yz 250 handling issue

I picked up a 02 yz 250 a couple days ago. I took it out for the first time yesterday to a local track and this thing handles terrible. The rear wheel has tons of wheelsping which I understand is normal on a 250. My real issue however is the front end. It feels like I'm riding on ice. The front tire won't stay in rut and it wants to wash out fronm under me with the slightest amount of turning and brake application. To give you some background, I've been riding and racing for about 3 and a half years. I currently own a yz 125 and I used to own a crf 450 until the rod decided to exit the engine via the front of the cases. On my 125 I have jm racing suspension that works like a dream. I figured I was going to hop on the 250 and it would feel just like the 125 because of similar geometry. Boy was I wrong. I. I don't want to cough up the money to get the suspension done on the 250 if its not going to fix my issue. Any ideas on where to start? I thought about slapping my 125 suspension on it and see what happens.

...My real issue however is the front end. It feels like I'm riding on ice. The front tire won't stay in rut and it wants to wash out fronm under me with the slightest amount of turning and brake application...
Ah yes, this is a common, ahh, feature on the modern YZ250s. Swapping forks won't really help.

The most common cures are...

- Slide the fork tubes up in the triple clamps.

- Dial in less rear suspension sag. The goal is to tuck in the rake.

- Careful selection of front tire.

- Body position; weight the front end by sliding up on the tank when entering corners. The YZs carry much less weight up front compared to 4-strokes.

Personally, I love the 22.5mm triple clamps. The front end hooks up so well the entire bike can be pivoted around the front tire. :thumbsup:

Related thread...

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10296840#post10296840

Good luck!

I'm going to start with the sag and moving my forks up in the clamp. Do the newer aluminum frame yz 250s have the same issue?this i

YZ 250's,and 125's are considered to be more stable and not as sharp turning as somethign liek a Honda or Suzuki. So, if your goal is to carve turns liek an rm, you picked the wrong bike.

Expecting a used bike to hit the track tuned perfectly for you....Thats asking a lot. You have to set sag. Also make sure you have a decent front tire. The 02 forks were nto valved very well from the factory, but maybe yours have been worked with.

YZ 250's,and 125's are considered to be more stable and not as sharp turning as somethign liek a Honda or Suzuki. So, if your goal is to carve turns liek an rm, you picked the wrong bike.

Expecting a used bike to hit the track tuned perfectly for you....Thats asking a lot. You have to set sag. Also make sure you have a decent front tire. The 02 forks were nto valved very well from the factory, but maybe yours have been worked with.

:smirk:

if you dont have the money for a revalve/respring if needed. this is what i did with my 02 to turn great. i put my forks 10mm up in the triple clamps, i would run 95mm of sag in the rear. and start to play with your rebound on your forks the slower the rebound the sharper your bike will turn in mid corner to exit. if you bike is pushing then your rebound is to fast, if your bike tucks and washes out it is to slow.

All 02 -04 yz250 forks are bad imo. I have rode some 04 forks setup by Dave J. that were nice. I remember my buddy bought a new 02 to replace his 99. He said the same things you are complaining about here. I rode it and it real bad. He sold it and bought a 426 he did not even try to fix it. What I remember is you could start on the inside of a turnand the frontend would push skip deflect till you ran out of turn on the outside. Cheap fix you can try is make sure you have 80-85mm sag while on bike in the forks and turn up the rebound. Revalve is whats needed though. Keep us posted.

Just expanding on what's been typed, what is your weight and what's the rear sag?

Also, what is the front tire and psi?

At least part of getting comfortable on these bike is riding style and learning what it takes to get them to turn. I have an '02 and hated how it turned at first compared to Hondas, which have steeper geometry. Moving up the forks and tweaking the sag helps. But over time I adapted to the way it turns, so much so that when I go back to a Honda it feels twitchy. The YZ are much more stable so you can fly over stuff in the straights that makes the Honda nervous. Everything is a tradeoff.

Ah yes, this is a common, ahh, feature on the modern YZ250s. Swapping forks won't really help.

The most common cures are...

- Slide the fork tubes up in the triple clamps.

- Dial in less rear suspension sag. The goal is to tuck in the rake.

- Careful selection of front tire.

- Body position; weight the front end by sliding up on the tank when entering corners. The YZs carry much less weight up front compared to 4-strokes.

Personally, I love the 22.5mm triple clamps. The front end hooks up so well the entire bike can be pivoted around the front tire. :smirk:

Related thread...

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10296840#post10296840

Good luck!

Have you checked your front wheel bearings to see if they are good?

....Do the newer aluminum frame yz 250s have the same issue?
They may be slightly better, but my '06 still needed to be heavily coaxed into a turn, much like my old '96. :smirk:
They may be slightly better, but my '06 still needed to be heavily coaxed into a turn, much like my old '96. :smirk:

I agree with Dan. I went from my 97 to an 06. The 06 suspension made it handle better, but the geometry on the yz frames has been almost identical for the last decade...make that decades.

Just expanding on what's been typed, what is your weight and what's the rear sag?

Also, what is the front tire and psi?

i weigh about 150 and the rear sag is about 100 mm. front tire is a pirelli soft terrain (15psi). i was riding a pretty loamy track so the tire application is correct. from what i've been reading apparently all 2 stroke yamahas have this issue. my yz 125 handles like a dream however. I'm probably gonna try one thing at a time. i'm gonna start with the forks because right now they are as far down in the clamp as they can go.

I have an 03 yz250 but ride woods. When I first bought it the front suspension deflected off of everything but it turned nice. I sent it to FC and for $350 it was almost like riding with complete different set of forks.

also make sure your front bearings are ok. Sometimes it's overlooked and it makes a hue difference in front end handling.

My 2002 has RG3 Suspension and it handles well. There are other bikes that will turn tighter, but they are less stable through the fast sections and whoops.

One trait of the YZ is that you need to move around a bit more than some other bikes. If you don't get forward in the corners, it will not turn.

Also, on these old bikes, it's common to have wear on the steering stem bearings, wheel bearings, etc. Any play there will make the bike handle poorly. Also consider what front tire and pressure you're running as others have said.

just to give everybody an update....

i moved my forks up in the triple clamps. i also softened the forks up a little bit. i took it out to oak hill raceway this past weekend and i liked the results. it's amazing how much a little adjustment can affect the handling of the bike. the forks are still a little stiff for my taste so i'm gonna be looking at a re-valve soon. i also found that moving my bars forward a lil bit also helped with my turning issue. it still does not turn as good as my 125, but i guess that's just a characteristic of the 250 because it is heavier.

If your 02 forks are stock, wait until you have them revalved. Seriously, it was almost impossible to compress the 02 forks over 6 inches before they locked up. A revalve makes a night and day difference.

If your 02 forks are stock, wait until you have them revalved. Seriously, it was almost impossible to compress the 02 forks over 6 inches before they locked up. A revalve makes a night and day difference.

I agree 100%. '02 stuff is competitive and handles well when tuned properly.

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