The newer YZ65 feedback

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11/13/2020 7:22 PM

Hey Vital Bros, I can use some feedback on the YZ65 from 2018 til now. What kind of things should I look out for? Positive or Negative feedback, I'll take it. Thanks,
Danny

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United States of America

11/13/2020 7:24 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Hey Vital Bros, I can use some feedback on the YZ65 from 2018 til now. What kind of things should I look out for? Positive or ...more

Good bikes. Buddy had one with a ton of hours only doing top ends. Like 120hrs

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11/13/2020 7:34 PM

YZ or KTM in orange, white, or red but stay away from the KX. The KX is like bringing a 1982 Civic to the Indy 500.

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11/13/2020 8:01 PM

I've had a yz65 in the garage since the end of 2018. Doesn't have a heap of hours on it and my son is only just starting to ride it hard now but it has been great so far. A bit heavier than the KTM but otherwise a good bike

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11/13/2020 8:34 PM

chump6784 wrote:

I've had a yz65 in the garage since the end of 2018. Doesn't have a heap of hours on it and my son is only just starting to ...more

Thanks. How old is your son? My son is 8 years old 60lbs/27.2kilos.

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United States of America

11/13/2020 8:49 PM

He's 8, 34 kilos. I bought the bike for my daughter originally as she was too old to keep racing 50's. She only put a few hours on it then got whisky throttle off a berm and has never ridden since. My son started riding it at the start of 2020 and spent the first few months getting used to clutch and gears but is now getting into it. I've pushed the forks as far through the clamps as they can go and have all the preload wound off the rear spring to get it to sit lower and my boy can touch tip toes one foot on flat ground.

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11/13/2020 9:04 PM

I have twin 9 year boys that have been riding 2018 YZ65s for the last two years. Very reliable bikes, which is a welcome change coming off Husky TC50s. Suspension seems to be targeted at 85lb+ riders. My boys were 50lbs when they started riding them so I put the lightest springs I could find. Set the sag at 2.75” and they look like they handle good. We’re up to probably 80 hrs and I’ve done 2 precautionary top ends and 1 clutch each.

The only complaint I have is that there is no way to check the oil. The manual says to just watch for leaks, but I’d like to be able to check it. Oh, and front wheel bearings need replacing on the regular, too.

I definitely recommend the YZ65. They sound better than the white and orange bikes too.

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11/13/2020 10:55 PM

nine1seven wrote:

I have twin 9 year boys that have been riding 2018 YZ65s for the last two years. Very reliable bikes, which is a welcome ...more

Nice! 🦢 Mx baby!

My 9 year old is on a 2019 husky tc65 and we have had good luck for 42 hours now. My boy is not very fast though.

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I know a kid who has been on a yz65 for a couple years and they have had good luck.

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2015 KTM 250sx, WP 48mm CV Forks, WP Trax Shock, Bills Pipe
2013 Chevy 2500 Duramax, 2014 Forest River XLR Nitro 28TQD bumper pull toy hauler


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11/13/2020 11:12 PM

Friend of mine has his kid on one who outgrew his KTM 50. He's got some speed and rides the bike pretty good. He never even opened it up until 130 hours. Everything was still in spec, he did a top end for good measure and the bike is still cranking.

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Unleaded tastes a little tangy. Supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

11/13/2020 11:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/13/2020 11:39 PM

There is a local kid that rides like 150h per year and they switched to the YZ last fall. They have 2-3 bikes per year because the kid rides so much (also in mud, no matter what the weather is he rides) and he is pretty fast. They haven't had any issues with their YZs. Absolutely bulletproof bikes.

And like i mentioned they ride no matter what the weather is and i can tell you, the late fall/early winter and early spring is just a mudfest in Finland. He rides through that. So the 150h/year is not in perfect track conditions that doesn't wear out the bike.

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Current fleet of two wheeled vehicles:
- Yamaha YZ450F 2020
- Suzuki GSX-R 600 K7 track spec
- Canyon Sender CF 8.0 2018 Downhill
- White GX Pro 20 Gravel

11/14/2020 12:35 AM

Over at the dirtbike channel on YouTube, the guy has 2 kids. One with a yz65 and other has a KTM 65. Says the yz has the best top end power but the KTM better low and mids.

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11/14/2020 1:47 AM

Rear shock will need to be revalved Japan really stuffed up the valving on them. We had to change valving and spring.
After the revalve and spring change watching him it was definitely way better.
Awesome bulletproof little bike.

