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250FX at High Elevations

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Regarding: 2015 / 2016 250FX 
Looking for input from current owners who ride at elevation (5000 feet up to 10,000 in less-often occasions). 

Quick stats:
I'm a *long* time KTM 2-stroke owner (200, 250 and 300), but I want to change things up entirely and get back into riding more often (the mountain bike has taken over, but I'd like to mix it back up more evenly, and getting a new bike, something totally different, might put the spark back in me). 
175 pounds / Ability is A / Expert in technical skill; need to get my intensity and speed back. That's also where the idea of a 250F comes in - I love small-displacement bikes. 

I live in Northern Utah, and ride tight, technical off-road mountain single track, desert, and Colorado once or twice a year, with a few races thrown in.

My concern is the power at high elevations - my typical scenario is 5,000 - 8,000 feet. Weight is 175/180 pounds geared up. 5'9".

Who is riding this bike at elevation - any feeling of being underpowered?

I'm guessing not but would love to hear from guys riding this bike high in the mountains. 

I would be buying this bike without having even ridden a 250F in a long time, but again, looking for a major change, love small-displacement bikes and feel like this bike "may have it all" as far as the 18" wheel, great suspension, e-button, etc.  

 

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I often ride at about 5000' with my FX. Sure you notice the bike doesn't have the same jam as it does in the lower elevations, but the bike still has plenty of power in general. When I am riding at 5000' it is in the mountains (of course) so there are a ton of steep hill climbs with lots of traction. The bike still doesn't bog, and gets my 180lbs up the climbs with me rarely (if ever) feeling I need more power.

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Since you're not getting many responses to this, I thought I'd pass on my experiences.  I have yet to take my YZ250FX to the mountains since I just got it in December.  But, I have owned several KTM/Husaberg 250 fuel injected four strokes that I've ridden in Colorado on many occasions.  I'm 150 pounds and ride at an old man's A level.  Prior to owning those FI bikes, I rode lots of two stroke models up on those same trails, which are all above 9000 feet.

To me, the FI is a God-send in those high altitude situations.  No more jetting worries.  It just works.  The bikes all ran flawlessly, albeit somewhat down on power due to the thin air.  I seem to remember the factory MX teams saying that they lose about 15-20% of their HP when they race at Thunder Valley.  It doesn't seem like that much to me.

I'm like you - I've always preferred smaller displacement bikes.  I've owned six KTM 200's, and lots of 250 four strokes.  Since you're not heavy, I think you'll be fine on a 250FX.

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15 hours ago, mconnell said:

Since you're not getting many responses to this, I thought I'd pass on my experiences.  I have yet to take my YZ250FX to the mountains since I just got it in December.  But, I have owned several KTM/Husaberg 250 fuel injected four strokes that I've ridden in Colorado on many occasions.  I'm 150 pounds and ride at an old man's A level.  Prior to owning those FI bikes, I rode lots of two stroke models up on those same trails, which are all above 9000 feet.

To me, the FI is a God-send in those high altitude situations.  No more jetting worries.  It just works.  The bikes all ran flawlessly, albeit somewhat down on power due to the thin air.  I seem to remember the factory MX teams saying that they lose about 15-20% of their HP when they race at Thunder Valley.  It doesn't seem like that much to me.

I'm like you - I've always preferred smaller displacement bikes.  I've owned six KTM 200's, and lots of 250 four strokes.  Since you're not heavy, I think you'll be fine on a 250FX.

Thank you for your input. And yes I agree, in the reading I've been doing, I am convinced a 250 will be fine at elevation. 

And by the way, the KTM200 is my favorite bike of all time. Can't believe they dropped it from their lineup for '18. 

Also, what made you decide to switch from orange to blue? I've ridden KTMs for a long time and am a little hesitant to change, by excited as well. 

Thanks again 

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I have had nothing but KTM and Husabergs for the past 16 years.  But, I had a 2016 250 XCF that was very problematic.  The intake cam galled to the head at 4 hours, and sometime later, the transmission locked up.  If you look on KTMTalk, you will see several others that have had similar problems with the 2016 motor, both on the 250 and 350.  I believe there is a design flaw in that motor, and I'm not willing to spend another $9K to be their test mule.

I'm really enjoying the FX, and I won the first race that I rode on it.  And, for the price that I paid for it, I had lots left over for accessories.

