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About Chaindrive

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  1. Well, I'm still looking to sell our YZ85's and YZ85/105 Supermini in order to buy my son his dream bike (a YZ250F). It is still very much winter here and nobody is really buying bikes or even thinking MX, so I would be cutting it close, probably too close, in getting him on a 250F. But suddenly, I'm back to square-one on which bike to buy, if any. The thing is, after attending our recent club meeting and finding out what the new AMA/D22 classes are, it looks as though a 250F won't be the bike to buy since they will now have to go head-to-head with 250 2-strokes, nor can they be used in the Schoolboy class. What a crock! Unless I misunderstood something, I can see no point in buying one now, and it doesn't look like a 125cc 2-stroke will be much more useful. The three A-class racers who were present all say they will be dumping their thumpers and buying 250cc 2-strokes again. It appears the AMA is once again making this sport too expensive at a time when gas prices alone are forcing alot of folks to quit and find a different sport. We have strongly considered it since we can no longer afford to travel to all the races we once did. It's very hard to stay competetive that way! I won't even mention gate fees, entry fees, and so on... Besides, there is more to life than MX. Our boat doesn't get used enough, my son would like to build a 4x4 pickup or Blazer, and the baseball coach would really love to have him on his team. The AMA rules are making this decision (to quit MX) much easier now, at least for me. We have had a great 9 years of motocross racing, but the cost is just too much and keeps getting worse. Though this applies to the cost of living in general, the AMA is certainly not helping at all. The biggest topics at the D22 meeting were 1> new classes; and 2> How to keep D22 people in MX and get them to travel to more D22 tracks like we all used to despite the gasoline costs. No one even wanted to be D22 officers this year, so there aren't any... I think I can see the writing on the wall. Oh, and lets be sure to make it so you have to own more than one bike... There is NO WAY we will buy both a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke, and now the YZ250F will not be the competetive, all-round bike it was. He isn't ready for a 250 2-stroke or a 450F. The 250F would have been perfect... until now. What are you guys doing about the new classes? Is there any place for a 14-year-old on a YZ250F at the motocross track this year without having to compete against 250cc 2-strokes? Thanks for any input!
  2. Wow! You guys really came through! That is an impressive collection of intelligent, experienced, and well-reasoned responses. And they cover the spectrum, too. Many options and positive thinking. I do like the idea of a good used or leftover '07 as a 1st alternative to an '08. I could swing $3500, especially once a couple of the 85's are sold. I am going to check into what kind of deal our local dealer/sponsor can offer me now. A steal-of-a-deal older YZ250F is not out of the question, though. The $5K he quoted me last summer was for a new '07; and was a considerable savings over the sticker price. With the '08's out now, he might be able and willing to do a little better on a leftover '07. And I never even considered Yamaha might have some good financing deals right now. Great info! He has been one of our 2 local sponsors since the 50cc days. We just get a 20% parts discount really, but that has saved us some serious cash over the years and it has been greatly appreciated. I think that 20% is pretty generous considering we have never bought a new bike (from him or any other dealer). Their parts service is top-notch, too. Very reliable and helpful. And no strings attached. Since the current owner, formerly an employee, bought out the previous owner, that dealership has had very little local "track presence" or interest in MX. No advertising with the Club or trackside representation. I'm sure he has had to cut expenses to the bone to make the payments for his new business, and that's too bad. I don't know of any other rider (maybe one?) who claims him for a sponsor. My son does get his dealership/sponsorship mentioned alot during the racing action, and we hope it has done him some good. There is, however, a different Yamaha dealer in a town @50 or 60 miles away who does take the MX racing very seriously and has an excellent national-caliber quad racer he sponsors heavily, along with some others to a lesser degree. They pit by us and are real nice folks. At the final awards-night race this season I asked him what he had for YZ250F inventory and pricing. He said I should get ahold of him sometime soon to discuss pricing and a possible sponsorship for my boy. There would be some strings attached, I'm sure. He tends to want exclusivity with the riders he sponsors, and certainly a rival area Yamaha dealership would be out. I hate to dump someone who has been good to us, but maybe we could and should get more serious sponsorship if we can, so I've been wrestling with this decision for some time now... There was a good point made about staying with a 2-stroke and getting a YZ125. That does have some merit besides cost and maintenence, I know. I have heard that part about 4-strokes "making young riders lazy" before. A fellow dad we race with firmly believes in that and his son is very fast on his 2-stroke. There is another friend whose son has both an '07 YZ250F and an '07 YZ125. His son races the 2-stroke MUCH better than the 4-stroke and prefers the smoker by far. (My son has ridden both of those bikes and he prefers the 4-stroke). Both of those 2-stroke boys are always in the top 3 and win quite often against the 4-strokes at the local Supercross track. A few other racers we know who moved up to big bikes last season started on 2-stroke 125's only to get rid of them quickly when they decided the 4-stroke made them more competetive and/or were the bikes and riders to beat. So, as was pointed out, it really does come down to preferences and a fast rider will always be a