Bikes for me and wifey: both newbs

Well I have some time riding but nothing to serious.

So me and wifey want to get into a couple play bikes. We've always been into 4x4ing and I've owned multiple jeeps, toyotas and suzukis over the years, but I have always secrectly been jealous of the 2 wheelers and enough is enough.

Wife is 5'6'' 120#, I'm 6'2'' 190#

She is pretty much settled on the kawasaki klx140L, she sat on it and instantly fell in love, and she is stubborn, so there is no convincing her otherwise. Which is fine, she is giving me the go ahead to buy new bikes so I'm not going to convince her otherwise. Reviews on the klr140l are mostly positive and I'm sure it will give us years of good times.

I'm pretty much settled on the honda 2014 crf230

So my questions to the experts here, knowing most of my knowledge is from the Internet. Are these bikes good starter rigs for wifey and me?? We will be riding FSRs and easy single track in the Pacific Northwest. I'm worried I may 'out grow' the honda and one day I'd like to get into hare scrambles. Can the crf230 be raced?? Or handle race type riding??

The 230 will be very, very cramped for someone of your height. You'd be much better off finding a decent condition XR400 or XR250. Dont let the tag "400" scare you off. They are some of the most well mannered bikes you can come across.

Edited by motonack

Well I have some time riding but nothing to serious.

So me and wifey want to get into a couple play bikes. We've always been into 4x4ing and I've owned multiple jeeps, toyotas and suzukis over the years, but I have always secrectly been jealous of the 2 wheelers and enough is enough.

Wife is 5'6'' 120#, I'm 6'2'' 190#

She is pretty much settled on the kawasaki klx140L, she sat on it and instantly fell in love, and she is stubborn, so there is no convincing her otherwise. Which is fine, she is giving me the go ahead to buy new bikes so I'm not going to convince her otherwise. Reviews on the klr140l are mostly positive and I'm sure it will give us years of good times.

I'm pretty much settled on the honda 2014 crf230

So my questions to the experts here, knowing most of my knowledge is from the Internet. Are these bikes good starter rigs for wifey and me?? We will be riding FSRs and easy single track in the Pacific Northwest. I'm worried I may 'out grow' the honda and one day I'd like to get into hare scrambles. Can the crf230 be raced?? Or handle race type riding??

The 140L will be fine for your wife....the, yeah, not really a race bike. It has crappy suspension and is VERY heavy. If you want a do it all bike, that is brand new, there are a few out there, depends on your willingness and learning curve. The KTM 200 (exc, xc, there are so many models) model of your choice is a pretty good bike. Another pretty good option would be the Honda 250X, good bike, made to (kinda) do it all. The Euro bikes are really where it's at for trail riding, and most are more than capable of racing. The new Jap bikes are a little lacking in the trail parts, the CRF250X is probably the best of the small 4t bikes right now. You could get a Yamaha YZ250 (2T) and put a fly wheel weight on it along with guards and braces for the trails., I hear the suspention on those is great, but it's not really a trail bike.

XR400 for you gets my vote. It's a very docile bike. You could go with something like a KTM300 or a DRZ400 if you want an e-start.

XR400 for you gets my vote. It's a very docile bike. You could go with something like a KTM300 or a DRZ400 if you want an e-start.


A 300 2 stroke?? I don't think a newb rider needs that kinda power at disposal. 

A 300 2 stroke?? I don't think a newb rider needs that kinda power at disposal. 


I was more focused on the torque and ease of maintenance. Those 300s have a good bit of low end and can be mellow if the rider respects the throttle (as with any motorcycle).

a KDX200 or 220 would be a good choice as well. great trail bike and is well suited for beginners.

Get the XR400. Docile when you want it to be, but can go as fast as you want and will pretty much go over, around, and through any terrain you may encounter. Not to mention that they are the most reliable bikes ever made. 

Cfr 230 is a great choice, low maintenance, reliable, if you think you need a bigger bike in a couple of years get one but in the mean time have fun on the honda 230.

