I have a 08 KX250F 3 years r that i have gotten very comfortable with. I mostly ride at our local sand dunes and sometimes i head to the mountains and ride trails. The bike has plenty of power for the trails but is severly lacking in the sand dunes which is where i mainly ride. i am 5'5" at 120 LBS 22 years old
My history of bikes-
1st bike - 87 KX80 - fast, liked the mx style suspension, hard to get running but expected for the age
2nd - 04 CRF100F - slow, didnt like the suspension for the sand dunes but was ok for trails. started 1st kick every time
3rd - 08 KX250F - power is good for trails but not for dunes, starts 1st kick every time, very reliable, BAD HANDLEBAR WOBBLE AT HIGH SPEED
I recently rode a friends 08 CRF450X (lights, electric start, ect...) at the sand dunes for a day. the power was amazing, did everything i wanted it to do. but his bike has a hard time starting / idling, would die if throttle was accelerated too fast and cut out. his family has 4 of these exact same bikes and it seems like they are always in the shop because they arnt running well. not sure due to poor shop mechanics or poor maintance. BUT one thing i loved was the steering stabilizer / dampner. the bike rode well at any speeds and almost eliminated arm pump. im not a honda fan but this bike was handling like a caddilac. i like my kawa but i hate the bar wobble at high speeds and the bars bucking left or right on rough terrain. it doesnt take long before arm pump settles in.
Im looking for a 450 MX bike (kawa, suz, yam, ktm, or possibly honda) that is reliable and has the stabilizer, i dont care about electric start really. i would rather use it as a backup if i needed it. i think my friends family got too dependant on the ES which is why they neglect tuning them. if my kawa doesnt start by the 3rd kick i look into why. They are honda fanatics but the are jelous on how easy my bike starts and runs.