After spending some time on the XR pages I've sold the old 350 and XR250 and XR100 (kids all want to ride atv's so I'm not much on letting stuff sit around). Earlier this spring I bought an 01 YZ426 and it's been a great bike unless I have to restart it hot. It's the first bike where I really didn't realize I was off the ground until I figured out why the rev's were going up. At this point I don't want to go backwards (the XR250R looks the part, but was way softer and 'exciting' on a motocross track and not particular nimble in trees - too me and I have no idea what I'm doing (after a crash, another rider told me to stop using the front brake so much).
Recently I traded some truck parts for an 04 CRF450R. It seemed to start better than the YZ and I was pretty excited about trying it out at the dirt park. Of course it wouldn't start one morning and it seems like the spark plug cap doesn't seem to snap on to the plug and it may have a few other issues (it has sat quite a bit). Now that the YZ sees the red paint, it starts better (I know it's machinery, but it makes perfect sense if you are paranoid). I have an older z-start (not pro) that could go in the YZ and that may take care of the stalling, but it sounds like the newer models or EFM work better/more naturally.
So which one keeps an older guy (54) with next to no dirt experience having fun (roadracing 20 years ago isn't helping much - that front brake thing especially)
1. Keep the YZ426 (sell the crf)
a. work on jetting for startability (I already installed the autodecomp cam)
b. install the z-start or is this a bad idea and I'll be happier with the newer types?
c. actually have the bike set up for my weight and skill (stock is pretty good at this point though)
2. keep the CRF450R (hey it has the blingy aluminum frame)
a. fix all the issues which could include valves, but hopefully not
b. install a rekluse
c. have the suspension set up for me
3. Pitch everything and get a KTM 450XCF or SXF ($2600) with electric start and maybe a rekluse (more $). Or maybe a cheaper WR450F ($2000) or possibly CRF450X (not as cheap $2800). The WR might be the better choice, but would the bikes like these for sale tend to be set up as street bikes with MX looks?
4. Pitch the whole idea and pick up a CR125 with an ohlins suspension for $1400. The 450 torque is super handy though for the unskilled (and potentially never becoming skilled). Seems like I've had the most fun on a MX track ever with the 426. My former attempts were a long time ago and it felt like I had to pay much more attention to the bike to get around the track.
If the YZ would start as easily has it has the past few days (running 2 miles to do hog chores) I wouldn't consider the magic button, but I don't get to go riding all the time and I'd like to maximize my riding time verses kicking time.