250 MX SHOOTOUT PREVIEW: THE WRAP

We delayed our 2021 250 MX Shootout in order to get a full house. The GasGas MC250 and the Suzuki RM-Z250 had late arrivals. Some would say that the Suzuki and GasGas don’t deserve to be in the comparison because they have little chance of winning; that the Suzuki is dated and the GasGas is just another KTM clone. We don’t understand that logic. Both bikes have good prices and offer things that the others don’t.

 

The GasGas MC250 sells for $8499.

The most interesting thing about the GasGas MC250 is that KTM decided to price it $800 lower than the 250SX-F. That puts it close to the Honda,  Yamaha and Kawasaki. In order to do that, there are a number of different parts and there’s no map switch, but you get the same motor, frame and suspension components. The GasGas has softer suspension settings, so it’s a legitimate choice for riders who are less focused on racing at a high level.
GASGAS MC 250 RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $8499
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 219 lb.

The Honda CRF250R is unchanged from 2020, but that’s fine. It was our favorite 250F last year.

The Honda CRF250R didn’t get any attention for 2021. Honda’s R&D team was entirely focused on the 450. Considering that the 2021 CRF450R came out of the oven slightly under cooked, we’re happy that the 250 is unchanged. It’s still a top-end motor with very  little down low, but we’ve found that more advanced riders rarely need that much low-end torque. It is one of the best handling bikes on the track and the suspension is excellent.
HONDA CRF250R RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $7999
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 227 lb.

The Husqvarna FC250 is the most expensive bike in the shootout at $9399.

Husqvarna lowered the suspension on its 2021 motocross bikes. It was a brilliant move. The seat height is over an inch lower that it was last year and that gives virtually everyone more confidence. We haven’t yet found any drawbacks to the change, although we do believe that ground clearance could be an issue on rutty tracks.
HUSQVARNA FC250 RATINGS
SUSPENSION 
HANDLING 
PEAK POWER  
LOW-END POWER  
COMFORT 
PRICE: $9399
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 219 lb.

Overall, the KX250’s entry into the world of electric start cost it about 5 extra pounds.

Kawasaki came into the comparison as one of the favorites. It’s all new for 2021 with electric start (at last), a hydraulic clutch and more power. It has a very high-strung personality, which is odd considering that it has the same chassis as the 450, which is sweet and mellow.
KAWASAKI KX250 RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $8299
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 228 lb.

At 218 pounds without fuel, the KTM is still the lightest in the class, even though its siblings from GasGas and Husqvarna are very close.

KTM improved its suspension for 2021, which is what it needed most. It’s still very powerful and at 218 pounds without fuel, it’s the lightest in the comparison. It’s built on the same platform as the Husky and GasGas, so we can’t help but wonder if those bikes will rob sales from the 250SX-F.
KTM 250SX-F RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $9299
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 218 lb.

The other makes have followed the movement toward high rpm, while Suzuki  remains torquey down low.

By going unchanged for so long, Suzuki now has a segment of the market all to itself. It is the torquiest and easiest to ride.  One by one, all the others have re-aimed their bikes at the top of the market with very high-revving motors. Suzuki gives away power on top and has no electric start, but it’s the least expensive and very friendly to less experienced riders. It’s still one of the best handling in turns.
SUZUKI RMZ250 RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $7899
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 227 lb.

The YZ250F sells for $8299. That’s $1000 less than the KTM 250SX-F. There’s also a Monster Energy YZ250F for $8499, which has a different graphics package but no mechanical changes.

Yamaha gave the YZ250F a little more power this year without sacrificing torque. It’s not in the running to be the fastest bike in the class, but it’s certainly not slow. The Yamaha still has the best suspension and bridges the gap between beginners and pros very well. The shootout is still underway, but keep your eyes open on the Dirt Bike Youtube channel and the winner will be announced shortly.

YAMAHA YZ250F RATINGS
SUSPENSION
HANDLING
PEAK POWER
LOW END POWER
COMFORT
PRICE: $8299
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL: 227 lb.

COOL STUFF AT MECUMS

Mecum’s Las Vegas Auction is scheduled to take place in late April and there are already some pretty cool bikes on the Mecum website that will be up for bid. One is this Kawasaki KX500 in an aluminum chassis. It was built in South Africa by Paul’s Specialty Products. It looks to have a 2015 KX450 chassis. There is also a pristine Harley Davidson motocross bike from the ’70s and an unlimited hillclimber with a Harley motor.  All of them could be yours!

 

LAST STAND AT INDY

Saturday marks the last of three rounds of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy.  So far, it’s been all around Ken Roczen and Colt Nichols there.  here’s how the points stack up. Next week will see the show go down south to Orlando. That will be a mix between east and west, as the first race there will be for the 250 east class and the following event will host the first race for the 250 West riders. For extended coverage of 2021 Supercross, click here.

450 Class

1 Ken Roczen 112
2 Cooper Webb 99
3 Eli Tomac 98
4 Justin Barcia 92
5 Adam Cianciarulo 87
6 Dylan Ferrandis 81
7 Malcolm Stewart 76
8 Zach Osborne 74
9 Marvin Musquin 73
10 Aaron Plessinger 70
11 Justin Brayton 63
12 Joey Savatgy 53
13 Jason Anderson 50
14 Broc Tickle 42
15 Dean Wilson 35
16 Martin Davalos 29
17 Kyle Chisholm 29
18 Benny Bloss 26
19 Vince Friese 25
20 Brandon Hartranft 19
21 Justin Bogle 17
22 Chase Sexton 10
23 Alex Ray 9
24 Carlen Gardner 7
25 Adam Enticknap 4
26 Austin Politelli 3
27 Cade Clason 2

250 EAST

1 Colt Nichols 122
2 Christian Craig 111
3 Michael Mosiman 97
4 Jo Shimoda 96
5 Jett Lawrence 84
6 Joshua Osby 71
7 Joshua Varize 57
8 John Short 55
9 Mitchell Oldenburg 54
10 Grant Harlan 52
11 Thomas Do 51
12 Jeremy Hand 48
13 Max Vohland 46
14 Kevin Moranz 45
15 Austin Forkner 40
16 Logan Karnow 37
17 Rj Hampshire 32
18 Hunter Sayles 28
19 Wilson Fleming 26
20 Lane Shaw 23

See you next time!

–Ron Lawson

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