Webb prefers the performance of a 2005 Yamaha caliper
matched with a 270mm Braking Batfly rotor and stock pads.
bike is graced with a handful of unobtainable parts, the
vast majority of parts that make Cooper’s steed run are
readily available. Better yet, some of the modifications
are free. Eric Gass removed the backfire screen out of
the air filter cage to promote quicker throttle response.
It’s also easy to move the rear axle back in the swingarm,
though you’ll probably need a longer chain. A GET
customizable ignition might be too expensive and
complex for most riders, but Yamaha makes an intuitive
Power Tuner that does wonders for power delivery. While
we don’t recommend shaving down the YZ250F frame to
move in the radiators, a high-pressure radiator cap is a
If preventing a costly DNF is important to you, as it
is to Star Racing, then we suggest calling LightSpeed
( www.lightspeedcarbon.com, 714-990-5767). The carbon
fiber specialists outfit Webb’s YZ250F with a skid plate
that protects the cases, water pump and ignition cover.
Plus, it keeps rocks from getting lodged behind the rear
brake pedal. Front rotor and rear brake caliper guards
protect vital areas during the occasional first-turn melee.
Gass also installs a LightSpeed carbon fiber chainguide
in place of the stock aluminum guide. Carbon fiber is
much better at taking a blow and returning to its shape,
whereas aluminum has a tendency to bend and could
derail the chain.
HOW FAST IS COOPER WEBB’S STAR RACING
YZ250F? To be honest, at first our test riders weren’t
overly impressed with the power under the YZ250F’s
hood. Sure, it had a nice powerband, but that’s like
meeting a girl and automatically putting her in the
friendship zone. After a short 30-minute courtship,
however, we were in love with Cooper’s engine. How
could we have a change of heart? The race engine,
which had been buttoned up by Eric Gass the night
before our test, needed time to break in. We also needed
time to figure out the bike’s personality traits. The
140-pound Cooper Webb, blessed with an unwavering
throttle hand, can roar around the track with a 13/47
gearing combination on his YZ250F. We summoned the
courage of a dozen racers and bottled that enthusiasm
into one ride bound for glory. The results were
outstanding. There wasn’t a copious amount of over-rev,
but the engine did make unbridled power from the
midrange on up to where mountain lions roam.
WHAT WAS OUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF
RIDING WEBB’S YZ250F? Slow, fast, young and old
admired how planted Cooper Webb’s bike felt around
the track. Regardless of the types of corners, jumps or
roughness of a certain section of real estate, the YZ250F
tracked with ease and shot straight as an arrow. The
connection from the stout front brake to the front wheel
to the ground was impeccable. We could pull in the front
brake with assertiveness, yet the front end wouldn’t
deflect. We often don a Saint Christopher medal before
testing a Pro racer’s bike because of the typically stiff
suspension and relentless powerband, but Cooper
Webb’s Star Racing YZ250F was like baby bear’s
porridge. A sterling engine combined with halfway-plush
Kayaba suspension and handling that were second to
none made for a thrill ride that left the MXA test riders
gushing about the experience for days afterward.
Yes, it was that good.
WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? It’s too bad that
Cooper Webb was laid up at the beginning of the AMA
250 Nationals and couldn’t vie for the 250 National
Championship. And while his loss was our gain
(because we enjoyed every minute on Webb’s Star
Racing Yamaha YZ250F), we wish he would have been
out there from the beginning. ❏
Test riders were impressed with the handling performance of
Cooper’s bike. That’s partially due to the KYB kit suspension.