250F or 450 for Vet class

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5/20/2018 10:28 AM

Hey guys. Looking to get some input and advice here. So I currently race vet B on a 2017 YZ250F and am considering if I should get a 450.

A little background first: I am 180 pounds and 6 foot tall. In the past I have rode a variety of 250F's, 250 two strokes and even 450s. Late fall of 2016 I got on the yamaha 250f and since that time I have continued to grow and progress at a much better pace than before. In the past I had a point and shoot two stroke type of riding that didn't really work well on the 450's as I would be hard on clutches ( yes I know on a 450 I shouldn't be slipping the clutch but it was a bad habit form my two stroke days that carried over and I struggled to get rid of on the 450's where I would use the clutch to meter out the power rather than the throttle) but I have since gotten a lot better at being smooth, driving through the turns and not abusing the clutch and using the throttle to control the power delivery so I think I may have broke those bad habits.

Believe it or not I usually get pretty good starts on the 250f even against the other guys in the class where usually all but one is on a 450 so I'm not really looking at the 450 for the starts. Where I am wondering if a 450 would be helpful is in rebounding from those small little mistakes us vet guys make. Those little mistakes a lot of us make that rob momentum and speed. When I make those mistakes compared to the guys I'm racing they just twist the throttle a bit more to get out of it and seem to recover with ease and barely lose any time. Where as I tend to lose that speed and have to work much much harder to make up for it and it costs me a bit more time than it costs them. By that time they open up a bike length. Compound this a few times each lap through out the whole race and it makes for a bit of a gap.

I know the 450 will be harder to ride fitness wise but I do a lot of off the bike stuff so I'm not worried about that. Basically just wondering if getting on a 450 will help me rebound from those little mistakes quicker like the guys I'm racing against seem to or if I would be better of sticking with what has got me to this point and not messing with success so to speak as like I said I have progressed more on this bike than any bike I have ever owned.

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5/20/2018 10:40 AM

Husky or KTM 350

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5/20/2018 10:47 AM

I have the same problem. I'm gonna put a big bore kit on the 250F before I give up on it though. I just love the lighter weight and not so tiring as the 450 beasts.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

5/20/2018 11:26 AM

plowboy wrote:

I have the same problem. I'm gonna put a big bore kit on the 250F before I give up on it though. I just love the lighter ...more

Try Derek Harris @ HP for a big bore 250f. He built me a KTM 270 w RD throttle body and Vortex and it rippppsssss! To me the power is pretty darn close to the 350 and it of course handles like 250f. I had a 350 last summer that I loved, but I think I like the 270 more.

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5/20/2018 12:11 PM

bv wrote:

Hey guys. Looking to get some input and advice here. So I currently race vet B on a 2017 YZ250F and am considering if I should ...more

I am a 50 plus vet with your same weight and height, and my advice is that you should borrow both a 350 and a 450 to see which power style suit you the best.

I think the 250 is just too much of a disadvantage for a guy of your weight if you want to be up front. I have both a 350 and 450 in the garage and right now I prefer the light weight and higher rev HP of the 350 on long high speed tracks, although on a rough tight slower track it is great be able to lug the 450 a gear high through square edge and rutted corners.

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5/20/2018 12:20 PM

stone881 wrote:

Try Derek Harris @ HP for a big bore 250f. He built me a KTM 270 w RD throttle body and Vortex and it rippppsssss! To me the ...more

How about reliability? Not looking for a rocket that needs constant attention. My budget is skinnier than a run way model.

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If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

5/20/2018 12:26 PM

I have done it all. Raced a stock 250f in vet, raced a big bore stroker 285f, raced a ktm 350 and raced a 450. Bang for the buck just get a 450. There is a reason when you look down the line in a vet class there is 95 percent of the class on 450s. Why do you want to handicap yourself?

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5/20/2018 12:46 PM

plowboy wrote:

I have the same problem. I'm gonna put a big bore kit on the 250F before I give up on it though. I just love the lighter ...more

stone881 wrote:

Try Derek Harris @ HP for a big bore 250f. He built me a KTM 270 w RD throttle body and Vortex and it rippppsssss! To me the ...more

plowboy wrote:

How about reliability? Not looking for a rocket that needs constant attention. My budget is skinnier than a run way model.

