YZ125 vs YZ250 for trail bike?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Awasome, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    Hay guys, I looking at getting used a bike for riding the local trails. I might take it to the track and dunes for kicks once in a while. I looking at the 2006 or newer YZ125 and 250s. I'm 5'10" 165 lbs, I have rode quads most my life and have spent very little time on a dirt bike. My main concern with a 125 is would i need to ride the snot out of it to really get it to move, and woud I be doing top ends all the time, and with the 250 I'm wondering if it would be as light felling and flickable as the 125. If you have spent any time on these bikes what do you think, or if you have herd of anything that might help make my decision is easier please let me know!


    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. DSTEVENS

    DSTEVENS Been here awhile

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    Hello Awasome, I cant help you on your question, but I have ridden both, but only on my own or public mx tracks. In 2001 I bought a new YZ250, amazing power for such a small motor. I still smile thinking about the front wheel off the ground, which is where it was quite often. I am no longer able to ride, but if I was I would by a brand spanking new yz250 and let er rip.:D:D:D Best wishes. D.
    #2
  3. adam728

    adam728 Long timer

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    125 is only fun in the dunes for very small amounts. Very underpowered for real dune romping.

    The 250 is a great bike with a large following and huge aftermarket.
    #3
  4. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer Supporter

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    considering your weight i am sure yz125 would be ample power. I guess you need to consider are you a person who like to try to take the beast and show throttle control (yz250) or someone who would like to ride all out and not be concerned about whiskey throttle (yz125).

    I would also consider a ktm 200 if i were you, it is in the middle of the two yz's and with better parts from the factory than yamaha! :deal I loved my yz125 but my KTM200 is better in nearly every way. :deal
    #4
  5. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    #5
  6. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    If I got a 125 and rode it hard how often would I be doing top end rebuilds compared to the 250?:evil
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  7. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Ridin'offroadCJ

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    Lots more
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  8. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    I got the chance to ride a YZ125 and really liked it. I'm going to try to test out a YZ250, but the 125 seems to be perfect for what I want to do.

    Thank you all for your help!
    #8
  9. adam728

    adam728 Long timer

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    Top end maintenance will vary wildly based on usage, parts used, and opinion. Some guys swear a 125 will need top ends every 15 hours, others say once a year regardless of hours. Same deal with 250's, some swear 25 hours max, others claim never. My neighbor was in that last catagory, I think it was around year 6 that the cast piston let go and destroyed everything (rod broke, cylinder hammered, crank obviously needed rebuilt to replace the rod, etc.) Bike had somewhere between 100 and 1 million hours on it at the time (he had no idea)


    I typically did 30-40 hours playing on the 125's between top ends, and 50-ish on the 250, a bit longer if running a forged piston. Some guys claim 200-300 hours. I was running B and then A class hare scrambles and enduros.

    I'll say again, a 125 in the dunes is fun only long enough to say you did it. I'd take my old KDX220 (modded) before my 125 to the dunes. That said, if I were chosing between a 125 and 250 right now, I'd go 125. They are just so much fun! 5'9" and 190 lbs.
    #9
  10. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    Man, I can't make up my mind on which bike to get next. I have a few on my list right now. For some reason I would love to have a 125 in the garage. I have never owned one. Been a while since I have rode one. Seems like it would be a very fun bike.
    #10
  11. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    I found a 2000 YZ125, almost in top shape for $800, but it doesn't have a title, does anyone know how much it would cost to get one?

    Thanks for all your help!
    #11
  12. adam728

    adam728 Long timer

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    The cost and process of getting a title will depend on what state you are in.
    #12
  13. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    I'm in washington state. If you don't know the price in my state, what is the price that you know of?
    #13
  14. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

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    Takes 3 years and a state patrol inspection... I think $130??? Pain in the rear it sounds like.

    IMO 125 is going to take an expert rider to keep it on the pipe on any tech singletrack. I know the Huskys bored to 160 are awesome but not sure you can get the same results on a Yamaha.

    I don't have it posted for sale but I have a very nice and woods setup plated CR250 that is a great trail bike if you are interested. Very similar ride to yz250. I really love riding it but my wife says I can't ride three bikes at once ..


    <iframe width="1280" height="720" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nh-LeFGzbmw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    What do you want for it?
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  16. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    I know lots of people ride MX bikes on the trails. I have done this in the past and I feel that MX bikes are for riding MX.
    You can take an MX bike and make it into a trail bike, but suddenly that cheap, amazing deal isn't quite so amazing after all the mods to change your MX bike into a trail bike.
    I'm of the opinion to either buy a purpose built trail bike (KTM 125/150/200/250/300 EXC/XCW, or what ever) or buy a MX bike that someone else has already done all the mods to make into a trail bike.

    I think that most people ride MX bikes simply because you will find at least a dozen on the used market for every one trail bike you find.

