Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Going backwards - 450 down to a 250? ... or a 350?

Recommended Posts

With great sorrow I sold my CRF 450R. However with great anticipation this means I can buy a different vehicle. I'm a little torn (literally I ruptured my ACL for the second time this year), but seriously I am waffling on what to think about for a bike. I'm 39 years old, have only ridden dirt bikes for about 4 years. I'm very fit - well I will be again when I am cleared for riding in a year. 175-190 lbs and I'm a mid pack intermediate rider. I love the fuel injection of the bike I sold because I enjoy track riding year round but I don't mind tinkering with my bike. I have also done some trail riding in Colorado on a DRZ and know that I would appreciate FI for elevation changes.

I hate to admit but I think I need to start taking things down a notch because injury is pretty common for me in many activities. I am completely addicted to motocross practice (I'm slightly competitive but think I'm done racing). I like getting air and I'd like to perfect my handling of the bike in various conditions. I go to the track 2-3 times a week and push myself to improve each time, but I'm using my friends as the metric. There are good and bad things to that.

So now I'm wondering what kind of a bike I should get when I return. I think I'll start spending less time at the track and more time exploring trails around Colorado. That seems safer (and cheaper).

Has anyone gone from a 450 to a 250 (four strokes - I'm not a smoker)? It seems like I could get some beat up 250 motocross bike off Craig's List for cheap and just ride the piss out of it. It should have more than enough power to clear the jumps and it'll teach me to turn better? For trail riding I'm going to start doing that should be enough power, right? Even after I armor the crap out of the bike?

Cost is not a huge factor - but I do like the idea of spending less or gaining the best value for the money spent.

Am I the perfect candidate for the KTM 350's? It's definitely more money but that's a bike I'd probably keep in the garage for quite a few years, KTM makes solid bikes, and the components are better (I didn't mention I no longer want to waste money modifying a bike too much).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a trail rider, Im really not sure what a 250 will do for you on the track. I do know this...if you pick up a 250F, it is certainly not in line with gaining the best value for the money spent. They are typically high maintenance machines...especially if you ride the piss out of it as you mentioned...this comes at a cost. I have read some really good reviews on the 350 and I talked with a kid who trail rides an 350 SX and loves the bike. It really depends on how much track vs trail you ride. If you are changing sides, you might look into a KTM 450 EXC or Husaberg FE390 and enjoy the more scenic terrain (typically less dangerous too). If you are hell bent on riding tracks, you might look at the 350 SX...or possibly the 350 XC...depending on trail time. I think 250Fs belong in competetive MX racing and have never understood the appeal in any other type of riding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't look for some beat up 250F because you can and will find one. Problem thn is you will spend more time and money repairing it than riding it. Of the 250F's I've ridden I like the Husky TC250 the best; I have one. It works great on the MX tracks and the woods. As far as comming down from a 450 to a 250 I did it and all I miss is the roll on power of the 450's. I really think most riders are better off and faster on the 250's. I do think for the tight woods; close your eyes......a 300 2-stroke is your best bet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not buy a KTM350......................... Issue after issue. I know some have great luck with them, but I believe there are many more horror stories. You would be better off big boring a 250. If KTM gets the bugs out they will be an awesome machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...a 300 2-stroke is your best bet.

Thanks a lot for making more confusing for me. :bonk:

All kidding aside as far as two strokes I have ridden a 300 XC-W on both track and trail and loved it! That would diversify my current bike collection and probably satisfy my criteria for a one do it all kind of a bike. I worry about the bike at the track and trying to jump it, but I've done amazing things with lesser bikes and was happier with that than having a bike that made easy work of the task I asked for. MX track with a WR250X (slick tires and all) and racing on a mostly stock DRZ and holding my own is the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I really like the idea of a 300.... Hmmm...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the 2010 GG 300 and I spend as much time on a MX track as I do the woods. Brad Bakken a local and AWESOME woods rider took his KTM 250 2-stroke out onto our MX track (1.5 miles) and posted a faster lap time than any of the guys on their 450F's. He was at our club putting on a woods riding clinic and after that a guy asked could his bike do any MX. He got on the MX track and answered with the fastest time I'ver ever clocked! No doubt it's still rider but it did show us a "trail/woods" bike can be fast on a MX track. Oh sorry for mudding up the waters LOL. btw the 300's are good at that :bonk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I moved down from a 450 to a 250 the first thing that I noticed was how much lighter the 250 felt. If you want a 250 that is good for both mx and trails, I would suggest the YZ 250f. All 250f's are fun on the mx track and will clear most intermediate jumps with ease. The reason I suggest the YZ is that they are known for better reliabilty, but they are carburated. If you want FI expect to due more maintainence. As for the 350, it will cost more, but you due get more. I think coming off a 450 you just need to realize that the smaller bikes require more revs. If you are looking to go mainly trails and little track with less maint. than look into a KTM 200,250,300XC. They are 4t like in power delivery, but ca be tuned for track. Hope this helps.:bonk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For you, look into the 350xc, its a real nice bike for your kind of riding. Electric start, oversized tank, linkage, FI, 6 speed, and plenty of power when needed but nothing crazy. Other then a skidplate, maybe some hand guards, your pretty much set right from the factory.

250fs are great bikes but you are on the heavier side, sounds like your a little faster and want something thats a little more rounded for a complete motorcycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you listed more trails I'd pick an electric start 350XCF if your budget allows and since cost is not a factor I'd go with that. I've spent some time on the bike and it feels like a snorty torquey fast 250F. Turns great.

Do not think you're buying an in-between bike like I thought it would be: needs a lot of $$$$ to feel like a 450F. But you're not after a 450F otherwise you'd just get one.

Having said that, I like my KTM 400XCW (discontinued). Heavy relatively speaking. But e-start, kickstand, great great great motor. Did I mention how great the motor is??? That hydraulic clutch and smooth torque spoils ya!

If a smoker would've been in the equation I'd say YZ250, but then you'd realize the new KTM 250 is less money if comparing new model years and arguably a better bike.

I dunno. Go sit on a few of them and hopefully one will speak to you and the budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't understand why getting an under-powered bike is safer or better? I had a Yamaha 250f that I raced for a few years, it was cruel how hard it had to work while trail riding. Yeah it was ok while tooling around slowly, but once you begin whaling down higher speed sections or worse sand sections. It is spending hours on end at high RPM. I always rode with 450 guys, so I was always struggling to keep up.

I race Arenacross with it for years and I am quite certain I know how to wring every last drop of HP from it, and corner with the best of 'em, but on the trails the hours you put on it...will be much harder on it than a 2t or a 450.

My CRF450 is so small and narrow most guys find it hard to believe it is a big bike. If it makes any difference, I am a 45 year old guy who isn't ever going to slow down or ever think that I am done climbing the learning curve. I ride with 20 year olds because quite frankly that, "I'm too old and it is time to don a freakin' sweater-vest and take long slow lame rides is upon me," shit has infected everyone I know over the age of 30. It really pisses me off. I just don't get it. Oh and I have broken 13 bones in the last five years and have enough titanium in me to throw any airport metal detector into an orgasm. My family has no sympathy-my dogs even roll their eyes when I begin to grab my gear.

Never gone go slower.

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

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×