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Parts availability for a 1996 YZ250?

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I found a beautiful 1996 YZ250 for $1000. That is my price range as well. It is a one owner bike, he has the title, all original, looks like its barely been ridden, no boot wear marks on the frame. Long story short, i want to buy it. But I am worried about how available parts are and mostly how available they will be in few years. Would I be okay down the road, if I purchased this bike, or would I be better off saving up for a 2002 + ?

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There will be no problem getting parts for a '96. And they are solid as bricks.

Try to talk the price down a little bit.

As to whether to buy a '96 or something else, it really comes down to what you want to use your bike for. Will the '96 suit your needs? The YZs really improved in 1999, 2002, and again in 2005/6, but the prices go up accordingly.

Edited by CaptDan
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There were many small improvements and updates during the 1996-2001 model build, but the motor that arrived in 1999 was a game-changer.

2002 brought new bodywork and frame, plus suspension and motor fine-tuning.

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There will be no problem getting parts for a '96. And they are solid as bricks.

Try to talk the price down a little bit.

As to whether to buy a '96 or something else, it really comes down to what you want to use your bike for. Will the '96 suit your needs? The YZs really improved in 1999, 2002, and again in 2005/6, but the prices go up accordingly.

Thats good to hear. I know the plastics are compatible from 96-01 if im correct. Does a 99+ motor bolt into a 96-98? and is there anything else on the 96 model that differs from the rest of the years of that generation? It also seems that Yamaha and Honda are pretty good about keeping older model parts available compared to Kaw and Zuk. I feel that the bike suit me perfectly. Ive got a yz426f and just cant resist that itch to get back on a 2 stroke 👍

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from what I've heard the 96 motor wasn't great, apparently yama tried to change it around a bit and didn't do a great job, IMO especially compared to 99 I think you're better off waiting, although I'm purely going off things I've read on this forum and not personal experience.

This is a great thread to read:

https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1013713

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Tim512 said it well, the motor was the weak link on the '96. Not horrible, but just not as exciting as others. The '97 was better than the '96, the '98 was better than the '97, and on & on...

...Does a 99+ motor bolt into a 96-98?
Though the 1996 thru 2001 YZs all look the same, there were many small, subtle changes that Yamaha made during those years -- refining, taking weight out, and upping performance -- so swapping in a later motor does not give you an entirely improved bike. If you want the performance of a '99 YZ250 motor, buy a '99 (or newer) YZ.
...and is there anything else on the 96 model that differs from the rest of the years of that generation?
I believe the cylinder and pipe are unique to the '96, and maybe the swingarm. And the graphics of course.

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I don't believe that any of the engines are that significantly different overall. Some are better mid-range, some have a flatter torque-curve, but all in all, they can be modified with different pipes and even jetting to get the performance you want. I assume you didn't buy the bike for a holeshot at a national.

I bought a 1996 WR250Z, which is based on the 1994 YZ engine. The power is perfect for the trails I ride, big midrange with tolerable low end. For example, I used to race a 1989 KX250 cross-country - back then, my nephew, an ISDE rider, had a 2003 KX250 and was #2 D36 CC. We drag raced up a long hill and my old '89 beat him by about 1 bike length.

Don't sweat the year - they've all been good for a long time.

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i had a 96', was a nice bike. I liked the white frame and bulkyness of the old yzs

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thanks for all the help guys ^^^ The owner has not gotten back to me for a few days, im going to continue looking. Happy riding

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