Originally Posted by Bigt240
How do you like the yz250f compared to your other bikes?
I am really liking it right now. It's night & day better than my Husqvarna ever was. It's modern suspension and has more giddyup than my XR did. I'll do a quick break-down on it:
Chassis: I feel right at home on this bike. It's very natural feeling, and nothing feels weird\out of place when I'm riding the bike. Standing up, I am able to move the bike around and really just move the bike around how I want to. Sitting down, I feel I can lean the bike in on turns and not feel like the bike is going to do anything funny on me.
Suspension: The bike, as I got it, had its forks redone by Pro-Action suspension. Unfortunately it was done for MX. Not the end of the world, and I have to say that Pro-Action valving feels very nice on bigger hits, and quite compliant in the MX sections I've ridden. It deflects a bit on slower\rougher terrain, but extremely stable when WFO in 5th gear. No complaints there. After about 60-75 minutes of Harescramble riding, the forks became more and more harsh. I know this was partially personal fatigue, but my friend noted that from watching the bike was looking more and more unsettled as my race went on. Bottom line, it's not Woods valving, and will never ride like such until I revalve.
Engine: It's like riding a 125, with more torque. Simplest way of putting it. The engine really likes to be wound out. I currently have a Revloc Dyna-Ring in mine that my friend lent me to test out. It could partially be that, but also the engine, but it has very little bottom end power. This is not to say that it won't tractor through some stuff, but the reality is that it just doesn't have the grunt of the bigger bore machines. It's not the end of the world, and in all honesty, the power it does have is very usable and very manageable. I may look at doing a 290 big bore on it, to get a little extra grunt out of it. When you ride the bike how it was meant to (rev'd out), it just shines. The bike constantly hooks up and the power isn't "rip your arms out of their sockets" power. Very manageable.
Transmission: The stock YZ trans is so\so for woods racing (non-MX). I raced with 13/49 gearing on it. I found that I was still dropping into 1st gear in some spots just so I could get the RPM\Torque out of the engine to shoot out of the tighter stuff a bit quicker. The transmission shifts incredibly well, and on the start straight section at the last race, I kept the bike WFO and was able to seamlessly shift through the gears. For "dual-sport" type riding, I had 14/49. The gearing was usable, but the cruising speed at 44.6mph (GPS) was annoying, as the engine still felt it was revving quite high, and when blasting down 2-track in 5th, it still wasn't fast enough (though neither was the 450 I was riding at the time either, so that's all relative).
Reliability: According to some, racing a 4-stroke bike is akin to burning $50 bills. On one hand, I'd be inclined to agree. Redoing a head is like $400+, a top end is around $150, and yadda yadda yadda. Some folks even will say that they are ticking time bombs. I feel most of that stems from a couple things. Bike neglect & riding on the rev limiter (MX). I feel you can ride this bike extremely hard and not be worried of it spontaneously exploding. Keep up with air filter, oil filter, valve checks, etc and I think it'll run for quite some time. From what I've read, Yamaha appears to have the most reliable package, but if you're buying used, that can be thrown out the window if you've no idea as to how the prior owners treated the machine. Unless something goes weird in the next few races, I don't see why I won't get all of next years racing on how my bike currently sits. I tend to put 150+ hours of riding on my bikes (combined) in a season, so by the end of next season, I'll probably be due for some work, but that'd be the case on any machine.
Overall Package: I just really like the bike. It's light and nimble. I feel I can move the thing in the air like I used to do on my 125. I feel very confident in it, and feel I can trust the bike to do what I want, when I want, and how I want. The engine could use a little more low end power & the trans could be wider, but for under 600$, you could swap in WR gears & put a big bore on the thing and be ready to roll. For right now though, I'll be keeping it bone stock (maybe some fake lights for enduros?). I'm feeling it's a real keeper. I know I've said that about bikes in the past, but how I rode on the thing right off the bat makes me feel that this is where it's at. Good usable power for woods. I realized I don't need 450 power for the tighter racing that our area has. A smaller\lighter package, though not "2-stroke" light, it's still plenty light weight, especially when compared to the XR350R.
Long story short, I'm really happy with the bike. I'm excited to see how it rides with revalved suspension.
Additional thoughts - If I were to ride\race in slightly more open area\terrain, I'd be hard pressed to not be on a 450F. Maybe a Japanese 2-stroke could sway me, but I'm beginning to feel that 4-strokes are just more me. Maybe racing the Husky just really turned me off to them, I dunno.
PS - I'll post some pics of the thing sooner or later. I woulda uploaded video this morning from the last race, but It was still rendering when I woke up.