98 KLX 300 compared to KX 250F?

I own a basically stock 98 KLX 300 and like it a lot for trail riding, but lately I have been wondering what kind of power and mx handling improvement the new 250 F bikes have compared to my 300?

I don't have access to borrow a modern 250F for a test ride, so does anyone reading this have experience on a KLX 300 and also experience on a modern 05+ 250F? I would like to hear if the 250 has more snappy power and vastly more nimble handling. Bikes I would be interested comparing to the 300 would be the KX 250F or RM 250F, YZ 250F. Are they cool enough to justify blowing a wad of cash to upgrade from my 300? I like to do fast trail riding and roost up the occasional impromptu, unofficial MX track type trails. With my 300, I wish it were a little bit lighter and a little bit snappier.

Dieselhound, I haven't ridden any of the late model 250F's, but even the 01/02 WR's smoke the klx in the handling, suspension and snappy power departments. The KLX is more nimble and has more low end pulling grunt. The stock WR with free mods like cam advance, grey wire cut, air box lid removed and a aftermarket pipe are stronger than a 331 KLX. And they are certainly lighter. All that said, I still like my KLX, but I did go out and get a WR as well. Different bikes for different uses.

Thanks Bill, That gives me a good idea on what I would expect. My recently aquired 04 YZ 450F is too far out of the equation to provide any idea what the 250F might feel like. The 450 is a completely different animal than the KLX 300. The owners manual for the 450 should read: "Start engine, twist throttle and hang on for dear life." The forks and shocks are like tree trunks, the power is like a locomotive. I've got some adjusting to do on that ride.

LOL! Lt's new '06 WR450 in completely stock EPA constricted, CA neutered form is still plenty powerful. Just jetting it will make it an animal. The 250 is different, but it still has much more "punch" and snap than a KLX without a pumper.

My KLX365 recently broke down and while I'm working on getting it fixed I've been running options in my head as to what I should do. Although I've decided against scrapping it, I spent some time trying alternatives for a new bike. I've had the opportunity to ride a few of the new 250's and after trying them, I've decided that the 250s won't give me the power I am used to. I was able to find local owners of the CRF250R, RM250F, and YZF250 who let me ride them for longer than a few minutes. I was able to get several hours on one.

My conclusion..... The new 250's are great bikes and are probably fantastic for the MX track. I ride woods almost exclusively so how good they are at MX is irelevant to me. The modern 250's do not have the power needed to thrill me. If I want to move up, the 450's are my next step. I found all of the 250's I tested to have very narrow powerbands and to be somewhat slow to respond to the throttle. Handling did not strike me as being a major difference either, but after all, I am a woods rider and the KLX handles good in the woods.

To answer your questions, the new 250's are not going to blow you away with improved handling in the woods although the power will be fairly noticable over a bone stock KLX300. But, if the KLX has all the mods like mine, I just don't see where I would gain anything by steping over to a new one unless I wanted to spend all my time on a MX track. My next target for a possible replacement bike is either the CRF450x or a KTM 450exc, or maybe I'll just stick with my old KLX that is not quite so old after all.

Thanks for that info, Bucked. I spent 3 hours riding my YZ 450F today and now like it so much that I won't go for the 250F based on your's and Bill's advice. When I first got my 450F, the suspension was set on the stiffest possible damping settings from its previous life as a supermoto bike and it rode like an F-350 truck, but when I set the suspension back to the Euro spec in the owner's manual, it rocks now and I had a blast riding it. I like the instant power that it delivers. It jumps way better than my KLX 300 does. I went over a double jump today that was a white-knuckle on my 300, but was an easy no-brainer on the 450. For tight trails, ranch work and exploring, I will still keep my KLX 300, but for fast riding over rough ground with real jumping involved, I will haul out the 450F. Some day I will try a 250F though and see what they are all about.

I own a '95 klx 250r, my brother has an '05 kx250f wich is much snappier, more handling and much more preformance, except in top speed, and the kxf stalls easier at low speeds. But my bike is much older than a new klx300

To answer your questions, the new 250's are not going to blow you away with improved handling in the woods although the power will be fairly noticable over a bone stock KLX300.

Bucked, first off, let me say that I love the KLX. I'll probably always have one. But a stock, near stock, or tricked out 300 is not even a close comparison to the 365 - power wise. Even a 331 or 340 with pumper is not really close. Most here do not have 365's and probably don't realize the rush you get when twisting the throttle.

Even an older 01/02 WR that has free mods will smoke any 300 with any mods you can do to it. Add a 331 and FCR to the KLX and the 250 will still be very very close if not faster. Now granted, I miss the low end grunt on the 300 and especially the 331 when I get on a WR250f, but for sheer acceleration, great handling, stability, low weight and speed.....most any new 250 will outperform the KLX easily. That's not to say I don't love my KLX - I do, but Kawi has just let their R&D sleep for the last DECADE. If you notice, Yamaha has fairly serious changes every year and major changes every 2-3 years. That's why they are so far ahead in areas like suspension compared to the KLX.

As far as handling is concerned, a bone stock WR250F felt significantly better to me than my EXP tweaked KLX suspension set up specifically for me. A buddy of mine told me that we'd all be riding blue in 6 months when I told him I was considering a WR for my son. Another buddy told me not to ride my son's WR or I'd be sorry. I couldn't not do it, so I made the mistake and rode it - and I had to have one. They are a blast to ride. We went from all green to mostly blue (I still have my KLX though and probably always will) in about 1 month. (I must admit that my extreme bad luck with KLX valves played into the decision.)

The new crop of 250's are significantly more modern and advanced than a KLX. They cost more too. And, they are not as good for technical trail riding. They also don't have the low, low down grunt of the KLX. But they sure are fun.

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