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Did your 250f explode?

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It has been firmly established that thrashed out old 250 four strokes can be a bad investment for a new rider. It is clear that some people have had bad experiences with their new-to-them 250f. Damaged engines requiering costly repairs. Some place, I read that it could cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage. In another place some one said it was $150 to replace the top end on a 2stroke but it was a whopping $400 to do it on a 4sroke. 

 

For a host of reasons I really think that a 250f is the best new, used bike for me. I try to convince myself that I really want a 2stroke, but going slow and being tractable are more important to me that going fast and will be so for a few years as i follow my 8 year old around on his little bikes. Having said that, I am not a total NooB and want something that I can "grow into" over time. Besides, I am too fat for 230s and the like. 

 

So, being the internet, it's easy to find people who ahve had PROBLEMS with something, in this case small-bore 4strokes. What I want to know is what is the ratio. How many of you out there have gotten a serviceable bike for cheep money and it didn't cost as much to fix it as it did to buy it?

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53 minutes ago, GreenDRZ said:

It has been firmly established that thrashed out old 250 four strokes can be a bad investment for a new rider. It is clear that some people have had bad experiences with their new-to-them 250f. Damaged engines requiering costly repairs. Some place, I read that it could cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage. In another place some one said it was $150 to replace the top end on a 2stroke but it was a whopping $400 to do it on a 4sroke. 

 

For a host of reasons I really think that a 250f is the best new, used bike for me. I try to convince myself that I really want a 2stroke, but going slow and being tractable are more important to me that going fast and will be so for a few years as i follow my 8 year old around on his little bikes. Having said that, I am not a total NooB and want something that I can "grow into" over time. Besides, I am too fat for 230s and the like. 

 

So, being the internet, it's easy to find people who ahve had PROBLEMS with something, in this case small-bore 4strokes. What I want to know is what is the ratio. How many of you out there have gotten a serviceable bike for cheep money and it didn't cost as much to fix it as it did to buy it?

And how many have bought that "Cheap 2 stroke" and it's been a pile would be a good one to know, also.

I have bought one 250 4T that cost me less to fix than it did to buy. It was an XR250 though, and didnt require engine work.

I have also a 2 stroke that I bought, cleaned the carb and threw atop end in and it $$$ for hours of fun has been the best bike I've bought. Although, not the best bike I've bought. ;) 

Have you considered an XR250R with some engine work?

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1 hour ago, GreenDRZ said:

 

 I try to convince myself that I really want a 2stroke, but going slow and being tractable are more important to me 

 

 

nothing does this better then a well tuned 2 stroke

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2 strokes come in more flavors than motocross. Have you considered an off road 2 stroke? Have you ridden an off road 2 stroke?

I have owned (2) 250F's, both YZ's,(03 &14) and neither of them exploded. I did however buy them new.

The issue is care and maintenance. Parts wear out and need to be replaced. Many times the reason the bike is for sale is because the owner knows it's due for an investment in engine work and doesn't want to deal with it.

My dad used to tell me, don't buy someone else's problems.
My theory on 250F's is this, if you can't afford a new one than you can't afford to fix a used one.


Sent from my XT1650 using ThumperTalk mobile app

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There was a good article I read where they got quotes for a top-end and full rebuild of a 250F from various places in the country (east coast, west coast, south).  They got quotes from dealers and independent companies.  If I remember correctly it worked out to $750 for s top-end and $2,000 for a complete rebuild.

So yes, high performance 4 strokes are expensive especially if you are paying someone else to do the work.  Although doing the work badly yourself can be even more expensive and 4-strokes are significantly harder to rebuild.

That being said, I completely trust modern 4 strokes as long as you buy them new or have proof of their history.  If your buddy bought a 4 stroke, you knew he took care of it and you knew it only had 25 hours on it, I'd have no qualms in buying it from him.  Where it gets scary is in the world of craigslist where people don't take care of the bikes, put tons of hours on them, don't do the scheduled msintenance, slap some new plastics on them and sell them as "hardly ridden".

Go for the 4-stroke if that's what your heart desires.  Just do everything in your power to make sure you get one with low hours or budget in for that rebuild.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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29 minutes ago, ohiodrz400sm said:

2 strokes come in more flavors than motocross. Have you considered an off road 2 stroke? Have you ridden an off road 2 stroke?

I have owned (2) 250F's, both YZ's,(03 &14) and neither of them exploded. I did however buy them new.

