yz250f v.s. yz450f


I'm looking at purchasing another bike in September/October. I have read the forums and i am sure its going to be a yamaha. I am coming off of a 2002 xr200r. I am aprx. 5' 8" and 170lbs. The reason i am looking for a new bike is 1) lack of power on the xr200. and 2) i dont want to keep the bike to long and loose alot of money on it. I got a pretty good deal on it. I paid $2650 Canadian for it and it only had 3 tanks of gas through it. I have had it since september, and am selling it. It was my first bike and i will continue to ride it until the summer is over, improve my skills, and save up enough cash for a new bike. Anyways, I pretty much had my mind made up on the 450, when i read a forum and it said something about a 200 lb guy on a 250f. This made me reconsider. I am trying to think down the road a ways, to maybe 6-8 months after i buy the bike. I dont want to get a 250f and be regretting it because i grew into it fast, and dont find it exciting anymore. that was another reason i was thinking of going the 450 route. Also, I have heard that 4 stroke mx bikes require more maintenance than 2 stroke bikes, but they dont need top ends etc. very often. If the topend is fine, what would this maintenance include? checking valve specs etc? If anyone has any suggestions on what bike would suit me better, i would appreciate the advice. I would be using it mostly for trails/fields..i would eventually like to get into racing for fun..any information would help. thanks guys

Sam, I weigh 220lbs and I ride a Husqvarna CR125 that I just bought. I love it but sometimes I need more at some of the sand tracks with hills in socal (Cahuilla, Glen Helen and 395 Racetown). I had a Husqvarna TC610 1995, a YZ400 98 and a YZ450 03 but the 450 threw me on the ground a couple of times so I wanted to slow down. I rode a yz250f at racetown and loved it. It was so easy to ride compared to my CR125 and it did not get away from me like the 450. I am thinking about getting a 2006 YZ250 and if I want more I can buy the 290 or bigger kit for it. I rode a 2004 YZ250 2 stroke and it was too much bike for me. I used to race pro from 1984 to 1990 and Vet pro in 2003 but man am I slow now. I don't think you will grow out of the YZ250F. When I checked the valves on my Yamaha's they were always in spec's. Keep the oil and filter changed often and the air cleaner clean and oiled and sealed up. I always buy an extended warranty to help with the big problems. Good luck I hope this helps Mark


It sounds you are comparing the power of an XR200 to almost being a 250. This is not the case, the YZ250F will hit harder and rev faster than a XR 200 trail bike. At 170 lbs. the YZF is setup for you out of the box, the stock springs and forks are perfect for your weight. I have several friends that are your same size and they didnt even touch the new suspension when they got their bikes. There are some trail riding upgrades that you might do like bigger tank, handguards etc but other than that you do nothing but ride.

If you are only doing trail riding why not get a WR250F?? Its the same bike with a bigger tank, softer suspension, lights, better gearing for trails and of course....the magic start button. Unless you are doing 50' tabletops at your local MX track this might be the way to go.

As far as maintenance goes I 2nd what Mark said. You can do searches on this and the other Yamaha forums and you will see that the maintenance is a reason why many people go and stay blue. They are bulletproof as long as you follow the oil changes like Mark said.

I bought my 450 new in Oct 2002, I ride only MX and race occasionally in the Vet classes. At the beginning of this year I tore it down to check the valves and the top end.........everything was perfect, still.

Best of luck to you !!

A 250F is a slow bike compared to a 450F. I bought a 250F and liked the bike but hated the motor. I put in a 262 kit, Hotcams and a pipe and its better but I like my 450 better.

