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'05 CRF250 Break-In Race Report

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I'm coming off an '03 CRF450, so this is a whole new world to me.

I picked up my '05 Friday night when I left work. During set-up I started the bike and let it idle for about 3-4 mins and shut her off. Saturday I installed hand guards, adjusted bars and levers and got everything ready to race. Saturday night was spent at the UT game. My plan was to break her in during the parade lap before the race.

Sunday morning comes way too early so I decide to sleep in past the parade lap and just show up for my race. While at the track I set the sag (thanks Bill Deck), check and tighten spokes, and bleed the rear brake. I head to the line with a total of 3-4 minutes run time, she hasn't even been put into gear yet. I've always heard to break them in like you want them to run, so I'm breaking her in during the race.

On the line I practice DES in gear. The first one was a no go. The next two she fires right up in gear, so I'm feeling confident. Green flag flies and she cranks right up but I'm too quick on the clutch and she wheelies the first 20 feet. Whoa, this little baby thumper is spunkier than I thought! Feather the clutch and enter the first corner in about 12th place or so. Luckily (not) the first 1-2 miles is nothing but a deep sandy whooped out grass track (think IDSE special test) that's dusty beyond belief. Somehow I manage to start picking people off by going inside, outside, staying out of the main line, using the grass edges to my advantage, and throwing the little CRF around. So far I'm liking this bike. Even in a horsepower section I'm passing people on bigger bikes. While they were wrestling with thier bigger heavier machines I'm railing on the baby CRF. This thing handles like its on rails. I catch a few more people by the end of the lap and a friend on the side of the track shows me I'm in 3rd! Holy cow, did I pass that many people? I'm REALLY liking this bike now.

Start of the second lap the dust is better because the field is spread out a little more. I just keep racing forward to the next person, but they were all in the class that started ahead of me. I finished the 2nd lap still in 3rd, but it gave me a lap to concentrate on the new bike and getting more comfortable on it. I'm liking it more and more.

Start of the third lap I see I'm only 20 seconds or so behind the leaders. Traffic is even more clear now, so I charged hard to catch the next "dust storm". Make a pass and go after the next one. Towards the end of lap 3 I catch 2nd place and he waves me by, thanks! I finished the 3rd lap in 2nd, and only about 12 seconds behind the leader. By this time I'm thinking this bike ROCKS and I'm never going back to a big bore thumper agian.

Lap 4 I'm charging hard and can catch a glimse of the leader here and there. I push a little too hard and a mesquite branch cathes my front brake lever and yanks the front end down. I get to the clutch before she dies and get remounted right as 3rd is coming by. I quickly cut him off (sorry, but you let me by earlier) and start charging again. My front end is tweaked, bars and forks are out of line. Oh well, I'm having too much fun to care so I race on. About 1/3 of the way through the lap I catch the leader and I'm on his tail. I start yelling at him (don't worry, he's a friend) to twist on it and to ride smooth. I see him make a few small mistakes, but not big enough for me to capitalize on, he's riding good and holding me off. We hit the last pecan bottom grass track section and are racing wheel to wheel. One more sandy grass track section and into scoring wheel to wheel, Donovan holds me off, and it wasn't for a lack of me trying. Great job, that was a blast! I realized after I came through scoring I had a flat front tire. I don't know when it happened, but it stayed up enough to get me to the finish. I know without a doubt, 100% I made the right decision in going with the baby thumper. I was so comfortable on the bike by the end of the race I couldn't believe it.

I'm 6'3", 215 with gear, raced the 4 stroke B class in our Hare Scramble series. Bone stock, I didn't even touch the clickers except setting the sag. The bike performed flawless and 10X higher than my highest expectations. I can't believe how much FUN this bike is to ride. The course this weekend was a semi-fast GP style layout and the bike has plenty of power. The suspension was phenominal without touching a clicker. This stock suspension is as good or better than my $650 worked over suspension on my '03. Plush enough not to beat me to death or wear me out, yet firm enough to be predictible, and it didn't bottom. I won't be spending a cent on this suspension other than maintanence. Same goes for the motor, I'm leaving it stock. No aftermarket hop up goodies for me, she runs too well the way she is. If I need more power or need to go faster then I'll just twist the right grip a little farther.

Sorry so long, but I LOVE THIS BIKE!!!

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EMA..

That wasn't too long. A good story, & congratulations on doing so well. :devil:

Your '05 250, is it an 'R' or an 'X'???

It was my understanding that the two motors & suspensions are set up differently from the factory. :thumbsup:

I anticipated getting an '05 'R', but changed my mind when told it's strictly for MX. I only woods ride & some hare scrambles.

Which model were you ridin, & what's your opinion of the X vs the R set ups??

I'm draggin a Z400S around now, and like it, till I hear how well you're leapin around on the 'Little Thumper."

SSR :awww:

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SSR,

I have the R model, but I can't compare it to the X, I've never riden one. All I know is what I've read in the magazines. Milder motor, softer suspension, wide ratio tranny, magic button, etc. One thing I do know is that it gets great reviews.

I guess I would question how most of your riding is done. Is it at race pace or casual trail riding? For me my woods riding is done at race pace and I do a lot of practicing on MX tracks, therefore the R was the only way to go for me. But if your the opposite and spend most of your time casually trial riding, and race occasionally, then I'd probably get the X. Either way I think your going to really like either bike, especially the weight difference compared to what your riding now.

I bought mine "in the crate", but I work at a dealership and was back there when they assembled the bike. I didn't want some set-up kid joy riding it up and down the back drive. I wanted to be the first one to start it and follow a specific break in.

Good luck with your choice.

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E/Racing,

That's a helpful reply, thanks.

The 'X', or WR250F yamaha are probably the right choices.

Everything I hear about the 'X' is great too.

I'm not lally-gagging through the woods, but definately not at the pace you are either...and I admit, I'm totally spoiled with the electric start now. Love it.

I sorta thought you got the 'crate bike.' Very wise.

Thanks again.

SSR :thumbsup:

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John,enjoyed the report.I won't get my 05 250r for a couple more weeks ( no point knee injury).But had an 04 X and the tube were very thin I'd replace both with heavy duty if you already haven't.And I know what it's like riding the rest of a race with jacked bars ,I hate the rubber mts after a crash have already order rg3 triples for a bike I don't have yet...Glad to hear you like the bikes suspension and power of motor .Rick

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I wanted to be the first one to start it and follow a specific break in.

That's a good one. :thumbsup:

Congrats on the bike. :devil: I also came off and still have my 450 and don't really feel at a disadvantage on the 250 either. It definately turns so much better than the 450, and still has plenty of power.

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Yep, good race John. Sounds like the mini-thumper really is working for you. I sure know mine works for me! I can't wait to see you really get after it in the 4stk A class. :thumbsup:

Donovan (986)

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Good race John & Donovan!

I wanted to go but wife made lake plans well before the race was rescheduled...

Catch you guys after the angelo race..

John i want to ride your 05 250F ... Still on the fence as to my next ride :thumbsup:

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