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Michigan Hare Scramble bike?

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Been riding my whole life, last four bikes were Yz426, WR250f, Kx250, Yz250. Currently I'm without a bike, got into sport bikes for the last few years. I'd like to get into racing hare scrambles here in Michigan and I'm going to be buying from my local dealer and I'm going to buy new. He's been great to me and carries yami's honda's and suzuki's. Please don't reply buy a KTM or Kawi, I realize they also make nice bikes, but honestly I want to support my local economy and again I'm good friends with my dealer. I'm 34 and I'm guessing I'm a "C" class rider. I'm 6'2" tall and 205lbs. My basic question is what bike should I buy based on the hare scramble races here in Michigan? Are most of the races muddy, sandy, rocky, rooted, technical first and second gear stuff, or third through fifth?

My wr250f was really fast in the tight woods. The smaller motor was easier to find traction and handled much lighter in the woods, but down on power in the sandy trails and up hills. I never felt underpowered in the tight stuff and I was much faster through 3rd gear on the little 250f. My 426 however was a handfull in the woods and it felt like I was fighting the bike more. I ended up putting a flywheel weight on it and that helped but it just seemed like more power than I needed in the tight stuff, which was mostly what I rode at the time. It was nice though, when we hit the deep sand whoops and trails because it had tons of power to stay up on top of the sand where the 250f was constantly screaming or bogging. My 250 2t's were nice all around bikes, but I want to buy new, and I have a hard time buying a new yz250 which is basically an unchanged 2007 bike with "bold new graphics". Whatever bike I buy, I'll definately have it revalved, along with possibly a rekluse clutch.

I like the idea of the new wr450 but sounds like they are going to weigh a ton. I've ridden my friend's WR400 and it also feels pretty heavy, I'd rather convert an MX bike than go that route.

So my basic question is as a "C" or Vet class rider will I spend most of my time 3rd gear and lower? If so I'm guessing I should go with a 250f, unless you think different? I had one guy tell me not to buy a 250f because when it gets tight I'll be following all the 450's and won't even be able to pass and take advantage of the extra speed through the tight stuff...Then when it opens up they will all outrun me until the next tight section again and it's a never ending cycle.

If the courses are both open and tight I'm thinking I should go 450 and FWW and maybe even reprogram the EFI to de-tune it for the woods? Please help me out MI racers!!!

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if you are going to ride harescambles I would consider 450x or the 2012 crf250. The x will have better gearing and heavier flywheel. The supension is also set up better for the woods. I have always thought the 4t 250 were not enough bike but I got to ride a new 2012 crf 250 and what a great motor. Very linear.Kind of like a Kdx 200 on steriods. Would make an encredible woods bike.

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Honestly for a hassle free 4t yamaha has most reliable motor as far as im concerned. the WR is much better this year, because I believe they went more for YZ styling with a 5 valve head, still softer suspension for the woods. but if you want a WR thats TRULY a WR you have a get a pre-05 or something like that, because there are people that gripe about the close ratio trans they changed to. I'm honestly not a fan of hondas so i'm not gonna touch that. and I think Suzuki has a offroad 250 but that may not be a current model. and as for weight, from what i understand the bikes have lowered the the center of gravity on the bikes so they feel lighter even though they arent. This of course being compared to the battle tank of a bike the WR400

And just to add this in I ride in MI for almost all of my rides, and it does get muddy out there in the spring and fall, mostly in the spring though, and during the summer it is DUSTY, at least in the central area.

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I can tell you at my local offroad races, all you will see is KTM, some GasGas's, some Husky's and a hoard of YZ250's set up for offroad, maybe a few YZ450's set up for offroad. All my riding buddies and including myself are on either on a KTM a GasGas 2 stroke, or a YZ250. If you refuse to buy a KTM or GasGas (which are gonna be far superior to the Jap bike no matter how you cut it) then the only other option I see is a YZ250...add some stuff to it to catch up to the purpose made bikes, still wont be the same as a KTM or GasGas. Unfortunately the Jap bikes I feel are so far behind for a good offroad machine...after riding some KTM's and GasGas's I wouldnt even wanna ride the YZ250 I had again...

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CDBiker220 has hit the nail on it's head as for box stock bikes. I would add in Beta 350RR and Husky TXC310 as great HS race bikes. Also you can get the plated versions and ride to the tracks! But from your dealer I would first look at Yamaha 250f as the a great durable bike. Honda CRF250R if you have good EFI skills or a dealer that knows the fuel system. The Honda will be quick, turns faster than you want and will be prone to stalls. Either Jap bike you get you will need to add $$ for suspension, protection and anti-stall items (auto clutch, flywheel weight) to be a great HS bike. Notice all the jap bikes are MX!?? A 250 will be good all around bike if you know how to ride it (ride like a 2t). These smaller bores like to rev and keeping them in the upper range is easy and will reward you with less tiring rides. 450's are very forgiving but for most are too much power and you become slower. If you were racing in a desert or long open tracks, then get a big bore. Otherwise here in the north east you can get away with a 250-350cc 4t bikes. Now for a great 2t bikes, the rm250 and the yz250 with a torque pipe and a flywheel weight. Light, fast but will not have the traction as the 4t or gas milage. My preference is a 4t with EFI and e-start, never flood and easy to start! Sadly you will not have the e-start option in a Jap bike if you want the best bike available, handling, light weight and power.

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2t's seem to weave through the trees better, and are easier to restart after a crash. 4t's need less shifting, but more energy is used piloting it down tight trails (at least 450's).

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2t's seem to weave through the trees better, and are easier to restart after a crash. 4t's need less shifting, but more energy is used piloting it down tight trails (at least 450's).

with that being said, I'd pick a ktm 300xc-w, it has great gearing for tight stuff, and you can still wind it out. It has lots of power too!

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Since I actually read your whole original post I will not suggest a KTM:) It seems like you have the answer already. If you don't think a 250 four stroke has enough power and a 450 is to heavy than the easy answer is a yz250 two stroke. It may be an older design, but it is still a great bike and will be brand new. Given your weight and the fact that you plan an racing you will have to have the suspension on anything revalved to get it working really well. If you deem it necessary you will need skidplate, disk gaurds, pipe gaurds and such no matter which brand you purchase. Just my 2 cents, but I would go with the tried and true yz250.

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2t's seem to weave through the trees better, and are easier to restart after a crash. 4t's need less shifting, but more energy is used piloting it down tight trails (at least 450's).

True if you don't have e-start. Also true if you ride a big bore bike. However with the newer 250-350 class bikes 4t, light feeling and very friendly going thru the tight stuffs. I like the more planted feel of my 250f than my brothers KTM200. He also turns faster trail times on my 250f than his 200. He is a die hard 2t person but when the option to ride a 250f is there you don't have to ask twice! If your a "A" class rider, you will benifet from a 2t.

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