2019 Vital MX 250 Shootout - Article is live!

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12/7/2018 6:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/12/2018 6:59 AM

Update: Article is live, the whole thing. Hit the same link as below or jump on the homepage. We also have a forum QNA going for this thing here - https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/Forum-QNA-2019-250-Shootout,1350719

Article and Video - https://www.vitalmx.com/features/2019-Vital-MX-250-Shootout,6335
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12/7/2018 6:50 AM

Suzuki dead last almost unanimously because of spring rates. The only heavier rider ranked it 2nd is interesting.

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12/7/2018 6:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2018 7:10 AM

yz133rider wrote:

Suzuki dead last almost unanimously because of spring rates. The only heavier rider ranked it 2nd is interesting.

For most, the last ranking wasn't just spring rate.

At least for myself, corrected spring rates and valving would place it fifth (I rode a test bike with lower spring rates for reference).

But, that's part of the interesting thing with Shootouts. Not everyone is looking for the same thing in their bikes.

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12/7/2018 8:11 AM

So the Suzuki is competitive and who really rides a stock bike anymore?

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12/7/2018 8:28 AM

Well done as always ML

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I'm not an actual kid
Red Bud Vet Fest 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gpxS0KgQFc

District 14
2017 KTM 150

R.I.P. Steel City

12/7/2018 8:45 AM

yz133rider wrote:

Suzuki dead last almost unanimously because of spring rates. The only heavier rider ranked it 2nd is interesting.

Interested in what he has to say to rank it 2nd.
Also wondering what a ignition and exhaust will do for the bike.
Hope Keefer does the same add on test for the 250 as he’s doing for the 450.

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12/7/2018 8:47 AM

Rad, ML! Love seeing this!

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KTM250SX YZ125 YZ85 PW80 ZX6 FZX700

12/7/2018 9:03 AM

Looks like we picked a good year to buy a 250 and 450 Yamaha.

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12/7/2018 9:12 AM

Thanks for the report....good stuff.

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12/7/2018 9:24 AM

Not in the market for a new bike but I really enjoy the shootouts, thanks for the vid ML.

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12/7/2018 9:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2018 9:45 AM

Great job! Glad you liked the the yz250f the best, I love my '19!

It was cool watching you all a Cahullia last weekend during the shootout that day and thanks for taking a minute to talk.

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"Who cares about what other people think"

12/7/2018 9:30 AM

Good to see some video of CarlinoJoe on the bikes!

Great video as always ML. I was close on my guess for the results. I'd love to ride a some of the new 250's!

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hammerfamily_4 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

12/7/2018 9:39 AM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

Good to see some video of CarlinoJoe on the bikes!

Great video as always ML. I was close on my guess for the results. I'd love to ride a some of the new 250's!

250 Shootout is more fun for me than the 450 one, you don't feel like you're going to die at 3pm after you've been riding non-stop all day. laughing

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12/7/2018 9:46 AM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

Good to see some video of CarlinoJoe on the bikes!

Great video as always ML. I was close on my guess for the results. I'd love to ride a some of the new 250's!

ML512 wrote:

250 Shootout is more fun for me than the 450 one, you don't feel like you're going to die at 3pm after you've been riding non-stop all day. laughing

Haha I can see that! I always loved riding 250's, especially after riding 450s for so long. I feel like I can go pro speed when I jump on 250's (still a long way off though laughing )

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hammerfamily_4 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

12/7/2018 9:59 AM

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

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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

12/7/2018 10:04 AM

jeffro503 wrote:

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

I think every bike including the RMZ could be set up amazing to any rider with time and some money added. Would it be a winner? That’s hard to say, but it could easily be better then 6th place.

Manny who does some Vital testing did that to the RMZ450 and ravs about it.

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12/7/2018 10:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2018 10:23 AM

jeffro503 wrote:

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

Here's my personal opinion from my limited time with the machine.

I feel the new chassis is a bit more rigid then the outgoing chassis, so suspension setup could be a bit more difficult when looking for comfort. I'd be picky about handlebars and engine mounts on this new bike... On the bright side, the KYB AOS fork is SO much better than the outgoing PSF2 fork.

I think a longer link is going to help, we're running 110-112 sag right now with the forks at 2.5mm height. A complete link arm and bell crank would be ideal for more leverage; but I think lower spring rates, changed valving and a longer link will go a long ways.

The gearing gap from second to third gear is fairly spread but the gearing they're using keeps you in third and above on a track with decent speed. Tighter tracks make things interesting...

450s have so much potential that a map and exhaust can make a huge difference but in this case, it would take a bit more than that to quench my wants on this bike. I think the stock mapping is so so, a good ECU tune could make a big difference...but I'd look at ECU, pipe, fuel and possibly cams.

This was going to be placed in the full article but I'll bring it up in here so people know ahead of time, the Suzuki was only present for one day of riding of our three days. We scheduled our Shootout around a timeline Suzuki gave us which ended up being changed a couple times. Due to a lot of things already being in place, we were unable to modify our testing schedule to keep the Suzuki in all three days. Basically, the bike showed up later than I was told it would be, so it only made our test day at Milestone, while all the others bike were ridden at the sand track in Nuevo, secondly at Cahuilla Creek, then Milestone to finish it off.

I don't mean for this to come across negative, I think Suzuki made some solid moves forward with the new 250 but a few miss-steps as well. I think with some improved settings it could've been off the bottom of the list for most of the riders. But at the same time, it wouldn't sky rocket up the list. I personally think it's competitive now but still towards the bottom of the field when you weigh in all the areas of the bike as it comes off the dealership floor. I think there will be buyers grabbing them this year and with some small tweaks they'll be very happy with their purchase.

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12/7/2018 10:18 AM

Awesome shootouts again, can't wait the article ! Thanks for the quality of your work

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12/7/2018 10:20 AM

Thanks for your hard work, the Vital shootouts are class leading. I can't wait to read the written version!

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12/7/2018 10:30 AM

jeffro503 wrote:

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

ML512 wrote:

Here's my personal opinion from my limited time with the machine.

I feel the new chassis is a bit more rigid then the outgoing chassis, so suspension setup could be a bit more difficult when looking for comfort. I'd be picky about handlebars and engine mounts on this new bike... On the bright side, the KYB AOS fork is SO much better than the outgoing PSF2 fork.

I think a longer link is going to help, we're running 110-112 sag right now with the forks at 2.5mm height. A complete link arm and bell crank would be ideal for more leverage; but I think lower spring rates, changed valving and a longer link will go a long ways.

The gearing gap from second to third gear is fairly spread but the gearing they're using keeps you in third and above on a track with decent speed. Tighter tracks make things interesting...

450s have so much potential that a map and exhaust can make a huge difference but in this case, it would take a bit more than that to quench my wants on this bike. I think the stock mapping is so so, a good ECU tune could make a big difference...but I'd look at ECU, pipe, fuel and possibly cams.

This was going to be placed in the full article but I'll bring it up in here so people know ahead of time, the Suzuki was only present for one day of riding of our three days. We scheduled our Shootout around a timeline Suzuki gave us which ended up being changed a couple times. Due to a lot of things already being in place, we were unable to modify our testing schedule to keep the Suzuki in all three days. Basically, the bike showed up later than I was told it would be, so it only made our test day at Milestone, while all the others bike were ridden at the sand track in Nuevo, secondly at Cahuilla Creek, then Milestone to finish it off.

I don't mean for this to come across negative, I think Suzuki made some solid moves forward with the new 250 but a few miss-steps as well. I think with some improved settings it could've been off the bottom of the list for most of the riders. But at the same time, it wouldn't sky rocket up the list. I personally think it's competitive now but still towards the bottom of the field when you weigh in all the areas of the bike as it comes off the dealership floor. I think there will be buyers grabbing them this year and with some small tweaks they'll be very happy with their purchase.

Thanks ML ( And Joe ! ) For the info. Maybe a 250F in my future , and felt the need to kick some tires. Thanks for all your hard work on this shoot out BTW.

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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

12/7/2018 1:04 PM

ML512 wrote:

Here's my personal opinion from my limited time with the machine.

I feel the new chassis is a bit more rigid then the outgoing chassis, so suspension setup could be a bit more difficult when looking for comfort. I'd be picky about handlebars and engine mounts on this new bike... On the bright side, the KYB AOS fork is SO much better than the outgoing PSF2 fork.

I think a longer link is going to help, we're running 110-112 sag right now with the forks at 2.5mm height. A complete link arm and bell crank would be ideal for more leverage; but I think lower spring rates, changed valving and a longer link will go a long ways.

The gearing gap from second to third gear is fairly spread but the gearing they're using keeps you in third and above on a track with decent speed. Tighter tracks make things interesting...

450s have so much potential that a map and exhaust can make a huge difference but in this case, it would take a bit more than that to quench my wants on this bike. I think the stock mapping is so so, a good ECU tune could make a big difference...but I'd look at ECU, pipe, fuel and possibly cams.

This was going to be placed in the full article but I'll bring it up in here so people know ahead of time, the Suzuki was only present for one day of riding of our three days. We scheduled our Shootout around a timeline Suzuki gave us which ended up being changed a couple times. Due to a lot of things already being in place, we were unable to modify our testing schedule to keep the Suzuki in all three days. Basically, the bike showed up later than I was told it would be, so it only made our test day at Milestone, while all the others bike were ridden at the sand track in Nuevo, secondly at Cahuilla Creek, then Milestone to finish it off.

I don't mean for this to come across negative, I think Suzuki made some solid moves forward with the new 250 but a few miss-steps as well. I think with some improved settings it could've been off the bottom of the list for most of the riders. But at the same time, it wouldn't sky rocket up the list. I personally think it's competitive now but still towards the bottom of the field when you weigh in all the areas of the bike as it comes off the dealership floor. I think there will be buyers grabbing them this year and with some small tweaks they'll be very happy with their purchase.

A thought because everyone is interested I feel...

Why not arrange a pseudo shootout with existing mod bikes in actual usage
Ask larry brooks for one of their amateur team bikes for the rmz
The yzf from a rockriver type support kid
crf from maybe a privateer effort sx guy
and a kxf that pc supports for their B class kid
ktm from the top ktm finisher at mini o's ... etc

The bikes are already built and it would be a neat feature on what's being done to real race bikes for those aspiring to the top.

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12/7/2018 1:19 PM

^^That is a great idea but I would rather see $1,500 - $2,000 spent (at normal retail prices) on each bike for mods and then compare them. I think that would be really interesting because I think that is what the average consumer would spend.

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"Who cares about what other people think"

12/7/2018 1:23 PM

Really wish you could have sneaked the TM in here.

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12/7/2018 2:04 PM

jeffro503 wrote:

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

ML512 wrote:

Here's my personal opinion from my limited time with the machine.

I feel the new chassis is a bit more rigid then the outgoing chassis, so suspension setup could be a bit more difficult when looking for comfort. I'd be picky about handlebars and engine mounts on this new bike... On the bright side, the KYB AOS fork is SO much better than the outgoing PSF2 fork.

I think a longer link is going to help, we're running 110-112 sag right now with the forks at 2.5mm height. A complete link arm and bell crank would be ideal for more leverage; but I think lower spring rates, changed valving and a longer link will go a long ways.

The gearing gap from second to third gear is fairly spread but the gearing they're using keeps you in third and above on a track with decent speed. Tighter tracks make things interesting...

450s have so much potential that a map and exhaust can make a huge difference but in this case, it would take a bit more than that to quench my wants on this bike. I think the stock mapping is so so, a good ECU tune could make a big difference...but I'd look at ECU, pipe, fuel and possibly cams.