fast rider, no matter what he's on. My son has had his heart set on a YZ250F since he was on a 65cc bike. No doubt in his mind what he wanted to ride when he grew up! Maybe that is why he had such good mojo on the ones he rode? Never dismiss the mental aspect. To "be" fast, you first have to "know" you're fast or "feel" fast; or something like that. Finally, there is also the good ol' AMA screwing things up: Half the tracks around here allowed thumper 250's in the Schoolboy class this past season and half did not. My understanding is that it will be a 2-stroke-only class next season. It sounds as though the AMA still can't figure out fair class rules and will continue changing them and confusing everyone and probably force most kids to either drop a class or buy two different bikes. Thank you all very much for the input! I keep going back over it and have found the information very useful and helpful! I'll keep you posted on what happens... Merry Christmas! Scott
  3. My son needs to move up to a 250F this next season. I had high hopes of being able to buy him a new '08 YZ250F, but it just isn't going to happen ($$$). Times are tough and I still have 2 YZ85's and a Supermini and a KX65 to sell. I never dreamed he would grow 5 inches and 50+ pounds in one year... He's 5'8" now and weighs about 150 pounds. A big change from 5'3" and 100 pounds a year ago. I made a big mistake spending so much building a new Supermini last winter, figuring he would be riding it for a couple years at least. He has spent time on a couple different 250F bikes and there is no doubt he rides them much better. He surprised everyone, me especially, when one of the A riders first turned him loose on the Supercross track with his '07 YZ250F a couple months ago. The riding form problems he'd been having, and all the other problems that stem from that, completely disappeared once he got on the bigger bike. He could definitely hold his own in the B class. After several laps, the other club members were unanimous and very blunt about my needing to get him his own YZ250F asap. He's always been a very good rider but it was obvious to everyone how much he had been struggling on the 85 and even the Supermini lately. It was not like him at all. He won both class championships again, but it was not easy or very pretty to watch at times. The 250F just plain fit better and he was absolutely thrilled with the flickable power. He claims my 400F is "an overweight dog" in comparison ! Jumps he had to really set-up on and work hard to clear on even the Supermini were a piece of cake on the 250F. He cornered much better, too. Naturally, he doesn't ever want to get back on a smaller bike... Or a 2-stroke. OK. So a growing kid is nothing new and I have never had a problem finding a good used bike for him before. We always buy used. The YZ85 made that real easy to decide since they haven't changed in years and are cheap and easy to rebuild besides being nearly bulletproof in the first place. But a used thumper is a very different thing from a used 2-stroke. A complete rebuild, should I choose the wrong one, is way too expensive and would probably end his season. And the maintenence and mods it did or did not receive becomes a major issue. Combine that with the changes being made to the Yamaha 250F's each year, and I have no idea what to look for. Is the aluminum frame and other changes to the '06 and up worth paying more money for? Are the steel-framed older 250F's still competetive and/or maybe even a better value? How much weight/height/handling/strength differences are there? They definitely command much lower resale prices (which would be good for me). Would a low-hour older 250F be a better choice (ideally female or senior ridden or not raced at all)? I can get a new '07 out the door for $5K. But $5K is really too much to spend right now. I would rather have him on a good used bike than no bike or a bike that's too small. What year YZ250F do you guys think is the best used bike to look for and why? (steel vs. aluminum frame, handling, durability, powerband, suspension, other?). What should I look for once I have a target year(s) to choose from to make sure I'm not buying someone else's problem? I appreciate your advice and input.
  4. One of the tracks we race frequently is an outdoor Supercross track: corner/jump; corner/jump; etc... Having explosive low end is important to make it over the jumps which often start immediately out of the sometimes flat, hard-packed, and slick corner (meaning slower corner speeds). The 4-strokes do and should have an advantage there, but only IF they have good low-end power. For the reliability issue alone, I would stay with Yamaha. That means I won't have to buy a new hat! For his part, there is no decision to be made. He hasn't even expressed a desire to try any other brand. We have agreed that we like the white ones best, though we will probably immediately change the plastics out for our traditional Strike Eagle black. You have no idea how happy I am to see an already black tank... As long as the low-end can be fixed, and it sounds like it can, I think an '08 YZ250F will be his next bike. I'm going to forgo the '07 and avoid the hassle of finding and installing a higher compression piston. Maybe the '08 won't even need any low-end tweaking...? That would leave figuring out what, if anything, the suspension would need to accomodate his 135 pounds. Of course, last winter he grew nearly 4 inches and gained over 30 lbs in just 4 or 5 months... All the springing and valving I did to his Supermini and YZ85 last fall went right out the window by spring... What is your experience with the stock '07 (and I assume '08) suspension settings from the factory? Is the bike going to need revalved and resprung for say, a 140 pound rider? What is the ideal rider weight for the bike in stock form? A lead-filled belt and a bunch of Twinkies might be cheaper than a softer suspension... Seriously, if money dictates I choose between more low-end power or improving the suspension, it will have to be the suspension first. Anybody else have a light rider on one of these and how is the stock suspension for him or her?
  5. Chaindrive