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11/14/2020 5:06 AM

I bought one 2019 to my 7 year old son. He had an sx50 previously but wanted to ride more on the 65/85 tracks, and learn how to shift. He is about 127 cm tall and weighs 25 kg. I bought the softest springs, and it works well to adjust the sag according to spec. I also cut out the seat and bought a pro taper micro handlebar. It has worked really well (knock on wood) only wear parts. Front wheel bearings are not sealed except the outer lip seal originally so they wear out fast. Aftermarket bearings come with a sealing so that should work better.

The major selling point for me was the spring forks which is really plush and nice. The air forks on the ktms has so much internal friction, doesnt work so good with low pressure and a small rider. The cable clutch is super easy to pull as well. I can recommend it.

Actually I had one issue, but that was related to a proX aftermarket piston that was installed when I bought it. It had a casting pore with a crack from it! And the piston pin hole was deformed due to it so the piston pin was rattleing around! Luckily i heard it and disassembled it in time. It has worked well since.

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11/14/2020 10:18 AM

Other than bold new graphics I do not think there have been any updates since 2018 when the YZ65 was released so any 65 test 2018-2021 should be about the same

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11/14/2020 2:21 PM

Incredible feedback! Thanks a lot vital brain trust. My son is 4'3" tall. For the guys who lowered, and used softer springs, how tall were your kids?

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United States of America

11/14/2020 3:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2020 6:08 PM

Well, we blew 3rd & 4th gear out of the 65sx today at 145hrs. My buddy loaned us his spare YZ for the last practice and Hayden said he liked the YZ motor better because it pulled harder mid to top than the SX and he didn't notice the weight difference. He liked the SX suspension better but it's his and set up for 60lbs where the YZ is set up stiffer for 85lbs. that's all the feedback I could get out of an 8yr old..

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11/14/2020 3:28 PM

slipdog wrote:

Well, we blew 3rd & 4th gear out of the 65sx today at 145hrs. My buddy loaned us his spare YZ for the last practice and ...more

Thanks Slip. Going to get the 2021 YZ for my son for Christmas.

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United States of America

11/14/2020 3:56 PM

Ill echo the bulletproof part. My daughter is 9 almost 10 about 65 lbs and loves hers. Welcome change from the KTM maintenance required.

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11/14/2020 6:10 PM

slipdog wrote:

Well, we blew 3rd & 4th gear out of the 65sx today at 145hrs. My buddy loaned us his spare YZ for the last practice and ...more

Camp332 wrote:

Thanks Slip. Going to get the 2021 YZ for my son for Christmas.

I'm leaning towards moving to the YZ myself.

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11/14/2020 9:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2020 9:09 PM

AZRider wrote:

Ill echo the bulletproof part. My daughter is 9 almost 10 about 65 lbs and loves hers. Welcome change from the KTM maintenance ...more

What's all this maintenance on the 65SX? I assume you mean outside of the routine upkeep?

My sons will likely be moving up to a 65 next season and it's been my understanding that it was the 50SX that gave everyone fits; that's why we went electric.

From the folks I have talked to, the 65 hasn't had any of the clutch/stator/overheating issues typically experienced with the gas 50.

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'22 CRF250R...??
'21 KX250
'20 KTM SX-E5
'21 Husky EE-5
(2) STACYC 16eDrives

11/14/2020 9:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2020 9:49 PM

Weird about the ft wheel bearings only having a seal on one side. Partzilla shows its a open 6201 bearing. Bet a 6201-2RS would fit. Funny yamaha wouldnt put a sealed bearing in there.

Search
Nachi 6201-RS
on ebay
or SKF

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2 Stroke, Drum Brakes, Finned Cylinders!!!

11/15/2020 6:52 AM

AZRider wrote:

Ill echo the bulletproof part. My daughter is 9 almost 10 about 65 lbs and loves hers. Welcome change from the KTM maintenance ...more

soopah noviss wrote:

What's all this maintenance on the 65SX? I assume you mean outside of the routine upkeep?

My sons will likely be moving up to ...more

The 65SX does not have the exact same weird reliability issues as the 50... it's got its own weird issues!

All in all, the KTM65 is "THE" bike the kid has to be on if you are serious about racing at a fast pace. 10 lbs lighter than the YZ65 is a huge deal at that level. But there are reliability, tuning, and maintenance issues to contend with. If your kid is not all about very serious racing.. I'd say the YZ is the way to go. Much improved reliability and ease of maintenance.

