are there any old school MX bikes that can still run w/ todays top bikes?


77 replies to this topic
  • dpage

Posted January 09, 2011 - 06:50 AM

#1

are there any old school Motocross bikes that can still run w/ the big boys of today IE: a 1998 yz250 vs 2011 ktm350 or are the older bikes just lost due to newer techknowledge? is a fast bike still fast no matter what? what do you guys think?

  • rolandk

Posted January 09, 2011 - 07:01 AM

#2

For the pros the newer bike will always have an advantage but for the average B and C level riders it won't make much if any difference.

  • Chokey

Posted January 09, 2011 - 07:08 AM

#3

If you aren't fast on a slow bike all a faster bike will do is make you shut off sooner.

As for old bikes that could still be competitive, I would vote for the '93 CR250. Excellent handling, a screaming mid-and-up engine that was the epitome of two-stroke power in it's day, and excellent brakes for the time. It's only shortcoming was (and would still be) mediocre suspension, especially the forks.

  • The Italian Stallion

Posted January 09, 2011 - 07:47 AM

#4

If you aren't fast on a slow bike all a faster bike will do is make you shut off sooner.

As for old bikes that could still be competitive, I would vote for the '93 CR250. Excellent handling, a screaming mid-and-up engine that was the epitome of two-stroke power in it's day, and excellent brakes for the time. It's only shortcoming was (and would still be) mediocre suspension, especially the forks.

I didn't get along with the mid 90s CR250,My brother had a 96 and I had a 95KX250,Although the CR had a beast of a motor mid-top,to me it had no bottom end,cramped ergonomics,and terrible forks and shock.I thought I would love the bike,but for me it was hard to ride.I liked the late Kawi's better ,well aside from the cracking frames.

  • GaryHarris

Posted January 09, 2011 - 08:02 AM

#5

90s is old school? I guess my 74YZ would be ancient?

Damn I'm old. lol

  • Chokey

Posted January 09, 2011 - 08:05 AM

#6

I didn't get along with the mid 90s CR250,My brother had a 96 and I had a 95KX250,Although the CR had a beast of a motor mid-top,to me it had no bottom end,cramped ergonomics,and terrible forks and shock.I thought I would love the bike,but for me it was hard to ride.I liked the late Kawi's better ,well aside from the cracking frames.

While I would agree with you, as I didn't like the '94 and newer CR frames and never felt comfortable with the ergos, the '91-'93 CR250 was considered by many to be the best handling MX chassis of it's day, with the strongest and most versatile power plant. That's why Jeremy McGrath raced the '93 frame for the rest of his career at Honda, right up until he quit after the debut of the aluminum frame that he reportedly despised.

I too am and have long been a Kawie rider, I've always preferred their blend of roomy ergos and low-to-mid power curves. And the '98 KX250 had what is possibly the best two-stroke MX powerband of all time. But it had atrocious suspension and rather poor brakes, and as you mentioned, durability issues with the frame for hard-chargers.

  • bluethumper98

Posted January 09, 2011 - 08:28 AM

#7

I had a 93 cr250 and raced it for years in the VA hare scramble series and did very well with it. The power, feel, and handling of it was about the best ever. The newer bikes really excel with great suspension, better handling, and usually a really good powerplant if you like 4 strokes. If you are talking about horsepower then a healthy 500 two stroke is where it is. I have rode many new 4 strokes, also own a 450, and not one of them will hang with my 96 cr500 when it is time to ride full throttle in a fast area. This is not a bad thing. Nothing really needs to make that much wfo power in a dirt bike but it is very fun. Better suspension and handling will allow you to go a lot faster than having more HP. This is where the newer bikes help. A bike several years IMO is still very good and competitive. Enough horse power never really has been a problem in mx bikes and one can make improvements in suspension in a bike that has some age.

  • KcDavis

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:06 AM

#8

In short, it comes down to the rider. A competent rider can be fast and competitive on any bike.

