2 Stroke RM250 vs YZ250 for VET MX

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2/14/2018 7:35 AM

Im 37, and ride mostly MX, mainly practice and playriding. Been riding 25 years.

I do have a 16 CRF250R at home, and an old good shape 99 RM250 which I don't ride much. It feels pretty dated.....

I was looking to pick up a 2003-2008 RM 250, or a 2005+ YZ250. (2 strokes only)

Which one is better, or are they even much different. Are they going to be MUCH better than the 99 RM250 I still have?

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2/14/2018 7:38 AM

If you go the RM route try for an ‘04 or newer.

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2/14/2018 7:43 AM

DPR250R wrote:

If you go the RM route try for an ‘04 or newer.

I agree, I had a 2003 and it just wasnt as good as the >=2004

Even the front brake line routing on the '03 is goofy.

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"We don't rent pigs."

2/14/2018 7:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2018 7:51 AM

Yes. the newer model bikes are going to be improved over your 99. Owned 02, 04, 09, 12 YZ250's & an 06 RM250. Out of those bikes I preferred the 02 & 04 YZ250 due to the handling. The YZ is much more stable at higher speeds vs. the RM chassis, but there is a trade off with the RM having a better turning characteristic in comparison.
The 05 + YZ is also a trade off as the AF chassis feels very rigid vs. the steel frame.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

2/14/2018 7:53 AM

Having had a few of each in the recent past, many more YZ’s than RM’s. Always been a Yamaha guy, but my last RM, if i find another one in good condition, I will pick it up without hesitation. Between the 2? 04 up RM over the alum frame YZ. Like said in another post, if you can find a clean 02-04 steel frame YZ, probably take it, but I liked the RM that much more over the YZ.

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2/14/2018 8:32 AM

I've always been a Suzuki guy, owning several 125's and 250's over the years. A few years ago when I was between good jobs I got a job at a local Yamaha / Kawasaki dealer selling bikes, so I bought the best low hour 04 YZ 250 I could find. This was before everyone started gobbling them up. I did it up with the SSS fork and a mutt 04/08 shock done by Pro-Tune Suspension, and everyone kept asking what I thought about the YZ 250 after owning many Suzuki's and KTM's.

My answer was simple: The YZ 250 is the best RM 250 I've ever ridden. If that makes any sense.

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2/14/2018 10:16 AM

Ive got a really really clean 02 yz250 id sell or an 06. Message me if interested.

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2/14/2018 11:03 AM

I currently have a 2010 yz250 and had an 07 rm250 prior to that. I prefer the yz. I had the same guy do the suspension on both bikes and the yz is way better than the rm.
Power wise they are very similar but i find the yz puts its power to the ground better.
Last but not least, getting parts for the yz is way easier, both aftermarket and oem

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2/14/2018 11:41 AM

YZ, for sure.

If nothing else, just for parts and aftermarket support.

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2/14/2018 11:59 AM

When this question resurfaces, it usually always ends up the same. 50% like vanilla, 50% like chocolate. Both are good, but everyone has a preference on which flavor they like best.

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"We don't rent pigs."

2/14/2018 4:12 PM

Lucky you! Turning 61 tomorrow. Currently racing (if you can call it that) an 04 RM250, an 03 CR250r and my son's 13 YZ250.
On a nice, prepped mx track, the RM is magic. Lots of fun dogging the old guys on their 450's. Dirt sketchy, or trail riding? The CR250 is confidence inspiring and very well engineered (as with most Hondas). Best all around dirt bike ever made? Any post-06 YZ250.

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2/14/2018 5:21 PM

Had the same decision to make.
From my research: never ridden an rm
2006+ rm and 2008+ yz is the "sweet spot" 2011 if you want global spec fuel on the yz

Turning: rm
Suspension: yz
Engine: same design but yz
Aftermarket: yz
Oem: yz -rm parts are expensive and lesser and lesser
Ergonomics: I would imagine they feel the same.
Buying price: rm can be found cheaper but is harder to find. Some yz can be found for a steal and are everywhere.
Both make great project bikes, customization and mix match of new 4 stroke parts is endless if you do enough looking around and number matching. However the steel frame on the rm means powdercoat and wear marks where the yz looks great each ride with simple Scotchbrite

I went with a 2011 yz I picked up for $2800. I believe it is a better bike and the biggest thing is they still make it. Parts are plentiful and any new addition can be easily added. Plus I was coming off a yz125 so it fit me.

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2/14/2018 5:27 PM

04-06 RM was pure gold.

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2/14/2018 5:27 PM

97 RM for 'regular' fork.
04 yz for frame.
Then 06 or newer yz for fork.

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2/14/2018 5:36 PM

Do you want a stable decent turning bike with a powerful but mellow motor?-------Yamaha

Do you want a razor edge turning machine that will be kinda sketchy on straights , feels like it weighs 175 pounds and has a competitive motor with a decent hit?--------Suzuki......

