Forum QNA: 2018 Vital MX 250 Shootout

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11/6/2017 9:50 AM

Hello all! This year we really wanted to open up our eyes and ears by taking on your questions about Vital MX's 2018 250 Shootout. Pretty simple in here, if you have a question about the test itself, fire away. If you have a question to a specific test rider about their opinions, I'm here of course (Michael Lindsay) but I'm in Italy all week so excuse me if my responses are lagged or at weird hours. Shelby Paget and Joe Carlino are regulars on the forum as well, while the other testers (Matix Soto, Chris Hay, Zach Peddie, and Kusti Malloninen) they're but a text away for me. I can forward on those questions and see if I can wrangle up an answer.

Btw, here's the link to the article, in case you haven't seen it: http://www.vitalmx.com/features/2018-Vital-MX-250-Shootout,5636

Lastly, we're curious what you, the reader, think of the actual Shootout. Too long, just right, too short (I doubt that, ha)...and what the context in which we cover it. We appreciate any feedback you might have.

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11/6/2017 10:41 AM

Get a haircut ya hippie! laughing

Personally i like watching video versus reading text, you just get more emotion and feeling than plain text on a page. Plus im lazy lol

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-OC
"Feed The Bull"
Twitter: @ocscottie | Facebook

11/6/2017 10:50 AM

Well done once again.

Although having a comparable engine design as the KTM, what would you say why the CRF is so far off of it on the dyno?

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11/6/2017 11:02 AM

ocscottie wrote:

Get a haircut ya hippie! laughing

Personally i like watching video versus reading text, you just get more emotion and feeling than plain text on a page. Plus im lazy lol

Hey man, don't tell me how to live my life mannnnn... tongue laughing

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11/6/2017 11:07 AM

Rmz450 6th place? Lol

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11/6/2017 11:11 AM

ianhendry46 wrote:

Rmz450 6th place? Lol

Even in the 250 shootout the all new rmz450 gets last. Sad.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

11/6/2017 11:15 AM

Shall we make a wager that the Honda changes some shock valving next year and it catapulted right to the top??

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

11/6/2017 11:17 AM

ianhendry46 wrote:

Rmz450 6th place? Lol

Acidreamer wrote:

Even in the 250 shootout the all new rmz450 gets last. Sad.

I literally fixed that within a couple mins of it going live but it took a minute to fix the caching...ughh!

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11/6/2017 11:18 AM

BobPA wrote:

Shall we make a wager that the Honda changes some shock valving next year and it catapulted right to the top??

In all seriousness I can see it giving the KTM a run for its money if they get a bit more power. Chassis and suspension is great.

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11/6/2017 11:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/6/2017 1:19 PM

Will TM be in the future shoot outs? I know they dont have any factory racing in merica but it feels like they are trying to make some effort over at the GP with Nagl etc, and their bike seems to be pretty decent for being a small company they are just a curious thought i had since they like KTM makes alot of different options

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11/6/2017 11:21 AM

JackLHyde wrote:

Well done once again.

Although having a comparable engine design as the KTM, what would you say why the CRF is so far off of it on the dyno?

Compression ratio and possibly cam timing? I need to get all the specs about the cams and rockers to know that though.

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11/6/2017 11:23 AM

Great job on the shootout. Very well done.

Very surprised that the CRF250 was able to rank so high being the heaviest in class and down on the dyno charts so heavily. Goes to show how important a strong top end is in that class, along with proper balance and comfort.

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11/6/2017 11:26 AM

BobPA wrote:

Shall we make a wager that the Honda changes some shock valving next year and it catapulted right to the top??

ML512 wrote:

In all seriousness I can see it giving the KTM a run for its money if they get a bit more power. Chassis and suspension is great.

I am surprised they did not follow the Yamaha design for the small bore bikes. I think that will be the way of the future for 250f's. Yamaha has done almost nothing to their engines for years and are still near the top of the charts.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

11/6/2017 11:39 AM

Just checked the 2017 dyno and the KTM and the Husky has the EXACT same HP numbers as in this years dyno run. Crazy.

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#1
KX125

11/6/2017 11:39 AM

BobPA wrote:

Shall we make a wager that the Honda changes some shock valving next year and it catapulted right to the top??

ML512 wrote:

In all seriousness I can see it giving the KTM a run for its money if they get a bit more power. Chassis and suspension is great.

