Opinions: ‘13 CRF450R for a 250 2 stroke

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3/3/2021 6:23 PM

I’m considering selling/trading my 450 for a 250 2 stroke. The biggest factors are weight and cost to maintain. I’m 185 pounds and 35 years young. I ride MX for fun and don’t plan to race. So, a few questions:

1. For those of you that have changed from a 450 4t to a 250 2t - do you feel that the smoker is less exhausting and allows you to put in my laps? I’ve seen people offer conflicting views on this.

2. 250 2 strokes seem to really hold their value. My 2013 CRF has 64 hours and is mainly stock. What year and models of 250 2 stroke MX bikes do you consider a similar value?

3. Have you had success with trades plus or minus some cash?

Thanks!

Stephen

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3/3/2021 7:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/3/2021 7:21 PM

1. Answer: It’s complicated. Lots of factors, biggest being are the bikes to compare set up properly for weight, ability, and track conditions? If all that is equal there are two answers from my experience. The 250 2 stroke is physically easier to ride than a 450 - can do more laps at a high intensity, but more mentally fatiguing and takes more skill and is less forgiving of mistakes compared to a 450.
The reason there are conflicting views is the experience level. Most inexperienced 250 2 stroke riders will say it’s more difficult physically. For me personally having ridden 2 strokes for a long time, then 450’s, and back to 250 screamers I thought it was easier, physically. The 450’s wear you out if ridden hard. I own a newer YZ and have ridden the KTM SX’s. The SX has a more refined feel and is easier to ride than YZ. The YZ has the old school 2 stroke fun factor, exciting engine and less planted feel than the SX.

If you can swing it, keep your CRF, get the smoker, get it dialed, and give it a couple months of riding at different tracks and do your own comparison.
I have several bikes and ride 450’s and the YZ250. It takes me a few sessions to start getting in the groove if I haven’t been on the YZ in a while. Going the other way is easier.

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3/3/2021 7:20 PM

Don't know how much my input will help you, but yes, I traded a 2007 CRF450 straight-up for another 2000 CR250R.

I bought the 450 (used), and after riding it for a while, my son wanted my to keep riding my '00 250R. I didn't like riding the 450 either, so I traded for a 2nd 250 smoker so we both have what we want.

That being said, my kid and I are both 2 stroke fans. Always have been. It definitely takes more work
and focus to ride properly, but I love the way a smoker makes power.

And they are super simple to work on. Although the 450 had a new motor when I bought it, I still ended up spending more money and time on that bike in 1 year than I have on my 250R in 5.

As far as value, I always figure a bike is worth it if it is exactly what I want. The 450 was more expensive as far as market price, but the clean, well-cared for CR250 is what I wanted, so it was the right move for me even with it being an older model. The guy I traded with really wanted a 450, and I hope he is loving life with it.

If you haven't put many laps on a 2 stroke, I highly recommend trying to do so first before committing to a trade. They are very different.

Good luck

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3/4/2021 11:55 AM

Thanks for the responses. Just the kind of feedback I was like looking for.

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3/5/2021 6:42 AM

I did just the opposite, jumped from an '04 CR250R to a 2013 CRF450R back in 2014, but I can give you some of the differences. The CR250 was alot easier to do more laps on when I was younger (48-53) and was totally familiar since I spent literally my entire adult life racing 250 two strokes. The 250 is lighter, easier to work on, etc., but I was racing it against 450s, and constantly having to work harder to keep up. When I went to the 450, it was so much easier to race as I approached 60, and although heavier, I was able to get holeshots more consistently, hit bigger jumps, especially out of corners, that were difficult on the 250, because I just couldn't ride the 250 as hard as I needed to. I think that was age related.

But when you go to the 250, WATCH OUT for the engine braking effect! The firs time you go into a corner and expect the engine to slow you down, it won't, and you'll be quickly reminded that two strokes don't have nearly the same amount of engine braking! You'll also need to take a few laps to see how the 250 powerband hits coming out of corners, etc.; for me, they are more explosive than four-strokes, and can get you in trouble from a different perspective if the bike hits when you're not ready for it.

Just "sitting" on the two, I still prefer the feel of the 250 two-stroke, and if I'm not racing, the two stroke is a blast to ride, but I just love the power of the 450.

Hope that helps a little!

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3/5/2021 6:48 AM

Graybeard,

Thanks for the insight. Before my break from the sport I raced a 125 as a teen. I miss the simplicity and weight of the smoker. I appreciate the response.