Hi what is your preferred riding style? Four strokes ride different than two strokes. You need less clutch in corners. You set up the gearchange before going into the corners & roll the throttle back & drive them round. They rev out less and have more bottom end power and overall traction. The riding style can be "less active". The difference in power divided by weight (power ratio) between a YZ250F & YZ450F is negligible (see Yamaha figures). A YZ450F will outgun a YZ250 2 stroke on long straights but loses its advantage on twisty tracks because it's heavier & slightly less nimble. I sponsor the 2 tmes UK BSMA Motocross Champion (AMX Class) & he is upgrading from a YZ250 2 stroke to a YZ450F for this reason. If a 2 stroke blows up it's top & bottom end it could cost £600 rebuild ($1,000). A four stroke total engine wreck could cost £3,000 ($4,200). So change that oil & filter often! Hope this helps. Have fun

If I were you I would go with the 450. I went from a 99' yz 125 to the 04' 450 and I do not regret a thing, I would go back and make the same decision. I read a lot of posts about guys not liking a 450 because of too much power. The bike is as dangerous as you want to make it. Leave room for yourself to grow- the 450 is better for trails than the 250 because it has better low end power, IMO. I have been on 250f's and like how they feel but I would not trade my 450 for one. I am the type that likes to have power in reserve. I do have racing experience in other forms of motorsports wich may have helped me in going from a 125 to a 450. Conclusion- go with the 450 and use your head. :)

Thanks for all of the advice. I am only 15 years old, so i may get taller, and heavier. I rode my friends 250 2 stroke and i liked that it had power in reserve. Mxhuggy, I don't want a Wr because I want to ride mx, and start hitting jumps. Also, I dont ride at night, so lights wouldn't be an issue. I know i am still relatively new to dirtbiking but the 450 seems like it would be alot of fun. I know the xr200 is no where near as powerful as the 250f. The 125, like mxmark said, could use a bit more power. He is alot heavier than me but i still found that the 125 wasn't as fun as the 250 2 stroke. Does anyone think that the 250f isn't as much fun as the 450? If anyone has anymore info, i would appreciate it. You've given me alot to think about before buying my new bike. Thanks

You might go to a MX race meeting and talk to guys your own age at the track. In the UK most 15yr old guys would be racing a 125 or 250f. From 2003 to 2004 model year 250F's were top of the heap, the market leader being Yamaha. For 2005 Yamaha released an all new YZ125 with light aluminium frame and "hot" jetting. It's a real race winner IF you can get it to hold together! Many guys have changed back from 250F's to the new YZ125. (Warning: There have been a lot of guys with broken clutch release rods on brand new YZ125 bikes). My rider's new YZ450 arrives in its crate tomorrow. We will be building and testing on Thursday, racing on Sunday.

Sam, I use these routine service periods for the race bikes on my team:

For 2 & 4 strokes change gear/engine oil every 1hr use.

Replace 4 stroke oil filter every 1-2 hours.

Never wash & re-use metal oil filters, they are cheaper to replace than engines.

Replace rings every 6hrs (125), 15hrs(250f), 20hrs(450f).

Replace piston every 12hrs(125), 30hrs(250f), 1+ per season(450f).

Replace spark plug at least every time you change a piston.

Check valve clearances every 15hrs(250f & 450f).

Replace timing chain every 2nd piston(250f), 1+ per season(450f).

Change air filter for a clean & freshly oiled one before every moto.

Never wash dirty air filters in petrol because it hardens the foam & decays the glue, use proprietary filter cleaner.

Bleed air from the top of the forks after every moto with front wheel off the ground.


Well, I have owned a 125, 250F and a couple of 450's now. I will say that the 250F was the most-fun bike I had. I raced it in 4-stroke B at 230lbs and did rather well. I even holeshotted (or at least 2nd) many times against 450's, 525's, etc. My 250f lit up FAST on dead engine starts. I was sometimes disadvantaged on the straight-aways but it just made me work that much harder to gain time on them in the woods. Definitely a competitive bike though. My new 450 is pretty fun and rips harder than a 250F for sure but you have to be able to handle it. It is definitely going to wear me out faster than my 250F did, that's for sure. Good luck with whatever you decide! :)

He's on this forum, his name is cody, form name is onethirtyeight he owns a crf250r and a crf450r and he says that he raced his crf250 in the 250 class and feels no advantage racing his 450 over his 250F.