    Goodluck either way.
    #16
  17. adam728

    adam728 Long timer

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    Not a full answer, but 3 seconds of google gave this
    http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/replacetitle.html

    Spend a little time and dig into it. Last time I did it in Michigan it cost like $15.

    The YZ125 can be made pretty trailable with the right 144 setup. Lots of guys swear the SSS suspension is perfect everywhere from freestyle ramps to trials rock gardens, I dont know what they are smoking.

    My 250 took a lot of suspension work, but the engine could have (should have?) stayed stock. Biggest issue was the transmission, 5 close ratio gears sucked. Greatly longed for my old KDX gearbox. The YZ I ended up gearing up 1 tooth on front for faster sections, and then just improved riding until 1st was no longer too tall. :)

    Really though, any bike will have trade offs, and a lot depends on what and how you are riding. To some guys a trail ride is gravel roads, to others its hike-a-bike that takes 9 hours to cover 50 miles (I like the later, but don't have it in MI :( ).
    #17
  18. jwhking1315

    jwhking1315 Adventurer

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    If you are looking for trail bikes & have as little riding experience as you say you do, looking at mx bikes are not where you need to start.

    Try looking for an XR250 (4 stroke Honda trail bike), WR250 (4 stroke Yamaha trail bike), or a Kawasaki KDX 200 or 220, (2 stroke & my personal favorite, what I ride)
    #18
  19. Awasome

    Awasome Adventurer

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    Thanks for showing the title prices, I couldn't find anything like that and I was looking for one hour. My type of trail riding is single track, close to trees, roots, rocks, mud, ect. I have looked at the KTM trail bikes, and I really like them, but there is not many for sale in my area at all and they are way over priced. I think I'm going to get an older YZ125 for cheap and mod it up for xc.

    Thank you all for your help it is very much appreciated.
    #19
  20. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    I just bought a 2000 YZ250 for woods use. It's a pretty hardcore MXer, and I am a "C" level rider doing slow, technical trails. Lots of streambeds, logs, almost trials-type riding, with some faster singletrack and open sections thrown in. This means in stock condition it's really a handful.

    To make it a woods bike, I've done the following:

    Engine:
    • 13oz flywheel weight. This makes it less likely to stall, but isn't as huge of a difference as I was expecting.
    • Gnarly pipe and TCII exhaust, for less noise and more low-end grunt.
    • To make the most of these mods, I retarded the timing a couple degrees. The effect was HUGE. The hit is much smoother and less intimidating, but the low-end still tractors hard. I'm not sure how much of this was purely the timing, and how much was the timing combined with the pipe.
    • 13T front sprocket. I'm running a 49 rear, but will go bigger on that as well, when it's time to replace it.

    Controls:
    • Cut the bars down 1" on each side
    • G2 throttle cam (not on yet)
    • Cycra handguards
    • Gripper seat cover
    • Spider Grips

    Suspension:

    At first I worked with the clickers, but wasn't happy. The shock is bearable with the rebound about stock, and the LS compression all the way down. The forks are way too stiff in LS compression, even with the clickers wide-open. Springs are good for my weight, so I'm just re-valving now. The shock is going back together now, with slightly stiffened rebound, and significantly softer compression, both in the low- and mid- speed ranges.

    For the forks, I'll leave the rebound alone, and make a huge reduction in the LS compression. The super low-speed stuff is almost OK with the clickers wide open, but the mid-low is way too stiff. I'll deal with that by adding a stage to the base, and removing a bunch of face shims. I'll also soften the mid-valve a bunch, and maybe float it a little more, unless I get in there and something is wacky. From what I hear, the mid is just way too stiff on these forks, even for MX use.

    2006+ forks are much better, and are rumored to work okay in the woods with just clicker adjustments. A re-valve is still ideal. Since I wanted to build the bike as much as ride it, I saved money by getting an older bike. If you want to save time in the garage (or if you don't do much work yourself), then a 2006+ is a much better starting point.

    I tend to ride around off the pipe, using the real power as a reserve for hill climbs and open stretches. With a 125 I'd have to re-learn to keep the engine spinning and use the power. As I get better, I might find that more rewarding. It's certainly a more advanced way to ride, and just kinda frustrating at my current skill level (in the terrain I'm in, anyway).

    If anyone wants to convert a YZ250 for woods use on a budget, I'd suggest:

    1) Re-valve yourself ($30 damper rod tool, $20 in oil, maybe seals if needed)
    2) Dial back the timing 2-3 degrees. Just play with it until it feels good. (free)
    3) Gear it down, at least whenever you next need a chain and sprockets (free if you're replacing them anyway)

    I'll report back on the G2 cam. It's only $55 shipped right now, and I'm hoping it'll really enhance control, especially for someone like me used to slow 4T bikes.
    #20