I am 5'10" and about 165 lbs, without gear. I am thinking of switching from a 250 motocross bike to a KDX200. I ride trails and beginner hair scrambles. Has anyone else made this switch? If so, please tell me the positives and negatives.
A little depends on which 250 you are riding, but in general, IMO, if you can hang onto the 250 right now, consider some of these mods: Suspension mods, flywheel weight, different pipe to modify power to your preference, etc. You will be pleased with the improvement from these mods. BTW, if you're in the market for suspenders, check out trakcontrol.com . They did a REALLY good job on my bike. :)
I made the switch a year ago FROM a KDX220 w/ all the trimmings to a 01 RM250, and my race results have improved a LOT. IMO, my RM is easier to ride all day than the KDX, whether exhausted or feeling fresh. BUT, I can attest that the RM is a faster rider's machine and I easily see where the 250 motobikes are NOT for everyone.
One thing that cannot be disputed, is that a KDX is a very reliable bike.
The biggest problem I have found with my CR is its close ratio transmission and high first gear in tight (very) woods.
While a close ratio transmission is great for sprinting from point A to point B as fast as possible it can really be a nuisance out in the woods. First gear is always a little too high for that winding, rocky climb through the trees and top gear leaves you wondering if you're going to seize just buzzing back to the truck. The gears in between are optional, as there is not much difference between them ;). On more open terrain, and with higher overall gearing (sprockets) the MX bike will gain an advantage over bikes like the KDX.
Granted, a 250 MX bike makes a great base for a woods machine. Especially for faster riders but getting all that power working in the right directions can be a bit much for the average guy just out to have fun.