Jump to content

CRF250X VS KTM 250 EXC-F

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I asked this question awhile back in another part of the forum.

I still have not decided on a bike;  basically it think it might come down to deciding on the value of the 6 gear on the ktm, plus also being street legal. 

I can buy a honda (leftover) for about $2800 less than the KTM. (6300 vs 9100)

Maybe to those who have rode both bikes. Is the 6th gear on the KTM going to be much better than the honda when doing 5-10 miles of road when contacting trails etc? 

Thanks!

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming your are buying new I would pick the Ktm. I don't have any experience on a 250 f Ktm, but have experience on a 350. The 6th gear is nice. My 09 crf250x will go on road but not without screaming in 5th gear. Also the crf x is almost a decade old. Having 6 gears is great, but you are also getting efi, a street legal bike, and a much more modern bike. I love my 250x, but It seems Honda gave up on the crf x line a long time ago, while Ktm has kept improving their enduro bikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it has alot to do with what your looking for in a bike, what level rider you are, how important performance is to you and of course how much you have to spend.

The honda would probably be a suitable bike for beginner's purposes, but the KTM would be a better choice for somebody looking for more than a basic enduro or trail type bike which is what the 250x is.

IMO the 250X would be a better bike if it had a sixth gear but it really depends on how you want to use the bike, some guys rarely use fourth gear and dont use fifth gear, so another gear would be useless to them.

Oh and I have never owned a KTM so Im not biased toward that brand but realize they do make some good dirt bikes!

Edited by TDW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A $2800 difference is certainly a consideration, that buys quite a lot of extras, skid plate / protection, riding gear, spare parts etc.

5 versus 6 gears, ideally we also need to know the internal gearbox ratios and final drive ratios of both to compare.

 

Perhaps if you plan to commute on longer runs but to connect trail, cruising at 50MPH at moderate rpms

is easily done on a CRF250X, here's a gear/speed chart from Rick's site : http://www.rickramsey.net/CRF250Xgearing.htm

 

Sometimes I wouldn't mind having a 6th gear on longer runs but it's not a game changer to me,

if anything I'd prefer a semi wide ratio gearbox with a closer spaced 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears and wider spaced 4th and 5th.

 

Myself with a much steeper 13/52 final drive very rarely hit 5th gear except on connecting roads,

not in a hurry or having to keep up with faster riders, I cruise at an rpm which I find does not put undue wear on the engine.

IMO unless you're racing 45-50MPH is plenty fast,

once in a while I go WOT to test the main jet but feel no need for sustained speeds past 60MPH on a dirt bike.

 

Design wise, yes the X is very outdated but apart from a Yamaha WR I'm pretty sure

no other performance oriented MX based 250 4-stroke engine is as reliable and durable with the same basic maintenance.

Aftermarket parts are plentiful and with minimal uncorking can easily increase engine performance,

suspension components/springs as well interchange with many model year CRF MX'ers which makes tuning experiments easier & cheaper.

 

Versus it's late model competitors the CRF250X isn't perfect or the best at anything but, it does still everything quite well. (even moderate motocross)

Edited by mlatour
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, mlatour said:

A $2800 difference is certainly a consideration, that buys quite a lot of extras, skid plate / protection, riding gear, spare parts etc.

5 versus 6 gears, ideally we also need to know the internal gearbox ratios and final drive ratios of both to compare.

 

Perhaps if you plan to commute on longer runs but to connect trail, cruising at 50MPH at moderate rpms

is easily done on a CRF250X, here's a gear/speed chart from Rick's site : http://www.rickramsey.net/CRF250Xgearing.htm

 

Sometimes I wouldn't mind having a 6th gear on longer runs but it's not a game changer to me,

if anything I'd prefer a semi wide ratio gearbox with a closer spaced 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears and wider spaced 4th and 5th.

 

Myself with a much steeper 13/52 final drive very rarely hit 5th gear except on connecting roads,

not in a hurry or having to keep up with faster riders, I cruise at an rpm which I find does not put undue wear on the engine.

IMO unless you're racing 45-50MPH is plenty fast,

once in a while I go WOT to test the main jet but feel no need for sustained speeds past 60MPH on a dirt bike.

 

Design wise, yes the X is very outdated but apart from a Yamaha WR I'm pretty sure

no other performance oriented MX based 250 4-stroke engine is as reliable and durable with the same basic maintenance.

Aftermarket parts are plentiful and with minimal uncorking can easily increase engine performance,

suspension components/springs as well interchange with many model year CRF MX'ers which makes tuning experiments easier & cheaper.

