1st riding impression 03 WR 250 F

Well just got back from my 2nd ride on the 03 WR. The type of riding I do is very tight woods with rocks, roots & mud carved out of the side of a steep mountain usually in the rain being on the wetcoast of Vancouver B.C. Canada. 1st gear stuff 90% of the time. My 01 Wr 250 has skid plate,cut down bars, bark busters, YZ timed , FMF Q, air box lid removed BK mod . Starts and runs great. I really didn’t need a new bike but don’t tell the wife that. In my previous post I weighed both bikes on the same bathroom scale in the same manner and found the 03 to be 2-3 lbs heavier. I pulled the seat off and lifted the battery and found that most of the weight was there. Any aftermarket lighter batteries? Kick starting this bike was so much easier, now I know why you all rave about the 03 cam swap. To e start just push the ignition power switch on ( located behind the # plate next to the odometer ) and then the start button and away she goes . In gear with clutch in no problem. Jetting is good with exception of a slight hesitation off the bottom .I did not notice this riding, just in the garage. Will swap over my FMF Q before I play with the jetting. I did not notice any ¼-1/2 throttle hesitation mentioned with the YZ’s Clutch pull is harder (YZ springs?) but very smooth action as is the shifting. Front forks and rear suspension is stiffer than the 01. Manual says forks have the same spring rate 0.44 kg/mm but the rear spring is 5.00kg/mm for the 03 and 4.80 for the 01 (Europe gets 4.7 and Aus gets 5.1for rear and .42 and .43 front) Good action just stiffer. Tank seat combo is probably the best change.This alone makes the bike feel lighter. Great ergonomics. Back brake is more powerful than 01 with nice feel. Dunlop 739 on both ends , front is junk. Can’t wait to put S12’s on it. I lowered the front end to the 2nd line on the fork tubes to get better bite . My 01 will over heat in the gnarly stuff when I use the clutch a lot ,the 03 seemed fine. I was very leary of the new air box sealing but a wet ride today showed no leaking . I would still be hesitant on deep water crossings. (good accessibility though) With knowing the performance gains of the open 01 air box I hope the 03 can be modified while retaining the water proofing . The bike is a tractor in the tight slippery stuff, maybe it’s the WR timing or the 03 cam either way it it just motors up with out a hint of stalling . On the open trail it pulls hard but I know there is more with a pipe, air box mod and possibly YZ timing. I didn’t really think I needed the e start and I don’t think I’m a p***y but at the end of the day when you crash or stall in a really tough section you will appreciate the ability to just push the button and go. I used it 3-4 times today and just loved it.The bike felt the same or lighter than my 01 so no problem there. Riding MX or fire roads you don’t need it but for the riding I do it works for me. To put it in a nut shell the main improvements are the seat tank combo, the new cam and starting and maybe just maybe the e start.

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like I'm gonna like mine when it get here :)

I just new that this bike could not be that much heavier than the 02 and 01 but I was really sweating when people started saying it will weigh 268-275lbs I cant wait to get on mine!!!!!!

thanks for the report

c&b - Thanks for taking the time to give us your impression of the new WR. Sounds like the type of riding you do is real similar to what we ride around here (minus the steep hills). I was happy to hear that it works well in that stuff! A smaller battery should not be a problem, I stuffed a real small one in the air box of my 650L and eliminated the huge side panel set-up, without any problems. Sounds like that E-start is gonna be sweeeeet! No, I don't think I am a p***y either. Out of shape old guys like me deserve that kind of convenience once in a while. When I want to show everybody what a MAN I am, I'll use the kickstarter. :)

Sounds great!

I will be the first to admit, there are times (not all the time)that a very demanding and awkward situation in a race presents itself that the E-start would be awsome.

Maybe in the future there will be a WR in my garage.?

nopremix That is exactly right. You don't need the e start when you are at the truck or just starting off after a break. I am trying to get in the habit of kick starting in all of but the worst conditions to save the starter. That is the majority of the time.It's when you are stalled on a side hill with no footing and you can not balance enough to even get the kick starter out let alone kick it.


Could the '03's front forks be stiffer because they are not broken in yet? When my '02 was new, the forks were really stiff until I backed out the clickers and soaked up some squared off ruts.


Could you give us a report on the "free mods"? I.e. can you still do the following?

- Unplug grey & light blue wires

- Get rid of throttle stop

- Lose the baffle on a Canadian model?

- Did Yamaha give you bigger jets with it?

- Hmmm, what to do with the snorkel?? :)

Is the new seat much harder than the older model?

Can the new seat/tank combo be swapped to your old 01 WR?