Reliability isn't a problem, pretty much standard 250f service intervals, but yeah, it will cost you to build it.

Imo with cost in mind, you can't go wrong with the 350, although you do have to rev it to the moon. I dropped a tooth on the drive sprocket and that made it a lot easier to get the top of the rev's. These bikes just keep pulling, so you can't really short shift like a 450, but they won't toss you off like a 450 either.

I think that what you lose in a moto to the 450's due to them pulling you a little, can be made up for handing wise and will also keep you from getting as tired by the end of a moto. That being said, if you ride wide open tracks where you are getting into 4th a lot on long straights, the 450 is gonna be tough to run down. Conversely tighter 2nd/3rd gear tracks, advantage 350.

Don't know about you, but I don't really care about a trophy , I ride/race more for fun and for me 450's aren't nearly as fun as the 350. But I am also in better shape than most vet's so that helps in a race smile

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5/20/2018 12:51 PM

450

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5/20/2018 1:08 PM

my n=1. It depends on your goals, if finishing up front is the objective, you know what bike you need already. Average vet moto, 4 maybe 5 laps? You cant give anything off the start in a Vet B moto, (unless you're an A rider in B class.)
If a mix of fun and challenge are in the discussion, at the possible expense of finishing positions, then you have lots of options. The absolute most fun option of course imho being a 125,( just dont expect to get out of the regionals right?)
I do get the idea of 250f, theyre getting really good, almost to the point of being perfect for everyone, but, theres the disadvantage off the start in short races that puts it at a handicap. Add deep tilled up dirt at some races, and it pulls the power out of the bike just like it does a 250 smoker. Have mama park the car outside, and fill the garage with one of each?

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5/20/2018 1:33 PM

oldmotophan wrote:

Husky or KTM 350

My vote right here also.

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5/20/2018 2:08 PM

I'm a +30/+40 B vet, also on a stock 17 YZ 250f. I just rode an identical bike with a FMF Factory 4.1 RCT yesterday. It gave the bike gobs more torque to fill in the midrange after that initial hit off the bottom. It will make it more forgiving as well. I had one on order for myself before I even finished my coffee this morning. It was that good. Just thought I'd throw that out there!! Pricey, but cheaper than a new bike or a big bore kit.

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5/20/2018 3:35 PM

mark_swart wrote:

I'm a +30/+40 B vet, also on a stock 17 YZ 250f. I just rode an identical bike with a FMF Factory 4.1 RCT yesterday. It gave ...more

Thanks for the input. I put the same exhaust on my bike and it made a huge difference shortly after I got the bike and was really happy I did. Well worth the money for sure and made a great bike ever better. Your gonna love it

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5/20/2018 3:37 PM

racerx217 wrote:

I have done it all. Raced a stock 250f in vet, raced a big bore stroker 285f, raced a ktm 350 and raced a 450. Bang for the ...more

Thanks for the feedback. My thoughts exactly. I even told one of my riding buddies like man there's gotta be a reason all these guys are on 450's. Obviously like we all know there is no other sport or motor sport like motocross and there are a lot of factors to consider like riding style, handling, bike weight etc but like you said in it's purest form what other form of racing would you purposely line up with less power.

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5/20/2018 3:40 PM

Mx746 wrote:

my n=1. It depends on your goals, if finishing up front is the objective, you know what bike you need already. Average vet ...more

Great thoughts Mx746. I tried having one of each years ago and for me I found it too hard to jump back and forth between the different bikes. I'm not sure how the boss lady would take another bike in the garage. Bad enough I broke the news to her a few weeks ago I planned on changing up my plan of scaling back racing in two years and plan to keep going. Fortunately though as long as I replace this blue bike with another shell prolly never know the difference haha

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5/20/2018 3:42 PM

Thanks for all your thoughts guys. I really appreciate the feedback and insights. Please keep it coming!

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5/20/2018 3:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/20/2018 3:53 PM

My 2 cents. Keep the YZ250F. Get a Yamaha 450. Riding both bikes will make you a better rider.
I ride KTM’s, both 250F and 450. On tighter and harder pack tracks the 250F is a weapon. Anything deep, terrible. The Yami’s love a BB kit, so that would be fun.