My buddy's son is fast and has been on KTM65's for about 4 years. He's gone through 5-6 of them and I've done the majority of the work on the bikes so I'm really familiar with them. Rule #1, if you're going to race seriously with a KTM65... you better have 2 of them ! A fast kid will break things on them and wear things out that will have you scratching your head.

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Powerband in every gear !

11/15/2020 9:45 AM

FGR01 wrote:

The 65SX does not have the exact same weird reliability issues as the 50... it's got its own weird issues!

All in all, the ...more

If racing wasn't too expensive already....Ready to Rrrepair!!
.....but real top level kids have always been that way really.

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11/15/2020 1:58 PM

Thanks for the education on the front wheel bearings. Once they go, I'll make sure to get the aftermarket sealed bearings. I'll take reliability over "super fast" racer KTM nonsense anyday.

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United States of America

11/15/2020 6:23 PM

AZRider wrote:

Ill echo the bulletproof part. My daughter is 9 almost 10 about 65 lbs and loves hers. Welcome change from the KTM maintenance ...more

soopah noviss wrote:

What's all this maintenance on the 65SX? I assume you mean outside of the routine upkeep?

My sons will likely be moving up to ...more

FGR01 wrote:

The 65SX does not have the exact same weird reliability issues as the 50... it's got its own weird issues!

All in all, the ...more

What things are breaking, and making you scratch your head? We might be upgrading from a KX65 next year. Would be nice to know.

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11/15/2020 7:20 PM

mikec265 wrote:

What things are breaking, and making you scratch your head? We might be upgrading from a KX65 next year. Would be nice to ...more

The wheel bearings are small and wear out.. and the spacers are pressed into them which makes them a pain to change. You have to stay after the spokes. I just rebuilt a rear wheel that the kid broke 7 spokes out of.. just practicing.

The Mikuni carb is temperamental to temp and elevation changes. This is not a big deal on most 2-strokes, but KTM went full stupid and made it impossible to adjust literally anything on the carb without removing the shock or entire subframe. They even put the air screw on the right side behind the shock for some crazy reason. Nihilo sells an extended air screw to somewhat deal with this nonsense. The YZ has a Keihin carb that is easy to access like any other 2-stroke.

The countershaft sprockets seem to leak frequently.

Hydraulic clutch is cool but of course more complex maintenance.

Many of the fasteners and such are kind of dinky and fall apart or wear out. The seat has a special fastener that strips, bends, or pulls out of the plastic.

The powervalve is known to break and then it is stuck in the closed position. Nihilo sells a stronger replacement.

The brake calipers are very small and non-floating. They almost look like mountain bike brakes. You have to be careful with pedal adjustment and fluid level or it's very easy to make the brake drag and slow the bike or overheat. The YZ65, by comparison, has brakes that look like a full size bike.

Some bikes have excess slop between the frame and swingarm. This can create vibration or even handling issues when the pivot bolt is tightened down and squeezes the frame. I've seen 2 or 3 pivot bolts break, I assume from the tension and vibration. Some people insert shims to take up the excess clearance.

There is a known issue with the crank journals wearing and losing their press fit to the main bearings which, of course, causes bottom end engine vibration. A new crank is over $400.

On the bright side, we do top ends at 50 hrs and the bikes have no perceptible loss of performance and everything looks good. That's pretty incredible for such a fast little engine.

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Powerband in every gear !

11/15/2020 7:59 PM

slipdog wrote:

Well, we blew 3rd & 4th gear out of the 65sx today at 145hrs. My buddy loaned us his spare YZ for the last practice and ...more

Camp332 wrote:

Thanks Slip. Going to get the 2021 YZ for my son for Christmas.

slipdog wrote:

I'm leaning towards moving to the YZ myself.

With all your connections im sure you're yz will be amazing.

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11/15/2020 8:21 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Thanks Slip. Going to get the 2021 YZ for my son for Christmas.

slipdog wrote:

I'm leaning towards moving to the YZ myself.

numbers wrote:

With all your connections im sure you're yz will be amazing.

The best!

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11/16/2020 7:53 AM

FGR01 wrote:

The wheel bearings are small and wear out.. and the spacers are pressed into them which makes them a pain to change. You have ...more

It does my heart good to hear KTM still makes a bike like this. I can remember when all of their bikes were this temperamental.

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11/16/2020 11:46 PM

Don't wait to change the front wheel bearing, ours locked up entering a corner and he cartwheeled pretty good. Thankful that it wasn't a jump..... Ours had no seals on either bearing, no grease either. Bike had maybe 3 hours on it when it happened.

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