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Some advice for buying a "working" (non-competing) trail bike

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I've had a look around and done some searches but had little luck in finding exactly the info I'm looking for. So it's time to ask for help :)

 

I own a bit of land with a substantial part of it being quite rough driving terrain. I get around quite nicely with 4x4 tractors and VW syncros, but find it a bit of a hazzle to use them when I've only got very light work or inspection to do. So I though about getting a suitable bike. Over the years, I've had several cross bikes. 2-stroke 125, 250 and 500. But nothing in the recent years. And they don't work particularly well in this terrain. So i thought that getting a trail bike would be perfect. It should be able to access just about anywhere, and go about much quicker than the 4x4s.

 

The thing is, I know basically nothing about them. They have low gears, no proper seat and knobby wheels. That's pretty much the extent of my knowledge.

 

Terrain description:

- Gravel roads

- Grass roads

- Steep grass hills (with lots bumps, rocks etc.)

- Some mountiny/rocky parts (but no rock jumping etc.)

- A bog here and there

- Open dirt patches (muddy when wet)

 

I think my criteria for this bike would be somewhat like this:

 

1. RELIABLE.

No high performance frequent break down stuff. I want this to run several times a week for many years.

 

2. EASY MAINTENANCE

I usually do my own mechanical maintenance, and have a fairly well stocked workshop. But I don't want to spend much time maintaining. I've got lots of other stuff to maintain.

 

3. ADEQUATE POWER

I'm not competing against anyone else than probably some sheep. But I don't want to push the bike either.

 

4. REASONABLE PRICE

Self explanatory.

 

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

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If you've never been on a bike before and just want something to get from point a to point b on your property, I'd look into something like the following:

 

If you're a shorter person, a cheap, simple Honda XR100 would be best. You can flat foot it on both sides, it's not hugely powerful, very user friendly and you can basically throw it through a wall, run over it with a dumptruck, pick it up and ride it. It's not at all intimidating to learn to ride on. They made the thing for decades and are everywhere for $500 to 1200. I think it's something like 9HP

 

Also a Yamaha TTR125LE would be good. Reliable, slightly larger than the xr100, plus it has an electric start. Still friendly for kids even though. $1000 will buy you one. Probably 10 or 12HP?

 

If you're an average sized guy, want something with a bit more shock travel and a bit more power but not scary at all, a Honda XR200 would be best. Still close to flat footing it on both sides, but it's adult sized and has the same reliability and ease of maintenance as the XR100. XR200 will set you back $700 to $1500 depending on when you buy it and what it's like. 15 HP to 19HP I think? You won't be pushing it.

 

If you want something that will be easy to ride, can be taken on the street once in a while to get to a gate or into the local store, yet is as stable as a mule on a hillside and can go anywhere, a Yamaha TW200 would be best. Big wide tires, can float over everything and has taught countless people to ride. Around $1500 to $3000 for a used one, a new one is around $4500 I think. They've made them for decades. I think around 1996 they got Disc brakes in front, I'd get one of those. Around 16 to 18 HP I think. Very adequate and has lots of racks and things available for hauling stuff on the back.

 

All of those bikes are bulletproof, incredibly easy to work on, and pretty much just require an oil change once in a while. The TW200 will be the most stable with the wide tires, and best all around bike since it's able to go on the street occasionally.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by ripsnorter

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If you've never been on a bike before and just want something to get from point a to point b on your property, I'd look into something like the following:

 

If you're a shorter person, a cheap, simple Honda XR100 would be best. You can flat foot it on both sides, it's not hugely powerful, very user friendly and you can basically throw it through a wall, run over it with a dumptruck, pick it up and ride it. It's not at all intimidating to learn to ride on. They made the thing for decades and are everywhere for $500 to 1200. I think it's something like 9HP

 

Also a Yamaha TTR125LE would be good. Reliable, slightly larger than the xr100, plus it has an electric start. Still friendly for kids even though. $1000 will buy you one. Probably 10 or 12HP?

 

If you're an average sized guy, want something with a bit more shock travel and a bit more power but not scary at all, a Honda XR200 would be best. Still close to flat footing it on both sides, but it's adult sized and has the same reliability and ease of maintenance as the XR100. XR200 will set you back $700 to $1500 depending on when you buy it and what it's like. 15 HP to 19HP I think? You won't be pushing it.