The issue is care and maintenance. Parts wear out and need to be replaced. Many times the reason the bike is for sale is because the owner knows it's due for an investment in engine work and doesn't want to deal with it.

My dad used to tell me, don't buy someone else's problems.
My theory on 250F's is this, if you can't afford a new one than you can't afford to fix a used one.


Sent from my XT1650 using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

I HAVE, seriously considered off road two strokes. But, those are either old (KDX) expensive (KTM) or converted (mostly YZ25s). I have considered "trail" bikes like the XR230, XR250, TTR230/250 and DRZ250. I have considered "enduro" bikes like the CRF250x or the WR250. The thing about all of these bikes is that the Boy likes the track. And I'm HUGE. I know that by the time he's 10 I'll stand no chance of keeping up with him but I want to have is a bike that is at est going to be fun on the track not becasue I'm going racing or going to be a stat but becasue that's where I'm going to be and if I want to ride at all, that's where I'm going to do it (although I AM trying to lure him into more off road).  Any of those "trail" bikes (except maybe the converted YZs and KTMs) are going to wallow under my 250pounds to begin with, on a track? I think it wold be just dangerous. No?

Of course, I have never ridden ANY of these bikes so I have zero basis of comparison. I have never ridden on a motocross track, so I ahve no idea what I'm talking about there either. I have an older 450exc in the shed. Although it has not blown up, it intimidates the crap out of me. However, I feel that once I "get my legs back underneath me" it's going to be a great dualsport/trail bike. 

 

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Also, some one move this topic to "what bike to buy" I didn't want it there. I don't want the same handful of bike-advisors repeating the same things that I have read in the other threads. What I hoped for was for the "general" population of TTers to give stories of their SUCCESSES with buying used 4 strokes (if there are any). 

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Having been on TT for quite a long time, knowing the number of 4S bikes running today greatly outnumber the quantity of 2S, I'd say more people get trashed 2S than 4S. Mostly because of base economics. A 2S is cheaper to buy initially. Most riders are not mechanics and do not have any excess funds for proper servicing, so they tend to ride them in to the ground. A cheaper to buy bike is often less well maintained. This is true with nearly anything in life. You will find a used Mercedes with better servicing than a used Kia.

As far as this thread being moved, if you think the question has already been beaten to death (which it has over and over and over, as bad as an oil thread), then why ask it? Most posts on a forum are from people looking for help. Not many will post praises of the lack of help needed. I doubt you will find a single thread entitled "Why does my bike always run great?" instead we have threads "My bike will not start, I tried dragging it with a truck."

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I wouldn't be all that critical of old 4 strokes, I've had relatively good experience with old used Craigslist bikes. I bought my '83 xr200r about 6 years ago, still original top end, and it runs great for a big rider like myself. I weigh about 215-220 and it has plenty of power to haul me around. I did stiffen up the rear spring a little but other than that it's been good to me. I did add 5 teeth to the rear sprocket, a little extreme I think, but it still lugs pretty good.

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If your following your 8yr. old around on the trail's I would say you will be for some yrs. to come So rather then invest a ton of money into a high dollar bike. I would look around for a good XR 250, 350 or even a 400. 6-8 yrs from now the 8yr. will most likely drain your wallet if he continues with dirt bikes? At that point in time the 8yr. old will have plenty of experience and he'll dust you any way. Enjoy the pleasure of just riding!

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Theres not much value in subjective analysis unfortunately.  There is a range of possibilities in terms of valve and seat life for a 250f ranging from 30-50 hours life to 80-100 hours.  If the motor has been immaculately maintained and ridden conservatively you might get into the low 100 hours range.  If ridden aggressively and perhaps having eaten some dirt from a rushed air filter service or two before the valves and seats are toasted.  On a used bike all you can do to confirm the condition of the engine is tear it down and measure clearances and visually examine the valves and seats.

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i bought 2 used 250Ts this year

an 09 yzf250 and a 10 rmz250

The 09 seriously hasn't skipped a beat, oil changes after every ride and filter cleaning after every ride
sand tracks, hard pack you name it. I am not however out there riding 45 min motos on the rev limiter the whole time C rider with occasional B rider efforts.  I'm 31 and out of shape

The 10 needed a valve job shortly after i bought it but my brother rides it and literally dogs on it all the time and it just keeps running
This bike looked like it was rideen when i got it but we got it so cheap that we gambled and its paid off nicely

All in all..when they do blow, its just your luck of the draw on that day

This winter i'll be tearing them both down to take a look and assess what i wanna do going forward whether it be new rings/piston and possibly head work

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Your taking a gamble no matter what you buy used. As mentioned above, dont base the decision entirely on keeping up with Jr. Get something that will make you happy. Im 6'2 200lbs and i can ride my 250f as fast as my 250 2t, so power isnt much of an issue. Just get what will make you happy and ride on!

