Do You Really Need a 450 Dirt Bike? – Episode 109

Support us on Patreon!

It’s an honest question. By default, everyone thinks they need the most power available. We think we need the biggest motor with the most horse power, and the fastest possible top speed. Is this the correct line of thinking? Would many of us (including me) be better of with less power? A good rider can squeeze more potential out of a smaller bike than an average rider can squeeze out of a 450. Guess who’s going to be faster overall? The point of this video is to get some of my viewers thinking about dropping down in displacement and then focusing on fundamentals to become better riders. I know that some of my riding buddies and I have been thinking about this for some time now. I’m on the lookout for a good 250 four stroke to do some testing on.

This summer, I tested two different 250 4 stroke dirt bikes. I had only ever ridden 450 4 strokes. Guess that I learned. I learned that 250 4 stroke bikes are more fun to ride! They have the same frames, same suspension, same tires, same components, and the same trimmings. They are pretty much identical in every way except for the motors. The great thing about riding a 250 is that it inspires confidence. You can grab a fist full of throttle when coming out of corners without worrying about getting tossed on your backside, and the result is forward motion and shear joy! You end up coming in to corners harder and leaving them with more speed most of the time.

Guys will tell you that a 250 wears our faster than a 450 because you are “riding it harder”, but I’m honestly not sure that is true. I think it’s just something that people speculate on, but there may not be data to actually back that up. Even IF it is true, knowing what I know now, I’d take less time between motor work on the 250 because I’m having more fun the entire time.

The 350 motor may be the best fit for most guys though. It’s not as light and nimble as the 250, but doesn’t feel as heavy and lumbering as the 450. If I could only have one bike and it HAD to be a 4 stroke, it would be hard for me to choose between the 250 XC-F and the 350 XC-F, because I have more fun on the 250, but the 350 is probably more versatile.

Want to help support Dirt Bike Channel? Using this link to buy your parts won’t cost you any more than you’d otherwise pay. Thank you for using this link to help us bring you more great content!


playstationfreak1111 says:

I mean, im a 125 lover…

Charles-Antoine Audet says:

you are right because i am 13 years old and i have a crf 100 and i go as fast as my 19 years old brother with is wr 450f

Dsklar41 says:

The thing is I’ve been riding a 250 for years and I just switched to a 450 the 250 needs way more maintenance. My top end constantly needed replacing and it was $750 each time. I loved my old 250 and I always winded it out I love that I can take corners better in a 250 but I can just roll on the power with a 450 plus it’s a better work out

Dylan Vasko says:

Going from a 250 2 stroke to a 125 2 stroke! I loved the 250 but i want to learn to control the bike more so i’m going to a 125! I also race XC though so i mean… But 250f’s are dope! My friend has a crf250r and she rips!

Calvin Farrow says:

I ride a CR125, and all I do is trail ride. Its got plenty of power for me and I’m 6′ and 220lbs and I’ve never felt that I needed any more power, but I feel like I squeeze probably 80% of the power out of it on some of the steeper hills, and I really love how light it is compared to some of the 450s and even 250s.

Skt_ Silva says:

What is better for Supermoto, 250 or 450cc?

Jeff Archuleta says:

My 450 is my cheap man’s Ferrari as far as excitement goes.

You'll Get it says:

When I was 7 I got a cr500 and it wasn’t enough to power so I got a cbr1000r and put some dirt bike tires on it and I was like screw this you all are weak

jorjis men says:

Yes I need you go on 50cc

Jose says:

Are there street legal 450s?? After a year riding a 250cc daily I really feel the lack of power of that bike. Yes, for the city is more than enough, but highway speed is way too low. Most cars can go faster than my bike

Alan Beasley says:

I been riding a 450 since 07 and I use every bit of power it will give me.

conmiester hd says:

You should not get a 450F unless you are a experienced and decent motocross rider. Get the 250F or 125

Bill Brasky says:

I just traded my 450 to the 11yr old neighbor kid for his 85 FTW!

SeanKyle says:

Im 15 and I absolutely love my yz450fx, but im also a bigger kid at about 5’11” and 190Ibs and the bike suits me great through trails and at the track. Thanks for the video’s they really help me riding!

nictakes says:

well where i live, 450 are a lot cheaper than 250

Iyam Stewart-Gaynor says:

I would be able to admit that a dirt bike may have too much power for me

Nick Allan says:

How does the 300 compare to the 450 what has more power or torgue

trevor steeves says:

Buy a older cr 125. You can find them cheap on Craigslist and you won’t regret buying it.

Ben Smelcer says:

Who is a track rider here

Werner Bessinger says:

Personally I think it’s a matter of preference and practicality. 250 four stroke ain’t gonna haul my 6’3, 260 lb ass around as a 450 does. Hell, the suspension on them are absolute shyte for someone my size, even on trails! So I think you need to take into consideration that riders come in all different shapes and sizes (and weights). Yes, if you’re gonna be permanently on the pipe with a 450 then you WILL see your ass eventually, no matter your size or skill level.

