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Still debating the age old 250x vs 450x? Read this!

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Greetings Thumper Talk community (and visitors)

 

I'm a brand new member to the site but I've used it for guidance over the last few months reading every article comparing the 250x and the 450x. I too struggled with this dilemma for months. Let me give you some background on my riding experience.

 

In September of 2010 I purchased a secondhand CRF 100 and rode it for about a month and a half in northern Alberta, Canada. Mind you, I was 19 years old, 6'2'' and about 180 lbs. A very small bike for my size, but it was my first one and I wanted something I could control easily as it was my first time even riding dirt bike.  So that sums up my riding experience... a month and a half with a CRF 100, 4 years ago. 

 

UNTIL LAST WEEK.

 

After much research and advice from people I trust who have been riding for decades, I made the plunge. 

 

Now, a 2014 CRF 450x is sitting in the back of my truck.. and I couldn't be happier. I was worried that it would be too much power and it would rip the arms off me or throw me every chance it got... I'm not going to say that it doesn't have the power to do that.. but the key for me has been RESPECT

 

Respect the machine, respect the power and don't ride past your comfort speed. After just one week of riding I'm feeling just as confident on the 450 as I did on the 100. I know a lot of people say that for a rider my height, weight and experience level, the 250x would have been more than enough. I agree wholeheartedly. But with the way I feel after just a week with the 450x, I know I would have wanted something more than the 250. 

 

And to those who say it's a pig in tight trails and doesn't work, I laugh. I carved out a little enduro circuit in the woods where I ride and it's just as nimble in the tight trees and the CRF 100. You just have to get the feel for the weight and momentum difference.

 

So, to summarize, if you're still struggling trying to decide if you should go with a 250 or 450, know that with a respectful and responsible rider, a 450 is just another dirt bike. You can do it!

 

**Disclaimer**

 

Obviously this is just my opinion, I am not stating anything as fact. I am not a professional or seasoned rider, just someone who's hooked on his CRF 450x. 

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250's have their place...however in the end it was a 450 for me as well...however I could use more power, in fact I spent some money so I could have more power. And while it's nice, there is always room for more! But in all honesty the mods I've made, I still used OEM honda parts and it's just as reliable as if it was stock. I ride a mix between super tight technical stuff, to high speed double track, to mountains. One thing I love about the X, is that it is a do it all bike, and it does it all very well.

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Wait until you have had it for a while , they get better .

They Really improve with a suspension re valve and in my opinion a Scotts Damper .

The stock valving on the suspension works perfect for me. In fact with suspension being such a personal thing I can't for the life of me figure out how people are sending their suspension out for a revavle, when they didn't do the springs first. Without have the correct springs a rider has NO idea what's going on suspension wise. Get the springs right, get the sag right, start messing with the clickers, and then you can decide if it needs a revalve, and were the revolve needs to take place. A certain know it all claims there is mid stroke harshness in the forks that can only be cured by a revalve. I will admit I noticed a slight harshness in the middle of the stroke, but once I got my clickers right my forks are down right smooth. My rear shock it almost there. That might actually require a revalve. It's still a little too slow on the rebound, and the high speed damping is still just a tad to hard. But it's so close and I still have adjustment in my clickers, so it might just get there. Enough about my rant, you are 100% correct in saying the bike is a different animal once you get the suspension sorted out! And x2 on the dampener. I plan on getting new triple trees and a sub mount dampener this winter.

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I have to say though, having both an '09 250x and 450x since new, I still prefer the 250x in tight woods. 

 

It just doesn't make me work as hard as the 450x and unless you ride killer hills, you'll find most riders will tell you a 250 has enough power for the woods (I'm 5' 10', 195 lbs with gear).  It *is* slightly lighter when you have to lift it out of the mud hole as well.   And while 14lbs doesn't sound like all that much, at the end of a long day it does make a difference.   It also carries the weight lower and it's far slimmer up by the tank, so it feels totally different.  It's not just the power.

 

But I do have to say if it opens up in the slightest, then I like the power the 450 has on tap.   I think the real sweet spot would be a CRF300x; keep the light weight feel of the 250, but give you some of the power of the 450.

 

Jim.

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Wait until you have had it for a while , they get better .

They Really improve with a suspension re valve and in my opinion a Scotts Damper .

