The Yamaha YZ250X is already a well-off contender to its orange and white competition, but this YZ295X built by our Quality Engineering Manager takes it to another level.
Some riders may purchase and ride their motorcycle with the mentality “it works just fine as it is.” This is probably true, but there’s always room for more fun, right? Wiseco Quality Engineering Manager Ryan Nau found that extra room, and even made some room of his own, with his 2017 Yamaha YZ250X build.
The passion and love for two-strokes runs deep, and it’s two-stroke performance that Wiseco was born and built on. Under a cloud of heavenly-scented premix smoke, that passion lives on, and is stronger than ever. We’re proud to have people on our team at Wiseco dedicated to the same craft we have been for over 75 years, which is why we jumped on the idea of taking an in-depth look at Ryan’s thought-out and well-executed two-stroke off-road build.
The bike started life as a barely-used 2017 Yamaha YZ250X, the second year of Yamaha’s off-road specific 250cc two-stroke based on the tried-and-true YZ250. In OE trim, the changes made for the ‘X’ model include more linear power from lower compression and different port and CDI timing, revised exhaust, wider ratio transmission, revised suspension, 18” rear wheel, O-ring chain, kickstand, and a reserve-equipped fuel petcock. Once the bike landed in Ryan’s hands, those changes were only the beginning.
What do you do to your new bike as a Quality Engineering Manager at a piston and performance parts manufacturer? You install a big bore cylinder with a freshly-forged, 72.00mm Wiseco piston, naturally. Ryan called on the two-stroke experts at Eric Gorr Racing and fitted the YZ with their 295cc big bore kit, which comes with a brand new, plug-and-play cylinder. The Wiseco piston for this kit (which is 5.60mm over from stock 250 sizing) is offered off-the-shelf directly from Wiseco, and is complete with ArmorGlide skirt coating, pre-drilled exhaust bridge lubrication holes, and hard anodized crown and ring grooves, for an ultimate package of performance and longevity.
Ryan was a big fan of the difference the big bore kit made, commenting, “The 295 big bore kit is plug and play with only minor adjustments to the air screw on the carb after install. It feels just like a 300 in the woods with great low end and a top end that still hits really hard when needed. I recently rode at Wayne National Forest and found myself in 2nd and 3rd gear most of the time just lugging up hills with no worries.”
The bike’s new, larger cylinder is fed air and fuel through a ProX air filter and OEM carburetor, and exhales through an FMF pipe and silencer.
Staying in the arena of engine performance, the Yamaha’s clutch received some love from an unstoppable Wiseco and Rekluse duo. Ryan replaced the stock, cast inner hub and pressure plate with forged, Wiseco components. Wiseco is the only manufacturer that forges their baskets, hubs, and pressure plates, increasing tensile strength and adding hard anodize and Teflon coating for even more elevated wear resistance. These core components were paired up with a Rekluse RadiusX kit, consisting of their TorqDrive fibers, steel drive plates, and magical EXP disk that gives the bike that desirable auto-clutch functionality (don’t knock it ‘til you try it). Want to learn more about auto clutch? Check this out.
What would all these awesome power upgrades be without quality final drive components? Ryan slapped on a set of ProX sprockets and an X-ring chain. The coated rear sprocket and the X-ring design of the chain allows for the additional longevity desired for off-road riding without sacrificing performance. These were also matched up with a pair of fresh ProX chain rollers.
A bike boasting this much two-stroke grunt couldn’t go without some aggressive aesthetics to back it up. Four Forty Powder coating treated the frame, subframe, and swingarm with an eye-catching gloss black. Paired up with a custom set of graphics from DeCal Works laid onto new UFO black plastics from Dave Antolak, this YZ visually barks as loud as it bites.
Moving on to shed a little light on a unique component of this build, the Task Racing LED light bar (see what we did there?). Ryan wanted this to be the ultimate off-road machine, which means it wouldn’t be complete without some serious lighting power to aid in racing under the stars. The 295X was equipped with a 10” rechargeable light bar kit from Task Racing. Mounted with the supplied Factory Baja Gore fork mount package and powered by a convenient, rechargeable 12V LitPo battery system, this light pumps out an impressive 4,650 Lumens of power.
Ryan was beyond happy with choice of the Task Racing light, recalling, “The Task Racing light was easy to install with everything included in the kit. I put the battery in the air box and ran the quick disconnect wire just outside the air box for quick charging. The light is set up with a center spot and outside floods. The light is incredible in the woods at night.”
It’s all in the details, and this 295X also received several accessories to round out a package of key advantages. CV4, a protection product line from Wiseco, took the cooling responsibilities. Radiator hoses we’re installed in place of the stock hoses, providing more efficient coolant flow, better resistance to heat and abrasion, and just a straight up cool look. A CV4 high-pressure radiator cap was also utilized to keep the coolant from boiling in those tight trails.
Buttoning up this build in the controls department was a set of Pro Taper bars and grips complemented by Works Connection levers and clutch perch, all protected by a set of Cycra Rebound handguards. A set of Michelin knobbies were wrapped around the OEM wheels, tasked with taking on the woody Ohio terrain.
Wiseco was founded by true racers and enthusiasts, and the Wiseco team still boasts a roster of fellow racers and riders all contributing to Wiseco performance and quality. We love taking a closer look at what’s going on in our team member’s garages, stay tuned for the next one!
Thank you to the companies involved: