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Yammy YZ250WR - any experiences, thoughts for dirt beginner?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by buckerooni, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    Thought I'd consult the brains trust for my next bike purchase.

    I'm in the market for a dirt orientated but street legit bike. I had a XR250L which just got written off, which was a little tooo street for my liking.

    Coming from a downhill mountain bike background, I'd like something light handling that isn't too much to handle for a relative beginner in the dirt. I'd like something that I can also do 1/2 - 1 day rides as well as 3 hour muck-arounds.

    This bike caught my eye because it was road reg, good weight, sensible power for my ability and is able to accomodate a long range tank (12ltr) for longer rides. I'm 65kgs so I don't need too much to get me down the track.

    can anyone share the experiences with this bike, or comment on the suitablilty of it for my purpose? I've heard that YZ's have a tendency to blow up, but I won't be riding it in true MX fashion...

    any comments appreciated.
  2. They`re used to be genuine WR250 enduro motorcycles from Yamaha in the early 1990`s. However the one released in the lated 90`s and early 00`s are just rebadged YZ`s (motocross bikes).

    I have never owned one, however here are some things to consider:

    • - I believe they come with an 19 inch MX rear wheel. Not an 18 inch Enduro rear wheel. This has a little to do with punctures / traction. Can explain later if need be.
      - Close ratio gearbox
      - MX suspension.
      - No fly wheel weight (Mx Fly Wheel)
      - MX Jetting

    The power will be fairly brutal, probably not much bottom end but a wicked mid to top end hit. Sounds nice on paper bu in theory, not all that nice for trail riding.

    As to your statement on reliability. They are a 2 stroke. They can be senstive to what oils are used, altitudes, proximity to the ocean, fuels and most of all usage. 2 strokes, especially MX bikes, love to be ridden on the pipe. Jetting can fix this somewhat however riding all day below the powerband is bound to foul many plugs. 2 strokes also need to be pulled down generally more frequently than 4 strokes, although it`s piss easy to do as there is no valves, cam chains etc.

    Really not at all appropriate for a beginner. What`s your budget? Do you really need to do commuting on it? Or do you wish to do mostly trail riding? What sort of trail riding, open fire trails or gnarly single track?

    More info needed.


    Edit - for dirtbike related stuff, there is also this website based in Oz. http://www.dirtbikeworld.net There are some idiots there, but generally they should provide you with reasonable advice. I wouldn`t use what they say as gospel though, always best to speak to dealers, friends in the know etc to get a general understanding of what you want or need to know. /rant.
  3. As I am too lazy to do my own research can explain those two points are point me in the right direction
  4. An 18 inch (Enduro) wheel and a 19 inch (MX) wheel have effectively the same rolling diameter. It`s just the rim size that is different.

    The 18 inch has a bigger side wall, whilst the 19inch has a much lower profile.

    The higher profile tyre on the 18inch, flexes more on rocky/rough terrain which is thought to give a cushion type effect and reduces the risk of a pinch type puntcure when compared to the performance of an 19 inch wheel in similar terrain.

    The 18 Inch also has a bigger foot print, as it squashes (can`t think of a better word) and conforms to the surface of the terrain, which knobbies tyres are meant to do, so it has more rubber in contact with the ground which should effectively provide more traction.

    The 19 Inch tyre with the lower profile, is firstly lighter and is better at transferring power directly to the ground as there is less flex (wasted energy) of the tyre so the bike should hook up better.

    For your benefit, I am not tyre expert anything, I am a glorified Sunday racer, with many assoicates who run professional motocross and enduro teams in Australia. I have benefited alot from their experience over the years.

    Do you want me to explain the maintenance bit in your quote as well?
  5. yes please, basically more on how a 2 stroke engine works (I get the 2 stroke bit) mainly the lack of valves and cam shafts.

    I understand what you are saying about the tyres same sort of thing is argued with mountain bike tyres (26" vs 29")
  6. Almost the same, If you take a 19 & 18 inch rear wheel off of two different motorcycles and place them side by side. They will almost be exactly the same height (same rolling diameter).
  7. I'm not sure about the wheel size info but certainly some of the other points made above are incorrect to the best of my knowledge.

    I only glossed over all the posts but the points I picked up that you should keep in mind are:

    Later model WRs are all 4 stroke, not 2 stroke as mentioned (early models were 2 stroke, before 99 I think?)

