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XR400 vs. CRF250X.....Apples and Oranges?

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I currently have a Suzuki RM250, but I have seen the light. I want a 4 stroke. Anyway, I cannot decide which bike to get. My dealer has both, and I see the merits of both bikes, but I really can't decide without help.

I don't care about the cost difference. Just what's more fun to ride. I know the 400 is bulletproof, but I'm sure it's a heavy beast with a baja kit on it. I know the x is light, plus it has the magic button, but is it down on power, high on maintenance?

I'm 250lbs., 5'10", and not a super agressive rider. I like the weight/handling of my 250 smoker, but the torque of a four stroke. It seemed that the suspension on the x is way softer than the 400.

Any suggestions?

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I would buy the X hands down over the XR. The X has good power and is a much better bike in my op. Of course it does depend on where you are riding. My only concern is you being 250 lbs - maybe a bike like the KTM 450 would even be a better choice. It's lighter than the XR and faster than all of the above - not to mention the button and all around best off road bike.

good luck

dp

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If I were you, at your weight, go get an 04' or 05' WR450. You'll be extremely happy with the bike and they flat out haul.

I'd also look at the KTM 525's and the XR650R.

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As I live in CA, my choices for green sticker bikes are limited. I like the WR's, but they're red sticker. I also like the KTM a LOT, but the local dealer doesn't sell KTM. I'll be getting plates for this bike, so I'm stuck with green sticker bikes.

Looking at the two bikes, I like the X more, but the XR seems more practical, hence my problem.

I'm not into the DRZ400S, either. I think the Hondas are better bikes.

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I like to ride narrow single track trails, where I'm in 1st and 2nd gear the whole time - so I'd say the CRF250x is more fun to ride than the XR400.

The XR is more like a tractor, with lots of power to pull you to the top of any hill, sometimes even in the wrong gear. The XR is a great overall trail bike. Will do anything - single track, fire roads, and highway, and is very reliable.

The CRF is more like a high revving indy car. The gear selection is more important and will stall if in the wrong gear. The CRF won't pull you to the top of a hill like the XR will - the torque just isn't there. The 250 CRFX is great for tight twisty woods riding where the light weight nimble feeling is most important. So far the CRF250x really isn't that high maintentance though.

I'm selling my 2003 XR400 if you're interested.

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<font color="navy">They're both good bikes -- with different strengths and weaknesses. You need to provide more info on the type of riding you do, however. They are both fun to ride, and are generally very reliable (though the CRF will require more maintenance if you're planning to race it). I don't feel the magic button is all that important if you have the bike jetted and running right. It's never an issue for my XR400. As for suspension, the CRFs suspension is much better out of the box, though at your weight, either bike will likely need mods to perform well. I'm happy enough with the suspension on my XR400, but would love CRF suspension if it were available at a reasonable cost. Both bikes have plenty of power, though the XR definitely outshines the CRF when it comes to torque. Gobs of torque. Good stuff.

Anyway, while you said you aren't a "super agressive" rider, you didn't say what type of riding you'll primarily be doing -- and that's a huge factor in whether you want an apple or an orange. If you'll be spending time on a track, or want to spend lots of time jumping, the CRF is probably a better bet. If you are doing mostly trails and fire roads, hill climbs and moderate jumps, at your size, the XR is probably a better mount. Write back with some additional info about your riding areas and preferences and perhaps we can give some better feedback...

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I'll be getting plates for this bike, so I'm stuck with green sticker bikes.

If the bike you are planning to get doesn't have a plate already, you're out of luck. The Cali DMV doesn't permit dual sport conversions anymore.

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I'll be doing a bunch of trail riding in Hollister, fire roads and trails at Cow Mountain in Lake/Mendocino counties, fire roads & trails in Graeagle, CA, Tahoe, and outside of Reno. Never been to Carnegie, Metcalf, or Pismo, but I'll probably end up there, too.

I noticed a lot of sag on the X, with not a lot of preload adjustment left. The XR seemed to sag as well, but with about 1" more preload available than the X. Maybe a spring for my weight is required with the X?

Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming. I'll commit to one of these before the day's out.

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The stock XR rear spring is much more adaptable to a heavier rider than that of the X. However to be fair, there is probably not a dirt bike manufactured that will have the springs or valving that is capable of handling 250 lbs. As part of any and I mean any bike purchase you should figure the cost of new springs and a revalve in the initial cost.

Most 125 class bikes (250X) are sprung/valved for approximate 160-170 lb riders and the 250 class bikes (400 in this case) are sprung/valved for maybe 170-180 lb riders.

You can generally cheat this system some either way, but in your case (no disrespect intended as I have to do the same)you just can't cheat. The suspension in your case is a safety item and should be considered such. If you wouldn't ride a motorcycle without a helmet and appropriate safety gear..You shouldn't ride a bike before it is properly suspended as either way you are asking for an injury.