The KDX 200/220 for him and a KTM 105 for her, mine has the 85XC as she is short. They each run 32-1 so one fuel can covers it.


Edited by slideleft

Thanks everyone.

I found a yamaha yz450f for a good price. But my main concern buying a race bike is the extra maintenance involved. 5 hour oil changes, eek, I plan on doing week long outings. 80 hour top ends, double eek!! I'm not worried about doing the work(I'm a marine engineer by trade and work on 20 cylinder engines) I just don't want to rebuild the engine 3 times a year. I'll keep a look out for a xr400 but pickings are slim on CL this time of year.

Thanks again.

If you are new to this I'd pass on that 450f. IMO I think the 450 motocross bikes not good for a beginner. They want to go fast! And the stiff suspension will beat you to death. A WR450 would be a better call if you're looking for a 450 water cooled bike. The WR, XR and KDX are all great bikes that are easier to ride slow, but will also go as fast as you want to go.

Oh sorry it is a 250f not 450, my bad

250f even worse. High strung high maintenance bikes. WR250, TT-R 230/250, CRF230, XR250/400, KDX200/220....all wayyyyy better options. Just my .02. Like others with more than likely say....I wouldn't touch a used 250f with a ten foot pole. 

The CRF 230F is an excellent "first" bike for most guys.. they are bullet proof, very reliable, dependable, and fun to ride.  


Your wife will love the klx 140L.. 


Both great choices. 

Yamaha would be the only 250F I would reccomend for your app as I love 230's, built and raced one. The 230 chassis is smaller and the suspension can get upgraded with minamal investment but for your size a full size bike would be better and yzf 250's are the best suspended, reliable and least powerful 250f's and as long as you don't mind kick starting your bike should be a decent choice @ your size imop :-)

Edited by RCN4HIM

At 6'2/190 you'd be way too big for the CRF230......I agree with 6Riders and would steer you towards the CRF250X.  The 250X is a fairly mild bike in stock form with tons of potential for more power with simple mods.  That bike will be good for you in the beginning and will be sufficient enough for beginner hare scrambles.  Plus the 250X will hold its resale value better than the 230.  I think your wife will be fine on the 140L though. 

WRF250 is a nice choice. I'm sure you'd love em. I've heard nothing bad about them and they look sweet.

Ok, wife is buying the klx140l, paper work is pretty much done on that. Even booked her some private lessons at the MX track(she has only ridden 2-3 times in her life)

Ok, I'm still on the hunt. I would prefer a 4t but it seems I can get a 2t for a lot less, and get more of a bike...

I test rode a '95 cr125 with a recent overhaul but needing a new chain, fr sprocket and silencer and I rode a 97' cr250 with a new engine rebuild but it needs swing arm bearings. The 125 is small on me but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The cr250 size wise was perfect, I felt very comfortable on it. Snappy power, oh my god!!

So, currently I think my riding skills are below what is required to fully enjoy the 250 and size wise I don't think I'll be happy in the long run with a 125. So should I suck it up and get the 250 or continue looking for something with the ergos of a 250 but with less power?? I could detune the 250 until I'm more comfortable with the bike...thoughts??

Get the 250 and tune it down. Up one on the pilot jet, up two on the main jet, and use 1 step richer needle.

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      Let’s put the needle in. These are how the needle numbers go:

      The top clip position is #1, the lowest one, closest to the bottom, is #5. (The picture says six but it is five in this case) For reference #1 is the leanest position, while 5 is the richest. I put the clip in the 4th position. Read at the bottom of the page and you can know what conditions I ride in, and you can adjust them to your preference.
      Put the clip in the new needle, slip it in. Take the vise grips off your grips and start guiding the plunger holder down to the bottom. Remember not to let that assembly come apart because it is a pain in the ass to get it back together! Once you get it to the bottom, put the two screws on, and then put the cover on.
      Now that you have done the carburetor mods, there is still one thing you want to do to complete the process. Don’t worry, this takes less than a minute! On the top of the air box there is a snorkel:

