Another YZ250F test ride

My friend Ken had only ridden his bike once to break it in, before we

took it out to Sunrise Cycle Park in the Mojave Desert on Sunday. The

elevation is about 2900', and the temps were perfect, around 65-70, with

no wind.

He was very generous to let me and other friends ride it and speed up

the break in process, especially to soften the forks which had a lot of

stiction. He and I both weigh about 165, and we set the sag to about

100mm from about 90mm stock. Ken is a Senior Novice level rider and he

is coming off a '98 YZ400F. I am a Senior Expert rider, and have raced

the last three YZF's.

Before we rode it, we got out my untrustworthy digital bathroom scale

and made our best effort to get an accurate measure of the bike's

weight. We determined, to our surprise, that it is close to 225 pounds

ready to ride without gas.

My first riding impression was that it felt light, handled great, and

had OK power. I thought it had more power everywhere compared to a 125,

and I had no trouble keeping up with them. When going through the

midrange, the motor would change pitch when it "came on the cam". To

me, it sounds like a wailing Ferrari, thus the "F". :) This bike

definitely has a unique sound compared to the big F. It didn't seem to

rev out as high as I thought it should, and it seemed to go flat on the

top end. It would also make a rude sound like a bleating goat when

revved high. Another 250F there made the same kind of popping sound,

like floating the valves or hitting the rev limiter. A friend, who

rides a '98 YZF, rode it and strongly suggested that it was lean and

needed a bigger main jet. It comes with a 175, so we installed the 180

that it comes with, and it greatly improved the power. Unfortunately, I

was already undressed by then, and only rode it in the pits. I strongly

suggest that others experiment with bigger main jets in this bike.

We did occasionally have some starting difficulties, which I suspect may

be related to the jetting. Time will tell.

After my first brief ride, we decided to back out the fork compression

all the way and the shock compression four clicks from stock. This made

the fork very supple and the suspension was very plush and balanced yet

resisted bottoming well. Awesome.

If we continue to improve this bike through fine tuning, I may have a

difficult decision between it and a '01 YZ426F. I think the main

disadvantage this bike will have in vet racing is the starts, but it

should be able to maintain real good lap times. It is very easy to ride

and I felt immediately comfortable on it due to my three years on

YZF's. The gear ratios are very close and overall gearing is very low.

You have to row the gear box like a two stroke, with two shifts up and

two shifts down on most straights.

This bike would make a poor desert or off road bike, only because of the

gearing. I think it would top out at a very low speed. The WR would be

fantastic off road. The motor has sufficient torque, more than a 125,

and less than a 250. It wheelies when on the gas hard, like coming out

of turns. I would not hesitate to get a WR for woods work.

Happy trails (or motos),

Scott F

Scott can you tell me in your opninon what bike you would compare the 250f too if you had to pick one. Also did the weight and handleing feel more like a 125,250 2 smoke, or did it feel similar to the YZ400f. I have a 99YZ400 and have a 250f on order. I love the power of my 400. How much less power does the 250 have. Is it dramatic or just a drop off.

I would also like to know the power drop off from the yz400. I have a 98 yz400 but am going to look (and probably bring home :)) at a 250f in the morning, but I can't ride it. Any info would be a VERY good thing.




'98 YZ400F

'01 YZ250F

'98 CBR600F3


Let me know when you get it I want to check it out. :)

Greg C.

OK, guys, here's the latest. I went riding again with my friend Ken on Wednesday at Perris Raceway. I brought my '00 YZ426F and he brought his 250F. I was looking forward to trying his bike again, and comparing it to mine. I rode a hard moto on my bike to get fully warmed up and comfortable on the track, then I went out on his bike. Again I felt immediately comfortable on it, and was soon doing most of the jumps. Then there were only two left, the 90' back to back doubles. I decided to go for it, and the bike and I cleared them easily. I was even more impressed with this bike than before. After going back to the pits, I had an idea. I suggested that we time my laps on both bikes. I rode the 250F first, and was running 1:43 to 1:45. Then I rode my bike, and ran consistently around 1:45. Then I rode the 250F again, and my times were around 1:43 to 1:45 again. I was using the same lines, and doing all the same jumps. While doing those last laps, all I could think about was 'I gotta get one of these' alternating with, 'I gotta sell my 426'. The amazing thing about this bike is I can do equal or better lap times on the 250F, while having WAY more fun, and with WAY less effort. This bike feels 25 pounds lighter (which it is),and you notice it BIG time while braking and especially cornering. It has great suspension, lands lighter, handles great, and is the most fun bike I have ever ridden. This bike feels like a 125 that is super easy to ride. On the 426, I would ride most of the track in second, and I used third only for the biggest jumps and longest straights. I never used fourth on a MX track. The 250F requires second gear in all but the largest turns, third for most straights, and fourth for the biggest jumps and longest straights. I had to shift a lot more, similar to riding a 250 two stroke.

Much like back in '98, when I rode the YZF twice and had to have one, I am now smitten with this machine, and have to have one. The 426 will be sold as soon as I get the 250F. I'll miss the awesome HP and torque, but I can do just fine with the 250F. I may suffer on the starts, but right now I just don't care. The only drawback that I can see is that I wouldn't recommend it for riders who are much heavier than me, and I am around 165.

Today I called some dealers, found a good deal on one, and put down a deposit. I should have it in around two weeks. If you want one, you better get after it quick!

Think I'll keep my 426 and just start a saving's account for that 250F....have two great fun bikes...Yeah, that's the ticket! :)


I picked mine up last night. :D

I have only riden it around the yard in the dark, It was still a blast!!!!

This thing feels like a bicycle compared to my yz400. I probably won't ride on the trails until I get all the "hare scramble" equipment installed. It will see it's first race in your "back yard" at the Hangover 100 on the 1st. I've gotta go now, All this talk about my 250F has given me a "woody". :)




'98 YZ400F

'01 YZ250F

'98 CBR600F3

[This message has been edited by GNCCYZ400 (edited 12-01-2000).]

My lions lost to the Vikes last night and I was all upset and then I read this post and you make my day. All of the issues I wanted fixed (improved braking, weight and handeling) sound good.

&%$#@!ity damn.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now