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250EXC RFS underpowered relative to what?

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I'm looking to get a used 250EXC 4T. I've read lots of threads here and understand some of the knocks against the bike. But when I read it's "underpowered", what are you comparing it to?

How does it compare to the "recreation" bikes like XRs, TTRs, etc.

How does it compare to the "competition" bikes like CRFs, WRs, etc.

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I ride a 250rfs.

It's alot faster than the trail bikes. When properly jetted, it will hold it's own with the other competition bikes- and I have ridden the other 250's, not just read about them.

Seems most of the bad power reports written about the 250rfs are by people that have never slung a leg over one.

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the 250 RFS is underpowered compared to other 250's because the chassis and bottom end of the 250 are the same as the bigger bikes such as the 400, 450, 525. They are all the same except for the top end, which is very small on the 250. So all the bikes weigh the same, but the 250 has much less power.

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the 250 RFS is underpowered compared to other 250's because the chassis and bottom end of the 250 are the same as the bigger bikes such as the 400, 450, 525. They are all the same except for the top end, which is very small on the 250. So all the bikes weigh the same, but the 250 has much less power.

This is exactly how it got it's reputation for being overweight and underpowered. You start by saying it's underpowered compared to other 250s, and then go into it's relationship with the 400, 450, and 525. If you are going to compare it to other 250s it's relationship to the bigger KTMs DOES NOT MATTER. :applause: So what if it weighs the same as the 450, that's a testiment to how light the bigger KTMs are, since it's about the same as the other guys off-road 250s.

The 250 RFS is very close in actual weight as the WR250 and 250X, within a pound or two. The RFS has about the same actual HP as the other two also, but it doesn't have the bottom that the other two have. The RFS need to be ridden at higher RPMs to go fast, almost like a 125, or maybe more like a 200 (and no, I'm not comparing it to a 200). It'll slug around at low RPMs, but not as well as the others, and you won't be very fast riding like that. :ride:

One of the biggest advantages of the 250 RFS is it's potential to get better. HT Racing makes big bore kits for it in I think 305cc, 351cc, and 400cc. I've got the 351 kit in mine, and it will run with any 400 anywhere. :thumbsup:

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One of the biggest advantages of the 250 RFS is it's potential to get better. HT Racing makes big bore kits for it in I think 305cc, 351cc, and 400cc. I've got the 351 kit in mine, and it will run with any 400 anywhere. :thumbsup:

Hey OldeDude,

How does the addition of the 351 big bore kit affect the "lighter feel" that riders claim for 250s vs. 400s (that whole reciprocating mass concept). I'd like the extra power of the kit, but I'm primarily looking at a 250 for that lighter feel.

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how will this 250 compare to the new xcf-w. Is it the same motor

No comparison, the XCF-W will be a completely new bike and motor. Supposed to be lighter and more powerful right off the showroom floor. Rumor has it that it could give the WR and the X the kind of reputation the RFS had. :ride:

Hey OldeDude,

How does the addition of the 351 big bore kit affect the "lighter feel" that riders claim for 250s vs. 400s (that whole reciprocating mass concept). I'd like the extra power of the kit, but I'm primarily looking at a 250 for that lighter feel.

Same light feel due to virtually no change in the mass. The bike keeps it's quick reving short-stroke, gets low-end comparable to the 400, and puts out 40 - 42 HP (claimed by HT Racing). Another nice point is that one of the few differences betwen the 250 and it's big brothers is a closer ratio tranny. It's not as close as an SX, but closer than the bigger EXCs. SO with the 351 kit you have a lighter feeling bike with power comparable to a 400, and a tranny that is in between an EXC and an MXC or SX. :thumbsup:

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Lots of good info above, My Son rode them in Enduro comptition for about 3 years, recently we did the big bore 351 deal. Geared down a bit and reved like a small bike needs to be reved, just a bit of carb tinkering and it is competative in the woods. On the MX track it is not going to keep up. Play bike, one of the best!

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This is exactly how it got it's reputation for being overweight and underpowered. You start by saying it's underpowered compared to other 250s, and then go into it's relationship with the 400, 450, and 525. If you are going to compare it to other 250s it's relationship to the bigger KTMs DOES NOT MATTER. :applause: So what if it weighs the same as the 450, that's a testiment to how light the bigger KTMs are, since it's about the same as the other guys off-road 250s.