This was going to be placed in the full article but I'll bring it up in here so people know ahead of time, the Suzuki was only present for one day of riding of our three days. We scheduled our Shootout around a timeline Suzuki gave us which ended up being changed a couple times. Due to a lot of things already being in place, we were unable to modify our testing schedule to keep the Suzuki in all three days. Basically, the bike showed up later than I was told it would be, so it only made our test day at Milestone, while all the others bike were ridden at the sand track in Nuevo, secondly at Cahuilla Creek, then Milestone to finish it off.

I don't mean for this to come across negative, I think Suzuki made some solid moves forward with the new 250 but a few miss-steps as well. I think with some improved settings it could've been off the bottom of the list for most of the riders. But at the same time, it wouldn't sky rocket up the list. I personally think it's competitive now but still towards the bottom of the field when you weigh in all the areas of the bike as it comes off the dealership floor. I think there will be buyers grabbing them this year and with some small tweaks they'll be very happy with their purchase.

Derek Harris wrote:

A thought because everyone is interested I feel...

Why not arrange a pseudo shootout with existing mod bikes in actual usage
Ask larry brooks for one of their amateur team bikes for the rmz
The yzf from a rockriver type support kid
crf from maybe a privateer effort sx guy
and a kxf that pc supports for their B class kid
ktm from the top ktm finisher at mini o's ... etc

The bikes are already built and it would be a neat feature on what's being done to real race bikes for those aspiring to the top.

I like where you are going with that but still, I think those bikes mentioned maybe too personalised for it's rider and if they have weird preferences as some riders do it's going to feel shit to everyone else. I'd like to see where they do the mods to suit a wide variety as how stock bikes have to.
Saying that, I was involved with a shoot out years ago that also included Race Tech training so we got to try out all the bikes, disassemble, measure and note everything about them, then modify the suspension for the group of test riders on hand. And that was near impossible to please everyone to say the least. It was more get it raceable for everyone and better than stock was a win.

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12/7/2018 2:45 PM

Thank you ML, great shootout and I totally envy your job.

From the very beginning I thought "please, don't rate the Yammy as the best bike". Well you did.
The problem I have with that is I rode that bike a couple of weeks back and compared it to my old (05) Suzuki 250 smoker. If that YZF is the best that the current 250 class has to offer, I will be staying with my two stroke for life.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, but my old, beat up zook was more fun in every way. Probably not half as competitive but different strokes for different folks, I am all about fun. Btw it felt good to blow past the YZF owner when we did a little race.

I expected to be blown away by the new 250, and faced some fear before swinging a leg over it. I thought my bike will be a total POS after trying that high tech new Yamaha. Not so! I do need some KYBs on it though.

Aaaanyway, cool shootout, I hoped for the suzuki to be a bit higher but it is what it is.

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12/7/2018 2:53 PM

Going to pick up my new YZ250F tomorrow, cant wait to take it out sunday!!

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12/7/2018 3:35 PM

Turbojez wrote:

Thank you ML, great shootout and I totally envy your job.

From the very beginning I thought "please, don't rate the Yammy as the best bike". Well you did.
The problem I have with that is I rode that bike a couple of weeks back and compared it to my old (05) Suzuki 250 smoker. If that YZF is the best that the current 250 class has to offer, I will be staying with my two stroke for life.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, but my old, beat up zook was more fun in every way. Probably not half as competitive but different strokes for different folks, I am all about fun. Btw it felt good to blow past the YZF owner when we did a little race.

I expected to be blown away by the new 250, and faced some fear before swinging a leg over it. I thought my bike will be a total POS after trying that high tech new Yamaha. Not so! I do need some KYBs on it though.

Aaaanyway, cool shootout, I hoped for the suzuki to be a bit higher but it is what it is.

One thing to consider with the results is that maybe the Yamaha was the, "Best overall bike" but there are other bikes in the class that are more, "fun" to ride in certain scenarios.

Personally I thought the Honda was the most, "fun", because it was like a 125 2 stroke on steroids, but I agree with the group that the Yamaha was the "best package out of the box".

