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what will I miss and what will I love

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I am going to get a new bike. I am looking hard at the yz's from 2000 and up. I have lots of time on older cr's 97-01 and have a wr 450 now. I am looking to build a woods weapon. what am I looking at in difference in power/handling between the 00-current yz's and in comparison to the 01' cr 250's?

are the steel frame bikes any better or worse handling?

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The downside to the steel YZ250 is the extra weight and the older fork/shock design. If you get a steel framed YZ, a good revalve will get you on par with the latest stuff. Those old bikes can still win against anything out there. You just have to keep them in good shape.

The YZ engine '99-'10 is a step ahead of the CR250s. Not more power, just better spread of power. The best 250 smokers I've ridden are the YZs from '99 up.

I have an SST pipe for my YZ. Makes it feel more like my last Honda. I think it's a step backward, so I run stock '05 pipes with either stock or FMF silencer depending on the track and conditions.

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While many will recommend the 06 or newer yz 250 for the suspension alone, I have a friend with a 99 yz (my favorite all time yz 250) and another with an 04 that are set up perfectly for them. They can afford a brand new bike but they absolutely haul on these "older" bikes.

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Oh yeah, if you ride one of the older blue bikes, you'll also miss your Honda front brake.

I picked up an entire front brake assembly (2006 CRF450R) from E-Bay and bolted it to my 2002 YZ... Problem solved.

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The 2001 cr 250 is a great bike. I dont think you would be giving up anything if you find one of those in good shape.

The older yz's were great as well. They had improvements every year, but nothing that really made the old ones obsolete. I would not go any earlier than 99 as the new motor was quite a big improvement over the older version.

I think you might miss the torque, but not the weight of a 450.

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thanks guys. I know the torque will be missed, but what I miss the most is the flick factor and being on a undersized bike in a field of big bores. I am gunshy of yardsaling a bunch of hard parts on my 4t so I find myself being soft on it......my old 2t never saw a moments rest.

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