CRF450 vs. CR250

I've been riding a 2002 CR250, I'm considering also getting a 2003 CRF450. For those that have ridden both the CR and CRF, is the CRF power gain real big?

Does it launch that much harder out of turns like some claim?

I also have a CR500 and a guy told me he felt his piped CRF450 almost equals the CR500 - I HAVE A REAL HARD TIME BELIEVING THAT???

believe that with a good pipe like the "ramsey e series race pipe," i wouldnt be suprised...i had a CR250 (2002) its a great bike, and Im getting a 2003 CRF next week...ill let you know very soon!

Any 02CRF450 owners going to 02 or 03cr250's?

Heres my take. I had a 02 CR250 and I loved it. I rode a friends CRF and bought one before the next weekend. My CR250 was sold within a week. The CRF is more powerful. It is faster, but it weighs a little more. The increased weight is noticeable, but not a show stopper by any means. The suspension feels plusher and the vibration is at least 50 percent less than a CR250. I feel I can ride harder and longer with less effort than a CR250. I think a pro or expert would not benefit as much switching from a CR250 to a 450. But to the average MX'r like myself, I have gotten a lot more confidence and that has helped my ability to be a better rider. My lap times are consistently quicker on the 450 (especially towards the end of a race). The 250 is fun but plain wears me out. I would not hesitate to try a 450. If you don't like it (and a few people don't) you can always sell it and get a 250 (they cost less than a CRF anyway).

For what it is worth, I would have to say that my 426(relatively comparable powerwise) makes my CR250 feel somewhat slow. The torque of the 4 stroke combined with the top end and ability to rev it forever is what does it. The four stroke being easier to ride does not hurt either. Buy one, you will not be disappointed, but I would have to say I cannot imagine any 450 four stroke having the power of a cr500. Based on class displacement rules, that is like saying a 200cc four stroke is faster than a CR250 which we know isn't true.

Keep your CR500. In a few years the kids at the track will not know what to make of it and you will be scaring them the same way you got scared the first time you heard a 4 stroke on your back tire.

I love my crf,but I am starting to doubt if its the best bike for the local track here.Our track is really tight for the most part,and most all the best riders prefer two smokes or the yz250f.They say the crf is a big bike for a small tight track.There is only one or two areas where you can rev the crf much in 3rd gear.Two smokes and yzf guys can rev their bikes plenty.When I ride offroad I love my bike and the massive power and insane acceleration,but on the track I am starting to wonder if the crf is like killing ants with a framing hammer.Of course Nathan Ramsey rides the bike in supercross but him and ferry may be faster indoors on a lighter 2 smoke but they are hired to ride the 4 strokes.On a fast outdoor track I am sure the crf rules, privateers beat factory guys regularly.Any Comments-I would love to hear them.

Maui has a good point....

I've got both a CRF and a '02 YZ250 two-smoke. On tight tracks the CRF is like a Bull in a china shop! On more open tracks it's great! But....and they'll hang me for this....I'm faster overall on the 250. The CRF is an OPEN class bike - IMHO. The comparison to the CR500 isn't too far off, the CRF power delivery is different. More like a CR500 with a big flywheel weight. The CRF hooks up and goes! where the CR500 would have more wheel spin.

Just like most guys, I have trouble using all the power a good 250 has! :) I think the CRF is great fun but a CR250F would be a better RACE bike for me....

I own both.

These are my list of comparisons

-250 feels like a feather

-450 has less vibration

-450 gas tank last all day in the trails, while

the 250 requires at least two tank fulls.

-450 is funner to jump with

-250 is a freestyle machine

-450 is easier to ride. It has a very linear power delivery.

-450 has a lot more traction control.

-the 250 wears the break pads about 6 times more than the 450. I have had my 250 for about 1 1/2 months while my 450 6 months. I already changed the break pads on the 250.

-the 250 has me constantly going to the shop to buy premix.

-250 is easier to start

-250 was about $800 cheaper

-250 has worn out its rear tire a little quicker

-450 requires a lot less shifting. I expect a lot less clutch and transmission wear but time will tell.

-250 has better suspension.

-450 requires you to relax and enjoy the ride. If you try to man handle her. She will man handle you back. If you like man handling a bike than the 250 is a man handling bike.

-the 250 has kept Ricky perfect in the outdoors.

-the 450 has a longer pull. It feels like it will pull you to the moon in one gear.

All in all the two bikes are very good bikes. I would never give up my 450 though. Both bikes require different driver characteristics.

"the CRF power gain real big? "

The 250 has more instant power( = more wheel spin). While the 450 has a longer pull.

"Does it launch that much harder out of turns like some claim?"

All I have to say is my elbow is sore on Monday after hanging on to this beast(450) comming off the corners and other obstacles. It is really fun :) to come off those corners with your front tire off the ground. I seem to get arm pump with the 250 though not bad. I also steer the 250 with the back tire a lot more comming off the corners.

"I also have a CR500 and a guy told me he felt his piped CRF450 almost equals the CR500 - I HAVE A REAL HARD TIME BELIEVING THAT???


My friend owns a '98 CR500 and he is now going to buy a 450 after riding mines. I would say the power of both bikes are not far apart.

Thanks for all the good input.

I have a CRF and 3 CR500's---one being a CR500AF. I think Honda rated (at the crank) the CRF at 55 horse and the later 500's something like 56 horse. Very close but two totally different deliveries. The 500's power is right now (really yanks your arms) but hits a wall. The CRF's power is more electric and keeps pulling to the moon.

