Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Same old question -- 250 or 450

Recommended Posts

Hello, my name is Jim (alias -- MO_XR400). Just sold my trusty old steed (XR400). I need to replace it with the best bike possible. What I thought would be an easy task has turned into a complete headache. 😢

Before making a large purchase (i.e., TV, car, etc.) I like to perform a detailed anlysis to ensure that I purchasing the best product for the money. I've found myself doing the same thing with the bike search. So....I turn to you, my good friends, for clarification.

Here's my story...I'm 34 years old, 6' tall and ~220 geared up. I live in Kansas City and prefer to ride in the woods. The trails around here are not as tight as what they have back east, but they can still be pretty challenging. I've been riding for several years (KDX220, DRZ400, XR400)...I'm not the fastest guy in the group, but not the slowest either.

So far I've look at the following bikes: Honda (CRF250x and CRF450x), KTM (400EXC and 450EXC), Yamaha (WR250F and WR450F). From my research, I've ruled out all but the WR250 and WR450. Cost and reliability were the main concerns.

Now I have it down to two choices! Whew!

Things that I am currently thinking about...The 250 would probably be a ton of fun in the woods (where you never get out of 2-3 gear). Sounds like it might be a little down on power stock though. I'll plan on doing the mods and also would look into Dr.D, PowerNow, JD kit, etc. The bike sounds perfect, I'm just concerned about big rocky hills climbs or other areas where you need to putt along (torque!) and pick your lines carefully. I found this easier on the XR and DRZ than I did with the KDX.

The WR450 looks very nice as well. I've always said that I would rather have more power than not enough. However, I beginning to see the light regarding riding the bike vs. having the bike ride you. I've also read where East coast riders should get the 250 and West coast riders should get the 450...well...I'm in the midwest or a combination of the two.

What advice can you give me in helping decide...250 or 450? Your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Take care and Thanks!!! 😢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wr450... you will get used to the power ( guessing its more than the xr ) your weight fits in the 450 area. go witht he wr450 man 😢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If at all possible, try to find somebody with one of each and see how each feels. I can relate to the "choices " issues, I go through it every time I want to get a new bike.............😢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey jim,

i'm on the fence here. on one hand you certainly have experience with big bikes in the woods. so my usual "look, you are going to run yourself into a tree riding a 450F on the trails" probably doesn't apply to you. if you've been riding a DRZ in the woods you know all about big iron inertia. the nice thing about the 450F is you can pick a gear and ride most of the day in that same gear. and, if you go riding in the dunes, those extra cc's are going to come in handy -- especially at 220lbs.

on the other hand, the 250F is light and flickable and in the trails you feel like you are in control and in charge at all times. no, it doesn't have the warp drive power of it's bigger brother. but it certainly has enough to rip you through the singletrack. and, i'm sure others will agree, riding the 250F will take a lot less energy than the 450F.

anyway, just some stuff to think about.

jim aka the wrooster

'01 wr250f

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you plan on doing a lot of technical or low speed hill climbs the 450 is the better choice. I'm very happy with my 250F 90% of the time but on a tough climb in the mountains you soon become aware that it is a 125 class bike. I have no regrets about buying my bike and I have a blast on it but my next ride will be the 450. Blue of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just made the same move myself XR400-WR250f and am so glad i never went for the 450.

The 250 I have is a UK model so i think it has more power than stock US ones but only needs minor work to even things out.

I found i don't get anywhere near as tired now as I'm riding it as opposed to it riding me!! I'm 6'4" + 95kgs without my kit on(do the convertion cos i cant!) and its easily powerfull enough for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride in west central Indiana and have similar types of trails to you I think. Old 4WD tracks and some tight single track, and of course the ubiquitous quad trails. So sometimes I have tight technical and sometimes I blast up the wider tracks. My riding style is that I'm a lugger, not a screamer, having always ridden 4 strokes.

I also used to ride big fat XR's, a 350 being the latest. When I went bike shopping I wanted something lighter and more flickable without giving up much power. I also wanted something I could torque through the woods while riding with my son.

Having decided on a WR250, I have to say I'm very happy with my decision. Where my XR quit pulling about 4000 RPM, the WR keeps pulling, hard, on up to 11000 RPM (even though I me never seem to get it quite that high in the woods). As for power down low, I've helped it a lot with the Power Now , JD jetting kit and a stock YZF pipe. It still doesn't have quite as much torque as my XR did down low, but it's not that much of a difference, and the happiness factor is kept high with the instant snap wheelies that the XR would never do.

I rode a WR450, but not in the woods, and although it was a little lighter feeling than my XR, the 250 felt lighter still, and was plenty snappy.

It's going to be up to you which one you get, but if you're looking for something that is effortless to ride all day, carves like a new Ginsu, and is just plain fun, you should be pretty happy with the 250.

If you need to squeeze out that last oz-in of torque, and need to run at top end down logging roads for long periods, or do a lot of sand riding than you'd probably better pick the 450.

One problem is that if you test ride a 250 at the dealer, you'll be disappointed, because they are really plugged up from the factory. The free mods are a necessity, and make a huge difference. Find someone who has done the free mods and will let you take it for a spin before you buy.

Oh yeah, I'm 6' and 220lb without gear, and the 250 pulls me up any hill I've pointed it at so far with no problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The truth is likely to be that the 250F, at least the YZ, has even more power than the XR400 (36hp give or take), but a small engine can only do that one way, High RP Ms. My YZ250F is a blast to ride, but you have to learn to ride it differently than the bigger bike. Overall, I like my 450 better, but that's me.

The best advice I can give you is to try them both, but spend enough time on the little one to get past the fact that it isn't a big thumper and see what it can do when it does it it's own way. 😢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For someone that has ridden a 250 for a while, a 450 can be a real heavyweight. The 05 yz450 is only 12 pounds heavier than my 04 yz250f, but it feels like a ton after a while. It's also harder to make turn. It's not impossible to carve sharp turns with it, just harder. Compared to an xr, the 450 may actually feel lighter though.

That said I was very dissapointed with the power output of the stock 450. They really toned it down for 05, and I really wish I had known it was so drastic of a change. It has gobs of torque, and it feels like you are riding a tractor. It took a smaller front gear, a Ti-4 pipe and an aftermarket ignition to just get it to feel as fast as the 250's do.

Dont forget if you go with an 05 yamaha to check into the Y.E.S. extended warranty for it. It's offered for all of their 4 stroke bikes now.

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:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...