Need help deciding 2T vs 4T

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5/18/2020 1:02 PM

I hate to ask this question but really feel I could do with some up-to-date opinions on what should be my next bike. Just sold my 2017 FC250 which I loved (got offered a great price for it and currently in Ireland it looks like we won't be out to any tracks for at least another couple of months).

Looking ahead I am set on either a 2020 CRF250 or a 2020 SX125. The saving on both bikes is about 15-20% but just want some opinions if anybody has went 250F to a 125 as their only bike and how did you find the whole experience. I very rarely race and when I do its for fun not trophies plus I'll be putting around 30 hours per year on the bike if that makes a difference either way.

I've frequently rode Hondas and got a ride on a 2020 which was awesome but my only 2 stroke experience was an 04 YZ125 for a couple rides which was an absolute blast but just very slow then a 2017 150SX with the horrible jetting and finicky PV.

The obvious allure with the 125 is the pure fun aspect and reduced weight and I don't mind being slower for a period until I learn how to ride it properly, really just seeing if anybody has went 4T to 2T like I'm thinking and if they regretted it and why. I know what I'll be getting with the Honda so don't really need sold on it, just looking opinions on going 250F to 125 as my only bike.

Sorry for the essay but thanks in advance for any input! w00t

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5/18/2020 1:20 PM

I sold my kx125 to get a 450 and never looked back. It was a fun bike but mixing gas, the oil being expensive, and keeping the jetting dialed was more hassle than i wanted at the time. Id consider another one as a second bike to restore or something. I have the same amount of fun on any dirtbike. so it being ready to go like the EFI bikes are is key for me. No jetting, little maintenance, and i can ride a couple blocks down to the gas station and fill up without needing oil.

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5/18/2020 1:21 PM

Get a 4 stroke man. Don’t believe all the hype. Yeah 2 strokes make cool noises and are cheaper to fix... 4 strokes are a much much more enjoyable ride IMO. This is also a very opinion based question too. Maybe ride someone’s 2 stroke?

I got a 2 stroke 250 a few years ago and honestly hated it. Of course I walked around like all the 2 stroke assholes raving about how cool it was and fun it is -total lie.

4 strokes are just better. I think a lot of the 2 stroke big heads on here haven’t rode a newer 4 stroke. Now don’t get me wrong, if you have the funds it would be sick to have a 125 also, but if just buying 1 get the 4t.

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5/18/2020 1:27 PM

Variety is the spice of life. Taste it and find out if you like it.

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5/18/2020 1:48 PM

deadlo wrote:

Get a 4 stroke man. Don’t believe all the hype. Yeah 2 strokes make cool noises and are cheaper to fix... 4 strokes are a much much more enjoyable ride IMO. This is also a very opinion based question too. Maybe ride someone’s 2 stroke?

I got a 2 stroke 250 a few years ago and honestly hated it. Of course I walked around like all the 2 stroke assholes raving about how cool it was and fun it is -total lie.

4 strokes are just better. I think a lot of the 2 stroke big heads on here haven’t rode a newer 4 stroke. Now don’t get me wrong, if you have the funds it would be sick to have a 125 also, but if just buying 1 get the 4t.

Did you grow up riding 2 strokes or was said 250 2 stroke a purchase you made after starting on 4 strokes and wanting to find out what all the fuss was about?

I grew up riding them and I will always love riding a 2 stroke more. The challenge of maintaining momentum and working the bike to go fast and stay fast....I could go on and on though

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5/18/2020 1:54 PM

deadlo wrote:

Get a 4 stroke man. Don’t believe all the hype. Yeah 2 strokes make cool noises and are cheaper to fix... 4 strokes are a much much more enjoyable ride IMO. This is also a very opinion based question too. Maybe ride someone’s 2 stroke?

I got a 2 stroke 250 a few years ago and honestly hated it. Of course I walked around like all the 2 stroke assholes raving about how cool it was and fun it is -total lie.

