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Current generation XT250-Dirtable? How about in tight single-track?

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I searched this forum and didn't find much on my specific question. I like to ride tight track trails with a lot of change in elevation. E-start is a must on my next bike, and as light of weight as possible. I like air-cooled for reliability---I'm not racing, so liquid-cooled consistent power is nothing I need. After I crunched a few radiators---even with braces on them---I decided air-cooled is it for me. I hear that a lot of the current dual sports with carbs come from the factory so leanly-jetted that they can work ok with stock jetting even at 10,000 feet.

I want and am used to bikes with wet weights about 230 to 250 lbs but it seems that the current air-cooled dual sports with anything other than beginner (read pre-teen kiddy) power are about at 300 lbs or more (including the current XT250). I guess the big-bucks liquid-cooled option is the Husky TE250 or 310, but that's Big Bucks and Radiator City! Anybody got thoughts on this?

Edited by calbikeman2

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I have no experience with the new XT250, but own a 2005 XT225 and a Suzuki DRZ-250 that I have dual sported and plated. The XT225 works fine at modest trail speeds, and the DRZ is much better off road. It weighs less than the XT250 and is a 4 valve motor with more potential for power increases. I have re-jetted it and opened up the air box. It depends where you live, but in Ohio the paper work required to plate an off road bike is minimal. The DRZ has greasable suspension linkage and a back up kick starter. The only down side is the close ratio transmission which makes it wound out at road speeds in 6th gear. I am going to experiment with some gearing changes. I also owned a plated XR400 which was the perfect dual sport except for unpredictable starting. Sorry I sold it.

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I have a 2009 XT250, its a great bike, i do lots of off roading as i live right next to Rowher Flats, so i go for about 2 hours every weekend, i usually trial ride slowly, and almost always climbing, its got plenty of power for any situation, very easy to meanuver as its light and you can easily reach the ground, and ground clearance at 11+ inches on it is great too, suspension is good, i never had to mess with it.

The xt250 is a great bike, and mine weighs about 280 pounds, on paper it says 289, but its less then that.

They are very simple, yet have some nice features, like the computerized odometer, and a few other really nice features.

Ive spent less then 300 bucks in upgrades on mine, and now have it set up perfectly, they do come EXTREMELY lean from the factory, but its very easy and cheap to fix that, if you get one, check out the 2008 and newer xt250 thread on here, or xt225.com, theres lots of stuff on the newer 250's there too.

mine has the following

ricochet skid plate

FMF power core 4 pipe

#140 main jet, instead of the stock #135

wr250 white front fender

shortened turn signals

LED rear light

fuel/pilot screw out to 3 turns out

jet needle has been shimmed

battery kept on a battery tender jr when not used

using mobil1 20w-50 oil

tusk handlebar risers

16 tooth front sprocket, instead of the stock 15 tooth

all this cost less then 300 bucks, and the bike now runs great, takes all traffic at the stop lights, can do 85mph to speed ( i weigh about 150), and cruises nicely at 70-75mph on the freeway.

dont know where you are in cali, but if you'r by the santa clarita area, you're welcome to check mine out, see if it fits you.

xt56.jpg

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Thanks, 150ron.

Your bike looks and reads awesome!

I actually prefer the leaner jetting, and lower (stock)gearing due to my rides in the High Sierras and above Hungry Valley. Also probably'd go w/more aggressive DOT knobbies. I'd probably remove the handy grab rails on the XT250, and substitute some homemade bolted-on lightweight nylon straps, and would remove rear passenger pegs, all to save weight. Again, my riding is probably 90-95% offroad. The XT250 might be workable for me.

From what I understand, you might want to revisit your oil choice, tho, to one more suited to wet clutch and transmission applications---I think they refer to the standard as "JASO MA".

Thanks, GlennF: The altitude where I mostly ride (often 8,000 to 11,000+ feet)dictates different jetting from that of lower elevation areas like the South, Midwest, and Upper Midwest. So my ride will generally have less power than those "breathed on" by many enthusiasts! Since about 2006 it's been nearly impossible to license an offroad bike here. That's why those licensed prior to cutoff here have more value than elsewhere.

Edited by calbikeman2

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as far as gearing you can always put a 14 front sprocket instaed of the stock 15, superior sprockets has them in stock, only about 20 bucks, that should give plently of low end grunt.

theyre pretty good bikes, sometimes i do want more power tho, but for a 16HP air cooled bike, it does very well.

what oil do you recommend?

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150ron,

I guess I could try the stock front sprocket with aggressive knobbies first and then decide if I need/want smaller front/larger rear sprocket.

