2015 Dirt Rider 250F MX Shootout Preview - The Weekly Dirt: September 24, 2014

Some people call it the 'silly season', but here we are in the gap between major race seasons. Motocross just ended and the bright lights of Supercross are a few months off. GNCC, WORCS, and other off-road series are also coming to a close and here at Dirt Rider, we'll be doing what all of those off-season racers and race teams are doing. No, not resting or vacationing, or taking long naps in the sun – TESTING! In the ranks of professional racing there really isn't an off-season anymore. As soon as the Outdoors are over, and before for that matter, race teams are getting ready for the next year of Supercross. Racers are using this time to take their fitness to a new level, teams are using it as opportunity to try new parts and settings, and everyone is refocusing their efforts to take home a championship.

With all of the 2015 motocross bikes now available, we take this time to put our nose to the grindstone, or boots to the pegs we should say, and get some serious testing in. First this year is the 250 four-stroke motocross class and we gathered all six brands to see how the get along. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at our first day of testing out at Old Chaney Ranch in sunny California. As each tester hopped off the bike, they gave us a quick impression, a brief quote, or anything else that came to their minds.

Adam Campbell sets up the shot. These bikes look good on their own but a skilled photographer is needed to make them look great.
Just a quick shot using Campbell’s set up. This is just a preview to get those mouths watering for the comparison, which will appear in our February 2015 issue.
Gary Sutherlin on the Honda CRF250R: “I feel like Trey Canard.”
Matt Bynum on the Husqvarna FC 250: “It is a little slow off the bottom.”
Tod Sciacqua on the Kawasaki KX250F: “This bike is super stable. Right away, I felt at home on the Kawi.”
Adam Booth on the KTM 250 SX: “Never shift! I like to let it rev to the moon.”
Kai Mukai on the Suzuki RM-Z250: “It corners like a pro.”
Chris Denison on the Yamaha YZ250F:
The KX250F always does well in shootouts, but does it have enough in the tank to take the win this year?
Boothy on the KTM: “It makes you feel like a hero because you have to rev it so far. Plus, blowing up the fluffy berms here at Chaney Ranch puts a smile on my face.”
Sutherlin on the Suzuki: “I feel focused like James Stewart.”
Denison on the YZ250F: “I’m blown away by the front brake! This is a good nose-wheelie front brake, with plenty of control in corners.”
Mukai on 250Fs in general: “I like that you can hold them wide open and not rip your arms off.”
Even though we were hard at work testing dirt bikes, sometimes you just have to cool off. Did you know that helmets float?
Sutherlin on 250Fs in general: “ I love the light, flickable feeling of the 250Fs. To me, it feels like I’m riding a mini bike.”
Sciacqua: “I used to be semi-pro on these. No, not the bike, the Sea-Do.”
Nothing feels better than going from moto to lake. We didn’t have to ask Denison twice, or once as a matter of fact.

Our takeaway after one day of testing is this: What makes this 250F Motocross Shootout exciting is that it is a very performance based group of motorcycles without a turtle in the bunch. It really shows how good the class is when every bike is pulling the same jump just as far and climbing the same hills just as fast. Plus, you know that the bikes are all good when not one test rider complains about which bike they are assigned for photos. We are looking forward to more days of testing at many different tracks to really get personal with each and every 250cc machine.

Now, if we can just figure out a way to take that lake with us, we’d be set!