Kawasaki KX250 vs Honda CRF250R

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by TonyBKK, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Being a complete noob to dirtbikes, would the Kawasaki KX250 be comparable to the Honda CRF250R?

    I found a brand new one in Bangkok for only 290k Baht. A lot cheaper than the Honda CRF250R that Honda, Thailand had on display at the Bangkok Bike Festival for 319k Baht, but how does the Kwacker compare to the Honda?


    Happy Trails!T

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  3. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Both well liked but both extreme maintenance needs... I always think get a 2 stroke, cheap parts and easy to work.. Lighter / cheaper / less complex etc..

    Only reason 4 strokes ever made it as MX bikes is because the manufacturers bribed the AMA to jig the race classes to get 4 strokes competitive with 450's against 2 stroke 250's.. For real riders who are not in competition and dont have a mechanic team and supplied parts 4 stroke MX'ers are just added cost and complexity.

    Now ok if your talking a dual sport like a WR250 or 450 then ok, I still prefer the 2 strokes but I can see why the torque can be useful in some setups. But those MX engines, rebuilds after hours of use, with that high revving valve train ?? And having Thai mechanics have to do it ?? You know what your getting into there ??

    Right now I am hunting for a KTM200EXC to add to the YZ250. In fact I would take the YZ250 (which cost me 5 digit money) over either of the 4 strokes listed at 4 times the money based on a total ownership proposition.

    If you do want a 4 stroke Darren has a CRF250 I think he wanted to let go of.
  4. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    Well said my CR500 2banger its rather easy to pop a new piston and rings in and your good to go. A few mates are riding MX 4 strokes and have there bikes in to have there valves reset every 15 to 20 hours of hard trail riding.
    I would love to send my CR500 over this year but untill i work how to do it will stay here in OZ, i was thinking of getting a KLX250 and doing the derestriction and mods for it, not sure about the new honda CRF250 i have been looking but can not find any spec's on it but it looks heavier and not as much ground clearance.

    CRF250 coming March 2012

    CRF250 showen with all the bling on it have to say it looks much better

    The KLX250 as standard off the show room foor.

    Which bike will be better well i will wait to hear over ther next few months before i return.
  5. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Rode at the weekend with a KLX250 with the Bill Blue 351 Big bore converted back to a carb from FI..

    While I am sure it could have been lighter it sure seemed to have some pull and did pretty well on the trail with loads of torque.. I think going that way with a KLX is pretty cost effective for trail use (for sure not MX).
  6. lordofthedreadz

    lordofthedreadz Ol'Timer

    I don' get why you are talking about proper motocross bikes in the first part of the thread and light trail meant for road use on the second part.

    I never owned any 4 stroke MX bike so I really don't know what care they do need to run properly, my guess is, as any "competition" bike, it need a lot more care than an everyday bike (it was the case on the 2 stroke back in the day, parts werent cheap either).

    As for raw performance the Kwakers always seemed to me to be more brutal while Hondas were smoother but both bikes are amazing performers, plenty enough power to climb trees :)
  7. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

  8. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Because Tony made it clear that hes a complete noob to dirtbikes, and while he may be taken by the competitive bikes hes listed I dont know if hes aware of the downsides of those kind of machines or even if hes intending to ride dirt trails, dirt enduro, or go to MX tracks.

    I would say that if hes looking to do anything other than pure MX track visits he may well be a lot better off with a less single minded machine.. And even if he is going to use it as a race track only bike, I still think the whole 4 stroke MX bike thing is a bit of a con, that benefits those selling bikes and parts a lot more than the actual users of the bikes and that a 2 stroke MX machine will give a far better enjoyment for the average casual MX rider.

    If hes looking for an all rounder dirtbike, one that can do some dirt, trails, single track, woodsin, etc.. And can still just about have fun around a track (tho be totally uncompetitive in race terms I totally agree) then perhaps hopping up a KLX, or the CRF.. Or depending on bias looking for a WR250F or something similar.. Would be an easier ownership proposition for a rider rather than a race spec bike needing a lot of mechanic spanner time.

    Maybe Tony knows all this and hes correct in that he really does want an MXer ?? I dont know.. But just a friendly warning in case he didnt. It wouldnt be the first 'noob' whose got the idea of a bike in his mind only to find out the reality of a race machine is a bit more of a headache than the fun of riding one.

