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Magazine Shootouts

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What's at the track you ride and who's the local dealer (s).

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it depends on prefrence by the people doing the testing.

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No worst than biased brand loyal riders opinions. :p

Like JBFL mentioned local shops should be a big factor should you need their assistance. Locals at the track...well there again comes the brand loyalty, or manufacturer bucks/contingencies that persued bike purchases also.

Frankly my bike is reported wildly as a hyperactive head shaking beast and no one should think of riding it without some steering damper. (2004 RM250) Frankly it is not swapped on my once. It carves awsome but no my set up does not seem to suffer from the bad head shake that were touted in magazines. I have had bikes that would go full lock to lock on the steering, THEY were scary. :ride: I take were out in E WA with is high desert and let her rip...not concerned in the least with head shake. You would never guess it reading the magazines.

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It depends there is a Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha dealer and a Yamaha and KTM dealer. There is also 2 smaller dealers which both sell Kawi's and Suzukis. At my local track i see alot of Hondas (No suprise). It doesnt really matter what brand it is too me.

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imo a decent way to gather general info on bikes. it would seem people that live in cali could count on the reviews a little more than the rest of us unless we ride similar terrain which i do not.

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Take them with a grain of salt. This year has to be the worst for shoot out results. Like how one magazine rates the new CRF450 as the cat's ass, yet another rates it at the back of the pack. Huh? There should be some shared consistancy there.

And that's just it, look for consistancy. For example, everyone says how the YZ450f is anemic but the overal package is good with the best suspension. Well, that appeals to me. Or how I chose my first bike, the YZ250F because it was said to be the most reliable but not really the best race bike.

So yea, look for consistancies in testing and which bike will suit you the best.

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Every manufacturer has a certain philosophy of how to build a bike and what traits are most important. Shootouts generally say the same basic things about each model year after year. You've got to take an honest look at your style and ability and decide which bike is best for you from there.

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Some magazine reviews are somewhat accurate. They can be helpful.

Most magazines this year criticized the YZ450 for poor low-end but they said it is rider friendly and has the best suspenders of the bunch. True? For the most part.

Most say the 09 KX450 has the best throttle response/engine of the bunch. True? 100%.

When it comes to suspension related items, I say take it with a grain of salt. If you are serious about your ride you will play with settings/springs/oil/valving until it works for you.

My recommendation, make a list of the strong points and weakpoints. Prioritze the ones that are important to you. Choose the bike that has the cheapest weakpoints to fix.

Whatever you do, don't pick the shootout winner just because TranswordMX (for example) says so.

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I would not bother with the shootouts. I have seen examples where the dyno results were different from magazine to magazine. You would think that the Dynos would at least be the same.

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Never trust the mag reviews, like stated above there is 0 consistency. You should test ride bikes and go from there. Keep in mind, it only takes about $300-$800 to make a bike a shootout winner. Aka, Yamaha, $300 porting job, bam, shootout winner, Kawi.Suzuki, Honda, KTM, get a re-valve on the suspension, bam shootout winners.

Each bike is about $300-$800 away from being the best bike for you.

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There are some really great points made here already. I'd like to add something to consider though - magazines are cheap to subscribe to because the advertising covers the real costs - not the subscriptions. Remember who pays for the magazines...bike magazines, car magazines, (etc) all go out of their way to avoid saying bad things about products for fear that the manufacturer will yank advertising. It's happened, and they are conscious of it as they produce the magazines. I like to read Consumer Reports and Motorcycle Consumer News in addition to some car and cycle magazines - I'm always amazed at how much the "regular" magazines gloss over things and seem afraid to slam on anything. Just my observations, for what it's worth.

Eric

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Never trust the mag reviews, like stated above there is 0 consistency. You should test ride bikes and go from there. Keep in mind, it only takes about $300-$800 to make a bike a shootout winner. Aka, Yamaha, $300 porting job, bam, shootout winner, Kawi.Suzuki, Honda, KTM, get a re-valve on the suspension, bam shootout winners.

Each bike is about $300-$800 away from being the best bike for you.

:p good point I never thought about it that way. just to expand on that. Dont even bother with twmx shout outs. in the 08 450 shootout the yamaha finished in front of the suzuki and in 09 the suzuki finished in front of the yamaha even though neither really changed???

Like everyone else said just research every brand got to local tracks try em out if you can. just remember its easier to make a bike faster then handle better.

good luck

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:p good point I never thought about it that way. just to expand on that. Dont even bother with twmx shout outs. in the 08 450 shootout the yamaha finished in front of the suzuki and in 09 the suzuki finished in front of the yamaha even though neither really changed???

Like everyone else said just research every brand got to local tracks try em out if you can. just remember its easier to make a bike faster then handle better.

good luck

That's funny about TWMX. The Yamaha has changed with that new swingarm that everyone seems to love. So it only changed for the better. TWMX, what are you guys smokin'?

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I wouldn't look in what place the bike finished, but rather what they said about it. Even so, I read reviews before and thought ***? Same with people you meet on the track or trail. I think yz250's can make the ultimate woods weapon, but obviously alot of ktm riders would disagree with me. Different people like different traits. Some people may want an aggresive powerband while others want soft power. Some may want a good turning bike while for others stability may be the priority, etc. Just take everything you read or hear with a grain of salt.

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I was wondering if magazine shootouts are a good judgement on what bike to buy?

I never go by the magazine reviews. I think they are all biased. The best way to find the best bike is to find what one fits you best. My son has raced Yamaha's for 5 years now and just last month rode a friends 09 Suzuki and loved it. Looks like next year I might have yellow bikes in my garage instead of blue bikes. I love the reliability of the Yami's but if my son thinks he's more comfortable on the 09 Suzuki then thats what I'll get him. I can work on any one of the brands so not too worried. Just my .02 :p

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Not really.

They're splitting hairs for the sake of having something to write about.

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:p good point I never thought about it that way. just to expand on that. Dont even bother with twmx shout outs. in the 08 450 shootout the yamaha finished in front of the suzuki and in 09 the suzuki finished in front of the yamaha even though neither really changed???

Like everyone else said just research every brand got to local tracks try em out if you can. just remember its easier to make a bike faster then handle better.

good luck

I'm glad somebody said that as I thought I was going mad. Yeah funny how a bike can go up the rankings when it is unchanged!

I wouldn't say all Magazine tests are bad though. There are plenty of different magazines around and if you find one that you can relate to (for example I am more of an off road and moto than just hard core moto so Dirt rider or Dirt bike appeal to me more than say MXA or TWMX) then it can help point you. But just picking any issue up from a news stand and blindly going out and buying the one they claim has won is not good.

Likewise it can be just as dangerous to buy what seems to be popular at the track, better still would be to speak to some of the riders and guage their opinion and see if it matches what you're looking for.

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TWMX isn't reliable IMO.

Their overall ratings off the Suzuki's changed SO much, even though the bikes didn't at all.

They rated the CRF first although most magazines rated it very very low.

I would say if anything, trust MXA.

But as stated any bike is 3-800$ away from being best for you.

How a bike feels to you should decide what bike you ride.

Dealer support/relationship should play a role in what brand you ride.

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Don't focus on how the magazines final rankings but focus more on the strong and weak points that the magazine feels are there. the final rankings are a matter of personal preference where the pro's con's are opinions. read some opinions on the bikes not what someone likes best because that person ain't you. I have heard the yamaha's dont have the strongest motor but have the best suspension. If this sounds like something that you like, then go for it. If you prefer a smooth setup dont go for the bike that finished 1st for its engine power etc. all that means is someone likes bikes with power more than suspension.

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