    WRs have different gear ratios and jetting to the YZ. The jetting can be changed to YZ spec though and a lot of people do to get more top end (sacrifice to a bit of low end).

    Which year/model were you looking at?
  8. I am sorry mate, but there are two models.

    The YZ250WR (2 stroke & discontinued early 2000`s) & The WR250F (4 stroke and introduced in 2003 I believe).

    Thread title is YZ250WR, so which model do you think he is talking about?

    Link for your reference - https://netrider.net.au/forums/posting.php?mode=editpost&p=866839

    Please do a little research before claiming that I am wrong. Thanks.
  9. Did you even read my post? I know full well there are two models, I even mentioned in my post there were 2 and 4 stroke models. If you mentioned this fact earlier and I missed it my apology, however I only saw you mention the 2 strokes. You also said they have the same jetting which is incorrect.

    I have done my research and certainly didn't mean to offend, only trying to be helpful to someone who's interested.
  10. thanks too-far.

    according to the specs, it's a 'Tyres Rear 120/80-19 Barum Enduro' so it sounds MX. would have thought that generally a smaller wheel for MX (faster to accelerate, stronger) and bigger for enduro (more rolling monentum etc) but there you go - what do I know!

    to respond to some of your points:

    Close ratio gearbox - relates to from my quick search: higher fuel consumption, keeps the engine working hard, lower top speed. Would you expect a bike like this to get up to 105kph? top speed isn't critical but rather something to understand capability of bike.

    MX suspension - is it more about keeping the bike from bottoming on the track rather than constant hookup on the trail? not as smooth or comfortable for all-day riding? less fogiving when mistakes are made?

    No fly wheel weight (Mx Fly Wheel) - don't understand what this changes, can you explain?

    In terms of riding, I plan to use it for trail riding, some singletrack and half day rides hopefully. Not planning on jumping buses :) In terms of road use, would like a bike for darting around town occasionally, but already have a car/mountain bike for most around town stuff. think of it for 'occasional communting' (less than 8ks to work) and get-about.

    I guess I'm wondering if the power delivery will be difficult to learn with, I guess I'm after something that is easy to handle, with potential to tap into once I get my skills up, but be able to enjoy it without getting too punished. The lack of a magic button was also a concern.

    My budget was about 4K for a dirt bike, up to 5 if it's a road reg but dirt orientated. As I am learning, and know that I've trashed many mountain bikes I don't want to be investing too much in something that may be heavily abused through the er...learning process...

    any other points to consider or alternative bike suggestions?
  11. whoops, that post above was a long time in the making (started it earlier in the day) catching up on posts now...
  12. I reckon this bike is not for you, you are doing too much tar riding.

    My CR250 which I raced and had rec reg on would do about 85 kph max. I have to guess as I never ran a speedo and only ever really did single track on it. Speed comes from gearing though, so you can fix it. There is the possibility of nipping it up if you use it for extended periods at high RPM.

    Suspension - you`re spot on.

    A flywheel weight is something that effectively just bolts onto your crank (not exactly) and attempts to smooth out how the power is delivered to the rear wheel. using heavier flywheel weights was pretty a common method to help tame larger bore two strokes. I had one both on my CR500 motard and my CR250 when I still ran two strokes. The YZ250WR is a MX bike, converted in Australia by Yamaha Australia for compliance will have a very light fly wheel for maximum performance.

    Regarding Jetting, granted Yamaha may have changed main/or pilot jet on the carb, it`s still a Mx carby and you cannot just turn it into a Sunday trail bike by changing main/pilot jets.

    If you are doing that much tar work, ie commuting reasonably often, you really need something a bit tamer. DRZ400, XR400, Old School KTM400 LC4. Something a boit motre durable than the modern WR`S, CRF`s, KTM`S and KLX`s.

    However if you are prepared to scrap the idea of commuting entirely, then there are many more options available to you. Although your budget should increase a bit so you can get something in reasnably good condition that is also reasonably modern.

  13. If you must have a smoker, a Suzuki RMX250 might be worth a look.

    Biggest shortcoming was the carb which could be set to idle properly, or run at higher speed properly, but not both at the same time.
  14. Wow, so much misinformation. Firstly, the WR's don't have a close ratio gearbox. The WR stands for wide ratio because suprise, suprise, they have a wide ratio gearbox :wink:

    You'll be pleased to hear they top out a lot higher than 105kmph and will happily sit on 100kmph at reasonable RPM. I'll chime it at this point i've had the pleasure of piloting one of these machines which I get the idea that too-far hasn't seeing as he's suggesting they have a gearbox like his mx cr.

