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YZ450FX VS YZ250FX

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Looking at new bikes, and have zeroed in on the Yami's vs the orange breed. I currently ride a GG 300 2 smoker with some mods, mainly squish, port work, and carb mods. I ride in tight ohio woods, but also started doing some harecrambles.  I rode a 15 yz250fx however I couldn't get a great feel for it because of sloppy and slick conditions, other than it pulled up gnarly hills much like my 300.  I checked out the yz450fx at the dealership, and I really couldn't notice the extra weight the magazines whine about, at least not compared to my current ride. I ride where we there alot of logs to jump/cross, so the ability to loft the front wheel is huge. I'm 220 in street cloths,  If I lost 20lbs I'd be ripped, so don't go down the , hop your ass on a  bicycle bandwagon lol.

This a tough choice, looking for input

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With your size, go for the 450FX.  My good friend is 5'11" 205lbs,  rides the 450FX and loves it.  Big guys are better off with big bikes.  Then, if you ride it a lot, you might get that extra 20 lbs off!   When I ride the 450FX, I can't hardly tell any weight difference, but WAY more power than my 250FX for sure!   The interesting thing is the 450FX is tuned mild on the low rpm range, so it lugs easy and doesn't have a hit like I was expecting. But - when you give it some throttle,  it has some serious bark!

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1 hour ago, Shredjim said:

With your size, go for the 450FX.  My good friend is 5'11" 205lbs,  rides the 450FX and loves it.  Big guys are better off with big bikes.  Then, if you ride it a lot, you might get that extra 20 lbs off!   When I ride the 450FX, I can't hardly tell any weight difference, but WAY more power than my 250FX for sure!   The interesting thing is the 450FX is tuned mild on the low rpm range, so it lugs easy and doesn't have a hit like I was expecting. But - when you give it some throttle,  it has some serious bark!

What he said, though I don't have much time on my 450FX to make a definitive statement one way or another. 

The YZ250FX is an awesome bike, but it is a tad underpowered for larger riders, especially in good traction conditions.  In slop it is almost unbeatable.  It gets and maintains traction where a lot of other bikes spin.

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7 minutes ago, MidlifeCrisisGuy said:

What he said, though I don't have much time on my 450FX to make a definitive statement one way or another. 

The YZ250FX is an awesome bike, but it is a tad underpowered for larger riders, especially in good traction conditions.  In slop it is almost unbeatable.  It gets and maintains traction where a lot of other bikes spin.

Thanks guys, biggest concern is getting tired in the woods and that 450 throwing me into a tree. I usually try to ride twice a week at a B level pace. I suppose it would be easier to tame the 450 down with the tuner, than tune up the 250 with it. I do like to lug my 300 alot, and like to short shift alot.

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55 minutes ago, DirkD said:

Thanks guys, biggest concern is getting tired in the woods and that 450 throwing me into a tree. I usually try to ride twice a week at a B level pace. I suppose it would be easier to tame the 450 down with the tuner, than tune up the 250 with it. I do like to lug my 300 alot, and like to short shift alot.

If you aren't a beginner riding at race pace, I think the 450s are less tiring to ride.  My previous bike was a WR450F lightened 25 pounds with a 22mm triple clamp.  Kind of like a prototype 450FX.  The 450s climb the hills easier and loft the front wheel easier.  You also shift less.  It is more like cruising whereas on the 250FX you gotta be on it and pay more attention.  You wrestle the 450 more in tight stuff if you don't know how to handle one, but if you steer precisely you can limit the body English needed. 

FYI, the 450FX weighs 11 pounds more than the 250FX when set up.  The spec sheet says 13 pounds, but the 450FX comes with a skid plate and a larger rear tire, which negate almost 2 pounds.

It is quite easy to shave 7 pounds off these bikes with a Shorai battery, remove the kick stand, remove the kick starter and lighter (and bigger, more grippy) foot pegs.

My friend has a 2013 YZ450F.  The YZ450FX is a lot more nimble and less tiring due to geometry, gearing, suspension, engine tuning and electric start.  I'd say the YZ450FX takes 30% less effort to ride in the woods than a YZ450F.

The geometry and setup on the YZ450FX is exactly the same as the YZ250FX and both are derivatives of the 2012-2015 WR450FX.  Same wheelbase in fact.  The only difference between the 250 and 450FX is ~15HP and 11 pounds and it would probably be easy to turn the 450FX down to whatever power level you wanted.

