Buying A Used 2005 or 2004 Yamaha YZ 250

by Dave
(New Jersey)

I'm looking to buy a used yz250 two stroke. Should I go with 2004 or 2005? Is there anything I should really look at with these bikes? Are any of the same parts known to go bad? How can I tell if the "top end" has been rebuilt? And what if it is a stock bike, is it better if it was never rebuilt?

Looking in the NJ/PA area prices are @ $2,500.00.

Thanks for any or all answers!

- Hi Dave. I own a 2008 Yz250 and I absolutely love it. Yamaha stopped updating them in 2008 but I don't believe there were any major changes between 2005 and 2008 except maybe the aluminum frame which was introduced in 2005 - making it lighter than the 2004 model.

I've had mine for 50 hours since new now and the only problems I've had are with leaking fork seals and rusty steering head bearings. I've since put fork savers (sleeves) over the fork seals as I ride a lot in the sand, and lightly sanded the fork tubes as they had small 'chips' in the outer coating which was wearing out the seals. It seems to have solved the problem since.

I think the seal on top of the head stem bearings is pretty average and doesn't provide a water-tight seal. It pays to make sure the bearings have plenty of grease in 'em and don't pressure wash directly into it.

Other than that - it's solid (survived a few crashes with only minor damage), responsive, powerful, reliable and a super fun bike! I've had no problems with fouling plugs and I always run it at 32:1 with premium 2 stroke juice. It always starts 1st or 2nd kick - mostly 1st.

If the bike's been looked after you shouldn't have any problems. It's difficult to tell if it's been rebuilt. Ask for receipts otherwise you won't know until you pull it to bits. They all need 'rebuilding' sooner or later so if it's due for a rebuild - it should be done. Stock bikes are generally more reliable so try to avoid the 'flashy' bikes that have been worked to hell and back - they're a lot more likely to go POW!

Here's a good write up of the Yz 250 2005 model -

Hayden -

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