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Help with a Father Son Conflict

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Currently my 16 year old son who weighs 125 pounds is riding a CRF250X for the past year and a half.  He came off a CRF150RB before that.  He handles the bike fine but has recently got into his mind that the CRF250X is too heavy for him to throw around in the woods and is too much work and not fun.  Our riding is all woods riding with mixed open trails to tight single track.  In the tight technical stuff he occasionally will go down when he gets caught in a rut, kicks off a root or slides out in the mud.  He blames it on the fact that the CRF weight has a 254 curb weight.  He saw a 2000 CR250 2-stroke locally on Craigslist and has read of people riding them in the woods. He has no recent experience on a 2-stoke and wants something lighter weight because he feels 254 lbs is heavy.

 

So here is our dilemma....  As a father, I tell him that my goal is to have him achieve adulthood alive without lasting injuries and feel that the powerband on the CR250 would not be well suited for the woods riding.  His thoughts are the 20 pound weight savings advantage outweights the peaky power band, close ratio transmission, and lack of electric start.  I understand that flywheel weights and other mods will tone down the CR's snap but think we will be trying to make a track bike woods worthy for little gain on the technical single track.

 

My suggestion is to lighten up his CRF250X and maybe get a koubalink to lower the bike to give it a lighter feel that is easier to handle. He thinks a 125 or 150 2-stroke won't provide enough low torque for slower technical stuff we ride and the lightweight KTM 200's are usually out of our $2500 budget.  We welcome all feedback.

 

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Currently my 16 year old son who weighs 125 pounds is riding a CRF250X for the past year and a half. He came off a CRF150RB before that. He handles the bike fine but has recently got into his mind that the CRF250X is too heavy for him to throw around in the woods and is too much work and not fun. Our riding is all woods riding with mixed open trails to tight single track. In the tight technical stuff he occasionally will go down when he gets caught in a rut, kicks off a root or slides out in the mud. He blames it on the fact that the CRF weight has a 254 curb weight. He saw a 2000 CR250 2-stroke locally on Craigslist and has read of people riding them in the woods. He has no recent experience on a 2-stoke and wants something lighter weight because he feels 254 lbs is heavy.

So here is our dilemma.... As a father, I tell him that my goal is to have him achieve adulthood alive without lasting injuries and feel that the powerband on the CR250 would not be well suited for the woods riding. His thoughts are the 20 pound weight savings advantage outweights the peaky power band, close ratio transmission, and lack of electric start. I understand that flywheel weights and other mods will tone down the CR's snap but think we will be trying to make a track bike woods worthy for little gain on the technical single track.

My suggestion is to lighten up his CRF250X and maybe get a koubalink to lower the bike to give it a lighter feel that is easier to handle. He thinks a 125 or 150 2-stroke won't provide enough low torque for slower technical stuff we ride and the lightweight KTM 200's are usually out of our $2500 budget. We welcome all feedback.

I say get the 2 stroke, they make woods monsters.
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buy the smoker...that 250X is a turd in comparison.  The kid will be fine...if he can ride a 250X, he'll be fine on the smoker

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I ride an 01' cr250 with only go fast mods and is awesome fun. am thinking of the FWW though . They only go as fast as you open the throttle:smirk:  In all seriousness if you do just make him understand it's not like the 250f with the smooth power , have him ride some fields awhile to get used to it. My sons 15 and rides mine, i have to slow him down every once in awhile when he starts getting throttle happy and trying to sling it around like his cr125. I agree if he can ride the 250f he should have no problems on the 250r besides getting familiar with it. 

Edited by Beau 88

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If you go with the 2 stroke I would put the biggest fly wheel weight and a rekluse. It will make it ride more like a 4 stroke. I enjoy my rm 250 the power is easily managAble in single track stuff with that setup

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MX 2 stroke as a woods bike is a waste of time and money. Unless you can find a YZ250 that has the WR box and weighted flywheel. Or even a Yamaha YZ250F with the same Enduro mods would be a far better proposition than a KX, RM or CR 2 stroke.

KTM 200 is the way to go, better power than the 250X in a KTM 125 frame. Nothing wrong with a second hand one if you can find it at the right price.

And yes the 250X is heavy and works better when used off road rather then tight woods or technical. At 16 yrs and 125lbs IMHO you want a light bike.

Edited by Van Wick
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 He thinks a 125 or 150 2-stroke won't provide enough low torque for slower technical stuff we ride and the lightweight KTM 200's are usually out of our $2500 budget.  We welcome all feedback.

 

Momentum is the key to small bore bikes....a 125 with lowend mods would do fine...however I too feel the KTM200 is the best choice hands down. Lots of parts/gear available for them, lots of info on the forums and with a little shopping you can find one in your budget.