4 strokes are just better. I think a lot of the 2 stroke big heads on here haven’t rode a newer 4 stroke. Now don’t get me wrong, if you have the funds it would be sick to have a 125 also, but if just buying 1 get the 4t.

Lightning78 wrote:

Did you grow up riding 2 strokes or was said 250 2 stroke a purchase you made after starting on 4 strokes and wanting to find out what all the fuss was about?

I grew up riding them and I will always love riding a 2 stroke more. The challenge of maintaining momentum and working the bike to go fast and stay fast....I could go on and on though

Yes I did. I didn’t say they weren’t fun. I said 4 strokes are more enjoyable and also put a big fat IMO in there. If you are going to own one bike let it be a 4 banger, if you have money for a “fun” bike, yes get the 2 stroke...again IMO

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5/18/2020 1:58 PM

A lot of guys love their 125s - and admittedly, for light weight & easy to handle, they can't be beat. But, you will certainly have to work hard to ride one fast, keeping it at the right RPMs all of the time.

I would think most guys would hate going from a 4t to a 125 2t. Nothing harder to ride really fast than a 125 - especially after coming off a bike with a more user friendly range of power.

Now 250 4t to 250 2t? That would probably be more like 50/50 - half love it half hate it.

I have owned a couple CRF450s and yes the power is incredible. But the weight is there as well. Personally found them to be more tiring than a 250 2T.


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2016 YZ250X

5/18/2020 2:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/18/2020 3:20 PM

Gary, know ahead of time that even if you do put in the time to learn how to ride it properly, a 125 will never be as fast as a 250F. If you are a dyed-in-the-wool 2-stroke lover like me, AND have ridden 2-strokes all your life (like me,) AND hate 4-strokes for some unfathomable reason (like me,) then there's a chance you'd be faster on a 250T than on a 450; but 250F vs. 125, there's basically no contest.

For my purposes, I'd ride a 125 all day long over a 250F, but most people would prefer the four stroke.

EDIT: I meant you might be faster on a 250 two-stroke vs. a 450 above. I had earlier written it backward.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

5/18/2020 2:09 PM

Been a 250F guy all throughout 2000s. Picked up an rm 250 in 2016. It was my first big bike 2 stroke i guess you could say. Loved it. Sold it earlier this year and bought a 450 believing i needed one for +30 vet racing. I dont find myself any faster on a 450. And late in motos when you're tired, its just that much more bike that can get away from you quickly. I found a sweet spot in the 250 2t. The 450 is for sale and i cant wait to premix my fuel again.

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5/18/2020 2:18 PM

I'm a 2 stroke guy but I'm also 180lbs. For me a 125 is fun for a few laps but I much prefer my yz250. I couldn't have a 125 as my only bike

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5/18/2020 2:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/18/2020 2:23 PM

They're all fun.

I went from a YZ450F to a KX125 and never looked back.

Another KX125, then the KTM 150, then a friend sold me his TC125 that's I just rebuilt for him for $1500, then a '14 KX250F with titties on the original tires and not a spec of dust _anywhere_... original grease on the chain... $3000. I couldn't resist. Got it. These days I take both the TC and the KX to the track, ride them both, have fun on both I ride the TC faster on tracks that suit me on it and the KX faster on track that suit me on it. When racing, I generally race the 125 in my age class (50+) and the 250 in the 250 class. I race the KTM 150 XC-W in enduros and hare scrambles except if the race is more MX-oriented and then I use the KX250F. I'd like to get a KTM 250 XC next.

They're all fun.

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2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

5/18/2020 2:23 PM

I appreciate all the comments folks, I think you have confirmed what I guess I already knew that the 250F would be the better way to go. Most of our tracks in Ireland are fairly short and tight so would be hard to make the 125 work and I've always been a 250F rider so Honda it is!

