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2015 YZ250 vs. 2015 KTM 250SX

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The first thing I'd like to mention is that I've been a Yamaha guy since the day I started riding. All five of my machines are Yamaha's, dirt bikes as well as four-wheelers.

 

Early next year I am going to buy a brand new bike for the first time ever, and if I go the smoker route, I want to know what the KTM has on the YZ. If it weren't for the fact that KTM has been putting hard work into their new two-strokes every year, I'd take the YZ hands down; however, as much of a fan that I am of Yamaha, I am not oblivious to other manufacturer's effort.

 

From what I've heard, the KTM is lightyears ahead of the Yamaha. However, there are other factors to put into play: being a Yamaha rider, will I feel out of place (handling wise) on the most unique machine of all the brands? The KTM is better tech-wise and speed-wise, but that doesn't mean that I'll necessarily be able to adapt to it as well. That being said, what if they don't feel that different? What if I can adapt just fine? Questions, questions.

 

Next, comes performance and features. I'd like to know the differences. 

 

What do you think? Can a Yamaha rider adapt to a KTM machine, and what exactly does the KTM have on the Yamaha in terms of technology? Thank you, this may really influence my decision!

Edited by AKmotorider

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I haven't ridden a 15 250sx but I have a 14 150sx and also a 12 YZ250.

 

YZ suspension is super smooth and takes every bump out of the track where the KTM is a little bit more harsh. This could be my setup up but from most stuff I have read the Yamaha suspension is still better than the KTM's.

 

To be honest I think they are both awesome bikes. 

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Guess it depends on your main purpose for the bike. If it were strictly racing mx i would certainly go with the ktm sx. The ktm is suppose to have nearly four more horsepower and in racing that would decide it for me. I would revalve the suspension if i felt it needed it and race. If i were looking for more of an all around bike i would go yz all the way. But i would think if racing seriously is what you will be doing then having the latest technology and advantage is what you would want. Good luck

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I am a long-time Yamaha rider and have had my fair share of YZs both 2 and 4 stroke. I applaud Yamaha for finally giving the 2stroke the cosmetic makeover that they need for 2015. However, if it came time to drop new bike money on a 2015, I would be more inclined to try the KTM. As said above, the hp advantage and overall updated bike is just something that I would feel justified in spending my money on. It is just hard for me to drop new bike money on a YZ when I had the same basic bike years ago and there are plenty of good used ones out there (that are essentially the same bike). So if it comes down to dropping money on a new machine, I would give KTM a try, get suspension dialed and see what happens. And before people jump me over this, yes the YZ is plenty good. And I see the point that even thought there is no real weakness to the bike, if I am dropping money on a new bike, I want a new bike. Maybe some of that is just all fluff but that is part of buying a new bike. The hype and the happiness of being satisfied is important because I know in reality my lap times are probably going to be identical on either of them. 

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What bike would handle the woods AND track best? Like not fouling plugs, reliability, and suspension wise? KTM 150SX / KTM 150XC / YZ 125 / CRF 250r / KTM 250XC ?? I wanna lean more to the 2 stroke.. I own a 2002 Honda CR250r and a 2005 CR125r. I ride trails and my 125 fouls plugs in the colder weather, throughout the summer it was good running 40:1, didn't foul any.. Couple weeks ago I fouled one when I went to start it up. I am going to try 32:1 in colder weather see how that works... If not I may sell it and pick one of the ones I listed.. What is a good all around bike??

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I have ridden both a 15 250sx and a 13 Yz250. The 4cs Fork on the KTM is really a huge improvement to the KTMs suspension. I'd say it takes it from a 6/10 to a strong 8.5/10 to the Yamaha's 9/10.

 

The main thing here, is why would you pay full price for a bike that's nearly ten years old? Seriously, if you want a YZ250, just buy a nice couple year old one and save yourself $1000-2000. 

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The best part is a 2015 KTM is up against a 2006 YZ..... and arguably isn't a better bike. You give a peak HP or 2 on the YZ, some brakes and maybe cutting edge handling but that's it. For the savings of buying a discounted new YZ (like a 2013 model) you could port the YZ, throw a oversized front rotor on and have a better bike...

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I sold my 2011 YZ250 this year and bought a brand new 2014 250sx I know it seems like ktms are more expensive but I ended up with the ktm for exactly $6k otd. Maybe the suspension was a little better on the yz but I feel like the ktm handles much better and I feel more comfortable on the ktm. maybe it's just me I'm a little taller and weigh about 170 before gear but I love the brakes and the clutch on the SX. I also love the looks of the ktm and as far as reliability they are both 2 strokes, non issue this is my 3rd ktm and never had a problem with reliability. The ktm is also much much easier to work on there is a lot more space in the engine compartment. The yz was so compact you had to take twice as much shit off to change the top end. These are all little things but overall my experience is I'm much more comfortable and happy on my ktm. Everyone will be different. I would really love to swap the 4cs forks and the sss from a Yamaha and see how many average riders can tell a difference or would really even care it would be an interesting experiment.