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12/7/2018 3:53 PM

jeffro503 wrote:

Quick question ML : You think if a person set up the suspension really good and put on some exhaust , mapping changes ect to the RMZ , she would be a good bike? I mean , the overall chassis / fit and feel of the bike is good , just needs some help in the suspension and motor?

ML512 wrote:

Here's my personal opinion from my limited time with the machine.

I feel the new chassis is a bit more rigid then the outgoing chassis, so suspension setup could be a bit more difficult when looking for comfort. I'd be picky about handlebars and engine mounts on this new bike... On the bright side, the KYB AOS fork is SO much better than the outgoing PSF2 fork.

I think a longer link is going to help, we're running 110-112 sag right now with the forks at 2.5mm height. A complete link arm and bell crank would be ideal for more leverage; but I think lower spring rates, changed valving and a longer link will go a long ways.

The gearing gap from second to third gear is fairly spread but the gearing they're using keeps you in third and above on a track with decent speed. Tighter tracks make things interesting...

450s have so much potential that a map and exhaust can make a huge difference but in this case, it would take a bit more than that to quench my wants on this bike. I think the stock mapping is so so, a good ECU tune could make a big difference...but I'd look at ECU, pipe, fuel and possibly cams.

This was going to be placed in the full article but I'll bring it up in here so people know ahead of time, the Suzuki was only present for one day of riding of our three days. We scheduled our Shootout around a timeline Suzuki gave us which ended up being changed a couple times. Due to a lot of things already being in place, we were unable to modify our testing schedule to keep the Suzuki in all three days. Basically, the bike showed up later than I was told it would be, so it only made our test day at Milestone, while all the others bike were ridden at the sand track in Nuevo, secondly at Cahuilla Creek, then Milestone to finish it off.

I don't mean for this to come across negative, I think Suzuki made some solid moves forward with the new 250 but a few miss-steps as well. I think with some improved settings it could've been off the bottom of the list for most of the riders. But at the same time, it wouldn't sky rocket up the list. I personally think it's competitive now but still towards the bottom of the field when you weigh in all the areas of the bike as it comes off the dealership floor. I think there will be buyers grabbing them this year and with some small tweaks they'll be very happy with their purchase.

Derek Harris wrote:

A thought because everyone is interested I feel...

Why not arrange a pseudo shootout with existing mod bikes in actual usage
Ask larry brooks for one of their amateur team bikes for the rmz
The yzf from a rockriver type support kid
crf from maybe a privateer effort sx guy
and a kxf that pc supports for their B class kid
ktm from the top ktm finisher at mini o's ... etc

The bikes are already built and it would be a neat feature on what's being done to real race bikes for those aspiring to the top.

The first thing that pops to mind is the level of work and suspension on each bike being setup for a bunch of different riders, along with most of the team style efforts not being too interested in a comparison like that. In theory I like the idea, but it would be much more difficult to accomplish...namely the amount of time that gets placed on each machine during a shootout and the wear/tear these groups would see...when we test a team bike, there’s typically a small time limit each bike can run.

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12/7/2018 3:56 PM

Turbojez wrote:

Thank you ML, great shootout and I totally envy your job.

From the very beginning I thought "please, don't rate the Yammy as the best bike". Well you did.
The problem I have with that is I rode that bike a couple of weeks back and compared it to my old (05) Suzuki 250 smoker. If that YZF is the best that the current 250 class has to offer, I will be staying with my two stroke for life.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, but my old, beat up zook was more fun in every way. Probably not half as competitive but different strokes for different folks, I am all about fun. Btw it felt good to blow past the YZF owner when we did a little race.

I expected to be blown away by the new 250, and faced some fear before swinging a leg over it. I thought my bike will be a total POS after trying that high tech new Yamaha. Not so! I do need some KYBs on it though.

Aaaanyway, cool shootout, I hoped for the suzuki to be a bit higher but it is what it is.

As you said, different strokes for different folks, I’d take the YZ250F and most of the bikes in this test over a RM250 any day. But again, personal preference.

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12/7/2018 3:57 PM

mwr wrote:

Really wish you could have sneaked the TM in here.

They refused, I asked.

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