Do the skid-plate and FMF Q from the 01 fit on the 03?


av, Tonight I looked into the free mods. First the muffler is sealed shut on the Can. bike so nothing there. The 01 and 02 Can. bikes did not have a gray wire. This was confirmed in the wiring diagram ( page 6-1 note * Except for USA at bottom left of page). I then looked in my 03 manual(page 6-1) and in fact saw a Gray Wire coming out of the CDI box and leading into a black (ground) wire. Is this how the 01-02 was hooked up? I thought I could pull the wire and get more power or pull the wire and fry my CDI. I pulled the wire and started the bike. It ran so I took it up the lane for a test ride. It felt stronger but was unsure as it was raining. Yamafreek have you looked into this?

I have not tried swapping the seat tank combo but it looks like it will not fit. I will also let you know about the FMF Q and skid plate.

Yes I got some jet a plug wrench and spoke wrench with the bike

Did I also mention the no down,no payment and no intrest to Oct 09 03!!!! Made it hard not to buy.

Any one else got a 03?

c&b - From what I remember, unplugging the grey wire kept the powerband from falling on it's face about the point where the mid-range should be. It smoothed out the powerband and made it pull from the bottom to the top, like the YZ. Is there a flat spot on yours now? I checked on a battery today, and a dry cell like one on an RX1 sled should fit and is lighter. I think it is "spendy" though. Try that Q out when you get a chance, I plan on swapping mine to the new one too.

mnbaja, No the 03 seemed to pull right from the bottom all the way up with out a problem It pulled almost as stong as my 01 with YZ timing ,air box open an FMF Q. More is always nice but I don't want to fry anything.I will test on my next ride. Also will let you know about the pipe.Yamafreek if your back from next door let me know your thoughts (about the bike)

I may open the valve cover tomorrow and check the cam setup. I wish I knew how to "index" the cam to see what kind of timing we have. I was able to pull some high-speed power wheelies that surprised me.

I will also be installing my radiator guards and will check under the tank for the famous "gray wire". Also looking for a good titanium exhaust. The new PC Ti 4 looks good but has a steep price. On the battery thing I think a set of sub c remote control batteries wired in series may do the job and save some pounds. I used to discharge my racing batteries at over 10amps and see that the e-start fuse is rated at 10a also. Were was the gray wire located? And did you get to try it out since the last time w/out the gry wire? If the Canadian model does have a gray wire does your exhaust have the 82db notice stamped on it also? Was the gry wire actually grounded? Any other countries get their WR's yet?


Yamafreek The gray wire was located under the tank on the right hand side . According to the manual it is grounded.I did not see a 82db stamp on our pipe but didn't realy look. I only rode the bike up the lane in the wet and it felt strong but unsure of any diff. It also ran strong before I disconected the wire. Let me know if you get a chance to ride with out the wire.Thanks


IIRC the grey wire for the 02 was on the left side of the tank in the smaller wire harness while the light blue wire is on the right side of the tank along with the orange, dark blue wires (etc.) in the larger wire harness - perhaps they've changed the setup for the 03. You can check the grounding using an ohms meter, but IIRC the grey wire from my CDI was connected to the ground (i.e. plugged in), then the mode requires us to disconnect it (i.e. so that it goes nowhere, not grounded?) - this makes use of the YZF CDI mapping and the mid-to upper RPM power is then available to the WR. I've been running my 02 with the grey wire unplugged ever since I got the bike with no problems - makes a BIG difference in the pull from the mid to upper RPM range...

c&b is your dealer offering more than the 6 months no money down, no payment etc? Here in Kamloops it ends on March 31 and is only up to a max of 6 months.

Kantoniak-yes My No NO NO plan is until Oct 09 03 according to my contract. Yamaha pays until then.This gives me a long time to sell my 01.

cc&b and yamafreek,

What about the free mod previously known as "removed airbox lid"? I see you (yamafreek) has added "removed airbox baffle" in your signature. Are you referring to the snorkel behind the battery?



I'd be carefull with the R/C battery swap. NiCd's or NiMH? Either way they could easily be overcharged by the system on your bike resulting in FIRE! The best solution would be the eliminator (just a big capacitor I believe), a smaller motorcycle battery (like a KTM re-starter bat?), or just leave it alone.

Dirt surfer The snorkel does not come off and if you cut it off the opening will be the same size. The battery lays on its side on top of the air box.(See photo's in my post "Just weighed my 01 and 03 WR 250")Wrooster was kind enough to list them on his server http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/yamaha-wr250f-2003/ The air box could be opened up by adding those small round push in style filters in the top right side of the air box. This area of the air box is covered with a black side cover to keep mud and water away from the small filters. Has any one used these filters? How do they work? I think Uni makes them.

Thanks c&b. I still wonder what baffle yamafreek is talking about. But being in Hawaii, he's probably still sleeping!

Look at RK's Airbox Photos. He has used the small circular vents.

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