Having said that, hard not to advise a 350. Riding the 250F really taught me how to get the most out of a bike, but I can’t see racing it on deeper, faster tracks at my size, 5’ 10”, 185. I’m not that good, one mistake and you’re done. Considering getting a 350, 98.5% sure I will. Almost as fun as a 250F, but won’t let you down. Keep 450.

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5/20/2018 3:49 PM

racerx217 wrote:

I have done it all. Raced a stock 250f in vet, raced a big bore stroker 285f, raced a ktm 350 and raced a 450. Bang for the ...more

I have done the same and never felt handicapped in any way. Especially starts.

Technique will do more good for starts than horsepower will.

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5/20/2018 3:52 PM

Id go with a 350, obviously you only have two options with that motor but if you can afford it and have a dealership near by that would be my choice.

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5/20/2018 5:39 PM

I really don't consider my move to a 250F a handicap, at least at my level. I can ride it faster, longer. Yes, there is a little bit of strategy involved on starts, but honestly at most of my races we have less than 10 people. If we had a full gate and everyone else was on 450s it might be a little different. I like being able to turn faster laps later in the moto instead of just holding on. I used to HATE 250s too, but they have come a long way in terms of performance and reliability in the past 3-4 years. I weigh 160 ish though, if I weighed much more I think I'd have to stay with the bigger displacement.

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5/20/2018 5:43 PM

oldmotophan wrote:

Husky or KTM 350

crusher773 wrote:

My vote right here also.

Yup

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5/20/2018 5:49 PM

Go for the 450. And who told you 450 riders don’t use the clutch. I use mine all the time comming out of corners.

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5/20/2018 6:37 PM

450 for sure , on 250 u will suffer on starts and there goes the race.

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Born in Prague,living in LA,so if you don't like my spelling,blow me!

21 CRF450R
16 Yamaha YXZ 1000R
17 Yamaha MT-10 FZ-10 165 Hp RWP
06 CRF450X street legal supermoto
96 CR250R smoker
2012 CR500AF
2003 KLX110 mod




5/20/2018 6:44 PM

Screw it, just go electric!

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5/20/2018 7:47 PM

mark_swart wrote:

I'm a +30/+40 B vet, also on a stock 17 YZ 250f. I just rode an identical bike with a FMF Factory 4.1 RCT yesterday. It gave ...more

Full exhaust? Or slip on,. Any remap or race fuel?

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5/20/2018 7:53 PM

What will you have the most fun on? There’s your answer.

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5/20/2018 8:13 PM

mxb2 wrote:

Full exhaust? Or slip on,. Any remap or race fuel?

My friend had the full system and he said he had some minor mapping changes. I didn't ask about race gas, I probably should have. I only ordered the slip on - I believe with the RCT design most of the gains are probably in the muffler anyway.

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5/20/2018 8:15 PM

mark_swart wrote:

I'm a +30/+40 B vet, also on a stock 17 YZ 250f. I just rode an identical bike with a FMF Factory 4.1 RCT yesterday. It gave ...more

mxb2 wrote:

Full exhaust? Or slip on,. Any remap or race fuel?

mark_swart wrote:

My friend had the full system and he said he had some minor mapping changes. I didn't ask about race gas, I probably should ...more

Thanks,. Muffler as in silencer or header!

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5/20/2018 8:41 PM

I did the 250f thing rehabbing from a severe arm injury. I went back to the 450 after I ended up truly healing and discovered what a disadvantage the 250 was , straightaway speed and acceleration. On the 450 I was just about 5 seconds a lap faster on a 2 minute track. Fitness isn’t an issue and it’s about the same effort on either bike.
So I vote 450

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5/20/2018 10:55 PM

oldmotophan wrote:

Husky or KTM 350

crusher773 wrote:

My vote right here also.

macz400 wrote:

Yup

X4. I can't say enough about my 2018 Husky FC 350. Unless you are a vet A guy and can handle all that a 450 gives you, this is the perfect displacement. So light and easy to handle and power that does not intimidate. I rode the thing for 5 minutes and it felt like I had ridden it for a year. I'm a 350 believer. Perfect vet bike, as advertised.

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"If you don't put your work ahead of your talent, you won't win." Mike Babcock