Is it worth converting a motocross bike into an enduro bike, a GNCC racer or a woods bike? In some cases, yes. A motocross bike is very light, cheap, and has fewer things to break. And the extra power and firmer suspension might suit the experienced aggressive rider who is racing. The test bike for this vid was kindly supplied by Rob Ferrington from Queensland Offroad Tyres: http://www.qldoffroadtyres.com/
But the light weight and racing pedigree of a motocross bike has disadvantages for enduro or GNCC racing. Motocross bikes aren’t plated which restricts where you can ride them legally. In many cases you’ll have a non o-ring chain, close ratio gearbox, small fuel and oil capacity, no electric start and that 19 inch rear wheel is more likely to get punctures and restrict your choice of rear tyres – not good for enduro, GNCC or a woods bike. And the race tuning and firmer suspension of a motocross bike can be a real problem for less experienced riders in the woods.
So it all comes down to your budget, where you want to ride and how you want to ride. Some riders find that by the time they do their motocross enduro conversion they have wiped out any savings made buying a cheap motocross bike… and they still have a close ratio gearbox which isn’t great on a woods bike. Then again, some guys just love tinkering and modifying so here are the usual mods to make an enduro or woods bike out of a motocross bike.
BASIC MOTOCROSS ENDURO CONVERSION MODS
Adjust powervalve (some two strokes)
Skid plate, radiator & hand guards
ADVANCED MOTOCROSS ENDURO CONVERSION MODS
18″ rear wheel
Auto clutch with higher gearing
G2 Throttle Tamer
Two stroke – pipe change
Two stroke – head mods
Two stroke – low tension reeds
Today I get to ride the YZ250 belonging to a well known local gumby, Rob Ferrington who is Queensland’s Goldentyre distributor and owner of Queensland Offroad Tyres. Rob lists the mods he’s done, then I’ll get to ride the beast and see what I think of it.
My first impressions on Rob’s motocross enduro conversion? Very very nice. Rob’s mods have given the little 250 plenty of grunt and a very meaty midrange. I’d be tempted to put an even heavier flywheel in just to suit my style of riding, but love the engine overall. The YZ250 is known for great suspension already, but it’s like a magic carpet ride with whatever tweaks FFRC made… very plush. You can see why they are popular in GNCC racing.
The YZ250 has a dry weight of only 96kg or 212lb so it is feels ridiculously light and nimble. For tight single track or extreme enduro terrain you can see why light weight is the holy grail and these motocross enduro conversions are popular.
Rob doesn’t mind constantly changing gear and likes how the close ratio gearbox ensures the perfect gear, but I really missed the wider gear ratios of a proper enduro bike. Plus the Yamaha still only has a five speed box which limits it even more. Some riders go the option of higher gearing then fitting an autoclutch for the slow stuff… an expensive compromise solution at best.
Is it worth converting a motocross bike to an enduro bike? Sadly in most of Australia there are few places you can legally ride an unplated bike. But other countries like the US have plenty of GNCC events and places to ride an unplated bike. If you are on an extreme budget and can live with the compromises it makes a lot of sense. Or for the competent aggressive rider, it could be a nearly ideal solution. And of course some guys love a project bike and don’t mind throwing money at something like this. But of course it can make far more sense to just buy an enduro bike then strip it back to save weight and put a lithium battery in it. Got any further tips, mods or suggestions? Let me know.
Questions about this YZ250 conversion can be directed to Rob Ferrington at http://www.qldoffroadtyres.com