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A big bonus to the ktm 250 engine is more easily tunable.

  • Come with three different springs that affect when the power valve opens which affects smoothness of power.
  • Can also tune the power valve further by using adjustment screw.
  • Not so sure about the SX, but the XC & XCW have two different ignition maps (sx vs enduro).
  • Can easily swap heads and ignitions with xc/xcw models to further tune power.

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Yamaha. More reliable, better suspension, higher quality engine components.

I wouldn't say that the Yamaha has more reliable or higher quality engine components. I think that they are equally on par. I never have had an engine component failure on either of those brands. Components, on the other hand, are better on the ktm, but that is also all personal opinion.

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<p>

A big bonus to the ktm 250 engine is more easily tunable.

  • Come with three different springs that affect when the power valve opens which affects smoothness of power.
  • Can also tune the power valve further by using adjustment screw.
  • Not so sure about the SX, but the XC & XCW have two different ignition maps (sx vs enduro).
  • Can easily swap heads and ignitions with xc/xcw models to further tune power.
Were not debating over the XC models...

The ignition map is virtually useless...

The powervalve spring on the YZ can be changed but it's quite a bit more work...

But you could make the argument that the suspension on the YZ is far superior too...

There is never a clear winner in this debate so you should base your chose on what's most important to yourself...

Edited by Monk

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Were not debating over the XC models...

The ignition map is virtually useless...

The powervalve spring on the YZ can be changed but it's quite a bit more work...

But you could make the argument that the suspension on the YZ is far superior too...

There is never a clear winner in this debate so you should base your chose on what's most important to yourself...

What bike did you swap out the ignition maps? My father use to have an '11 250xc and him and I both agreed the SX map gave it a noticeably better snap, especially off bottom. Heck, even Dirtrider recommended it! http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/web-impression-2014-stillwell-performance-ktm-250-xc/

 

The suspension is opinion. Granted, it wasn't my yz250 I rode, but the yz felt so much more twitchy. My 250xcf is revalved by factory connection and it feels like I have suspension from the gods. However, thats my bike and my opinion.

 

Another note, Im surprised no one brought up cable vs hydraulic clutches. The hydraulic clutch is what originally sold me on KTMs

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What bike did you swap out the ignition maps? My father use to have an '11 250xc and him and I both agreed the SX map gave it a noticeably better snap, especially off bottom. Heck, even Dirtrider recommended it! http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/web-impression-2014-stillwell-performance-ktm-250-xc/

The suspension is opinion. Granted, it wasn't my yz250 I rode, but the yz felt so much more twitchy. My 250xcf is revalved by factory connection and it feels like I have suspension from the gods. However, thats my bike and my opinion.

Another note, Im surprised no one brought up cable vs hydraulic clutches. The hydraulic clutch is what originally sold me on KTMs

I think I meant the ignition map "switch" which makes virtually no difference...

Interesting point on your hydraulic clutch, I crashed on my 530, the handguards spun and broke the hydraulic line. Made for a bit of a PITA to get out of the bush with no clutch. Might have happened just as easily with a cable but I don't see it being as likely....

Edited by Monk

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you can get a magura hydraulic clutch for the yz as well if you felt you really needed it, also a crf master and caliper setup on the front brake works very nice.

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I think I meant the ignition map "switch" which makes virtually no difference...

Interesting point on your hydraulic clutch, I crashed on my 530, the handguards spun and broke the hydraulic line. Made for a bit of a PITA to get out of the bush with no clutch. Might have happened just as easily with a cable but I don't see it being as likely....

Of course, my mistake. I do hear nothing but bad things about the ignition switch. Also, do the cables corrode/wear faster than a hydraulic clutch? I don't have much experience with comparing the two.

 

you can get a magura hydraulic clutch for the yz as well if you felt you really needed it, also a crf master and caliper setup on the front brake works very nice.

Being a lazy and not mechanically inclined person, I dislike that idea.. If it was already installed on the bike it would be a cool!

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A big bonus to the ktm 250 engine is more easily tunable.

  • Come with three different springs that affect when the power valve opens which affects smoothness of power.
  • Can also tune the power valve further by using adjustment screw.
  • Not so sure about the SX, but the XC & XCW have two different ignition maps (sx vs enduro).
  • Can easily swap heads and ignitions with xc/xcw models to further tune power.

 

 

 

There's also the 300 kit.

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