Well, I'll tell you what I would do. The '01 and '02 250ex are the same exact price, everything. The ONLY difference that I found between them was that the new '02 250ex is available in yellow. With that in mind, I would buy the '01. I know you might think that the '02 is newer=better, but you could probably get a pretty good deal on the '01 now or very soon because I bet the dealerships are parting out any that they have, which equals sale. So, what I am saying is that you might be able to get a better deal on the '01. Or, you could pay an extra $900, and get the 300ex. Some good things about the 300 is chain drive-the shaft drive on the 250ex adds up do a lot of weight. The 300ex has manual clutch-250ex has automatic. With the 300ex, you get .6 inches more travel in front suspension, but 2.2 inches more travel in the rear. The 300ex has hydraulic disc in the rear-250ex has manual drum. The 300ex is .6 inches shorter, but 1.7 inches wider, .9 inches taller, 1 inch longer wheelbase, but shorter seat height buy 1 inch. The 300ex also has 1 inch less ground clearance, 1 inch longer turning radius, also 28 pounds heavier. And the fuel tank also holds half a gallon less of gasoline. With this in mind, I believe that a '01 300ex would be the best choice if you have the money, and if you don't, I would go with a '01 250ex.