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Big bad 250 two stroke woods shootout

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I want a 250 2 stroke for woods, but everybody and their brother have been telling me different. Some say the yz250 would be perfect for the woods coming off a yz125 where others say that a 250xc would be better because it is already set up. This would not be a new bike, I have a '09 crf250x up for sale and have gotten a couple offers for some 2 strokes like a 2002 cr250 and a 2006 yz250. There is a 2014 250xc my friend that's in the women's pro class in gncc (Sarah Baldwin) would sell me in the spring but I feel like I would "baby" that bike rather than say that yamaha or cr I would beat the crap out of and not really think twice because it isn't as fancy. I'm a yamaha guy and would love to add another blueberry to the collection but I don't want to be thinking twice about not getting the KTM or another 250. What 250 smoker for woods? What mods to make them fly through the trees? any advice, any brand, it doesn't matter I want to hear the good, bad, and ugly of all of them.

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Prepare yourself for a ton of different answers.

I had a very well set up 00' CR250 that I absolutely loved but let my son talk me out of in trade for his 09' KTM250xc-w which I also enjoyed. The KTM was very plush but the CR was more...well, me. I'm starting over with an 03' YZ250. My point here is that ANY brand can be made into the 'perfect' woods weapon with the right amount of effort, forethought and hard earned dollars. There is no end all, be all, one size fits all bike out there. The one that is built both by and for you is the closest you'll get to perfect. :ride:

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Depends on what you mean by 'woods'

I've seen Shane watts ride 'woods'.

I ride 'Woods'

He is racing, I'm riding more like a trial.

What end of that a are you on?

I've tried a buddies CR250 (very well kept machine) - but I couldn't wait to get off of it.

Too stiff and power hit too much for what I personally like.

He loves it.

I try to never spin a tyre, keep under total control all the time. (Wasn't always that way)

Others like to slide all over and be on the edge.

Which way are you?

How tight of trials?

Obsticals? Or just flowing trails?

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Depends on your riding style too. Iv ridden ktm woods bikes before. A lot of guys where I ride have them, many are going to the yz250x tho. For me a woods bike would,be a 2 stroke that could be ridden at low rpms and still be able to chug right along, I'm no 2 stroke guy. But I have ridden woods before. That's my 2 cents. Enjoy whatever you choose.because I'm pretty sure whatever you get you will be happy with

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Prepare yourself for a ton of different answers.

I had a very well set up 00' CR250 that I absolutely loved but let my son talk me out of in trade for his 09' KTM250xc-w which I also enjoyed. The KTM was very plush but the CR was more...well, me. I'm starting over with an 03' YZ250. My point here is that ANY brand can be made into the 'perfect' woods weapon with the right amount of effort, forethought and hard earned dollars. There is no end all, be all, one size fits all bike out there. The one that is built both by and for you is the closest you'll get to perfect. :ride:

I agree but it helps to start with a bike that has the right bones for where and how you ride. My bike preference has changed over the years, or have the available bikes changed?

 

Depends on what you mean by 'woods'

I've seen Shane watts ride 'woods'.

I ride 'Woods'

He is racing, I'm riding more like a trial.

What end of that a are you on?

I've tried a buddies CR250 (very well kept machine) - but I couldn't wait to get off of it.

Too stiff and power hit too much for what I personally like.

He loves it.

I try to never spin a tyre, keep under total control all the time. (Wasn't always that way)

Others like to slide all over and be on the edge.

Which way are you?

How tight of trials?

Obsticals? Or just flowing trails?

Yep, there is woods and then there is woods.  I have three very different bikes, each for its best behavior in certain "woods".

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So tell me why you think a motocross/ track bike would be better than a bike specifically built for woods and offroad?  Same as trying to race a Hellcat Challenger in an autocross instead of on a drag strip.....lotsa wheels spinning, and handling that would be all over the place I suppose.

 

 

 

Joe

Edited by trailmeisterjoe
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The kind of trails I ride on are hare-scramble type so some places can be fairly tight and other places are wide open fire roads (I think I said that right) with the usual hillclimbs and roots, mud, rocks, ect in the way. Would a 10 year old bike like the yz250 be just as good as, say, a yz250x or 250xc?

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So tell me why you think a motocross/ track bike would be better than a bike specifically built for woods and offroad?  Same as trying to race a Hellcat Challenger in an autocross instead of on a drag strip.....lotsa wheels spinning, and handling that would be all over the place I suppose.

