250F questions

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7/17/2019 2:55 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/17/2019 3:02 PM

So I posted a similar question in the motocross section but things got off the rails and I am looking for answers from those that currently have their boots on the ground, so hear goes.

Looking to get back into Moto / and just plain riding a dirt bike after a long time off. I have it pretty made up in my mind that even at 210-215 lbs (hopefully lower by the time this would be in place) that I am going to ride a 250f. But it seems like a lot of people says that they are bad news and a lot of work. Is this really the case or can a 250f make it a year without a top end rebuild or a ton of maintenance besides oil and filters and maybe a valve adjustment mid season? I know that I don't need a 450 but for reliability I may consider one but it would be a long shot and I am on the fence about a 250 2 stroke because I have been off a bike so long I want good low end and easy to use power to limp my fat ass around the track lol. I have been to several different dealers and all sell at least two different makes so I have covered all the OEMs and they all claim that they aren't that bad as far as maintenance goes. I would be looking at a new 2020 or a 2019 if the pricing is good. At this point open to any brand but my heart is leaning towards Honda because I like the looks of the bike and Honda quality or a Suzuki because of a local dealer that I'd like to do business with. Also with all the new bikes being EFI are power commanders or some other EFI piggy back tuners needed for full exhaust systems if so what is the hot ticket that you all are running? If brand specific to an OEM please specify. Do the different OEMs have a tuning tool that can be plugged in to download new maps as needed? Or can a dealer do a one time reflash to remap the bike for a pipe mod? Sorry for all the dumb questions but my last year and bike in Moto was 2001 with a 01 rm125 then I did some TT/flat track on a LTR 450 quad and since then it's just been sleds for me. Thanks for your help guys. Biggest thing I want to take away from this post is just how good or bad are these new 250fs as far as motor reliability is considered. Also leaning towards a 250 machine vs. anything bigger is that I can ride it in 250 beginner 450/open beginner as well as +25 b/c and +30c this way I can stay at the top of the class rotation and get out of Dodge early unless I start running well enough to worry about points. Thanks again!

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7/17/2019 4:36 PM

If youre buying new, a 250 will last a year before opening the valve cover - assuming you are a back of the pack C rider as you elude to. For reference, my kx250f is a 2009 and its going on 2 seasons of riding without touching the motor since i built it. Im slow as hell and change the oil every 2-5 hours on it.

Pipes usually dont need remaps to the ecu. Do not buy a power commander. Do not buy a tuning unit you plug into the bike. $100 gets you a tune specifically for your build.

If you want a mix of 250/450, a 350 from ktm is a great option.

No matter what, get familiar with doing simple stuff like valve adjustments. Theres plenty of people on here who can help you through anything should you need it.

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7/17/2019 4:58 PM

1) A 250F is fine for you to get back into riding with

2) Yes you can go a whole season or 100 hours on a 250f. I know plenty of C and B riders who have.

3)Best bottom end power will be the YZF and amazing suspension out of the box. You will need different springs though.
Honda has the least bottom end but also amazing suspension.

4) Suzuki makes good power, the suspension springs might be good for you because they are too stiff for most 160lbs guys. The bike just feels very stiff overall to me and not as fun to ride.

5) All the exhaust companies make the aftermarket exhaust with stock ECU settings, so you DONT have to remap it. Yamaha you can change the mapping with your phone which is another plus! All bikes have different tools, I dont know if dealers will do mapping and to be honest I wouldn't trust them. If you did want a new map, I would use Twisted Development. They have great maps for all the bikes and have worked with many of the top racers in the sport.

6) Again, you are fine on the 250F, get your feet wet then upgrade when you feel like you need to you. Dont rush it, get your skills back first.

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7/17/2019 5:09 PM

Some answers:

1) You do not need to re-flash for a full exhaust. That being said you are for sure leaving performance on the table by not doing so.

2) You do not need a power commander, as mentioned above there are many reputable companies that can re-flash your OEM ecu for vastly cheaper. If you really wanted the get the most bang a Vortex or GET ECU with custom tunes would be your go to albeit expensive.

3) There are a few OEM's that have a tuner available, if i recall Kawasaki's for example is around $600. Yamaha is currently the only OEM offering an affordable option via the power tuner phone app. I doubt you'd find a dealer willing to mess with the OEM tune.

4) As for low end grunt Yamaha probably has the most and Honda the least but no 250f will allow you lug around and be "lazy" like a 450 would. I know and see plenty of VET C riders riding them around with no drama at all.

5) These bikes are generally very reliable these days and should give you plenty of life before needing anything major. Barring you bouncing it off the limiter all the time or just not doing maintenance i don't see an issue with 50-60 hour top ends on a 250F. For reference I put a piston in my 2019 250SXF at 50 hours, it looked like new in there and the valves hadn't moved.

Honestly if your an average weekend warrior guy i don't think you can really go wrong with any color bike these days as their all really good. Be prepared however at your weight most bikes especially 250F's will come well under sprung for your weight. Again unless your constantly ripping it off the rev limiter, exceedingly fast or maintenance ignorant i don't think the 250F's are the ticking time bombs of the old days.

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7/17/2019 6:21 PM

Awesome info guys, just what I was looking for. Thanks.

