The 10th and final update for the ADB Magazine Yamaha YZ250X long-term test bike as printed in issue #445, October 2016.
Mods this month: 178 main Jet, 14/50 gearing, RK XW Ring chain, suspension, graphics, brake pads
Mods next month: none
The Yamaha YZ250X long-term test bike is in its final days with me before activating it’s homing beacon and returning to the Yamaha depot, and it’s been a hell of a ride. As reported in the last update, I was meant to compete in the 2016 Hattah Desert Race, but had an accident at work and missed out. So the poor YZ250X just sat for six weeks before I could get back on it and twist the throttle.
Six weeks is a long time off the bike. It may not feel like it but when I finally was able to get back on the bike, I felt so rusty. My balance was off, my arms pumped up and I could only manage about two laps of my grass track at pace.
But then a brilliant idea came into my head. Because I couldn’t race Hattah, I thought it would be good if I raced the two rounds of the Australian Off-Road Championship, in Monkerai, NSW. Nothing says ‘return to riding’ like racing a three-hour cross country on Saturday and then jumping back on the bike for sprints on Sunday.
So I trained for two weeks (because a whole two weeks was going to help so much… Not!) and did a bunch of testing. It felt good to get back testing. First I played around with the jetting and gearing. Obviously, the desert-spec YZ250X was no good for a round of the AORC. I dropped back down to a 178 main jet and also went back to my original 14/50 gearing. RK helped out with a schmick new XW-ring chain which is its top-of-the-line chain, extremely long lasting and looks the part.
Next, I tested the two exhaust systems I had, stock vs GYTR/FMF. I decided to stay with the stocker as the race was going to be wet and the bike runs a little richer and produces smoother power with the stock unit on it. The big IMS tank stayed on the bike and that was great for the race as its translucent so I could see how much I was using.
I think I used between 15-20 litres over the three hours. Jay, from All Pro Racing, had firmed up the fork before Hattah and I found it to be a bit too harsh on the smaller tree roots and bumps but, with a few clicker adjustments, I had the bike working great.
It was tracking nice and getting great drive. Having a firmer front-end also helped with the sharp G-outs that come with the softer ground at Monkerai. And finally, Brett Kenny from Holeshot Graphics kitted me out with a fresh set of graphics and I fitted some new brake pads!
So how did my only race this year go? Well, I almost scored a holeshot in the cross country, which was pretty cool. The YZ250X fired up super-fast and only points leader Daniel Sanders (KTM 300EXC) beat me to the first turn. And then for the next three hours, I battled with all the top Aussie off-roaders (I say battle, they probably say blocked) and eventually faded back to fifth in E2 and 11th outright.
Not bad, I thought. Unfortunately, my lack of fitness became obvious on Sunday morning, when I had to get out of bed for the sprints. I could barely move I was so sore. Nevertheless, the YZ-X carried me through the day and I ended up with another fifth in E2 but was only 14th outright.
It was a good weekend and I enjoyed being back racing. Of course the good people at Alpinestars had me all decked out in the 2017 gear which was awesome! Finally, as this is my last article on the YZ-X, I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone involved. The bike had been unreal.
From out of the crate to a race bike, it’s been an easy transition and if anyone is looking for a bike that is predictable, low maintenance and still has a heap of power and grunt to have fun on, then the YZ250X is your bike.
I didn’t have any experience with a YZ250X before this project and I’ve been surprised at how good it is.
So much so that I’ve decided to buy it! Thanks again to everyone involved, your help and support has not gone unnoticed and I really appreciate it.
Enduro Editor Geoff Braico