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Motorcycles 2020 Factory Off-Road Bikes—Mike Witkowski’s Yamaha YZ250FX

14:45  01 june  2020
14:45  01 june  2020 Source:   dirtrider.com

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The Yamaha YZ 250 FX is the off - road oriented brother to the YZ 250 F motocross bike . In 2020 , Yamaha narrows the gap between the two bikes as the YZ 250 FX

Yamaha introduced the YZ 250 FX in 2015, taking proven elements from it' s motocross brother in the YZ 250 F but adapting them to make a bike suited more for

For 2020, Yamaha completely updated its YZ250FX, and newly signed AmPro Yamaha rider Mike Witkowski demonstrated the benefits of the revisions by winning the XC2 Class at the opening round of the Grand National Cross-Country (GNCC) series at the Big Buck GNCC in Union, South Carolina. After a hiatus in the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we spoke to AmPro Yamaha mechanic Lucas Statom at the recent Bulldog GNCC in Washington, Georgia, to get the scoop on Witkowski’s bike.

a bicycle is parked next to a blue motorcycle: One feature of Mike Witkowski’s Yamaha YZ250FX that can’t be detected from the outside is the ECU mapping. The AmPro Yamaha rider runs the Travis Preston (TP) map, which is available to the public. © Provided by Dirt Rider One feature of Mike Witkowski’s Yamaha YZ250FX that can’t be detected from the outside is the ECU mapping. The AmPro Yamaha rider runs the Travis Preston (TP) map, which is available to the public.

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For this First Ride we take a look at the all new Yamaha YZ 250 FX . This purpose built offroad 250F was updated for 2020 with many of the new characteristics

a bicycle parked in front of a blue motorcycle: The KYB suspension is set up by Factory Connection, and Witkowski likes it on the softer side. © Provided by Dirt Rider The KYB suspension is set up by Factory Connection, and Witkowski likes it on the softer side.

One of the main differences between the YZ250FX cross-country bike and the YZ250F motocrosser is the ECU mapping. The YZ250FX now features the same adjustability as the YZ250F with its smartphone-based Power Tuner app and Witkowski runs the Travis Preston map, which is available to the public. Statom told us that as far as the engine goes, it’s basically stock.

“We changed the mapping a little bit to a TP [Travis Preston] map, something that Yamaha has come up with, and it’s available to the public,” Statom said. “We’re [running] stock gearing.”

Statom raises the forks about 7.5mm in the Xtrig ROCS triple clamps, which gives Witkowski a little bit of an advantage when cornering. © Provided by Dirt Rider Statom raises the forks about 7.5mm in the Xtrig ROCS triple clamps, which gives Witkowski a little bit of an advantage when cornering.

The clutch is a Rekluse TorqDrive, which Statom told us yields improvements in multiple areas over the OEM unit. “With this 250FX, the TorqDrive gives him more hit off the bottom,” Statom noted. “They hold up. Mud, whatever. You can run these things into the ground and the clutch is still going to be going.”

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Mike Witkowski joins AmPro Yamaha for 2020 and beyond. We joined them for a round of GNCC pre-season suspension testing with Factory Connection down in

Fender to fender, the 2020 Yamaha YZ 250 FX is all-new. Based on the latest championship-winning YZ 250 F and boasting a wide range of cross-country features

a close up of a motorcycle: Witkowski likes the feel of the extra sharp Fastway Evo 4 footpegs. © Provided by Dirt Rider Witkowski likes the feel of the extra sharp Fastway Evo 4 footpegs.

A Cycra Powerflow body kit is employed, and Statom explained some of its performance benefits. “The hood is taller on the air filter, which gives the 250F more volume,” he said. “[Witkowski’s teammate] Layne [Michael] doesn’t run the taller cab, just because you don’t need the [additional air]flow.”

As far as the exhaust system, Statom told us they run a stock header with an FMF Factory 4.1 RCT slip-on muffler. The fuel tank is from IMS and holds 2.8 gallons, which allows Witkowski to pit only once during a three-hour GNCC. “We run a 50/50 mix of race fuel—the [VP Racing] U4.4,” Statom said. “These bikes still run pretty good on regular fuel, but for just a cleaner burn, we run the VP.”

a bicycle is parked next to a blue motorcycle: According to Statom, Witkowski feels the standard clutch slips a little bit, so they go with a Rekluse TorqDrive. © Provided by Dirt Rider According to Statom, Witkowski feels the standard clutch slips a little bit, so they go with a Rekluse TorqDrive.

The radiators are standard, but have Evans Coolant flowing through them. Also, the Antigravity battery setup is interesting, and a big secret to Witkowski’s great starts.

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“In this bike, I have two four-cells in series,” Statom explained. “What we were trying to achieve was the four-cell battery didn’t have that much cranking amps singled out. The 12-cell had 360 cranking amps. If we put two of the four-cells together in a series, they were 180s, so we were getting 360 cranking amps. The four-cells are smaller. They’re lighter. You put them together. As long as you put them up in a series, you’re getting all [of those] cranking amps. You don’t have all the bulkiness. The 12-cell is a little bit bulky. It throws some pretty good amps to the starter and [helps] him holeshot.”

a pair of blue shoes: The Cycra hand guards are designed to move outward as well as inward. Witkowski doesn’t like the outward movement, so Statom safety wires them. © Provided by Dirt Rider The Cycra hand guards are designed to move outward as well as inward. Witkowski doesn’t like the outward movement, so Statom safety wires them.

