So I've managed to get my hands on a brand new 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX with thanks to Frankston Yamaha.
I've been thinking of switching to a YZ250F MX bike and changing class from open's to the lights but for me, there were several issues preventing this.
The major one for me was no electric start. Racing in cross countries
and sprints it is vitally important that I can quickly and easily start
my bike. This is so important for getting a good start with the hands-on
head start in the Cross Countries and also important in the sprints. If
you manage to stall in a sprint with a kick-start your looking at a
minimum of 10 seconds to take it out of gear, then restart it and get
going again and that's if you get it started first kick. This was simply
a deal-breaker for me so when I heard about the all-new YZ250FX
electric start cross country weapon I was sold on that feature alone!
Which brings me to my first essential modification.
An SSB Lithium Battery is the first thing to go in. At 220CCA (cold cranking amps) it is almost twice as powerful as the OEM supplied Yuasa YTX7L-BS and weighs only 500grams which is a whopping 1.5kg lighter than OEM. I used the SSB LH5L-BS. With starting power and reliability improved, 1.5kg of weight loss from high up under the bike with a 2-year warranty and a price tag of under $150 it is, without doubt, the single most cost-effective, easiest and cheapest modification you can make.
So the electric start was what sealed the deal but then I read the list of other improvements made, which if you weren't already sold would be sure to get you over the line. A 6-speed wide ratio box, 18 inch rear wheel, heavier flywheel, slightly softer suspension setting than the YZ250F to suit woods riding but a lot firmer than the WR250F. It has a different ECU to the YZ250F as they thought the motocrosser was a touch too aggressive but it is different from the WR.
So another mod I am absolutely hooked on and I will be testing on this bike is a Rekluse Core EXP 3 clutch. I run it with heavy wedges and a higher idle to give myself a standard clutch feel and engagement. I use the Rekluse mainly as an anti-stall device and use the clutch like normal but towards the end of those 2-hour cross countries to still be able to get around the track when your arms are pumped up and you're physically and mentally exhausted can be a godsend.
I've got the GYTR Power Tuner which is really easy to use and you can change maps in a matter of a minute or two.
Being 6'1 the cockpit feels a little bit cramped to me coming off a KTM 350XCF so I'm running some Fastway pegs in the lowboy position which lowers my peg height by about 10mm and it also moves my feet back by a similar amount which is perfect because the gear lever was very short before and getting my toe under it to upshift was difficult. I got a set of Renthal RC/Windham bend bars which further increases the size of the cockpit by about 10mm but with the new pegs I'm not 100% convinced that this was absolutely necessary
So what is there left to do? As with most bikes the standard protection needs to be added. The essentials, in my opinion, are radiator guards or braces, bash plate/skid plate, case saver and handguards.
That's pretty much all it requires for now. Given I'm 6'1 and 90kg+ weight my initial feel is I will need heavier springs but we will see how goes. After the suspension is a bed in I will be up to Chad's Off-Road for him to give the suspension the royal treatment.