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Making my decision to purchase this green machine was influenced by its solid results in the shootouts, as well as good reviews from local riders who had experience with the KX250F. It was purchased in the winter of 2014 as a left over 2013 model year for a great OTD price. The current 2016 KX250F is basically the same bike as the one in this review, but with some new bells and whistles. There is a start mode, adjustable foot pegs, and adjustable handle bar mounts. The “bling” on the motor is now green instead of blue, but you get the picture. Same frame, engine, and suspension.
Once I got the bike home, it went into my basement to stay nice and warm for the remainder of that winter. The black triple clamps and blue anodized engine plugs really pop out as a pretty cool look for a stock bike. Although it looks nice while new, I am not a huge fan of so much black plastic. Once it scratches it looks old real quick. This is nothing a can of Maxima SC1, and a new set of graphics can’t fix. I guess I’m just old school and like the brand color to be more prevalent on the bike.
As with any bike brand, you will save yourself a TON of future headache’s by doing some basic preventative maintenance before you take it out for that first ride. This not only ensures that your bike is ready for a long life of use, it also familiarizes you with how the bike is put together for future reference. One of the more common threads in the thumper talk forum’s refers to people snapping the chain adjustment bolts in the swing arm, or having major bearing issues due to lack of maintenance in the steering head for example. I striped the bike down and greased the entire chassis and wheel’s to prepare it for its first ride with Maxima water proof grease. I unplugged all of the wiring plugs on the harness, and added die electric grease to all of the connections. While the swing arm was off the bike, I removed the chain adjustment bolts to add anti seize, and grease to the threads. Once that was done I reassembled the bike and was set to ride!
The power of this bike really impressed me when compared to my last 250F which was a 06 Honda. I am a big fan of the new FI technology. FI gives me a lot more confidence knowing that the bike isn't going to bog when landing from big jumps. I had to adjust the valves at about 20 hours, but nothing out of the ordinary has gone wrong. I primarily ride with the white coupler on the MX tracks. The bike wakes up and produces a lot of excitement right off of idle. The power just seems to be more aggressive with this setting everywhere, and I prefer it on all the MX tracks I ride. Maybe if I went out west and rode a sun baked track, concrete hard surface I could see trying a mellower coupler. The bike gives a great tractable power in the woods with the black coupler installed. The trails around here are really tight/rocky/root's/steep, if the trails you ride are a bit faster with less rocks such as a GNCC type environment, you can leave the green or white coupler on.
The stock Showa SFF suspension is pretty good, although I don't have experience with the other brands to compare it too. I found that a few clicks out on the compression and rebound really calmed the front end down on the execration bumps on medium to hard terrain tracks that have a lot of small chatter bumps. At softer tracks like Southwick and even Winchester Speed Park, going in a quarter turn on the high speed, a click or 2 in from stock on the comp/rebound, and lowering the forks in the clamps so they were flush gave me great results when staying on top of the large soft rollers. I would still get an occasional weird kick or deflection from the fork from time to time however. At 20 hours I sent off the suspension to Factory Connection for are valve for my weight and ability (30+ B MX rider, 172lb). With 7 hours on the bike since I got the suspension back, I have been pleased with the changes. Using the easy to understand info sheet, I have been able to make changes based on the varying terrain and conditions with amazing results. I really notice a difference with how well the bike charges over the bumps with confidence. Doing a re-valve is one of the first things I would recommend doing with this suspension setup!
The stock MX51 tires from Dunlap were not ideal for my local New England terrain, but I kept them on for about the first 7 hours. The only place I had a good feeling out of the MX51's was at Rocky Hill, CT when the track got hard packed and blue grooved late on a summer day. Unless you are riding in those conditions exclusively I would highly recommend that you change them out to Dunlap MX32's. The bike has a much better feel with those tires and I am very pleased with them so far in all conditions.
Overall impression and opinion
Overall, I am happy with this bike. I have really enjoyed riding it and would recommend it if you are in the market for a 250F MX bike. The light feel of the bike makes it easy to throw around. Sometimes it takes a tad more effort to initiate turns, but you quickly get used to that trait. On the other end of the spectrum, the bike is extremely stable in a straight line giving a sense of comfort which allows you to push as hard as you want to over rough straightaways.
The stock skid plate was swapped out with an Acerbic off road plastic unit which I am extremely impressed with. All it takes is 2 bolts to remove for easy cleaning and protection. Works Connection radiator braces were installed when new, along with an hour meter. I grew up in the 90's and always admired the look of the KX's of the day which influenced my purchase of the One Industries 93 retro graphic kit and seat cover. As stated above, I went with a Factory Connection re valve.
Thanks for reading!