Thanks again for the pointers, guess I just needed a sanity check and hopefully I can get one as a 2nd fun bike in the future! tongue

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5/18/2020 2:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/18/2020 2:27 PM

If you're just out having fun (for the most part) and want to expand your skills as a rider too, you can't go wrong with a 125 or 150. Spend a year or two on one and then go back to a 250/350f or 250T or (better yet) when you go back to one of those bikes, you might be able to keep the 125 or 150 in the stable too. If you want to scratch that itch on a 125/150, do it.

Edit: Congrats on choosing the Honda! smile

Below's a recent comparo from Ping/Klinger and they give good feedback including the fun factor:

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5/18/2020 3:18 PM

Real dirt bikes run at the stroke of two...
Double the stroke and they sound like poo...

Different strokes for different folks. I love me my two banger the sound the smell the way I have to ride it to be fast, the light agile feel....



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5/18/2020 3:30 PM

I’ve always liked my 2 stroke 250’s with a healthy dose of added flywheel. It really smoothed out the power. I had a 90 RM250 a while back and it was ported for extra low end and a strong midrange. Coupled with around 11 oz’s of extra flywheel it had an electric delivery. It was a blast to ride and it never made me tired.

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5/18/2020 3:43 PM

GaryC1 wrote:

I appreciate all the comments folks, I think you have confirmed what I guess I already knew that the 250F would be the better way to go. Most of our tracks in Ireland are fairly short and tight so would be hard to make the 125 work and I've always been a 250F rider so Honda it is!

Thanks again for the pointers, guess I just needed a sanity check and hopefully I can get one as a 2nd fun bike in the future! tongue

Forget about the 125! A 250T is still going to feel lighter than a 250F .... and a lot more fun!

I think you should watch this -

https://motocrossactionmag.com/two-strokes-are-more-fun-to-ride-let-josh-mosiman-prove-it-to-you/

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5/18/2020 3:55 PM

race wrote:

Forget about the 125! A 250T is still going to feel lighter than a 250F .... and a lot more fun!

I think you should watch this -

https://motocrossactionmag.com/two-strokes-are-more-fun-to-ride-let-josh-mosiman-prove-it-to-you/

I have briefly considered a 250T in the past but always thought they would be a lot harder to ride than a 250F with the snappy powerband and eztra power or what is the comparison between the two like? The thing that moat drew me to a 125 was the weight but I suppose a 250T will still feel lighter but I guess the power delivery worries me that it would make a boy out of me haha I'm about 160lbs and given that I only do about 30 hours riding a year, is it a bike that's easy enough to ride infrequently?

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5/18/2020 3:57 PM

Ted722 wrote:

If you're just out having fun (for the most part) and want to expand your skills as a rider too, you can't go wrong with a 125 or 150. Spend a year or two on one and then go back to a 250/350f or 250T or (better yet) when you go back to one of those bikes, you might be able to keep the 125 or 150 in the stable too. If you want to scratch that itch on a 125/150, do it.

Edit: Congrats on choosing the Honda! smile

Below's a recent comparo from Ping/Klinger and they give good feedback including the fun factor:

Cheers dude, I watched that a few times which sold me more on a 250F than anything. As race said, what would your opinion be on riding a modern 250T in comparison to a 250F? I just have the impression that they rip the arms off you or is that a misconception of the older 250Ts?

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5/18/2020 4:42 PM

GaryC1 wrote:

I appreciate all the comments folks, I think you have confirmed what I guess I already knew that the 250F would be the better way to go. Most of our tracks in Ireland are fairly short and tight so would be hard to make the 125 work and I've always been a 250F rider so Honda it is!

Thanks again for the pointers, guess I just needed a sanity check and hopefully I can get one as a 2nd fun bike in the future! tongue

race wrote:

Forget about the 125! A 250T is still going to feel lighter than a 250F .... and a lot more fun!