The 250 RFS is very close in actual weight as the WR250 and 250X, within a pound or two. The RFS has about the same actual HP as the other two also, but it doesn't have the bottom that the other two have. The RFS need to be ridden at higher RPMs to go fast, almost like a 125, or maybe more like a 200 (and no, I'm not comparing it to a 200). It'll slug around at low RPMs, but not as well as the others, and you won't be very fast riding like that. :ride:

One of the biggest advantages of the 250 RFS is it's potential to get better. HT Racing makes big bore kits for it in I think 305cc, 351cc, and 400cc. I've got the 351 kit in mine, and it will run with any 400 anywhere. :thumbsup:

Wow, defensive are we? The RFS does NOT need to be ridden high in the RPM's to make it go. The RFS is an old school four stroke with all the grunt down low in the RPM range. Which is why they don't rev very high: all the power is down low. The new generation SX-F based motors are built to rev 4000 RPMs higher than the RFS bikes were, so around 12,000 to 13,000 RPM's depending on who you talk to, so they have been able to put more power up higher in the RPM's. The Jap bikes are also the same: high revving bikes with power in the upper to high RPM range.

If you are going to put a big bore kit on to make up for its heaviness (since when are KTM's noted for their light weight?) you might as well just get the 400 to begin with. It has the short stroke but plenty of grunt. If you want a heavy bike with less power only to want to make it "better" get the 400. You should not have to make a bike better to be happy.

Another advantage to the 400 is that if you want more, you can add the 453 kit. Then again, you can also do that with the 250 RFS as they all share the same chassis and bottom end of the engine. The 450 comes with a long stroke engine, so it revs slow. If you take the short stroke 400 and put in a big bore kit, you get a short stroke 450, which many people say is the best bike KTM never made.

I had a 400 SX and it was a great bike. For the weight, it was still a little under powered, which is why the same bike with a 250 motor in it would really be a slug.

My advise is dont get a bike knowing you will probly want to dump $500 into it after a few rides, especially since there are many great bikes that are a little bigger displacement. If you even think you will want more grunt you might as well go bigger to begin with. You can't go wrong with a short stroke bike, but you don't want to wish you got something bigger.

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Wow, defensive are we? The RFS does NOT need to be ridden high in the RPM's to make it go. The RFS is an old school four stroke with all the grunt down low in the RPM range. Which is why they don't rev very high: all the power is down low. The new generation SX-F based motors are built to rev 4000 RPMs higher than the RFS bikes were, so around 12,000 to 13,000 RPM's depending on who you talk to, so they have been able to put more power up higher in the RPM's. The Jap bikes are also the same: high revving bikes with power in the upper to high RPM range.

If you are going to put a big bore kit on to make up for its heaviness (since when are KTM's noted for their light weight?) ..............

Defensive? Maybe, but it's comments like yours that make it necessary. Have you ever ridden a 250 RFS? They definitely are not "old school four stroke with all the grunt down low in the RPM range". The 250 has to be revved to go fast, period. They even put a slightly closer ratio tranny in it because it didn't have enough bottom to pull the gaps in the standard EXC tranny. :applause:

You are doing the same thing I was talking about earlier, comparing apples and oranges. The 250 RFS is an EXC model, you can't compare it to moto bikes, you have to compare it to other off-road bikes for a fair comparison. The KTM EXCs are lighter than the WRs and Xs of equal displacement, and compare favorably in HP also. Of course they are heavier than the YZs and CRFs, the EXCs AREN"T MOTOCROSS BIKES. The KTMs you use in your examples, SX-F and 400SX, again you're using moto bikes for comparison. The 250 RFS got it's bad rep because either people comared it to the YZ-F, pretty much the only decent modern 250F around when the RFS came out and of course a moto bike, or they compared it to the bigger EXCs with their bigger engines at the same weight. When you compare a 250 RFS to a WR250 or a CRF250X you have three bikes of equal weight, and equal HP. The WR and X do have better bottom end power though. :ride:

Gincognito asked how the 250 RFS compared to "recreation" bikes like XRs, TTRs, etc., and to "competition" bikes like CRFs, WRs, etc. (I asummed he was talking about the CRF-X since he grouped it with the WR). I gave my opinion based on having ridden all of the bikes mentioned. I added info about the capability of punching out the RFS (something not as easily done on the WR and X) because again it's something I have experience with. No one said you had to agree with my opinions, but at least they are based on experience. :applause:

So am I being defensive again? Who cares? I'll just continue to say that in my opinion the 250 RFS is a way better bike than an XR, TTR, etc, and at least the equal to a WR or a CRF-X. :thumbsup:

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Ditto to OldeDude's comments.

