450 vs 125 for vet racers

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7/21/2018 5:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/21/2018 5:32 PM

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got a new crf450 this year much better lap times and for some reason my legs don't hurt the next day. So is there any reason to keep the 125? I think I am just not very good at clutching and shifting all the time. Maybe the maintence on 4 stroke changing oil and filters all the time is a pain

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7/21/2018 5:39 PM

There is no way I could have a 125 as my main bike. I ride a yz250 and while it's fun to take my wife's 125 for a spin every now and then I couldn't do it full time.
I can understand getting bored with a 450, especially if lap times and race results aren't top priority, but I'd take a 250 2 stroke or 250f over a 125 any day.
As far as the maintenance goes, 20 hours on a piston on a 125 is pushing it. I'd rather do oil and filter changes every 5 hours

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7/21/2018 5:42 PM

Pussies

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7/21/2018 7:59 PM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

Everyone will be slower when they switch to a 125, at least for a while.
For ultra-aggressive and determined riders like myself, switching to the 125 was a great way to improve my skill and consistency. I never allowed the 125 to be an excuse, but instead used it as a reason to step up my effort.

I raced a 125 from 2013 through 2015 in the Vet B classes. I purchased a 450F at the end of 2015 and moved to A.
After six months on the four stroke I went back to an old YZ250 two stroke and was able to run right up front, even win some motos in 30A and 25A. The 125 was the key in learning how to carry more speed and be efficient on the bike for me.

I think a lot of the guys in the vet class don't want to ride on the edge. The two strokes make you do that.
If you make a mistake on a 450, you just deal with it, then twist the throttle and you're back up to speed.
On a 125, if you make a mistake, you cannot shut off. You have to stay wide open and work the bike to overcome the mistake, or you'll lose momentum and get passed. You have to carry speed through the places where the four stroke riders can take it easy and make up for it with power. For some riders, that's a deal breaker.

Starts are the other big issue. It's pretty tough to get a start on a 125 against a line full of 450 riders.

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7/21/2018 8:47 PM

Comes down to riding the bike you like to ride.

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7/21/2018 10:18 PM

cwtoyota wrote:

Everyone will be slower when they switch to a 125, at least for a while.
For ultra-aggressive and determined riders like ...more

Yup. You’re either a 125 rider or you’re not. I do much better riding a bike that forces me to ride aggressively, carry momentum and flog it for all it’s worth. I also have way more fun doing so. The starts do suck but when you get the checkered flag you know you earned every position.

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7/22/2018 2:26 AM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

cwtoyota wrote:

Everyone will be slower when they switch to a 125, at least for a while.
For ultra-aggressive and determined riders like ...more

I race a 125 because of the way it makes me ride. Yes, my buds can just blip the throttle on their 450's, but that's not what I'm looking for.

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7/22/2018 2:26 AM

I have both, i prefer to ride the 125...its just more fun and like cwtoyota said, jou have to be full tilt on one to get anywhere....
Mostly I ride my 450 though, the races ive done on it, i would have done a lot better on my 125, im blowing starts on my 450 anyway.
Just persisting with it and slowly getting it setup to suit myself...this is my first ever 450
I have it to race the mx1 class, i have an older 250f for the mx2 class but next year I'll race my new 250 two stroke in that...
Honestly....when my riding improves to where it was before my long break from riding...I'll probably race the 125 in the vets class just for the pure fun of it!
And I should be pretty competetive..
Plus there is the odd actual 125 class at a race sometimes

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2020 YZ450F
2006 YZ125
2013 YZ 250F special edition
2017 YZ 250
2015 YZ 250f soecial edition
2019 KTM 85 big wheel
1979 YZ 250

7/22/2018 2:34 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/22/2018 2:36 AM

I'm a fat 40 year old guy on a 144. I LOVE IT. It is a lot of work, but to beat guys who are on 450s is so fun. I've had every size bike, but 125 is my favorite. I'm over trying to win championships, I just enjoy racing and, now that I normally have to start from the back, I get to battle with more riders. It's just so much fun. But if you weak ego isn't ok with mid pack rides, then the 125 isn't for you.

