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Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th #146025 09/17/19 02:57 AM
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NewRiderXT Offline OP
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I have a 96 XT225 (assuming the engine matches the VIN) that is having trouble with maintaining speed on the highway when there is any kind of incline. I'm 6' 200lbs and on flat ground I can get to 55mph in 5th and just barely hit 60 in 6th with WOT. Down hill will let me get to just over 65. Once I hit an incline, it doesn't even have to be that significant, I can barely maitain 45-50 depending on how steep/long the incline is. I have nothing to compare it to, but it seems to pull well through 4th, up to ~45mph.

I'm hoping to get some ideas of what else I can check besides the compression. I don't have a compression tester yet, but I think that is my leading hypothesis of what could be wrong. When I try to bumpstart it in first I just skid tire even on asphault, so that means compression is not terrible, right?

Is there anything else I should be checking?

I have just checked the valve clearances, exhaust was good, but the intake was tight. I did ensure I was on the TDC stroke and not BDC. I do have some wiggle in the rocker arms, I think I read that there should be no lateral movement allowed...

I have the stock 15/45 sprockets. Tires are aired up and not super aggressive. Kenda270 front and Shinko244 4.10 rear. Wheel bearing seem good.

Cobra exhaust with Uni Air Filter. I've had the same problems with and without the airbox snorkel.

Unfourtunatley I'm running a China knockoff carb at the moment, but I do have the original carb but the pilot jet is rounded out and stuck in that one and it had other various stripped screws. I think it is salvagable, but needs serious work. The China carb has a different thread pitch so I had to get China Jets, tried both a 130 and 125 with similar results, and a 135 was way to rich (surging with Throttle). Genuine Mikuni 42.5. Air screw is 2.5 turns, but I still have a tough time starting, so I'm pretty sure the air screw need further adjusting, but once started, I have smooth throttle response.

Besides possible compression issues, is there anything else that I should be looking at?

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146028 09/17/19 12:00 PM
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peejman Offline
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Checking the compression is the first thing that comes to mind. A local auto parts store likely has a compression tester in their "loan-a-tool" inventory. Top speed should be closer to 70-75 mph with a healthy engine.

The carb slide is vacuum operated, so it's possible there's a leak or its got the wrong spring and isn't opening up like it should. With the bike warm and it neutral, does a healthy whack of the throttle cause the engine to zing up to high rpm fairly quickly? Does it idle normally (some hunting is normal) without being abnormally high occasionally?

Bump starts usually work better in 2nd gear than 1st. A trick is to stand on the pegs and then crash your butt down on the seat as you release the clutch. It helps keep the tire from sliding, but be prepared should it suddenly come alive with all that weight on the back.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146029 09/17/19 02:45 PM
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Muniac Offline
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As for compression the shop manual states:

Standard 171 PSI
Minimum 128 PSI
Maximum 185 PSI

This is after the engine warms up for several minutes.


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146031 09/17/19 06:37 PM
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What does the plug look like after a run? Sooty? Is it using any oil?


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146035 09/18/19 12:06 AM
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Luckily my brother in-law does have a compression tester, so I'll be trying to get that checked out this weekend. Thank you Muniac for the specs!

So the spark plug looks decent, I had been running the 130 jet until recently, and it was kind of partially tan on one half and more white'ish on the other half of the electrode insulation and the first 5 or 6 threads are a bit sooty. I haven't actually done a plug chop yet to confirm those results though.

As for oil, its hard to say definitely since I have some oil leak when warmed up from the shifter seal and the stator cover gasket. Its not crazy bad, so I havne't gotten to fixing it yet. But I don't really see any blue smoke from the exhaust at all.

For the carb I literally bought a brand new knockoff carb, so build up's shouldn't be an issue. It does pull decently hard and revs out (granted I don't have a calibrated ear for where redline is, but its defitnely reving up there good even 1-4 and at like 55 in 5th (on level ground or any down hill, uphill is another story and I can just barely maintain like 45-50, it just kind of fades off). Hard to say if the rev'd out at 4th is the same as 4th, but I think it not quick as high RPM. The knockoff carb does add some uncertainty to the equation, but the OEM one I have needs some love (and that pesky pilot jet extracted before I can attempt to use it again).

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146038 09/18/19 03:34 PM
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Muniac Offline
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Keep in mind it's a 223cc engine. I think 18 HP at its best.

I've done a few jet extractions here in my shop on XT carbs. It's a very delicate operation to say the least. Usually a couple of hours to complete. As for screw thread extractions, some go well others not so.