I owned a CRF250X before my 250RFS and the KTM has all the trail speed of the CRF. The only real difference is that the KTM is reliable and a pleasure to own.

The KTM 250 EXC RFS is not under powered, just under rated.

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You guys that think the 250 RFS has power are insane. I rode a 2003 250 RFS back to back with my 2001 WR250F that had all the YZ freebies. The RFS was a slug. It needed to be reved to the moon to have close to same power and it had no torque. It sucked in whoops since the powerband was so tight.

Now I have a 250SXF that blows both of the above bikes away. Heck even better, last Sunday I was running wheel to wheel into the first corner with a CRF450 with a pro circuit built motor in the vet class on my 250SXF.

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The 2003 250 RFS was jetted horrible when stock. Chris, you weren't riding a well carbureted 250 RFS given the description. The 250 RFS can be a very fun bike.

Your SXF isn't in the same category as a WR250 or 250X.

James

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The 2003 250 RFS was jetted horrible when stock. Chris, you weren't riding a well carbureted 250 RFS given the description. The 250 RFS can be a very fun bike.

Your SXF isn't in the same category as a WR250 or 250X.

James

I'd like to second that. THANKYOU Mr. Dean, you jetting kit woke my 250 up! :thumbsup:

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OK here is my two cents. And yes I have ridden the bikes.

The 250 RFS is a great bike for the woods. Stiffer springs, dropped 2 teeth on front sprocket, and use the HT smaller header kit. The 250 comes with a close ratio 6 speed different from the 400 and this makes it work great. So what if they all have the same bottom end. They did this back with the Pentons in the 70s and they were great bikes. You do have to rev it to make power. No it doesn't rev to 13,000 like the new bikes, but compared to a 400 it seems like a lot of revs. We bought ours used..total investment even with the mods $2,500.

I have also had a 250 RFS with the same above mods but with the 351 kit. Fantastic bike. Able to go back up to a 14 tooth front sprocket. Super fun tight woods bike. Lots of wheelies. Not a lot of top end speed in miles per hour. Close ratio 6 speed still spot on for the woods. Should have left suspension stock like the 250 RFS. Shop that was used kind of screwed up the settings.

I have owned XR 250s - 1996-2000-2002. Good low end, mild power. It didn't really work well until I put on a 280 kit and had the suspension redone. Worked great and was a really fun enduro bike except for those low damn footpegs. Yee ouch.

I have owned a couple KTM 400s and now a KTM 525. Don't care if they weigh within a couple of pounds or not the 250 and 351 felt a lot lighter.

Never had any major malfunctions with any of the above bikes.

Owned a 2005 CRF450X for awhile. Tons of low end. Hand full for me in the woods. Super suspension. Probably one of the fastest bikes I have owned. Even faster than my 03 CRF450. First time I got valves adjusted the shop told me I was at the end of tolerances and might need a valve job done the next time. That bike is gone.

Rode a couple of CRF250Xs and thought they were great. A lot more low end and great top end than the KTM 250 RFS and loved the suspension. Super quiet also. Asked the guy what maintenance was like. He told me two valve jobs in one year, but now he had titanium valves. Nope I will stick with the KTM.

Rode Canadian WR250Fs. Not impressive. They had "free" mods done too. The only other WR I rode was pretty nice, but I couldn't afford the starter. They used an 04 Ford truck to pull start it.

I have ridden with guys on these bikes and ridden them myself. Mostly in tight woods. None of the bikes made me really faster or the other guys faster. One guy in our group would routinely dust us in the tight trail on an 87 XR 250. We all had fun riding. I'm getting older now and realize that the best thing you can do to make your bike faster or handle better is to ride it. You adjust to what you got.

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The 250 with a 350 kit is a awsome bike, its advantages over the bigger bikes are less recipricating mass making it feel lighter than 400's, 450's and 525's. It then has the close ratio gearbox of the 250 making good use of its extra power. The CDI taken from the 250 lets it still rev like the smaller bike and yet you have the extra torque of a bigger bike with additional 100 cc's.

Pretty good all rounder I'd say !

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