2020 Vital MX 250 Shootout: PREVIEW 1

Take a look at the contenders before we get down to the nitty-gritty of the 2020 Vital MX 250 Shootout.

2020 Vital MX 250 Shootout: PREVIEW

Next week the Vital MX testing squad will be hitting Milestone and Glen Helen with all the 2020 250 four-stroke motocross machines. We have a wide variety of tester skill levels that better represent a typical 250F customer. But before we put on any gear, start any bike, or rail any berms, here is a look at how the contenders stack up from our first impressions. In this preview story, they are in order of most to least changed for 2020. 

2020 Kawasaki KX250

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

First Impression (click here for our first ride)

2020 Kawasaki KX250

Cliff’s Notes Version

Basically, the only thing that the Kawasaki engineers didn’t mess with on the KX250 is the frame. They went to town on the engine, changing the bore and stroke (larger bore, shorter stroke), changing the whole valve train (finger follower), increased compression ratio (now 14.2:1), increased throttle body size to 44 mm and straightened the air intake tract, among other small changes. The suspension also got a makeover with an all-new KYB 48 mm fork, and new KYB shock, both with stiffer springs and the rear linkage is new allowing for a longer stroke. New lower front engine mounts and updated brakes round out the package for the 2020 KX250. 


2020 Honda CRF250R

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

First Impression (click here for our first ride)

2020 Honda CRF250R

Cliff’s Notes Version

By the numbers, we’d say that the 2020 Honda CRF250R has more changes this year than the Kawi, but the KX had more profound changes with a pretty much all-new engine architecture. Honda also worked on their 250’s engine, but didn’t change it completely. The CRF-R got a new cam profile, new combustion chamber shape, a gear position sensor, and a new exhaust, with other small changes sprinkled in. On top of that, the CRF250R gets the same frame and swingarm of its big brother that is designed to have increased yaw-angled stiffness and keep its lateral and torsional stiffness. The battery is lower, the footpegs are new, and the rear brake has a shorter hose, lighter pedal and new pad material. 


2020 KTM 250 SX-F

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

First Impression (click here for our first ride)

2020 KTM 250 SX-F (yes, it is a 250)

Cliff’s Notes Version

This is a minor change year for the KTM 250 SX-F. Everything stays the same in the engine department, including the mapping, except for the vented airbox cover that comes with the bike when you buy one, which increases airflow and did make a difference on the track. There are also suspension setting changes with a few small internals being new as well. 


2020 Husqvarna FC 250

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

2020 Husqvarna FC 250

Cliff’s Notes Version

The FC 250 went in a different direction than KTM for 2020 and has new suspension settings aimed at a more comfortable ride. Again, the only change to the power is the vented airbox cover that increases air-flow.


2020 Yamaha YZ250F

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

First Impression (click here for our first ride)

2020 Yamaha YZ250F

Cliff’s Notes Version

The 2020 Yamaha YZ250F is essentially the 2019 model. But, the ‘19 did get a host of changes. The only reason this is above the Suzuki as far as “most changes” goes is that you can get the YZ in an optional gray color. And, the graphics are more changed as well. 


2020 Suzuki RM-Z250

First Look (click here for detailed specs)

2020 Suzuki RM-Z250

Cliff’s Notes Version

What can we say? Literally the only change for the 2020 Suzuki RM-Z250 is a change in graphics color, not even new graphics. 

And for a complete refresher on last year’s shootout: 2019 Vital MX 250 Shootout

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