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I haven't heard the too stiff statement. But all frames are designed with some flex in mind. I do remember when the '97 CR250 came out with the new aluminum frame some riders complained that it was "harsh" feeling compared to the steel bike of a year before.
I MXed a 97 CR250 2 times and never got on the bike again. It killed my arms. Honda put flex back in the Alum frame for about 3 years.

As far as comparing geometry/argonomics from a steel 500 frame to a Alum CR frame they are like comparing apples to oranges. The newer Alum frames and suspension components are worlds better.

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