1981 Yamaha YZ250 ?

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mx-frog

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3/1/2010 9:41 AM

How good of bike was the 1981 YZ250? Was the motor strong? Also 5 or 6 speed? Thanks

vetarider

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3/1/2010 1:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:06 PM

I have one and like it.


Stock set up except the boost bottle was removed. I have everything to put it back on but haven't had the time. Mixed reviews if it's of any benefit so I'm not in a hurry.


The bottom end is a little weak but really comes alive in the mid to upper rpm's. It's a 5 speed.


I've had a couple of instances of head shake but I'm sure it's a set up issue that I haven't worked out yet. The front end seems light. There are several suspension shops very knowledgeable with this specific bike so modifying the forks and shock aren't a problem.


Brakes are decent for drum and the double cam on the front might help a little with braking power.


Seems to be a popular bike among the older crowd (that would include me). They don't last long on CL or Ebay. Some parts still available from Yamaha and decent used parts turn up but they tend to sell for a good price as well.


Chris

mx-frog

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3/1/2010 1:27 PM

Sounds good,I have a 1977 YZ250 and 400 that I really like but could use a little newer bike with longer suspensen. How does it compare to your 1978 YZ250?

vetarider

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3/1/2010 4:29 PM

Handling wise the '81 feels much more solid. There seemed to be a lot going on with the '78. Probably related to fork and frame flex. Also, I'm not as concerned about hitting kickers or ruts with the '81. I'm more confident in the suspension and handling.

The '81 is much easier to keep on the pipe so it's not as tiring to me as the '78. At times it has more power than what I need but at least it's available, if and, when I do need it.

Also, the '81 is a good foundation to build a racer without taking too much time or effort. It depends on your riding ability and how much you want to put into it.

I haven't noticed that many good '81's for sale lately. You can search all CL sites using the following description with Google:

1981 YZ 250 site:craigslist.org

You can alter the search description "1981 YZ 250" since sellers list items using any combination of words to describe an item, just keep "site:craigslist.org
There are sites that will notify you as well if someone posts an ad with the item you're looking for.

Chris

mx-frog

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3/1/2010 4:55 PM

Thanks Chris-there's a nice one on Marks Vintage site,I might scoop up. I really like Yamaha's because of the narrow mid-section. I was told with a Works Performance shock and Race-Tech emulators you'll have as close as you can get to modern bike feel,but with drum brakes.

vetarider

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3/1/2010 5:11 PM

I saw that ad but had forgotten about it.

captmoto

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3/1/2010 5:34 PM

mx-frog wrote:

Thanks Chris-there's a nice one on Marks Vintage site,I might scoop up. I really like Yamaha's because of the narrow mid-section. I was told with a Works Performance shock and Race-Tech emulators you'll have as close as you can get to modern bike feel,but with drum brakes.

I have a YZ465 that was the Race Tech test mule. I was surprised at how good the suspension felt. They really have done their homework on the YZs. .You might be able to get the stock shock revalved and resprung for less than the cost of a Works Performance. I don't think big money for a shock is needed for a 5-6 lap moto. I had an 1980 with the 6 speed. Coming from an RM250 it felt like a works bike to me. There are lots of hard parts available from Yamaha and Wiseco makes pistons and rings for them. Barnett still has clutches. The YZs are pretty cool and have a modern feel to them.

The older I get, the faster I was.

newmann

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3/1/2010 6:52 PM

My 81. Power wise, it feels weak. Not much low end, mid isn't anything exciting and top end is even less exciting. Tried the DG pipeand silencer combo, then went with the Pro-Form. It didn't do anything better than the DG except it fits really well.Big gap between third and fourth gear. Still have the boost bottle hooked up on mine, think it hurts more than it helps. It does handle good and the brakes really do work well with the dual actuated backing plate off the 465. I have a spare engine I need to do a little work on and try it out. Obviously could benefit from some crafty port work and extra compression.Mine has one of the Fox shocks.

[img]http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt171/duc-man97/Joespics401.jpg?t=1265907630[/img]

[img]http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt171/duc-man97/Joespics393.jpg?t=1265907709[/img]

[img]http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt171/duc-man97/Joespics406.jpg?t=1265907763[/img]

[img]http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt171/duc-man97/Joespics405.jpg?t=1265907805[/img]

[img]http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt171/duc-man97/1173.jpg?t=1265907955[/img]

Racerx930

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3/3/2010 10:55 PM

I blame this thread for making me slightly more poor tonight.

project racer

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3/4/2010 12:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:09 PM

I had a new '80 model YZ250G back in the day. I feel it was the best 250 of the year. Low end was a little weak, put mid to top power was strong. Transmission was a little weak on the G model 250 and 465. Lost second third and fourth gear on my 250 four months from new.

For '81 ,Yamaha tried to bring the power levels to more low to mid range for the H 250 and 465. Personally, I think they detuned them a little bit too much. If you have ever ridden an '80 versus an '81 back to back, it is very obvious, especially on the 465's. The G models would motor them.

BVS40FL

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3/4/2010 5:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:09 PM

I thought my '81 was fast at the time, but I had just moved up from a 125 and it was a big jump in horsepower. When I got my '83 it felt much faster.

Back in the day when I was racing......

vetarider

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3/4/2010 6:06 AM

Racerx930 wrote:

I blame this thread for making me slightly more poor tonight.

Congratulations! Looks "mostly" there, at least the hard parts anyway. The plastic is easy enough to come by.

newmann

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3/4/2010 11:25 AM

Do you have the seat? I have a spare with new foam and cover already installed.

Racerx930

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3/4/2010 6:01 PM

A buddy of mine saw the YZ and really wanted it today. He traded me 2 1979 CR250 Rollers and complete 1980 CR250 minus top end for it.. I'm a Honda guy, I can't help it!