I think you should watch this -

https://motocrossactionmag.com/two-strokes-are-more-fun-to-ride-let-josh-mosiman-prove-it-to-you/

GaryC1 wrote:

I have briefly considered a 250T in the past but always thought they would be a lot harder to ride than a 250F with the snappy powerband and eztra power or what is the comparison between the two like? The thing that moat drew me to a 125 was the weight but I suppose a 250T will still feel lighter but I guess the power delivery worries me that it would make a boy out of me haha I'm about 160lbs and given that I only do about 30 hours riding a year, is it a bike that's easy enough to ride infrequently?

After riding 250F's for fourteen years (and a 450 for one), don't worry at all about the power delivery on a 250 two stroke. After buying a YZ250 a couple months ago and throwing a 9 oz. flywheel weight on it, I realized I should've done it way sooner, not sure what I was afraid of. Haven't had this much fun on a bike in years.

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5/18/2020 5:14 PM

Get a sx250 or yz250. They are not a ton faster then a current 250f now but in my opinion considerably more fun. The 17 plus sx 250 is a damn fun and competitive machine.

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5/18/2020 5:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/18/2020 11:16 PM

Hi. I wrote this essay on 2st v 4st back in February when we had another post like this going around (see below). They are common... Just sharing some various info from my POV and take from it what you will... I will only add, based on your comments above, usage, weight, etc the following.

I think at 160lbs you'll get around pretty well on a 125 2 stroke. I'm 200-205 (with gear) and I was riding a 2020 Husqvarna TC125 yesterday and it was hauling me around just fine. Like any 125 you need to be makin' dat power up high in the revs.... as the low/mid isn't all that meaty. That'll be your biggest take-away going from a 250 thumper to a 125 pinger. However, the modern 125 screams up top and weights literally NOTHING. Every time I take the bike off the stand I'm amazed at how light it is.

None of us know your tracks or skill. If you ride places that have lots of slow tight corners immediately into jumps... yeah the 125 will suffer. If your tracks though have like normal corners and jumps, and you can ride the outside lines, that 125 is going to sing along and sail over everything just fine.

Jetting? Throw a Lectron carb on it and never have to jet your bike again. I put one on my personal TC250 Day #1 and never looked back. I'd recommend:

Lectron
Pipe + silencer
Reeds

DONE. Go rip.

Now to answer your other question: Modern 250 2 strokes are way easier to ride than the old beasts. The 2017+ KTMs/Husqvarnas are pretty damn linear power delivery and make good low & mid, not to mention top end. I can hit inside lines into jumps just as easily on my 250 two stroke as I can on a 450/250 four stroke. The 250s also have two maps from the factory and the MXA test riders, and myself, prefer riding in the 'mellow' map which makes the bike even more manageable (but no less powerful) out of turns.

Here's a pic from yesterday on the 125
Photo

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Feb Essay from this thread: https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/4-stroke-vs-2-stroke,1371363

41 years old
C (West Coast) to B (East Coast) MX rider.
B off-road / enduro racer.
Sporadic Moto-journalist and photo shoot talent.
Expert level roadracing and Supermoto racer.
Current MX bike: Husqvarna TC250
Other bikes: KTM 525 EXC, YZ250F Supermoto, RMZ450 Supermoto, Yamaha R1 Superbike, Alta MX, Alta EX

Personally I prefer to ride motocross on 250 2st's over 250F's and 450F's. When it comes to riding 4st's I've spent a lot of time on 250F's, so am damn comfortable on one of those out on the track, and always liked 250F's over 450F's. Though recently (last Thursday) I spent an entire day on a 2020 CRF450 and 2020 KXF450 for a photoshoot, and by the end of the day had Cahuilla pretty dialed on the big fo-fiddy.

So that said, I'm even more convinced the 250 two stroke is the ideal MX platform. It all boils down to sluggishness. The 250F's suffer from this less, but man, the 450's are just big boats compared to a nimble, modern, 250 2st. You feel that weight in the air, braking, cutting down for a line, holding on under acceleration, everywhere. It's not just mass, it's the additional rotational weight of the engine, and all those extra moving parts, also.

