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Probably been asked more than a few times...

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Hey guys. Since I couldn't find an intro section on here, I'll just put up a mini one.

 

I got my nickname from being somewhat philisophical

I hail from new england

I've never ridden a dirt bike

I have ridden a street bike

I'm scoping out some new hobbies, so here I am!

 

Anyway...

I'm 5 foot 10", 170 lbs

I'm looking for a first dirt bike that I can ride on trails, off road, etc. No racing yet. If I get into dirtbikes enough, then I'll probably just buy a bike better suited for it than my first bike will most likely be.

 

I've been researching for a while, and so far I've only really come up with the Suzuki DRZ-125cc. It seems decent, but I want to make sure I get a bike that's suited for my size.

I'd also like something reliable, and not too expensive to repair.

I'm not afraid to run something stronger than 125 CCs, I'd be happy to get something bigger if that means it fits my other specs better.

 

Thanks guys! I know there are going to be a lot of different opinions out there, and that there is no "right" answer. I'd just like to get some info from some more experienced guys.

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DRZ125 is way to small for you imo.  My wife is 5'2" and rides the small wheel version.  

 

That said, your budget is going dictate any suggestion I would make.  Easiest and cheapest to maintain will be a 2 stroke.  Something like a KDX 200 or 200 EXC comes to mind.  I would recomend any of the 250f's (WR, CRFX, ect) for what you want to do, but buying a used 250f can be risky, especially on a tight budget.  Maintenance isn't hard, but you have to be diligent, and costs a little more.  

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Thanks for the great reply! I looked up the bikes you mentioned, and the KDX 200 seems to be perfect for what I want. Thanks for the help!

I'll look into the 250fs some more too. They deffinately seem like nice bikes.
 

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DRZ125 is way to small for you imo.  My wife is 5'2" and rides the small wheel version.  

 

That said, your budget is going dictate any suggestion I would make.  Easiest and cheapest to maintain will be a 2 stroke.  Something like a KDX 200 or 200 EXC comes to mind.  I would recomend any of the 250f's (WR, CRFX, ect) for what you want to do, but buying a used 250f can be risky, especially on a tight budget.  Maintenance isn't hard, but you have to be diligent, and costs a little more.  

One question, Why is buying a 250f risky?

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I was in similar shoes as you a couple years ago.  I have ridden street bikes all my life but never dirt.  I originally decided on a DRZ400 so i could do street and trail but I found that it was sort of mediocre at both of those and not really good at either.  I took it to the offroad park once and it was just brutal. I then picked up a YZ450 which is freaking amazing.  It is much lighter and has a ton more power.  I am 5'10 and around 165 lbs.  I have had it for about a year now and to be honest, there have been times over the last year where I thought it was really too much bike for me. I'm getting used to it now but I think would have been just as happy with a YZ250f.

 

One thing I wasn't really aware of when I bought the YZ was the amount of maintenance required compared to the street bikes I have owned.  Oil/filter changes are more frequent, valves need checked more often, etc, etc.

 

I personally prefer the four strokes because I just like to lug along sometimes but that's mostly preference.  The thing that is risky about buying a four stroke is that you don't know how well it was taken care of.  If you buy a two stroke and the PO completely abused it, it won't be that much money even if you have to rebuild the cylinder,piston, and crank.  A four stroke rebuild will cost you more.  I picked up a KFX400 four wheeler for my daughter last year.  It seemed to start fine and run well but once I got home and checked the valves, I found one that was closed up completely.  I took the head off and found that all the valves were cupped and the cylinder was nicked.  So I originally thought I paid a decent price for the quad but after sinking close to another $1000 into it for another piston, cylinder, and headwork with new valves it didn't seem so great.

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nucluar pretty much covered why a 250f is risky.  They are made to run at higher rpms (than say a 450f), so there is more wear and tear on the engine.  Besides that, you just don't really know how well it was taken of.  EVERY craigslist ad says the bike has been rebuilt top and bottom, but without receipts, that's just a ploy to unload a POS bike.  You just have to be MUCH more careful when buying a used 250f. 

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Either a KDX 200/220 or an SX150 set up for would be good for a newer rider, but be able to race if you get more into it, which I'm sure you will.

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Thanks for the help! That really cleared things up.

I'll just stick with the KDX200. It seems like a good enough bike.

I'll keep that in mind about the YZ450, nucular. I'm sure that someday I'll want to upgrade, so I'll look at that first.

 

Thanks again guys!

