Looking for a new bike, interested in a KX450F but perhaps I need to expand my search

I am looking into picking up a bike in the near future, and kind of have my heard set on either a 2010 or 2011 kx450f. Before we go to far however, I'll tell you a bit about myself.

I'm 20 years old, weigh 160 and am 6' tall. I have grown up on and off of motorcycles, however never to a competitive or steady season. We have had a bike or two in my family all along however they were always just two wheels and a motor so to speak, nothing special just a field beater if you will. I have ridden a couple proper bikes, street and trail to motocross and even some big street bikes.

While I am fairly inexperienced on a motorcycle, I have an extensive downhill mountain bike racing background. I have excellent bike handling skills and ride at quite a competitive level. I am comfortable hitting 40 foot gaps on a downhill bike, and speeds of 30 mph are not uncommon (mind you it's not a groomed trail we are talking about).

So, I am looking at adding a little motocross to my arsenal of summer activities. I wan't a bike that I am not going to find myself growing bored of in a season, I am a rather aggressive rider on a downhill bike and have never been one to be afraid of what a moto can throw at me, I know enough to get out of trouble should I find myself to deep in the throttle. Putting a lot of power to the ground is something else I am used to, being into muscle cars and whatnot. I live in a city which has a public track open 5 days a week, so it would not be uncommon for me to log 5 or 6 hours a week on top of riding my downhill bike. Like I say, I am an aggressive rider and don't back down from much, I really aim to perfect techniques and lap times. I also have a fairly good mechanical background, I do all of my own suspension tunning/re valving on the little brother to the moto suspension (yup, its nearly identicle in mini scale), as well as all other maintenance on my cars and bicycles, and yes it requires a silly amount of work to maintain a downhill race bike.

I've done a bit of reading on the KX450's of the '10 and '11 model years and it sounds like there is quite a difference between the two. I like the idea of the programmable ECU on the 2011, but what are your opinions on the adjustments they have made to the swing arm and steering portion of the frame (head tube and fork steerer tube??). From what I've gathered they have relieved some of the rigidity in these areas, supposedly improving handling? Any input on this area?

What are the rebuild intervals like on these bikes? As I said I am pretty handy with a wrench but I don't want to be replacing pistons every other week or anything abnormal compared to other bikes.

Lastly, perhaps I am a little "blinded by the light" and I should look at other makes and models. What are the major differences between brands (kawasaki, honda, yamaha ect.)? With downhill bikes no two frames or bikes or component is even close to the same, however at a quick glance things seem to be fairly similar in the world of motocross. Everyone seems to have very comparable products, or do I just need to dig a little deeper?

To sum it up, I'm a young guy who loves going fast, has minor motorcycle history but very extensive downhill mountainbike racing history. Know my way around most anything mechanical with a wrench and or hammer and love a challenge, hate getting bored of something in a short amount of time and need a motocross rig in the near future.

Any help would be awesome and sorry for the 15 mile long post.

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Why dont you try putting a motor in that downhill bike first and see how you go?

nah jj :cheers:

Why not try a 250F first?

I fear I would become bored with it far to fast. I am not really interested in riding a bike for a month and then dropping coin on a new one the following month. If I decide to go used this may be a viable option, when we are talking 2-3 grand instead of 7-8 grand other options certainly become more appealing. I carry enough expendable income that I could drop on a bike in the 3g range any given time, but an 8g bike would take some prep.

However, that is one lesson I've learned the hard way more than once, getting something less only to be replaced later and it always ends up costing a lot of money.

A question that I should ask is this, are there differences between the kx250f and the kx450f that are not in the powertrain...ie geometry, suspension, chassis?

If I were you, I would go with a 250F. And probably get a used one. New ones are nice, but they will become as used as a lot of other bikes within a season of riding. If you want to go with a 450, try riding somebody else's before. I have a 2005 YZ250F and love it. Are you looking to ride track, trail, or dunes?

if you have enough money for a 2011 then get the 350f ktm sx. perfect bike and at your size i think this bike will not get boring for a long time, trust me these things rip and ktm's are really reliable

This bike will live 95% of its life on the track. Here in Canada a 2011 kx450f retails for slightly over 8 grand and I can walk into the dealer tomorrow and leave with the 2010 model for 6400 bucks taxes and all fees included.

I've gone for a rip on an 09 kx450 and loved it, but have never been able to get a chance to have a go with a smaller bike.

if its gona be on the track, you would be fine with a 250 2 stroke or a 250F. if you want a 450 and you have that kind of money, go for it!

I fear I would become bored with it far to fast. I am not really interested in riding a bike for a month and then dropping coin on a new one the following month. If I decide to go used this may be a viable option, when we are talking 2-3 grand instead of 7-8 grand other options certainly become more appealing. I carry enough expendable income that I could drop on a bike in the 3g range any given time, but an 8g bike would take some prep.

However, that is one lesson I've learned the hard way more than once, getting something less only to be replaced later and it always ends up costing a lot of money.

A question that I should ask is this, are there differences between the kx250f and the kx450f that are not in the powertrain...ie geometry, suspension, chassis?

Point taken.

My younger bro had 04CR250F (the one with twin pipes) and that thing use to make my eyes water... very quick right up to 100kph (50-55mph in the old language). I think most people on here will say go with a 250F first. But I like to encourge guys to jump in the deep end first :cheers: Is it possible that you could try a friends first or maybe a demo at the bike shop?