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imo if you are riding track and trail nothing is better then the a 250 2t mx bike with some mods to make it more trail friendly (skid plate, lower gearing, maybe a rekluse).

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52 minutes ago, DylDog said:

imo if you are riding track and trail nothing is better then the a 250 2t mx bike with some mods to make it more trail friendly (skid plate, lower gearing, maybe a rekluse).

I have considered 250-2s repeatedly. Particularly KTM and YZ. The reason that I have not gone that way is that I already HAVE a 450 EXC and the power intimidates the snot out of me. I want a light, moderately powerful bike with descent suspension (i'm a 220 kind of guy). I want it primarily to go around practice tracks as slow (or as fast) as a developping 8 year old on his 50 (and then 65 and then 85 where I am sure that I will loose him forever). Secondary use: trail bike. Imaginary use: Off road racing or C/vet MX. Overall, I want to get a bike that is tractable enough to go slow, well suspended enough to support my weight, powerful enough to be fun (but mellow enough to not kill me). And, I want it next week so I can ride this summer. I don't want to be sending things out or waiting for the post to bring parts. All of this bends my mind to those 250f bikes, particularly the YZ and later, FI KX250f with the three little map chips that I can adjust for different circumstances. 

The main draw of a 2t though is simply becasue I never HAD one. It might be cool to try something new. BUT for the realist applications for my needs, I think that for a 2t to ahve enough tractor down low it would ahve way too much get up and go up high. 

Edited by GreenDRZ
Exploring my feelings.

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I'm sorry guys, and thank you for your patience but, to be clear:

 

The vast majority of the concerns of buying a used dirt bike are the same no matter what the year of strokieness of the bike. If I am understanding you all correctly, the PRIMARY area of greater concern is that the 4 stroke top-end is costlier to fix should it need to be replaced? Literally the difrence between a $250 piston kit and a $150 piston kit? (If i can figure out how to DIY)/

 

If the bikes starts easily, cold or warm, shifts smoothly and rides well on the suspension and doesn't burn any oil or overheat, doesn't that mean that the bike is at least serviceable? 

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I got 186 hrs on a original head/crank on a yz250f before I needed to do the valves half the time riding it like it's stolen the other half lugging through the woods very versatile bike I would have to say the yzf is the most reliable 4t from my experience . But they are all grenades I've seen alot of guys jump back on 2t myself included after the costs of building those 250 4's . They DO blow up .

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1 hour ago, GreenDRZ said:

I'm sorry guys, and thank you for your patience but, to be clear:

 

The vast majority of the concerns of buying a used dirt bike are the same no matter what the year of strokieness of the bike. If I am understanding you all correctly, the PRIMARY area of greater concern is that the 4 stroke top-end is costlier to fix should it need to be replaced? Literally the difrence between a $250 piston kit and a $150 piston kit? (If i can figure out how to DIY)/

 

If the bikes starts easily, cold or warm, shifts smoothly and rides well on the suspension and doesn't burn any oil or overheat, doesn't that mean that the bike is at least serviceable? 

A top end on a four stroke is more than a piston and rings.  Add four or five valves, a valve job, timing chain, etc.  You won't need that whole kit every time, but I wouldn't go beyond every other piston on the service interval.  You want to get these components before they drop into the cylinder and make lots of little baby pieces, which means replacing them before they are at the point of imminent failure.  Then consider the possibility or having to replace seats due to wear or chipping.  Often it is cheaper to just buy a whole new head.

On a two stroke, stretching the service intervals can result in a piston cracking off in only the most extreme cases.  You have to ignore a lot of noise for a long time before you get to that point.  A four stroke will run great right up until it pops, especially if an inexperienced owner just keeps adjusting the valves as they keep getting tighter and tighter. 

 

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I got an 06 250f in a trade from a friend. That said friend's brother got ahold of the bike awhile back and thrashed it a bit, neither did a whole lot maintenance wise. When I got it I had to throw a new head with SS valves on. Since then, aside from basic maintenance and crash damage, it has needed nothing. Valves haven't moved after 40 hours. Take care of that air filter.

 

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180 hours on my wr250F. Nothing but oil changes, new spark plugs and clean oil filters. I run it hard every ride at least for a little while. Leak down test a month back was 3%

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