stall unless I really screwed something up.  Not sure if I will like the FMF Gnarly more, but I might run the stock pipe until I dent this one up.  But anyway, my low end fears were eliminated in the first section of twisties.  I loved it.  

 

Weight.  Again, I did not like the weight of it right away.  But I wasn't used to it.  At the end of my riding day I was very confident with how to handle it.  I think when ride the WR next, I will hate how heavy it is.  I rode up uphill berms that my WR couldn't get up and around unless I hit it perfect.  

 

Handling.  I know these Yammies are renown for the suspension.  I see why.  Last year I spent a big chunk to have my WR suspension redone.  It helped.  But this bike seemed to chew everything up.  Not I am NOT a rider that gets suspension to the "Nth" degree. I rarely make adjustments, other than the sag.  I don't know what I am looking for, but if it rides good I leave it alone.  Now granted I am 230 lbs, and I sit a lot.  But this bike ate up everything and as hard as I rode it, nothing seemed to bottom out or seem out of place.  So I am not sure I will have someone re-spring or re-valve it.  Any rider input here would be appreciated. 

 

Clutch.  Easy to pull in, but i used it much more than my other .

 

What I didn't like:

 

Seat. I would hate this on any bike.  My ass hurt.  But I will send this out to Seat Concepts and will be done with that.  Did that on the WR, and worth every penny.  

 

No engine braking.  Again, not the 250X's problem.  Its a 2 stroke thing i suppose.  But I rely on that as a part of my riding on the WR. I just need to get over it.  I did have a hard time finding the right gear at times because of this.  If I was on a straightaway and had to slow down and do a turn, then another straight away, I found myself caught without downshifting.  Just going to have to learn this over time. On the WR I would usually engine brake going into these spots, and subconsciously know if I am in the right gear, and not have to think about it and just shift automatically.  

 

Fuel Tank.  Too small.  I can tell it used more gas than a 4 stroke.  This could be an issue for some of the rides I do.  I might do to an IMS product.

 

I am trying to think of anything else I didn't like...  But there isn't much.  E-start would be nice, but it kicked over easy everytime.  I would rather save the weight.  6 speed would be ok, but I never wind it out that fast. 

 


Possible Future Add Ons:

 

I may look at a Lectron Carb.  I like Fuel injection on the 4 stroke, and I don't want to piss with jets etc ever.  I will do ore research over the winter months and make a decision.  Seems like a good product.  Any input is welcome.

 

Steering Stabilizer.  I am going to do this to one of my bikes.  If this is my primary shorter, I will do this one.  Will be a Scotts.

 

Conclusion:

 

This bike is everything I had hoped for.  Handles good, tons of power, has low end when you need it, and is so so light.  If I can only fit one bike to the trails, this will be the one.  Kudos to Yamaha on this one.  Keeping up with the orange guys.  Makes you wonder if the other 3 Japanese OEM's will step it up.  But I am very pleased with this bike.  I hope the build off of this in the future.  

 

 

I hope you enjoy this review.  Again its more geared toward someone that hasn't been an MX'r that might be of a medium ability and skill level.  Also for someone who has little to no 2 stroke experience.  

 

The bad news is I live in MN and its time to put the bikes to bed for the year.  Cant wait until April!

 

Thanks for reading. 

 

-Andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice review. I think the lectron carb would be a waste. If you run he specified premix ratio, the jetting will be spot on or very close.

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Thanks for th update. I too picked up my first smoker recently an 08 yz250. After running a couple tanks through her i got more comfortable with the power. I have alot of the same results as you, suspension is great, power never lacking, 6th gear would be nice but not really needed. I would like the 6th for going fast on gravel without having to rev it up. bigger tank seems to be a must have for linger rides. With they had included a headlight on the X just for safety (oncoming visability). I think this is a great second bike for people like us that want a little more than the air cooled trail bikes offer.

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Great review Andy, I enjoyed reading it. I think you would benefit from the proper (stiffer) springs and making sure BOTH sag measurements are where they should be. That will allow the valving in the suspension to be at its best. Other than that I would just increase your fuel budget :-)

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Nice review. I think the lectron carb would be a waste. If you run he specified premix ratio, the jetting will be spot on or very close.

 

Thanks.  And thanks for the heads up on the carb.  I rarely change elevations.   All my riding is under 2,000ft.  So maybe temp changes would be it.  But I don't know how to "dial it in" or tell if it is not...  Let alone re-jet it.  But maybe it will be fine.  I overthink these things.

