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'05 KXF250 or CRF250

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After 15 years off moto-x I have spent the last 2 years on a YZ125 (which I recently sold). I can't decide between an '05 KXF or CRF. Being in New Zealand the 2005 bikes are still 2 months away, however if I want to grab a bike from the first shipment i have to order (& pay the deposit) now.

I have ridden both of the '04 models and was fairly happy with both and can hook a sweet deal up for a new KXF. However, I have read all of the '04 shoot outs which rate the CRF a better bike than the KXF (which by all accounts had a number of short comings).

According to the Racerx first impression most of these have been fixed on the new model, but can somebody who has ridden both of the '05 bikes give some advice on what the new models are like.

I am fully aware that people will have different opinions but would like to make my decision prior to riding the new model bikes as otherwise I will miss out on the first shipment and have to wait 3 - 4 months without any bike at all!

Any advice would be most appreciated.

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I had an '04 kxf for a year (with no problems!) and now have an '05 crf with a couple of rides in. Somewhere in this and the crf forum is a thread where I gave some initial reactions to the differences in the bikes.

Honestly, there are more similarities than differences. Both bikes are very easy to ride hard, turn well and have good power. From my limited time, I'd say the Honda forks are better out of the box, with the rear suspension being close. I weigh 165, which is close to the target stock weight for the springs. The Honda does feel "softer" in the suspension area, but after my last ride feel that it is just a little more cush without loss of control or hard hit capabilities. I missed a few big jumps that should've put me down but just bottomed out and went about things fine.

The power on the Honda doesn't hit as hard as the Kawi did, but is deceptively torquey and pulls without a lot of drama. The CRF motor is quieter and smoother than my KXF so it doesn't seem as powerful, but based on how I rode last week, I'll call them pretty damned close.

Working on the bikes, the Honda quality is evident as things just seem to fit a little better. Nothing major, but Honda hardware is nice. Looked at an '05 RMZ over the weekend, and it did look like they cleaned up certain areas, and the bike looked nice. It was sold and being shipped cross country. The shop had also just received 2 '05 CRF's unsold as of Saturday.

I'd love to say that you need to buy one or the other, but even more so than last year, recommend you find a way to ride each. They have their own personalities and are both awesome bikes. No regrets here getting the Honda, as I like a new bike every year, but I'd be lying if I said it blows the KXF away. Hopefully both companies have dealt with the 1st year reliability issues and it will truly come down to preference rather than fear of problems.

Mark

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You can forget all about what the magazines say. They rate the bikes that buy the most advertising space first. They're both good bikes but they both have their own problems. The honda burns oil and the kawi likes to run hot (maybe these issues have been fixed but who knows, i'm going by the 04 models) If you can get a sweet deal on the kawi then go for it cuz you can pocket the money you save on the deal and spend it on parts.

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Here's what I'd do... go to your local Honda dealer, and your local Kawi dealer, and order a set of valves for each bike. Whichever one comes in first, buy that bike... because you'll need those valves at some point. :thumbsup:

A lot of us have missed races waiting on backordered valves, and looking back, this woulld have certainly affected my choice if I'd known in advance.

Half kidding... half serious...

~Tex

'04 RMZ

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You can forget all about what the magazines say. They rate the bikes that buy the most advertising space first. They're both good bikes but they both have their own problems. The honda burns oil and the kawi likes to run hot (maybe these issues have been fixed but who knows, i'm going by the 04 models) If you can get a sweet deal on the kawi then go for it cuz you can pocket the money you save on the deal and spend it on parts.

I have about 8 hours on my honda and it does not burn a drop of oil. I also know of many KXF/RMZ owners who have no problems with over heating

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Here's what I'd do... go to your local Honda dealer, and your local Kawi dealer, and order a set of valves for each bike. Whichever one comes in first, buy that bike

Half kidding... half serious...

~Tex

'04 RMZ

so if the guy at the counter says, "a yamaha does NOT need new valves once a year, but we can overnight them if you want" then what would you buy?

which half would buy red, which half would buy green/yellow and which half would buy blue?

half smartazz, half azzsmart :thumbsup:

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buy the one from the dealer that gives you the best deal, and service after the sale. all the bikes have issues, but they are so close in performance and relibility you would be happy with any of them. I do business with a dealer that sells Hondas, Kawis and KTM's and I got a chance to ride the red and Green bikes back to back and I chose green because it had a bit more power on the bottom. I ride a lot of tight stuff and bottom power is important to me.

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IMHO the Honda is hands down a better built bike throughout. If your a agressive mxer the Honda frame will far and away outlast the Kawi. The Honda suspension (Showa) is superior to the Kawi KYB stuff. The Showa suspension reworked is very capable stuff. Most oem Honda parts are cheaper than Kawi's as well. The Honda is a very decieving motor, it makes very good power over a broader range. Put a Vortex ignition on it and jet it.

