02-07 Japanese 250 2 strokes.

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1/1/2022 10:43 PM

Interested to hear peoples thoughts on this era of smokers and what particular bike from that time was/is a stand out to them.

So far in my arm chair scrolling I have read...

The KX chasis changed between the 03/04 models to 05/07 and the bike was bigger?
-The front forks are no good and energy was focused on the 450 for James in its last years

The CR had the best handling but lacked in the power delivery but essentialy the bike was at its peak in 07

The 05 RM was had a schizophrenic head shake but was regardless,according to all reports, one of the best made.

The YZ engine and suspension are best in class but the handling wasn't there.

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1/1/2022 11:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/1/2022 11:20 PM

I had a 2003 CR250, the handling was good after I installed the springs for my weight, comfortable to ride and the brakes were good at the time.
Compared to a 2003 Ktm250sx that I owned earlier, the power on the CR was smoother, although much weaker.
Quality on the Honda was excellent.

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1/2/2022 1:20 AM

Cr’s handle pretty predictable. But you cant really keep one together.

Rms headshake is definitely off the charts, that can be fixed tho, billett clamps at correct off set and YZ front end.

Yz is honestly a good bike juat a little flat on top unless pinched. Little bouncy in the rear for modern use.

Kx has stinkbuginitus for moden feel.

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Till The Wheels Fall Off.

1/2/2022 3:07 AM

really like my 04 yz250 with sss kyb forks, I would say im just as fast on it as i would be on a more mordern 2stroke. relly like the chassi but the engine is just little to snappy in tight offroad.

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1/2/2022 4:06 AM

I was burnt out on racing and riding in general, I sold my race bike and bought an 07 kx250 and it completely rejuvenated my love for riding, nothing puts a smile on your face more than ripping a 2 stroke!
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1/2/2022 4:12 AM

I rode an 02 RM for some years and thought it handled great, think it was my twelfth RM250. Have an 07 I ride now along with a couple of RMZs. As far as headshake goes, they rode/ride like a Suzuki and if that's what you ride it's hardly noticeable. I had earlier RMs that shook their heads much worse in my opinion.

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1/2/2022 4:26 AM

I don’t remember having head shake once on my 07 RM.

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1/2/2022 4:50 AM

This thread needs more pictures..
I like my 03 CR. Handles great, Power is smooth and crisp after an Air Striker swap. Would love to have that 92-01 power curve though.
I do like this bike more than my old 06 RM. Personal preference I guess
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1/2/2022 6:21 AM

Great looking bike Steve125. 02-07 CR's handled better than any IMO. Motors are not up to others but still great bikes. Have an 02 and 96. Both have been made to run good. Really enjoy them both. Sorry, too old to figure out the photos.

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1/2/2022 6:59 AM

I had an …05? RM 250, didn’t get to ride it much before it got stolen, but it handled pretty well from what I remember. And the power was good, I mean it’s basically a YZ engine.

I’ve had a bunch of aluminum frame YZ’s, love em. With minor tweaks you can race AX one weekend and enduro then next. It’s not the best at any one thing, but it’s pretty damn good at all of them.

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RPM Performance
CT
783

1/2/2022 7:07 AM

owned a 04 cr 250 and it was great it just needed a few mods like porting and head mods with correct jetting.

to this day no 250 that i owned was faster than that cr 250.

currently own a yz 250x which is basicly a 06 yz 250 with a few tweaks. love that bike. hopefully yamaha updates it for 2023.

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1/2/2022 7:09 AM

the best overall bike was the yz250, IMO. i dont like them personally because of the way they feel but as far as reliablity, motor and suspension handling its hard to argue against one

the cr250 was a good bike but the motor was lame (i had one) ..if you got the jetting right and did some other light fixes it was okay.

i rate the rm250 in 3rd because suzukis are kind of chinsy and dont age well but they handle/turn better than most and the motor was awesome

the kx250 was fast but it handled like garbage

the ktms of this era were pretty junky from what i gather

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1/2/2022 7:22 AM

I think the 05+ RM250’s and YZ250’s were the cream of the crop. The RM was a clone of the YZ but had a steel frame

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Alright Lunger, Let's Do It

1/2/2022 10:20 AM

This 05 kx250 was a blast to ride, never lacking in power, had a 250f front end from a much later model though so handling was spot on but might not be typical of this bike. Photo
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1/2/2022 10:53 AM

blockhead17 wrote:

I was burnt out on racing and riding in general, I sold my race bike and bought an 07 kx250 and it completely rejuvenated my ...more


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Same here, got a lemon ktm -16 and bought a -06 250 instead.

It has zero bottom end with a DPR conepipe and a pc shorty, but atleast it looks cool and the handling is superb
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1/2/2022 1:34 PM

I love my 2003 RM250 and 2004 RM125! Both are running a 2012 RMZ front end

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2022 MC350 - the daily
2004 RM144 - The princess
2003 RM250 - Play Bike

https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Bike-Builds,46/2004-RM-Corona-build,1374304?exclusive_forum_user=false&page=3

1/2/2022 2:20 PM

22mm clamps were the cure for my 06 YZ250. Handled great .

