I'm in love with four-strokes, and it hasn't always been that way. About 10 years ago, Karel Kramer started forcing things like the Husqvarna 610 on me at every opportunity, and I just wasn't into that whole scene. Yamaha's YZ400F was the first bike to convert me to the world of intake and exhaust valves, and now I'm hooked. Last year's CRF was my favorite motocross bike, period, and I rode it twice as often as I rode the RM250 parked next to it in the garage.My favorite aspect is the ergos. It just feels like a motocross bike should. I can turn it better than a Yamaha or KTM, it feels comfortable and balanced in the air and nothing seems out of place. I also like the starting, but I've never really had a problem with the Yamahas, even when they had the original Keihin FCR carburetor. I just learned the procedure quickly, but it is cool you don't have to worry about playing with a compression release on the CRF. But I'm not ready to declare this the best four-stroke of 2003 just yet. KTM has some cool new stuff and, of course, Yamaha's YZ450F is attracting a lot of attention. Put it this way, if this is what second place is like in the world of four-strokes, I can't wait to ride number one!
--Ken Faught/5'10"/203 lb/Vet Intermediate