Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

OLD Guy needs Lighter Bike

Recommended Posts

I am 63, 5'6" and 185 lbs. I currently ride a 98 XR400, but I think its time for a lighter bike, age is starting to take a toll.

Since I only ride about 3 times per year down from twicw a week 10 years ago

I want to get a used bike.

I am thinking of either a 2003-2004 XR-250 of a 2006 CRF250X.

I would appreciate sugeestions- pros and cons of each bike.

I am not thrilled with the idea of dealer valve adjustments on the CRF250X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're both great bikes. The XR, indestructable and reliable as the mailman. It is a dated machine though. The X will be more nimble with a serious suspension upgrade, it is tall though. Being 5'6" I'd seriously consider having it lowered unless you're fine with a taller machine. If you find an X that you know the maintenance history of, and the top-end is fresh, you'll probably never have to mess with the valves being you only ride a few times a year. And once you have e-start, you'll never go back. Just keep the battery on a trickle charger and drain the carb if it's going to sit for months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ron,I went from an XR400 to a 08 Crf250X and while I'm not 63 I'm no youngster either.The CRF did take a bit of getting used to but the lighter weight of the bike allows me to ride for longer and not feel it so much the next day.I understand your concern about the valve adjustments but if you're only riding 3 times a year I would imagine that your maintenance would be minimal as CC rider stated.

Good luck with your decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am 50. Have an XR400 and also a CRF250X.

I REALLY like riding the CRF250X. The light weight is great. It has plenty of power. I REALLY DO NOT like doing the maintenance on it. Checking the valves often, changing the oil every couple rides.

I REALLY like riding the XR400. the low end grunt is great, the weight is not too bad. I REALLY LIKE the maintenance I do (or do not need to do) on the XR400. I change the oil once a year. And I have never checked the valves. It is an XR. There are TONS of XR's out there that are 20+ years old and still going.

When I get a little older, I think I will be riding an XR250. Can't go wrong there. Bulletproof. And if the grandkids climb on it, there is not a whole lot of damage they can do to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ron, as an former owner of a CRF250X and a newer owner of a 05' KTM200 I would say you should consider a 200 in your choices too.

If you consider the CRF250 as light, you aint' seen nothin'!!:thumbsup:

The CRF does have the magic button, but the KTM200 feels MUCH lighter, is MUCH easier and cheaper to maintain - no valve issues or expenses - and is a BLAST to ride.

Many of the KTM guys, especially the new people coming back to the 2-strokes, are 40 years and older and just like the bikes for their simplicity and fun factor. Anyhow, it's worth considering.

Good luck with your decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i was you bud id go for a 2stroke:thumbsup:Ktm make a few lovely 2t bikes as already said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am 50. Have an XR400 and also a CRF250X.

I REALLY like riding the CRF250X. The light weight is great. It has plenty of power. I REALLY DO NOT like doing the maintenance on it. Checking the valves often, changing the oil every couple rides.

I REALLY like riding the XR400. the low end grunt is great, the weight is not too bad. I REALLY LIKE the maintenance I do (or do not need to do) on the XR400. I change the oil once a year. And I have never checked the valves. It is an XR. There are TONS of XR's out there that are 20+ years old and still going.

When I get a little older, I think I will be riding an XR250. Can't go wrong there. Bulletproof. And if the grandkids climb on it, there is not a whole lot of damage they can do to it.

Why do people spend sooooo much time checking the valves?

Unless it involves a trip (once a year, twice if I am lucky) there is no reason to check them, the bike will tell you when its time. Then shim it, order parts and be done with it.

And by the way, its a 30 minute job for a novice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Ron, as an former owner of a CRF250X and a newer owner of a 05' KTM200 I would say you should consider a 200 in your choices too.

Funny you brought this up.... I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this thread. I am up there in the age department and ride a 250x on the trail. I was lucky enough to be riding with a friend with a 07 KTM 200 SX. We switched bikes for about an hour... This bike is light, and powerful for a 200, with a nice blast on the top end. Suspension and handling was excellent, light and flickable. I felt almost instantly faster on the 200. I go back and forth the KTM 200 vs 300, I was just looking at used machines this morning. I read the 300 goes 200hrs on a top-end, not sure about the 200. BTW, checking valve clearance on the 250x is very easy, doing it on a oil change adds only 15-30 minutes. You can always pay someone to shim it if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well i'm a 200lb 56 year old brit who's been watching this thread for a day or two and not wanting to post because i haven't even ridden my new steed yet:lol:

We have a 450r for MX tracks and i have recently had an xr250, ktm 250rfs, crf450x and my current trail bike is a crf230f which i bought because the 450x was to heavy and powerfull for an old git like me and the gnarly trails we use.

The 230f is simple and quite capable (aftermarket shock and xr250 front end) but i wanted a 250x and a 2004 came up for sale nearby, so i bought it:thumbsup:

I have spent a week stipping it down to the frame and gathering a few service items (linkage bearings, shims etc) and it's all coming together nicely.

