Ratio right: The YZ250X has the same first and second gears
as the YZ250, but third is a little closer. This was a big plus.
Q: HOW WAS THE YZ250X ON OFFROAD
A: Everybody loved the bike. Its perky low-to-mid
powerband was great for tight trails and big hills. For
more open trail riding we could just click it into fourth
or fifth and cruise. The softer suspension absorbed rocks
without deflection and was planted on slick terrain.
There wasn’t much to dislike about this bike offroad.
Q: CAN YOU MOUNT A 19-INCH REAR WHEEL
TO THE YZ250X?
A: We wanted to switch the 18-inch rear wheel
that was mounted with a Dunlop Geomax AT81 tire to
a 19-inch. Not because we didn’t like the 18-inch tire
on the motocross track, but because we had more
experience with the selection of tire brands available
in a 19-inch size.
Can you mount a 19-incher on the YZ250X? Yes, but
it’s not as easy as swapping rear wheels. The YZ250X’s
18-inch rear wheel comes with a 22mm axle, while the
YZ250’s 19-inch rear wheel has a 25mm axle. So, if you
wanted to make the swap, you would not only have to
purchase a complete 19-inch rear wheel, you would also
have to buy the 25mm axle, wheel spacers, brake carrier
and axle blocks. There is a cheaper way. The best
solution is to buy a 19-inch rim and longer spokes
(YZ250 two-stroke spokes work) and lace the rim and
spokes to the stock X hub.
Q: WHAT DID WE DO WITH THE GEARING?
A: The MXA wrecking crew knew that finding the
perfect gearing was going to be impossible due to the
wide-ratio gearbox. But, the question at hand was
whether to go down on the gearing to make fourth gear
more usable or go up on the gearing and spread first
through third farther apart (and never touch fourth ever
again). Some MXA test riders liked going from a 50- to
a 51-tooth rear sprocket. They were willing to live with
tighter gaps between first, second and third to bring
fourth into play. This made the powerband more
aggressive. When we tried a taller 14/49 ratio, it took
away the aggressive edge and spread out the gap
between the first three gears while requiring some
clutch work to make the jump to fourth. In the end, most
MXA test riders opted for the stock 14/50 gearing.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE KICKSTAND?
A: We’d be lying if we didn’t say that we liked it.
Every MXA test rider was afraid that it would bounce
down when landing from big jumps, but we had no such
issues. It was quite nice to come in from a ride, flip the
stand down and walk away. Yes, we are that lazy. But,
since all motocross racing organizations ban kickstands,
we removed it for races.
Q: HOW DID WE LIKE THE OFFROAD
SUSPENSION SETTINGS FOR MOTOCROSS?
A: No surprise. It was soft, but we already figured
it would be. It rode low in the stroke and had a harsh
feeling on the consecutive chatter of a motocross track.
But, the great thing is that it never felt like it bottomed.
We did a band-aid fix that made all the difference in
the world. We added 10cc of oil to each fork leg, which
helped keep the forks out of the harshest part of the
Cheater: The quickest way to identify a YZ250X is by the
aluminum kickstand. We aren’t ashamed that we loved it.