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1/2/2022 3:29 PM

I had two YZ250’s from that era coming off on an 02 cr250, I can’t stand the yz ergos and chassis, it’s sit in to much and they want to lift the front wheel out of corners all the time. I found the cr to be a much better handling bike and a bike that makes you push not hang off the back of

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1/2/2022 4:22 PM

As a mechanic with my own business in that era, i haven’t changed my opinion since then- take the Yamaha all day long.
All the brands had their good and bad points, but the Yamaha was easily the best all round bike.

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1/2/2022 4:24 PM

I loved my 07 RM 250. I never noticed headshake at all. Throttle response was great. I loved the acceleration coming out of corners.

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1/2/2022 4:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/2/2022 4:58 PM

Austin_Rankin wrote:

Cr’s handle pretty predictable. But you cant really keep one together.

Rms headshake is definitely off the charts, that can ...more

On what planet can’t you keep an 02-07 CR together? They’re bulletproof.

Or do you mean today due to parts?

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1/2/2022 5:04 PM

I own a 03 YZ and 06 RM. They were my two Covid builds. So far I only have one ride on the RM but i am so much more confident riding it than the Yamaha. Photo
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1/2/2022 5:15 PM

blockhead17 wrote:

I was burnt out on racing and riding in general, I sold my race bike and bought an 07 kx250 and it completely rejuvenated my ...more

Lastander wrote:
Photo

Same here, got a lemon ktm -16 and bought a -06 250 instead.

It has zero bottom end with a DPR conepipe and a pc shorty, ...more

So sharp there is no bike better looking than 02-07,s. Pr2 can get a lot more out of the engine including bottom end. I believe they built Blackfoot Honda engines. They say Honda wasn’t interested in developing the engine. Reynard,s cr250 ran stronger than team Honda,s. Rad valve is a low to mid improver. Just sitting on a cr250 it feels like a custom works bike.

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1/2/2022 5:54 PM

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I loved both these bikes, but I think the 02 CR with a 285 kit and valved suspension was funner then the 05 YZ. The YZ was a good bike except third gear
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1/2/2022 6:16 PM

HarrowDrag wrote:

Interested to hear peoples thoughts on this era of smokers and what particular bike from that time was/is a stand out to them. ...more

Not really fair to say Kawi didn’t develop the two stroke until “the end”. 03 was an all new bike. 04 had significant upgrades, especially rear suspension. 05 was basically a completely new bike again. They kept the same plastic from 03 onwards so it looks the same, but kawi pushed hard right up to 05, in line with the other Japanese manufacturers.

I have an 04 YZ250, with upgraded suspension. It’s an amazing bike, still competitive with any two stroke 250 made today. Steel frame handles better than the 05+ aluminium.

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1/2/2022 9:22 PM

luke11 wrote:

This 05 kx250 was a blast to ride, never lacking in power, had a 250f front end from a much later model though so handling was ...more

Agree that they never lacked in power. My dad still has his 05 and I raced it last year and the 2 Stroke WC. I’ve always loved that bike. That said, the forks it came with were junk! We put 06 450 forks on and it changed the bike completely.

My 05 YZ250 was for sure my favorite bike I’ve ever owned. That’s the one bike I think I’ll always regret selling. Hoping my buddy that bought it decides to sell it back to me when he’s done with it.

The YZ was to me is better all around. The KX is fun and exciting to ride, but the Yamaha handled better overall, had a more friendly motor(easier to ride) and the Yamaha’s forks were 100x better.

Here’s both my 05 YZ and my dads 05 KX.
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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

Thanks to : Factory Effex, Simi Valley Cycles, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, Mika Metals

1/2/2022 9:41 PM

I really liked my 02 YZ250. Added a PC pipe and had suspension that was valved and sprung for me. Raced moto, GPs and some desert on it, sold it for a KTM 4 stroke in 05, should have kept it. Only needed a couple top ends and a couple clutches, it finished every ride it started running perfectly. It did like a little race gas mixed in with pump gas, about 1 gallon to 4 gallons was enough.

Jeez, that was 20 years ago..

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1/2/2022 9:58 PM

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Having both the 06 RM and 06 YZ I prefer the Yamaha over the RM. Suspension and motor YZ gets the nod. Cost of ownership, Suzuki parts are expensive compared to the Yamaha.

Both are kickass to ride, but the YZ just has a little more everywhere.
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1/3/2022 2:02 AM

I would choose 2002-03 CR250. Great handling chassis and really smooth powerband. Honda kind of ruined their CR250 engine after 2004, when they tried to find more top end power and lost that smooth pull from the bottom which made the bike really easy to ride. With Keihin carburetor and aftermarket exhaust it will be even better

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1/3/2022 2:32 AM

There’s some sexy bikes in this thread. well done fellas.

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