You have picked two machines that could not be more different while accomplishing the same thing. .

I own an 06 yz 250 and an 08 rm 250.........I love em both and they act completely different on the track while basically going the same speed. If your an in shape, aggressive rider, I'd say the suzuki will make your smile bigger than the yamaha......That Suzuki will make you feel like a pro in the corners....Just my 50 year old opinion.

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2/14/2018 7:27 PM

JRT812 wrote:

04-06 RM was pure gold.

This

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2/14/2018 7:31 PM

1stSSPZ wrote:

Lucky you! Turning 61 tomorrow. Currently racing (if you can call it that) an 04 RM250, an 03 CR250r and my son's 13 YZ250.
On a nice, prepped mx track, the RM is magic. Lots of fun dogging the old guys on their 450's. Dirt sketchy, or trail riding? The CR250 is confidence inspiring and very well engineered (as with most Hondas). Best all around dirt bike ever made? Any post-06 YZ250.

The 3rd gen AF CR2 would be the best all around package as it does everything well. With just a $300 PC cyl. / head mods it puts the engine at a different level & is the missing piece to compliment an exceptional chassis / suspension combo..
In comparison to an 04 YZ250 owned that also had PC engine mods with the 06 RM250 having mods done from a local engine tuner. The CR has the broadest & strongest powerband when compared.
The CR case reed engine can make more power if that's what the rider is looking for. In the right hands of a tuner it will outperform the other Japanese 2 strokes.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

2/14/2018 8:12 PM

vetmxr wrote:

Do you want a stable decent turning bike with a powerful but mellow motor?-------Yamaha

Do you want a razor edge turning machine that will be kinda sketchy on straights , feels like it weighs 175 pounds and has a competitive motor with a decent hit?--------Suzuki......

You have picked two machines that could not be more different while accomplishing the same thing. .

I own an 06 yz 250 and an 08 rm 250.........I love em both and they act completely different on the track while basically going the same speed. If your an in shape, aggressive rider, I'd say the suzuki will make your smile bigger than the yamaha......That Suzuki will make you feel like a pro in the corners....Just my 50 year old opinion.

This is probably the single best explanation of the two bikes side by side. Large group of us older guys all ride 2 strokes now. Of those not on KTMs, the rest of us are on YZs with the exception of one 04 RM. Ridden them back to back. The RM will definitely put a grin on your face... If I could own both, I would. But for me and my skill level, the YZ just hooks up better and is easier to ride. I'm a C senior woods guy. The other advantage the YZ has is its still in production so parts and knowledge will be out there for a long time to come.

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2/14/2018 8:44 PM

Here's a comparison video I did a while back between them (15 yz and 06 rm). Honestly, you'll be more than fine with either, both of them have relatively similar traits, and I don't think you'll be significantly more comfortable or faster on either. One thing to consider though is Suzuki parts are damn expensive compared to Yamaha parts at this point, so for that reason my YZ gets ridden a lot more than my RM does.

https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/So-which-is-better-RM-or-YZ-Comparison-Video,1324101

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2/14/2018 8:46 PM

To me, the 99 rm250 was a better bike than an 06 yz250 I've ridden. Seemed peppier for some reason. Both bikes in about the same shape when I ride them also. Im.a suzuki fanboy tho. I think the yz of any newer year has mich more potential to be made peppier for low cash output. Wayyyyyy more aftermarket goodies also. Can't go wrong with a yz250!

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2/14/2018 9:01 PM

H4L wrote:

The 3rd gen AF CR2 would be the best all around package as it does everything well. With just a $300 PC cyl. / head mods it puts the engine at a different level & is the missing piece to compliment an exceptional chassis / suspension combo..
In comparison to an 04 YZ250 owned that also had PC engine mods with the 06 RM250 having mods done from a local engine tuner. The CR has the broadest & strongest powerband when compared.
The CR case reed engine can make more power if that's what the rider is looking for. In the right hands of a tuner it will outperform the other Japanese 2 strokes.

What exactly did you do to your cr250 head? Just deck and mill or porting as well? Ive heard guys swear you have to change the carb out too.

My 2008 YZ250 was a sweet bike, wish I still had it...best $2300 i ever spent. I've been through a 2009 CRF450R and 2014 CRF450R since then, and currently riding a 2017 KTM350SXF. Not one iota faster than on that two stroke, maybe a little less sketchy but not worth the $10k ive lost in bike depreciation since then.

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2/14/2018 9:41 PM

JAFO92 wrote:

When this question resurfaces, it usually always ends up the same. 50% like vanilla, 50% like chocolate. Both are good, but everyone has a preference on which flavor they like best.

Very true Bobby. Me personally I prefer the RM's on how they feel. Ridden a few YZ's , with the latest one being a 14'. I just like my RM more. I had a choice a few years back between the two....for me , yellow just fit me better.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

2/14/2018 9:44 PM

vetmxr wrote:

Do you want a stable decent turning bike with a powerful but mellow motor?-------Yamaha

Do you want a razor edge turning machine that will be kinda sketchy on straights , feels like it weighs 175 pounds and has a competitive motor with a decent hit?--------Suzuki......