 

Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy

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Really there are a few factors here... I am a big guy to 230, 6'0" and I raced a 450 for the past 2 years (300 2 stroke for 2 years before that) and this year I'm going to a YZ250FX.  The main reason is that a 450 is awesome until you get about 2 hours into a hard race, then the little tiredness causes mistakes and the power only compounds the issue.  I find that I'm actually faster in the long run on a 250 because it forces me to ride with skill, not HP. and I don't get near as tired on a 250 meaning that I can keep ripping to my full potential much longer into the race...  and the 250s these days are MUCH more powerful than they were 10 years ago.  as for lofting the front wheel, I ride over logs and such all day long, and I've always used the clutch for that anyway, so to me it doesn't matter if I'm on a 125 or 450 bringing the front tire up is about technique, if you're just using brute force you're wasting energy and probably not in as much control as you should be.  (not you personally but the general "you")  Not to mention that a smaller displacement is almost always faster in super tight stuff.

So in my opinion, if you are just play riding and having fun, go with the 450. if you are serious about Harescrambles, Enduro, or GNCC racing, I personally think the 250 is a better way to go.

Just my 2 cents...

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So here is the deal.   The 250FX is 35HP, max, wound out.   Sounds like a lot until you realize that the 300s are 45HP and the 450s are 50 HP.  I know you don't ride bikes at their max HP, but when racing 300s and 450s in trees in good traction you are essentially drag racing from tree to tree.  And every time you turn the throttle on the 450 you gain 2,3,5 or 10 feet on the 250FX, depending on the situation. If it is slippery or if the trees are so tight you aren't getting to full throttle then the 250FX does fine.   But where you can open the larger bikes up, the 250FX struggles to keep up.

Long gentle/moderate climbs with logs are much easier on a 450 than the 250, even with lots of clutch work on the 250.  And getting the 250 back on the "pipe" can take some doing if you lose momentum.  With the  450 you just crack the throttle.

Remember that the 450FX engine is almost infinitely tunable for power, response and hit.  It makes a big difference.

 

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I was riding my 250FX on the weekend.  We rode a long climb up the spine of a ridge and then did a pretty decent climb up a tricky face.  I passed 2 riders going up the spine and then cleanly climbed the face which a couple other riders had trouble on.  But I had my FX wound out the whole time.  Like pinned.  Just enough power to get the front end over roots on the climb up.  Both would have been so much easier on the right 450F.

I still had a good time though !  I wasn't cursing my 250FX or anything like that.  It is kind of fun riding the least powerful bike in the bunch and keeping up and then some.

Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy

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using the brakes harder and later instead of coasting is a much more effective way to lower lap times.

Go 250fx. Once/if you start flogging the life out of it pull all the trick bits off and reuse them on a 450fx.

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I've never owned a 450F, but plenty of 250Fs.  Last open class I owned was an IT490.  Last time I read a shootout between the two, the fast guys were faster on the 250, and they complained about the extra weight of the 450.  Where the 450 shines is where the terrain opens up so it can stretch its legs.  That said, last guy I know who was trading bikes would not stand still until he got a 450.  "Pays your money and takes" your choice.... trade later.

Edited by ronbuell

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Ive not ridden the 450; but in reading these forums, and from people I have talked to, EVERYONE has been overly impressed the 250FX. A riding buddy of mine who bleeds orange, rides a 300XCW, and when he rode a 250FX, he was impressed with the motor.

Im 195-200lbs without gear and I have never had a problem climbing hills. A lot of hillsI can even run a gear high and tractor it up.

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I own a 250FX and have a spent a fair amount of time on the 450FX. 

The 250 owns it in 75% of the riding and racing my local crew does. 

Maybe if you are a desert guy or only ride open fire road, fast double track etc. I think the 450 just has too much jam for the average guy. 250FX's outnumber 450FX's here by at least 5 to 1. 

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What class are you racing in harescrambles? Are any of the top guys in your series or your class running 450's? I know it's not the definitive measure of what's going to work for your but it may be a decent indicator for what works in your series. Also talk to the people and see their opinions on running it or not in your series. 

I've noticed everyone has different opinions on what tight woods are, so the 450 may work for where you're at, but I'm right there at 6' and 200+ A rider and the 250FX works really well for me. I don't think I could hold on to the 450 for 2+ hours of racing. Now if I were not racing and just riding I think the 450 would make more sense for me.