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Great review Andy, I enjoyed reading it. I think you would benefit from the proper (stiffer) springs and making sure BOTH sag measurements are where they should be. That will allow the valving in the suspension to be at its best. Other than that I would just increase your fuel budget :-)

 

Thank you. And I know suspension set up did help me on the WR.  There is a local Pro-Action guy that is well respected around here.  I have spent plenty of money on this bike, what is a little more!

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Thanks.  And thanks for the heads up on the carb.  I rarely change elevations.   All my riding is under 2,000ft.  So maybe temp changes would be it.  But I don't know how to "dial it in" or tell if it is not...  Let alone re-jet it.  But maybe it will be fine.  I overthink these things.

Great review! We almost rode M.V. today also.

 

Before you spend $$ on a new carb. I would try the Suzuki needle NECJ (p/n13383-37FE0) $11.54

Try this set-up NECJ #3 PJ42-45 MJ 168-170

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Great review! We almost rode M.V. today also.

 

Before you spend $$ on a new carb. I would try the Suzuki needle NECJ (p/n13383-37FE0) $11.54

Try this set-up NECJ #3 PJ42-45 MJ 168-170

 

Thanks for the tip!  And I love MV trails...  Not as good as Theilman, but what is!  I can't wait until spring!!

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Thanks.  And thanks for the heads up on the carb.  I rarely change elevations.   All my riding is under 2,000ft.  So maybe temp changes would be it.  But I don't know how to "dial it in" or tell if it is not...  Let alone re-jet it.  But maybe it will be fine.  I overthink these things.

There is no mystery to jetting, but I can tell you that people make it a lot harder than it needs to be by running ratios other than what the manual specifies, or trying different tricks and non-standard parts they have read about on some forum like this one.  

 

The guys that designed the bike know what they are doing, and this engine has been around a long time.  The jetting is going to be spot on, or very close.  If you are happy with the way the bike runs and you are not fouling plugs or getting excess spooge, leave it alone.  if you feel the need to experiment, start with the jets and needle that probably came with the bike.  There is no mystery involved.  My guess is that you might want to try a small increment leaner (either needle or pilot), and see if it runs better.  If not, go back to stock and ride.  

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There is no mystery to jetting, but I can tell you that people make it a lot harder than it needs to be by running ratios other than what the manual specifies, or trying different tricks and non-standard parts they have read about on some forum like this one.  

 

The guys that designed the bike know what they are doing, and this engine has been around a long time.  The jetting is going to be spot on, or very close.  If you are happy with the way the bike runs and you are not fouling plugs or getting excess spooge, leave it alone.  if you feel the need to experiment, start with the jets and needle that probably came with the bike.  There is no mystery involved.  My guess is that you might want to try a small increment leaner (either needle or pilot), and see if it runs better.  If not, go back to stock and ride.  

 

Nice review .

 

Not too debate jetting but i have tried all Yamaha options and the RM needle works way better than any YZ needle. 

 

If you at 2000 ft and you not fouling plugs, you can try turning out the air screw a bit and testing the bike , very easy to do and you will notice the difference at small throttle openings. 

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I have messed with a LOT of YZ engine mods - the ONLY mods that are worth doing are the RB head mod to correct the squish, because it is never delivered as specified from the factory, and correcting the ignition timing to factory spec.  Basically just some cleanup work for a couple of manufacturing details.  Besides that, don't F with it.

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The best $ spent on any new YZ250, X probably included, will be:

1. Springs. If necessary.
2. Head correction.
3. Jetting for your conditions (and corrected head).

The stock squish is too wide in almost all YZs, because Yam build the bike to a price, so there is a build error tolerance, and that tolerance gets wider as the tooling gets older, and the tolerance has to cater for the 1% that might go out of the factory with correct (tight squish) and that owner wears out the bottom end and/or revs the piss out of the motor doing engine braking down hills, so their piston touches the head. It's a lowest common denominator thing. 

The jetting can never be right for all owner conditions and fuel choices. Obviously.  Also what people think is good jetting is relative to what they have experienced.  Much like suspension.

I can only speculate why Yam stock jetting is so rich below 1/4 throttle in the 250, 125 and 85. All of them stock will blubber and spooge when ridden below 1/4 throttle.  I suspect Yam try to cater for riders who have the revs up a lot while throttle is only partly open for long periods. Some kind of conservative choice to cater for a minority group.

 

The Yam N3Ex needle in the 2002-15 YZ250 is so lean at 3/8th throttle that the rich jetting below 1/4 kinda makes up for it. Kind of. Maybe the X is ported and piped to work OK with that needle cut. But I doubt it.