BobPA wrote:

I am surprised they did not follow the Yamaha design for the small bore bikes. I think that will be the way of the future for 250f's. Yamaha has done almost nothing to their engines for years and are still near the top of the charts.

They sorta did, it's has a downdraft but in the more standard direction. Really, it has the right base to be an outstanding engine, I think it'll get there.

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11/6/2017 11:41 AM

HenryA wrote:

Just checked the 2017 dyno and the KTM and the Husky has the EXACT same HP numbers as in this years dyno run. Crazy.

We had an issue with some files, I had to re-use last year's runs for that overlay.

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11/6/2017 12:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/6/2017 12:36 PM

Well, I rode kawis for the last 3 years, and i always liked the feel of the kawi. It is a bike that is very easy to throw around, in the air as well as into corners (since the new chassis) and still feels very stable. I already put 110 hours on my 17 kx250f, and i was going to buy a kawi again (18 kx250f), but it seems like everyone around here is on ktms, and seeing that it wins most shootouts and has quite a bit more hp, i was thinking about buying a sxf.
So i was wondering if anyone could give me a small, direct comparison between those two bikes? Like what one does better than the other and vice versa?
I read through the whole shootout (great work @ML by the way), but i couldnt really find the specific answers i am looking for.
Thanks in advance

Edit: ML, where in italy are you going to go? Doing some riding?

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11/6/2017 12:49 PM

JackLHyde wrote:

Well done once again.

Although having a comparable engine design as the KTM, what would you say why the CRF is so far off of it on the dyno?

ML512 wrote:

Compression ratio and possibly cam timing? I need to get all the specs about the cams and rockers to know that though.

It's so strange to me they would make the bike that way. They certainly know what they are up against.
Looking just at the dyno numbers, it's a disappointment. Sadly one cannot see how easy the rpms rise, that seems to be the defining character of that bike.
Same with the KTM and Husky, they look almost identical yet build power different.

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11/6/2017 1:09 PM

Even though it's the 250F shootout I assume...like myself it was frustrating for a few folks that you didn't have anyone physically bigger as a tester.

I'm 45 years old, 6'2" & 225lbs

250F's really are an option for me as they don't tire me out as fast.

My biggest question is always rider compartment size.

EVERYTHING else (motor & suspension) can be fixed but rider compartment can only be massaged by lowered pegs, bars, clamps & seat foam.

I'd like to see some 6'2" up to 6'4" guys in a capacity tests to give a more rounded result.

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11/6/2017 1:55 PM

Too long? It's not as if you are filling pages of a print magazine so the added info is welcome. I like seeing the breakdown from the individual testers, but you need to throw in an older and fatter rider. Maybe Jody is available...laughing

And since you are testing for the masses who actually buy bikes, why no 2 strokes in the mix? After all, they are in the same class everywhere but the pro ranks here.

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11/6/2017 3:20 PM

ML512, im going to re-post these questions here, from the 2018 crf250 QnA thread, as you didn't answer them in theretongue
Perhaps other tester would like to chirp in with their thoughts also, feel free:

Do you think people that ride and like the traits of the previous model (17), would jump on the new model and like it, or do the differences translate into a totally different feeling bike (generalising)?
you kinda touched on that saying you rode the 17model back to back with the 18 and they were so different.
You mentioned the new model doesn't quite handle the tight stuff as well as its predecessor. In your opinion, what changes have contributed to this?
Does the new model feel as light and nimble as the previous bike on the dirt?
Thanks.

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"Nothing happens until something moves"

11/6/2017 3:24 PM

I'll also say, those Dyno charts have me unconvinced the new CRF250 will suit a majority of riders. The chassis package is good, but the motor needs work. I was hoping Honda would be trying to replicate the Yamaha type power curve. That would be a shootout winner.

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"Nothing happens until something moves"

11/6/2017 3:27 PM

NathanKershaw wrote:

Even though it's the 250F shootout I assume...like myself it was frustrating for a few folks that you didn't have anyone physically bigger as a tester.

I'm 45 years old, 6'2" & 225lbs

250F's really are an option for me as they don't tire me out as fast.

My biggest question is always rider compartment size.

EVERYTHING else (motor & suspension) can be fixed but rider compartment can only be massaged by lowered pegs, bars, clamps & seat foam.

I'd like to see some 6'2" up to 6'4" guys in a capacity tests to give a more rounded result.

My usual bigger guy, Derrick who stands 6'2" at 190-195lbs got hurt right before this and needed a small surgery, he'll be back next year.

