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Back on a Yamaha! New '18 x

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Back to Yamaha for me.  Been kicking around the new bike idea for a couple years.  Held off the itch for a while but after having some issues recently with my main bike a 91 cr500 i decided it was just time to get something current.  

Big end bearing of the crank in the 500 went bad, so it basically needs a complete rebuild, cases are good though.  Don't feel like working on it right now (it has been a PITA since i bought it, one thing after another it seemed) and i need something to ride now.

Called some shops looking for a deal on a few bikes i have been interested in for a couple years now.  17 ktm 250sx, yz250x and the beta 250/300rr or RE.  All a little different but i'm sure i would like them all.  When looking for a 17 yz250x i could not find any at good prices, either sold out or the price was just not there, only 17 ktm 250sx i found i wasn't keen on the price and then a local dealer had no 17's 250x's but gave me a decent deal on a 2018 yz250x that i was on board with and not expecting.  

(Side note, Cyclemax in Gaithersburg, MD has a good deal on their 17 beta's, if it was closer i probably would have snagged a 250 or 300rr off of them) . 

$7300 OTD after taxes :thumbsup: Hell yeah! 

Can't wait to put her through the paces and see what she is made of.   I had a woods/enduro built 03 yz250 for several years.  It was great but i had a love hate relationship with that bike.  Mainly the power delivery, but only hated it on technical hill climbs and then the MX gearing i was never happy with, it always felt compromised somewhere not matter what sprockets i used.   

Sold that bike a few years back, been riding the 500 for a while, love it but it's not without it's nuances.  Thinking this X is gonna be right up my alley, only thing i can say now is it feels really light (of courses it does compared to a 91 500).  And the clutch lever pull feels really light (of course it does compared to a 500)  So basically i got nothing :cool:

Enough chit chat,  Ill give some 1st impressions after i giver her a good thrashing. 

 

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Welcome "back" to the WHYZEE fold. I'm sure you will enjoy the heck out of it. There are a feww threads going on setup for theses babies from jetting, gearing, and beyond. 

Look for them, and read, read, read.. 

Great price!

Congrats, and yah, I'm drooling.... 

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Yeah, definitely gonna be scouring the jetting threads.  I had my yz250 dialed in, i assume it can't be too far off of that jetting.  I probably still have some of my yz250 needles in my jetting box along with the famed zuk NECJ needle

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30 minutes ago, subxero said:

Yeah, definitely gonna be scouring the jetting threads.  I had my yz250 dialed in, i assume it can't be too far off of that jetting.  I probably still have some of my yz250 needles in my jetting box along with the famed zuk NECJ needle

There is the best one. 

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Dropped the PJ to a 48 and the Main to a 175.  That should be a good starting point, that is what my yz250 seemed to like.  Kept the needle at stock for now.  Need to ride it more seriously before i go messing around with the needle yet.

That being said are there any tricks for getting the carb turned more to access the bowl screws?   The right front screw is a PITA to get to, i could only get the carb turned just enough to get to it after taking off the sprocket/chain guard. 

Got the sag set, wasn't far off for me, set the rebound on front and rear a little faster to start (typically how i like it in the rocks.  Cut 1/2" off the bars and moved the controls to my liking.  

Should be a good starting point.  Gonna go for first real ride tomorrow and really feel things out and go from there.  Should be fun. 

 

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54 minutes ago, subxero said:

That being said are there any tricks for getting the carb turned more to access the bowl screws?   The right front screw is a PITA to get to, i could only get the carb turned just enough to get to it after taking off the sprocket/chain guard. 

 

No need to remove the entire bowl to change main or pilot jets. Just remove the plug in the bottom with a 17mm wrench. 

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1 hour ago, Bricktop72 said:

No need to remove the entire bowl to change main or pilot jets. Just remove the plug in the bottom with a 17mm wrench. 

Good point now that you mention it, the pilot was in a different spot than i am used to on the older PWK's   Will definitely use that to my advantage from now on.

:thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, MountAiryTrailRiders said:

Congrats man.. nice ride

Thanks, a newer gen bike has been long over due for me.  It will get the MTN Ridge treatment tomorrow.  I don't have a skid plate for it yet so i might have to hold back a little on the rocks but it's tough cuz that's about my favorite part of the place.  

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Well she isn't new anymore.

Put her through the ringer today, trial by fire.

Local Trail park is well known for rocks/boulders.  I tried to steer clear of some of the trails i knew were very rocky because i don't have a skid plate yet.  Well didn't matter much cuz there is rock everywhere here so i ended up getting into some pretty gnarly sections here and there riding some of the single track i haven't been on before. 

First impressions:   Ill start off first by saying i had a woods build 03 yz250.  Suspension built to the nines, FWW, 18" rear, DEP enduro pipe, VF3.  That is what i will do most of the comparing too.  I have a several good hrs on my buddies 16 ktm 250xc as well.

The X lugged very well 1st and 2nd gear, 3rd was reserved for more flowy sections with some visibility.  I carried 2nd gear pretty much everywhere in the tight rocky single track, hitting 1st for the really gnarly rock sections only.  (Note this bike still finds neutral way too easy dropping from 2nd to 1st, same as my 03, but it's pretty much same engine so why would it be different right?) The X lugs way better than my 03 did, not quite as good as the 250xc i have ridden though.