 

Versus it's late model competitors the CRF250X isn't perfect or the best at anything but, it does still everything quite well. (even moderate motocross)

With those overall ratio's I dont think you would ever find another comparable dirt bike in that class, anywhere close to that to compare it to, unless its a trials bike or another brand that has been geared way down. That is a heavily geared down bike, but to each his own. I would almost guess it would idle along in first gear when your not even touching the clutch, no?

Edited by TDW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a CRF250X and a KTM. I like both, but honestly the KTM is better. It will require less modifications, it is much better ergonomically and more durable. I keep adding little mods to my CRF250X to make it better, but I don't do squat to my KTM. The KTM takes less energy to ride as well. The Honda has it good points, it's more of a "tank' when riding it. The KTM is more fun. In spite of the difference in price the KTM is the better choice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a CRF250X and a KTM. I like both, but honestly the KTM is better. It will require less modifications, it is much better ergonomically and more durable. I keep adding little mods to my CRF250X to make it better, but I don't do squat to my KTM. The KTM takes less energy to ride as well. The Honda has it good points, it's more of a "tank' when riding it. The KTM is more fun. In spite of the difference in price the KTM is the better choice. 

I think that hits the nail on the head right there, I agree completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TDW said:

With those overall ratio's I dont think you would ever find another comparable dirt bike in that class, anywhere close to that to compare it to, unless its a trials bike or another brand that has been geared way down. That is a heavily geared down bike, but to each his own. I would almost guess it would idle along in first gear when your not even touching the clutch, no?

 

My terrain is mixed but quite often slow paced 1st, 2nd & 3rd gear rough rocky trails where the

CRF250X albeit not bad for still an MX based high revving engine lacks some low speed tractability.

(even ran 13/53 last season but 13/52 makes 1st gear a bit more usable, stock is 14/53)

 

Steeper final drive has helped greatly but the most significant improvement was a 12oz heavier flywheel

which lessen the need for clutch work except in the most tricky spots and recently slightly richening

the carb's needle circuit which allows for a bit more lugging in situations where a downshift would kill momentum / overev the engine.

Edited by mlatour
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a very unique approach used by a select small group of 250X owners!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
   

Steeper final drive has helped greatly but the most significant improvement was a 12oz heavier flywheel

which lessen the need for clutch work except in the most tricky spots and recently slightly richening

the carb's needle circuit which allows for a bit more lugging in situations where a downshift would kill momentum / overev the engine.

 

 

I agree with mlatour. I haven’t changed my stock gearing, but find pulling the next gear with a bit of clutch “feed” really works great in many trail situations. It’s very similar to the technique used on a 125 2T, but pulls the next gear further on the much more torquey 250X engine. Suspension action is also smoother using this technique.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mlatour said:

 

My terrain is mixed but quite often slow paced 1st, 2nd & 3rd gear rough rocky trails where the

CRF250X albeit not bad for still an MX based high revving engine lacks some low speed tractability.

(even ran 13/53 last season but 13/52 makes 1st gear a bit more usable, stock is 14/53)

 

Steeper final drive has helped greatly but the most significant improvement was a 12oz heavier flywheel

which lessen the need for clutch work except in the most tricky spots and recently slightly richening

the carb's needle circuit which allows for a bit more lugging in situations where a downshift would kill momentum / overev the engine.

With the bike so heavily geared down the power band gets so short or so narrow, over revving the engine is so easy to do.

Often people try to gear down that far to compensate for a lack of power,  running out of power in alot of situations is not good, especially when climbing a nasty incline.

Its one of the reasons alot of guys have sought advice on how to get more power/torque out of their 250X, or buy a bigger diaplacement bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve ridden both the KTM and the new Yamaha WR 250. All three are nice bikes, but I prefer my 250X. It’s uncorked, with personalized suspension. I like the broad, easy to use power of the X and find the gearbox spread nicely matched. The KTM was easy to ride immediately. I’ve always struggled with Yamaha handling, and found my suspension (tweaked) much less deflection-prone. So did the Yamaha rider. Each of us preferred our own bikes.

The good news is, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, yrun said:

Hello,

I asked this question awhile back in another part of the forum.

I still have not decided on a bike;  basically it think it might come down to deciding on the value of the 6 gear on the ktm, plus also being street legal. 

I can buy a honda (leftover) for about $2800 less than the KTM. (6300 vs 9100)

Maybe to those who have rode both bikes. Is the 6th gear on the KTM going to be much better than the honda when doing 5-10 miles of road when contacting trails etc? 

Thanks!

Joe

Here is an interesting thing to ponder...but I am not promoting or recommending it, just pointing it out.

