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Racing a 125 in the 250 class

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Hello everyone,

I am a beginner to Mx, and I have been in only 2 races so far. I was racing against 250f's in my first race, and a kid on a 125 in my second. I want to race in the 250 4 stroke class because no one rides 125 2 strokes over in Northern California, and If I can win on a 125, I will be able to kick their butts when I get a 250 next year. 4 strokes are so much easier to ride, it almost seems like cheating, so I would just like any tips to beat these guys on their thumpers.

Please don't tell me "Theres no difference, it's just your skill" becaue I have been on a 4 stroke before:banghead:. They are totally different and don't take as much effort to ride. I'm a beginner, but I'm not stupid. Notice that all of the best riders today have been on a 2 stroke at some point in their career. 2 strokes just make you a better rider.

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The thing about being quicker on a 4stroke, i think this applies to slower C riders, when you get up to high B's and A's I think the difference becomes much less and in general people prefer 4strokes because they are smoother and don't wear you out as fast.

(i've had 2 very similar bikes KTM sx150 and sxf250 same year and if i put the effort in i can put in almost identical lap times)

On the question about if you win this year would you beat them next year? well yes you should, your not goin to slow down by goin 4 stroke, but if you do win, then surely you should move up a class the year after?

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practice, practice... hook up with a rider that is faster than you and try to develop your corner speed.

on the 2 stroke u will need to be much faster in the corners because the 250f will pull u down any straight.

The corners are where you will win or lose

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In this particular case, the first thing you need is a bike that is comparable to your competition. This is where getting into a modern 125 will help you dramatically. Just having the power and being able to lay it down through the better suspension, will be a HUGE step. I have no problem literally out-motoring guys on 250f's with my 125SX. You can't debate a 38hp 125 that weighs 197lb vs a 38hp 250f that weighs 225lb. The modern 125's are faster bikes in a straight line, period.

Your story about 250F's being easier to ride is actually so funny. When I started riding 250f's I felt the same way, they just grip everywhere and I thought the same thing you did. Actually, I've been able to really beat up some friend of mine's 250f's and I love riding them, but when I get back on my 125, I'm so much quicker because the bike is so much lighter. Just getting around the track without all that excess mass, really helps on my laptimes and doing a 6 - 8 lap moto is easy.

Honestly with the KTM 150SX, I wouldn't even bother buying or ever owning a 4 stroke, there is no reason. The 150SX is a 250F killer, it has more power and torque then the 250f and it doesn't have the same kick, which is one of the main reasons why 125's are hard to ride. Its more "lugable" around tight corners without having to be on the pipe constantly as well. I just got one and I'm building the motor right now, can't wait to ride it!

Race craft is race craft, there are no real tips or tricks that differentiate riding the two different bikes. During a race, the line choice is dictated by the quickest route to get around your opponent, not the bike you ride. When I'm in battles with people on 4 strokes, its tricky for sure, especially if they are on ball-busting 250 2t's or 450f's, where you can't make a run for it. But the strengths of the 2 stroke do lie in the raw power, the whoop sections (this is huge) and its nimbleness. So using those to your advantage is critical. I always knew I could pass people in the whoops, so I'd always line that pass up before hand and get'em. I also knew that any straight section or rhythm section, I'd have them because the 125 spools up so much quicker then the 250f that its easy to go two gears higher through those sections and not run out of steam. I love passing guys on bigger bikes under power, I get a huge grin under my helmet as I roost them into the next corner! LOL :)

IDK, no excuses! heh, buy a REAL 125 and you will not have any problem kicking ass! :lol:

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In this particular case, the first thing you need is a bike that is comparable to your competition. This is where getting into a modern 125 will help you dramatically. Just having the power and being able to lay it down through the better suspension, will be a HUGE step. I have no problem literally out-motoring guys on 250f's with my 125SX. You can't debate a 38hp 125 that weighs 197lb vs a 38hp 250f that weighs 225lb. The modern 125's are faster bikes in a straight line, period.

Your story about 250F's being easier to ride is actually so funny. When I started riding 250f's I felt the same way, they just grip everywhere and I thought the same thing you did. Actually, I've been able to really beat up some friend of mine's 250f's and I love riding them, but when I get back on my 125, I'm so much quicker because the bike is so much lighter. Just getting around the track without all that excess mass, really helps on my laptimes and doing a 6 - 8 lap moto is easy.