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5 minutes ago, mtgraves said:

What class are you racing in harescrambles? Are any of the top guys in your series or your class running 450's? I know it's not the definitive measure of what's going to work for your but it may be a decent indicator for what works in your series. Also talk to the people and see their opinions on running it or not in your series. 

I've noticed everyone has different opinions on what tight woods are, so the 450 may work for where you're at, but I'm right there at 6' and 200+ A rider and the 250FX works really well for me. I don't think I could hold on to the 450 for 2+ hours of racing. Now if I were not racing and just riding I think the 450 would make more sense for me.

I'm racing B Class, with guys that should be in A class lol. I noticed a 250fx in the A class lineup, but he was a smaller guy. There seems to be 2 different thoughts, the 250 will be easier to ride because its less power and won't tire you out as fast, or the 450 will be easier, because you don't have to keep it pinned to keep up, and less body english when you get tired. Last thing I want to be doing at the end of a 2 hour race is clutching to get over a log, not because I don't want to, just won't be able to physically.

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23 minutes ago, DirkD said:

I'm racing B Class, with guys that should be in A class lol. I noticed a 250fx in the A class lineup, but he was a smaller guy. There seems to be 2 different thoughts, the 250 will be easier to ride because its less power and won't tire you out as fast, or the 450 will be easier, because you don't have to keep it pinned to keep up, and less body english when you get tired. Last thing I want to be doing at the end of a 2 hour race is clutching to get over a log, not because I don't want to, just won't be able to physically.

450 will wear you out faster between the added weight and power. You cannot ride any motorcycle pinned through the bush and you definitely don't need to ride a 250FX nearly half as hard as one might lead you to believe.. 

Edited by Monk
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16 minutes ago, DirkD said:

I'm racing B Class, with guys that should be in A class lol. I noticed a 250fx in the A class lineup, but he was a smaller guy. There seems to be 2 different thoughts, the 250 will be easier to ride because its less power and won't tire you out as fast, or the 450 will be easier, because you don't have to keep it pinned to keep up, and less body english when you get tired. Last thing I want to be doing at the end of a 2 hour race is clutching to get over a log, not because I don't want to, just won't be able to physically.

Right on. Another question, why are you looking at switching from a 300 smoker to a 4 stroke? The 300's I've ridden definitely seems to have more off the bottom than my FX and they feel a little more nimble but require a different style to go fast on for sure. I could see myself going that route in the future just to try something different but so far I've been very happy with the capabilities of the 250FX. It's easy to ride and not lacking in power for popping over logs or rocks or whatever. The power difference between my 16 and 07 seems pretty significant.

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The GG's have never been featherweights in the weight department. The four strokes seem more planted than the smokers. Most of the guys i ride with are on 350 KTMs, and they like that motor more than 300 2 stroke it replaced. One has Beta 300 and Beta 390, he is faster on the 390.

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1 hour ago, mtgraves said:

What class are you racing in harescrambles? Are any of the top guys in your series or your class running 450's? I know it's not the definitive measure of what's going to work for your but it may be a decent indicator for what works in your series. Also talk to the people and see their opinions on running it or not in your series. 

I've noticed everyone has different opinions on what tight woods are, so the 450 may work for where you're at, but I'm right there at 6' and 200+ A rider and the 250FX works really well for me. I don't think I could hold on to the 450 for 2+ hours of racing. Now if I were not racing and just riding I think the 450 would make more sense for me.

40plus expert.

My buddy has won the last two seasons, first year on a Beta 450, last year on a 450FX. Most of our courses are tight but a few have MX tracks mixed in and are faster. Typically 3rd gear courses. He just likes 450's. He does not need one, he's 180lbs. He likes to lug in 3rd gear and is a very smooth consistent racer. He tried my 250 before he got his 450 but complained because he needed to shift once and a while.

Only other top 10 guy on a 450 is a Berg FX450.

Rest of the guys are running mostly 300 2 strokes though my buddy that got 2nd last season is now picking up a Beta 350.

In our Pro class most of the 450 guys have gone down to 350, 250 or 300 thumpers or 300 2 strokes. Tyler Medaglia who is our local Pro CDN National MX rider runs a 350 or 450 depending on what he is riding. All his MX practice bikes. Same as when he runs GNCC.

I'm probably the only guy on a 250 4 stroke that would be competitive in the Plus 40 class.

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