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crf 250x rider looking at ktm.i need advice!!

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i am tired of the problems with honda, my new 250x burns 200cc of oil every 75 miles..and the valves.... well lets not even go there..i race hare scrambles..very tight east coast stuff,i like 4 strokes they are easy to ride..i have looked at 400 exc and 450 exc can anyone shed some light on these bikes for me..i am a B rider,45 years old,165 lbs,thanks for any input..

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I'm a C/B rider, about 170lbs. Trails, desert and woods, no racing. Before my 02 400 exc, I rode an xr400. I have no experience with the crf bikes, but have ridden the 525exc, wr450 and yzf250s, plus various XRs. My 400 is the ideal combination of power, handling and ergos for my riding style. It does everything well, but is arguably not the best in any category. By far, I appreciate the suspension the most. I often describe it as a light XR with an excellent suspension and better handling. Power is very smooth and linear, with no surprises or jolts. Much more across the RPM range than my xr400. More bottom end than the yzf250, but about the same from mid to top. Less power than the wr450 and 525 everywhere. If you want a light, flickable bike, the 400 is probably not your best choice. It isn't heavy at all, and it feels lighter than all the other bikes listed except the yzf, but it is no featherweight either. The 02 400 had the short stroke motor and I think the later years do as well. The 450 is a longer stroke and that is noticeable when riding. All I read suggests that the most noticeable change in the 400 since 2002 has been suspension upgrades. I'm going to ride mine till it literally falls apart.

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Well if you don't live in CA get a 200EXC or 300EXC 2-stroke if you don't like vavles. 250 is good too, but the 200 is light and the 300 is easy to just chug around.

The fourstrokes all weight pretty much the same so I got the biggest one. The smaller ones feel lighter (so they say) but I like the grunt of the 525.

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I will probably receive grief for this one, but from a design perspective, the KTM wins hands down. When I bought the Honda R, my intent was to buy an X and sell the Katoom but after riding the X, you could not pry it from my hands.

So now the garage is a little smaller but have the best of both worlds. I am 45 years old and also a B/C class rider and will probably go for the 450 EXC next round or really do a change up and go for the 200. Really do not think I can go back to a 2-smoke though..... KTM's are awesome machines and getting better but they need to get a competitive 250 4-stroke in the market; however they are not going to release something until it is ready. :thumbsup:

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Didn't think I could go back to 2 stroke but I love my 300 exc. I call it a 3 stroke.

Nick

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hey suzkid,

if you are looking into getting a ktm 400/450 exc, and are committed to buying a four stroke, you might think about buying a 250 exc 4st and then getting ht racing (http://www.ht-racing.com) to put a 351 big bore kit on the bike. i know it sounds a bit unusual, but the work on these kits is excellent and they make the 250 into a really nice woods bike. the advantage is that, while you'll have the much wider powerband of the 351 (bore is just under that of a 450), you'll also have a more nimble, lighter feeling bike due to the smaller crank. the end result is an over square, short stroked motor (85 x 57) that pulls harder from down low and has a smooth acceleration all the way up to the top. it will feel 30 pounds lighter than the 400/450, and will have almost no noticeable vibration. the only place the bike will falter is in wide open desert riding, where the power will just run out.

the bike is getting a lot of great reviews on ktmtalk, you might want to search there as well.

oh, you'll save money too because a new 250 is about $1000 less than a 450, and it's fairly easy and affordable to get a used 250 because they aren't very popular bikes in the ktm lineup.

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I'm reopening this thread since I was getting ready to start a new one and saw this was pretty much down the same line. Any more opinions about the KTM RFS (250 w/351 mod, or the 400) compared to the CRF 250X? Any new issues with the 2005 models?

I've just sold my 250X after similar problems. At the 100 mile check-up, had zero valve clearance. After that, I was told to recheck valves every 15-20 hours. Also had to add oil after 50 - 75 miles. Here in Colorado those add up to a couple of long weekend loops. This is pretty disappointing for Honda based on my XR 250's which have been bomber. I'm a trail rider - track and enduro performance not an issue.

Thanks,

'04 CRF 250 X (gone)

XR 250's (never selling these - three boys)

late 90's YZ 400F (long gone)

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I think you would enjoy a 400/450 as an all around, do everything bike. It lacks a bit of the sharpness or focus that the X has (steering is a bit more sedate), but has great reliabiltiy and oodles of just the right kind of power for tight woods.