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3/5/2021 7:02 AM

I went to a KTM 250SX after 10+ years on 450s. I absolutely love it! The new counter balanced KTM motor is fantastic, it is hard to describe unless you have ridden one. The power is almost like a hybrid two & four stroke. It is smoother and more tractable power than a YZ or CR, it doesn't have a big hit anywhere in the powerband. It just pulls good along the entire RPM range. In stock form it signs off early if you are a revver, but a PC exhaust + red PV spring adds a healthy amount of top end. You don't realize how much vibration the YZ and older 250's have until you ride the KTM. At practice pace the 450 is easier to ride consistent laps, but it not as much fun IMO as the two stroke.

In my late 30s with kids at home so riding is more about fun than competition at this point. I still race often, and 450s have an advantage, but the two stroke puts a grin on my face every time I get on the line. I will not be going back to a 450 in the near future.

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3/5/2021 7:08 AM

I literally took both bikes out on a few race days and raced the 250 in one class and the 450 in another class, both with almost the exact same riders in both classes, and went from front of the pack on the 450 (actually won) to back of the pack of the 250 (literally racing hard to just keep up with the tail end guys), so the writing was on the wall for me and racing a two stroke against the big four strokes. Getting old is a bugger!

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3/5/2021 9:14 AM

crawfishoo wrote:

I went to a KTM 250SX after 10+ years on 450s. I absolutely love it! The new counter balanced KTM motor is fantastic, it is ...more

That’s a great description of the engine, it’s almost an electric feel. Linear and smooth. When you ride the YZ you know you are riding a 2 stroke, SX is completely different.

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3/5/2021 9:53 AM

I personally think 450’s are too much bike for most people, but understand why they are easier to ride. I’m a pretty aggressive rider and used to love my TC250 (2stroke) but after I rode a demo yz250f I had sold the husky and bought a 250f within a week. I was smoother, got less fatigue, and dropped about 2 seconds off my lap times.

I still prefer two strokes when it comes to pure joy factor though

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3/5/2021 10:43 AM

crawfishoo wrote:

I went to a KTM 250SX after 10+ years on 450s. I absolutely love it! The new counter balanced KTM motor is fantastic, it is ...more

Also a guy in my 30’s with a family. I can relate. What year KTM or Husky would you recommend. Is it the 2018 and later that are supposed to be much improved? What has your experience been with the KTM reliability?

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3/5/2021 1:50 PM

I have a 2014 CRF450 and spent a decent chunk of time on a friend's 2018 KTM 250SX.

The thing is, our generation of Honda 450 is so mellow and easy to ride. The KTM actually feels faster when you're on the powerband. The first time I rode it, I honestly did not believe it was stock. That being said, it is A LOT more work and physically harder to turn the same lap times on the 250 two-stroke compared to the Honda 450. If you want to put in hot laps, you'll probably be more exhausted on the two-stroke. That powerband hits HARD.

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3/5/2021 2:15 PM

crawfishoo wrote:

I went to a KTM 250SX after 10+ years on 450s. I absolutely love it! The new counter balanced KTM motor is fantastic, it is ...more

I pretty much agree with this, having had many 250 2strokes then going 450 and back to 250 2stroke i can say in my opinion the 250 is way more fun, less tiring and less serious than the 450.
The 450 just doesnt have the character of the 250 2t

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3/5/2021 3:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/5/2021 3:36 PM

crawfishoo wrote:

I went to a KTM 250SX after 10+ years on 450s. I absolutely love it! The new counter balanced KTM motor is fantastic, it is ...more

The exact experience I see before me at the moment as a 31 year old...

I’m driving 6 hours one way tomorrow to pick up a new old stock’20 ktm 250. I sold an RM 250 that I loved in order to keep up with the Joneses and get a 450. I wasn’t any faster on a 450 and it exhausted me faster trying to hang on. I had a “moment” late in a moto where I was blown up trying to push, and it got away from me. Made me realize I was not having fun trying to make it for me. I sold it... and am about to pick up something I know I’m gonna enjoy and have fun on. For me, I like the challenge of being at a slight disadvantage to the 450 guys. A 250 2t rewards good technique, is less exhausting, and I can ride it more to its potential whereas a 450 there’s way more there to get me in trouble at the worst moments.

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#TeamSway
SwayMX.com

3/17/2021 2:56 PM

So, I had the chance to ride a 2020 YZ 250 on Monday. My CRF450R is now for sale on this forum and Craigslist. The YZ felt a little slower but lighter and that’s a trade off I’ll take. Hopefully I will be on a smoker soon!

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