Honestly with the KTM 150SX, I wouldn't even bother buying or ever owning a 4 stroke, there is no reason. The 150SX is a 250F killer, it has more power and torque then the 250f and it doesn't have the same kick, which is one of the main reasons why 125's are hard to ride. Its more "lugable" around tight corners without having to be on the pipe constantly as well. I just got one and I'm building the motor right now, can't wait to ride it!

Race craft is race craft, there are no real tips or tricks that differentiate riding the two different bikes. During a race, the line choice is dictated by the quickest route to get around your opponent, not the bike you ride. When I'm in battles with people on 4 strokes, its tricky for sure, especially if they are on ball-busting 250 2t's or 450f's, where you can't make a run for it. But the strengths of the 2 stroke do lie in the raw power, the whoop sections (this is huge) and its nimbleness. So using those to your advantage is critical. I always knew I could pass people in the whoops, so I'd always line that pass up before hand and get'em. I also knew that any straight section or rhythm section, I'd have them because the 125 spools up so much quicker then the 250f that its easy to go two gears higher through those sections and not run out of steam. I love passing guys on bigger bikes under power, I get a huge grin under my helmet as I roost them into the next corner! LOL :)

IDK, no excuses! heh, buy a REAL 125 and you will not have any problem kicking ass! :lol:

wow, I forgot all about the KTM 150:banghead:. I don't know if I should stick with a 2 stroke, or buy a 250f next year:excuseme:. What do you think? I didn't notice how underpowered my bike was compared to a modern 125/144cc bike. I plan on getting it bored out to a 144, and some other upgrades too. My bike only makes 28hp compared to the KTM 150sx's 39.5 hp. hmmm. thats shocking.

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4 strokes are so much easier to ride, it almost seems like cheating, so I would just like any tips to beat these guys on their thumpers.

Right before the gate drops while everybody is focused on the start, reach over and turn off the gas of the guy next to you. That's one you won't have to worry about past about turn 2...

JayC

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wow, I forgot all about the KTM 150:banghead:. I don't know if I should stick with a 2 stroke, or buy a 250f next year:excuseme:. What do you think? I didn't notice how underpowered my bike was compared to a modern 125/144cc bike. I plan on getting it bored out to a 144, and some other upgrades too. My bike only makes 28hp compared to the KTM 150sx's 39.5 hp. hmmm. thats shocking.

Well, I'm not a fan of 4 strokes because they generally don't offer anything special and the negatives are HUGE! I want a bike that starts every time on the first kick, cold, post crash, hot, any time. I think in racing that is critical and the factory MX/SX bikes are tuned so heavily, they usually start in one kick, but our aging normal people's bikes won't do that without some serious work done to them. So for me, that factor alone pushes me towards owning a 2 stroke. Then you add the ease of 2 stroke maintenance and lower cost to purchase and you realize the 2 stroke is the best deal out there. That could be why KTM sold out of their first shipment of 2012 2 strokes after they had been released for only a few weeks!

I wouldn't touch your bike, loose it and buy a real bike. You could buy the last generation of that machine from 06 and it would still get its ass kicked by a modern KTM. So in my eyes, the best small-bore race bike on the market is the 150SX and I'd have to admit, it would be the 2012 model.

Your KX125 is probably putting out closer to 20 - 25hp at most. They only produce max power for a short period of time when the rings are seated perfectly after a re-fresh. Thats why KTM recommends new pistons every 20 hours, because they're thinking about the racer who needs all the power he/she can get. So imagine a bike that has almost 2x the power, thats a big step in the right direction.

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Well, I'm not a fan of 4 strokes because they generally don't offer anything special and the negatives are HUGE! I want a bike that starts every time on the first kick, cold, post crash, hot, any time. I think in racing that is critical and the factory MX/SX bikes are tuned so heavily, they usually start in one kick, but our aging normal people's bikes won't do that without some serious work done to them. So for me, that factor alone pushes me towards owning a 2 stroke. Then you add the ease of 2 stroke maintenance and lower cost to purchase and you realize the 2 stroke is the best deal out there. That could be why KTM sold out of their first shipment of 2012 2 strokes after they had been released for only a few weeks!

I wouldn't touch your bike, loose it and buy a real bike. You could buy the last generation of that machine from 06 and it would still get its ass kicked by a modern KTM. So in my eyes, the best small-bore race bike on the market is the 150SX and I'd have to admit, it would be the 2012 model.

