Yamaha XT250 Thread - All things related to the XT from riding to modifications.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by RL Lemke, Sep 23, 2018.

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  1. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    A thread where XT250 owners and people interested in the XT can share experiences, rides, modifications, enhancements and any related topics. This can hopefully be a photo rich, friendly and fun thread.

    I'll start out by offering why I purchased a 2018 XT250:

    Now that I'm in the Social Security time of life, it was time to find a bike for slow exploration over the next 15 or so years. A bike that is my kind of exercise, as opposed to sweaty gym clubs. Daily trail rides on the hundreds of miles of trails surrounding my upcoming home out west. A motorcycle that has a low seat height which allows me to easily deploy my outriggers to keep control in technical sections. Sufficient ground clearance to clear the logs and rocks in the trail. A price low enough to afford the modifications necessary to every motorcycle to make it perfect for my use.

    Standard dirt bike tire sizes (18-21) allow a huge variety of tire options for different conditions and riding.

    HUGE supply of options for customizing because the XT has been around for so long. Especially if you look through all the available options in Japan on https://japan.webike.net/ps/xt250/#!search&p.k=xt250

    Solid reliability with the convenience of having fuel injection.

    Why did you select the XT250?

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    #1
  2. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Numerous OHV trail systems and endless Forest Service roads, many are in reality Jeep trails, in the two national forests offer so many options that travel to the Ozarks is well worth the effort. Far less populated than east of the Mississippi allows far more alone time than any trails further east. All of the Ozark systems are perfect for the XT250 because it is capable in the gnarly sections yet street legal for all the connections.

    Here are the great paved roads:

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    Expand to all the Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri Ozarks and the options really add up. This map includes the adventure routes.

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    Connections like this are transited without question with the XT250 tag.

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    Countless water crossings, sometimes very deep, await you.

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    Make sure you have handguards to protect your levers because dirt naps happen.

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    Plenty of local color.

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    All the color of back east, but without all the crowds.

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    Plenty of places to stop for gas and a bite.

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    While not the elevation changes as in the west, there are plenty of ups and downs.

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    I hosted AMA sanctioned Dual Sport Rides for 9 years, so have some GPS files I can share.

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    #2
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  3. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Take the Lost Coast of California, a place with everything from towering redwoods to very remote Pacific Ocean with mountains between.

    So many miles of unpaved backroads for exploring. All perfect for the XT250 because of the relative compact nature of the area. Close to many motels and lots of camping.

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    With a couple of paved roads penetrating the area. This is one of the best pavement sections:

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    Load up your XT250 and travel to the Lost Coast and spend a week exploring the area. It will change your life.

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    #3
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  4. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Comparing the XT250 with other bikes shoppers may be considering too:

    Range from magazine tests.

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  5. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Suspension mods are something riders who seek more performance often loot at. In addition, these mods allow a bike to be tailored to your weight, and riding style.

    Where do you ride? Trails, pavement? Gnarly or smooth?

    What do you carry in addition to your weight? Luggage, passenger?

    What are your expectations? Good enough or performance?
    Frankly, the OE suspension is good enough. Add preload to the rear and spacers in the forks and you will extend the range of weight carrying, while reducing the effective compression stroke. But it will be good enough.

    If you desire the full range of the modest suspension travel and appropriate dampening you will need to do what I'm doing by going to Cogent Dynamics for a replacement shock and fork rebuild.

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    The more information you can provide will result in your complete satisfaction with how the XT250 is transformed.

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    How to send your forks to be rebuilt?

    Rifle case. I found one that is value priced and just the right size. Safe & Secure

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    #5
  6. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks to twinrider I am getting the critical case saving sliders, something unavailable in searches here in the US. Both sides are included for $47.

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    I'm also getting a complete tubeless rear wheel assembly to mount the tubeless Michelin trials tire for very low air pressure rock climbing. My February ride in Moab will be easier with this level of traction. Having a 2nd wheel makes it easy to switch between tires for the intended ride.

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    This XT250 transformation will make for a mountain goat on the Slickrock trails. Those who have ridden there understand what I mean, others just don't get how inspiring riding there truly is.

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    A place where a trials tire rules.

    Why is the XT250 a perfect motorcycle for the Slickrock Trails in Moab?

    1) The trials bike 51 degree turning. The bicycle/motorcycle trails have very short switchbacks.
    2) The low seat height allows better movement and the ability to more easily save yourself on the countless off-camber steep sections.
    3) The Slickrock Trails require only modest horsepower and a rider benefits from smooth & broad torque.

    The key to success on the Slickrock Trails is tire footprint, in that a lot of rubber touching the ground is key to taking advantage of the sandpaper rock surface.

    Riders suffering from vertigo should avoid Moab.

    Ordered from Japan on September 9th, shipped on the 11th arrived the 14th. And to think I selected the slowest and least expensive shipping, which stated as much as 4 months.

    Great service and delivery. https://japan.webike.net/

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    The OE rear wheel is listed as: 18M/C x MT2.15

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    #6
  7. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Case protection:

    I purchased these from Japan.