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I too ridded myself of a CRF450 because of the same problems. I am now on an 04 200exc and it was the best move I ever made. I really thought the power was going to be a big issue, but I can maintain a much faster clip for a much longer time. I cant pull 70 mph wheelies anymore but those were few and far between anyway. If you care more about making yourself a better rider and not about the top speed of your bike and you dont cruise on long rides at high speed on fire roads and such, look at one of these. It can be tractored while maintaining limited wheelslip and with the flick of the clutch it will haul ass. I rode a 300exc quite a few times also and it is fast as hell. But I weigh in at a mere 140 and it was too much in the tight stuff for my liking. Oh, and by the way, I have seen upwards of 65 on my little 200 on stock gearing and it will definetly pull 2 teeth down of the rear sprocket IMO. Hope this helps and good luck. BTW my buddy is selling his CRF450 and getting a 250exc 2-stroke. He too is tired of the reliability issues.

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Thanks for the feedback rafartist. I'll think I'll stick with 4 strokes for now. Definitely interested in the 400 EXC, or maybe the 351.

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Getting really close to pulling the trigger on an RFS KTM. Would still love to hear some thoughts on best choice, leaning toward 400 EXC, compared to the CRF 250 X.

Thanks.

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Wow! There is a lot of good information in here. I appreciate you Honda guys giving us your inpressions. My buddy put a deposit on a crf450x. I sure hope he doesn't have the same kinds of problems you guys have had with your 250's. I am probably a little biased but I would suggest a KTM 450 E/XC if you prefer 4 strokes. I have enjoyed the heck out of my 520 but some folks feel like that is just a little too much power. Been rock solid reliable though.

:cry:

Paul

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A friend of mine has a 2004 CRF250X and I have a 2005 525 MXC. I get to ride his bike quite a bit and I think it's a great bike. I think the forks on the CRFX are just slightly better than the KTM. The rear suspension is a wash. The ergo's are better on the KTM: roomier, lower seat height. The built quality is better on the KTM's: juice clutch, better rims, bigger spokes, fat bars, powder coated hubs, etc.

When my buddy first rode my bike he was surprised that he was comfortable going fast on it right away. He said that he felt like he had been riding it for a week already. I felt the same way when I first rode the '05 525 and I have been on Honda's my whole life.

I think you will be happy with either the 400 or the 450 coming off of the 250X. The weight between the 250X and the KTM's is five or six pounds and you will not notice it at all. However, if you do switch to KTM, you will notice that you are no longer worried about the valves. :cry:

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I've just sold my 250X after similar problems. At the 100 mile check-up, had zero valve clearance. After that, I was told to recheck valves every 15-20 hours. Also had to add oil after 50 - 75 miles.
Not interested in old news, but any time I see bad experiences with the 250X, I like to ask a few questions. I have 380 miles on my '05 CCC X and have yet to experience any valve tightening - and I'm certainly not easy on the engine. If you don't mind:

1) Did you modify your X in any way (pink wire mod with stock X cam will float the valves and kill them)?

2) Did you ever look for dust inside the carb (some have found that dust seems to be infiltrating the FCR carb through the vent lines)?

3) Did you check your valve clearances before your first ride?

Thanks in advance for any answers you can provide.

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Hey pikespeakthumper,

I just put my 351 together and have been on a few short shakedown rides to sort out the jetting and sprocket combo's. So far I'm very pleased with the choice I made. The 351 has several advantages over the 450 or 400 so I've heard. I've never ridden either but have researched the subject for a year before buying this kit. I suppose it depends on your riding style but look over at KTM-talk and search for 351 you'll have many more opinions to look at, talk to Maico Bill at HT-racing and he'll help you out alot. Look twice before you jump.

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I have the 2005 400exc awesome bike in just about all riding conditions I just came off my 04 crf 250r and would not think of riding anything other than the 400exc

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I rode an XR250 for a while and I know you cant compare the CRF to it but my new KTM 450 EXC is just so much more of a bike. It feels very light in the trails and it is as fast as all get out.

I rode the 400 EXc and to be honest I thought for the couple hundred bucks different the 450 was better for me. The 525 was great but I liked the 450 EXC in the trails better. The 450 EXc feels lighter than my friends wr250, he is now also buying a 450 EXC now.

I will always recommend the 450 and as a matter of fact several friends have ridden it lately and they are trying to switch to the pumkin now.

ML

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