Point is you’re making it sound like every single rider out there should aim to harness 100% of his bike’s potential, like it’s some sort of competition or something, when the truth is that the majority of us are weekend warriors cruising along on dirt tracks and doing the occassional hillclimb, and if your ass is as heavy as mine a 250 ain’t gonna cut it friend, simple as that.

Chris Thropp says:

Great video. VERY informative. I am selling my CRF450R because I quit riding. Bought a KTM 350 and LOVE it. My 350 may even have too much power. Now I am enjoying riding more than ever! I finally realized it’s about myself having fun. Thanks!

lhammonds says:

First of all, VERY funny video. Great since of humor. Loved the timing of the lil’ bikes.

Do you need that much power all the time? No, that is a loaded question. It’s more like the condom principle, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

You are correct that newbies could get themselves into trouble with a powerful bike. But the more newbies that buy 450 bikes and then re-sale them, better for me to get good bikes @ used prices. hehehe.

I weigh 222 lbs and a 125cc 2-stroke engine was not enough for the Colorado mountain trails. It was actually dangerous riding a bike that couldn’t make those long, steep climbs.

I also had a 175cc 2-stroke and it was “just enough” to make it up those trails in the mountains but I typically found myself in 1st gear hoping I didn’t get too slow.

I also had a 200cc 4-stroke that could go up most of those same trails in 2nd gear and I considered it the bottom-level performance for that kind of riding for me.

I plan on getting a 450cc 4-stroke before next year’s trip to the mountains to make sure I do NOT have to worry about the bikes performance.

So long story short, the smaller engines are fine for scooting around on flat surfaces or inclines where momentum can help but when it comes to climbing mountains and rocks, I like having dependable power to draw upon.


SniperRifle999 says:

I have a CRF450…with a CR500 in it

Colton Darger says:

every dirtbike i have ridden i have rang it out to max power. 450s are just stupid heavy i ride a old 380 two stroke and i still ring that thing out! power isnt the thing for me its weight

Dank Cherries says:

Need? No… Is it a shitload of fun owning a 450? Yes. If your not hanging on for dear life your not going fast enough.

Rhinus Breedt says:

Haha good one @alive845 i started with a Honda qr50 in 92′ then kx80 then bought a blaster 200 then LTR 450 and yfz450 , decided to start over ..recently i sold my 450 and bought a cr125 which i enjoyed and now ride a honda crf250 and I absolutely love this bike. Its me! Had a huge eye opener on what suits me best.

Gianluca Carafa says:

Do you really need a 700 two stroke?

Rice Crash says:

Ryan Villopto won the 2007 overall Des Nations against the worlds best 450 riders whilst on a 250f. (Including, RC and Chad Reed)
I always laugh when I see beginner riders on 450’s or even 250 2 strokes for that matter. Just not needed.

Linmin says:

do you really need a 1000 hp supra? do you really need an r1?

naki trail rides says:

this guys being silly..

Riley Alexander says:


Mr Sevenfold says:

I guess this is just a man thing it’s something of a competitive thing with guys especially when showing off

Elijah Crespo says:

whisky throttle it the whole time dont let go lol

Mike McVey says:

If you are a big guy like me a 250f is not enough especially when you put a paddle tire on it an take it to the dunes

McVp says:

I’m fairly new to dirt biking, I’ve had a crf 230 for the past few years and it just doesn’t feel like it has the power for me. It feels small and sometimes kinda weak. I was thinking about getting a ktm 450exc or something like it as an upgrade, but I’m not sure. I’m 6’5 and 200lbs, not sure if this would help, but any advice would be appreciated as to what kind of bike I should get, or if I should get one at all.

I’m interested in possibly racing or just messing around with jumps and sandhills.

Austin Jones says:

I rode a 80 wen I was 9 and when I turned 12 I got a ttr 125 and I go full throttle on that thing through Canada wood trails and I woop my friends on 85cc 2-t so I think it is about time I get a 125 2-t

to THE gaming says:

im 12 and im riding a 250 yz 2stroke

Warrhammer says:

I need more power 🙂

Jeager Zero says:

Well I’m 6’1 and 300lb so ya I need a 450

Logan McNeeley says:

I might buy a 450 because someone is selling one for $140 and it runs and starts perfectly

Robson Enduro says:

No, I need ktm 500 exc which I just bought.

matthew petteway says:

i should be on a smaller bike for sure, im riding a KLX 400 and im 5’0ft

Brent Mcdonald says:

What about the size of the rider? I didn’t hear that addressed. You aren’t a big guy. Should bigger guys ride bigger bikes? Also what about the type of riding? Desert, vs Forrest, vs Sand dunes? Seems like that should be given a bit of thought.

alex keever says:

No I don’t need my 450 but it sure is fun as hell to ride it

Just Send it bro says:

What happens if I’m using the 450 as a road legal bike/supermoto
Is that still to much power?

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!