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


pls keep us posted on any new developments

with the 250f. I'll be getting mine next

week (I hope) and look forward to any info

on the setup.

I second that motion. Any info is appreciated.

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!

Maybe I should change my username to jimt_yz250f? I sure hope that you don't work for Yamaha and that you're opinion is somewhat objective!! I'm getting some heat from the CFO (if you know what I mean) and she can't figure out why I need the 250f (well need maybe a little much)when I have a

'98 (my sons) and a '99 (just picked it up in

May) and I've raved on and on about how the

bikes are the bbest that I've ever experienced. In ligh of that I've become alot

faster just by the virtue of the bike being alot easier to ride. So, I ask myself if the

same thing will happen with the 250f. You mantioned that it is feasier to ride but it

does seem that you have to shift more so

there is a little more work involved I gather

(having ridden 125's I can understand this).

Do you need to wring the thing out all of the time? Where does it pull the best?

Have you looked at the fmf site and the yoshimira site to check out the pipes that you can buy the fmf looks interesting.

I would rather bend my ankle more often, and save energy in the rest of my body. The shifting is similar to a 250 two stroke. It pulls hardest in the midrange, flattens out at the highest revs, and works well when you short shift it. I'm not concerned about replacing the pipe right away, but would lean towards the DSP/Yoshimura.

Thank You Scott for sharing your experiences.

I've ordered YZ250F and put my YZ400 up for sale.

Really envy you guys that can ride more or less all year long.

now it's just a "Mudbath" here.

However when the ground get deep frozen we put on spike tires, and ride. these tires really have traction you won't's almost as going by railroad.

the only drawback is deep frozen ground is kinda hard to crash body have physical experience... :)

ride for me to..


from Sweden (North of Europe)

Has anyone compared it heads up to a 125?

I'll be picking up the new 250F Thursday!!

Can't wait. I'll tear her down and grease everything 1st and I'm haveing an E-Series

adapter built to allow me to use the E-Series

disks and end cap so I should be able to

ride this weekend and break her in.

I'll try to write something regarding the

ride report Sat. night I gather that the bike

will not run up to it's ability until it is

completely broken in which will take a few days or more.

Saw a 250F in action at Close Encounters in La. this past Sunday. The guy normally rides a 426. Got the 250F last week. He said the jetting isn't quite right and was having big trouble dialing in the suspension, was very stiff. He came late in the day to test it out (said it was his second time riding it) and didn't know they were racing Sunday. Anyway, he jumped in the Senior class at the gate amongst the 250's and 426's and took second place. He had passed for first but gave it back the last lap and was a bike length or two back at the finish. Second out of I think 8 bikes.

What's' with the jetting on these things?!!

I hope that someone can point us in the right

direction. What does Yamaha have to say regarding the jetting pblms.

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