 

If you get the head squish corrected, then you're missing out on a lot (predictable response, economy and power) if you do not adjust the jetting for the corrected head.

 

No one get emotional here. These are just my opinions. Easy to ignore. This forum exists primarily for fun. Why we ride.

Edited by numroe
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The best $ spent on any new YZ250, X probably included, will be:

1. Springs. If necessary.

2. Head correction.

3. Jetting for your conditions (and corrected head).

The stock squish is too wide in almost all YZs, because Yam build the bike to a price, so there is a build error tolerance, and that tolerance gets wider as the tooling gets older, and the tolerance has to cater for the 1% that might go out of the factory with correct (tight squish) and that owner wears out the bottom end and/or revs the piss out of the motor doing engine braking down hills, so their piston touches the head. It's a lowest common denominator thing. 

 

Numroe, did you read this thread today claiming 250x squish of  .109" and compression of only 165?

 

http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1161264-2016-yz250x-compression-and-squish-test-result/

 

I understand all the technical wisdom of keeping squish as tight as possible, but so many ride reports are gushing about the smooth and abundant power of this 250x motor I have to ask myself if there is something counter intuitive going on here. Could the looser squish with such low compression be working even better than the more traditional reasoning of tight is always better?

 

I mean, if the compression is this low you don't really need the squish velocity to avoid detonation, and probably no one cares or notices if a little efficiency is missing as long as the response is smooth.

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Numroe, did you read this thread today claiming 250x squish of  .109" and compression of only 165?

Yes.  We'd need more 250X squish numbers to grasp what the pattern is. Maybe the range and variation is exactly the same as the 250.

 

Maybe Yam intensionally went wider. But how compensate and why do it? I can speculate ...

 

It's not a high RPM motor (diff porting, pipe and head).  To be efficient at low RPM it needs high squish velocity.  Facts?

 

If the squish gap is always so wide, then maybe the squish area makes up for it - to boost the squish velocity.

 

Maybe the motor is very smooth, which is nice, but it's actually not as (fuel) efficient, as it could be.

 

Maybe Yam chose substantially lower efficiency in the X for marketing gains with less mechanical stress, reduced or poor maintenance, and easier starting.

 

Riders who previously rode a YZ mostly below the mid RPM hit (off the pipe) most probably will say a 250X motor power feels "strong, broad, or abundant". 

 

We'll have a better idea (about response, power, economy and jetting tolerance to condition and fuel changes) when someone gets a 250X cylinder, head and pipe, and tightens the squish, re-jets (leaner) and tests it.

 

I know the Yam 2-stroke engineers are smart people (assuming bravely that there is more than one). But they are also given parameters to work within. These bikes are made to a price, to make a profit, for a certain type of usage and owner.

 

I'm not sure where your curiosity with the 250X motor is going.  If you think you want a 250X and have a 250, then spend $200 and re-tune your motor to be on the pipe from just above idle. Shave about 0.45mm off the cyl base to lower the ports and tighten the squish, add 1.5cc vol to the head dome, and if below 2000ft start with this jetting: PJ=45, SL=8, N=NEDJ-3 (CJ-4 winter), M=168.

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I'm not sure where your curiosity with the 250X motor is going.  If you think you want a 250X and have a 250, then spend $200 and re-tune your motor to be on the pipe from just above idle. Shave about 0.45mm off the cyl base to lower the ports and tighten the squish, add 1.5cc vol to the head dome, and if below 2000ft start with this jetting: PJ=45, SL=8, N=NEDJ-3 (CJ-4 winter), M=168.

 

That is in the works already. EG has my cylinder, head, and slide. It is getting ported for mo-betta. He is taking .020" off the base and .010" off the head to bring the squish from .080" down to .050", and he will be taking about 2.5 cc out of the head to maintain original compression. He will also be cutting the slide to No 8. Later after all this is settled in I will look into the suzuki needle you mentioned and other jetting. I am just curious about the X because it is the first new thing by Yamaha in many years. It seems to have all the smoothness folks have been trying to build into their YZ250's for years right from the factory. I want to learn about it. Then I will add the parts I like to mine if they are helpful.

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Nice review. I think the lectron carb would be a waste. If you run he specified premix ratio, the jetting will be spot on or very close.

Agreed I considered one until i spoke to 2 guys at the Trail and Enduro club trophy night and they were asking me about the X. Both ride experts here in w.a and they said they both had then on their bikes and basically said it turns the bike into a grandpa bike with lack of top end.......smoothed it all out thru the low and mid range thou.......I'll syick to a bigger tank and jet the bike right...

Regards Dazz

P.s great review

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