Friday, May 29, 2009

Sweet Smell of Premix in the Morning

After a few close calls of my 250F, and my increasingly smaller and smaller paychecks, I am considering making the jump to a 250 2-stroke. I love 4-stroke Motocross bikes, and I think they are here to stay, and for good reason. I think people who carry on the two vs. four debate are wasting their time. Both bikes are great in their own regards.

See, they used to ride 250 2-strokes once upon a time. If you know this guy, you also know that they went pretty damn fast.

I'm a budget racer, and a college student. $600 dollars to rebuild my top-end was fun enough the first time. Selling my 250F's may prove to be harder than buying a 250 smoker, but I am determined. I don't believe that 2-strokes are dead. Hopefully I am right, and not just stubborn or naive, but I see a 2-stroke "revival" in the near future. I use the term "revival" loosely because I don't think they are going to be the preferred choice by most racers. But to the weekend warriors, PPR's (Pro Practice Riders) and budget racers, and even those who prefer fun over results, 2-stroke's will be the weapon of choice.

Here's my opinion on the Plus and Minuses of a 250F and a gold old fashioned 250


+ Smooth Power - The Powerband on a 250F is very smooth and can be ridden tough. See Ryan Villopoto 250F.

+ Power Vs. Weight - A Modern stock 250F makes good power for it's size, making it a fast bike that can be ridden hard for a long time. Once again, see Ryan Villopoto 250F

+ Handling - The lightweight of a 250F makes it great in the tight technical stuff, and also, if setup right, stable in the higher speed elements of riding as well.

+ Traction Traction Traction - The 4-stroke powerband and tractability can wreak havoc on the loamiest of motocross tracks, and even manage to hook up in the slick stuff pretty well.

- Maintenance and resale - A 250F requires meticulous maintenance to keep it running, or at least running good. And even if you have taken good care of it, and put the time and money in, a 250F really is a ticking time bomb, and can be tough to sell to anyone who understands the inner workings of a high revving, high temp 250F

- Sound - Like all thumpers, they are noisy, and if you don't re-pack your silencer very often, if at all, the sound will only get nastier.

Big Jump - It'll handle the big gaps fine but that's not what I'm talking about. Most parents don't want their kids going straight from a CR85 to a heavy, 35+ hp CRF250. And with the lack of 125's on the market right now, this is a growing trend


+ Power - While not as smooth of delivery as the 250F, the 250's make great power. As they should considering there's one revolution in half the time.

+ Sound - Not only is the sound of a finely tuned 250 enough to get me in the mood, to ride and/or shag, but it is far more quiet than it's 4-stroke counterpart.

+ Weight - Not too much heavier than a 250F, and what it loses in extra weight, it gains in pure scary power.

+ Maintenance - Besides the "grueling" task of mixing gas, top end re-builds are cheap, and can be done in most any riders garage. No need to bother with complicated valves and timing chains.

+ Cost - Full FMF or PC hook-up for less than the price of a 4-stroke header alone!? I'm sold

- Traction? - In the soft loamy stuff, you're set. But at the end of the, when the track is dry and dusty, you might break loose more often than Houdini.

- Outcast - You can't race it in the 250 class. A good rider will almost always be faster on a 450 than a 250. The ideal place to ride would be in the 250 class. But let's remember less than 10 years ago, we had a 125 class and a 250 class. The 250 class was the premiere class, where the best of the best rode, and the 125 class was the support class, for kids to get their feet wet with the big dogs of tomorrow. Now we have $70,000 250f's, turning un-godly amounts of horses, built top to bottom by Mitch Payton and his crew. That's fine and all, but maybe we should look to starting a new support class.

I'm rambling now. If you have read this far, thanks. Hopefully you'll be reading a nice story about my first ride on a new YZ250 very soon. Braap Braaap!

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