FreshTopEnd

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3/5/2010 5:34 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

A buddy of mine saw the YZ and really wanted it today. He traded me 2 1979 CR250 Rollers and complete 1980 CR250 minus top end for it.. I'm a Honda guy, I can't help it!

Your friend got scalded!! Nice pull.

@ftemoto


Jamesyzman

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3/11/2010 8:18 AM

lots of cash to cerry it out, I had a1980 yz 250 I rebuilt I wish I would of kept it ,It was scary fast I have the complete motor if anyone want to buy it, James at2096294596 in Ca. Tracy.

vetarider

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3/18/2010 12:06 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 9:29 PM

Frog - Did you buy the YZ? If you're still looking there's a nice one in my area .


I can send you the link.


Chris

CamP

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3/18/2010 4:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/18/2010 4:54 PM

Sorry for the threadjack, but the Full Floater Suzuki's kicked everyone's butt in '81-82. The rear suspension is still excellent, even by today's standards, and with a properly setup set of 43mm forks, with emulators, you can fly on those old RM's. I raced YZ's in '81 and the monoshock totally sucked, by comparison.

mx-frog

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3/19/2010 7:24 AM

Cam- have tried a new Works Performance YZ mono shock yet? I've heard with the multi rate springs and modern specs there great. Yes, I had a 1981 RM125 the Full-Flaoter was great, but for Vintage 1981 YZ's can be raced with 1978 -1980 twin-shock bikes.Any bike with a link-age such as1981 RM's and CR's,KX's race bikes up to disk brake models[1981-83].And remember the 1981 YZ's had 43mm forks also.

berniepiet

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3/22/2010 12:52 PM

Frog - Did you buy the YZ? If you're still looking there's a nice one in my area .



I can send you the link.



Chris

Chris:

I would be interested. I am in Atlanta.

vetarider

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3/24/2010 5:53 AM

Bernie - Did you receive the PM's? I know, it's a toss up between the one in GA and VA, huh? What was the guy in GA thinking when he painted the bike in those colors?

Chris

evomx244

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3/25/2010 2:06 PM

Just picked up a 1980 YZ 250 to go along with my 1980 YZ 125. Does any aftermarket company's make a rod kit ?

newmann

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3/25/2010 2:23 PM

Bought the rod kit for my 81 YZ250 through Yamaha. Check them first.

jeffcrew

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3/30/2010 12:52 PM

I just started restoring my old 1980 YZ 250G. It's in great shape just needs some TLC. Its been mostly sitting for the past 15 yrs and still fires right up. The main problem I have is that it won't stay in neutral . My plan was to split the case and go through the tranny, thinking it may be a bad shift fork, however before going that far I have removed the clutch and flywheel in order to check the shifter pins and cam. it all looks good and it shifts and stays in neutral flawlessly while spinning it by hand, so i am now thinking that there is no need to split it. Does anyone have experience with the 250G transmission? Should I put it back together and hope for the best? or keep going and go through the whole tranny?
Any resrtoraton advice is also welcome. I still plan to do the piston and rings, reed valve, carb, front forks, brakes, seat cover and plastic. Pics to come.

Racerx930

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4/19/2010 8:10 PM

I raced an 81 yz250 at Diamond Don's and loved it.

This morning I got the one pictured above back and built her up with parts I got from one of my buddies. The bike started up 2nd kick after putting the motor together. I'm really excited to get it race ready.

DirtDgr

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4/20/2010 7:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 10:16 PM

I will be racing my 1981 YZ 250 in the Virginia City GP this weekend. Drew front row on Sunday(starts 10 riders at a time right on main st.)

Got her all ready.

3+ hour race with lots of rocks.

Fun!



****The opinions in my posts are only mine! NOT that of my sponsors or clubs!****

Racerx930

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4/20/2010 8:13 AM

Anyone have a head stay they will sell me?

DoctorJD

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4/20/2010 10:58 AM

I would love to find me an old 81' model as a project bike. One of the biggest regrets of my moto life was in 81' when I (17 at the time) rode up to the Yamaha dealership to put some money down on an 81 YZ125. On the way home from the shop, I stopped by my old shop teachers house to check out his bike, a brand new YZ250. He suggested I give it a spin on his personal practice track, and fell in love with it. I'd always raced 125's, so I was reluctant to make the jump to the 250. After a week of mulling it over, the lust for the new water-cooling won over and I got the 125 (which I hated).



"I mean honestly, up-and-coming riders? I'd just advise them to quit, cuz' they'll never be as good as me." Ronnie Mac

CamP

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4/20/2010 12:31 PM

DoctorJD wrote:

I would love to find me an old 81' model as a project bike. One of the biggest regrets of my moto life was in 81' when I (17 at the time) rode up to the Yamaha dealership to put some money down on an 81 YZ125. On the way home from the shop, I stopped by my old shop teachers house to check out his bike, a brand new YZ250. He suggested I give it a spin on his personal practice track, and fell in love with it. I'd always raced 125's, so I was reluctant to make the jump to the 250. After a week of mulling it over, the lust for the new water-cooling won over and I got the 125 (which I hated).



Sounds like my 1981. I had a good deal worked out on an RM125, but Suzuki delayed the release until mid-season. I disparately needed a new bike and ended up on a YZ125.

FreshTopEnd

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4/22/2010 11:35 AM

DirtDgr wrote:

I will be racing my 1981 YZ 250 in the Virginia City GP this weekend. Drew front row on Sunday(starts 10 riders at a time right on main st.)

Got her all ready.

3+ hour race with lots of rocks.

Fun!



Man, with the weather we've had and it getting sunny this weekend VCGP should be epic!

We always start our Reno to Vegas ride out of VC

@ftemoto