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2009 250F Motocross Shootout Scorecard

Monday, December 8, 2008
Final Scoresheet 2009 250F MX Shootout
(10-point must system 10=1st, 8=2nd, 6=3rd, etc)


Objective (out of 10 possible)

2009 250F MX Comparison Horsepower Chart
The peak horsepower numbers are all within a single pony, but these 250 4-strokes have very different attitudes on the track.
Horsepower/Torque:
1. Honda - 10
2. Kawasaki - 8
3. Suzuki - 6
4. Yamaha - 4

Base Price:
1. Suzuki - 10
2. Kawasaki - 8
3. Honda/Yamaha - 6

Track Subjective (out of 50 possible)

Engine:
1. Honda – 44
2. Kawasaki – 40
3. Yamaha - 30
4. Suzuki - 26

Brakes:
2009 250F Shootout
The new crop of 4-strokes has another foe to deal with now in the amateur ranks. New rules allow 2-stroke 250 machines to compete in the same class. Check out what we thought about the 2009 Yamaha YZ250.
1. Honda – 44
2. Suzuki/Kawasaki – 34
4. Yamaha - 28

Suspension:
1. Yamaha – 44
2. Honda – 40
3. Kawasaki – 28
4. Suzuki - 28

Handling:
1. Yamaha - 38
2. Honda/Kawasaki - 36
4. Suzuki - 30

Transmission, Clutch, Gearing:
1. Honda - 42
2. Yamaha - 36
3. Suzuki - 32
4. Kawasaki - 30

Ergonomics:
1. Yamaha - 40
2009 250F MX Comparison Torque Chart
Suzuki makes the most torque, but all of our riders noted that the RM-Z needs different gearing in order to take full advantage of it.
2. Honda – 40
3. Kawasaki - 36
4. Suzuki - 24 

For My Money: 
1. Kawasaki - 40
2. Honda - 36
3. Yamaha - 36
4. Suzuki - 26

Appearance:
1. Kawasaki - 44
2. Honda - 42
3. Suzuki - 28
4. Yamaha - 26


Overall Combined (Out of 420 possible – First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Honda – 340 (4)
2. Kawasaki – 304 (1)
3. Yamaha - 290
4. Suzuki - 244

Return to the 2009 250F Motocross Shootout.
For My Money
JC Hilderbrand – 5’11”/180/Novice
I really liked the Suzuki this year. There was definitely a power issue going on, but I swear it’s only some gearing changes that would make all the difference. It feels most like the Honda in terms of ergonomics, but the RM-Z’s suspension was more versatile for my speed. I plan to take this bike to GP and WORCS events which require some pretty plush setup. The Yamaha is really popular for this kind of stuff for its suspension/chassis, but I think the Suzuki will have more of a motor once the sprockets are changed. Besides, the yellow looks good even when it’s dirty and there isn’t a bunch of crappy black stuff on the side cases that make it look extra worn. Missed shifts are one of my worst pet peeves, but the Suzuki has the slickest tranny and a buttery clutch. Who cares if you can’t find neutral. It looks good, runs good and feels good. That’s good.

Sherri Cruse – 5’1”/115/WMA Pro
“I’d take the Kawasaki, although I will be spending money on the motor. To me it handles the best in the corners, and like I said, my cornering is like a beginner sometimes just trying to keep their feet off the ground. That would probably be my main reason for making the Kawi my first choice. The Yamaha is the most affordable, though, and you could ride that thing for a year before needing a top end or having to break down the motor.”

Colton Haaker – 6’0”/150/Expert
I would go out and by a CRF if I was going to try and make some pro races. Based strictly on performance, and the bike I can ride the best everywhere, the Honda will do it for me. I actually plan on doing this and attempting to qualify for some Nationals in ’09, possibly with my own team. I would spend my hard earned cash on the bike I am going to reap the most rewards on – the Honda!

Alvin Zalamea – 5’8”/160/Vet Expert
I’ll break it down… I would buy the Kawasaki because you don’t have to do much on the motor, and that is most important when it comes down to the little 250Fs. The Yamaha would be next because it was such a sleeper that it didn’t do anything really impressive but it gets the job done. The Honda’s are too expensive but they do have a great resale value. As for the Suzuki, I just don’t like their reputation for poor durability.

Tod Sciacqua – 5'8"/165/Vet Pro
I would buy a Kawasaki. And really, that’s the best question, better than asking which bike is the “best” in the entire shootout. What would YOU buy?