  • KJ790

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:18 AM

#9

Here's my recent experience. I have a friend who had a bunch of old bikes (as well as new ones) that he keeps in mint condition. I was at his house riding and he wanted to see how fast I could ride an older bike. So he timed me and I did 6 laps at a time on different bikes. I'm not the fastest rider in the world, I'm a mid-pack A class racer, but I'm very consistent. I started out on my YZ450F, and I was consistent, each lap was within 0.5 seconds of each other. Then I got on his '93 YZ250 with revalved suspension. I spun a few laps to get used to it, then he put the clock on me. I felt pretty good on it and again I was very consistent. To my surprise, I was only about 1 second a lap slower. Then I got on his '83 CR480. Spun a few laps to get used to it, and then some on the clock. This bike had way too soft of suspension for me, but I had fun on it. When I came off I found I was less consistent, but averaged 1.5-2 seconds a lap slower than on my YZ450F. I think with more time on the bikes and playing with the suspension I could have been within 0.5 seconds of my current bike.

Now his track doesn't have any huge jumps, just small jumps, rolling hills, and corner, so it's an old school style track. If I were on a supercross track I would definitely want my newer bike for it's suspension. However, this little experiment made me realize 2 things: that bikes haven't come nearly as far as I thought they had in the last 30 years, and that it is not the bike that is keeping me from winning every race. Bikes have changed a lot, but not like the magazines would have you believe. You read a magazine and they try to tell you that a 2 year old bike isn't even competetive in the C class anymore because new bikes are so much better. This simply isn't true.

My friend keeps trying to get me to race the old CR480 in the open A class just to see how many looks it would get. He keeps saying "You aren't that far off pace on it, and everyone would think you're crazy when you roll up to the gate on a 30 year old bike!"

  • Chokey

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:31 AM

#10

Here's my recent experience. I have a friend who had a bunch of old bikes (as well as new ones) that he keeps in mint condition. I was at his house riding and he wanted to see how fast I could ride an older bike. So he timed me and I did 6 laps at a time on different bikes. I'm not the fastest rider in the world, I'm a mid-pack A class racer, but I'm very consistent. I started out on my YZ450F, and I was consistent, each lap was within 0.5 seconds of each other. Then I got on his '93 YZ250 with revalved suspension. I spun a few laps to get used to it, then he put the clock on me. I felt pretty good on it and again I was very consistent. To my surprise, I was only about 1 second a lap slower. Then I got on his '83 CR480. Spun a few laps to get used to it, and then some on the clock. This bike had way too soft of suspension for me, but I had fun on it. When I came off I found I was less consistent, but averaged 1.5-2 seconds a lap slower than on my YZ450F. I think with more time on the bikes and playing with the suspension I could have been within 0.5 seconds of my current bike.

Now his track doesn't have any huge jumps, just small jumps, rolling hills, and corner, so it's an old school style track. If I were on a supercross track I would definitely want my newer bike for it's suspension. However, this little experiment made me realize 2 things: that bikes haven't come nearly as far as I thought they had in the last 30 years, and that it is not the bike that is keeping me from winning every race. Bikes have changed a lot, but not like the magazines would have you believe. You read a magazine and they try to tell you that a 2 year old bike isn't even competetive in the C class anymore because new bikes are so much better. This simply isn't true.

My friend keeps trying to get me to race the old CR480 in the open A class just to see how many looks it would get. He keeps saying "You aren't that far off pace on it, and everyone would think you're crazy when you roll up to the gate on a 30 year old bike!"

Nice write-up, and it agrees with my perceptions of older bikes as well. They simply haven't re-invented the wheel over the years, just sorta fine-tuned it. :smirk:

As to racing the CR480, if you race in AMA events, you can't, the rules don't allo bikes over five years old to be raced. But even if they did, why would you? Those old CR480s were just flat evil in my opinion...B)

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  • KJ790

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:35 AM

#11

Nice write-up, and it agrees with my perceptions of older bikes as well. They simply haven't re-invented the wheel over the years, just sorta fine-tuned it. :smirk:

As to racing the CR480, if you race in AMA events, you can't, the rules don't allo bikes over five years old to be raced. But even if they did, why would you? Those old CR480s were just flat evil in my opinion...:busted:


The 5 year rule is a misconception. There is a rule like that in AMA Pro Racing, but that is an entirely different entity from the AMA with its own set of rules. You can race any age bike in AMA events. The guy that owns the bikes raced the 480 in a local AMA sanctioned race last year and won the Vet C class on it... There were a lot of disappointed 2010 450F owners that day B)

  • FIVEWIDE

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:39 AM

#12

+1 on that 98 kx250 motor, most powerful 250 2t motor top and bottom end I'v rode.