I want to go with the 450 for the power, but the 250 is lighter. B86 racer, was you crf 450 a good bike. Did you like the yamaha 450 more? My mind is pretty much set on the yamaha. I wouldn't want to do any big mods to the 250, like a bore kit or anything. I would just ride and maintain it, and maybe a few upgrades like exhaust etc. If i bought a 250f, I would be affraid it wouldn't have enough power. I also dont want to buy a 450 and find out its got to much power. i think the 2003 yz450f weighs about 221 dry? Anyone know what the 2003/2004 yz250f comes in at dry? Any other input would be helpful. Thanks again guys.

It's a never ending debate 450..250..450..250..., I have a 05 250F, my brother now has a 04 yzf450 which is cool for me since I get to ride both bikes back to back alot now, today I got to ride the 250F on about 10 miles of Mountain trails and then switch to the 450F, after that we stopped at an MX track and done the same thing,

I still like the 250F better. If you look at the Pro Lap times you see the 250F & 450F lap times are not that far apart.. Yes #4 is fastest on a 450, but my point is you can ride either bike fast, its all about riding skill not motor size, the 250F is lighter, gets better mileage & will not wear you out as fast.. so you can ride longer.. which is the whole point for me (Riding). Unless I go over 210lbs.. I'll be sticking with my 250F, I'll never be able to ride a 250F to its FULL potential, much less a 450F. At the same time though, alot of people prefer "Excess" power(Tim Allen..more power..more power) and don't care about gas mileage.. there are larger tanks available. You will have to weigh what you learn and make your own decision. If I could own two different bikes it would not be a 250F & 450F.. it would be different brands of 250F's.. maybe a YZF & a KXF.

lot of good points here.. im in the same boat.. but sounds like id be happy on either of them. but for me its a budget issue... i can afford the 250f and not the 400/426/450. if i could afford the 450 id get it , yes it will tire me out soon but i made the mistake once of choosing a 125 2 stroke over a 250 2 stroke and the power difference was something i couldnt get over so i sold my 125 2 stroke and now im at a cross roads of going with a 250f, a 400f or sticking with a 250 2 stroke....decisions decisions....

well after a couple of 4 stroke deals fell through i ended up getting a 250 2 stroke after all.... it definetly has alot more bottom end than my 125 did and from what ive heard the hit at the top is awesome (but havent been able to get to the track to test it out yet). looks like i'll have to wait a few more years to get my yz400f afterall... nathan

Get the 250F you know you want to, and you won't regret it, at least for 6-12 mths when you start craving the more power thing.......

ok man heres the deal, ive been riding now for nine months,total newbie. no mx expierence at all. my weight is 220, so went out and got a brand new 04yz450f. wow what a beast this thing is. my roomate has a 03yz250f and i ride his bike more than mine. after riding these bikes back to back all the time, i by far like the 250f more than the 450f. it handles better,lighter,more forgiving(for when u have arm pump and blip the throttle by accident)and i could ride that thing all day long. get a 250f, it has plenty of power, especially get the 250f if ur just riding fields and trails.

I have a 250f and a 450f ordered. My son has a 450f that I have ridden a bit. 15 years old and 170lbs, coming off a xr200? Get a 250f. A 450 is neet and fun and I want one but for you a 250f is the bike.

sam I can vouch for a 450 I own a 04 and if you keep your right hand in check youll do fine... itll be way funner than the 250 I rode a buddy 09 250f and it felt like my riding mower lol...any ways another point to keep in mind im not for sure but I think the 250 only weighs in like 20 lbs or less than the 450...as previously stated go with what bike you feel more comfortable riding if you have access to both models...and one more thing...happy trails

btw I only weigh in at around 155 fully dressed and am 5' 11"

I went from a 125kx 2 stroke to a yz400 4 stroke (I know that's a big gap but I was compensating for the lame feeling that 4 strokes have) and I love it except the weight sucks and the weak power band but that's only cuz it's a 4stroke. I would recommend the 450 or what ever 400 fits your price range because the power is super helpful but being 5'10 and 140 fully geared the 200+ pound bike throws me around on trails partly because weight and also power. I ride sand so most the time this is a pretty perfect bike for what I do. I would also like to recommend a 250 2stroke that's what I wanted but again I ride sand so the top end power is perfect for me and I don't know how much help it is on trails

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