You need…

…a yamaha YZ250L… …in your shed.

Classic Dirtbike - - Contents -

…a YZ250L in your shed, yes, you do. You may not re­alise it but this Yamaha is what you’re wait­ing for.

should have in your shed. Of course, This is the sec­tion where we tell you what you You youneed, whichiswhy we’re telling you. you might not have re­alised what it is in which case feel free to drop us a line also may find the need to dis­agree with us– you a cou­ple of op­tion s–AY Z 250 L or with your sug­ges­tions. This time we’ve given howabout a kawasaki kx125?

Since the Ja­panese be­came se­ri­ous about MX and started throw­ing money at it in or­der to win it wasn’t un­com­mon to hear tales of six­fig­ure sums for works ma­chines. But by the be­gin­ning of the Eight­ies such ex­trav­a­gance was be­gin­ning to tell and Yamaha for one was feel­ing the pinch. So, for 1984 it shocked the world by field­ing pro­duc­tion mod­els for the works team. Okay, these bikes would be well looked af­ter by fac­tory me­chan­ics and there would be no short­age of parts but they were pro­duc­tion based… This par­tic­u­lar bike is owned by West­coun­try Wind­ings’ man Michael Sim­mons and is an Amer­i­can im­port, hence the colour­ing, or per­haps that should be ‘col­or­ing’? Pos­si­bly be­cause Yamaha wasn’t ex­pected to do any good with a ba­sic model up against the works stuff the eyes of the world was fo­cused else­where.

Un­til, that is, Yamaha started win­ning. In the USA leg­end Ricky john­son gained his early suc­cess on this model and the world took no­tice. Cos­met­i­cally the 1984 YZ250L looked pretty much like a slightly fresh­ened up 1983 model, –it suf­fered frame break­ages and had power that wouldn’t last. How­ever un­der the skin for 1984 some pretty rad­i­cal changes had gone on. Liq­uid cool­ing had ar­rived afew sea­sons ear­lier in 1982 and this should have been a ben­e­fit but the power was un­re­li­able com­pared with the air-cooled ver­sions, the whole bike was too heavy For and didn’t go where the rider wanted. 1983, there was a‘ clean sheet’ de­sign and steps were made to ad­dress the pre­vi­ous sea­son’s prob­lems. Newwa­ter pump, bet­ter han­dling, more power, but still, re­li­a­bil­ity could be aprob­lem and frame break­ing is not what you want when land­ing from some mas­sive jump. As 1984 damned, it was clear Yamaha’ s of en­gi­neers had looked at ev­ery as­pect the YZ and changed ev­ery­thing for the bet­ter. un­like the 1983 motor, which had alot of top-end power, the 1984 ver­sion had power lower down and wider spread, the idea be­ing an eas­ier bike to ride that would en­cour­age the rider to go faster with­out an en­gine that would bog the ma­chine down. Were there down­sides to this the ma­chine? Ye s, there were, ap­par­ently sus­pen­sion wasn’t bril­liant at the front… it was ac­cused of suf­fer­ing from un­derit damp­ing and un­der spring­ing. in truth was prob­a­bly no worse than many other Still ma­chines but it let the pack­age down. such things are cur­able by sus­pen­sion ex­perts and the rest of the bike is good which is why we say ,‘ you need a 1984 YZ250L in your shed’.

Ahostofim­prove­ments for1984 sawthe YZ250L be­come ‘Jack the­giant Killer’inthe MX world.

n o tt ri B m Ti s: c i P d n a s d or W

Re­buil­tratherthan re­stored,the aimis to ride this­ma­chine rather than look at it.

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