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

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8/30/2018 8:42 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.

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.

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?


8/31/2018 5:09 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/31/2018 5:18 AM

I've ridden 2017 versions of both those bikes multiple times now, I vastly prefer the ktm although it might just boil down to I ride a ktm and was comfortable right away.

I will say the 2018 updates AER forks are much better and more reliable than the 2017 versions but the KYB SSS still feels better OTB. In stock form the Yamaha shock is better as well.

The XCF motor is hands down better, feels more free revving, more power, revs higher, less engine braking just a better package imho. The Yamaha feels a bit anemic and in total was just not very "exciting", which could be good or bad depend on your riding style.

I also found the KTM easier to work on than the Yamaha, little things like fuel line connectors, air filter etc. I can't speak to reliability both bikes were borrowed from friends both have significant (100+) hours and neither have had major issues.

In closing I don't think either bike is bad, I just know which I would choose.


9/1/2018 5:41 AM

i went in to buy a 2018 KTM 250XC-F for harescrambles, the one i tried had a reckluse clutch/lowering kit/ rad braces and all the ''enduro equipement''. Sweet bike, nice revvy engine , easy to ride. I was about to buy it, then i got offered to try the 150 XC-W. Ended up with the 150 in the end as it suit my riding still better. But i would no doubt buy the XC-F before a yz250fx


2002 KX125 (SOLD)/2001 KX250 (SOLD)
1999 KX250 (SOLD)
2016 RM-Z250(SOLD)
2018 KTM 150XC-W(current)

9/21/2018 2:04 PM

throw another bike into the mix.... yz250x! plenty of great reviews out there. i absolutely love mine. great suspension and very capable on a moto track.


9/22/2018 8:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/22/2018 8:12 PM

Why not a yz250f? It's an amazing off road bike. I totally agree about the clutch fade and have added a hydro clutch and it's awesome. Much cheaper that trying to dial in ktm suspension. I rode a 17xcf and the motor was nice but the low/mid is insane on the yz and it still revs. YZ top ends are only $110 also. Consider that in the equation with as long as you plan to keep it.


10/16/2018 11:21 AM

As an update to this, I ended up keeping the bike I have and getting some KYB SSS suspension for it. Just bolted it up and haven't had a chance to ride it yet.

Thanks for all the input!