Hi folks, I have a myriad of questions rolled into a general thesis that no amount of searching seems to get to the heart of. Here is my situation...... About 2 months ago I sold my "A" bike, a TE 310, and have been looking for a good 2 stroke offroad fast trailbike to replace it. The bikes I have been looking at as an "A" bike are still stretching my budget a bit. I have the money, but I have to borrow it from our general house fund and pay it back, which although the wife is okay with, still makes riding a bit stressful. In the meantime I have been riding my XR 250 that is uncorked and with a steering damper, but otherwise stock. I love riding the XR. It has a beautiful powerband and handles excellently, but lacks power. I basically ride it wide open and row the gearbox to go fast. I have the silly idea of doing the 280 kit and seeing where that leaves me for next riding season (2015), and saving my pennies for a newer bike the winter of 2016. The XR is a bit low on compression and needs a refresher anyway. The 280 kit doesn't cost much more, but rather makes the cost come this year instead of 2 or 3 years from now. The thing is, the XR is making me faster and better, but at the same time I am slower than I was on my TE. The gap has closed quite a bit due to my skill increase (thank you XR!), but now I think it is going to plateau. The XR just can't carry me much faster through hilly terrain. FWIW last I checked I was a midpack C rider who weighs about 200 lbs and am slightly north of 6'1". I understand suspension is the next step but without adjustable rebound, will stiffer springs overrun the valving and make the bike handle strangely? It is soft but corners with excellence. I don't really feel that the bike warrants 400-500 dollars in revalve and respringing, as that defeats the cost saving angle. Also, there is zero chance the XR gets sold and closes the price gap (which it would do). It was my best friend's bike when he died and it will never leave my garage if I have anything to say about it. Still there is the chance I land a good KTM, Gas Gas, Husaberg, or Beta in my price range, but they are hovering around a grand more than I feel comfortable with right now. If so I would jump on it, but I wonder just how fast a guy can get the XR to go without dropping more than 4-500 bucks in it.