Got out to El Mirage this weekend, thought I'd update on how it went. Since the last time out, I've added Rox risers, moving the RC High bars as much pure forward as I could work out. I added a Steahly 11-oz. flywheel weight.
Between those two changes, everything was working way, way better. No whiskey throttle, everything just felt a lot more natural. Could sit or stand, no issues with balance. With the FWW, the YZ250 just tractored up the "big" hill climbs, no problem, minimal clutching. I actually felt like I was getting lazy with the clutch, but the bike didn't seem to mind.
One time, when climbing, I really felt it come together, where my weight was entirely balanced on the pegs and I was just riding an elevator to the top. Happened on a steeper climb than most of what we did, and I think that was what made the geometry/physics come together. Need to get to that place a lot more. It was cool.
Interesting comparison to my buddies and their quads in different kinds of terrain. Before I got the bike, I rode both of the quads I was following quite a bit, so I have a good feel for what they're like.
In a sand wash, a quad is at home, like a jet ski on water. It has good floatation, the wider tires and track minimize the effects of ruts on lateral movement, and the soft surface helps make up for its lack of suspension travel. Fun and easy. On a bike, the sandy washes felt sketchy. The front tire's tendency to follow the ruts makes things a little squirrely. I definitely found it best to be in a higher gear, on the gas, and carrying more speed. The risk is that I was going fast enough for crashing to really, really suck, and I had to be super-vigilant to the surface. Slowing down would load the front tire and make it more sensitive to the ruts, so if something came along that required scrubbing some speed, it got pretty interesting. I guess I can see why people who ride the dunes tend to end up with steering dampers. I did get a bit of a feel for it, but overall, felt like in the sand washes, I was mostly just trying not to have something bad happen. Was always way lagging the quads. Will get better.
However, on dirt, the bike was a lot better, and I was only hanging back in order to be able to look farther up the trail at what I was about to go over and plan my lines better. I found myself creeping right up on the quads without even really trying. I began to get comfortable, and really enjoyed just picking one line through the rougher spots, rather than having to figure out how to get the whole quad down the trail.
The bike is working for me, and I'm really happy with its performance overall. I could have done most of what I did with less bike, like a 250 4t or even a CRF230F, but having a 250 2t didn't seem to be hurting anything. I went everywhere I wanted to go, as fast as I wanted to go, without any problems stalling or controlling it. It's got plenty of sauce so I have something to "grow into", and it's cheap.
I feel like I got to the point where I will be able to go riding with people who aren't super-close friends, and not have anyone be like, "Dude, the new guy sucks, don't bring him again." That was my main goal, as I have turned up a lot of friends who have bikes and would go with me, but who have been riding for a long time.
+1 for the Pro Moto Billet
kick stand. No trees to lean the bike against in the desert. Really nice piece.
I got an Omega neck brace, too. It fit just fine with my Fox Airframe and trail pack, and I "didn't even know I had it on" most of the time.
We almost ran over about a 3-foot rattler, but didn't hurt him. I actually saw my first desert tortoise in 14 years of going to the desert, about four feet off the side of the trail in some bushes. A good trip.