    building a bashplate

    You could try this very low-cost homemade one: Stop at your friendly neighborhood diesel truck parts store or truck stop and buy a $10 1/4" thick plastic mudflap. They are readily available in black or white and often in many other colors, too. Those things are EXTREMELY tough and slick, too. Cut a pattern using pressboard (single-wall cardboard). You can cut and trim it in sections and tape them together to get a very good fit, though it's a pretty simple pattern. Use it and cut the mudflap with a saber saw. Drill small holes in appropriate spots for zip ties and fasten it on. Tough, lightweight, and super cheap! You could make many out of one mudflap (sell 'em to your buddies) or use the remaining piece for a workpad under your bike in the pits. Make cheap number plates for your buddy's quad? I keep an extra long mudflap in my garage for use as an ultra-low clearance creeper and for gravel driveway repairs. Another in my 4x4 truck for offroad use. There are many uses for those things!
  6. That is an excellent point about a "softer" bottom maybe actually helping maintain traction. The suspension and handling did seem very good. I have been perusing some posts and it sounds like the higher compression piston (like the '08 has) and a better pipe (FMF power bomb?) along with corrected jetting really help wake up the low-end. My son and I are both die-hard Yamaha fans and I have always admired their reliability. I thought the YZ250F was going to be awesome when they introduced the aluminum frame. But then they had valve problems and some steering/suspension problems. In '07, they addressed those issues , but kept the ugliest pipe on the planet and traded performance for quietness (on a racing bike?!). Now it appears that the lower compression of '07 ('06 too?) wasn't such a good idea. The '08s have bumped it back up and done some changes to the exhaust muffler. Maybe they have it closer to being "right" now? He isn't going to take the bigger bike straight to the podium, but I say that every time he moves up a class, and somehow by the end of the season he finds a way to be standing somewhere on it. So if he believes in the bike and enjoys it and it doesn't break the bank to keep it, it is probably the way to go. Does the boy bleed Blue? When that 9-year-old brought his YZ85 home 4 years ago, he and his mom had a truly serious disagreement about whether or not he could keep it in his room with him! I think he's even more infatuated with the YZ250F. It could be worse; he is at the age where it could be girls... bikes (even 4-strokes) are way easier to explain and maintain! (fewer moving parts?) I know it always comes down to the rider. That's why I would rather have him riding fast on a "slow" bike than riding slow on a "fast" bike. As long as neither I nor anyone else talked him into believing the bike was anything but "perfect", he would believe in it and figure out how to ride it fast. Thanks for the input guys. I guess there really is no "perfect, ready-to-race bike", but if none of the other brands really has a margin on the Yamaha, we'll probably stay Blue and try the 4-stroke.
  7. You guys bring up good points that I did not go into to, mostly because I don't know how rigorous the maintenence has been on this bike or if he has even rejetted, adjusted the valves, or tried to dial it in better. I know he said he has tried several different sprocket setups with no real difference. I personally would not settle for leaving the bike that way (if it were our's). I, too, wonder if there isn't a combination of small problems with his bike, maybe from day-one. It runs real good on top; but a thumper without low-end is a disgrace, imho. My son liked the YZ250F very much. He rode it extremely well, too. He likes to fool around on my WR400, so this felt as light to him as his YZ85. He was actually jumping the 250F with better form than I have seen him use for a long time. Scrubbing the jumps and whipping the bike like he had ridden it for months. He has trouble keeping his front wheel down on big jumps with his Supermini. Not on the 250F. Probably because he is cramped on the Supermini? Corners were coming real easily to him, too, after a few pointers about how a thumper engine-brakes and tracks better&differently than a 2-stroke and to use that advantage. All in all, we three dads that were watching found it hard to believe he was riding a 4-stroke, and a full-sized bike, (besides my WR) for the first time. He really rocked and wasn't the least bit tentative about it, clearly enjoying himself. It really seemed to suit him. But he has always been an on-the-pipe 2-stroke rider, so maybe the lack of low end didn't matter so much to him since he rode the thumper that way, too. He has been dreaming of a YZ250F since he was on a 65cc KTM. Psychologically, he is absolutely sure he will be very fast on one, and that truly counts for something. I'd rather he rode a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow! I guess I'm just worried that a YZ250F might require an additional thousand bucks worth of mods to find it's potential. Given the initial price, that is asking too much. We have always been on a tight racing budget and never bought new bikes. Buying used 2-strokes has never bothered me. Easy to work on and fix right. But I do not want a used Thumper since there is much, much more to maintaining them and much more expense to fixing them. This bike may be such an excellent example of "someone else's troubles". I'm going to have a helluva time coming up with the bucks for a new YZ250F, even with our sponsor's discount, and I sure won't have money left over for a bunch of expensive parts. That's why it had better run good right out of the box!
  8. My 13 1/2 year old finally got a chance to test ride both an '07 YZ250F and an '07 YZ125 2-stroke yesterday when his friend brought both of his to the practice track. I was surprised how much the young man (and his father) were disappointed with the performance of their 250F. His son is much faster on the 125 and beat all of the 4-strokes at the track last Saturday night with it. He was the only 2-stroke rider in the 125B class and won! He truly detests his 250F and he rides both it and the 2-stroke very well, but the thumper just won't perform and it hasn't since day-one they say. A local racer that is going to Loretta's and who also rides an '07 (professionally tuned) YZ250F test-rode this boy's 250F last week and also pronounced it "a real pooch". My illusions are shattering... Are they all like that or just take your chances? I rode his 250F a little, too. (It felt so light!! I'm used to my old '99 WR400. What a difference!) But it really is a dog on the bottom end. The friend's dad claims his old '05 YZ250 F was much faster. I'm now torn on what bike to get my son. He is getting too big for his YZ85 Supermini and he rode both the 250F and the 125 very well and looked far more comfortable on them. Oddly, he really liked the 250F. More than the 125. What is the deal with the lack of power on these '07 YZ250F bikes? I see they are bumping the compression back up for '08, but even then the magazine reviewers say the power is lackluster. There are many, many Blue riders around here that have gone Red, Yellow, and Green this past year. Maybe this is why? I'm also told the Yamaha parts are way more expensive than Honda's. I know there are alot of Honda contingency races around here and absolutely zero Yamaha ones, too. I looking for a good reason to stay loyal to Yamaha... But if I am going to put 6K into a new bike, I positively want the most bike for my money that we can get. Up until yesterday, I was fully convinced that the '07 and '08 YZ250F's were the way to go. Ready to just add gas and race. Now I'm not so sure... Can anyone with experience riding the Yammie and the other brands compare some apples to apples for me with an honest evaluation of the different bike's strengths and weaknesses. What needs to be done to get the Yamaha to make more respectable power? Thanks!
  9. Chaindrive