Over the years I've used variously Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Honda "4T" oils, whatever of them was on special, observing viscosity rating of course. Most recently I bought Castrol 4T 10-40, for $18 for a gallon at Pep Boys (not a special price). I also have used that type (4T JASO MA) oil in my 2-strokes as transmission oil. Also note that sometimes a "20" on the lower end of viscosity can take longer to pump to critical wear areas upon startup vs one with a "10" as in "10-40", so ironically, a 20-50 might contribute to more wear than a 10-40!

Maybe not so "romantic", exotic, or "hip", but does the job right.

Edited by calbikeman2

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I have experience with both the XT225 and the 250. The 225 gets 100 mpg and the 250 is about 90. Both bikes perform the same on/off road. My 73yr dad ride off road and on power lines. He can go anywhere he wants. Both bikes have no suspension, holds weight high and slow handling. As an entry level DS with air cooled it’s a good bike but no stellar performer. For the same or just a bit more a KLX250s is a lot better all around. However it has liquid cooling, taller seat height and less mpg. In high elevation you are going to need HP. You can’t get that with these air cooled bikes.

Edited by weantright

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the xt engine design has been in use for at least 32 years cool thing about it is that you can get the kick start parts of any xt200 xt 225 or xt 250 of past and have both starting methods

I had an 83 xt250 and it had plenty of torque I have also had an xt225 an xt600 and currently have an xt350..all I can say is the xt line is a good all round bike the suspension needs help but if you do not get airborn it will be fine.

The nice thing about the new xt is it has rear disc brakes

wow 289lbs I think my xt350 is like 265

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the xt engine design has been in use for at least 32 years cool thing about it is that you can get the kick start parts of any xt200 xt 225 or xt 250 of past and have both starting methods

I had an 83 xt250 and it had plenty of torque I have also had an xt225 an xt600 and currently have an xt350..all I can say is the xt line is a good all round bike the suspension needs help but if you do not get airborn it will be fine.

The nice thing about the new xt is it has rear disc brakes

wow 289lbs I think my xt350 is like 265

XT350 wet weight ready to ride is 330lbs per specs. How much it weights is not the question but how these bikes hold the weight. Most of the weight of the XT225/250 is high and gives a heavy steering. Add in the lack of suspension and your dirt worthly-ness is low but very do-able if you don't expect a dirt bike performance.

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everythin I have read puts it at 262lbs dry...where did you get 330??

Everywhere on the internet. I road one several years ago and it didn't feel to bad but didn't have anything light to compare it to.

http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/yamaha_xt_350_1986.php

http://www.multilingualarchive.com/ma/dewiki/en/Yamaha_XT_350

http://motoprofi.com/motospecspictures/yamaha/xt_350-1989.html

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everythin I have read puts it at 262lbs dry...where did you get 330??

The 262 Lbs. was for the TT350, not the XT350. I owned both and the TT felt quite a bit lighter, which

may have been the better suspension. I would guess the XT was 30 lbs. more.

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Suheeet, paladin 1! Looks like you added some padding and a new seat cover; what height/hardness of the foam did you get? Guts has three hardnesses and two (other than stock) heights, correct?

Edited by calbikeman2

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At first I went with the tall/soft but switched to the tall/hard. Believe it or not, the tall/hard worked better for all day rides than the soft.

CIMG0307.jpg

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We have a 2006 XT225, bought it with 178 miles. Nice little bike, it now has 1800 miles.

It truly needed the rejetting exhaust opening to make it get out of its own way, it felt like 12 hp stock, at least now, maybe 20 hp???...

For a <150 lb rider its OK.

The suspension is very dated, truly needing work. I jacked the shock up, yet the forks are flexy and in the desert it can be a handfull.

If you do not mind not being able to spin the rear tire on tight single track, and just want cruise the trails it is bullet-proof.....

Though because its dated suspension, we will be looking for something a little better in that area, maybe a WR250R........As the Sierra's where we ride needs a little better top-end, and better boingers, Smile!!

Has been a great beginners bike for her!!!

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Yes, MarkBevans, XT225 is plausible, but suspension might be a bit too much on soft side, and jetting i understand is touchy for rides that vary a lot in altitude.

paladin1, are those the stock front forks, and what are those nifty dark things about midway down forks? Seal savers? What/when/where/how/how much? Spill, please!!!

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The forks have the Race Tech modifications with Emulators and Seal Savers. The bike also has:

Works Performance Shock

Engines Only 250 kit with race piston and cam

BBR Pipe

Aluminum bars with risers

Cycra handgaurds

Flatland skid plate

Baja Designs street legal kit

Shorai Lithium-ion battery

Tubliss tire system front and rear

And other things I can't remember right now.

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