I think i know who this guy is... if im correct... i told him to wait until he uncorks it!  Right Brace???? Im glad your enjoying your new bike... too bad im moving and we wont get to ride together... it is a big bike... 

 

ask around on here... for your after market upgrades... guys i think he needs advise more then just mine... skid plates, higher bars and risers ect... just the basics... 

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Realistically, I can't use all the power my 450X has. A 250X likely would have been just fine for 95% of the riding I do. BUT, the 450 can really lug down low on hills without stalling or having to change gears, which is a huge plus. For me though it wasn't really a choice to make at the time of purchase, since I got a screaming deal on mine. My choice was made for me.

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450x has more power than I could ever want, but so did my 1988 CR500R that dug 4" trench down any gravel road in top gear. I really want to find a mint 500R to keep around for my kiddos who will never understand open class power until they ride one.

Edited by JRM

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The stock valving on the suspension works perfect for me. In fact with suspension being such a personal thing I can't for the life of me figure out how people are sending their suspension out for a revavle, when they didn't do the springs first. Without have the correct springs a rider has NO idea what's going on suspension wise. Get the springs right, get the sag right, start messing with the clickers, and then you can decide if it needs a revalve, and were the revolve needs to take place. A certain know it all claims there is mid stroke harshness in the forks that can only be cured by a revalve. I will admit I noticed a slight harshness in the middle of the stroke, but once I got my clickers right my forks are down right smooth. My rear shock it almost there. That might actually require a revalve. It's still a little too slow on the rebound, and the high speed damping is still just a tad to hard. But it's so close and I still have adjustment in my clickers, so it might just get there. Enough about my rant, you are 100% correct in saying the bike is a different animal once you get the suspension sorted out! And x2 on the dampener. I plan on getting new triple trees and a sub mount dampener this winter.

I agree I have changed the springs to suit my weight recently And they have made it a whole different animal admittedly I am 200lb so stock was a little soggy!! Edited by Nusk450x

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I agree I have changed the springs to suit my weight recently And they have made it a whole different animal admittedly I am 200lb so stock was a little soggy!!

I'm 200lbs as well...this past winter I went through my whole suspension and rebuilt everything, new bushings, new seals, new oil, and added the correct springs. I did all the work myself, and anyone considering get their suspension "revalved". Needs to start fresh with the correct springs first. Anybody willing to "revalve" for your weight and riding style, is kind of full of it if you ask me. You first have to be able to identify what is going on with your suspension before you can make changes. The first step is correct springs, and everything fresh. Once that is done you need to start making adjustments. However again most people don't understand what they are feeling in the first place so making adjustments can be difficult. A lot of problems people experience comes from poor technique and suspension only compounds the problem. The biggest thing is suspension is personal...what is good for me, may be shit for you.

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I'm 200lbs as well...this past winter I went through my whole suspension and rebuilt everything, new bushings, new seals, new oil, and added the correct springs. I did all the work myself, and anyone considering get their suspension "revalved". Needs to start fresh with the correct springs first. Anybody willing to "revalve" for your weight and riding style, is kind of full of it if you ask me. You first have to be able to identify what is going on with your suspension before you can make changes. The first step is correct springs, and everything fresh. Once that is done you need to start making adjustments. However again most people don't understand what they are feeling in the first place so making adjustments can be difficult. A lot of problems people experience comes from poor technique and suspension only compounds the problem. The biggest thing is suspension is personal...what is good for me, may be shit for you.

You are correct but.... I don't ride like you, I might be faster or I might be slower. A revalve is a "baseline" for more optimal performance for you personally. It can be especially important if you have a intended discipline of riding, such as a motocross valved bike being ridden off road...

I agree that if you have no idea about what's going on or what to be looking for, then it's pointless to have your suspension worked on. And as you have stated before, buy the correct spring rates first, then ride the bike stock and after 10 or more hours you can tell your suspension guy what your looking for...

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I've had both I Loved the 250x in tight stuff and found the suspension fantastic could have been that i came off an XR250 also I was only 160-170lbs and 16 yo when I had it! But I have too much wide open desert riding in the mallee here in Aust that I had to ride it too hard to keep up with the bigger bikes it just ran out of legs too quickly! The 450x just suits me perfectly now and I wouldn't swap it for the latest and greatest fandangled new orange banger if I could!!

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