I had a question if you had time about a piston change for my husky FC450. I have always favored buying stock simply because it is a sure fit and fairly reliable. But do you have any recommendations on a reliable after market piston instead of stock? Or should I play it safe and stay with stock? I don’t need anymore power obviously so I am not going put a high compression in it or anything.
Also is there a way to change the mapping on my bike to give it more low end? I know with the Yamahas it is super easy to change the mapping but I was never sure how easy it was with my husky 450, and maybe I would have to change the Cam out to give it more low end or another mod instead of a mapping change.
Keep up the good work! I take your opinion about bikes over any other tester in the industry, and you rip a dirtbike!
I would go with either stock or a J&E piston. That is it.
As far as mapping you can send your ECU in to Twisted Development and Jamie can map your stock ECU. His settings are good and it will make your bike run cleaner and a little more crisp feeling. Clean ECU settings are the most important thing that you can do for your modern day four-stroke.
I have a YZ450f 2019 and I want some more power. I was looking at the Yoshimura full system or an Arrow system.(Yes i know.. Arrow?? What is that?? But they do actually make a great system for the YZ-F and not only that but they are the only ones who mix titanium slip on and mid pipe with a stainless steel header or collector as they call it giving you a mix of weight reduction and reliability.)
My question is this. Have you ever tested a yoshimura full system? It gives the bike more torque and makes it feel like a tractor. Yes it is more powerful but the feeling changes.. As if it becomes heavier. While exhaust systems like pro circuit might not give more low power only mid and top but the bike feels.. As if it is lighter. And it gives you a more connected feel. Have you experienced any of that? I have tested the Yosh system and actually helped a little with the development. I do think the Yosh system is good, but also does take some excitement away from the bottom end. I still preferred stock.
(I have tested fmf exhaust system for the bike and i did not like it. There isnt really any power gains anywhere. Fmf system takes a bit off the response and gives a feeling as if the engine is more “full” always throughout the rpm range but the increase in power is almost non-existent really. I felt less connected on the bike.) Yes, stock bottom end is better than current FMF 4.1 as well. However the old Powercore 4 muffler is much better than the 4.1. I also know that they are updating their new 4.1 muffler to a spec that I like on my own bikes. I had a hand in testing some mufflers and came up with a great setting! That will be for sale soon!
*A small bonus question*
Can you actually confirm me that the SX Race bend is the exact same with stock? I am positive it is not and also there is no way that the evo pro taper series bars are more flexible than the new Yz450f 2018 – 19 bar with the code BR9 on because it is thinner also on the sides. Though evo bars are sure more flexible than the 2017 yamaha handlebars. (Or 2018 yz250f only. 2019 yz250f has the new one.) Just wanted to pinpoint that. The SX RACE Evo bar is the same spec as stock YZ bar. I confirmed this with Yamaha R&D. I also confirmed with Yamaha R&D that the EVO flexes more than the stock YZ bar. This all comes from the mouths of Yamaha engineers in USA..
Thank you VERY much for communicating with people. Keep up the good work!
Ps. I am a high level rider and have even raced in the Mxgp class. Thanks for the email as we work hard to provide quality information for all consumers out there.-KK
Hi Kris, would really appreciate your advice and knowledge in getting a new bike. I raced pretty often and rode a lot on super mini and 125 a couple years ago but have taken a long time off after some injuries. I am wanting a new/newer 250f but not sure what the best option I should go. I am roughly 5’4 and about 120 lbs. I am looking for a fun easy bike that I can play around with and just enjoy not necessarily race hard. Thanks for any advise and info. -Isiah
If you’re that light look towards a 2019 CR250R as they fixed some problems that the 2018 had and also the low end power is not that aggressive so it can be easier to ride around on. It will not intimidate you.
My next choice for you would be a KTM or Husqvarna 250F. Similar low end/linear power, but more top end/over-rev. Downside is that it has air forks, but you could maybe dial the air pressure in to a lower setting for your lightweight.