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7/17/2019 7:19 PM

Most of the 250F's will last as long as you stated your needs are as long as you stay off the rev limiter. Most of todays 250f's are however set up for using only the upper part of the rpm range to get the power and thus don't have the torque you body mass will need for peak performance. You will need to learn to carry a lot of corner speed to make up for this.


Paw Paw

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7/18/2019 4:43 AM

70 hours on my 15 kx250f when I sold it. The bike saw a decent amount of rev limiter. Valves didn't move at all. I was due for a top end but there was no sings It was down on power and it ran perfect.

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7/18/2019 6:26 AM

Paw Paw 271 wrote:

Most of the 250F's will last as long as you stated your needs are as long as you stay off the rev limiter. Most of todays 250f's are however set up for using only the upper part of the rpm range to get the power and thus don't have the torque you body mass will need for peak performance. You will need to learn to carry a lot of corner speed to make up for this.


Paw Paw

Yes I know what you are saying. But after riding 125s that had no bottom end power and 250 2 strokes that had not much bottom end and that mid range explosion that makes them hard to ride, I feel like a smooth 250f would be the ticket. Yes a 450 would carry me easier but will also be harder to handle. If there is a screaming deal on a 450 when I get ready to buy I probably won't pass it up. But at this point I feel like even being 50ish lbs heavier than the target weight I am better off with a 250f at this point, mainly because of ease of use.

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7/18/2019 7:07 AM

Paw Paw 271 wrote:

Most of the 250F's will last as long as you stated your needs are as long as you stay off the rev limiter. Most of todays 250f's are however set up for using only the upper part of the rpm range to get the power and thus don't have the torque you body mass will need for peak performance. You will need to learn to carry a lot of corner speed to make up for this.


Paw Paw

geeZ177 wrote:

Yes I know what you are saying. But after riding 125s that had no bottom end power and 250 2 strokes that had not much bottom end and that mid range explosion that makes them hard to ride, I feel like a smooth 250f would be the ticket. Yes a 450 would carry me easier but will also be harder to handle. If there is a screaming deal on a 450 when I get ready to buy I probably won't pass it up. But at this point I feel like even being 50ish lbs heavier than the target weight I am better off with a 250f at this point, mainly because of ease of use.

im 190 and want to go back to a 250f.

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7/18/2019 7:10 AM

Paw Paw 271 wrote:

Most of the 250F's will last as long as you stated your needs are as long as you stay off the rev limiter. Most of todays 250f's are however set up for using only the upper part of the rpm range to get the power and thus don't have the torque you body mass will need for peak performance. You will need to learn to carry a lot of corner speed to make up for this.


Paw Paw

geeZ177 wrote:

Yes I know what you are saying. But after riding 125s that had no bottom end power and 250 2 strokes that had not much bottom end and that mid range explosion that makes them hard to ride, I feel like a smooth 250f would be the ticket. Yes a 450 would carry me easier but will also be harder to handle. If there is a screaming deal on a 450 when I get ready to buy I probably won't pass it up. But at this point I feel like even being 50ish lbs heavier than the target weight I am better off with a 250f at this point, mainly because of ease of use.

fourfourone wrote:

im 190 and want to go back to a 250f.

Last year i was 260ish on a 250f. At a low skill level, theres still guys that i could pass easily in the deep dirt. Weight isnt a big deal till youre at a higher competitive level.

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7/18/2019 7:17 AM

Buy the bike, ride the bike. That simple.

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7/18/2019 7:33 AM

Get the 2019 "leftover" Yamaha or Kawasaki. They make the best low end power of 250Fs and you're going to find some great deals on both, as the 2020s are on the floors soon! Kawasaki for the price, Yamaha for the suspension...

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7/18/2019 10:50 AM

I'm a +40 Int. guy and have a lots of different bikes and ride different bikes of buddies all the time. For me, I keep going back to 250f's. They are lighter, easier to ride deep into a moto and just plain more fun for me as it feels like I can ride them harder...makes me feel like I'm fast! I get killed on starts at times but I really believe that is due to my lack of technique.

I had a 2013 yz250f, put a piston in it at 100 hours and again at 215 hours. Both times everything in spec. Son had a '17 yz250f. Put a piston in it at 100 hours, everything in spec. We both now have '19 yz250f's and have close to 50 hours on each without issue. Will get to 100 and then upgrade.

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7/18/2019 12:48 PM

basslips wrote:

I'm a +40 Int. guy and have a lots of different bikes and ride different bikes of buddies all the time. For me, I keep going back to 250f's. They are lighter, easier to ride deep into a moto and just plain more fun for me as it feels like I can ride them harder...makes me feel like I'm fast! I get killed on starts at times but I really believe that is due to my lack of technique.

I had a 2013 yz250f, put a piston in it at 100 hours and again at 215 hours. Both times everything in spec. Son had a '17 yz250f. Put a piston in it at 100 hours, everything in spec. We both now have '19 yz250f's and have close to 50 hours on each without issue. Will get to 100 and then upgrade.

That's awesome! Thanks for the info.

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7/18/2019 1:32 PM

Woods A rider and spend alot of time on tracks. My bike likes the rev limiter and I'm not afraid to get near it or on it(19 yz250f) my previous 11/14/17 have all gone over 100 hours and valves never moved from the day i bought the bikes. I weigh 205 the bike rocks. Do it and don't look back.

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