250F or 450F?

Right now I have an '03 YZ250F and it's been a GREAT bike.

I'll be getting a new bike this year and was pretty much sold on the new YZ250F, but now the 450F is looking tempting.

When I got my 250F, I was riding about 90% motocross and 10% desert. I got this thing coming off an RM125.

I love how I have so much control over the 250F. It does anything I want it to do whenever I want it to do it. My friends all said that I rode the best they've seen on the 250F. The power is great too. I honestly have never really needed anything more except in the desert and in Baja. I'm 6'1" and 165lbs. and the ergos on the 250F fit me well. The suspension's great, I love the handling, and I pretty much swore by the 250F.

Taking the fourstroke out to the desert opened up a whole new world of riding. I love desert riding now have been riding about 75% desert now.

I just did a three day trip down in Baja, and ever since the 450 has been looking like more of an option. The only thing I'm worried about is the 450 being too gnarly, wearing me out, and taking the fun factor away. I can ride my 250F ALLLL day.

I've ridden a YZ400, a YZ and WR426, and a '03 YZ450. I honestly think I liked the power delivery of the 400 the best. The '03 450 actually kinda scared me. I did about 2 laps around Glen Helen on it and gave it back. The motor was SOOO gnarly and the bike felt heavy and it bucked me around alot. I rode my friends '04 CRF450 and that bike still felt like a big bike, but was alot more manageable. It still wore me out pretty fast though.

I'm hoping the new '06 YZ will be alittle easier to ride, I guess they've smoothed out the motor alot. I almost wish they made a YZ350F or something.

The extra grunt of the 450 would be really nice to have in the desert though. Just endless power. I'll probably even do some trips to the dunes on it. I'm scared of blowing up the 250F in the dunes. I also want to do some more Baja rides, that was incredible.

I want something that I can do anything with, I'll have to keep this bike for at least a couple years.

Reliability is a huge factor (which the YZ has proven to me in Baja). Price is also a factor but I'd be willing to spend the extra $1000 on the 450 if I will be happier with it.

Anybody out there come off a 250F to a 450F? What are your thoughts?

I came from a WXE360 (2 stroke), which is as light as a 250, but with more power. After 15 minutes I wanted to trade my 450 for a 250. Thank god I didn't. Only a few hours more and I was sold. Now I throw the 450 around as well as I did the 360. I do have 4 inches and 100 lbs on you though.

Oh I should probably add my riding experience/level.

I've been riding for a little over 5 years, raced MX for about 3 years but haven't raced in about a year and a half. Was novice level racer.

Started on 250 two strokes, moved to 125s when I started racing, then got the 250F.

Man, this is a tough decision. I want the 450, I just don't want to drop 7K only to find out that it's too much and I wished I went with the 250F

I have had a 250f since 01 and love it. My son has a 05 450f. It is time for a new bike. The 250 has been great. The 450 is scary. But, this is the thing, sometimes you need a change. Sometimes you just go on faith. The new o6 450 looks good on paper. I've got my order in.

I went from a 426 to a 250F then back to a 426. Even though I have been riding for 24 yrs, I still consider myself a novice level rider, 5'10" 150 lbs. I too ride a mixture of MX and desert. When I initially made the switch from 426 to 250F it was mainly because of weight and handling. The 250F just felt so much lighter and I could stick any corner. The 426 had more power than I needed, and I thought the 250f could hold its own anywhere. But in time I missed the grunt and sheer power of the big bore, especially out in the SoCal desert. I probably ride a 50/50 mixture of dez and MX. I was always pinned on that 250F out in the dez, although it was fun to throw it around. Eventually I gave up the 250f and went back to the 426 about a year ago. If I strictly rode MX, the 250f would be my machine of choice. But when the desert calls, my 426 answers. The 426 is a do-it-all machine IMO, even though its a little porky. If I had my druthers I would have one of each.

But if you are slowly making the transition to dez riding, I would go with the 450 or 426. You can still get your moto fix ,and not wish you had more power in the dez. The 250F will leave you wishing you had more power, IMO. Consider this: a high revving 250F that is constantly pinned out in the desert will require more attention to maintenance and more frequent rebuilds as well. Yamaha or not, thats just a inherent fact when it comes to 250Fs.

Don't know if that helps, just my .02. Good luck choosing. :applause:

Thanks for the input guys.

I wouldn't say I'm slowly transitioning to desert riding. I've been riding desert ever since I got a bike. I think I might be alittle better desert rider than motocross. The thumper has just made it MUCH more fun and I'm more into it then I was when I was riding moto almost exclusively. I'm thinking about desert rides based on fuel range and how much daylight I have left now instead of just doing like 1 hour rides like we did on the 2 smokes.

Like you were saying, pinning the motor to keep up is something I've been thinking about. When we were down in baja I'd be rapped out in 5th, and my buddy would roost past me just thumping along at like half-throttle on his 450. Definitely less work on the bike and reliability is a big issue to me. I went through so many headaches with my RM.

Just curious, how does the '05 compare to the '03? Is it easier to ride?

I'd be getting an '06, but I'm just curious what direction they've been going in since nobody has really ridden the '06 yet.

I just wish I could try out a 450 again to feel how much power it really has and if I think it's too much.