Your KX125 is probably putting out closer to 20 - 25hp at most. They only produce max power for a short period of time when the rings are seated perfectly after a re-fresh. Thats why KTM recommends new pistons every 20 hours, because they're thinking about the racer who needs all the power he/she can get. So imagine a bike that has almost 2x the power, thats a big step in the right direction.

I see what ur sayin. My bike was only $1050, about $300 in tires, inspection, and a few extras. It works great and was cheap, which is why I got it, plus it's my first bike, and I didn't even know if I would like motocross, but I LOVE it. I like the idea of a ktm150sx, but I don't think I will buy one cuz 2 strokes are simply harder to go faster on. They wear u out quicker, they don't have a very useable power band, they don't have much torque, and they don't hook up well in corners and tend to break out of berms etc. I am using this bike now because I figure that if I can get to B class with this piece of junk, I will be able to fly when I get a 250. I have talked to many vets and Pro's around the tracks, and they all say that they make you a great rider, but once you get to a higher class, you need to switch. I just can't afford the mistakes of a 2 stroke. I will probably wind up buying a 2012 crf250r in a few months.

As of now, I am serious about motocross. I already know that I want to become a pro, so I'm going to get trained 1 to 2 weeks straight a month and be home schooled so that I can practice 4 times a week. It might sound crazy considering I've only been riding for a few months, but this is seriously what I want to do for a living, so just remember the numbers 910. I will not be changing them.

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I like the idea of a ktm150sx, but I don't think I will buy one cuz 2 strokes are simply harder to go faster on. They wear u out quicker, they don't have a very useable power band, they don't have much torque, and they don't hook up well in corners and tend to break out of berms etc. I am using this bike now because I figure that if I can get to B class with this piece of junk, I will be able to fly when I get a 250. I have talked to many vets and Pro's around the tracks, and they all say that they make you a great rider, but once you get to a higher class, you need to switch. I just can't afford the mistakes of a 2 stroke. I will probably wind up buying a 2012 crf250r in a few months.

Heh, you need to ride a 150SX. I think you'd be scared shitless, crap your pants and then give in. :lol:

The reason why I wanted you to see my series (7 episodes) is because you can see my reaction from being on the KX125 to being on the 125SX and what a difference that is initially.

As of now, I am serious about motocross. I already know that I want to become a pro, so I'm going to get trained 1 to 2 weeks straight a month and be home schooled so that I can practice 4 times a week. It might sound crazy considering I've only been riding for a few months, but this is seriously what I want to do for a living, so just remember the numbers 910. I will not be changing them.

I like your enthusiasm and becoming a better rider is an awesome idea!

But you have to be realistic with yourself, everyone wants to be a professional racer. There isn't one kid on the track with a number plate or numbered jersey who hasn't spent tens of thousands on a fancy race bike, training, gear, etc and guess what, they're racing at your local track instead of being in the professional series.

I think Gary said it the best; to be proficient at something enough to be an expert, you need to have 10,000 hours of seat time. Believe it or not, if you look at the "successful" motocross racers, they started riding when they were 3 and win their first championship's in their late teen's 17,18,19. So thats 14 years of riding dirt bikes minimal, sometimes way more. The families of champions are extremely happy they put every penny into their kid, but how many champions are there?

Every year, tens of thousands of kids and their parents, start the difficult journey of their kids first season of racing. Each one of those kids, each one of those families life will change forever. Out of those kids, some of them will excel if their parents have the money to put them in the right training program with the right people to nurture that skill. Other parents will bail because the cost gets too high and/or the kid is just not good enough. Mind you, this all happens around 10 - 12 years of age, after the kid had been riding since they were 3.

The kids who make it, are trained by the best instructors in the world. Families live in trailers with the kid in foreign places as the kid's knowledge expands. Eventually the kids all start racing nationally, Loretta Lynns is the big up and coming championship series for youth. The best kids are out there and team scouts plant seeds with the best kids, which eventually lead to them riding with those factory teams. Out of the hundreds of kids who run Loretta's, only a hand-full will even be talked to about moving up and out of those, only two or three are ready for the next big challenge.

Motocross is a grueling sport, the "fun" of it goes away quickly once you're spending your own money to travel the US in a trailer for the entire season hoping to make it into the race (only the top 20 in SX and top 40 in MX make it to the main). Its very common for riders to travel the entire year and not make one main event. Those riders were Loretta Champion's, those riders had been riding their entire life, those riders are AMAZING, just a few tenths of a second off the pace in qualifying. But only the riders in the main will get any money and only people who qualify for every race get decent sponsorship.

