About freaking time. The WZ290F Lives

I’ve probably said this before.  The Yamaha WZ290F actually lives.  I’ve been struggling with a variety of issues which I am tracing back to my case cleaning method (soda blast) and it appears things have finally been sorted out.  The bike still lost a little bit of coolant, but this was traced back to a loose radiator hose.  The bike other than that just felt spot on.

The gearing on the bike is a bit off for the MX Track & 290 kit.  I was running a 13/48 gearing combo, and while this would be fine with the stock YZ trans & 250cc cylinder, it could be a bit quicker with a 14T front sprocket.  The 290 kit can easily pull the extra gearing and the gaps between gears aren’t too big an issue with the WR trans.  That being said, I found that on the track I kept the bike in 3rd most of the time, and would click into 4th on faster sections.  With the stock YZ trans, I’d be clicking through the gears much quicker, so in that regard, the WR trans makes the bike pretty versatile.  Shifting however isn’t as quick and precise, and I found I need to be precise with my shifts.  That’s not to say that I couldn’t easily click through the gears.

My pseudo woods valving in the fork is pretty annoying on the MX track as well.  On the face of jumps, it soaks up the travel a bit too easily, and the speeds over the choppy stuff is just quicker than I’d be going through the woods.  It’s just a harsh ride.  The rear end however feels pretty well planted.  I found that as I cranked up the compression & rebound on the rear shock, I was far more comfortable in the air off jumps.

Speaking of jumps, I really need to up my game in learning how to scrub speed off of jumps.  There is a series of 2 uphill doubles that are after a long downhill run.  I end up holding so much speed off the first double that I will land into the face of the second double.  While not a huge issue, it would make things difficult on the second double, as I’d end up coming up a bit short on the landing.  I just really need to learn how to scrub speed off of jumps.  I’m getting there, but I’m going off of a combo of youtube videos, online writeups, and just riding.  I think a day with someone who can do it, and I’d have it down.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the bike.  Not thrilled that I over-heated myself, but that’s my fault for improper eating & poor pre-hydration.  I seem to do this once a year, usually just as the heat seems to sneak in on us.  It is what it is.