    But maybe Tony doesnt know quite how much care and work (and parts) they need. Its possible hes looking for a dirt machine, seen the nice hot looking MX'ers and thought, that will do nicely, without knowing that they need valve tweaking and checking every 15 or so hours use and how much it costs to rebuild a grenaded engine of this kind of performance ??

    2 strokes also need fairly frequent upper head work, but the work is simple enough that even a 10 thumbed idiot like myself can swap out a piston and ringset in an afternoon and the costs of doing so and setting it back up are pretty minimal.

    I admit to being a 2 stroke fan.. I think with good reason.. I think the 4 stroke motocross scene was pushed on the public for profit rather than advancing the sport or the technology, with an overall negative effect for the end user / rider and the sport as a whole at the club level.. Thats my bias and I am happy to admit it...


    Brappity Braapp McBraapperson ;)
  9. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    Haha 'dont know how easy it would be to change my piston and rings with 10 thumbs !... but yes it can be done in an aternoon while having a beer or two :thumbup:
    I am getting a little old to flog the guts out of my CR500 and its as scary as hell when you give it all it wants to drink so i am still on the same piston and rings for over a year now, i have a spares for next time cost about $290 oz.
    One of my mates has a CRF450R that was worked and set up for riding the Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs i have to say i liked it it seemed to have as much power as the CR500 but much smoother delivery of power and yes valves done every 15 to 20 hours of riding and no way in the world dos it or will it ever sound as good as a CR500 when you are giving it a fist full.
    In saying all that a CR500 is not really the most ideal bike for a lot of trail riding but its mine and i love the beast.

  10. lordofthedreadz

    lordofthedreadz Ol'Timer

    Thats what yo have to clarify Tony,

    Will you use the bike for motocross or for trail ?

    I never owned any 4 stroke MX bike but tried a few and I was quite amazed how powerfull it is in front of old 2 strokes, the power is here instantly.

    I don't do motocross anymore and I will be happy to do trail with a 250 KLX or CRF L plus I will be able to ride on the roads also.

    On the other hand I wont go on any MX track with such bikes .... while you can easily trail with a MX bike.
  11. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    CR500.. Not what you would call a beginners bike ;) !!! I would love one in motard trim for popping to the shops on :D !!! BTW have to seen 'the black diamond' if not have a google..

    And you bring another good point.. A 2 stroke, thats needing service, just tends to lose power.. If your like me, not the greatest rider and not racing, if the bikes putting out 45hp instead of 50, does it matter THAT much ?? But if a 4 stroke gets old, they have a way of making expensive crunchy noises.

    Never ridden one, but those CR's WR's KX's of the 500's.. Or the very hot looking new Maicos.. Proper arm stretchers, bet they are great fun in the sand.
  12. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    I agree with you a CR500 is not a beginners bike, i think standard they are 64hp mine has been ported and racing reeds put in so its got a bit more how much i dont know but i have heard that pro factory race CR500's can and do put out more than 90hp. After a year of riding weekends i still have to be careful kick starting it its bloody hard on the foot.
    Problem is after riding one for so long any lesser bike you ride seems like a kids mini bike.
    I was not aware Maico was making big bore dirt bikes i will have to do a bit of a Google and see.
    And yes they are bloody good fun on sand.:angel:
  13. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    I guess the smiley didnt emphasize how tongue in cheek i meant that.. 500 2 strokes are the proper heavy artillery !! Almost to the point of silly.

    I would love one.. Couldnt ride it anywhere near its potential, but still... Would be fun hanging on !! As long as there was plenty of room in front of me.


    Fact is my interest leans more to the lightest options, like KTM200EXC for the woods (which would also be useable on the track, and Tony is a bit (cough) lighter then myself).. Theres some interesting things happening with the direct injection developments for 2 strokes, and as my very first real off roader was an ossa 250 when I was a teen, I am loving that they are getting back into the game with a real world rider type design in this new machine



    Reverse mounted engine, tank super low in the frame, gearless starter, loads of new ideas in this machine..

    Even in the 4 stroke world KTM are realizing everyone doesnt need max hp.. The new freeride 350 looks like bags of fun, low maintenance engine, elecy start, low center of gravity, sub 100kg, just a package of fun. KTM say this will be for sale, road regged, here in a few months.. Tho usual KTM pricing (465k).