Hi Kris I just wanted your opinion on which bike I should get next I’m sure this is not the first time some one has asked you this haha. But I’ve had Kawis Yamahas and Honda’s im recently coming off a 2017 yz250f I was leaning towards the Kawi 450 or Honda 450 the main thing I’m looking for I good suspension and just a good bike I’ve done research on both of them but just wanted your opinion I’m 5’11 200 pounds and not a beginner but no where near a pro let me know if you could? Thanks… -Ryan
Well to be completely honest with you I would have to say go with the 2019 KX450. It has better suspension and more comfort than the 2019 Honda. The Honda is aggressive and can be finicky to set up. The KX will be soft, but adding stiffer springs will be all you have to do to this sucker. The chassis on the KX450 is much more forgiving on rough tracks, which can lead to a more enjoyable experience.
I’m sure you are incredibly busy, but I was wondering if you could help me with a question I have. I currently ride a Husqvarna FC 350 that I really love. I feel like I can ride it hard to make it go fast, which is rewarding to me. I have been thinking about getting a FC 450 though and wondered what your opinion was on the two. My background is that I was an “A” class rider on a 125 around 98-2003. I quit racing for a number of years to pursue a career in BMX, and as that has ended I have found my way back to racing.
I always have had a bike, but always a 125 or 250F. I have ridden 450’s in the past and never liked how they went fast without much effort, but I am in far better shape now and a better rider now than I was then. I found the 350 as a perfect go between. The bike is something that I can rev out and it keeps pulling. I can ride it like a 125, (well almost). I now race Vet 30+ and I have a lot of success on my 350 at local races. At a regional level though, I find myself in the 10-15 range and that makes me question how I would do if I were to get a bigger bike. I weigh in at 155 lbs, ride and train regularly, but I am also kind of budget on money (I’m a teacher so I’m not rich). Ideally I will keep my current 350 and buy either a new 350 or 450. I’m just not sure which way to go.
Anyways, thanks in advance for your help, I greatly appreciate it. I also understand if you don’t get back to me. You are a busy guy.
How about keeping your 350 and getting an ignition put on. Like a Vortex? This will give you some more power and you’ll still feel comfortable on the bike. A FC450 isn’t a big step (chassis and suspension wise) and actually the 450 is easy to manage, but you will feel more inertia weight during a longer moto. The actual weight on paper isn’t really anything, but the inertia is a different story. I prefer a 450 (I am 168 pounds), but I ride smooth and I don’t rev. If you like to rev than stick with 350. The 350 is plenty of power at a regional level. Maybe you just need a little more meat on that sucker!
Hi Kris! I’m in a tough predicament and could use your expertise if you have time. In advance I’m sorry this is a long message. I’m 32 and just moved to +30 b, I won mammoth this past year (had to share as I’m still f’in pumped lol). I currently ride 17 yz450. Current state, Love the motor, like the stability, and liked my suspensions until I rode the 18 husky at zaca and suspension was really good in bump absorption considering I don’t like air in general. Then out of nowhere I put a deposit on CRF450WE because it has a kit suspension which I’m not sure it does now. I’m lost dude. Stay YZ, or try something different. I just wanna be faster without being out being unsafe and out my comfort zone. Cornering and handling are above all to me. I have listened to every podcast you have and still need a push into a direction. Again sorry so long and thank you for you’re time.
The 2019 Honda CRF450WE or R is a great bike and corners well! I don’t know if you will need the “kit” stuff, but regardless it is a great machine. I should know I have had some help in development. However the CRF450R and WE are stiffer feeling (chassis) machines on rough/hard pack tracks. If you ride soft dirt the Honda is insane, but on our west coast dirt it sometimes gets to be a handful after 1 o’clock.
However that being said, if it was my money and I had to go spend it on a bike (which I just might do this year) I would put my money towards a 2019 YZ450F. It has a great engine, clutch, suspension and corners much better than your 2017 version. The engine is a noticeable change as well one going with the TP 2.0 map.
