00-01 vs. 02-07 CR250 Help me choose!

I need some help making up my mind :lol:

Long story: Depending on the day I ride with a group consisting of around 6-12 2002 and newer CR250's and I'm the odd ball--and the only one having bike problems--go figure :smirk: I've been through an KTM 300, ATK260, Cannondale 450 and now I'm giving up on my 95 RM 250. I've always liked the Honda's and really like the handling, and reliability that my friends bikes have. I ride 90% single track (rocky mountains) 10% desert for the most part so I'll spend a little extra setting the bike up for that. I'll likely add my steering damper, desert tank, skid plate, 18" rear wheel and a flywheel weight and that should do it for now :rant:

Short story: I'm in the market for an up to $1700 CR250 and I'm trying to decide between the 2nd and 3rd gen aluminum frame. I like the idea of the 2nd gen because of the legendary motor and power, but is it worth it to sacrifice a smoother ride and a little more aftermarket support? What are the pro's and cons between the two? Should I pass up a cheap 97-99 if one comes up? Ughh its hard choosing when I've made so many mistakes buying bikes in the past lol. Thanks for any tips or advise!


i would go with the 02-07's. they handle a little better, more comfortable, power is a little more spread out but a rad valve and pipe will make the thing a beast. plus there newer bikes so parts are a little easier to find. you cant go wrong with either generation but if i had to choose it would be the 3rd

I have an 01 and love it, the power is great and for me (an out of shape 43 yr old ) the suspension and 2nd gen frame aren't really an issue. But I am thinking of trying to find an 02-07 also, for the simple reason that there seems to be more available in the aftermarket segment for those bikes. Either way I don't think you can go wrong but if I were you I would look for the 3rd gen bike.

I vote for the '02-'07. Better handling, better suspension, better selection of aftermarket stuff, and better looks.

Unless you're a professional racer, I doubt you'll miss the minor difference in engine performance.

I own both: a 2001 CR250 and a 2003 CR250. The '01 will likely be for sale soon. :smirk:

The gen 3 steers much better. No push.

I'm having a bear of a time finding quality aftermarket choices for parts/guards to set my new to me '01 up for woods riding. It sounds like your terrain conditions would fit the characteristics of a gen 3 better.


Thanks for the reply's everyone! Looks like I should go with a third gen then. I didn't know the handling was better on the newer chassis and the aftermarket support is really nice--again it will be a woods bike for the most part. That said is it worth spending extra to get the 05-07? The 05 and 07 in our group are by far the quickest bikes, but I don't need to be the fastest if the 02-04 handles just as good lol.

Anyway looks like I'll be on the RM for awhile longer :rant: Hopefully by spring or summer I can pull the trigger on a CR :smirk: Please keep the comments and suggestions coming! Thanks,


read the latest MXA, great article on gen 2's

The suspension components are the same, the only real difference is valving and spring rates.

gen 2 is hard to find some aftermarket stuff for if not impossible. Most riders don't spend tons of $$ on goodies for an old bike so it doesn't matter much generally. Gen 3's are generally more expensive up front and if you are picky about power delivery plan on spending a few bucks getting to run good.

I'd see if you can move all the linkage bolts and swingarm bolt BEFORE buying. compression on my gen 2 with a new top end is 210 psi stock motor. I like to pull the airbox and check to see if there are any bits of dirt laying in the intake of the carb. If there are filter maintence was shotty and you are rolling the dice on the motor needing major work soon.

Getting a bike that was well taken care of and low hours is more important unless you plan on beating bubba.

I love my 01. And i loved my 04 cr125. But around here, it would be hard an 02+ bike on a 1700 budget, especially if that budget includes aftermarket parts. But maybe your economys different.

I have a 1998 Cr250r they are great bike with tons of power and is a very good trail bike but dose need some work on the suspension it is very rough riding but other then that they are a great bike.

02-07. Buy as new a bike as you can afford and take a friend that will keep your impulses under control when you go to look at the bike! I picked up a clean 04 for $1700 a month or so back. Just be patient.

I love my 01. And i loved my 04 cr125. But around here, it would be hard an 02+ bike on a 1700 budget, especially if that budget includes aftermarket parts. But maybe your economys different.

yeah i got my 02 cr 125 mint for $1300 and im talking about MINT lol bikes are pretty cheap here in NJ you have to do some looking around but they are all fairly cheap here

I would spend the extra $$ and get an 05 or newer. Your better off getting a motor that has less wear and tear and not have to rebuild.

its a mx two stroke of course its going to need a rebuild....lol

and I have seen 95 models in better shape than 2005s. it really depends if its went through 5 owners or 2.....its not like you can get a history report on them.

its a mx two stroke of course its going to need a rebuild....lol

and I have seen 95 models in better shape than 2005s. it really depends if its went through 5 owners or 2.....its not like you can get a history report on them.

yeah you cant trust people now a days. luckily i bought mine from the original owner and its been sitting in his shed since 03

its a mx two stroke of course its going to need a rebuild....lol

and I have seen 95 models in better shape than 2005s. it really depends if its went through 5 owners or 2.....its not like you can get a history report on them.

Ok so I posted a broad general sweeping statement, no reason to flame me like I'm some idiot. I'm referring to the low end. I would assume its common knowledge to know just about any two stroke with 50 hrs or less needs a top end.

Things to look for regarding the history of wear on the bike are the amount of wear on the brake disks. The color of the carb vent tubes, Seal decal wear and that’s of their original. Also consider bikes that sit for a long time is not good either. If there is a lot of aluminum staining from sitting dirt or the bike is not clean when you’re looking at it, forget about it it's just a good example of how it's not maintained.

Thanks everyone for the help!!! I really appreciate it :smirk:

Well I brought home that 02. The original owner was very straight forward and from the look of it he took great care. For the price of $1700 I think I did pretty good considering the local market. If I do have problems I'll now look at repairs/upgrades as an investment and that was really hard to do with my last bike.

Anyway i can't wait to tune it in and set it up a little better for my needs. The headlight is icing on the cake for me, but I'm worried about the reliability of the stator. Anyway he included the stock stator in case I do have problems. Anyway here's the bike what do you think? You'll probably be seeing more of me on this forum--I'm always full of stupid questions to ask! :rant:


Looks like is really well cared for, nice find. I see it has a larger tank as well.

I've had 2000 2001 2002 2006 CR 250

What guys are mentioning about the power on the 2000-2001 CR is this the power valve opens faster than the RC 2002-2007 bikes.

Yes the 2001 has more grunt do to the non case reed motor.

But the forks may as well be 4x4's they suck and will beat you to a pulp.

What ever you do revalve the forks you will think God came down from heaven and gave you a new bike (trust me the stock forks are that bad)

Springs and stock valving on an 02 CR are for KING KONG

However, because Ricky Charmiceal said he loved the 02 best of all his bikes

I found a new 02 (dont ask me how) and I spent 300 dollars for porting and head mods to improve the h.p. plus cut the slide. got the suspension revalved 300 and

Now my 02 is the best bike I've ever had its bullet proof all CR's are

Its always ready to go, except race gas is $$$

Moral of the story is buy the newest bike you can find.

Look in Vegas dudes are practically giving good bikes away out here!

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