2-stroke or 4-stroke?

8 replies to this topic
  • smccart

Posted April 07, 2006 - 04:29 PM


I know this site is specefically for 4-strokes so at the risk of getting a few biased opinions... What are the major differences between a YZ250 and a YZ450F. I'm most likely going to be purchasing a 2004 YZ450F very soon but I want to make sure I'm getting a bike thats right for me.

Let me explain how I will be using this bike. Basically I'll be riding mostly for fun but I hope to get back into MX racing eventually. I'm more of a MX rider than a trail rider. Will a 450 satisfy my big air needs? I hear the 450s can be heavier and not as fun to ride? But I like the power and it seems the 450s are becoming the more popular choice these days.

So I guess my question is, with the above information, which bike would be best for me?

  • grayracer513

Posted April 07, 2006 - 04:46 PM


Trying to say what's best for someone else is a fool's gambit. The 4-stroke is best for me, but maybe not you. Someone else you may want to ask is Satch0922, over in the Yamaha 2-stroke forum, usually. He's owned a 426, an early YZ450 (as opposed to an '06), and an '05 YZ250.

To begin with, this isn't going to be quite as simple as if you were asking about an RM250, because the YZ250 is the most thumper-like of all the two-strokes. It has a extraordinarily wide, smooth power band for a pinger, and up until the 4-strokes really did take over the class, the bike was the go-to choice of more privateers than any other.

The YZ450, on the other hand, is big and amazingly powerful, with one of those "if you can hear it, it's on the pipe" kinds of power curves. 4-stroke power is far more linear and controllable and usable, but the bike is a little heavier, and quite a bit heavier feeling when flipping through 'S's or whipping over jumps. You'll have to learn to ride it a little differently, but I think that most people that switch from two to four don't go back.

If there's any way to get an extended ride on both machines, that's what you should do, because the only way to know which one you like better is to spend some time with both of them.

  • tw557

Posted April 07, 2006 - 05:01 PM


I usually don't reply to this stuff, but I feel compelled. I just went the same delimia. Because of what most people stated here, I bought a 04 yz250 because everyone stated smooth power like a four stroke. Well I owned it for 1 month till I rode a yzf450 03. The yz is wild. I tried a 12oz flywheel weight with little effect. The bike was completely stock. The smallest amount of throttle and the power is instant. Wheelies are hard to control. Short shift at 1/4 throttle and wheelie right up in first four gears. My only way to have control was to get it in 3rd gear right away or either spin or wheelie.
Then I ride the 03 yzf450 all stock except for a 6oz flywheel weight. Much more smooth controllable hit. Now a 1/4 throttle is a 1/4 throttle where the yz was a 1/4 throttle was like 3/4 throttle. Wheelies are just as easy but just at more throttle opening and WAY!!!!more controllable. I really have no idea how the guys really can ride the 250 easily in the woods or slippery tracks. The yz power is broad but very instant. I thought I need to go to a 250f because I could not control the yz. But I am SO MUCH happier with the yz450.
I lost money on reselling the yz but well worth getting the 4stroke. I really wanted to show my friends the 2 strokes are still great but I must admit it didn't work for me. I hope this helps. Maybe something was wrong with both bikes to be this different but I don't think so.

  • Idaho_Stas

Posted April 10, 2006 - 10:06 PM


I made the switch this year from a YZ 250 to an '06 YZ 450F. I loved the pinger... and just to be safe, I didn't sell it. However, after going through the learning curve, the very usable, and seemingly endless power of the 450 is thrilling and addicting. At first the bike felt quite a bit heavier (and in really tight and technical stuff... it still does) but overall, I don't notice the weight difference much.

Another HUGE difference I've noticed is the difference in the suspension between the '03 YZ250 and the '06 450F. Night and day difference that has probably boosted my confidence on the big bike more than anything.

After about 3 hard rides (after a few easy breakin rides), I was faster, and surprisingly, more comfortable on the 450.

Summary (for me anyway): Way more usable power (less wheel spinning and wheelies when you don't want them); More power than I will ever need; Suspension that, for the most part, makes up for the little stupid mistakes I make and keeps me on 2 wheels.

I'll still keep the 250 around because my 15 year old son is putting it to good use, but I honestly don't think I'll be spending much time in its saddle.

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Posted April 10, 2006 - 11:42 PM


I agree with Greyracer, if you could get a bit of time on both bikes, It would become immediately apparent. I would offer, but that would be an expensive plane ticket for you! I'll chime in my own experience.

