Advice on a good play bike?

Hi, I have always been a fourwheeler guy, and I have a Z400 that I love. I had a ttr-125 that j enjoyed messing around on. Lately I have been wanting to pick another bike up just to cruise on and ride some trails. I would definitely still ride the Z most of the time. I'm 5'10" and 200lbs so I'm pretty stocky. I am pretty strong though. Would a 1252t or 250f be the better bike. How bout maintenance? Thanks!

I would go with a 250f they don't need to be rebuilt as often and don't require to mix gas. The only thing about a four stroke is the price of parts if anything goes wrong but two strokes seem to need to be fixed often enough the price equals the four stroke.

What the guy said above me is totally wrong.

1. Good luck finding a nice used 250f. I'm not sure what your market where your at is but where I'm at most 250f's that come up reasonably priced are piles of garbage that have been abused to the point that they're ready to blow and that's why they're for sale. A 250f has a lot more moving parts then a 125 and revs to over 13,000 rpm, pretty much at the limits for metal technology. It's not hard to imagine that a kid riding his bike on the rev limiter is setting up the next owner or possibly even himself up for a catastrophic failure and that leads us into number 2...

2. You're going to find a much nicer 125 for the same price as you can find a worn out 250f. They're much lighter, cheaper to buy and easy to maintain. For light trail riding I generally get 70+ hours out of my top ends before I feel like it needs to be freshened up. Under proper maintenance they will never "blow up", it just means take it apart and put a new piston and rings in it and once and awhile check the reeds to make sure they don't need to be replaced. A piston and rings will run $150 for a kit (with gaskets) and reeds can be had for $30. On the other hand a 250f has much more moving parts including valves that are going to have to be adjusted or at least checked every 10 hours if you want to keep that motor intact. They're also much more sensitive to abuse. I'm no pro rider by any means but my 125 spends a lot of time being wound out and never fails me and consistently gets longer times between tear downs then some of my buddies 250f's.

Basically put, you can't abuse a 250f and you have to treat them with utmost care or they're going to blow. And even if not, they're still going to eventually blow and it won't be pretty. Expect to pay $1200+ for a top end, more if you ruin your cyl and more if you take a crank out with it. You can easily put what you paid for the bike into rebuilding the motor. If you're buying new it's not as much of a big deal, you can ride your bike and take the best care of it and for the most part things won't be wore enough to need replacing but when they do, it's going to cost a lot of money. They are nowhere near as reliable as your z400 as I assumed they would be going from a z400 (kfx actually) to a 450.

I might sound like I'm anti 4 stroke but I'm not, I think 450's are pretty fun bikes when treated well. The problem lies with the smaller ones, the rpm's they have to turn to make power and the compression it takes to make it. It's a lot different then your regular XR400 and as a result, it cost more. No race bike is going to be as bulletproof as an xr400 or a 230 but with proper maintenance, a good 125 or 250 2 stroke can be pretty damn tough.

Some people prefer the power delivery of a 4 stroke however and as far as pure track racing goes, the 4 stroke has an advantage. Modern tracks are designed for their style of power delivery with wide sweeping turns and it takes a lot of skill to be fast on a 2 stroke. You will have to ride it "on the pipe" or in the meat of the powerband at all times to make lots of power but once mastered, you can haul serious ass. On a 4 stroke you just sit and twist so to speak. Many things however can be done to 2 strokes to soften their hit and the newer ones aren't all that bad themselves. A flywheel weight can be added and tweaks such as head gaskets, ignition and different things can make a big difference on how the power is delivered and where.

I think as far as race bikes go a 250 2t would probably be your best bet. They have a lot of power but with a flywheel weight and some other tweaks they can be very very smooth and you can lug one along better then you can with a 250. A flywheel weight will also help with stalling and you won't have to be on the clutch as much although some people (myself) don't like them all that much.

And if you were looking for a trail bike a KTM 200 or a Kawasaki KDX200/220 is also a great option. Less has to be done to make them great trail bikes as they come ready for the trails right out of the box. I never rode a KTM but I know the frame and suspension is a little more modern then the KDX. KDX's power is greater then a 125 but less then a 250 and it's delivered very smooth as it's designed for trails. The forks are traditional style and I wouldn't be too eager to jump it but they make awesome trail bikes and will be recommended all over the forum. A 125 is going to be very easy to find however, there is a million of them out there where a good KDX or a KTM 200 is a little tougher and they often fetch higher prices then a nice 125.

Good luck with your purchase but as far as 250f's stay far away.

Edited by leafsrule16

I would go with a 250f they don't need to be rebuilt as often and don't require to mix gas. The only thing about a four stroke is the price of parts if anything goes wrong but two strokes seem to need to be fixed often enough the price equals the four stroke.

You seem to have your information confused, let me help. A 250f is the easiest MX bike to blow up, as well as the most maintenence heavy bike you can buy for dirt. Two strokes are simple and easy to work on, and when parts go they usually don't take the rest of the engine with them.

That doesn't really hold as true to bikes like the TT-R 230 and the CRF 230, those are trail bikes and don't come with the high revving 4 stroke engines like the 250f bikes do. They don't come with the awesome suspension and chassis either.

I agree with Leafsrule16, I see him around here a lot, he speaks the truth. KTM, or Kawasaki would be a great choice, or my YZ 144 that's for sale...lol.

Edited by poldies4

My dad and I run a small engine repair shop on the side. And we refuse to work on 2 strokes (chainsaws, weed eaters, etc.) Why? because usually when someone brings us a 2 stroke not running, it needs completely re-done, and it is cheaper to buy a new one than work on it. So it sounds like this applies to bigger bikes as well, you can get a 2 stroke piston and rings so cheap that the price of them in the long run is much less to maintain than a 4stroke is. Sounds like if I get one it will be a 1252t. I can pick them up for about $1600 around here.

Thanks for the info, if anyone has anymore, keep it coming!

I've seen nice kdx200s for as little as $1,2000. I have two klx300s because i like four strokes. These bikes have a low seat and six speed tranny that makes a great trail bike.

My dad and I run a small engine repair shop on the side. And we refuse to work on 2 strokes (chainsaws, weed eaters, etc.) Why? because usually when someone brings us a 2 stroke not running, it needs completely re-done, and it is cheaper to buy a new one than work on it. So it sounds like this applies to bigger bikes as well, you can get a 2 stroke piston and rings so cheap that the price of them in the long run is much less to maintain than a 4stroke is. Sounds like if I get one it will be a 1252t. I can pick them up for about $1600 around here.

Thanks for the info, if anyone has anymore, keep it coming!

Good luck. 125's are a lot of fun and they weigh nothing at all. You should pick up riding one pretty quickly and when your ready for a bigger bike (if you ever are) there's lots of 250's around too. An Eric Gorr 144 kit and a porting makes a 125 pretty mean as well if you get the modification bug.

One more vote for the 125. What leafsrule16 and poldies4 said is pretty much right, 2 strokes are light and fun while being relatively cheap, not cheap like a 4 stroke trail bike but compared to a 250 they are dirt cheap. The power is definitely adequate for trail riding although the delivery is designed for an MX track so you might want to do some cheap mods like sprockets or an aftermarket pipe and reeds. I am facing the same decision right now just I race MX, in my class most of the guys ride brand new 2011 or 2012 250fs and I just can't be competitive with them on my 08 YZ125, I am just scared that if I do get a 250f it will blow up on me and I wont be able to ride for a season due to the expense.

Hope this helps

Charlie

I appreciate all the help. I am thinking I will try to save up for a 125 of some kind and hopefully be able to try one out between now and the summer. Thanks!

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