    Who still sells kickstands and racks for wr400?

    Thanks, Dave. I couldn't remember any brand names or companies. I'll check it out.
  10. Chaindrive

    400f kick starter

    You have to take it apart to lose them. How did you do that and what's the chance you could go back to that spot with a magnet to find them? The detent is just a small ball bearing and the spring looks like a short one from a ballpoint pen. Hardly worth $125. You could find a kickstarter at a junkyard or on ebay to rob the ball and spring from. I'll bet that it won't matter if it from a YZ400, WR400, YZ250, or YZ125 either. maybe not even Yamaha..? I just had mine apart to change to a Protech kickstarter. Of course, the ball popped out into the grass and I had to get a magnet to find it... Bigger than a BB and smaller than double-ought buckshot... Maybe number 4 buck or T-shot. I think I have seen a ball bearing assortment at my local hardware store (not positive though). If you give me until tomorrow to look, I can take mine back apart, measure the ball, and then see if they have one close enough to work. That's all assuming I remember right about seeing a drawer labeled ball bearings there, of course. Heck, I have some various small wheel bearings and such out in my shop that I bet would yield up a close replacement. Maybe you do , too? Then rob a spring from a pen, shorten it, and your back in business.
  11. Chaindrive


    If you are very careful, and I would suggest practicing on a junk fender, you can also do it with a propane torch. Just apply a little heat and keep it moving. ...We don't need to discuss not doing this to or near the plastic gas tank, do we? Same goes for a heat gun...
  12. Chaindrive

    WR and and auto de-compression. Year?