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7/22/2018 5:39 AM

racingfortheson wrote:

I'm a fat 40 year old guy on a 144. I LOVE IT. It is a lot of work, but to beat guys who are on 450s is so fun. I've had every ...more

Weak ego, thats funny. Because what a 125 gives someone on race day is the ultimate excuse. "Hey, look at me, I beat a bunch of 450s" "Hey, I got beat because i was on a 125" Its a win win for you. Have fun.

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7/22/2018 5:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/22/2018 5:58 AM

Vet Rider or Vet Racer is the question... If your a vet rider and want to log laps, stay in good physical shape and stay safe, I rarely see vet riders get hurt on a 125. If your a serious vet racer and want to get good starts and run up front, a 450 is so much easier and just about a necessity. I beat half the vet gate riding 450's one time on a modded CRF230... Does that mean the 230 is a better bike? God no, just half of the gate that day lacked solid moto skills. Whenever I beat vet guys on my 125 (I run +40, +45 and now this year +50 ?) I chalk it up to lack of skills on there part, surely not because a 125 is a better bike. I love racing 450's but when things go wrong (they eventually will) they hurt bad and cost me money for lost wages and medical bill's so I spend most of my time on 125's ?

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7/22/2018 6:33 AM

racingfortheson wrote:

I'm a fat 40 year old guy on a 144. I LOVE IT. It is a lot of work, but to beat guys who are on 450s is so fun. I've had every ...more

Markee wrote:

Weak ego, thats funny. Because what a 125 gives someone on race day is the ultimate excuse. "Hey, look at me, I beat a bunch ...more

O no, have access to a 250f. I have never used bike as excuse. I see how my son's buddies rail 125s and I know if I get beat, it's because I didn't ride good enough. Friend wins the Vet A class on his 125. In the vet classes, bike size does total determine the outcome. Robby almost won Loretta's, but bike died, on a 125.

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7/22/2018 7:20 AM

Word is at this years LL 50+ class at least 5% will be on 125-150’s

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7/22/2018 7:22 AM

I've owned a 125 and 450 for years. I still love riding my 125. Great to have as a back up bike.

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7/22/2018 10:01 AM

on a 450 I feel like Im driving a fast water truck. 125 = autocross civic maybe? Old guy back and knees etc, I hate picking up a 450 that i dumped in a turn. Also dont like the chance of getting out of shape when Im tired on a 450. Never built that shed for my tool, (Im skinny) so a 125 hauls me around just fine. I dont see any advantage for racing at all. Wish I had the time and money for a fleet of bikes but if there were only one bike stand in the garage, Id want a 125-150 on it.

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7/22/2018 10:45 AM

125/144 takes a lot more upkeep than a 450 imo

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7/22/2018 11:14 AM

Got off a CR250 two stroke a few years ago because I was no longer competitive on it in the 50+ and 55+ classes (emphasis on I was not competitive, NOT the bike, it could still win) and went over to the dark side. Immediately went back to competitive on a CRF450R. Just bought a 125 for fun after sitting on the gate next to a guy on a KX125, and he had the biggest grin on his face, I was jealous! I may not be at the front, but I can't wait to race that thing against the same guys I race with on 450s, just to see if I can keep up.

Call me crazy, but I was wondering if that guy wasn't having more fun at the back of the pack on his 125 than I was at the front of it.

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7/22/2018 11:25 AM

Graybeard wrote:

Got off a CR250 two stroke a few years ago because I was no longer competitive on it in the 50+ and 55+ classes (emphasis on I ...more

Depends, I am sure he would like to be competitive, but more than likely happy AF to just be there and for some, ringing the piss out of a 125 and feeling like a hero is good enough and beats the humdrum reality of life during the week. If he beats a guy on the latest 450, then it's a win.

