Starting with the 250 SX-F, I personally enjoyed this bike a lot. To me it feels so light and nimble I can go anywhere on the track. Since I am accustomed to a 250 (because that’s what I race) it was easier to feel at home on this size of a machine. Aside from great handling characteristics and comfort, this bike has a strong engine package; however, I don’t find it quite up to par with its bigger brothers. It pulls hard throughout the midrange and really shows its strength on top, but I noticed a rather large lack in bottom-end power. I really like this bike, yet the engine lacks in bottom-end power, making it my second favorite.
This 350 is hands-down one of the most fun bikes I have ridden. I feel this bike shows off its light and nimble characteristics, which were very notable on the 250. The 350 was my favorite for its engine, which allowed me to ride it like a 250F and stretch out each gear. It is a very free-revving bike, and you are also given the option to ride it like a 450 and ride it a gear high easier than you can with the 250. With the 350’s super-responsive bottom-end rpm response and midrange pulling power, as well as its ability to rev far like a 250F, this in-between cc’d bike is a very good option for a rider like me.
Moving on to the biggest bike in the SX-F lineup, the 450 was my least favorite. The reasons were the fork and engine. Starting with the fork, I felt that it did not offer much rider comfort for my weight. One of the biggest characteristics I look for in a bike is a plush ride, and I want a bike that offers as much rider comfort as possible. Being more of a 250F rider, I want very smooth, less scary, linear power on the bigger bike. The 450 was just a little too aggressive for my liking, and I was more timid on this machine out on the track. I felt it had a very hard-hitting power delivery and was a very solid motor, but I think the 450 SX-F is geared more toward bigger riders and/or riders who have had time on big bikes.
—MATT BYNUM 5’10”, 155 LB., INTERMEDIATE
Personal Ranking: 1. 350, 2. 250, 3. 450 Actual Lap Times: 2:02 (350), 2:05.47 (450), 2:05.50 (250)