I'm quite fond of the green and yellow machines, they have there niche. Unfortunately they are not engineered or built like either a Yamaha or a Honda.

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well since its in the KXF250 forum 90% of posts are gonna say buy a kxf250 but if u post this in the CRF250R forum 90% of posts are gonna say but the honda

remake this post in the what bike should i buy forum

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Cheers for the opinions guys, I really appreciate it. At the end of the day I'm sure whatever bike I get I will love. After all, the bike I just sold was only a 1998 YZ125, with my last bike before that a 1985 CR80 (at which time aged 13 I crashed and wrecked my back & had to give up).

Now aged 31 I can't get enough!

Where do I find the "what bike do I buy forum"? (excuse my insolence)

Thanks :thumbsup:

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Here's what I'd do... go to your local Honda dealer, and your local Kawi dealer, and order a set of valves for each bike. Whichever one comes in first, buy that bike... because you'll need those valves at some point. :thumbsup:

A lot of us have missed races waiting on backordered valves, and looking back, this woulld have certainly affected my choice if I'd known in advance.

Half kidding... half serious...

~Tex

'04 RMZ

Funny! :lol: sad :devil: but true :awww:

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I would make sure you know how much you are going to ride for the season. I have come to the conclusion (owning 2 Yamahas and 1 KXF) that these bikes are primarily meant to be ridden hard for only one season. I will quantify hard as being approximately 100-150 hours motocross or 150-200 off road. Life of these bikes without problems beyond that time frame is not without spending money on maintenance. Gone are the days of 20 year old XR's that run forever without maintenance (I have a 22 year old XR 200R that starts on second kick and it hasn't been touched in years).

The KXF, and CRF from what I have heard, definately have issues that are costing people money (including my KXF). There are good stories out there but many don't get shared, usually only the bad ones get posted.

If you are like some and can afford a new bike each year then go with your initial gut feel. Still be prepared to spend a bit of coin on things like valves, suspension, etc. The initial cost of the bike hurts the most but if you can trade it off each year you should be able to be around $1500 difference per year. That's just over $100/month for ownership. Don't know about you but I spend almost that on beer a month. :thumbsup:

Good luck.

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Get an 05 YZ250F and youll never have to worry about valves as long as you keep up good mataniance. The 05s have better suspension which will most likely be as good as the CRFs. Also the YZF has more power than all the others right out of the box. :thumbsup:

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IMHO the Honda is hands down a better built bike throughout. If your a agressive mxer the Honda frame will far and away outlast the Kawi. The Honda suspension (Showa) is superior to the Kawi KYB stuff. The Showa suspension reworked is very capable stuff. Most oem Honda parts are cheaper than Kawi's as well. The Honda is a very decieving motor, it makes very good power over a broader range. Put a Vortex ignition on it and jet it.

I'm quite fond of the green and yellow machines, they have there niche. Unfortunately they are not engineered or built like either a Yamaha or a Honda.

ditto :thumbsup:

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what makes you think the RMZ is more powerful. The RMZ is the same motor as the KXF and they both lack power compared to the YZF. Ive ridden a KXF and it surely isnt as powerful. Any moto magazine will also back that up too.

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I hate to post this on the KXF/RMZ board but I am going for the '05 CRF250 without riding either of the '05 models.

Every single person here (in NZ) I have talked this through with (apart from the Kawa dealer) has told me to go red if money is no option. Choose the KXF and I am taking a punt, choose the CRF and I am guaranteed a primo bike.

Stronger engine, better suspension, won't overheat on those trail rides when I stop for 30 secs etc etc. I am not willing to take the chance that Kawa hasn't fixed the problems from the '04 bike.

So thanks for the advice and I will let you all know how well the '05 CRF250 tears up kiwi dirt when my bike arrives in 2 months time (another benefit of being on the arse end of the world with a pidly population: evertything takes so long to get here) :thumbsup:

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good luck with the red ride, but it has a few warts of its own which you will discover over time. there is no perfect bike, just as there are no perfect people that build the bikes. roost on! :thumbsup:

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You'll find it has problems as well. Just start buying some oil now that's all i'm saying. Magazines don't base their results on what you care about (how good the bike is) but instead how much ad space the manufacturer buys. We can go dyno the bikes. I guarantee you an rmz has more power.

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Choose the KXF and I am taking a punt, choose the CRF and I am guaranteed a primo bike.

I have no problem with you getting a CRF but that statement isn't even CLOSE to true. I almost laughed when I read that. If you think your going to get a perfect bike with the CRF you are going to be VERY dissapointed. Neither of the bikes are perfect. Make sure you understand that going into it or you are going to hate life!

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