For jetting all i did was drop the PJ and MJ 1 size, it feels really good where it is at, minor tweaks is all it needs.  With that being said, the throttle response through the rev range is instant and the engine comes to life immediately.  Very nice.  Just like my old yz, but the x is not near as violent or snappy by a long shot.  I like it :thumbsup:  the 16 250xc i have ridden feels a bit lazy compared to the X, could be it's jetting ( i think it is fat) or PV setting or that is just how it is.  However even when that bike comes on the pipe it is very linear, next to no hit and tame.  The X definitely has more snap too it, but it is a very manageable delivery, still fun and exhilarating but not instant wheel spin or power wheelie like my old yz250 which is great.  I also felt like 3rd was much closer/shorter on the X vs the XC.  In the fast flowy stuff on the X getting on the pipe was not an issue especially in 3rd gear, 3rd gear feels shorter than it did on my 03yz.  Can't remember if anything is different about 3rd on the X vs the normal yz i just know they have the WR 4th and 5th??   Just what my butt was telling me.   Had a couple of unexpected 3rd gear power wheelies,  it was nice, never had anything like that while riding that 250xc.  

Now the suspension.  I have never ridden any Yamaha with the SSS forks before and always kinda rolled my eyes at the hype.  I have had my suspensions built by a good builder several times on several bikes and i have always felt good on all my bikes and very pleased but, out of the box this suspensions feels great!  All i did was adjust the rebound to be faster both front and rear and increased the high speed comp in the rear.  In the slow technical it felt really good everywhere, nothing to write home about, but it felt really great for a stock suspension. Where i thought it was amazing was in the faster sections especially going through trail trash.  I have always been a little timid on faster sections when there are lots of golf ball to baseball size loose rocks laying around on the hard pack or similar and typically check up a bit when going through it.  Stuff like that on this bike i couldn't even tell it was there, just stay on the throttle and hang it out there and it just soaked it up and kept the tires hooked up.  It might take me a bit to get more comfortable trusting what this suspension is capable of compared to other bikes i have ridden.  

All in all, feels like a solid bike so far, very fun, responsive engine, great suspension out of the box, it lugs and revs, it isn't as hard to ride on the pipe compared to MX bikes.  I don't plan on doing much of anything to this bike, i needs next to nothing and is very solid off the show room floor.  Will get a skid plate for sure and maybe some hand guards, oh and UHD tubes and then ride the wheels off of it :devil:

Forgot to mention i got a flat both front and back after a few hrs.  Fast section i was hanging it out there in third and coming up a hill that turns all of a sudden there were some big sharp rocks, i hit them square, pretty hard and fast coming off the pipe in 3rd.  I felt it for sure.  I was running pressure a little low for the standard stock tubes but nothing crazy low.  I typically run UHD tubes all the time so no surprise these didn't last long with the type of riding i do. 

So much for blue fancy looking wheels,  i knew these were not going to stay pretty for long :cool:  Not sure what the culprit was could have been anything??  Right side of the rear.  

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 Rebuild.  New crank, would get it rebuilt but i think it has seen its last day.  The shaft is a bit worn and i suspect the stator side seal wasn't sealing 100% because of it, ill just buy something used in better shape cheap and get it rebuilt or look for something fresh rebuilt and maybe beat around the idea of buying a hot rods.  

New crank bearings all that jazz, fresh bore and top end kit.  Conveniently i have a new squish adjusted head sitting on the shelf so that is one thing i don't need to buy.   

It's all apart at this point, i just need to spring the $$$ for the parts and send the jug out.    

I just rebuilt the engine this past winter, so i need a break from it.  Crank bearing went last fall, after the crank seemed good, i had it looked at by a few different people, it was in spec and true, probably should have just had it rebuilt for peace of mind, maybe i wouldn't be where i am at now if i had?  But probably would be.  Latest issue is the bike blew a head gasket and over heated the one day, lost all my coolant.  I fixed the head gasket and water seal, ran it for 25 min or so, felt decent but then i felt it starting to seize up just before i got back to my house.  I grabbed the clutch immediately and probably saved the engine from serious damage.  The big end rod bearing crapped out.  

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See how long i keep using the rim protectors, I imagine the rims will be pretty beat up after a few more rides regardless

Scored an excellent used skid plate off ebay.  $44 shipped, can't beat that.  Perfect fit, great condition and i really like the design and coverage :thumbsup:

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Edited by subxero
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^ yeah, i almost felt bad for the dude who had the auction on ebay.    Never thought i was gonna get it that cheap.  My max bid was a good bit higher but no other players = score for me.  

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I try to be thrifty when i can.  A few bucks here and there adds up.  My buddies harp on me a bit about some of the cheap stuff i do, sometimes it is deserved :devil:

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That's one of the things I like about the Yamaha. It has been around long enough that there are lots of parts available for cheap. I found an FMF Fatty for $50 :)

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I know this is a touchy topic, but my 250X works very well with an FMF Gnarly.  Increased the bottom end lug power significantly.  At first I noticed a little earlier sign-off on top, but after doing the power valve shim mod (free and easy mod) switching to the "Suzuki" needles and leaning out the top end a bit more, it freeking revs.  It's got - by far - the widest useable power spread of any two stroke I've ridden.  Period. End of story.  It is just as good on a slow off-road trail as it is at the MX track. 

It doesn't pull down low quite like a KTM 300, but it is very close to the KTM 250.  However it revs out much higher and cleaner than any of the KTM's I've ridden.  Plus, it has a "playful" character that makes KTM's feel rather agricultural.

I know first hand from drag and dune hill climb races it will run and hide from a 2011 KTM300xc with a fresh build and jetted quite well.

When I do my top end, I'm going to try a thinner base gasket.  I think between the slight boost in compression and slight lowering of the ports, it will move the whole powerband down a bit.  Cheap experiment anyway.  I've found this motor responds very well to SMALL changes, and that they really add up. 

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