At the end of the day i wanted 'proper' suspension and a bit more 'poke' than the 230f could provide, i didn't want another XR for the simple reason..

" I DON'T DO KICKSTARTS ANYMORE" :confused:

So the 250x is the ideal machine for me, it might be "lower on power than....." and it might have "less torque than a ....." but i love the build of Honda's, the styling, the suspension, the reliability etc and YES...... i will use a bit more fuel and oil along the way..... and it might need a valve job 'eventually' but it'll be worth it.

We also have a SM setup for road work on the 450r so i can again utilise the talon/excel wheels and 310mm disc/4 pot braking caliper on the 250x for the occasional tarmac duties which wasn't adaptable to use on the 230f.

One of my mates has a 2005 450x and it STILL doesn't need the valves shimming yet so don't believe all the crap about valves being a big problem on these bikes, yes they need checking occasionally but no more so than any other brand of 'high performance' 4 stroke. I've had to do the same work years ago on a yz250f and kx250f engines, its the price we pay for the extra performance we get from these machines.

You can 'check' them yourself in less than 30 minutes without disturbing anything technical just for piece of mind if you want to but most people just wait until the time when the bike begins getting 'hard to start' before suspecting the valve clearances are 'tightening up', you then get a few goes at re-shimming while you save up for the SS inlets:busted:

As for the 2 strokes ........:thumbsup:

Ian :worthy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

47, just got an 04 250x. Have been riding an 07 450x. One ride on the 250 and it was nice. Lots of single track. Missed the 450 on only two places, big sand and big hill. But if your a good rider you will be fine. P.S. you should be able to find a 250 for a good price, plus if you have another Honda lots of parts and toools can be used as the same. my 2 cents, good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why do people spend sooooo much time checking the valves?

the bike will tell you when its time.

Some of us get more than 10 minutes

away from the trailer. I for one do not want the bike telling me by not starting when I am 3 hours away from the trailer in the mountains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some of us get more than 10 minutes

away from the trailer. I for one do not want the bike telling me by not starting when I am 3 hours away from the trailer in the mountains.

The symptoms occur on a cold start, or at worst after the bike has cooled. It may be a bear to start but it wont leave you stranded.

Thats my experience anyway. I have been around about six CRFS that had been ridden to the point of valve maintenance, ridden to the end. No one left pushing there bike out of the woods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The symptoms occur on a cold start, or at worst after the bike has cooled. It may be a bear to start but it wont leave you stranded.

Thats my experience anyway. I have been around about six CRFS that had been ridden to the point of valve maintenance, ridden to the end. No one left pushing there bike out of the woods.

Read sometime back about a group who stopped for a long lunch and ended up pushing one out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

200 gas gas or 200 KTM never needs anything but gas and clean air filter lighter faster than 250X and no shims and buckets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, I used to check my valves; but after years of never finding them off I just dont do it anymore. Its been so long since I have need any valve work (7/07 - @ 5,000 miles) I dont bother. I gave up about the 3500 mile work. I really feel since the rebuild I have had XR reliability.

When I go an a motorcycle vacation I just bring whats needed to shim on the spot. A re shim can be completed in the same 30 minutes I quoted for a first check and would be good the remainder of the trip.

To each there own but if I were you I would get the modern machine.

Good Luck with your decision.

Rooster out!

Edited by redrooster65

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The symptoms occur on a cold start, or at worst after the bike has cooled. It may be a bear to start but it wont leave you stranded.

Thats my experience anyway. I have been around about six CRFS that had been ridden to the point of valve maintenance, ridden to the end. No one left pushing there bike out of the woods.

Thats a bunch of crap. Just because it hasnt happend to you you assume it never happens. I raced an Enduro on a 80 hour new 250X. At the finish, I went to turn my card in, bench raced for awhile then the bike wouldnt start. Not even after bump starting it down a long hill. The only way back was to get towed by a KTM through the pits full of other laughing KTM owners. Over the last several years of helping at Enduros I have seen a half dozen or so CRFs dead and stranded.

With stainless valves these problems go away. It is funny to hear people defend the Honda valves, say one year is better than the other, blame it on maintenance, blah blah. The Ti valves are crap for a racer. Put put around sitting down and coasting into corners and they last long enough. Ride the bike wide open like you are racing and the stock valves need constant maintenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although i accept your points about titanium valves it isn't only Honda's that suffer is it?

SS inlet valves are such an easy upgrade to do when the time comes that it isn't really an issue, people accept it as 'the done thing' on the CRF's

I don't get all the CRF bashing on these forums.......yes there is a long standing problem..... but it's an EASY FIX :thumbsup:

This is me on the 'pumpkin' being rescued for 25 miles by a 450X

scotsybeingtowedbymuddys450X.jpg

Never again

I bleed RED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×