I have a reworking solder station that has a hot air tip. Very handy for heating localized areas. Good luck!


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146042 09/18/19 04:55 PM
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peejman Offline
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The plug sounds fine. You could try 1 size up or down and see what it gets you, but the compression check will tell the tale. If compression is good, I'd suspect the carb or possibly the cam.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146056 09/19/19 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: NewRiderXT

Cobra exhaust with Uni Air Filter. I've had the same problems with and without the airbox snorkel.


I fitted a K&N filter to my previous xt225, never got it jetted right before it was stolen. Wouldn't get above 50mph, did 70mph easy with the oe filter. Mebbe Yamaha knew what they were doing eh.


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146059 09/19/19 06:05 PM
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Still have yet to check the compression, but rode the bike into work this morning, a cold 39F ride, and it seemed like the the power fade was slightly less. The relatively minor grade that I struggled to maintain 50-55 I was able to keep it up to 55-60.

Not sure what that means in terms of the issue, but colder air = more dense, could I still be running too rich despite what my plug looks like??

To the air filter comment, the previous filter was all crumbly so it got trashed, so I don't have an easy way to test that theory. The uni is the same style of filter though, the foam didn't look all that different from the OEM, not like the K&N does.

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146060 09/19/19 06:18 PM
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If you can hit 60 up a slight grade, not a lot wrong with it.

Mine gets up to 50 ok then takes its time.


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146061 09/19/19 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted By: NewRiderXT


Not sure what that means in terms of the issue, but colder air = more dense,
That is correct. More dense air = more oxygen. A carb adjusted perfect in the summer will be a tad lean in the winter with no adjustments. Some guys back their pilot screw out 1/4 turn the winter. I don't think you had a big enough swing in temps to make a difference.

Could your air filter be over oiled?

I tend to think it is the aftermarket carb. Maybe you should work on getting the factory carb back up to par. Just a thought.

Last edited by #brer15; 09/19/19 07:05 PM.

2004 XT225 purchased new in October 2004 0 miles. Current miles over 27,000.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146062 09/19/19 11:31 PM
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Yep, 60 up a slight hill isn't bad. 70-75 top speed is all tucked in as tight as I can get. Mine will pull 55 up a hill much better than at 45.

Mine definitely feels a little peppier on those cool mornings. I have a UNI filter too, and it's hard to over oil one. The foam isn't as dense as the OE filter and it would drain any excess into the bottom of the airbox pretty readily.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146068 09/22/19 03:39 AM
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Holy Cow, I now realize was not really getting anywhere near redline with the poorly made Chikuni carb that I had on there!

100% was issues with the carb. I finally got fed up enough to swap the old carb back in, stuck pilot jet of unkown size and all. I had cleaned it out previously, but other than that I didn't do anything to it.

Took it out and just plain WOW, steady pull till she screams and I wasn't even maxing it out. I haven't hit a highway yet, so no idae what the top speed is now, but hit 65 without even trying hard.

Previously I was hitting WOT with 5th and couldn't get past 50-55, shifting to 6th would then net me another 5 mph or so, again pegging WOT the entire time. I cannot wait to she what she can do on a more open road, entirely different feel.

My only complaint now it that I have alot more popping happening on no throttle engine braking. I believe I adjusted the mixture screw 3 turns, but I really don't I'm hoping proper adjustment will at least reduce that. I also had a couple stalls while braking with clutch to a stop, might be just the idle speed adjustment. Wanted to get out and do a quick test drive before I got to into the tuning bits.

Now I just have to replace all the hoses that have been long gone. And the pilot jet issue may stay just the way it is, I'm a bit more scared to try and remove it now that it is running so much better. If the mixture adjustment screw doesn't fix my popping, the next higher pilot (Assuming whats in there now is stock 40, would be 42.5, which I have...).

The hose barb on #15 in the fische:

https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/yamaha/motorcycle/1996/serow-xt225h/carburetor

is also broken off, not sure if this is a vent/breather/overflow. Also not sure how I can jerry rig a hose connection with it snapped off. It the one with the plastic cyliner with the rightangle barb connector. Perhaps I could get a small threaded barb or something to thread into the existing plastic...? There is rust in one of the overflow tubes already, from not having a hose connected, so I probaly should work on getting everything closer to the way it is supposed to be.