      As you can see, you can slip your fingers in and pull it out. Do that. This lets more air in to the air box. Don’t worry about water getting in. There is a lip that is about 1/8” high that doesn’t let water in. When you wash, don’t spray a lot under the seat, but don’t worry about it too much.
      The next thing you must do is remove the exhaust baffle. The screw is a torx type, or you can carefully use an allen wrench and take care not to strip it:

      The screw is at the 5 o’clock position and all you do is unscrew it, reach in, and yank it out. This setup still passes the dB test. The bike runs 92 dB per AMA standards, which is acceptable. Just carry this baffle in your gear bag if the ranger is a jerk off. I’ve never had a problem, but don’t take chances.
      That’s it! Start putting your tank on, seat, and covers. After you put the seat on, pull up on the front, and the middle of the seat to make sure the hooks set in place.
      Turn on the bike, and take a can of WD-40. Spray the WD-40 around the boot where it meets the carburetor. If the RPM rises, you know you have a leak, and the leak must be stopped. You must do this to make sure there are no leaks!
      Here is my configuration:
      04’ 230F
      Uni Air filter
      132 Main Jet
      45 Pilot Jet
      Power up needle, 4th clip position
      Fuel screw 1.75 turns out
      Riding elevation: 2000ft - Sea level
      Temperature – Around 60-90 degrees
      Spark Plug Tips
      When you jet your carb, a spark plug is a best friend. Make sure your spark plug is gapped correctly, (.035) but that’s not all that matters. You want to make sure the electrode is over the center, and you want the electrode to be parallel, not like a wave of a sea. Put in the plug, and run the bike for 15 mins, ride it around too then turn it off. Then take off the spark plug after letting the bike cool. The ceramic insulator should be tan, like a paper bag. If it is black, it is running rich, if it is white, it is running lean. The fuel screw should be turned out if it is running lean, and turned in if it is running rich. Go ¼ turns at a time until your plug is a nice tan color.
      Making sure your bike is jetted correctly
      While you are running the bike for those 15 mins to check the plug color, you want to make sure it’s jetted correctly now. Here is what the jets/needle/screw control:
      0- 3/8 throttle – Pilot jet
      ¼ to ¾ throttle – Needle
      5/8 – full throttle – Main jet
      0-Full – Fuel screw
      Pin the gas, does it bog much? Just put around, is it responsive? When you’re coming down a hill, the rpm’s are high and you have no hand on the throttle, does it pop? If it pops, it is lean and the pilot jet should be bigger. If it’s responsive your needle is set perfectly. You shouldn’t have to go any leaner than the 3rd position, but I put mine in the 4th position to get the most response. Your bike shouldn’t bog much when you have it pinned. If it does it is too rich of a main jet.
      Determining the plug color, you will have to mess with the fuel screw.
      That’s it, have fun jetting, and any questions, post on the forum, but remember to do a search first.
      Also, if your bike requires different jets due to alititude, humidity, or temperature, please post the following so we can better assist you:
      Average temperature
      Altitude (If you do not know this, there is a link in the Jetting forum that you can look up your alititude)
      Average Humidity
      What jets you are currently running
      What the problem is (If there is one)
      Just do that and we'll help you out the best we can.
      EDIT: The girl using this login name is my girlfriend. You can reach me on my new login name at 250Thumpher
      Then again, you're more than welcome to say hi to her!
      -Phill Vieira
    • By kashlak
      JUst curious of how many bikes,quads,trikes people owned over the years and what they were?
      78 honda atc 70
      85 honda atc 110
      ?? handa trail 70
      78 yamaha mx 80
      85 yamaha yz 60
      82 yamaha it 125
      85 kawasaki kxt 250 tecate
      79 yamaha yz 400
      86 yamaha yz 125
      85 yamaha yz 80 (playbike)
      92 kawasaki kx 250
      93 yamaha xt 350
      and last but not least a 99 kawasaki kx 250
    • By Bosch232
      Were the XL's the predecessor to the XR's?
      I have a friend who's looking at an old XL350, and I don't know anything about these bikes.