02 vs 18 250SX

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4/15/2018 3:58 AM

The 2002 KTM 250SX was one hell of an engine, a hair under 50hp. That's still big money today.. especially for a bone stock 250 in 2002. Its well known the chassis and suspension wasn't up to handling that amount of power, somewhat of a death-trap. Its been a long time since I've ridden one - but I wonder how it would stack up to a new '18 250SX?
Does anybody have at least a decade old 250SX and a brand new 17/18.. and could compare the two?

I know they tuned the engine down progressively slightly in 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 etc to allow the rider a bit more of a chance before tiring out too quick. The '18 counter-balanced engine would no doubt be far broader in its delivery. Anyone got some insight?

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4/15/2018 4:24 AM

How do you think it would stack up... Not even a fair comparison.

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4/15/2018 4:56 AM

I don’t mean the bike vs bike - of course the newer bike is superior and easier to ride. But has the 250cc two stroke made true leaps and bounds over the past years.. or is something like the 02 still as good an engine, just rougher around the edges?

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4/15/2018 5:28 AM

mitch199 wrote:

I don’t mean the bike vs bike - of course the newer bike is superior and easier to ride. But has the 250cc two stroke made true leaps and bounds over the past years.. or is something like the 02 still as good an engine, just rougher around the edges?

I would say the motor would be fairly close or could be made close. The counter balancer works, my TC has almost no vibration.

Suspension, frame flex, and tires are where a 2002 is truly out classed.

I considered buying an 01 CR250 and doing a resto but when you add up what it takes to make an old bike feel fast and modern your at the cost of a new bike and still missing the geometry advancements of the last 15 years.

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4/15/2018 8:09 AM

Don’t know how true it is, but folks used to mention that the pds shock placement allowed those bikes better airflow to the carb. Would seem like something they could emgineer around if it had made that big a difference.

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4/15/2018 9:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/15/2018 9:10 AM

I'm a long time KTM guy and dealer. The only reason to ride a 02 is to see just how far KTM had come in MX since 2002. In case your wondering about the timeline the real turn with the KTM chassis came in 2005. That was a great chassis and every one since has gotten better.

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4/15/2018 1:50 PM

A 360 or 380 in a new chassis.
There has been a few builds and they are awesome.

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4/15/2018 3:15 PM

Holy shit, OP. Is this a serious post?

The 2002/3/4, ridden back to back with a 2017/18, feels like a certified death trap. Yes, I have done it. Hell, I've ridden a 2004 back to back with a 2012 and the difference was night and day. The old bike felt stuck somewhere between vintage MX and a modern bike. That's probably the best way to describe it.

Could a fast rider run the shit out of the old bike and beat a slow rider on a new bike? Yes. But that same fast rider would be faster still -- and a HELL of a lot more comfortable -- on the new bike.

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4/15/2018 3:48 PM

Some great answers here. Barry, I understand what you mean - the bikes are entirely different machines. I was only referring to their engines. The reason for asking was seeing a guy with a mint, mint 2002 railing at our local track the other weekend, and handily passing ‘18 450s. The guy could ride, and his 02 looked so sweet next to his 16 350SXF in the car park. The 250 sounded crisp, and gave nothing up in accel to the plenty of other smokers on the day. I have an 06 300XC that I don’t really feel lacks anything compared to a 17 300XC I rode recently, save for the vibration.

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4/15/2018 4:28 PM

mitch199 wrote:

Some great answers here. Barry, I understand what you mean - the bikes are entirely different machines. I was only referring to their engines. The reason for asking was seeing a guy with a mint, mint 2002 railing at our local track the other weekend, and handily passing ‘18 450s. The guy could ride, and his 02 looked so sweet next to his 16 350SXF in the car park. The 250 sounded crisp, and gave nothing up in accel to the plenty of other smokers on the day. I have an 06 300XC that I don’t really feel lacks anything compared to a 17 300XC I rode recently, save for the vibration.

Understand, mate. But I do the same on my YZ125 and 125SX. It's not the bike, it's the rider.

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4/15/2018 4:29 PM

Barry_Smith wrote:

Holy shit, OP. Is this a serious post?