I've had a '03 wr450 and currently own a modded '02 YZ250 as well as a new '06 YZ450F. I rode my training partner's '05 YZ250 back to back with my new bike this past weekend. I'm not trying to be a Chad Reed wannabe, but there is just no going back. The Yamaha fourstroke IS a much better bike. I have also spent a good bit of time recently in Southern California on a '05 CRF450. In my opinion, the 06 YZF is hands down a better bike than the 05' CRF450. I am a longtime Yamaha guy but can be objective when a bike is better than a tuning fork factory bike.

ALL of them are great bikes in their own right. However, The new YZ450 is simply amazing. It is a good deal faster in all areas than the two stroke. It has the motor of doom. The tungsten counter-balancer lets you just pour the revs to it or short shift and lug it. There is no buzz through the bars, just smooth tractable seamless power (when you lug it) or it'll rip your arms from their sockets (if you fan the clutch or use a high rpm with a lower gear). Your choice! My 250 is very quick(pro-circuit pipe/silencer, perfect jetting, v force 3 reeds, etc.) and very responsive. I had a great season last year, against mostly 450's. Let's just say, I would hate to be lined up next to an 06 YZF450 while still on my two stroke. You would have to work so much harder. The two stroke has a buzzy feel through the bars.

I am a bigger guy 6 foot, 250lbs. The 450 fits me great. I can whip the bike around pretty well. I didn't really notice the weight, I know the two stroke is lighter on the spec. sheet but the 450 carries it's 230 lbs (dry weight) very well.

It is by far the best suspended bike I have ever ridden. STOCK. My 250 has all the bells and whistles Race Tech could throw at it...with regular servicing....it doesn't even compare. My buddy's 05 YZ250 is better than my 02's suspension but even it doesn't perform as well as the stock suspension on the new 450. It is that good.

I feel a bit cramped on the 250's but raced that bike with a lot of success. The 450F has a bigger bike feel to it (reminds me of the old open class two strokes). That is not to say that it is a slow handling bike. It feels stretched out yet I can turn it very sharp and still catch that tricky inside on camber turn.

Jumping on the two stroke is easy, something I have gotten used to and have to spend little energy "thinking" about. From the first ride on the 450, it felt completely natural. It tracked straight and true. Landed sooo smoothly. Pitching the bike in the air is fairly simple just a bit different technique (I have spent alot of time on 2 and 4 strokes on mx tracks).
An 04 YZ450F uses a steel frame with oil in it. It gives the bike a heavier feel (even though in reality it weighs exactly the same). There have also been reports of the re-sale value of the older YZF plummeting since the new aluminum framed bikes are out.
Hope that helps. What is your size, height, weight. What are some other bikes you have owned?

  • Satch0922

Posted April 11, 2006 - 03:09 AM


let's compare the 06 yz250 to the 06 yz450 so we can eliminate the suspension differences.....( the 06 stuff is so much better than anything KYB has ever made).

The 450 is smoother and easier to ride. Period. The 250 is funner. I have ridden both and love riding both. It just depends on what your after. I am one of those weirdo that went 2 stroke to 4, back to the 2 and later this year the plan is to go back to the 4.

Sorry I could not be of more help. Keep in mind , the championship in Japan was won on a YZ250 two stroke. Look at the GNCC results....two strokes. The 4 is better for the average rider though....less work to ride. :thumbsup:

  • SurvivorMan

Posted April 11, 2006 - 06:12 AM


4 strokes are the way of the future, so future resale will be a little easier on the thumper. I've ridden and raced my whole life on 2 strokes and after 2 months, I just love my 450. I love riding the damn thing, i don't know if I'm faster and I don't care...just fun to ride. Wheelies are so much easier on this 450, I'm still getting used to the bike and can wheelie twice as far as my ktm 300. Two completely different bikes though, neither one is perfect, just figure out the pros and cons...make a choice

  • cms_austx

Posted April 11, 2006 - 06:43 AM


Before '06, the YZ250 was the better choice IMO. When I bought my '05 YZ250, it was a no-brainer vs. the YZ450F. The YZ450 is so much better for '06, though, and now it would be a no-brainer over a YZ250. I loved my YZ250, but was pretty blown away after riding a new YZ450! :thumbsup:

  • Drfletcherdc

Posted April 11, 2006 - 08:29 AM


I had a tricked out 05 YZ250 that was a Supercross bike of Ryan Clark. After riding my friends 04 YZ450 I had to make the change to the 4 stroke. They are so much easier to ride, almost like cheating. Lucky for me, most of his aftermarket bling bling fit on my new 06 450.

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