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Making a YZ250F the Ultimate Woods Bike

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I recently bought a used dead stock 2001 YZ250F for tight woods riding with lots of hill climbing. What I mean by tight woods is 90 degree switchback hairpin turns that go straight up ( 2-3mph turn speed max.) long slow uphills,

with big roots, rocks and holes thrown in.

After my first ride, I decided that I had made a hugh mistake in my choice of bikes, particularly when you consider my riding buddies have XR 250's and XR 400's.

I had the following problems with my YZ250F on my first trail ride:

1: The bike seat height is too tall.

2: The gearing is too tall.

3: The suspension is too stiff.

I decided that instead of selling the YZ and buying an

XR 400, I would try a few simple free and low dollar changes, based on everything I read on ThumperTalk's search index.

Here's what I did:

1: Adjusted stock rear shock spring for 4.5 inches of sag.

2: Adjusted rear shock high speed compression fully counter clockwise(full soft).

3: Adjusted rear shock low speed compression fully counter clockwise(full soft).

4: Adjusted rear shock rebound to 8 clicks out.

5: Adjusted front fork compression fully counter

clockwise(full soft).

6: Adjusted front fork rebound 8 clicks out.

7: Slide fork tubes up in the triple clamps 3/4 inch.

8: Installed 52 tooth steel rear sprocket.

9: Installed 12 tooth steel front sprocket.

10: Installed a 114 link X-Ring chain.

After all the changes, I then went riding again at the same tight, mountainous wooded place.

The differance was truly amazing. This bike was eating those hairpins, hills and rocks alive!

The YZ250F had a gear for every situation and tremendous throttle response and power from the lower gearing. It was always in the meat of the powerband. The bike was extremely

plush over rocks and holes, but never bottomed.

The bike was no longer too tall for slow trail riding.

By softing the pre-load, going to minimum compression with modestly heavy rebound, and raising the fork tubes I have effectively went from tippy toes to almost flat footed.

Its also easier to start because its lower and I can get a better kick at it.

All in all, I went from disliking the bike to loving it.

So if any of you are going to do some extreme woods riding, try some of these low budget suggestions before plunking

down dollars for high priced modifications.

"Thank you "TT" for having a great website that helps us riders solve problems."

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Very cool! I have noticed that the YZF is set up pretty stiff for steep nasty trails. I will try those mods next time we get into it. The cool thing is that you can make those changes for technical woods on saturday, then change over for fast desert riding on sunday. Cool!


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Don't expect miracles! Running that little of LCSD can make your bike ride down in its travel and actually feel harsher than using a middle of the road setting. The facts are: the suspension was valved for MX and will never be great offroad w/o a revalve.

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