That being said me and my friend (very good rider) performed numerous unscientific drag races on dirt, me on the CRF and he was on a good running 95 steel frame of mine. I repeatedly jumped him out of the hole and with every shift I really widened the gap. He weighs somewhat more than I do so we swapped bikes. This time with him on the CRF, I always stayed about a bike length behind him, but I could never take him. The CRF has long legs and uses them well.

Like I say this is very unscientific, but that's what we came up with. Maybe the 500 couldn't get hooked up and maybe one of the bigger power 500's (85-88) would do the trick. RR.

You cannot compare the power of a crf450 to that of a cr500 or cr250. Completely different power characteristics. Unless this cr500 has some mechanical problems, the crf is not nearly as powerful. But, of the three bikes, the crf is the most versatile. I have had all three within the last 12 months. thats me $ .02

yankee you said the crf was more fun to jump but the 250 was a freesyle machine. so what im trying to say is how do they compair in the jumping catagory? is it impossible to freestyle the 450 and jump it like as in free ridding


I prefer the CR 250.

I bought a CRF in late Feb. I rode it about six or seven times, raced it a couple times, and could not come to terms with the bike. I could jump it better, but could not corner half as well as I can on my 250. I ride with a couple buddies, and am usually the fastest or second fastest on any given weekend. Well, when I went to the 450, I was consistently the slowest of the three.

I hadn't sold my 250, so just for fun I brought it out one weekend - and liked it a lot better. I could jump the 450 better, but I could manipulate the 250 better off jumps - meaning, I could jump straight better and with more confidence on the 450, but any little jump into or out of a corner that took some body english to turn the bike - I was much better on my 250.

Cornering was the biggest difference. I could lean it into corners and do my level of railing berms on my 250, but on my 450 I could not lean it well - the bike would stand up on me. I've played around with the suspension but always got this feel.

I think Yankee hit the nail on the head when he said you can manhandle a 250, but if you try to manhandle the 450 it manhandles you. This is my problem with the bike. I'm not a pro, but maybe I finesse a bike more than some, and I can't get the 450 to do what I want (except fly smoothly and consistently). Also, I weigh 155 - 160 pounds, which may contribute to the problem. I actually can ride my 250 a little longer than my 450, and I definitely have more fun on it.

I'm curious how many agree with me. I know I may be the lone dissenting voice here on Thumper Talk, but I'm going back to the two stroke.

Oh, and to add insult to injury - the 250 is a 2000.

I had a 2002 CR250 and rode it only 5x. I prefer the 450 by far. It does take some time to get used to but in a few years you are going to be on one whether you like it or not if you want a new bike.

[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: mxraceraz ]

Im getting a 2003 CRF next week...ill let you know very soon!

MotoXJeff, I thought you were getting a Yamaha. You know "Redrider coming to the Blue side" What happened? Just curious. :)


changed my mind, and I answered that in other posts, so I thank all of you who keep tabs on me...anyway, yankee good input! I weight 210 pounds, and I'm strong (I weight lift a lot, a little to bulky for MX actually....) so I feel maybe I can handle a 450? I could be wrong (my last bike was an '02 CR250 and it was a GREAT machine) I just want to see what everyone is talking about with the 450!!


I wouldn't try to freestyle on the 450 it weighs about 15lbs more than the 250 depending on your setup. 15lbs is a big deal when you are trying to maneuver a bike in the air. Like I said before the 450 is not a man handling bike. It is a sit down and give me throttle and point me where you want me to go bike. If you let her do all the work you will love her.

As far as jumping go they both jump fine. With the 250 you can let go of the throttle early and not worry about it. With the 450 you have to stay on the throttle to keep the constant speed before the jump. Otherwise the engine breaking will kick in and the front will tend to tip. I prefer to rocket lunch on the face of jumps and do some seat bouncing. That is why I think the 450 is more fun to jump with. It has that extra pull to rocket you up at the face of the jump. If you are into freestylin then go for the 250.

The weight issue you bring up as a reason for not freestyling the 450 is somewhat untrue. The placement of the extra weight is more of a factor than the weight itself(cylinder head is up high). The reason I say this is because the CR250 is currently the lightest 250. I think the others are probably between 3-5 lbs heavier currently. If you look at the history of freestyle(probably 5-7 years) and compare that with the alleged weight reductions of the bikes over the same time frame, I would be willing to bet that the 250s which were around when freestyle started were as heavy if not more so than a 450 is today. The tricks that are bigger and much more technical today are probably somewhat due to the bikes being lighter, but I do not think so completely. I cannot even whip my 426, and I do not think if I went out and got on a BMX bike which is 8 lbs, that I could do any of those tricks. I have never practiced and do not intend to. My point with this rant is do not complain about weight and make excuses about it being the reason why you cannot do freestyle. I am sure it makes it easier when they are lighter, but I also remember seeing a pro sx rider in a mag a few issues back throw a 426(a lot heavier) completely flat over a 60 footer. Practice, practice, practice....


I didn't mean to come off that way. I was just curious to know what made you change your mind. Sorry if I offended you. Anyways it was a good choice to stay with a red bike! :):D

[ June 27, 2002: Message edited by: RedRider110 ]

bambi slayer is dead on. If any of you were out at gorman for the last round of the ama 4stroke national, you would have seen a 17 year old kid, out of long beach whip a ktm 520 like it was carmichael on a 125. And the 520 is a large pig compared to the crf450. I think his name was ryan dudek?

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