The believer: The KTM 250SX weighs 209 pounds and
sells for $6598.
The CRF250R motor already represents the peak
of four-stroke technology in the 250 class, and the
R&D drive continues. It will probably get fuel
injection in 2010.
One of the most interesting aspects of the bike is the
fact that it gives you options. First of all, there’s a
milder curve preprogrammed in the ignition that can be
accessed by unplugging a wire. There are also a number of power-valve springs that come with the bike,
color coded for different stiffness. For the record, we
installed the most aggressive spring (the red one) for
this test. And if you want to change the fork offset you
don’t need new clamps, you can simply press out the
elliptically mounted steering head stem and reverse it.
All cool things.
Last year was a tough year for dirt bike sales everywhere, but for Yamaha, almost all of the decrease was
on the two-stroke side. Still, the YZ250 was considered
the best of the lot and Yamaha was committed to keeping it. It got a few changes for the new season but the
bike remains as a snapshot of motocross technology as
it stood about four years ago. The last time it saw major
revision was the aluminum frame in 2005. Back then
two-strokes were still on top of most forms of racing
and the YZ250 had just earned the Supercross championship.
Beyond its reputation as the best of the 250MX two-strokes, the YZ250 earned a legendary spot in off-road
racing. Barry Hawk, Jason Raines and a long list of
champions insisted that the YZ was the best bike ever
made for hard-core racing in tight woods. It was never
meant to be an off-road bike, of course, but that might
be the biggest demographic for the bike these days.