Now, the story of becoming a professional rider gets tricky because not only MUST you win, but you also need to be skilled enough to keep it on 2 wheels. There are hundreds of kids each year in the US alone, who have the potential to be the best racer in the world, but because of repeated injuries, they never achieve success. Once your kid gets injured to the point of almost dying (happens a lot more then you'd think) usually parents throw in the towel unless the kid recovers fully and really has the potential.

Sadly, in todays economy, the sponsorship and opportunities have been reduced substantially. We are seeing payouts decreased, we're seeing sponsors walk away from the sport and honestly, that is effecting even the pro's money. Mike Alessi joked recently about his 5th place payout being $1500 bux or something like that. That is REALLY bad when you look at the over-all picture of running a team that costs roughly a million per year to fund. Mike plans on loosing a million dollars in 2012 being on a privateer team, even if he wins races, but its worth it to him.

In the end, having goals are great. At the same time though, you are still a beginner and at 15 years old, its too late to become an successful AMA Professional racer. There is no doubt in my mind that if you stopped going to school right now, spent about a million dollars over 5 years, got training from the absolute best racers in the world, rode every day for hours on end and focused exclusively on motocross, you could probably become a professional rider at 20 or 21 years of age assuming no injuries. But then you've got the next hurtle at going from being in the back of the pack to the front of the pack and that will take you a year or two, so 23 - 25 years old before you've made it onto the actual grid for a professional main event. But at 25 years old, competing against people who are much younger then you are, its a loose-loose situation. Motocross is a young person's sport, if you haven't been successful before the age of 25, its all down hill from there. Successful racers can keep the flow going, but non-successful racers tend to fade away.

Trust me (I'm more then 2x your age), in the world we live in today, education is everything and if Motocross stopped for some reason because of financial reasons, all those guys on the grid wouldn't have jobs. Heh, do you think James Stewart or Ryan Villopoto have a clue of what its like to have a job? They'd be living off their cash because they couldn't get a job. My suggestion; go ride, have fun and go to college. Become a lawyer or something and laugh when you watch motocross on TV, watching all the crap those poor guys have to deal with, riding in the rain, the cold, the mud, never being home, never seeing there families, their job owns them and it sucks. People don't realize it when they watch motocross, but its a job just like any other and they don't get paid nearly enough to deal with it. Being a professional motocross racer seriously sucks, the glamor of being on Speed TV doesn't mean anything when you're body is full of metal bits from all the crashes and you know your orthopedic surgeons personal home phone number because your always consulting with them. When you turn 35, your knees blow out and your back starts to fall apart. I can't imagine what it will be like for these modern racers when they're 50 years old.

I'd much rather be the best rider at my local track, enjoying myself, showing off to everyone and having fun. Motocross should be about having fun, so just go out and have fun would ya!! heh :)

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Starting out at 15 may not be the best, but it is hardly "too late".... Ever hear of a rider name John Dowd? Lots of these kids burn out and fade away by the time they turn pro... if it something you want, then go for it.

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In saying the 4s is easier to ride you sort of answered one of your own questions. Going balls to the wall for 30min takes a lot of energy, more so on the 2s. So my advice is to be in better shape than the other guys, run bike, whatever to get your wind.

The other thing is using the twostroke hit to your advantage, which means getting it to hook up which requires a little more accurate technique, body positioning pulling back on the bars when accelerating etc, stuff the 4s can be lazy at. So in short be in better shape so you hammer for the whole moto and outride them. :lol:

Hello everyone,

I am a beginner to Mx, and I have been in only 2 races so far. I was racing against 250f's in my first race, and a kid on a 125 in my second. I want to race in the 250 4 stroke class because no one rides 125 2 strokes over in Northern California, and If I can win on a 125, I will be able to kick their butts when I get a 250 next year. 4 strokes are so much easier to ride, it almost seems like cheating, so I would just like any tips to beat these guys on their thumpers.

Please don't tell me "Theres no difference, it's just your skill" becaue I have been on a 4 stroke before:banghead:. They are totally different and don't take as much effort to ride. I'm a beginner, but I'm not stupid. Notice that all of the best riders today have been on a 2 stroke at some point in their career. 2 strokes just make you a better rider.