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I made the switch in Dec 14. Went with a 15 YZ250f, strictly offroad. I live at 5500', in NM, most of my riding is above that. This bike rejuvenated me to ride, can't wait to go ride again even at the end of the day. I ride in the old guy A level. The only time I noticed a lack of power was on one hill climb at 12K', but even the 250 2T's were struggling. Sand hills at 6K', no problem. All I've done is put the proper springs in for my weight (195) and ride. At 80 hrs, I did a topend for the hell of it, it didn't need it. .001-.002" wear on the ring gap. I went with a high comp piston and that added some low and mid grunt. 

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48 minutes ago, LeanBurn said:

I made the switch in Dec 14. Went with a 15 YZ250f, strictly offroad. I live at 5500', in NM, most of my riding is above that. This bike rejuvenated me to ride, can't wait to go ride again even at the end of the day. I ride in the old guy A level. The only time I noticed a lack of power was on one hill climb at 12K', but even the 250 2T's were struggling. Sand hills at 6K', no problem. All I've done is put the proper springs in for my weight (195) and ride. At 80 hrs, I did a topend for the hell of it, it didn't need it. .001-.002" wear on the ring gap. I went with a high comp piston and that added some low and mid grunt. 

Good info - thanks. 

That brings up another question I may address in a separate thread: I plan to buy an FX if I can find one but how well does the moto version work off-road?

i assume the suspension has enough adjustability to do well in the rocks with proper setup I can do on my own. 

The 18" is easy - I can build that myself and definitely would. Fuel tank is the same. And it's lot lighter. E-start would be nice but I'm sure kicks easy. 

I'm all for buying the "proper" bike for the terrain so the FX is my obvious choice but i feel like both should work well. 

 

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I ride high desert mainly with a few enduros here and there. These are my preferences and opinions.... I chose the MX version and will do it again. I like the close ratio trans for corner to corner. I run a Rekluse in all my bikes, it has the tendency to take some of the snap out of the powerband, I did not like the XCW combo and Rekluse, bike was too lazy, that was back in 09. I do like a MX bikes with a Rekluse (YZ125, YZ250, and 250SX as well as my YZ250f). I don't have to worry about having a tall first gear, the clutch handles those situations. I gear them up some to get a taller 5th gear.  The light flywheel and Rekluse make a combo that suits me perfectly. The eStart was a non issue, Rekluse takes care of stalling. I did not want the extra weight. Starting is 1-3 kicks. 

The MX valving is acceptable for me in massive rock gardens with the proper springs and oil height, FX probably better, but the stock is soooo good on all the whooped out chopped up trails we have. It's way better than ANY WP suspended bike I've owned even after spending big $$. 

I have no issues and prefer a 19" rear with a bib. No dented rims either.

I added a PMB kickstand, roost deflectors and some bling. 

The 15 YZ250f is my GOTO bike for everything, sometimes I have to give it break and hop on one of the other ones.

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On 4/4/2017 at 10:44 AM, LeanBurn said:

I ride high desert mainly with a few enduros here and there. These are my preferences and opinions.... I chose the MX version and will do it again. I like the close ratio trans for corner to corner. I run a Rekluse in all my bikes, it has the tendency to take some of the snap out of the powerband, I did not like the XCW combo and Rekluse, bike was too lazy, that was back in 09. I do like a MX bikes with a Rekluse (YZ125, YZ250, and 250SX as well as my YZ250f). I don't have to worry about having a tall first gear, the clutch handles those situations. I gear them up some to get a taller 5th gear.  The light flywheel and Rekluse make a combo that suits me perfectly. The eStart was a non issue, Rekluse takes care of stalling. I did not want the extra weight. Starting is 1-3 kicks. 

The MX valving is acceptable for me in massive rock gardens with the proper springs and oil height, FX probably better, but the stock is soooo good on all the whooped out chopped up trails we have. It's way better than ANY WP suspended bike I've owned even after spending big $$. 

I have no issues and prefer a 19" rear with a bib. No dented rims either.

I added a PMB kickstand, roost deflectors and some bling. 

The 15 YZ250f is my GOTO bike for everything, sometimes I have to give it break and hop on one of the other ones.

Good info. There is no way I'd buy an SX KTM (for example) for off-road but I do think the KYB stuff has more depth in its ability to work in the rocks and technical terrain. The regular 250Fs are easier to find and like you said, the weight matters. Just depends on what I find when I'm ready. 

I want the 18" for trials and hybrid tires. I'm 100% sold on them. 

Forgot about the WR trans as well - concerned about 1st and 2nd being too low but not a deal breaker

Edited by kga109

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