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11/6/2017 3:38 PM

Hey Michael. What would the new CRF benefit from the most? What mods would you use to make it better?

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

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hamdaddyof2 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

11/6/2017 3:39 PM

newmann wrote:

Too long? It's not as if you are filling pages of a print magazine so the added info is welcome. I like seeing the breakdown from the individual testers, but you need to throw in an older and fatter rider. Maybe Jody is available...laughing

And since you are testing for the masses who actually buy bikes, why no 2 strokes in the mix? After all, they are in the same class everywhere but the pro ranks here.

I answered that question last year and the year before... tongue

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11/6/2017 3:40 PM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

Hey Michael. What would the new CRF benefit from the most? What mods would you use to make it better?

Added compression...not sure what else yet...going to start on that when I get back from Italy. I've seen some good numbers from Yoshimura just on the exhaust.

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11/6/2017 3:42 PM

tempura wrote:

ML512, im going to re-post these questions here, from the 2018 crf250 QnA thread, as you didn't answer them in theretongue
Perhaps other tester would like to chirp in with their thoughts also, feel free:

Do you think people that ride and like the traits of the previous model (17), would jump on the new model and like it, or do the differences translate into a totally different feeling bike (generalising)?
you kinda touched on that saying you rode the 17model back to back with the 18 and they were so different.
You mentioned the new model doesn't quite handle the tight stuff as well as its predecessor. In your opinion, what changes have contributed to this?
Does the new model feel as light and nimble as the previous bike on the dirt?
Thanks.

Depends what traits about the 17 they liked. I think it feels just as nimble and the chassis balance is greatly improved, along with the suspension. For me, the only two things the new bike does worse than the older bike is the initial snap isn't there like on the 17 and the way it lays down into really tight corners...I'm talking tight corners, like the kind you almost have to go to first gear in....anything else, I think the 18 carves in better.

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11/6/2017 3:42 PM

I'd be interested to ride the bike with full Yosh system, hi-comp piston, race gas and full dyno mapped.

My concern with going up too far with the rear sprocket is that you will it make you have to shift more often? I asked the Honda mechanics at the test and they are starting to try other combinations.

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11/6/2017 3:47 PM

mnomis484 wrote:

Well, I rode kawis for the last 3 years, and i always liked the feel of the kawi. It is a bike that is very easy to throw around, in the air as well as into corners (since the new chassis) and still feels very stable. I already put 110 hours on my 17 kx250f, and i was going to buy a kawi again (18 kx250f), but it seems like everyone around here is on ktms, and seeing that it wins most shootouts and has quite a bit more hp, i was thinking about buying a sxf.
So i was wondering if anyone could give me a small, direct comparison between those two bikes? Like what one does better than the other and vice versa?
I read through the whole shootout (great work @ML by the way), but i couldnt really find the specific answers i am looking for.
Thanks in advance

Edit: ML, where in italy are you going to go? Doing some riding?

The KTM won't have the responsive feel that the Kawasaki has but really it really is so much stronger after things get moving. The Kawasaki does feel exciting as it has the snap off the bottom and seems to hit again in the middle, so it feels punchy...the KTM will build steam up a bit more before becoming uncorked in the mid-range and pulls through the top where the Kawasaki falls flat and won't drive forward.

The Kawasaki is a smaller feeling bike, easy to get off the back of...the KTM is a little tall in comparison, but still comfy in the saddle for a smaller rider. But you will feel like you're a bit higher up off the ground.

The KTM's stock suspension is much more active feeling than what the Kawasaki has, which is more dead and planted at times...but can also beat the crap out of you in repeated chop. The KTM handles repeated hits much more consistently.

Brakes on the Kawasaki are pretty strong since they went to the 270mm front rotor, but they're kind of grabby...the KTM has a longer front brake lever pull but is so much more progressive and usable.

I can take or leave hydraulic clutches, cable clutches have a bit more feel in my opinion.

Anything more direct you'd like to know about?

I'm here for the EICMA show, the world's largest motorcycle expo.

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11/6/2017 3:48 PM

CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

I'd be interested to ride the bike with full Yosh system, hi-comp piston, race gas and full dyno mapped.

My concern with going up too far with the rear sprocket is that you will it make you have to shift more often? I asked the Honda mechanics at the test and they are starting to try other combinations.

I think one tooth up is a perfectly good idea, two might be a bit much and blow through second and even third too quickly...I ordered some sprockets to try though.

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