250 or 450?? (advice needed on re-occurring question)

31 replies to this topic
  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 17, 2005 - 02:41 PM


I recently got back into dirt riding again after almost 20 years. But for the last 20, I have been riding street bikes extensively. I'm 40, 205lbs, good shape, sharp mind, etc...

I bought a ttr225 to ride trails with my 9 and 11yr old novice girls. Its a blast being with the kids, but it doesn't get my adrenaline pumping. Honestly, I am always wishing the 225 was more powerful. Also, the suspension on that bike is not for me. In fact, I have a couple of falls due to bottoming out.

I'm going to buy "another" bike to ride when the kids are not around. I was thinking I need a 250. I was thinking about the crf50x or the wr250f. The valve issues on the Honda's scare the crap out of me, so I am going to stay BLUE and spend my money on gas for riding instead of wrenches. I see myself as a spirited trail rider, but definitely not a racer. I wouldn't mind going out into the desert a bit.

Question: Would I be sorry I didn't go with the 450? I hear that the power is very manageable once you get used to it. I do like the idea of trolling down the trails in 3rd gear with less shifting. Will the weight be too much for me? I am sure I could be happy with either one.

Should I focus in on one instead of the other? Or, should I go for the best deal I can get on either a 450 or a 250? Any 250 owners wish they had bought the 450? Any 450 owners wish they had bought the 250?

Thanks for any advice.

TTR-225 (for now..........)
XR80 Daughter #1
XR100 Daughter #2
150cc Quad Wife's ride.

  • old man dan

Posted August 17, 2005 - 02:47 PM


I'm 44 and also just back in after a few years off and I rode both the 250 and 450 before buying. Think of the 250 as a 125 2 stroke and the 450 as a 250 2 stroke. The 250f needs to be revved to be effective where the 450 can be lugged a lot more. I went with 450. If you ride in lot of reaaly tight spots maybe the 250 would be better but...

  • vantolr

Posted August 17, 2005 - 02:48 PM


Personally, for anyone with pretty good skills and is adaptable, you can't go wrong either way. Both are great bikes.

  • TwoBobRob

Posted August 17, 2005 - 02:57 PM


I just started riding dirt again after 25 years and went with the 450. All my problems riding offroad are all down to me!!! The bike is fine, just twist and go :D

I am going to make one change; when I buy new chain and sprockets I'm going to go up two teeth on the back just to lower the gearing enough that it pulls strong from walking speed in second, sometimes now I use a little clutch and I would rather not do too much of that.

Other than that - highly recommended :D

  • Matty05

Posted August 17, 2005 - 03:12 PM


The only thing to do is test ride both of them.

I got both under my roof, I love riding the 250 because I can ride it flat out and it handles so well compared to the 450. The power won't get you into trouble but after a bit of riding, you may feel it is lacking. Nothing a proper race pipe wouldn't fix.

In saying that, my 450 is really easy to ride, just turn the throttle as much as you can handle. It is really corked up so don't uncork it straight away, just bit by bit as you get used to it then throw on a decent pipe and away you go. I threw on a Procircuit Ti GP system on mine (I don't have to worry about noise) and the difference is unbelievable.

So WR250F, awesome to ride (im really too big for it at 240lbs but it hauls my ass) but may be lacking power after a while.

WR450F, Awesome bike with oodles more power so coming off a street bike would be my choice. the only thing I can think of being a bad thing is roosting on those 9 and 11 year old girls :D It throws rocks the size of houses like bullets.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 17, 2005 - 03:23 PM


So... your advice is to get the 450 and keep it corked, huh? Then, as I start to want more, then turn it loose....

Right now, my primary street bike is a BMW k1200LT. That bike, with all of its accessories, is a fit and trim 900+ lbs. I can manuever the hell out of that thing without fear.

So maybe I can handle the power and weight of the 450. So long as the trail isn't too tight and technical. However, I cannot see myself riding something so tight for extended periods of time.

I am in the market for something used because they are usually good deals. If I find something "uncorked", can I put it back to factory for the short term.

Isn't there a throttle limit screw?


  • Flaminchiten1967

Posted August 17, 2005 - 03:38 PM


Yamaha lists the 250 at 15 pounds less than a 450. It's not a huge difference, I am new to off road riding but I don't forsee 15 pounds making it that much tougher.

I went with the 450 cause you can always use less power than you have but you can't use more power than you have.

  • Flaminchiten1967

Posted August 17, 2005 - 03:40 PM


Isn't there a throttle limit screw?

Yes I rode my bike once with it being completely stock and thought the power was adequate, then did the throttle stop mod, grey wire mod, and went to a 170 main jet, and now think the power is twice what it was and think the bike is a monster!

