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Possibly buying an 03 YZ250


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Hey everyone! I have the opportunity to buy a 2003 YZ250 for $1200.00. I know next to nothing about YZ's, I've been riding Kawasaki KX 250's for the last seven years so I'm not new to the world of 2-stroke and do all of my own wrench work as well.

Can you all tell me if the 03 was a decent bike? what was bad or good about them, are there certain things I should look for or be aware of when I go to look at it, will it loft the front end in most gears? What is the normal range for engine compression?

Can you give me an idea of the maintenance needs of a YZ (outside of the normal bearing greasing, etc.)

I normally ride Walker Valley, a combination of tight, twisty, root & mud filled trails to basketball sized river rock to quaded out 2 track and that's just in the parking lot:lol:

Any information is appreciated 🙂

O40R

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Only problem I have had with my 03 YZ250 has been the kick starter shaft breaking. I switch everything over to an 01 solid shaft and have had no prolems since. They are a great bike.

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I have a 2003 and it has been awesome. My previous bike was a 2005 KTM 450SX. It works great, I added flywheel weight to mellow it out a little bit (11oz) and ride 99% woods. $1200 is hard to beat, even if it needs a top end and some massaging. Bullet proof bike.

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Only problem I have had with my 03 YZ250 has been the kick starter shaft breaking. I switch everything over to an 01 solid shaft and have had no prolems since. They are a great bike.

How did you switch it to an 01 shaft?

Sorry for the hijack, there great bikes by the way

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$1200 is a great deal if its in good shape. I just picked up a 02 YZ250 so here is what i would look for as i had to repair after inspection on mine.

Water pump shaft, seals, bearing. Check the oil for color, mine was tan had water mixed in it. Don't short cut, if needed get shaft, seals, gaskets and bearing cost me around $100.

Fork seals, new seals and sliders cost me around $70.

Other then that look for your common things, wheel, linkage bearings, low compression, etc.

Great bikes, good luck!

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Only problem I have had with my 03 YZ250 has been the kick starter shaft breaking. I switch everything over to an 01 solid shaft and have had no prolems since. They are a great bike.

Why did the shaft break??🙂

How did you switch it to an 01 shaft?

Sorry for the hijack, there great bikes by the way

No problem, curious myself

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I had a '03 with a lot of hours. The bike is solid but check the lower motor mount tabs for breakage. Both my '01 and '03 tabs broke after about 30 hours so I would assume it to be common (bolts were kept torqued). I also had to gusset the foot peg mounts as they also broke on both bikes. Keep a eye out for the front fender bolts, they need loctite or they will be gone. I just bought a '02 for the CA green sticker. Paid way more than $1200 but the bike still had stock chain and sprockets with very few hours, where I ride the sticker is worth the premium to me.

P.S. replace the stock oil drain plug, after awhile the head will strip and give me head ache. Go with the magnetic type.

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In 02 they switch the shaft to a hollow shaft. The shaft would break right where they drilled the hole for the return spring.

To switch to an 01 set up you need to buy the case cover, kick starter and shaft. The last one that broke on me before I switch everything over took out my case cover also so the only thing extra I had to buy was the kick starter.

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I agree with all the advice, mine has been bullet proof basically; I've done a few top ends, recently had to replace the clutch with Hinson components, check your steering bearings, check wear on the swingarm below the chain slide pivot guard and yes, do the suspension it's worth it.

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My buddy has owned a 03' for years and its one of the best bikes i've ever ridden. BULLETPROOF. My friend doesnt seem to understand the concept of warming up a dirtbike and as soon as he starts it takes off. He has been doing that for going on 4 years now and the bike still runs amazing. Super reliable especially if kept stock. You can't go too wrong with the bike. Will lift the front wheel off power alone in all 5 gears.

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