Heres a link to the specs page for the 2011 KX450F

http://www.kawasaki.com.au/index.php?category=motorcycles&sub_category=2&product=188&product_details=specifications

And this one is for the 250F

http://www.kawasaki.com.au/index.php?category=motorcycles&sub_category=2&product=189&product_details=specifications

You'll have a ball with which ever bike you choose :ride:

I've got a mountain bike friend that has an 08 or 09 yz450f (he's kind of the driving factor in me getting into this) and I believe his brother may have a 250f however I am not sure of the make. I would be able to ride both of the bikes once our snow melts.

Thanks for the links!

If you have good throttle control, get a 450. Most people for their first time don't. I'm 16 and since I was 13 all I rode was my friends 2Stroke 65 whenever we went out riding. I recently got a YZ250F and love it (First Bike). I would find somebody with a 450 that you know, and ask them to take it to the track. If you feel confident, go for the 450. I think you might do fine on a 450 if you're a mountain biker.

Get the 450.

Get the 450.

Any reason as to why you feel this way?

YZ250F or if you want more power then YZ250 or YZ450F. The CRF250R and CRF450R are good. But its up to you, Im a Yamaha and Honda person so Id go YZ - CR or YZF - CRF. but there all very similar.

If you want a 2 stroke then YZ is the best, but if you want 4 stroke then there all similar

YZ250F or if you want more power then YZ250 or YZ450F. The CRF250R and CRF450R are good. But its up to you, Im a Yamaha and Honda person so Id go YZ - CR or YZF - CRF. but there all very similar.

If you want a 2 stroke then YZ is the best, but if you want 4 stroke then there all similar

you like yamaha and honda obviously by your picture, if we go by the shootout then honda is the best, both of the local shops in my area allowed me to try the new crf 450 and the kxf 450 (two different shops) i thoroughly enjoyed the honda and yeah if it was 2k cheaper i would pick it up in a new york minute. but...the kxf is a "whole notha animal", so to speak! trust me get the kx if you want a 450. from the people who bought some of these bikes they have said that they are very reliable if you keep up on regular maintenance but if you miss an oil change or air filter cleaning you might as well just throw it away because its shot. buy the kxf450 if you feel thats a good choice. i personally still think for you a 350 sx-f is the best choice. but if your going for the 450 then get it!

Thanks for all the input, you guys are pretty damn usefull and theres a super friendly atmosphere here on TT from what I've seen so far. I'm going to go down to the local shop and talk to the guys there and see what they have. I don't intend for this to be a quick decision, but you know how those sales guys are. I'll let ya know where the discussion goes when I get back.

Until you ride a lot and learn exactly what you want, I wouldnt even consider dropping the money on a new motorcycle. You will save a lot of money buying used and if you decide it isnt exactly what you wanted, you can sell without taking a huge depreciation hit.

Based on what you said, I dont see any reason not to go with a 450 four stroke or a 250 2 stroke. Considering you live in Alberta (which I suspect is like Colorado where I live), I think you may also have lots of opportunity for trail riding. Maybe you should be looking at the KTM 250 or KTM 300 two strokes.

Think of it this way....did you buy the perfect mountain bike when you got into that? Or did you needs/desires evolve over time?

My needs and desires certainly evolved over time, however I pretty much knew where I wanted to end up rite from the get go and it cost me a lot of money to get there going that rout.

The shop had a 2010 kx450f demo bike with 35 hours that I could have had for 6500 out the door, untill another sales guy informed me it was in fact no longer for sale; DOH!

Point taken.

My younger bro had 04CR250F (the one with twin pipes) and that thing use to make my eyes water... very quick right up to 100kph (50-55mph in the old language). I think most people on here will say go with a 250F first. But I like to encourge guys to jump in the deep end first :cheers: Is it possible that you could try a friends first or maybe a demo at the bike shop? :ride:

In the old language it would be 62 MPH.:p

Most moto riders don't understand how fast DH mtn. biking is. A 450 will suit you fine in your application. I think though that a 250 2 stroke would fit your fancy a bit more (and I'm not one of those 2 stroke or die guys (I don't even own a 2 stroke)).

Buy a 250 2t mx bike that is clean used, for less than half the price (side benefit) and thank me later. Being young your buddies will put you down for it then go school them, and have more fun doing it.

Edited by mylsmkj

If I were to go with a used 250 two stroke, would something like this be worth my time?

Nothing wrong with a YZ250 but $4200 Canadian dollars seems like a very high price. Kelly Blue Book lists an '05 YZ250 at $2,590 USD for a used dealer retail starting negotiating price for my area. Now I may simply not understand the Canadian market so take my comments with a grain of salt.

For that kind of price, I would be looking at KTM300XCW from 06-07. I just picked up a '08 YZ450F (4 stroke) with about 10 hours of use and absolutely perfect for $3500 this past January. I think 2 strokes can be a consideration along with the 450 4 strokes depending on pricing/condition.

You might also want to think hard about whether you want a bike with a wide ratio transmission (enduro) or close-ratio transmission (motocrosser). You stated originally that you would be riding tracks, but just looking at that downhilling picture and knowing the places where you do that, I can see you doing more challenging single track and forest riding and may really want to look hard at getting a wide ratio trans or something with a six speed transmission.

Since you seemed to like Kawasaki, you might look at the KLX450R's (wide ratio version). I see '08's selling around here in Colorado for $3600-$4500. I believe you will need to do some of the free mods to get the full potential of this bike and make the performance closer to Kx450F motocrosser. But when considering used, you may need to consider a number of manufacturers/models and both 4 stroke and 2 stroke.

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