 

 

 

Joe

When you're on a budget (or get a screaming deal), you do what you can.  A clean YZ from '06 and up so you get the SSS forks can be a great weapon.  One of the best race bikes I've ever owned was my '07 250SX that I got a screaming deal on.  Even after getting the suspension re-valved I had less in that bike compared to buying an XC of similar condition.  

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The kind of trails I ride on are hare-scramble type so some places can be fairly tight and other places are wide open fire roads (I think I said that right) with the usual hillclimbs and roots, mud, rocks, ect in the way. Would a 10 year old bike like the yz250 be just as good as, say, a yz250x or 250xc?

If you get an '06 and up with the SSS forks and have the money to get the suspension re-valved, it could be a better option than buying a newer bike the stretches your budget so you don't have the $$$ to dial it in.  Keep in mind the Yamaha frame hasn't changed since '05 (not a bad thing since Yamaha got the geometry right and hasn't needed to change it), so the newer bikes only have detail changes that don't really matter.

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When you're on a budget (or get a screaming deal), you do what you can.  A clean YZ from '06 and up so you get the SSS forks can be a great weapon.  One of the best race bikes I've ever owned was my '07 250SX that I got a screaming deal on.  Even after getting the suspension re-valved I had less in that bike compared to buying an XC of similar condition.  

 

I don't know..... in addition to the suspension work, add an 18 inch rear wheel and tire, larger fuel tank for at least a 50 mile range, even a basic odometer for enduros, maybe a flywheel weight to tame the hit and even a kickstand and you are pretty close or over the price of a pure woods bike.

 

Joe

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I don't know..... in addition to the suspension work, add an 18 inch rear wheel and tire, larger fuel tank for at least a 50 mile range, even a basic odometer for enduros, maybe a flywheel weight to tame the hit and even a kickstand and you are pretty close or over the price of a pure woods bike.

Joe

IMHO, an 18" rear is not needed. Ran the 19" on the SX in enduros without issue. Speaking of enduros, no bikes come with an ICO, so the factory odo was a non issue for me. Never needed the kickstand, plenty of trees to lean the bike against in the woods lol. I guess it all comes down to what you want. A race bike or a do it all bike. My last purchase was to be a do it all bike so I bought an XCW instead of an XC or SX for many of the reasons you talk about.

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IMHO, an 18" rear is not needed. Ran the 19" on the SX in enduros without issue. Speaking of enduros, no bikes come with an ICO, so the factory odo was a non issue for me. Never needed the kickstand, plenty of trees to lean the bike against in the woods lol. I guess it all comes down to what you want. A race bike or a do it all bike. My last purchase was to be a do it all bike so I bought an XCW instead of an XC or SX for many of the reasons you talk about.

 

Most offroad riders would disagree on the 19inch....not enough sidewall flex for good grip offroad on roots and rocks/obstacles ( heck, here in the northwest , a huge percentage go with rear 18" trials tires ). and as far as an ICO ,  i said odometer/ speedometer which all xcw's do come with . OP stated that he was looking at a new or near new bike so cutting corners to save a few dollars that would possibly come back to bite may not be worth it. He asked, and I am telling...

 

 

Joe

 

Joe

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Most offroad riders would disagree on the 19inch....not enough sidewall flex for good grip offroad on roots and rocks/obstacles ( heck, here in the northwest , a huge percentage go with rear 18" trials tires ).

Joe

I wonder how many who feel that way have ridden an 18" and 19" back to back and how many are just repeating what they've read on the internet? Now, if you need it to run a trials tire, I get that. BTW, did you know KTM's off-road team ran 19" rear wheels when they were on Michelins back in 07 and 08? They did that so the could run the MS3 and MH3 which were not available in 18" at the time.

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So it can go either way, buy a bike and build it or pay a little more and get a bike ready to go in the woods. Is that correct?

If you like the stock suspension on an XC or XCW and don't need it re-valved, then yes.  If you're gonna spend the $$$ on suspension either way, then maybe not.  Most A racers get their suspension done regardless of what bike they buy and several of my friends buy a KTM SX instead of an XC or XCW and if they want a Honda they always go with a CRFR and not a CRFX,   The guy who dominated my class (Sr A in ACES) raced a KTM 450SX Factory Edition.  Like I mentioned before, when I bought my 450XCW, it was as a do it all bike since I also dual sport it and wanted the wide ratio trans for when I wasn't racing.  If I were buying a pure race bike, I'd definitely consider an MX bike again.

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I went with a very clean 2006 yz 295. With the wonder of eBay and the learning experience of doing my own revalve I figure I saved a little over a grand, maybe 1500 for a bike that gives up nothing to ktms. Just gotta put in the time and effort.

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