You have picked two machines that could not be more different while accomplishing the same thing. .

I own an 06 yz 250 and an 08 rm 250.........I love em both and they act completely different on the track while basically going the same speed. If your an in shape, aggressive rider, I'd say the suzuki will make your smile bigger than the yamaha......That Suzuki will make you feel like a pro in the corners....Just my 50 year old opinion.

Man...you spelled that out about 100% exactly the way I think. Very well said , and true.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

2/14/2018 10:22 PM

TJMX947 wrote:

What exactly did you do to your cr250 head? Just deck and mill or porting as well? Ive heard guys swear you have to change the carb out too.

My 2008 YZ250 was a sweet bike, wish I still had it...best $2300 i ever spent. I've been through a 2009 CRF450R and 2014 CRF450R since then, and currently riding a 2017 KTM350SXF. Not one iota faster than on that two stroke, maybe a little less sketchy but not worth the $10k ive lost in bike depreciation since then.

PC changes the port timing on the cyl. & modifies the head squish band. They also shave the surface of the head to bump up the compression. I started with the TMX & tried the PWK, but ended up going back to the TMX. The TMX provides better topend power with an extended overrev.
Have owned 6 450's with the most current being an 18 CRF450r. The 03 CR2 PC engine feels as strong as the 18 450 with one of the differences being the 450 hooks up better.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

2/14/2018 11:48 PM

O.P.

I have been looking also, but i did bag a ride on a 2000/01 CR 250, it was very good!.

Maybe try out both bikes?, if there's one at the local track that the owner is up for you spinning a few laps on?.

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imoto34 wrote:
Look at all that torque. The kid on the lawnmower may have laughed so hard he shat his pants.

2/15/2018 12:05 AM

Get the zook, everyone and their grandma rides a yz.You aint gonna be winning an AMA title so might as well have fun right?

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2/15/2018 5:33 AM

H4L wrote:

PC changes the port timing on the cyl. & modifies the head squish band. They also shave the surface of the head to bump up the compression. I started with the TMX & tried the PWK, but ended up going back to the TMX. The TMX provides better topend power with an extended overrev.
Have owned 6 450's with the most current being an 18 CRF450r. The 03 CR2 PC engine feels as strong as the 18 450 with one of the differences being the 450 hooks up better.

Thanks for the info,I assume you're running a PC pipe as well? Any type of Fly Wheel Weight or aftermarket reed cage?

I loved my YZ250 two stroke as I felt it was always a good "out of the box package." I do think the Hondas looked cool and I have fond memories of my 2002 CR125 when I first started racing. The Honda case reed engines get a bad rap and I find that you can get a better deal on them in most cases, having a little know how from someone who's built one is valuable.

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2/15/2018 6:20 AM

TJMX947 wrote:

Thanks for the info,I assume you're running a PC pipe as well? Any type of Fly Wheel Weight or aftermarket reed cage?

I loved my YZ250 two stroke as I felt it was always a good "out of the box package." I do think the Hondas looked cool and I have fond memories of my 2002 CR125 when I first started racing. The Honda case reed engines get a bad rap and I find that you can get a better deal on them in most cases, having a little know how from someone who's built one is valuable.

TJ - I did try the PC works pipe, but ended up with a Doma that actually worked better across the rpm range. I'm also running a VF2 cage with a JD aftermarket ign.. If you end up picking one up don't hesitate to send me a pm about questions you may have. Don't mind sharing my experiences & knowledge with a fellow mx rider. I agree they do get a bap rap, but found the 3rd gen AF CR2 to be the complete package with some tweaks.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

2/15/2018 6:36 AM

Great info here guys. I guess one thing I hadnt considered was to freshen up this old 99 RM250. Its paid for and sitting in the barn, in pretty good shape. I could get the suspension done, and freshen it up a little. Not sure how that would feel compared to the other choices.

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2/15/2018 6:48 AM

IMO You could probably spend $500 and have that 99 freshened up enough to actually determine if you would even want to ride a 250 two stroke on a track full time. You do get the updated ergos of the newer bikes but aside from that you're going to be on a rocket ship compared to your CRF250R.

Maybe you love it and you can sell both and get a newer two stroke that is in great shape.

Maybe you hate it and just keep the 99 as a collectors piece.

For me my ego was hurt when I tried the two stroke and I went back to a four stroke, and as I mentioned 6 years later I've come to the realization that I'm just older, smarter, and slower and the bike didn't do that...its just the evolution of me as a person and rider. For me the two stroke held me back from doing stuff that I probably shouldn't have been trying anyways, as the four stroke can give you a false sense of confidence. For what its worth nothing has ever put a smile on my face like holding a YZ250 wide open around a big sandy berm.

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