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vomiting equals disqualification.

7/23/2018 12:07 PM

It all comes down to expectations. I was slower on a 250 two stroke and it was going to take time to re-learn how to ride as opposed to how I rode 250Fs and 450s. For me my ego couldn't handle it at the time so I jumped ship.

From a racers stand point think about it in terms of average speed around the track...The start dictates your position, however if races were controlled for the start the person with the highest average speed around the entire track during the entire moto would win. We are nowhere near being able to consistently utilize the entire spread of power a 450 produces. There may be a jump here or there, a big hill, or a long straight...but you have to let off in the corners. A 125 lets you stay on the gas longer, and get back on it sooner...hence "working" the engine as some guys say. I weighed over 200lbs and had good success racing a 250F against 450s, it was fun and I honestly felt like what I lost on the start I could gain back on lap 4 or 5 whenever people started getting tired.

Someone made a good point earlier about vet guys on a 125 not getting hurt so much, I'm one of the people who totally agrees with that...I've jumped things easily on a four stroke that took me a little thinking and a little soul searching to jump on a 2 stroke. When I got on a 250F from a 125 in 2005 it was a game changeover. At this point I ride a 2017 KTM 350 SXF and I honestly don't know that in a 1 lap race if I'm THAT much faster than if I was on a 250 two stroke. I've got a few years before the 350 gets replaced and it very well could get replaced by YZ125 with dialed in suspension.

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7/23/2018 12:26 PM

I've always found it far more fun to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow.

As a vet rider who rode a 125 the very best part was coming off the track at the end of a moto and seeing the looks of all the guys on their built 250's 450's, 500's even 610's back in the day and them realizing that some fat slow bastard on a 125 kicked their butts.

I might not be able to put that look onto my trophy shelf at the end of the day, but it still made all the effort worth it.

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[LINK TO IMAGE]

Empty a bag of skittles into the toilet and then flush. It's like watching a five second long nascar race.

7/23/2018 3:45 PM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

How long can you ride your 450 " hard "?

If you're not getting tired on the 450 , then you're not riding it hard enough. A 125 let's you ride it hard , for a longer period of time once you get it down. A lot easier to reel back in if you get out of shape too.

It's not " what " you're riding.....as long as you can push it hard on the machine you're on , instead of lugging it around in 3rd gear all day. It's a totally different type of a ride then a 450.

I still like to try and ride aggressive when I ride. My 125 and 250 2 strokes let me do that to a certain extent. A 450 , felt like it was going to kill me every time I rode it like that. With that being said , I may get a 450 next spring. Mainly because I feel like getting a little lazy again.

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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.

Ezza is Da man!

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

7/23/2018 4:27 PM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

jeffro503 wrote:

How long can you ride your 450 " hard "?

If you're not getting tired on the 450 , then you're not riding it hard enough. A ...more

Try a 350 best of both worlds. Can be lazy if you want and when you’re feeling froggy you can wind it out.

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7/23/2018 4:53 PM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

jeffro503 wrote:

How long can you ride your 450 " hard "?

If you're not getting tired on the 450 , then you're not riding it hard enough. A ...more

Pirate421 wrote:

Try a 350 best of both worlds. Can be lazy if you want and when you’re feeling froggy you can wind it out.

I have.....tried a 2018 350 and 450 at Glen helen. I liked the 450 a little better. Mainly because I was still familiar with the 450. Didn't much care for the 350 , but I'd like to try a Husky with some different mapping.

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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.

Ezza is Da man!

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

7/23/2018 5:47 PM

I can 100% say that I am a better big bore rider than a 125 ringer any day.

I hold the throttle WFO and over ride it and wad myself up bad.