I understand your dilemma as I get emails like this one daily! I would say either way you go, you will be happy. Both machines are fun to ride and have great engine characters, but for me I like the stability and chassis more on the Yamaha. Yes, it corners slightly slower once in the turn, but I can get into the corner much better on the Yamaha. Also for me the reliability of a Yamaha is second to none.
Hope this helps and congrats on Mammoth dude! That is rad! Let me know what you get! Cheers!
I’ll keep this short. I’m looking at a few bikes, mainly for Nor Cal trail riding and the occasional vet track riding. I’m 35 and intermediate skill level. Here’s my dilemma: I want to buy a closeout 17-18 KTM 250XC for around $8K, lightly used Husky TX300 for $7500 OR the possibility of picking up an Alta MXR at a discount. There’s a dealer somewhat nearby liquidating them for $8K + charger.
I really want the Alta because I can ride at a couple friend’s places without the noise and a buddy Jon B. worked for them for a while and is pushing me in that direction. I’m not really worried about a warranty with the Alta. Think I should try to snag the MXR? Thanks for all your advice and product testing, it’s really helpful for us blue collar dudes.
Here is what I tell folks about the Alta. If it is your only machine to ride and you like to ride more than an hour or so then maybe this isn’t a good choice. However, if you’re adding to your garage then yes it is a great idea.
The Redshift is so much fun to ride, but with electric power comes limited riding time. Jon is a great guy and he knows his stuff, but for me I would have to have another machine because I like to ride more than an hour or so.
Past that I would look at the 2018 KTM 250XC! It is a great bike for the woods/trails and the occasional moto.
I’m writing to you as a fellow motorcycling enthusiast, fan and racer from Australia (I live in our version of your Hi Dez except it’s Central Aus, think Uluru). I love your work with Matthes on the Pulp Show and your own program with Keefer Inc. – really appreciative for all the juicy info, reviews, stories and discussion points that we, the international fans can sponge up after listening to your banter from a position firmly planted within the US moto scene.
This leads me to ask for your advice or any tips you might be able to share with a young, keen, well spoken guy who would love a shot at some sector of moto-journalism. Whether it’s product reviews, event recounts or industry insight, vlogs/blogs and social media “influencing”, what are some avenues or ways to approach/entice different companies or media outlets into giving me a go? Or even a shot at a segment with Keefer Inc.? I’m currently doing an internship with a regional newsroom and I’m happy to work my ass off to meet deadlines, however I don’t have a wealth of knowledge or much background in how to approach people within the industry, especially from somewhere that’s quite a long way way from the moto ‘hotspots’. Not trying to toot my own horn but I am a capable rider, having secured factory KTM support for a desert racing ride last year and some good finishes, particularly in the desert racing events (which I feel there isn’t enough reporting on). I’m beginning to realise now at 24 years old that it’s tough, especially in remote and rural parts of Australia to make sustainable income out of racing, but I feel there’s a void to be filled in the writing sector, especially filled by people like yourself who both have the academic aptitude or aspirations to write, all while being handy on a motorcycle and intuitive enough to provide accurate feedback. Bottom line is, I’m a fan who’s lived and breathed bikes, racing and the industry (although from afar) my whole life, I’ll always be a part of it whether there’s income or not. But if there’s an opportunity to find a niche and make my lifelong passion into a sustainable lifestyle, then why not?
Sorry for the semi-essay, I wouldn’t expect a big ass response from you, but I’d definitely love to hear some feedback if you’re able.
Thanks for the email! Your best bet is to send certain reviews of any particular parts that you may have tried into these media outlets. If there are some Australian pubs out there, get their contact info and send them a few reviews that you have written up. Tell them they can have it for free. Media outlets love free content! Do that a couple times and check in to see if they like what you have been doing. I worked for free for a long time before I got a shot at making a living doing this so persistence is key, but also not being up someone’s ass helps as well. It’s a balance.
You will not make a lot of money doing this job, as you will have to hustle to make a living, but it’s awesome making a little money doing what you love!
Good luck to you and thanks for reading and listening to what we are ding over here!