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Thread: 81 Yz250

  1. #1
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    81 Yz250

    Anyone else have a 81 YZ250/ What are your thoughts and recollections of these slick units from the past. I bought mine to do some trail riding and maybe Vintage MX.
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  2. #2
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    Good reliable bikes. Plenty of power and handling but lousy suspension. I never felt comfortable on the new one I bought In spring of 1981. Raced hare scrambles with it and never trophied.After 3 races into the 1981 season with no results and fighting the bike, I swithed back to my 1980 CR125 and won my class the next race and never looked back. Used the YZ250 for the rest of the season for practice and never raced hare scrambles with it again.Did OK with it in Moto but never adapted to it for off road. Good luck with yours.

    Larry
    The older I get, the faster I was...lol
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  3. #3
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    I had one too... and agree with Larry about the suspension. But I would think you could get it worked to make it better. there are a few Vintage YZ sites around, I am sure they could steer you in the right direction if you call them.

    But hey, for vintage racing, and just for fun, I'm sure you will be fine.

    I raced my '81 in harescrambles... and won my class that year at the DE HS (Middletown, DE). I also think it was in '82 when I won the overall there... on the same bike... even after my clutch cable broke on the 1st lap. I was in second place, and inherited the lead after the leader broke his chain.. talk about some mechanical bad luck !!

    FYI - The 1980 was considered a better bike... the '81 had the same frame & suspension as the '80, but they went to a 5 speed, vs the '80's 6 speed.
    The '82 was a slug, (I knew better than buy one after reading the reviews)... heavy, weird linkage, and the radiator on the forks. In comparison, the '83 was like a factory bike... I sold my '81 and got the '83 as soon as it hit the showroom. Only problem with the '83, was the frame was prone to cracking eventually... I know, as I broke mine. I just had it gusseted and re-welded, and was fine after that.

    I'm still riding / racing a YZ250... and just won on Sunday!
    Last edited by Old_school_YZ; 08-12-2008 at 07:33 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input gettleman it is much appreciated.

    I had a 78 YZ250 back in the day and have always liked the look. I'm getting back into riding dirt after many (and I mean many) years of being away. Rather than just buy a modern bike I decided to get another old YZ and have some fun racing the occasional VMX and also hit the trails. Well I found a cheap example that was almost all there so I snagged it. About to have the bore redone and hope to be out and about in the near future.

    Now the crazy bit. I also had a 78 Husqvarna when I was a kid. I found a $200.00 basket case of the same year not long ago. Sits under a blanket in my garage as we speak. I'm getting worried.........
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  5. #5
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    If you are riding vintage the bike will be fine. The suspension can be made to work very well - works performance makes a modern shock and use RACE TECH emulators for the forks. As was mentioned, it's for the FUN of it!
    I'm racing my '74 250 Husky along with my '77 250 in cross country... it's alot of fun!!
    Red River Dirt Riders/Tulsa Trail Riders
    TSCEC #659, BJEC #1637
    VOR 450
    '07 GasGas 300
    A herd of vintage Husky's

    It's a fine place to be... the woods.
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  6. #6
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    I also had works do the suspension with what I think at the time was the triple valving and was the suspension company to use. It made it better but it still always gave a scarey kick that I never could get over and have confidence in. Maybe it was just me. Some bikes work and some don't for me. I think I'd still do well in hare scrambles on a 15 year old KDX200 or KX125. They just fit my style and built my confidence.Have fun and good luck. Let us know how you do and post some pictures.

    Larry
    The older I get, the faster I was...lol
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  7. #7
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    Reliable bad handling motorcycle. Yamaha didn't advance that YZ much from 1978 on. The 1981 was a really refined bike from an earlier era(1978). I have a leg 1" shorter than the other from the bad rear suspension and a bad doctor. Other manufacturers invented suspension that didn't spike bike forward everytime the rear wheels hits any significant bump. Yamaha was ahead of its time when it put the MONO-X in to production in comparison to twin shock bikes with no dampening that were available then but everyone else had come up with much better ideas for suspension and Yamaha just kept adding travel to its bikes suspension not technology. Fun bike to own but not the best example of an early 80's MX bike for performance more like a tricked out 1977 or 1978. I have a 1978 RM400 and it handles and suspends in a much better fashion.
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  8. #8
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    pro-action suspension is now modifying shocks for these bike.
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