    These are ENDURO bikes, do some searching on enduros and you'll see how they differ from MXers. The gear ratios is a big difference but there are others.

    In short the four stroke WR's are fantastic bikes (never ridden the 2 stroke) with incredible offroad handling. About the only thing too-far was correct about is they're not for newbies maintainence wise. Whether 2 stroke or 4 stroke they're race engines which need regular maintence. With the 4 stroke this means short service intervals and regularly checking of valve clearences.

    It's up to you to decide if you need an offroad weapon that's a compromise on the road (and not because of the gearing, because of the maintainence) or something a bit more sensible for doing both. If you do want the weapon and aren't turned off 2 strokes (theyre a lot of fun!) I'd add the KTM EXC250 to your short list to check out along with the WR's.

    If you want something more sensible the DRZ400 is a great choice, as is the XR400. The older KLX's are plenty road friendly but the 250s are a bit underpowered (consider the 300). The KLX450 though is a definate road legal racer like the WRs so that isnt as suited for the road.
  15. It's amazing how people can become so argumentative when there's no argument to be had. :LOL:

    FYI buckerooni, have a look at this if you haven't found it already.


    The YZ250WRs DO have a close ratio box. I've had riding mates who bought and sold them because they can't be geared properly for all round usage in single track and faster fire trails. Either first gear is too tall so you have to slip the clutch and rev, getting close to the mean end of the power delivery, or first is fine and you can barely run at 80.

    Both of the guys I knew played with heavier flywheel weights to take the sting out of them. They were both on the bigger side and dwarf you at 65kg. They are not really a compromise - they are a race bike with plates, and if the XR was too "street" for you, this might be going too far the other way.

    The WR250Fs are better suited to all round use, but they are still very peaky if you have any road work to do, and it won't live a long or happy life if that is all you do with it. On the trails they are brilliant though.
  16. Agree that the DRZ400 might be worth a look. They are not light, but they have pretty neutral manners on and off road. Long lived, easy to look after and cheap enough second hand these days. I'd take on over an XR400 every time because I hate kick start bikes, and the DRZ has a proper key so will be more secure if you chose to ride it around on road and park it.
  17. Exactly my point. Try to share some of my experience and some dude tries to tell me how make hay.

  18. thanks MacManMike for the review - yep, the YZ looks a little brutal.

    In terms of my comments around my old XR20L - it's a vastly different bike from the XR250/R - so I'm not cancelling out the XR's either - it's just the kick start that will potentially piss me off.

    The DRZ's look a little porky for my liking, but perhaps it's like the KTM 250 EXC - apparently they ride light, just don't drop it! How would it stack up against an XR400? Another one in the race is a KTM 250 EXC is also a goer - I think the 2003+ models have the magic button.

    my thoughts were along the lines of...buy something that is good enough to enjoy, but not too precious that I am in fear of destroying...looks like I'm back on the 4T's!
  19. With the KTM`s, there are 3 types of 250EXC`s.

    KTM250EXC - 2 stroke (current model)
    KTM250EXCF - 4 stroke, sleeved down 400/450 so still a heavy bike (not a current model), discontinued once below model was ready to introduce.
    KTM250EXCF 4 Stroke(current model) - fairly awesome bike. From 2006/ 2007 onwards I think.

    Just to be sure, Which KTM are you referring to?

    These days, I ride 250 4 stroke`s exclusively. They have enough power for me to do stand ups everywhere, they are light and nimble and are easy on the body to ride. Some larger bore 4 strokes, and most 2 strokes can be fairly fatiguing to ride all day.

    As you said, the DRZ400`s can be a little porky, their weight is not well balanced and can make them quite hard to use in tight scrub. All the weight is up top, not conducive for a nimble bike.

    The XR400 is nimble enough, as the wait is lower to the ground, but lacks the button. Which can be a total pain in the arse. An XR400 has about the same horsepower more or less as do the newer generation of 250cc 4 strokes.

    Spare parts prices should be factored into your purchase as well, European brands tend to be quite expensive for parts. Whilst Japanese brands can be quite reasonable in comparison.

    You should be able to get a decent nick WR250F (4 stroke ) for about 5 to 6 ish I reckon, that`s sounds like the bike for you. Plus there are Yamaha dealers everywhere, so easy to get advice, serivce and parts.