  • Dodjy

Posted August 17, 2005 - 04:27 PM


There is only one answer for you. Get the 450. It's easier to ride but just weighs a little more. You need to ride the 250 harder to keep the momentum going and not bog down, especially up steep hills. The 450 is easier to get up hills, start on hills, pop the front wheel over logs, puddles at lower revs etc. You don't have to ride it hard. Do the free mods, don't leave it corked up - it wasn't designed for that. You definitely won't be sorry, you will find the bike will make you a better rider because it does everything better than you previous bike and don't be scared of the power it's nothing like a 2 stroke comming into band, its really progressive and easy to manage even on slippery clay. If you get a 250 you will soon wonder how good the 450 is.

  • dman450f

Posted August 17, 2005 - 04:58 PM


like they said, you will always wonder why you didnt get the 450, I like having extra power, and not having to but it! :D

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  • Matty05

Posted August 17, 2005 - 06:11 PM


Here is an interesting thing, my girl thinks my450 is easier to ride because of the weight.

For a very confidence inspiring, very easy to ride bike, make sure you look at the KTM525exc. They cost a bit more but you don't need to modify them as they already come with all the best bits. Very good bike for the beginner and the pro.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 17, 2005 - 08:19 PM


I have never thought of KTM. I don't know anything about them. Are they a good alternative or something to be considered.

525 seems like a lot of bike.

Does it handle that well and feel that light?

what about reliability and aftermarket support?

I'll consider any bike that is capable, fun to ride and reliable.

  • Bill_P

Posted August 17, 2005 - 10:10 PM


I'll consider any bike that is capable, fun to ride and reliable.

It is all that and more. That's probably the one bike that I see the most of out on the trails. Either that or the 450exc.

  • Matty05

Posted August 17, 2005 - 10:46 PM


I have never thought of KTM. I don't know anything about them. Are they a good alternative or something to be considered.

525 seems like a lot of bike.

Does it handle that well and feel that light?

what about reliability and aftermarket support?

I'll consider any bike that is capable, fun to ride and reliable.

I only got yamaha's because the price of two new yamaha's freighted to my little isolated town is way less than two ktm's. Long story short yamaha dealer closer than ktm dealer.

The quality and finish just seem to be better, not that there is anything wrong with Yamaha.

The KTM 525exc ALWAYS wins the mag reviews out of all the trail bikes.
They all say it has the best motor, the best ergo's, the best handling and best all round value. They are heaps reliable, husaberg do their r & d so what works goes on the ktm's. Valve adjustment is heaps simpler than bucket and shim too. Aftermarket support is awesome (at least here in Australia, you would think so in the USA too) as it is the biggest euro brand dirt bikes out there.

  • RC81

Posted August 17, 2005 - 10:48 PM


I wouldnt think of going under a 450 no matter what brand. I am about your weight and mine hauls me around fine.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 18, 2005 - 12:14 AM


Now, I have to stop and start researching KTM's. I hope you didn't just cost the Yamaha dealer his kid's school tuition.

You know, we are all supposed to send our little monsters back to school in a couple of weeks.

Is the conventional thinking that the KTM needs no mods? It certainly seems to be about $1000 more than the Yamaha.

How is the low end grunt? Will the 300 or 450 be sufficient? Or will I always be wondering about the 525? Is the KTM 525 comparable to the Yamaha WR450? If so, what is the KTM 450 comparable to?

Anyone else have any KTM opinions?

  • Matty05

Posted August 18, 2005 - 04:42 AM


the ktm450exc is comparable to the wr450f.
why have a 450 when you can have a 525! :D

  • Bamster

Posted August 18, 2005 - 05:10 AM


If your riding consists of a lot of open spaces get the 450.
If its a lot of tight single track get the 250.
Remember more power = less handleing.

  • TwoBobRob

Posted August 18, 2005 - 07:57 AM


My riding partner has a 525EXC. It's a lovely bike with more power than you could ever need, feels nice and light to ride and the components and ergo's are very good.

However...... Just my opinion....... From what I've seen of KTMs (I have a lot of friends who ride supermoto on them), they can be a bit highly strung; If you are a committed service freak and have absolute attention to detail then you can expect very few problems. But if you're not, then beware. They do seem to deteriorate very quickly if not regularly loved and spoilt.

I have one friend - complete abuser of bikes. In every sense. No service routine, it's lucky to get oil...His YZ has never let him down. He's let his YZ down a few times mind you.. Another, does fairly regular but ordinary servicing, rides his bike on its stops everywhere he goes, without rest or mechanical simpathy. His bike has never let him down. It's a WR... Another has a 99 (i think) WR400 that's still on its first piston and sounds sweet.

I think I could tell you a tale of woe about virtually every KTM I've ridden out with, bar one or two.

So, don't discount either the Yammy or KTM, but think on and buy with your eyes open. They both need looking after, but how much time do you really want to spend in the garage?

I ride a WR450 and love it... :D :D

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted August 18, 2005 - 08:03 AM


I don't want to spend any time working on the bike. I don't mind changing the oil, lubing the chain and stuff like that. But I would prefer to minimize the time spent checking valves, replacing heads or rebuilding engines.

First of all, I handy with a wrench, but by no means am I am expert. Wrenching cuts into my riding time.

That is why I am avoiding the Honda's for now and considering Yamaha.


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