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Differences in generations of RMZ's and what to watch out for..

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Hey everyone, I was wondering if someone could explain, or if this has been summed up in another post then point me to it - the differences in the generations of RMZ-250's over the years. I won't be riding much for the rest of the season, so I kinda want to take on a project.  I will be selling my Honda and hope to get about $2,500 for it.  For background, I'm a 145lb C/B rider and ride mostly desert singletrack, but we also have woods and track. I also occasionally race enduros and hare scrambles.  I'm also a mechanic by trade and handle my own repairs, revalving, etc.  I searched last night for a couple hours but couldn't find it.  Found A LOT on trans issues though, so.....

1. Should I totally avoid the early RMZ(up to 07-08?).  Haven't found much in these except lots of people saying they're junk. But the way I see it, unless I score a bike with 25 hours or less on it, I'm splitting the cases for a full assessment no matter the year or condition.  So are they still junk with a complete new bottom/top end? If they don't handle well or some other chassis/suspension related reason, forget it I'll pass.  I don't want to compromise in that area.

2. Not too sure about the '08-'12's and if they made changes somewhere in those years.  I have read about the shift drum/detent/ false neutral issues and know that 2013-later parts will cure it.  But if someone knows a ball park on parts cost new.  Then when I get into the trans I can figure out if I need everything or if the gears and shafts can be saved.  From what I read though I'll probably do all of it to be safe.  

3. Looks like a '13 and newer would be perfect, except I don't think I can afford one.  True, after replacing almost the entire bottom end, trans and maintenance items I'd be close to the price of an EFI model, but in reality even if I get a newer one I'd still crack it open and find something to fix.  Plus, re-springing, re-valving, flywheel weight, hand guards, etc.  would most likely be needed on a newer one.  I don't mind a project on an older one if it has the Suzuki handling and is reliable.  I'm much more into handling than power.

It's  easier for me financially to buy parts here and there, especially since I'm off the bike for several months anyways.  I would just like to know what to avoid, there are some first-gens on CL for under 2K, and with the stigma of them I could probably go talk them much lower, esp. since 2-strokes seem to be gaining popularity right now.  The '08 up to EFI's are between $2500 and 3,500, and I've seen some EFI's super clean, but they're above $4K which is too much for me.  

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I can't ride for a while so I need to at least read/talk about them or I'll go insane here soon!

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'13 and up will be a great bike. Fuel injection on the rmz250 started in '10. I have a '16 and it's never failed on me. 105 hours on the stock motor besides a piston and cam chain at 73 hours. Suspension on the 13-15 is better than the 16-17. Motor is basically the same besides the 16-17 parts are less common. I can't find an aftermarket crank, intake valves, or other parts. 13-15 would probably be your best option and you can find them for $2500-3500. I would shoot for that.

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9 hours ago, Naasko595 said:

 13-15 would probably be your best option and you can find them for $2500-3500. I would shoot for that.

Man, my area must be really inflated on the used bike market because almost any EFI 250f is still $3500 and up, closer to $5K for 2013- newer.  Seems like that for all brands, and the ones that are closer to $3K are high hours.  

 

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Man, my area must be really inflated on the used bike market because almost any EFI 250f is still $3500 and up, closer to $5K for 2013- newer.  Seems like that for all brands, and the ones that are closer to $3K are high hours.  
 

Where you located? Here in the Indiana/Chicago area, it's difficult to sell a 15+ for $5k or higher. I had my 16 listed for $5k with tons of aftermarkets and only had 1 person interested. IMG_20170510_170747_197.jpg

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250f's have a bad rap as used bikes, I guess.  I think add in the rising popularity of 2-strokes to make them an even harder sell.  

I'm in New Mexico.  Used dirt bike market is pretty small this year, seems like last year there were tons of them for sale.  Maybe it's just me.  If I look in Denver there is much better selection and prices drop a little, but at 5-6 hours away I'm not that willing to drive.  

Anyways, I did more reading and think I've decided on a '07-08.  I mean I wouldn't mind a newer one, but I'm not gonna do any real riding on a used 250f without a full rebuild or close to it.  So I might as well buy one for cheap as possible.  

Found some mag articles praising the handling and torquey motor of these two years('07 was said to have better low-end), and read that the '06 and prior was just a KX and did not handle like a Suzuki among other downsides. 

There's a few for $2000 claimed to be in great shape, if they're still on there in 2-3 months I could probably get an okay price.  The one thing I haven't clarified yet is if these years have the false neutral issues.

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250f's have a bad rap as used bikes, I guess.  I think add in the rising popularity of 2-strokes to make them an even harder sell.  
I'm in New Mexico.  Used dirt bike market is pretty small this year, seems like last year there were tons of them for sale.  Maybe it's just me.  If I look in Denver there is much better selection and prices drop a little, but at 5-6 hours away I'm not that willing to drive.  
Anyways, I did more reading and think I've decided on a '07-08.  I mean I wouldn't mind a newer one, but I'm not gonna do any real riding on a used 250f without a full rebuild or close to it.  So I might as well buy one for cheap as possible.  
Found some mag articles praising the handling and torquey motor of these two years('07 was said to have better low-end), and read that the '06 and prior was just a KX and did not handle like a Suzuki among other downsides. 
There's a few for $2000 claimed to be in great shape, if they're still on there in 2-3 months I could probably get an okay price.  The one thing I haven't clarified yet is if these years have the false neutral issues.

I would highly recommend getting a fuel injected one. 10+ rmz250 and 08+ on the 450.

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Trust me , I want an EFI bike.  I just don't think I'm gonna find one for my budget.  My CR will sell for $2500 if I'm lucky and I need to keep the new bike cost around that all said and done.  That also includes suspension setup (I'm 145) and a few off-road goodies like skidplate, handguards, flywheel weight, etc.  

baby on the way AND trying to buy a house soon, so I'll have to dream about fancy bikes from this decade with computers and such for years down the road, lol.  

I'm more inclined to trust a used 450 since most people can't use all their power, but I  had a YZ450.... at my weight it was too much power.  I was able to keep it under control but hated how I couldn't open it up at all.  Felt like I was wasting the bike's potential.  If the RMZ 450 has razor-sharp turning like the 250, then hmmm.....

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Trust me , I want an EFI bike.  I just don't think I'm gonna find one for my budget.  My CR will sell for $2500 if I'm lucky and I need to keep the new bike cost around that all said and done.  That also includes suspension setup (I'm 145) and a few off-road goodies like skidplate, handguards, flywheel weight, etc.  
baby on the way AND trying to buy a house soon, so I'll have to dream about fancy bikes from this decade with computers and such for years down the road, lol.  
I'm more inclined to trust a used 450 since most people can't use all their power, but I  had a YZ450.... at my weight it was too much power.  I was able to keep it under control but hated how I couldn't open it up at all.  Felt like I was wasting the bike's potential.  If the RMZ 450 has razor-sharp turning like the 250, then hmmm.....

I'm in the same boat as you man. Or you could finance a new bike. I got my 16 for $6100 out the door and it's only $120 a month for me. You can find leftover rmz250s for even cheaper and put down ur 2500 and finance the rest

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Chicagoland Area, picked up a 2010 for 2 grand, bike was pretty solid but it needs a valve job.  Its hard to kickstart

suzuki's in this area don't tend to be a popular option, if you have a honda, it tends to sell quicker

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You guys and your Midwest low prices, man!  

Suzuki's are not popular here either.  It's all about the Yamaha's and Honda's too.  So maybe one will be on CL for a while and I can score a deal.  

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