You go from a 4st to a 2st and the 2st feels like a featherweight fighter. Nimble, agile, easier to move around, and overall doesn't tire me out as quickly.

Power
Powerwise I do notice 250F's to be lacking power on a track like Cahuilla with lots of hills and soft dirt. Riding the 450's the other day I had that moment of 'OMG SO MUCH POWER' but when I sat down and thought about it, I was coming out of the turns, into the huge power robbing hills with big jumps at the end of them, relatively the same on both the 450 and my personal 250 2st. Whereas on a 250F it's a bit more of a struggle.

Numbers: Power to Weight
0.239 hp/lb - 2020 KX450 = 233lbs and 55.8 HP ($9,300)
0.236 hp/lb - 2017 TC250 = 212lbs and 50 HP (47 stock and mine has pipe, silencer, and reeds. Mind you the 2020 TC250 costs $8,400.. so you could buy all those parts easily with the $900 you save over the $9,300 KX)

As such the two bikes are less than 1.27% apart power to weight ratio wise. Your butt dyno isn't going to feel that, but your arms will feel it... hauling a bike around that's 9% heavier (the KX450 4 stroke). The Honda weights 12.26% more (!!), the Yamaha and Suzuki 15.5% 16% more respectively (!!!!!)

Racing:
I *really* dislike the four strokes for racing. I've worked around professional racers, and industry leaders, for over 15 years. They all say the same thing, the four strokes are way more forgiving and easy to ride. Meaning, if you mess up a little bit in a corner, on a SX track (spin the wheel, almost tuck the front, etc) you can literally just turn the throttle on the four stroke and clear the triple. From almost a dead stop, in 2nd gear, a 450 YANKS down low. However on a 250 two stroke, a mistake like that probably means you aren't clearing the next jump, and someone will pass you. Mistakes had racing (not injury) consequences, which in turn led to better racing.

Costs
Four strokes cost more to build, maintain, and race. This comes from the factories and A-level teams racing them. I'm not just making this up. This is what the heads of those organizations say.

Want to build your own. Johnny Joe Vet Racer? FMF's top 4-stroke SX pipe & silencer combo is $874. Good lord help you if you race a dual pipe Honda. That'll be $1400 please. Their top 2-stroke pipe & silencer? $640, a $234 savings, or 27% cheaper.

Go ahead and price out a full 450 factory motor build, compared to a 250 two stroke, then factor in one or two full rebuilds...

In closing
In closing I feel that a lot of folks are still remembering their 2001 RM250 and then comparing it to a modern 2020 450. Try riding a current-gen 250 two stroke. The KTM 250SX and the Husqvarna TC250. They are amazing. The motors are smooth (counter balanced), power is way more linear than the old days (especially in the 'mild' map. Tracts well), and they handle like a lightweight modern chassis should. Hell my wife, a fairly novice dirt rider, took a spin on my TC250 the other day at the Pala Fox Raceway Women's Day and got off it saying "I see why you like this bike so much! It goes anywhere and wasn't as hard hitting (aka scary) as I thought!"

Ultimately buy and ride what you like, as you can see I ride all types of bikes. The above isn't an attack on anyone, just sharing one person's thoughts, and POV.

Cheers.

PS: I'm sitting at a racetrack corner working, so yes bored and have time to type as I watch bikes go 'round and 'round =]

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5/18/2020 7:41 PM

Depends. Do you want a race bike or a lawnmower that goes faster and is waaaaayyyyy more expensive to keep running? Only you can decide.

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5/18/2020 8:07 PM

You mind me asking your age? The reason I ask is they I had a blast on 125’s when I was younger (under 40) . When I reached 50 it was all 4 strokes and I never had much desire to be full throttle on a 125 anymore. To me the 250F is one of the easiest bikes to ride on most any MX track. As I got older the 450’s were waaaaay too powerful for me. My vote would be the 250F....unless you’re a kid, then I would say go with a 125 and learn how to make that thing fly by working the clutch/gearbox.

