As any sibling can tell you, there are times when being the youngest has its disadvantages. For 2009, the 250F bikes are forced into that situation as the big brothers all steal the show with their fancy new technology tricks like EFI. With so much attention on the 450 class, all of the quarter-liters are only mildly revamped in comparison. As you’ll see, the Kawasaki received the most engineering attention, but all of the bikes are updated in some manner. As excited as we were to get the big bikes and all their technological wonder for our 2009 450 Motocross Comparison, we were still equally thrilled to get the new batch of 250Fs. Sure, we don’t get to toss around that three-letter acronym that’s all the rage this season, but these bikes are still the best way to have fun on a motocross track.
In order to find out how these Japanese quarter-liters stack up, we ran them through the regular gauntlet of moto testing criteria. A stint on the no-nonsense dyno at Mickey Cohen Motorsports provided the hard and fast numbers for our scorecard, and then we set our full spectrum of testers loose on the roughed-up circuit at Racetown 395.
Once the hard work was over, we still hadn’t gotten our fix so we dragged them around to three other SoCal tracks just for S&G. Speaking of doing things just for fun, in addition to the Honda CRF250R, Kawasaki KX250F, Suzuki RM-Z250 and Yamaha YZ250F, we had the boys in blue bring out a YZ250 to see where it fits in the mix now that amateur riders can use 2-strokes in the 250F class. It was not an actual part of the comparison test, but we spun just as many laps on it to see if the AMA is totally crazy or not. You can see our testers’ thoughts on that on Page 6.
We called the friendly sign maker and industry-wide tester, Tod Sciacqua, to fill one of the seats and he brought along his riding buddy, Colton Haaker. We’ve seen Colton do some serious damage on an EnduroCross course, but it turns out he used to battle Ryan Villopoto back in his amateur days, so the guy knows which hand makes the noise. Stuntman Alvin Zalamea has spent time doing shootouts with us before so he gives a good reference against the previous models. Then, for the first time in MotoUSA shootout history, we tapped the motocross world’s better side with the help of Sherri Cruse. The 19-year-old professional WMA racer threw roost alongside our regular schmoes to give her impressions for the ladies out there.
With the man (and woman) power assembled, bikes prepped and factory T-handle swashbucklers ready to make every needed adjustment, let’s kick off the 2009 250F Motocross Comparison.