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YZF/CRF/RMZ 250's...

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Me and my buddy have both decided to get rid of our first bikes. He owns a 2004 CRF 230 and was very happy with the reliability and low maintenace aspect of the bike but outgrew it very quickly. I own a 1999 TTR-250, an excellent trail bike but kind of heavy. We have cottages in Ontario (Canada) on the same lake and we ride logging roads/trails around there and sometimes at his farm. About 2 weekends ago we went to see the CMRC races at San Del Lee racepark in Richmond Ontario. This was the first time i'd ever seen motocross races live and pro's like JSR, Klatt, Morgan ride their shit sooooo damn fast and fearlesly. That day we both decided it was time for the step up. I'm leaning heavily towards the YZ250f (2003 or newer) and he is undecided on a CRF or RMZ. I've given him the lowdown on the Honda valve problems but I dont know too much about the suzuki 4 stroke. We've both started to appreciate the maintenance it takes to keep these machines running, and like every other TT'er would rather be riding then wrenching. Is one of these easier to maintain than the other? Are there more common problems on one model? Lets say theres three all on 2004's with the same skill level riding these three different bikes. Who's gonna be up front? And whats good about each of these bikes, what does one bike have that the other doesnt? Im trying to gather up the most information about each so we can make some decisions soon. We are both paying for our own bikes at 19 years old and need to know that we've made the best of our 4000$$ Thanks in advance for anyone who gives some info/opinions.

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I recently had a 2006 RMZ250, and I know a little about the bikes. So here is what I have to say.

My friends dad owns a 2004 Honda CRF250R. He has blown it up 2 times putting around on the track. He is sick of it and wants to sell it ASAP to buy a Yamaha. When I had my RMZ 250, it was a decent bike sure, but it was terrible in comparison to the other 06's. The 04 RMZ 250 is also very unreliable, it was their first try at a 4 stroke I believe. In 05 most of the problems were fixed, but I still wouldnt buy the bike. The Yamaha, in 04 even, was very reliable. And today it still is very reliable. Im buying a Yamaha in about a week because of those reasons. Also, the Yamaha can be revved out much longer than the RMZ. The RMZ has to be short-shifted.

Overall, I would buy the Yamaha just because its reliable and not underpowered.

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All the 250F's are pretty much the same as far as performance and handling, but I'd personally get a YZ, just because it's been around longer and they've had more time to iron out the bugs. The radiators are larger on the newer green (and yellow?) bikes 'cause the earlier model was prone to over-heating. Keep an eye on the CRF engine oil because it's separate to the tranny oil and can burn up quickly. I personally don't like the handling of KTM's. 250F's are a blast to ride, but remember they are a "race" bike and therefore require higher maintenance because of the higher stress the bike is under. Be aware that a racing thumper that is three or more years old may need some engine work.

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