My comparison - '03 YZ 250F to '04 KXF 250


Moto Junkie
Apr 21, 2000
Yesterday I rode both my '03 YZ 250F and an '04 KXF 250 back to back on my favorite track (Sunset Ridge - Walnut, IL - sand/dirt mix, natural terrain, and WFO) and had a hard time finding differences between the two bikes. Just for comparisons, I'm a 5'5" 135lb. intermediate rider.

POWER - very similar, nearly identical! I have one extra tooth on the rear on my 250F and not sure what stock gearing is on the KXF. Only slight power difference I could tell was the YZF having a hair more bottom end pull/punch as the KXF was a tad soft on the bottom, and the KXF had a little stronger/more deceptive mid... like I would jump a downhill flyaway in 3rd 3/4 throttle on both and seem to go a launch a little farther on the KXF. Like the YZF, you could lug around turns in 3rd gear with no clutch, but thats mainly where I noticed the softer bottom until you get the power into the mid.

HANDLING/FEEL - the handling shocked me the most. I have been reading that the KXF is like 8 lbs. lighter and feels really light like a 125 and the seat height is lower (I'm 5'5") and it turns so much better etc.... and I didn't really notice much difference between the two in any of those areas. If anything, the steering on the KXF was slightly "looser" so you could turn it a little quicker but I was hitting the same lines and ruts with both bikes just the same. Didn't feel advantaged on either one. The KXF threw me offguard at first because the bars were more forward so the ride position was a little different and gave me a lil headshake once or twice. Plus the front brake was real sensitive and I almost went over the bars in the first berm that I grabbed a handful of front brake. The bike felt good in the air, like I was having a blast on the 50' finish line table (my favorite jump on the track - right outta a sandy turn) but it felt so identical to my 250F in that section so it took no adjusting.

STARTING - the bike started nice... the kickstarter sits more forward (like pointed towards the lower triple clamp compared to the YZF which points up) so it's got a longer kick stroke and was kinda awkward to get in position to kick it at first but it was real easy to kick/start. Started first kick in the 40 degree weather (my 250F took 2-5 kicks most of the day but started 1 kick almost religiously last winter when new).

SUSPENSION - The suspension felt pretty much like my 250F when it was new mixed with a normal Kawi feel... it was a little stiff on high speed stuff but kinda plush on landing bigger low speed stuff.

ONE DOWNFALL OF THE KXF - oil changes! What the hell was Kawazuki thinking with having the oil filter and water pump are under the same cover? I can't believe you have to drain the coolant in order to remove the oil filter. SFB and Pro Circuit are gonna cash in on their 2-piece deal to get around this.

OVERALL OPINIONS - Blindfold me and I wouldn't know the difference.


Lifetime Sponsor
Jan 9, 2000
Nikki if you ride the KXf more you will learn to love the powerfull front brake-i cant ride any bike well without it-so i fitted the KX caliper to my RM-lovely brake:)


Crazy Russian
Jan 25, 2000
I posted something similar on TT (regarding the front brake). My KX has a "one finger" front brake, compared to my old Yamaha "four finger" front brake. Just takes a little adjustment time.

Oh yeah, before anyone gets upset, the brakes on both brands are effective (just different).
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