Getting the YZ250F ready for 2023


Since we didn’t get out on the dirt bikes at all last year, I’m determined to go up to MotoPark at least once this year. The older kids are both over 18 so I don’t need to provide bikes and equipment etc for them, I’d love for them to come along but it has to be up to them to finance it. I decided that I would prefer a 150cc 2 stroke to a 250cc 4 stroke so I sold the RM-Z leaving us with the YZ250F that isn’t fuel injected but we all felt handled better and the old 125sx that the little guy is ready to ride. I didn’t find any good deals on a 150cc or even a newer 125cc so got on with making sure this YZ250F was ready – most of the snow has gone now so we must be getting close!

I had forgotten the little trick to starting it (blip the throttle before kicking) so it took a lot of kicking and a sore foot before I got it running, compared to about 3 kicks of the FI RM-Z!! It ran rough at first but could have been the old gas in the carb, once it was warmed up it ripped over the park fine. There was a bit of dirt on the fork stanchions so I took the forks out and bounced them lots of times to check the seals … again, they seemed fine and looked dry underneath the dust covers. The front brake was still wooden from getting fork oil on the pads before I changed the seals (this is why I’m so paranoid about them leaking again), so I tried soaking the pads in degreaser for a few days, wire brushing and then a bit of sanding on the basement floor.

Chain and rear sprocket were trashed

Ordered a new Niche X ring chain and steel sprocket set, they look like decent parts to me and very reasonably priced. For some reason the previous owner had gone up a tooth on the rear sprocket giving slightly better acceleration but I ordered the stock gearing. I removed the old parts and did a bit of cleaning while I had access but then when I put the new parts on I had to move the rear wheel 3/4″ forward to get the chain on. Then I noticed that the chain was snagging on the rear sprocket when I tried to rotate the wheel – at first I thought it was hitting the chain guide but when I looked the guide had taken a knock and was bent!

Took the guide off, put it in the vice with a piece of wood and bent it back straight, runs great now – good job as well because I smacked my head on the footpeg when checking it!!

Also found that the kickstart has been rubbing on the frame, don’t like that! Apparently it’s a common problem and is caused by the kickstart lever wearing so that it rotates a bit more than it should before it hits the stop.

A new lever assembly would be best but that is around $250 so I decided to try a repair before jumping on a new one. I tried to braze some aluminum rod onto the worn divot in the lever but I couldn’t get it to take so ended up just over filling with JB Weld and then filing back. TBH it didn’t feel as rigid even when moving the lever by hand so I don’t have high hopes for it lasting a long time – we’ll see.

Just need to oil the chain, start it again and finish off cleaning and I think it’s ready for action!

Next Post

SOAR Practice Weekend

First time running the bike this season, no changes to the bike but planning to try stiffening the suspension. We ran Technical in the morning but a load of dirt had been kicked up on to the track from turn 2 through to the second 90 degree corner – turn […]

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