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Need help deciding - 250 or 450 dirt bike?

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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Need help deciding - 250 or 450 dirt bike?

A little background information....

I'm 6'3 and 220 lbs. I would be using this bike to ride a little bit of everything: woods/trails, dunes, fire roads, and maybe even some motocross sometime down the road. I currently own a '73 Honda CB750 but have never ridden a dirt bike. I raced downhill mountain bikes for a few years, but with the price of those bikes reaching the cost of a used (or even new!) dirt bike, I'd rather get something with an engine rather than something I have to pedal In any case, I love the speed and jumps of DH mountain biking and am hoping to get that adrenaline rush with a dirt bike.

My dilemma is, 250 or 450 (it's going to be a 4 stroke)? I've heard the 450's are scary fast, but would a 250 be leaving me wanting more? My CB750 has got power, but I have to ride it pretty hard to get that power. At the same, the bike is very controllable because of this. I just don't necessarily like to be running it that hard all the time...

I'm going used for sure, and the local dealer is sitting on a lot of Yamaha 250's and 450's. I'm thinking I can get a pretty good deal on a late model used. I'm hoping they'll at least let me take them both for a spin around the parking lot, but that won't help me much to decide. Given my information, any recommendations from those who have ridden both extensively? My other question is on size - do the 250 and 450 share the same frame or will I be getting a physically bigger bike with the 450? Even if the 250 has enough power, if the 450 is a bigger bike all around, that might make the decision a little easier...

Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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I'm more of a quad guy but have dirtbike friends so here's what I've heard and seen:
Size- the 250's and 450's are very similar in size. I think the 450 may be a very slight amount bigger.
power- I know guys that ride both 250s and 450s. It seems unless you do a lot of riding in desert or dunes, the 250 has plenty of power. The 450 obviously has more, but that only seems to come into play in the wide open areas. Also, if you're inexperienced, a 450 may be too much. I know the first time I rode a crf450 I almost flipped it over backward on a grippy surface when I got on it a little too much LOL. I'm used to riding a built honda 450 quad(motor is stroked, ported and polished, cam, high compression, valve work. Dynoed at 50hp to the tires) but it still caught me off guard.
I'd try riding both id you could, or maybe start on the 250 with the intent on moving up to a 450 after a year or 2. By then you'll be able to find the fuel injected bikes used and you can fit that in as part of the upgrade process.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Relentless. You've echoed what my buddy who rides a Yamaha 450 quad has said. Which reminds me, I have to hit him up to ride his quad, which should give me a better idea of what a 450 engine can do. From what I've heard the Yamaha 450 quad engine is similar to the YZ450F dirt bike engine. He's pushing me towards a 450, but he's also the type that thinks you can never have enough horsepower.

The dunes would probably be a once a year trip for me, if I were riding regularly there I would definitely be leaning towards the 450.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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For your size, you need a 450...
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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i'm with TL697, at your build, you would look like a clown riding a 250. so go with the 450 and ride like a bandit
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Timmerman View Post
i'm with TL697, at your build, you would look like a clown riding a 250. so go with the 450 and ride like a bandit
I'm 5'8", 175lbs, with a B-class motocross background, and I can ride a 250F to it's limits... It would probably be enough bike until you got comfortable, but it would leave you wanting after that... You can be cautious and careful while learning to ride the 450F, but when you finally get comfortable, you won't be disappointed...

Also, 250F's are made to be ridden at high rpm, and basically, "balls to the wall"... 450F's can be short shifted and "lugged" a little, but still have adequate power...

Just my $.02...
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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Dood, Ive been riding dirt bikes for 20+ years. Buy an Xr 400. It is the perfect bike for what you described you are going to use it for. Indestructable air cooled PLENTY of power. I've had mine for 10 years. There is a good reason why they have never changed the design!! I will dust any 450 on a nasty technical hill. Buy a cheap CR 5hundy for the sand. I have 2, and burn 10gal of fuel everytime I go, cause I can't eat enough 450 to get satisfied!!
but man it's fun tryin
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead69 View Post
Dood, Ive been riding dirt bikes for 20+ years. Buy an Xr 400. It is the perfect bike for what you described you are going to use it for. Indestructable air cooled PLENTY of power. I've had mine for 10 years. There is a good reason why they have never changed the design!! I will dust any 450 on a nasty technical hill. Buy a cheap CR 5hundy for the sand. I have 2, and burn 10gal of fuel everytime I go, cause I can't eat enough 450 to get satisfied!!
but man it's fun tryin
Good advice as well, if you want more than one bike... The XR400R is a badass woods bike, but is a dog in the sand. Obviously, the reason for the recommendation on the CR500R...
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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450 fo sho. If it's too much you can always sell it. But it won't be!
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:01 AM   #10
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The 250 and 450 are the same size, you cant tell them apart unless you look at the engine (if you know what to look for).
As for the XR400 eating CRF450s, I rather doubt it, I guess it depends on the riders (the guy on the 450 was his first time out?)I think I know what your saying though, the 400 has far more linear power and easier to control tirespin...

But just for your information, the CRF250X was made to replace the XR400, its lighter too.

I am 5'6 125 lbs and ride/race a CRF450R, my wife has a 250X and its fun too, I would say as a beginner a 250 would be OK, but if your a quick learner and aggressive, you want a 450.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #11
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Go with the xr 400 the crf 250 and 450s are race bike lot's of maintence .
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
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yall are all about some damn hondas! no trash talk to their woods bikes, but i've never heard very good stuff about their race bikes, they're nightmares.

just gotta show my yamaha riders some love, have never had a thing go wrong on the four yamahas i own(ed) in the past 3 or 4 years.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TL697 View Post
For your size, you need a 450...

or a 250 two stroke......it takes more skill to ride well than a 450; but they are a blast and quite cheap to maintain, and much easier to work on than a 450 four stroke.

That being said, a 450 is easier to ride fast than a 250 certainly.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:56 PM   #15
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im 6'4 205 pounds and i ride a 250f i like it. a 250 has enough power but i just think that a 450 would be too much like i ride my 250 to its limits and i never need to go any crazier
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:50 AM   #16
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450 no doubt
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:59 AM   #17
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I am 6'3 220 lbs. I ride a Yamaha WR426FP and I absolutely love the power in the woods. When you come around a blind corner and are staring up at a hill just hit the throttle and get to the top no porblem, my buddies 250 has to get a longer running start at it. The wide open stuff is fun but this thing is an ablsolute beast in the woods
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #18
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i would go with a 450. cuz its good for you size and it has alot more power.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:14 AM   #19
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i just picked up a crf250r and from what i can tell the 450r and 250r are the same as far as frame and suspension set up like most have said its going to be the motor thats the difference. if your going to be trail riding your going to want to get one with a light and such the race bikes dont come with those so yeah if youve rode a bike before the only thing i think you need to worry about is transitioning from road to dirt it is a big difference. just my 2c.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:29 AM   #20
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This is crazy! I was just googling the exact same question and I just so happen to be a registered member here! It's been awhile.. I am in the market for a dirtbike and I'm 6ft3 220lbs as well... GLORIOUS! haha...
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