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Starting out at 15 may not be the best, but it is hardly "too late".... Ever hear of a rider name John Dowd?

Yep, he did it at 20 years old, but who else has done it out of the hundreds of thousands of racers?

But then again, anything is possible if you have enough money! heh :lol:

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Probably not too many Tye... Definately an exception with Dowdy. I am just glad that the OP is riding what he has, instead of doing nothing. When he gets his new bike, then it will be that much sweeter.... And dreaming doesnt hurt, adulthood will come sooner or later. So, hammer the old 125 OP...

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I am just glad that the OP is riding what he has, instead of doing nothing. When he gets his new bike, then it will be that much sweeter.... And dreaming doesnt hurt, adulthood will come sooner or later. So, hammer the old 125 OP...

Absolutely! Ride the SOB until it falls part on you!

My KTM has hundreds of hours on it, all the wellnuts on the subframe are missing, the chassis has been cracked more then once, the subframe has been re-welded by the original owner more times then he could remember, the plastics are all bent up, the graphics are worn to crap, the seat has a tear in it, the wheels are bent, the motor looks like its been through WW2 on the outside, but its got NEW Factory Connection worx suspension and I maintain the motor to a very high spec, so its fast and handles fantastic!

I'm gonna ride the SOB until the frame cracks again and then I'll just buy a new frame!

Keep'er forever, ride'er forever, love'er forever! :lol:

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go get a new 2011 CR150 Husqvarna. It will blow the doors off the 150sx, and handle much better. Rode both, actually the CR is better than the 2012 KTM as well. BTW, the husky will be cheaper as well. And if you plan on winning some races, husky has more contingency money than any manufacurer, period. Husky has the only bike that will out turn any other bike and still have better high speed stability than a lincoln.

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go get a new 2011 CR150 Husqvarna. It will blow the doors off the 150sx, and handle much better. Rode both, actually the CR is better than the 2012 KTM as well. BTW, the husky will be cheaper as well. And if you plan on winning some races, husky has more contingency money than any manufacurer, period. Husky has the only bike that will out turn any other bike and still have better high speed stability than a lincoln.

Here in Southern California, I've seen more TM's on the track then Husky's and we are the HUB of MX/SX in the US. Every once in a while I see a Husky, but its usually a trail bike converted into a MX bike. I wish they'd market it and force dealers/distributors to have one on the showroom floor. The only Husky dealers I know only have the big bore, trail bikes. Personally, I'd rather have the same bike many people on the grid have, so when you need an emergency part, someone is around to give you a hand. Which is why KTM's kinda dominate that market... They are everywhere!

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Starting out at 15 may not be the best, but it is hardly "too late".... Ever hear of a rider name John Dowd? Lots of these kids burn out and fade away by the time they turn pro... if it something you want, then go for it.

There was this dude who started racing in the '70s and raced pro until '87. His first race was at age 18. That man?-Bob Hannah.

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There was this dude who started racing in the '70s and raced pro until '87. His first race was at age 18. That man?-Bob Hannah.

Right, but then again, kids didn't start at age 3 in the 60's. So when Bob raced at age 18, he was racing against people who probably had the same experience he did at that age. Motocross in the US was in its infancy in the 60's.

Now we've got national champion's who are in their teens. The whole sport has bumped down in age and even guys like Kevin Windham, who is probably the best over-all rider on the grid, he doesn't have the stamina to beat the kids.

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That was from a different era, no extensive Am circuit, etc

. I was trying to keep the late starters semi-current... But, Hannah is a great example!!! In summary OP... Good luck!!!!

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Here in Southern California, I've seen more TM's on the track then Husky's and we are the HUB of MX/SX in the US. Every once in a while I see a Husky, but its usually a trail bike converted into a MX bike. I wish they'd market it and force dealers/distributors to have one on the showroom floor. The only Husky dealers I know only have the big bore, trail bikes. Personally, I'd rather have the same bike many people on the grid have, so when you need an emergency part, someone is around to give you a hand. Which is why KTM's kinda dominate that market... They are everywhere!

True, husky's parts network is lousy. They still do not have an easy online parts market. Your at the mercy of your local dealers. Malcom Smith is in socal, he is a large husky dealer. I have considered getting a KTM in the past except they are never in stock local to me, and they always sell for retail. FWIW, the 2012 CR125 comes with a factory big bore kit with purchase.

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