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Comments
MeTaL_MuLiShA -yzf ?  April 25, 2010 12:30 PM
I can get an 09 yz250f for 5000 bucks. Or an 06 crf250r for 3500 bucks? the honda was raced and has been rebuilt it also has enzo suspension and a yoshimura dual exhaust. the yamaha has been bush ridden for one season and is in great condition the valves are in place. i dont know if i want a yamaha becouse ppl always say that there (gutless). i need help thanks.
2009 KX250F Rider -Honda and Kawi  March 17, 2010 07:15 AM
The Honda is for sure the best all around, Even though, the Kawi is second thats why i got the Kawasaki!
Brodie -09 kxf 250 or crf 250 ???  December 18, 2009 04:49 PM
which one should i pick ???? for performance , and also maintance in other words which one would cost me less to fix in the long run?
drewsta -guys  June 25, 2009 12:07 PM
unless we are pro these minor changes will not help u or i. ricky or bubba could get on any one of these 09s and kick ass so wtf. A pro rider told me that what ever bike u like and think u would be fastest on than thats the bike u should be on,. End of story
GP -250's  June 2, 2009 12:52 PM
I agree, why no KTM? Their motors are reputed HP kings. I also agree that the YZ250 dyno results should have been placed along side of the 250f's, just for fun. If you are a privateer on a budget, nothing makes more sense than the YZ 250! The F's eat a hole in my wallet!
T-REV -kal;sdhgf  May 9, 2009 01:41 AM
I've been ridin 2 stroke kawi's my whole life, ive rode my buddys honda and yamaha, and the honda was great and had lots of torque, and the yamaha just made me laugh. it sucked. my new 09 kawi 250 is bomb, i love it and my buddy with the honda even like it better.
hunter#120 -250f  April 19, 2009 10:40 AM
why no ktm?? the yanks always seem to overlook them, while folk in europe go mad for them. get the mental block about the rear suspention out of your head and test the bike. its as good if not better than those machines!
Patryk -you better test it  March 18, 2009 05:17 PM
and try what you like. Most of you guys first rode only on one bike and that is the bike you highly recommend :) Second, those are leading companies and really you can choose no wrong. You can set up the suspension how you like it but it takes time to learn it. Top world racers have different bikes anyway :) Ricky The GOAT Carmichael won what was to win on Suzuki. Now Bubba wins back to back on Yamaha and those bikes did not get much points in this. Their bikes were tuned of course but we as non pro will not see the difference or! we see it but only to adapt our riding style to new bike and after one month will be great.
Jim -I hear ya SteveO  March 18, 2009 03:43 PM
It's so much easier to go fast on a 4 stroke compared to a 2 stroke. IMO Riding a 125 2-stroke tapped out everywhere is too much like work! LOL
Patrick -2009 kx250f  February 16, 2009 02:32 PM
sickest 250f!!!!!
SteveO -2 stroke vs 4 stroke  January 25, 2009 06:32 PM
I had a chance to ride my 2005 Suzuki RM250 2 stroke back to back with the CRF250R and can only tell you by the grin factor that the CRF250R absolutely rocks. Feet on the pegs and railing like a maniac it made me feel like a pro racer in an amateur body. I'm a 2 stroke fan who stuck to his guns when everyone switched to 4 strokes but for 09 it's a Honda CRF250R.
STH -???  January 20, 2009 03:57 PM
Kawi or honda?
Mike -4 stroke thing  January 18, 2009 07:17 AM
Wait till your 4 stroke blows or u need a new top end with valve job. U will wish for a 2 stroke...Unless your wealthy.
33 -2009 crf  January 15, 2009 04:13 PM
hey the 09 crf got some healthy motor mods, if you want the faster one look no further, the 08 is not as powerful
rp121 -yz  January 15, 2009 04:12 PM
why not show the dyno with the yz250 included? It is after all in the same class... Hell, even include it in the shootout to give the consumer the best answer.
sterling -bike  January 12, 2009 07:37 PM
i am moving up and i dont know wether to get the 2009 crf250r or the 2008 witch is better and more power bcz i rll dont wanna go wrong here if im spending a whole bunch of money my e-mail is super-x-honda@hotmail.com plz tell me witch to get
Scott -KAWASAKI  January 7, 2009 07:53 AM
The Kaw's in the for my money section twice
katoom125 -ktm  December 31, 2008 04:12 AM
I just dont get it :/ why cant you test the ktm too cant decide KTM SXF 250 09 or Honda CRF 250 09 bcuz of this :(
Kelby -2009 Kx250F  December 19, 2008 05:25 AM
KAWASAKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FTW man there all good bikes they all do the same thing !! (i already got my 2009 KX250F)
JC -Conflict of Interests  December 17, 2008 04:17 PM
Andy - Our test riders evaluate each bike as objectively as possible for every category on the scorecard - except For My Money. In this segment we allow them to factor in subjective opinion. For instance, Sherri's scores put the Kawasaki in 3rd, but she loved the handling so much that she is willing to overlook necessary motor mods and increased maintenance. Basically they get to pick their favorite hat and wear it - make sense?
JC -Bickering Dynos  December 17, 2008 04:11 PM
The power difference between the 2008 and 2009 RM-Z doesn't surprise me. We're talking about fractions of a single horsepower in this case, and it isn't unusual to see even the same bike turn different numbers on alternate dynos. Every bike fluctuates to a certain degree, even within the same model year.
Jim Brown -250f  December 16, 2008 09:07 AM
I dont understand how the RMZ produces more power than the 08 model,but yet there are no alterations to the engine......confused
andy -huh?  December 15, 2008 10:19 AM
You have the honda winning by a pretty good margin yet but the testers' comments have the kawi picked "for my money." I can't seem to wrap my head around that one...
tj -250f s  December 11, 2008 10:29 PM
rmz all the way
tj -250f s  December 11, 2008 10:23 PM
you people have no idea keep dreaming