Help me decide: '18 YZ 250FX or '18 250 XCF/FC

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8/30/2018 8:45 AM

As the title states, I'm looking at getting a new bike. One suited for woods/GNCC but also track worthy on the off chance I ride moto one weekend. Mediocre C class rider. 170lbs.

Background: I bought my first bike at age 23, just over 4 years ago. It was an '07 KTM 250XC. Rode it for 3 years, then sold it and bought a '15 250 SXF converted woods bike. After many attempts at fixing the 4CS forks (valving, shimming, SSS conversion consideration), I'm looking to just sell the '15 and try something else. Having only ever ridden KTM, I'm inclined to stick with KTM/Husky but there are a few key things that I'm not sold on.

1) AER forks. They're said to be much better than their predecessor but still not great. Possible reliability issues. More complicated to set air pressure before each ride. Bad with deflecting on roots/rocks/chatter. Everyone praises the SSS forks. Simple - no fuss springs.

2) KTM/Husky Price: yes they are said to have better components, but how MUCH better?

3) Yamaha is said to have better reliability/durability/longevity. As I plan to keep the bike for a long time, this is key. Aluminum frame going to last longer? Husky composite subframe going to be an issue?

4) Cable clutch vs Hydro. Preference dictates a lot, but from what I've read, the Yamaha has a problem with fading. I've never had an issue with my KTM.

5) E start. The KTM 4T's are notoriously slow to start. Is the Yamaha any better? For dead engine starts, this is important but not a deal breaker.

There aren't any local demo days until November, so I can't ride the Yamaha until then. What is your experience with these 3 options?


8/30/2018 8:49 AM

Yamaha all day long for me. Fresh bikes are always nice no matter what brand compared to a 3-4 year old bike depending on how much time is on it and how it's been taken care of.

I'm not a huge fan of the feel of the ktm when sitting on it. Now, I could get used to it, but I've always felt comfy on the yamaha's and they are bulletproof!


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

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

8/30/2018 8:55 AM

1) I'm a fan of AER forks, though I'd say if there is any advantage maybe give it to the yz here. I also have xplorer forks on one of my KTMs and those are great.
2) Price, scour the lands for best deals!
3) Not sure I agree with the Yami having better longevity, there are a lot of people with KTMs that boast about 200-300 hours offroad without motor work.
4) I think I like the feel of cable clutches better but have no problems with the hydro, it definitely doesn't have the same fading which is awesome.
5) My exc-f is not slow starting whatsoever, even after sitting for a month.


8/30/2018 9:48 AM

2019 yz250f. All new and has e-start. Considerably lighter than the FX.


8/30/2018 9:57 AM

1. Fork wise probably the Yamaha, I think the internets obsession with SSS forks has become a parody of itself, but they're still better than AER.
2. The Yamaha will probably be cheaper, but in my experience, the re-sale is much better for the pumpkins. The 2019 yz250fx didn't get the new engine, so you're okay for a while when the new gen arrives.
3. Their reliability is about even. The KTM costs more so people proclaim the sky is falling when something goes wrong on a KTM.
4. Hydro all day. Not even close.
5. I can't speak to the 2019, but after I threw in a lithium battery into my '16 KTM 450, it starts up without any issues at all.

I think you should also consider the '19 YZ250F, it's totally re-designed and if you're going to race hare scrambles, it's perfectly suitable with a big tank and some bark busters.


If it can't be fixed with a hammer, it's an electrical problem.

8/30/2018 8:29 PM

I have a 250FX. I am not particularly a ktm fan, even though our dealer i work for used to carry them. I came off kawasaki's (where my hearts at).
I must say i love my FX. It is bar none a better overall package than ktm. I have ridden plenty of new ktms, kawasaki's ect. Nothing is comparable to the Yamaha's SSS suspension. It is the biggest noticeable difference when switching between bikes. I have roughly 25 hrs between 2 FX's. So a good sample. The starter is solid with no issues, i see someone above me mentioned clutch fade, i can't discredit that, but i personally have had no issues. So far so good for reliability. The bikes predictable, reliable and fun. And overall cost of the bike and parts are less than that of orange bikes. The only cons i have are weight (you do feel it on the stand or picking the bike up if you lay it over) and the open electrics under the seat (few brands make a cover for it). Those are small cons, in my eyes anyhow.
I will say, if warranty is something that is important to you, i have never seen a brand do as much for they're customers as ktm does for theirs. Also ktms have all the accessory bolt on's you can imagine.
At the end of the day, its alot of money, both make a good product so chose your color. Those are my experiences between the two. Let us know what you go with.


8/30/2018 11:08 PM

250FX all the way, such great and diverse bikes, Keefer has done some good reviews on that exact model I’m pretty sure.