The 2002/3/4, ridden back to back with a 2017/18, feels like a certified death trap. Yes, I have done it. Hell, I've ridden a 2004 back to back with a 2012 and the difference was night and day. The old bike felt stuck somewhere between vintage MX and a modern bike. That's probably the best way to describe it.

Could a fast rider run the shit out of the old bike and beat a slow rider on a new bike? Yes. But that same fast rider would be faster still -- and a HELL of a lot more comfortable -- on the new bike.

I had an 03 and somewhere between vintage and modern is a perfect description. Hand numbing vibration , violent powerband (some may like that) and the handling ? Spooky ... At least for me.

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4/16/2018 3:02 PM

Well i haven’t rode an older 250sx i just put a kehien carb from a 16ktm125 with the 03sx250 stock jetting specs into my 17sx and the bike runs so so crisp now it’s wicked

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4/16/2018 3:11 PM

Things haven't made near the leap since 2002 as they did in the 16 years before that.

The '02 250SX was a missile, even by today's standards. The YZ250 is the same engine. The '03 YZ450 was as fast as anything today.

The chassis on that 250SX however, sucked even considering the time period. It would work OK on a sandy track and literally nowhere else.

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4/17/2018 6:33 PM

FreshTopEnd wrote:

Don’t know how true it is, but folks used to mention that the pds shock placement allowed those bikes better airflow to the carb. Would seem like something they could emgineer around if it had made that big a difference.

Funny you mention that. I have had most years of 250sx for the last decade and by far the fastest was the 2011 with the more modern motor and straight through carb boot. That bike was a missile.

Photo

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4/18/2018 2:06 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/18/2018 2:11 AM

I kinda am almost done building that bike. I have a 99 300 mxc engine in a '16 350xcf chassis.
I know its not a 250, but motor wise my old 300 has every bit or more than the new version 300. Back when mine was new my 2 stroke port buddy made this thing rip. Over the years ive refined it here/ there. Back in the day i mainly raced mx with it, and it was a holeshot master. These days its more hare scrambles i do, but still its a very potent motor.
Just because its an old design doesn't necessarily mean its no good. And saying how insane the new ones are because they have a counter blalancer, i have never thought a well put together old one vibrated much anyway.
But, kinda look at it like this, since 1990 there has been 3 basic versions of the 250/300 ktm with refinements along the way. 90-02, 03-16, 17 up.
Each era though has a good bit that carries thru to the next.
On the newest, its cylinder/ piston arrangement is almost the same as the previous, other than a few minor things. Port timing hasnt changed all too much over the years. In some cases the older version stuff was better. My era 300 has 1mm more stroke than the 04 up, so technically mine is a 297, whereas the newer stuff is like 293 or something.
There have been refinements within some of those years that werent good. I remember in 2000 when the 250 jug changed, nothing major but in stock trim it was lacking. Took a little grinding and fine tuning to get it screaming again.
In my case, with my old engine in this newer chassis, the drawbacks of my engine vs the newer era is just a few, and really arent a big deal. The 90-02/03 era engine is not as compact as the 03 up. If you drew a line from center of cs, forward to then the angle of cylinder, the old engines were laid out. Like in the 120 degreeish range. The 03 up engine, is more like 90 degrees.
So to get all the geometry right, my crank angle in my bike is same as a newer, but because my engine is laid out more it may look weird to someone who can see that sort of thing. I have a new 450 with a cr500 in it, and it looks like it was made for that frame, and thats mainly because its trans to cylinder arrangement is almost exactly what the old 450 engine was. Within a mm.
Weight. Im not exactly sure, but the older 90-02/03 engine also weighs a good bit more than the newer. I have both, i should weigh just to see, but id say roughly my older is around 3-4 pounds more.
Alot is in the cylinder/ head. It's obvious when you look at it though, my older jug/ head probably holds double the coolant of the 09-18 style cylinder/ head.
And talking how different these engines are, when i was mocking my bike up, i figured out that basically i could have used a 09 up cylinder on my 99 cases if i wanted to. The difference in port timing would have been easily sorted. To make the newer jug fit my older cases, i would have had to machine only like 4mm off the lower of front of skirt. And to make the newer cylinder mate gasket wise to my cases, it would have been minutes to make the gasket right. But i opted for more water capacity, so used the older jug instead.

But, thats just an example of how even though these engines look different, in the end they're as different as youd think.
Get what i mean?

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