 

http://www.bikefinds.com/ktm-200-for-sale

Edited by OldMechanik

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Another vote for a 200. You can easily find them in your budget. Plus, to trail ride an  MX bike, you'll have to spend money on parts already on a 200. Bigger tank, guards,heavier flywheel,etc. At 125 lbs, a cr250 in the trees sounds a little scary to me. Too easy to whiskey throttle into a tree.

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Your son is right. As a previous 250X owner as well as that of many 2502T's, he hit the nail on the head... they are an overweight pig. I have been preaching for a long time that the 250X is an old man's bike.

Much better off with a woods-valved two or four stroke MX bike than a WR or CRF-X in most cases. Unless you need e-start and a granny gear there is no advantage.

Of course, a stage II or III cam, full exhaust, starter and battery delete can make them compare better with a woods modified MX bike, you'll still be stuck with that wacky gearing.

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All 250 2 stroke MX bikes are going to throw him around too much in the woods. A YZ125 has plenty of bottom end for a 125 lb rider, especially if you put on a 51 or 52 Tooth rear sprocket and go 1 size smaller on the pilot jet. I would say the upper weight limit on a YZ125 is around 175 lbs before you notice any lack of bottom end. The stock suspension is still going to be stiff on all MX bikes. A KTM 125 or 200 EXC or XCW that has already had suspension serviced would be better in the tight single track.

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I figure if he wants to buy it himself, more power to him. I would kill for a 250x as a 16 year old. If he has weight concerns, I'm sure that the guys in the CRF-x forum could steer you and your son in the right direction. Is the suspension sprung for his weight?

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I agree a 200 would be the best choice but the post didn't mention anything about it. My personal opinion on a mx track a 125 would be better but as far as the woods go the 125 will work him more than the 250. He can lug the 250 easier without fouling plugs and everything else that comes with the 125

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Gas Gas 200, forgot about that. That's actually not such a bad option and if memory serves me correct the Gas Gas have a slightly lower seat height over the KTM 200.

Own a 250X myself, it's a good bike for off road and can handle single track well. But get into more knarly stuff and you realise it's short comings quickly. Rode a 2014 KTM 200 recently and could not believe how much easier it was to ride in the technical trails and power wise it's easily ahead of the 250X. It has more low down torque making quick work of anything you throw at it and a ton less tiring to ride.

Lacking confidence and struggling to handle a bike is a sure fire way to end up with an injury. Not all injuries are speed / power related, all my major injuries over the years have been slow get offs or falling over at the wrong time.

If at all possible try and find someone with a lighter bike for you son to try out, you'll quickly see if his riding and confidence improve.

Edited by Van Wick

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Thanks for all the comments.  The opinions are so diverse. It is obvious that the 200 2-stroke is the best machine for the riding I mentioned and our search will focus on those models.  If a good priced machine crosses my path I would have not problem swapping out bikes.  As a father, I appreciate the comments about fearing a whiskey throttle event and want something that is fun but also not something that will get him into trouble.  Once he is of age and makes his own decisions, he can learn the hard way but right now, I have to get him to adulthood with wise choices. 

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I also think a mx bike is to much for the woods, fouled plugs is always a issue , it seems they happen when you are the longest point away from help. I would like the lugging power of the the 250x for the hills and tight woods. really not much room in the woods to make a 250r sing.

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It sounds like your son could use some riding technique lessons.  And a few bike set up tips.  Too many people hop on a bike figure it to be a self-taught adventure then blame the bike should anything go wrong.  I’ve witnessed pros take porky stock 4t’s out and whip the boots off amateurs who thought they were pros on their tricked out decal covered complete with numbers fire breathing 2t’s…..

 

Wiping out on roots, ruts, and mud happens to everyone.  Even pros.  So what’s the beef?

 

Sounds as if your son wants a 2t from what he has read but has never experienced.  The 250X is a great trail/play bike, but not a racing machine.  That’s what you get to decide, do you want your son on a milder slower bike he can handle, or do you want him on a quicker, faster bike which may get him in more trouble than he can handle as to date it sounds as if he hasn’t displayed the ability to assess conditions and control the 250X in different/changing conditions.    For your riding style 20lbs is nothing.  You know your son better than anybody here…..

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Look at a KDX220. The CR is good I have one and if SETUP right they make good woods bikes but suspension work is a must. I am 200lbs and the suspension on my CR is resprung/valved for woods but still stiff compared to a KDX and an MX setup will beat you to death in the woods. Also a 2T will not foul plugs with proper jetting and premix ratio.

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