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7/23/2018 9:16 PM

Motocross21 wrote:

The topic on here about vet guys and their 125 why would any vet rider chose a 125 over a 450? I raced a yz125 for 5 yrs I got ...more

jeffro503 wrote:

How long can you ride your 450 " hard "?

If you're not getting tired on the 450 , then you're not riding it hard enough. A ...more

Pirate421 wrote:

Try a 350 best of both worlds. Can be lazy if you want and when you’re feeling froggy you can wind it out.

I had a 350 and I enjoyed it. Just something about having a bike I can ride hard and push "my" limits on. I have always been a rider who likes to try and have form (I may only think I do, lol). you have to be spot on to get the most out of a 125. With the 450, you just sit down in the corner and gas it, lol. I'll ride this little YZ until i can afford an E-Bike.

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7/23/2018 10:19 PM

jeffro503 wrote:

How long can you ride your 450 " hard "?

If you're not getting tired on the 450 , then you're not riding it hard enough. A ...more

Pirate421 wrote:

Try a 350 best of both worlds. Can be lazy if you want and when you’re feeling froggy you can wind it out.

racingfortheson wrote:

I had a 350 and I enjoyed it. Just something about having a bike I can ride hard and push "my" limits on. I have always been a ...more

One thing I will say....is I never bought the 125 to race. Unless it was a 125 race. I got it because of being on 450's for 15 years , I was feeling lazy... And quite frankly , bored. In this past year....that 125 has taught ( re-taught ) me a lot of things. Things I've forgot about , and things that 125 will teach you. Momentum being the key thing. Re-learning how to ride aggressive again too.

People can slam 125's all day......but to me , they are the best damn training took a guy can get. If you can get a 125 around the track at a decent pace.....you can get anything around the track fast.

Just my $0.02.

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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.

Ezza is Da man!

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

7/24/2018 5:35 AM

Pirate421 wrote:

Try a 350 best of both worlds. Can be lazy if you want and when you’re feeling froggy you can wind it out.

racingfortheson wrote:

I had a 350 and I enjoyed it. Just something about having a bike I can ride hard and push "my" limits on. I have always been a ...more

jeffro503 wrote:

One thing I will say....is I never bought the 125 to race. Unless it was a 125 race. I got it because of being on 450's for 15 ...more

So I guess I'm having fun and learning, lol

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7/24/2018 9:54 AM

The correct answer here is both.. you need both.

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2010 crf450
2002 cr125
1993 Yamaha waveblaster
1993 Kawasaki 750sx

7/24/2018 1:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/24/2018 1:13 PM

I was on 450s for years, and then I started spending some time on my kids 125 in early 2016. I had a moderate sized getoff on my 450 mid season, and started spending MORE time on the 125 because I wanted to do the Dream Race (and honestly that 450 was in my head.) The dream race was basically rained out, but I decided I was having more fun riding the smaller bike aggressively than the big bike using throttle control. I ended up selling the 450 altogether and raced last year on a 125. The aggression is fun and it makes me feel like a kid again, I can ride it at pace for much longer, I can save it from near misses, and it makes you have better habits in terms of corner speed and setting up for obstacles. I did win some races on the 125, but I think that had more to do with who showed up on any given weekend.

The downside of course is starts and probably about two seconds a lap when I am in "squirrel mode" at the beginning of a race. Over a longer moto, I'm pretty sure it would balance out, but unfortunately we don't do long motos in local MX any more since we have to have 23 different gates.

I moved to a YZ 250F this year, which I am truly enjoying as a good blend of aggression and the good qualities of a four stroke. It is an efficient race weapon, but not very exciting. And funny story, at my last race I got second in +40 A/B to.... you guessed it... a guy on a YZ 125! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Krcm4szS8bc )

That being said, I don't plan to go back. I got lucky in that PNWVMX just created 125 classes for bikes up to 1996 this season. So now I'm getting my 125 fix on a 1993 RM and still racing the 250F in modern. I think that's the best of both worlds!

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