Step 1: Introduction to Project YZ250

Let’s start out by me introducing myself; I’m Richard Hughes owner and operator of Dirt Hammers.com. If you have not figured it out already I’m going to be performing a bike build project and yes it’s been done many times before, by all of the major dirt bike magazines. My project will be similar but different in terms of budget, time frame, and layout.

It’s time to talk about the project bike itself. As you can see it’s a very clean and fresh Yamaha 2005 YZ250 2-stroke. The bike has been performing MX duty since new and it’s time to steer her into a new direction and that direction is to turn her into an off-road race bike where she can chip bark off the trees and wheelie across creek crossings while the pilot’s (that would be me) legs are dangling off the pegs and visions of pine trees clutter his thoughts.

My 05 YZ250 is stock for the most part. The bottom end was replaced a year ago and I have been through a few top ends as general maintenance throughout the years. The suspension springs have been replaced to suite my weight but the internal valving remains stock. Controls have been updated and the bike has received its normal wear and tear service items over the last 7 years. So with that, I have a very good head start on this project with a great bike to start with.

If you’re asking yourself where I am going with this, it’s pretty simple. Come the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013 I will be throwing myself into my first race. Yes, that’s correct I have never entered an official race for either moto or off-road. I grew up riding dirt bikes as a kid but my interest changed as a teenager and I did not pick up dirt bikes again until around 2002 and it’s been a wonderful ride over the last 11 years with no signs of it slowing down. Not real sure why I have not entered a race or two? Each weekend when my son and I meet up with others at the track it’s a race minus the gate dropping and the crazed fans cheering us on, trust me I’m racing within my own helmet whether the others know it or not.

You can expect to see bi weekly or monthly updates on the bike build and the products being used as I map out my progress and racing plans. Once the project has reached its completion it will be time to introduce myself to the off-road racing scene. For anyone that is racing the S.O.R.C.S series in open beginner class, consider this your warning because you will want to get out of the way and let Bob “Tree Slappin” Hannah (that would be me) bye as there will be a lot of screaming, leg floppin, head whippin, miss gear shiftin, bark bustin racing going on that you will not want any part of. Do they stop the race at the half way mark for snacks and drinks? Anyways, in the end I will do a wrap up report on the bikes performance and the cost to build this open beginner class warrior that will land me a top podium finish first race out. It should be fun and I hope you will enjoy checking in on the progress.