If you look at Rick Ramsey's site for reference, it has the primary, all the gears first thru fifth, and final drive gear ratios all there to compare between the 250X and the 250R.  https://www.rickramsey.net/CRF250X.htm#closedcoursemods

Changing out both rear sprockets would be easy and you could have the 13/51 250R ratio, you would probably need this or 13/52 in reality.

Its interesting to see that the second gear ratio is the same between both bikes. Also that the fourth gear ratio of the X, is the same as the fifth gear ratio of the R.

So if you had a 250X (18/65 primary gear ratio) and changed to the (18/57 primary gear ratio), which is what the R uses you would have some advantages possibly. 1) an identical second gear overall ratio and 2) the X would have the same overall ratio in fourth as the R has in fifth, which would leave the X with a fifth gear ratio equivalent to a sixth gear... 3) the lower first gear ratio of the X would still leave you with a good starting out overall ratio.

It would definitely be doable and make higher speeds practical with less engine rpm.

It would also leave you with a lower first gear overall ratio than the R has.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had the crf250x; I would use stock gearing or maybe drop a couple teeth on the rear sprocket for dual sport type riding, forest service roads or double track.  I have a couple 650 thumpers for longer excursions.

In reality it would nice to figure out how much higher the 6 gear of the KTM would be over the 5 on the x.

Thanks for all the opinions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TDW said:

 

So if you had a 250X (18/65 primary gear ratio) and changed to the (18/57 primary gear ratio), which is what the R uses you would have some advantages possibly. 1) an identical second gear overall ratio and 2) the X would have the same overall ratio in fourth as the R has in fifth, which would leave the X with a fifth gear ratio equivalent to a sixth gear... 3) the lower first gear ratio of the X would still leave you with a good starting out overall ratio.

It would definitely be doable and make higher speeds practical with less engine rpm.

It would also leave you with a lower first gear overall ratio than the R has.

 

 

 

I have in fact done this mod to my X model in search of making the undergeared 1ST gear more usable in addition to obtaining a much higher ratio in 5TH gear. Another benefit to this primary gearing switch is lessening the torque load on the clutch and gearbox. I felt the reduction of torque load may be important on my application due to the fact that I am running the Ice Cube 302 cylinder.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, chopper61 said:

I have in fact done this mod to my X model in search of making the undergeared 1ST gear more usable in addition to obtaining a much higher ratio in 5TH gear. Another benefit to this primary gearing switch is lessening the torque load on the clutch and gearbox. I felt the reduction of torque load may be important on my application due to the fact that I am running the Ice Cube 302 cylinder.

so to be clear what sprocket size (s) are you running?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, yrun said:

so to be clear what sprocket size (s) are you running?

13/47 or 14/50

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chopper61 said:

I have in fact done this mod to my X model in search of making the undergeared 1ST gear more usable in addition to obtaining a much higher ratio in 5TH gear. Another benefit to this primary gearing switch is lessening the torque load on the clutch and gearbox. I felt the reduction of torque load may be important on my application due to the fact that I am running the Ice Cube 302 cylinder.

I thought I remembered someone saying they had done this, and reading this it must have been you!

Can you explain more about lessening the torque load on the clutch and gearbox that you mentioned.

One of the things I find interesting is that the 18 tooth primary 250R gear has about a full inch of internal spline holding it on the crank, where the 250X 18 tooth primary gear has less than half of that, just over a quarter inch. I know its like that because of the starter clutch spacing on the crank, that difference just seems stange.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chopper61 said:

13/47 or 14/50

You must have a heck of a top speed, what type of riding do you do mostly? How does that ratio work for riding single track, sand or climbing hills?

Im guessing the increased displacement helps alot?  I dont imagine a stock 250X engine is going to handle that very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TDW said:

I thought I remembered someone saying they had done this, and reading this it must have been you!

Can you explain more about lessening the torque load on the clutch and gearbox that you mentioned.

One of the things I find interesting is that the 18 tooth primary 250R gear has about a full inch of internal spline holding it on the crank, where the 250X 18 tooth primary gear has less than half of that, just over a quarter inch. I know its like that because of the starter clutch spacing on the crank, that difference just seems stange.

 

By using a higher primary drive ratio then the torque exerted into the clutch is less. Think of it as the torque delivered to the rear wheel in 2nd gear vs 1st gear. Same principle just to a lesser degree due to the difference in primary ratio of only about 12%.

You are correct on the difference between the spline length, the R primary needed the splined area machined down to the same length as the X primary in order for this mod to work, as well as the use of a clutch basket from the R model.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×