    The whole spec chasing and performance side of some of this has taken the sport out of the hands of normal people, made it too complex, too expensive, too full on. Sure if you want to ride MX and do 100 ft airs.. great, do it.. But I have enough pins and metal in my bones now.. Theres a whole lot to be said for simple, light, easy to maintain and own, fun bikes.

    Ultimately I need to worry about getting my fitness and skills up much much more than I need to worry about the bike I use. Sad but true.
  14. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    Sorry if i have given you the wrong impression but i am not a hard rider with a death wish ... god knows i have survived 2 bad road bike aaccidents both my fault really going to bloody fast and no bloody way in hell of stopping in time. And yes i have had many come off's off of dirt bikes over the years the last 2 years ago riding with mates down in the forestry on the Sunshine coast they knew the tracks i did not and over shot a corner at high speed layed the CR500 down it dug in and piched me a good 20 feet ended up with 2 broken ribs a big chunk of meat out of my left arm and brused all down my left side i still rode the afternoon out to get back but for the next 3 weeks i felt like shit! At 50 years of age now it takes a lot longer to heal up so i have slowed down a bit these days.
    I read in one of the forums here on GT i guy was braging about he has never come off of a bike in his life ? all i have to say to that is he must ride like an old woman haha;)
    To be honest a KLX250 will do me fine for Thailand but a two stroke 250 plated would be much better, theres not much point in riding around Thailand flat out as the Thai's all ride and seem to drive with a death wish and it scares the shit out of me i dont think there has ever been a day that i have been on the road in Thailand that i just shake my head in disbelief at the stupidity of drivers as well as bikes i have to nag the wife to ware a seatbelt in the car i just can not work it out.
    i have had a look at the links you posted nice bikes i have to say but i bet out of my price range for now and getting them in to Thailand well i have read enough on here to know how hard it is.
    And yes we have gotten off the subject somewhat for what Tony wanted to know ... funny he has not been back to put in his 2 cents worth :angel:

    cheers Brad
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow mate, you totally read my mind! In fact, you put into words some things that I hadn't really even thought through yet. Bravo!

    I'm NOT looking to start racing at the ripe young age of 40, but I see how much fun everyone is having tearing around the jungle and would like to check out that action.

    I want a road legal bike that's cheap to service and operate so I think a KLX250 or the upcoming CRF-L will be the logical choice.

  16. mudboots

    mudboots Ol'Timer

    Not sure if the youtube link works this way but ...
    I used to live out in the NT and every year is the Finke Desert Race over the Queens Birthday long weekend on race day its just over 200 km something down to Finke River they camp overnight and race back the next day top bikes are doing it in two hours thats with 3 fule stops yes they are riding close to 190 km flat out and yes a lot do not make it and sometimes a brave sole meets his maker.
    For about a month before they start Pre-running the track and thats what this short vid is off a phone but gives you a good idea how hard some of the guys ride.
    if the link dos not work i will try another way.

    And no i have not ridden in it i am not that mad :wtf:
  17. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    If you want road legal, easy to service, and 'useable' on trials.. Its hard to look past those two options. The road legal one limits whats there to a tiny subsection of bikes really ??

    Whats interesting is, with the CBR race series, the tuners already know how to get decent HP out of the CBR engine thats supposed to end up in the CRF.. So maybe, just maybe, it will be cheap to hop up the CRF to a more enjoyable level. Will be interesting few months as they are due any second ?? I expect honda to sell lots.

    The KLX we rode with last weekend had a 351 big bore (the bill blue one) and pumper carb.. It pulled.. Looked like fun.. And of course plated and with all the cheap parts. You and Kwaker have a long and pretty good history, so team green again ?? Its only downside would be weight, but a liveable one maybe.

    Good luck with any choice tony.
  18. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    One to think on.. the KLX450 is rumored for this year ??

    Kinda tight service intervals for touring on rd, but ticks many boxes.. Just not sure if it will come on time.
  19. clevertrevor

    clevertrevor Member

    Livin, do you something i don't, that rumour has been around for over a year and would wet my pants to get a hold of one if it's on the cards this year otherwise it's the big bore option for my 250
  20. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Only the same rumor thats been doing the circuit..

    If I had a KLX now I wouldnt wait to BB it, based on hope.

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