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    #7
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  8. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Barkbuster Jet was an easy addition.

    The Doubletake Dual Sport mirror was easy as well. I painted the risers to match.

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    #8
  9. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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  10. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Decided the aluminum skidplate needs to be black.

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    #10
  11. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Adding a Garmin bike powered Zumo GPS mount allows the 595 to be used on each bike.

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    RAM mounts make everything so much easier.

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    #11
  12. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    With the XT250 steel subframe supporting the tail, it will be a snap to drill two holes to affix a collection of small tail bags. I've used these bags on multiple bikes with great success. Speeds far greater than even Texas speed limits and the bags remain secure with two bolts.

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    From none to small Cortech bag capable of holding tools and rain jacket, to the larger expandable Nelson Rigg bag that holds far more. This system allows me to switch between bags depending on the days ride route and weather.
    #12
  13. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Different bikes and different riding styles require different boots. The XT250 will allow for more use of my feet to regain control in technical sections. As such, I have found Ride magazine top rated waterproof boots with very grippy soles to add to my collection of riding boots. Some of the technical creek crossings will have hidden slime that causes a wheel to slide out. Grippy boots will save me from pain. Something I'm familiar with having MX boots with sliding soles.

    The way I see it, the old adage of When In Doubt Gas It Out don't apply as well to a 17 HP bike. The use of my legs to regain control will occasionally be necessary.

    I landed on the same boot because of the magazine test.

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    Treated the boots with NeverWet because this product has proven effective with many uses from electronics to fabric to leather.

    https://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/neverwet/neverwet-boot-and-shoe/
    #13
  14. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    The point of showing where to ride the XT250, or any other dual sport bike, is to encourage people to seek out and ride new places. Be it riding season extending because of climate differences, or just horizon expanding.

    I hope to tease your curiosity to travel out to well documented and proved superior riding areas.

    If exploring on paved roads, this is the start of my favorite road:

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    If exploring the little backroads on the XT250, these kind of views are what I'm looking for:

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    For me, all of North America is my playground, with the Rocky Mountains west being my favorite.

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    May each of us find the kind of riding we each find blissful.

    Having ridden on-road and off-road from the Atlantic to Kauai, I know where I find my bliss. See map above.
    #14
  15. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Tires are so personal. How and where you ride govern.

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    XTREME HYBRID
    ENDURO TYRES, HYBRID TYRES

    • Construction like a trials tyre but with reinforced sidewalls to allow lower inflation pressure.
    • Flexible tread concave and lock system for increased traction.
    • Tread blocks with deep sypes for extra trials-like grip.
    • Natural Rubber Rich for durability and long wear life.
    • DOT and reversible.
    Up & Down this wall you want perfect traction.

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    #15
  16. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Change faster to better and you are headed on the right path. Many who don't ride confuse the two. Fast doesn't get you to the end of an enduro, better does.

    As for suspension, it is what facilitates better riding because it greatly extends the capabilities of a motorcycle.

    Ask anyone who has competed in any form of motorcycle racing, it is the suspension that keeps your tires connected to the surface in a manner that facilitates steering and traction.

    Of course, there are those who tractor through the gnarly sections, TW200 style. There the suspension performance contribution is marginalized.

    Picking the right line is what rider skill offers.

    Keeping momentum along that line is what good suspension offers.

    Both make transiting these sections enjoyable.

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    #16
  17. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Riding The Dragon and other paved roads in NC/TN it looks like the forest roads are pretty much what I call gravel roads or county roads. Pickup friendly, thus dangerous to anyone riding a motorcycle.

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    None of these Great Smoky Mountain roads I would consider challenging or requiring suspension modification.
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    Balsam Mountain Road
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    My off-road experience in your area is a little different:

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    #17
  18. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Value priced Tusk, apparently a store brand, bike lift. Highly and easily adjustable to fit any number of dirt bikes, this is the right size for the XT250. I added skateboard grip tape to the foot lever and under the stand for garage floor grip.

    An added benefit is the ability to get oil refills perfect because the engine is level and the window in perfect view.

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    #18
  19. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    I want to emphasize a real benefit found with the XT250, and one that added to my decision to make the purchase. That being the tight turning radius.

    As Yamaha says:
    • Nimble Steering
      Maximum turning angle of the handlebar is 51 degrees—almost like a trials machine. Combined with a short wheelbase of only 53.5 inches, the XT250 has a super-tight turning radius for excellent maneuverability.
    For those who make the effort to go to Moab, this turning radius will make a huge difference on the bicycle/motorcycle trail.

    Follow the dots to see the trail.

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    What it looks like from the ground.

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    The XT250 is what I consider a modern version of my old Bultaco Alpina. A great trail bike. Pretty much the same turning radius, seat height, ground clearance, horsepower, torque characteristics, etc...

    The owners of Cogent Dynamics are riding Moab this week. I'll be there in February.
    #19
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  20. Xiola_Blue

    Xiola_Blue You Can Build Your Muscles Picking Strawberries...

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    Exploring we will go...

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    My fender eliminator mod. The signals are integrated with the brake light.
    #20
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