    My '99 WR400 has the auto-decomp cam conversion with a YZ250F cam gear on it (matches the WR's timing chain pitch better). Three or four kicks with the choke on when cold (as easy as kicking a 2 stroke) and one decent kick when warm. I love it! The old 4-stroke ritual wasn't hard; but getting my stiff old leg high enough was when combined with the ritual, much less the dreaded side hill. I modified my kickstarter to be much shorter until I could finally afford a prettier Protech billet (still shorter than stock) kickstarter. They were very pricey back then. The bonus is the shorter kicker spins the motor over faster, too. Did it all with info and contacts here on TT. Yamaha swore up and down it wasn't possible to do such a conversion back then of course. TT'ers proved differently. Now you can buy the cam conversion ready-made. You should find TONS of detailed info in the archives...
  13. Hi guys! I'm wondering if anyone knows if there is still anyplace selling those billet aluminum rear fender racks or aluminum kickstands to fit a '99 WR400? (remember those? Kickstarter only; no factory auto-decompression; very popular and revolutionary bike once upon a time... and it still goes faster than I can). I have the only street-legal one in Iowa (with just about every TT-pioneered mod) and have no plans to ever part with it, so I would like to finally upgrade the kickstand with a lighter one that tucks up out of the way better. I would also like to add a decent carrier rack to the rear. These things used to be readily available, but I'm having trouble finding them now aside from one guy on ebay who thinks the rack is worth $150... (I don't). I figured some of the old TT'ers who have new bikes now might still have some of their old 400/426 parts like that laying around or for sale but didn't see any in the Classifieds. (the TT classifieds seem pretty dead these days, in fact...) I also see that "wanted" ads are verbotten now, too, so scratch that idea. I guess new-old stock from a dealer or manufacturer is the best I can hope for if any of you can give me a steer. Thanks for any help. BTW: It's pretty interesting reading through the posts now. I've been away longer than I thought. The new-generation 450's sound awesome and quite different from mine, though many of the same complaints (like being too tall) seem to persist. My son was still racing a 50cc when I bought my WR400 and joined TT. Now I'm looking (with sticker shock) at a YZ250F for him. How time flies...
  14. Chaindrive

    More bad news for 2 stroke minis

    Kenpo1; It's that "third kid" that has me a little worried. Bear in mind as you watch these kids stall their bikes: Not one of them has been on that Honda for more than a month. Going from a 2t to a 4t is not all that easy, but they will adapt. i also wonder what mods the ama will allow the thumpers? I really hope the YZ Superminis kick their red butts. It would sure save me alot of grief and money. Still, the numbers the engine development guy was talking about are mighty impressive. And a 4 stroke does make average riders better riders. It is simply easier to ride since you don't have to work with a narrow power band and shift all the time. And the really fast 13, 14, and 15 year old Supermini riders will not mind the extra weight a bit since the 4 stroke bike will pull their 120lb+ bodies alot better than a 2 stroke. They will man-handle those bikes. Most of those kids are already practicing on 125's and worrying about getting too big for the 85's. The good news is that 125cc riders don't have to worry about the 150cc Honda. It is deemed "too big" for the 125cc class by the ama. That is why the 112cc and under superminis have to take it on. (they're not just on pizza mushrooms... more like peyote buttons...) Satch: Yamaha's "marketing strategy" is losing them many sales and riders right this minute as many blue riders (and green and yellow and red and orange, too) are just waiting for the red thumper bikes to arrive. Not too smart. Once their money is spent on Hondas; it stays spent. The least they (Yamaha) could do is reassure their dealers and riders that they do have a 150 coming if it is true. Listening to so many dads cuss their Honda dealers as they see other kids already on Honda thumpers while still waiting for theirs tells me it already is a very popular, high-demand bike.
  15. Chaindrive

    More bad news for 2 stroke minis

    I thought we were comparing YZ85 Bigwheel Supermini (163 pounds wet) to the Honda thumper (170 lbs dry)? Now you're comparing apples to lemons (CR85R Expert) . I also have a problem with 4 lbs for oil and coolant. Maybe 2 lbs. And did the rider drop a deuce before riding?