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Track Tested | 2020 SML 250 MX Shootout


Track Tested | 2020 SML 250 MX Shootout

Honda CRF250R vs. Husqvarna FC 250 vs. Kawasaki KX250 vs. KTM 250 SX-F vs. Suzuki RM-Z250 vs. Yamaha YZ250F

Presented by Ogio Powersports

Photos by Michael Antonovich

The dust had barely settled on our 2020 450 MX Shootout and we found ourselves neck-deep in the 2020 250 MX Shootout, pounding laps around a handful of tracks around our Southern California locale. The first new 250 showed up all the way back in June and most of them followed shortly thereafter, save for the Suzuki RM-Z250 that returns for 2020 completely unchanged. With the Suzuki finally becoming available last week, it was finally time to gather all of the manufacturers together for one final day of back-to-back comparison testing with our test rider panel that’s composed of a wide range of riders in varying ages, heights, weights, and abilities. 

Having been riding the majority of the 250s for a few months now, we already had a pretty good idea of how we thought they all stacked up against one another, but for the formal final day, we converged on Perris Raceway, Southern California’s oldest motocross track. Littered with well over a dozen challenging jumps, the track is laid out on the side of a hill and is the perfect place to compare the powerbands and handling characteristics of the 250 MX Bikes. Additional days of comparison testing were held previously at Glen Helen Raceway, Cahuilla Creek MX, Fox Raceway, and Milestone MX Park. 

Throughout the day test riders were instructed to spend time on each machine and work with the factory technicians on hand to find each bike’s ideal setup. Of course, the technology of modern-day motocross bikes makes comparison testing an even more involved affair these days, as most machines now come with different EFI maps, traction control settings, and other adjustable features like bar clamp and footpeg positioning, as well as vented and non-vented airbox covers.

To ensure consistent tire performance among the bikes, we outfitted all of the machines with Dunlop MX53 intermediate- to hard-terrain tires, which work perfectly on Perris Raceway’s rough surface, and all six of the machines came to rest atop our favorite Works Connection Factory Stands. Backyard Design USA supplied all of the numberplate backgrounds, and we must point out that they fit perfectly and were super easy to install: even on the Honda CRF250R’s dual muffler design. 

Well, that takes care of all the formalities…let’s get to it!

**Please note that each bike enjoys its own page.**


Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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