Either of these bikes is way faster than the suspension is capable of carrying you at.

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<font color="navy">Hmmm, trails and fire roads across the board. I'd go with the XR then. The suspension will be adequate out of the box (just crank things up) and will serve you well until you decide whether to revalve/re-spring (depends on how fast and hard you ride). The XR will be a lot more forgiving. The CRF is aimed more towards racing (not exclusively) -- bursts of acceleration and jumping, etc. If that's not what you're hitting, you're out of it's sweet spot. While a CRF will perform adequeately on trails and fireroads, you are more in the XR's element at that point... Just my 2 cents...

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You might also consider a DRZ-400E. Think of it as a modernized XR400 with electric start. My son rides a DRZ-400E while I ride the CRF250X. I went with the X because I wanted a lighter weight bike - I am getting too old to manhandle heavy bikes. My son went with the DRZ because of price - we picked up a used one. They are both great bikes (as is the XR400) so you really can't go wrong. Check out the fit and comfort and consider what is most important to you (price, seat height, weight, etc.).

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Hmmm, trails and fire roads across the board. I'd go with the XR then

I am thinking the same thing. This kind of riding is ideal for the XR, plus you get the reliability and ease of maintenance. Also, spend a hour or two checking our the crf450/crf250 forum here on TT. You will read volumes about the valve problems and hassles that new crf250x owners have experienced. I'm a huge Honda fan, but would not touch a crf250x today because of these reports. I realize that you can't take everything you read on TT at face value, but there is a LOT of smoke pouring out about the valve design flaw on the crf250x. And if the only credible counter-argument to what many owners are experiencing is that "it is a race bike and Honda recommends opening the top end every 15 hours" then forget about it. I'm a rider, not a mechanic.

In addition, if you want to dual sport, as mentioned you cannot convert new bikes in CA any more. For sure go out and buy a good used xr400 that is already plated. A few are for sale on TT now. :thumbsup:

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If you buy new, you can register the bike as a street bike, but the dealer needs to put all the required equipment on. You just cant CHANGE registration types anymore, or so I'm led to believe.

Where do you live? I ride Cow Mtn most of the time, and sometime Elk Mtn when Cow is closed to rain or is just too dusty.

My neighbor has a WR250f. Its a great bike, and hauls butt for a 250. After riding my XR though, I have trouble keeping momentum on hills with it. I often need to downshift and rev the snot out of it in order to gain speed. My XR will just torque its way up.

I get tired on the WR, and (even if you guys dont believe me) the XR will out accelerate the WR, up to 4th gear anyway. I havent found a place long enough for a longer drag race. And it had a good rider on it, my throttle happy brother. Its uncorked, but thats it as far as mods go.

If I did it again... I'd get the XR. Another reason: My vavles needed replacing (Its getting old, and this was the first replacement), new ones were less than a hundred bucks total. Compare that with valves on any "modern" four stroke.

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Basically the XR400 is an older design, less high strung, off road tractor that is best suited for trail riding. The CRF250X is based on the latest MX design and should be treated more aggressively. I have taken my X on tight single tracks and yes I had to rev it and use 1st gear on steep hills. It is very light and a blast to ride. A swiss army knife compared to the XR. The X is your only choice between the two if you do any fast or track riding. The suspension on the X is much more advanced and once set up for your weight it will flat fly in the whoops. I have read with interest the valve issue reports on the X but knock on wood so far I have not had any issues. If you ride all types of terran and you are aggressive the X is the best choice. For less aggressive riding and mostly tight trails the XR will do. In my opinion the smile per mile factor on the X is hard to beat.

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Thanks again for everyone's responses.

I am more interested in the X, due to it's current design and light weight. I rode my friend's XR400, and it felt like a tank compared to my '02 RM250 two-stroke.

It seems I'm never over 1/2 throttle on the trails (unless I'm in the wrong gear), so I'm guessing the X will have adequate power.

If not, there's always the closed course kit from Honda, and a nice Q pipe by FMF....

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I picked up my plated 250X last night.

SWEEEEET!!! :cry: So much more fun to ride than my buddy's XR400.

The weighting seems similar to my RM250, where the XR400 seemed kind of heavy.

I can't wait to ride it on the dirt!

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I was faced with the same dilemma, so I did the only logical thing and picked up a CRFX yesterday. Oh, I'll keep my XR400. It has a plate and I ride the occasional D/S event. Plus, I may need it to tow the CRFX back to the truck :cry:. My XR has been a loyal beast and has treated me well and if I could only have one bike, the XR would be it.

The only thing about the XR- jumping it is a lot like jumping on a shopping cart full of bowling balls- scary! :cry:

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