It's all about getting used to what you ride. If you make the commitment to a 450, and I mean seriously make the commitment, you'll learn how to control the throttle and manage the power. You can't just slam the throttle open on the 450 like you do on the 250, but then, you don't need to, either. Once you learn how to harness that power, you'll LOVE the extra power and grunt. I could have fun on a 250f, but all that shifting is too much work. My 450 has made me quite lazy and I rely on its extra power to lug me around the track.

As for the dez, well, hands down the 450 rules. If I were you, and I was getting a new bike, I'd get the 450. If you aren't sure, and don't want to take the chance, then just get the Athena 290 kit for your 250 and get away with that for another year. Sooner or later, though, you'll find yourself on a 450.......


I would stick with the 450. Especially for the Desert/Dunes & MX. Learning to ride a bigger bike takes more patience & Skill but it is worth it in my opinion. Tight woods might be an exception.

Hello i am also thinking of getting a big bike. but i am worry that i dont can be aggresive enough on it to make it go fast because of the weight and the power. Im coming of an 250F-03. im also thinking of a 250 2 stroke but people say that it wears you out faster then a 450..hmm excuse spelling

Dude, have you been reading the reviews about the YZ450? It is supposed to be like night and day compared to the 05 & older YZ's. I have read raves about the motor being so much easier to handle than older YZ's because of its smooth, linear power. Also, the suspension is supposedly progressive that is still stiff enough for serious MX, but soft enough in the early stroke to give a "plush" ride in the choppy stuff. I even read some reviewers saying the bike "felt" as easy to throw around as a 250f.

Look into the 06 450. I should be a cool ride.


well i have read the reviews and they all says it´s really good except for transworld that says it dosen´t do well out of corners. And last sunday i rode the ktm 450sx and i didn't like it, because it felt heavy and there wast'nt much low-end power power. But i really liked the KXF 450.. well well

Here's my deal:

I ride a 00' 426 and it does great on the dunes. The first time I went I couldn't believe the power. I was new then, and I didn't really know how to ride. Since then I've been riding quite a bit and now it seems a little weak. Don't get me wrong, it still rocks, but I think that the 450 would give me a little bit more and since my skills have improved over the summer, I think I could use that little bit more.

Two weekends ago I was at Little Sahara in Utah and I pretty much maxed my bike out on a hill. I was near the top and I had it pinned in second, and it was dying on me, and I downshifted to first, and I ended up wheeling over with my bike sticking straight up out of the sand. It was the first time my 426 couldn't pull throught something, and I've been on some pretty steep dunes out here at St. Anthony.

My buddy rides a YZ250F and it is weak on the dunes. Don't get me wrong it is a good bike, it can rip it up at the track pretty good. But on the dunes it just doesn't cut it. Last year he killed the engine and had to pay about a grand to get it all rebuilt, so killing your engine is a real issue with a smaller bike. He still rides there, but he can't do anything close to what my 426 can do.

Hope this helps. I love sand. :applause::ride:

I really think you'll be happier in the end w/a 450F. I've been riding for only about a year, but have gotten quite good in that time (I ride like 4 times a week - dont have to work :applause:. I ride 75% desert and 25% MX, mainly due to cost considerations, plus we've got plenty of desert 'round here... Anyways, I started off last year on an '03 YZ125 - great bike, very light, etc... But, I found myself needing more power - not all the time, but still needed it in certain situations. I was then torn on a 250 two-smoker vs. a 450F. My roommate bought a new '05CRF450 as his first bike (he's 6'5" ~255lbs - he needs it LOL), so when I was ready to ditch the 125 I took his bike out a couple times, and after I got used to the power of the bike (which really doesnt take very long), there was really no question, I went out and got the 450!

I've never ridden any other brand 450F, but after I got my CRF set-up right, it handles just as well as my 125 did - maybe have to muscle it around a-little more, but the bike never wears me out. As far as the power goes - it's everywhere (I'm guessing the new YZ450 followed Hondas lead on this one - thats what the reviews sound like @ least...), so you'll learn to control it really quick. Truthfully, I rarely use all of it's power - I like to short shift and keep it down low, but here's the thing - the power is there when and if you need it! I'm 5'9" and ~160lbs, and it's never too much for me - I think you'll be much happier with the 450 - both on the track and especially in the desert!

BTW - I hope this new YZ450 rips - so I can go back to Yamaha!


IMO try and get a ride on the RMZ 450, I heard good things, one being that the motor is more compartable to the YZ 400 feel or hit....... BTW I just rode my 06 250F compared to my old 02 250F the new bike felt it had a little more power...........

I will be getting the YZ 450F to go with its little brother.......... :applause:

I've heard good things about the RMZ also, but after the headaches I had with my RM125 I just can't get a zook again. I know they are completely different machines, but still. The yamaha has proven to me that it's one of the most reliable out there. In that transworld video online, the yamaha guy said "easier to ride" about 6 times. That's what I wanted to hear! I'm set on the 450 now, it's all I've been thinking about. I put my current bikes in the trader already. Once they sell, I'll be shopping around. Anyone ever buy a bike from the TT store? I'd rather get one here in SoCal but I have a feeling they will be really ripping people off for the first month or two that these bikes are out.

Thanks for the responses and advice everyone.

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