I had been seriously thinking that maybe I needed a bigger displcaement bike, to make commuting more manageable, but with this new performance I don't think that is the case anymore! Even on 55mph highways, it was so sketchy with that Chikuni carb and the lack of power on the inclines. I guess there is a reason they go for $50-60 vs $300-600+

Thank you everyone for the input, especially #brer15 for pushing me to try the old carb!

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146072 09/22/19 09:32 PM
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peejman Offline
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The popping likely isn't the mixture screw. There's a coasting enrichment circuit under the plastic cover on the right side of the carb. You'll get stalling and popping if this cover is cracked or the circuit is clogged. Check for a vacuum leak in that area.

That hose barb is just a vent. The hose runs down with the carb bowl overflow hose, or to the charcoal canister on a CA model bike.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146076 09/23/19 06:39 PM
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Muniac Offline
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A stock carb (unless really abused) should be rebuild-able and perform like new. Someone is now making the plastic coaster enrichment system covers too. I think peejman and a few others put a link to sources in a post I made bitching about it not being available.

One of our bikes had a significant leak given a crack in the plastic cover. In our case, the bike wouldn't idle as too much air was being sucked in thinning out the mixture. If just what's under the cover is clogged, you'll get different symptoms. As a matter or course, I'd replace the cover as part of a general carb rebuilding effort. Berryman's B-12 is good carb cleaner.

It's also a good idea to check all rubber parts given our ethanol laced fuel which is tough on rubber. Good luck restoring performance!


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146084 09/24/19 01:02 AM
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Is there a good brand for a rebuild kit, I'm feeling s bit leery of the Amazon specials now, what with how that Carb performed.

I see All Balls sells some kits, and others that are 3 or 4 time cheaper listed.

I took a closer look at my plastic cover and no cracks or clogs, but the top plastic cover seemed to have a small gap. The orings are all pretty stiff, but I figure I can use the parts from the China carb to rebuild it, assuming the build quality of the other part are passable (fingers crossed).

The mixture screw is pretty loose on the original, how easy is it supposed to be to turn. It's loose enough that I'm afraid the vibration could be adjusting it mid ride.

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146085 09/24/19 05:51 AM
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Buy cheap...

Git thi pocket dipped lad, do it proper.


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146086 09/24/19 08:19 AM
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#brer15 Offline
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Originally Posted By: NewRiderXT


The mixture screw is pretty loose on the original, how easy is it supposed to be to turn. It's loose enough that I'm afraid the vibration could be adjusting it mid ride.
Is it possible the spring is missing?

I used the All Balls rebuild kit. I replaced all the parts except the jets. I have no reason to think that the jets aren't good in the kit, just that my original looked to be in great shape. Everything worked good including the pilot screw and new pilot screw spring.




I replaced the coasting enrichment valve/cover with an OEM Mikuni.

Last edited by #brer15; 09/24/19 08:22 AM.

2004 XT225 purchased new in October 2004 0 miles. Current miles over 27,000.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146087 09/24/19 03:02 PM
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peejman Offline
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I'd tend to agree. Those cheap kits may come with crap o-rings that will degrade really fast and you'll be back in the same position next year.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146089 09/24/19 03:30 PM
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Muniac Offline
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China is notorious for inferior rubber, plastic and steel. Best to go with OEM parts. You may want to query SUDCO on carb parts. Perhaps they can help. Good luck.


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146226 10/16/19 04:23 PM
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I was also a bit concerned regarding the top end. Just to ensure the spark arrest wasn't creating restriction, I removed it. No apparent plugging. With it out, I took the bike for a spin ... way more top end. 65 easy. Noisy, but clearly more power. I will put it back in, but I did like the additional juice.


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146228 10/16/19 04:54 PM
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Muniac Offline
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I noticed a similar experience when replacing the stock muffler with an FMF PowerCore. More bark on the noise level, however. The FMF has a spark arrester screen.


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: Muniac] #146231 10/17/19 12:18 AM
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Speaking of spark arrestors, I took a look at my non-stock pipe (replaced by PO with a cobra muffler stamped with Skyway Cobra USFS approved spark arrestor model 300) and there does not appear to be a screen near the end of the muffler. I'm trying to figure out if it is in actuality a screen type arrestor that has been removed or that other type of arrestor (Krizman type?). I do have a side plate that may be a clean out port and I see concentric discs around the perimeter of the can.

Anyone seen this type before?
USFS type of arrestors

Hoping to just confirm that it hasn't been tampered with...

I can attempt to post a pic of the internals if that would be helpful.

Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146270 10/22/19 02:39 PM
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Liked the boost without the spark arrest, but want to be legal and have a bit more refined "thump" ... I broke down and ordered an FMF powercore 4 ... 4-week backorder.


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: CrozetVA] #146276 10/23/19 02:24 PM
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Lots of guys go for the Z1 exhaust mod on their XT225s. It provides a less restricted exhaust flow with a credible increase in performance. Lots of information on it here if you do a search..


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146335 10/29/19 08:29 PM
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Completed the Z1 mod. Nice, but still looking forward to the powercore4.


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146345 10/31/19 05:53 PM
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Some years back now, but I believe you can order an exhaust system for the TTR-225 and it will fit fine on the XT225. As I recall they didn't list the XT225 back then. Maybe that's changed now. Good luck!


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146346 10/31/19 06:31 PM
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Reggie bought a Delkevic exhaust, said it was good so I bought one for mine, it's a tad louder than stock, sounds more powerful than it is. No problem with fuelling.

https://delkevic.co.uk/Yamaha/XT225%20Se...it.html?search=


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146349 11/01/19 03:54 PM
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Speaking of Reggie, have you heard from him? He's missed around here.


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: Muniac] #146350 11/01/19 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Muniac
Speaking of Reggie, have you heard from him? He's missed around here.


I know, I miss him, he's the oracle on these bikes. Last I heard he was working for CCM, he sold his CCM bike & bought another Serow. Then went AWOL. His two chums Doc & Salopian haven't been posting either. Hope the good ol' boy's are all ok.


1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: Muniac] #146352 11/01/19 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: Muniac
Some years back now, but I believe you can order an exhaust system for the TTR-225 and it will fit fine on the XT225. As I recall they didn't list the XT225 back then. Maybe that's changed now. Good luck!


That is how I ordered the powercore4 ... using the TTR selection.


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: Paul49] #146354 11/01/19 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted By: Paul49
Originally Posted By: Muniac
..Speaking of Reggie, have you heard from him? He's missed around here.

I know, I miss him, he's the oracle on these bikes. Last I heard he was working for CCM, he sold his CCM bike & bought another Serow. Then went AWOL. His two chums Doc & Salopian haven't been posting either. Hope the good ol' boy's are all ok..

I sent Reggie an eMail nearly a week ago and received no response. Worrisome at best..


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146363 11/02/19 04:18 PM
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Well I hope everyone is OK. People come and go and sometimes need a break or change. Perhaps he'll tune in at some point with an update.

George - If you hear anything, please let us know. Thanks.


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: NewRiderXT] #146941 01/27/20 02:12 AM
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Finally received and installed the FMF Powercore 4. Ordered late October and delivered mid-January. The difference is incredible. More power, less low-end, way more top-end (stock muffler I was struggling to hit 55-60, with the powercore I hit 60 and then shifted to 6th. Hit 70 on my little farm road).

Perfect blend of sound and power. Best mod ever (for me).


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: CrozetVA] #146942 01/27/20 05:37 PM
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Glad the new exhaust worked well for you. Always nice to come up with a mod to these bikes of ours that makes a real difference!..


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Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: CrozetVA] #146963 02/04/20 07:00 PM
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Az4x4 Offline
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Originally Posted by CrozetVA
...Perfect blend of sound and power. Best mod ever (for me)..

Been a while since we've heard from you. Does the new FMF Powercore 4 still impress like it originally did? Hope you're still happy with it!..


"When it's a life-and-death matter, the market for bullshit drops to zero."
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: Az4x4] #146981 02/08/20 12:44 AM
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CrozetVA Offline
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Originally Posted by Az4x4

Originally Posted by CrozetVA
...Perfect blend of sound and power. Best mod ever (for me)..

Been a while since we've heard from you. Does the new FMF Powercore 4 still impress like it originally did? Hope you're still happy with it!..

Yes, still very happy with the FMF. Not too much opportunity to ride due to the winter weather, but the backroad riding around Crozet is much more fun with the powercore. My son and I are looking forward to getting the bikes back on trails sometime in March.


2004 Yamaha XT225
2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 BMW R1100S
Re: Low Power with any incline in 5th/6th [Re: CrozetVA] #146982 02/08/20 06:53 PM
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Az4x4 Offline
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Good to hear it. Nice to look forward to better riding weather. Hopefully we'll have good riding weather here in a month or two as well. Hope so anyway!


"When it's a life-and-death matter, the market for bullshit drops to zero."
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