FIRST PLACE: KTM 250SX-F
Once again, the KTM emerges as the fastest and the
lightest. It has the best brakes, a hydraulic clutch and
quality that puts it over the top. Yes, it’s aimed towards
pros and intermediates. It expects you to know who you
SECOND PLACE: HUSQVARNA FC250
If anyone were to split up the KTM and Husky in the
final rankings, you should immediately question his credibility. The biggest difference between the two is in image,
not performance. Like the KTM, the Husqvarna is powerful, light and demanding.
THIRD PLACE: HONDA CRF250R
In performance, Honda made a huge leap forward for
2018. It posed the most important question of this year’s
shootout. Did it close the gap? The answer is yes. The
new CRF250R caught up to the leaders in the class. In
the end, though, it didn’t surpass the KTM or Husky, particularly not in the motor department where it needed to
the most. We have a feeling that Honda has more up its
sleeve for next year.
FOURTH PLACE: YAMAHA YZ250F
Had we chosen vets, seniors and beginners for our
test riders, the Yamaha would have won. It’s the easiest
bike to ride and is still the best choice for the average
rider. With motor work, it can win in the pro class too.
The time has come, however, for Yamaha to make a big
FIFTH PLACE: KAWASAKI KX250F
Kawasaki made some serious motor changes this year,
so it, too, had a chance at changing the world order. As
it turned out, the changes simply reinforced the KX’s
existing personality. It remains a throaty, fun bike to ride.
It still needs improvement in peak power and suspension.
SIXTH PLACE: SUZUKI RM-Z250
Clearly, Suzuki’s resources were focused on the 450
this year. The 250 needed attention, too, but it will have
to wait. For racers, it doesn’t have enough motor, and
the fork is a carryover from a phase that came and went.
It remains a great-handling bike. Let’s hope that doesn’t