The KYB suspension is set up by Factory Connection, and Witkowski likes it on the softer side. “We have stiffened it up from where we started, but he and Layne [Michael] are [on] totally different [sides of the] spectrum,” Statom mentioned. “Layne’s is a stiffer setup than Mike’s is. Mike [prefers] a more plush feel. He likes not to feel the roots and rocks and stuff like that.”

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a bicycle is parked next to a blue motorcycle: One feature of Mike Witkowski’s Yamaha YZ250FX that can’t be detected from the outside is the ECU mapping. The AmPro Yamaha rider runs the Travis Preston (TP) map, which is available to the public. © Shan Moore One feature of Mike Witkowski’s Yamaha YZ250FX that can’t be detected from the outside is the ECU mapping. The AmPro Yamaha rider runs the Travis Preston (TP) map, which is available to the public.

Statom explained that the Xtrig ROCS triple clamps are the stock 22mm offset. He added that the Renthal Fatbar is a fairly low bend that sits in a rolled-back position in the Xtrig PHDS bar mounts, which provide a softer, plush feel. Statom also raises the forks about 7.5mm in the clamps (from flush), which gives Witkowski a little bit of an advantage when cornering as he likes to set the bike up more for turns rather than the straight-on, whooped-out areas.

“The front end is tucked in more for cornering; he felt more stable that way,” Statom said. “We crank his steering down quite a bit. We don’t run a stabilizer. We tighten it up pretty good to get that effect.”

Statom drills a hole in the upper engine mounts to give the chassis a little more flex, which Witkowski explained helps on roots and rocks. © Provided by Dirt Rider Statom drills a hole in the upper engine mounts to give the chassis a little more flex, which Witkowski explained helps on roots and rocks.

Statom also drills a hole in Witkowski’s engine mounts for a little more flex, but just the top ones. He mentioned they tried drilling all of the mounts—the front and top—and it was a little too much, so they just did the engine hangers and he said that was good. According to Witkowski, he mainly feels the added flex on roots and rocks.

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“Roots [and] small chop were the biggest differences,” Witkowski said of the drilled engine hangers. “So like braking bumps. Not so much cornering, but mainly roots and rocks. It just takes the harshness out and gives it more flex. It’s a softer feel.”

a close up of a toy car: Once of the secrets to Witkowski’s great starts is that Statom replaces the standard battery with two four-cell batteries, which are lighter but still put out the same cranking amps. © Provided by Dirt Rider Once of the secrets to Witkowski’s great starts is that Statom replaces the standard battery with two four-cell batteries, which are lighter but still put out the same cranking amps.

The footpegs are Fastway Evo 4s. Statom explained that Witkowski used to run Ankle Savers, but he wanted to get away from using them. “He runs the really sharp [pegs for] good grip on his feet,” Statom remarked. “He likes not to be able to move around much. As you can see on the grip tape on his shrouds and [fuel] tank. He [doesn’t] want to move much.”

a bicycle parked in front of a blue motorcycle: The KYB suspension is set up by Factory Connection, and Witkowski likes it on the softer side. © Shan Moore The KYB suspension is set up by Factory Connection, and Witkowski likes it on the softer side.

Witkowski also opts for a Seat Concepts seat with a rather large bump. “He runs it everywhere,” Statom said of the seat bump. “A lot of people run it just in mud, but Mike runs it everywhere. Like I said, he likes to stick to the bike. He likes not to move much.”

Statom raises the forks about 7.5mm in the Xtrig ROCS triple clamps, which gives Witkowski a little bit of an advantage when cornering. © Shan Moore Statom raises the forks about 7.5mm in the Xtrig ROCS triple clamps, which gives Witkowski a little bit of an advantage when cornering.

Because Witkowski is really hard on brakes, a GYTR solid rear rotor is mounted on the standard 18-inch rear wheel. Renthal sprockets are employed front and rear. The team runs a Bullet Proof Designs chain guide block because, according to Statom, in the past, the Yamahas have broken them off. “We just bolt it on and we have not had an issue yet,” Statom said of the aftermarket chain guide block. “We have not broken any chain blocks off since we’ve been running that. We use Bullet Proof [Designs] radiator guards too.”

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a close up of a motorcycle: Witkowski likes the feel of the extra sharp Fastway Evo 4 footpegs. © Shan Moore Witkowski likes the feel of the extra sharp Fastway Evo 4 footpegs.

Other aftermarket items on Witkowski’s steed include a D.I.D chain, Maxima Pro Filter, IMS skid plate, and Cycra hand guards with a Fastway mount. Statom explained that he safety wires the hand guards because they rebound. “You see how I have it wired here so it doesn’t extend that way,” Statom pointed out. “That’s not what they’re supposed to do. He doesn’t like the hand guard to extend out, so we wire-tie it to where it can’t.”

a bicycle is parked next to a blue motorcycle: According to Statom, Witkowski feels the standard clutch slips a little bit, so they go with a Rekluse TorqDrive. © Shan Moore According to Statom, Witkowski feels the standard clutch slips a little bit, so they go with a Rekluse TorqDrive.

The banjo bolt on the front brake caliper is made of titanium, and is also safety wired to ensure it stays in place. As for tires, Statom mentioned that, except for sand tracks, Witkowski prefers a Dunlop Geomax MX3S front and Dunlop Geomax AT81 rear. “Before we even raced, he was on the [MX]3S rear,” Statom said. “But we’ve seen Layne Michael and he actually practices with this [AT]81. He’s running it everywhere so far. Rocks, loam, I think it pretty much hooks up everywhere, so that’s where we’ve been so far and we haven’t changed it.”

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