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5/18/2020 8:09 PM

These are the same guys at the races wearing a raise hell praise dale shirt with a full hard on when the one pro shows up trying to make a main on a 2 stroke and gets destroyed.

Just starting crap lol. There are some dieeee hard 2 stroke guys on here though. They are fun for sure, but idk dude. What do you see the ex pros, media guys, etc ride the majority of the time when they all do have a 2 stroke? They’re out there on the 450. Just easier more enjoyable ride. Ride both, otherwise you’re making a decision on opinions.

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5/18/2020 8:10 PM

KennyT wrote:

You mind me asking your age? The reason I ask is they I had a blast on 125’s when I was younger (under 40) . When I reached 50 it was all 4 strokes and I never had much desire to be full throttle on a 125 anymore. To me the 250F is one of the easiest bikes to ride on most any MX track. As I got older the 450’s were waaaaay too powerful for me. My vote would be the 250F....unless you’re a kid, then I would say go with a 125 and learn how to make that thing fly by working the clutch/gearbox.

Great advice!

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5/18/2020 8:43 PM

Modern 4 strokes are pure mechanical art imo. The 2 strokes are fun but they are a toy compared to the engineering of a 4t. Every gear has usable power. You can lug em or you can wring em. They are predictable and consistent. Also I think they straight up sound better. I love the sound of a 4 stroke revving into to a jump from the apex of a turn.

I've had a yz125 and still have a yz250 2t. I still enjoy the 250 but I love my yz450. So much easier to ride and more forgiving which can potentially save you from injuries. Also even if track conditions are shit, you can have so much fun on the 4 stroke because you dont have to try ride them on the edge of control when the conditions get sketchy.

I think all dirt bikes are fun though and whatever one you get you'll enjoy. But for my money, I think a 4 stroke is the superior machine by a long shot. Maybe itll expose that I'm not as talented as other riders or my technique isnt as good but I dont care. I ride to have a good time and not to train for professional mx.

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5/19/2020 1:16 AM

i ride 2 strokes over the past 20 years. i had a wrf 450 for a year and didnt like it. now im back to 125. ive ridden a lot of 250 4t and gotta say they are the best overall bikes. easy powerfull light with lots of torque, even the engine brake is usefull. later models dont have that annoying injection effect too. But i never fell conected like a 2t. i was quicker with the 250 4t's than my bike but i dont care i just wanna have fun

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5/19/2020 3:17 AM

Do you have capacity equivalency in the two Ireland's racing?

Most Club Level racing Worldwide now has equivalency, and, the more switched on / less under the thumb Pro classes World Wide, have it now.

A 250 2T, especially a KTM - KTHusky, and one assumes, the coming KTGasGas, generally has easily adjustable Power Valve settings. Even YZs can be changed, but, to a far more limited extent. PV settings, jetting settings and Flywheel weights can all change the delivery of a 250 2t , markedly. You don't have to be on a 'fire breathing monster', if you are riding a 250 2T.

125s are / can be, Huge fun, but you really do have to work for it. Especially if you are up against 250s, of any type, on the same track.

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5/19/2020 8:08 AM

Well the fourstroke will be cheaper because you don't need to buy 2t oil. It won't need anything, 30 hrs in a year isn't very much moto time. The fourstroke will be easier to ride if you aren't getting much ride time in.

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5/19/2020 8:17 AM

ob wrote:

Well the fourstroke will be cheaper because you don't need to buy 2t oil. It won't need anything, 30 hrs in a year isn't very much moto time. The fourstroke will be easier to ride if you aren't getting much ride time in.

Exactly! Dude i thrashed and raced my crf250r for years and just did basic oil changes and filters. Had the valves adjusted one time, and it still ran perfect. Sold it and moved on to 450s. If OP is only riding 30hrs a year, I doubt he’s ringing the piss out of it, and therefor he will get many years out of that thing with a low maintenance cost. So don’t worry about cost of maintenance man. You’ll be moving on to 450s before the bike needs any major maintenance.

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