 

If you want something that will be easy to ride, can be taken on the street once in a while to get to a gate or into the local store, yet is as stable as a mule on a hillside and can go anywhere, a Yamaha TW200 would be best. Big wide tires, can float over everything and has taught countless people to ride. Around $1500 to $3000 for a used one, a new one is around $4500 I think. They've made them for decades. I think around 1996 they got Disc brakes in front, I'd get one of those. Around 16 to 18 HP I think. Very adequate and has lots of racks and things available for hauling stuff on the back.

 

All of those bikes are bulletproof, incredibly easy to work on, and pretty much just require an oil change once in a while. The TW200 will be the most stable with the wide tires, and best all around bike since it's able to go on the street occasionally.

 

Hope that helps.

Thanks for a very good answer! I have been riding bikes before, but it's been some years now. All your suggestions have something going for them, and I have to check out the various bikes you mention.

 

What do you mean by "no proper seat?"

Are you thinking of a trials bike?

 

 

i thought the sane thing :goofy:

For the OP get a XR200. Or the XR250

Yes, I was initially thinking about a trails bike. But now I'm reconsidering. I have to check out the various alternatives posted here.

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After looking around at what's available, I found an XR250 Baja for sale very close to where I live. Any thoughts on that?

I have to say, that weird appearance strikes some kind of nerve in me. Don't know if I hate or love the twin headlights. I think I love them.

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Thanks for a very good answer! I have been riding bikes before, but it's been some years now. All your suggestions have something going for them, and I have to check out the various bikes you mention.

 

 

 

Yes, I was initially thinking about a trails bike. But now I'm reconsidering. I have to check out the various alternatives posted here.

 

 

I think you're confusing trail bike with trial bike.

 

this is a trials bike.

 trials-large.jpg

 

this is a trail dirt bike:

 

97xr200r.jpg

 

Trials bikes are used in those crazy awesome trials competitions where they jump on top of cars, boulders, and do insane balancing stuff.

 

Trails are more normal looking for riding down dirt trails and just enjoying the scenery, etc.

 

I'm not really familiar with the XR250 baja, but I'd think just about any XR will be bulletproof. Try it on, see how it fits you. If it feels right and doesn't seem abused, get it. The addition of a big dual headlight will probably be nice for when you get caught out working on your property and the sun starts going down.

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perhaps a picture of the terrain might be useful for us to recommend something.  Even though I am not an ATV lover, there is plenty of very rocky terrain out here in the Rocky Mountains where an ATV is faster and more useful than a motorcycle (and I am biased toward motorcycles).

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That is correct!

 

I'm Norwegian, so I can't help it ;)

 

Anyway... My initial thought was a trials bike. But after receiving good feedback here, I am no more considering a trails bike.

I really like the TW200, but can't find anyone for sale in Norway, Sweden or Denmark. But I'll keep looking.

 

I'm offshore at the moment, so I won't get to look at the XR250 Baja until I return sometime next week.

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That is correct!

 

I'm Norwegian, so I can't help it ;)

 

Anyway... My initial thought was a trials bike. But after receiving good feedback here, I am no more considering a trails bike.

I really like the TW200, but can't find anyone for sale in Norway, Sweden or Denmark. But I'll keep looking.

 

I'm offshore at the moment, so I won't get to look at the XR250 Baja until I return sometime next week.

 

My grandfather was Norwegian. Always wanted to go there and find some of my old family roots!

 

The TW200 is very appealing I agree. If I were in your shoes I'd get the tw200 if I could find one and could afford it. If not I'd get an XR200/250. Let us know how that baja works out!

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A long time quiet on this front, but not completely dead.

 

Seems like getting a TW200 is something best forgotten about. They're just not around...

 

After some discussions with various people, I am leaning heavily towards getting a trials bike. A 250-ish seems to be a good choice

 

A video of my terrain can be seen here:

http://youtu.be/0QhPkTyQsdU

 

I have also been looking into the possibility of getting something for my 7 year old son and 13 year old daughter. The electrics from GasGas are really interesting. Maybe the TXTe12 would be something.

Although by judging from this video, the e12 is quite small... 

http://youtu.be/7iLONERAmsU

Edited by VonZu

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Trial bikes don't have seats, they are ment to climb unclimbable, not for comfort ride

Terrain on a video is mostly pretty easy for most trail bikes 200+cc like XR250R, XR400R even though it's heavier, CRF230 and many other

XR250 Baja is too old and you might feel the lack of spare parts. All IMHO  :)

Edited by MCVL

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