I'v had the money for newer bikes but after testing them I can't justify selling my 11 year old yz250.

  • Chokey

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:41 AM

#13

The 5 year rule is a misconception. There is a rule like that in AMA Pro Racing, but that is an entirely different entity from the AMA with its own set of rules. You can race any age bike in AMA events. The guy that owns the bikes raced the 480 in a local AMA sanctioned race last year and won the Vet C class on it... There were a lot of disappointed 2010 450F owners that day B)

Gotcha. :smirk:

Those 480s were still evil, though. Demon bikes. :busted:

  • KJ790

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:47 AM

#14

Gotcha. :smirk:

Those 480s were still evil, though. Demon bikes. :busted:


Haha, especially the left handed kick start... I couldn't start the thing to save my life! Power wise it didn't seem as insane as everyone had always told me old school open bikes were. It really didn't pull much harder than my 450 and it lost a noticeable amount of power as it got hot, which I hear is common for the old air cooled bikes. Thank god mx bikes were all liquid cooled by the time I was born B) I'm sure the liquid cooled 500's were much faster though.

  • owainyz03

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:47 AM

#15

well ive a 1991 yz 125 and it feels faster than my friends 2007 bored-out rm 125.but there is much more of a hit on the powerrband than the rm:banana:

Edited by yz125 91, January 09, 2011 - 09:49 AM.
spelling


  • Chokey

Posted January 09, 2011 - 09:51 AM

#16

Haha, especially the left handed kick start... I couldn't start the thing to save my life! Power wise it didn't seem as insane as everyone had always told me old school open bikes were. It really didn't pull any harder than my 450 and it lost a noticeable amount of power as it got hot, which I hear is common for the old air cooled bikes. Thank god mx bikes were all liquid cooled by the time I was born :smirk: I'm sure the liquid cooled 500's were much faster though.

It wasn't so much the sheer amount of power the 480 had (it wasn't way over-powered like, say, the violent and vicious '85 CR500 B) ), but the one that I rode a few times just didn't seem like a well-designed cohesive unit. The engine seemed to fight the suspension, the suspension didn't do the chassis any favors, the brakes were way to weak for the amount of speed the engine could generate, etc...

  • KJ790

Posted January 09, 2011 - 10:04 AM

#17

It wasn't so much the sheer amount of power the 480 had (it wasn't way over-powered like, say, the violent and vicious '85 CR500 :smirk: ), but the one that I rode a few times just didn't seem like a well-designed cohesive unit. The engine seemed to fight the suspension, the suspension didn't do the chassis any favors, the brakes were way to weak for the amount of speed the engine could generate, etc...


Oh yeah, the brakes were terrible, and the suspension was hitting bottom in corners. I definitely wouldn't want to ride it on a rough track like a sand track!

  • MMotohead

Posted January 09, 2011 - 10:20 AM

#18

I raced a 90 CR250, 92 CR250, 95 Cr250, 97 YZ250, which many above claim were great bikes. They are all painfully horrible compared to any 2011 MXer. There is no comparison.

  • Jeekinz

Posted January 09, 2011 - 10:26 AM

#19

Some good posts going on here. I couldn't agree more about the new vs. old issue. I've ridden new bikes that felt real old and old bikes that felt new.

  • TheBigKahuna

Posted January 09, 2011 - 12:16 PM

#20

I bet a 90s era 500cc 2 stroke with a well tuned suspension could be competitive with the right rider.





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