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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Oh my. I've never had a bike that seemed to be affected to such extremes by the purity or dirtiness of the air filter. My 2015 Yamaha XT 250 is like two completely different bikes. When the filter gets dirty (which it does very easily, being a small paper filter), the XT feels like it's pushing about 19 horsepower. Knock all the dirt and foxtails out, and vaccum the filter clean enough to eat off of, and it jumps right back up to about 23 horsepower. When it's dirty, the bike barely wants to do lame ass wheelies in first gear. Just after cleaning it, the bike will again do pretty snappy second gear power wheelies, with quick pickup and good duration. Finally, when it's dirty, it'll barely hold 55 mph up a section of road near my house, and it won't hold fifth gear at all on the steeper parts of the mountain pass roads around here; when it's nice and clean, however, it has no problem holding 60 or 65 mph up that same section of road, and no problem holding any speed between 35 and 50 mph (or a bit more if I want to) in top gear, on the steepest parts of the mountain-pass roads. That's how much of a difference some dirt in the air filter makes - amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I've started cleaning the thing every 500 miles. It gets pretty dirty even after just one or two longer off-road forays, though. But I figure, rather than clean the damn thing every hundred miles, I'll live with a little weakness in between, haha.


Fred: I will probably do that if/when I go on more of an adventure ride - along with my spare battery, spark plug, etc.
 
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I've started cleaning the thing every 500 miles. It gets pretty dirty even after just one or two longer off-road forays, though. But I figure, rather than clean the damn thing every hundred miles, I'll live with a little weakness in between, haha.


Fred: I will probably do that if/when I go on more of an adventure ride - along with my spare battery, spark plug, etc.
Spare Battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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I've started cleaning the thing every 500 miles. It gets pretty dirty even after just one or two longer off-road forays, though. But I figure, rather than clean the damn thing every hundred miles, ......
That's one thing I don't understand about the XT250....the paper air filter.

All the other dual sport bikes I've seen have oiled foam filters.

jb
 

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That's one thing I don't understand about the XT250....the paper air filter.

All the other dual sport bikes I've seen have oiled foam filters.

jb
I have the K&N Air filter in my TW, not the original foam one and I can say that I truly believe it is an improvement. You do use an oil with it.
 

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I have the K&N Air filter in my TW, not the original foam one and I can say that I truly believe it is an improvement. You do use an oil with it.
Yes, the TW air filter, whether stock or K&N, is like other dual sport bikes.

The XT 250 has an air filter more like an automobile.

Apparently, the condition of the XT 250 air filter seriously affects the operating performance, as kj mentioned, and as you can see in this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t7b0F1E8djI

jb
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yea, the filter is just like a car filter. I guess they did it for simplicity/cost cutting. Even though it can affect performance, I really don't mind at all. In fact - at least in this type of application - I think I prefer paper. I reckon it probably does a better job of actually filtering out dirt, compared to a foam filter. I don't see a spec of dirt ever actually getting through the filter. Honestly, the motor is too weak to pull second gear up big hills anyway, so the power loss doesn't really make any difference (except on the street...). Having put well over 5k miles on it now, I'm past kidding myself that the bike actually makes any real power. It's a 250. I still think it's an awesome bike (especially for the money), but there are SO MANY hills that it won't do because of the low power (even with a clean filter). Most of the hills that CAN be done in second gear are also possible in first gear.

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself of why I bought the bike (definitely a good decision), and that until I've got an oil injected, fuel injected, 55 horsepower, 230 pound street legal two stroke dirt bike, there will always be something better. Even then...that bike would suck dirt as a commuter! Sometimes I get frustrated beating my head against the rocks, so to speak, trying to force the bike up hills that the motor just doesn't want any part of lol. I got to ride a buddy's California plated 2010 KTM 300 two stroke the other day. It has a Rekluse auto-clutch. There's a hill out there that was way too torn up to possibly get the XT up (the avalanche dirt steals all of its meager power and kills the drive instantly), with a good 10 feet of near-vertical hard-pack dirt at the top. I jumped on that damn 300 and it's like riding a bicycle down the sidewalk, in comparison. Smooth corner at 20 mph at the base...on the gas...2 and a half seconds later you're sitting at the top of the hill, thinking about why these things are called cheater bikes ;-)
 
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