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I would suggest a CRF230 or TTR230. Both are easy to learn on, very low maintenance and should hold their value if cared for. A KDX is not a bad choice, I had one for 2 years and never had a problem other than they foul plugs if your RPM's are too low. None or these however have any business on a motocross track if that's what MaybeMe means by racing but the KDX will be good for hare scrambles. A CRF250x has a motocross look but is set up for woods/trail, it's taller, and way more powerful than a 230 but will require more maintenance than the 230 or its predecessor the XR250.   Hope this helps, do your research, and definitely consider the 230's. Let us know what you decide on. :ride:

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I would suggest a CRF230 or TTR230. Both are easy to learn on, very low maintenance and should hold their value if cared for. A KDX is not a bad choice, I had one for 2 years and never had a problem other than they foul plugs if your RPM's are too low. None or these however have any business on a motocross track if that's what MaybeMe means by racing but the KDX will be good for hare scrambles. A CRF250x has a motocross look but is set up for woods/trail, it's taller, and way more powerful than a 230 but will require more maintenance than the 230 or its predecessor the XR250.   Hope this helps, do your research, and definitely consider the 230's. Let us know what you decide on. :ride:

Thanks man. So are the 230s ok for racing?

Also, if the KDX200 isn't good for racing, what is it good for? Is there an area where it excels? I seems as if people like the KDX200s for of roading.

Edited by Little Buddha

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No the 230's are not for racing of any kind, they are just for beginners, trail ridding, or just fun play bikes. The KDX was made for woods racing or trail riding but may not be as reliable as the 230's.

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KDX's are old. And 2-strokes. If you have never ridden a 2-stroke then you may be buying a bike you hate. While the KDX is mild by smoker standards, it is still a 2-stroke. And did I mention OLD?

 

You want a bike that is mellow and controllable. XR400s are fantastic learning bikes and generally cheap and super reliable. The XR250 is also good and a bit lighter, though underpowered. Depending on riding in your area you may not need the power anyways. Yes, they too are OLD. Their suspension isn't the best, but you are going to beat the piss out of your first bike and XRs can take that for decades. If you are any good, you will out grow it pretty quick, but that won't matter cause they are cheap! You will probably never want to sell it and keep it as a buddy bike. It is like the 4 stroke version of the KDX. Old and reliable. It has a tractor motor but weighs a lot more than a KDX. And if you don't beat the piss out of it, then it is the perfect bike cause they are so mellow.

 

Then you can move up to a 250 or 450 if you want better suspension and more power.

Edited by basalt

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Thanks man. The XRs look pretty sweet. What is their area of expertise? I really like the XR400, so I'll be looking into it a bit more.

Also, in comparison to some of the other bikes discussed in this thread (specifically the KDX200), how powerful is the XR400? I'm sure I sound really stupid, but just humor me.

Edited by Little Buddha

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XRs area of expertise? Durability, user-friendliness, manageable power, traction. The KDX is made to be a woods weapon for tight, narrow, technical trails. The XR250 also excels at this. The XR400 will also be good at tight technical trails, but much heavier and more versatile.

 

The power is going to be very similar, though delivery will be different. The KDX will feel more powerful and hit harder. Being lighter it will also make better use of the available power. However, the XR400 will have way more torque, and very little hit making it more manageable. Where on the KDX you may be slipping the clutch and spinning tires to get through, the XR will just chug right through. Many KDX riders who have ridden a XR250 on the same technical trails claim the XR wore them out less and they went faster, even though it would have much less power than the KDX. The XR400 being heavier would be more work than the XR250, but the motor is still mellow and easy.

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Sounds like these XRs are a beast.

So, two final questions. Is the XR400 more reliable than the KDX, and does the XR400's weight inhibit its performance in varying terrain to a significant degree?

Thanks man, I really appreciate all the help.

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2002 XR400=257lbs   2002 KDX220=223lbs   so really it comes down to do you like 2 or 4 stroke,  green or red and what can you find for a good price. Look at RMX250.

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Sounds like these XRs are a beast.

So, two final questions. Is the XR400 more reliable than the KDX, and does the XR400's weight inhibit its performance in varying terrain to a significant degree?

Thanks man, I really appreciate all the help.

 

Unless you get an XR400 that already has a problem, you will likely never do anything to it but change the oil and clean the filters. If something does go wrong, it will be expensive.

 

KDX - Typical 2 stroke. You will eventually have to refresh it, but its only a few hundred bucks (most likely, don't know KDX parts availability/cost) and doing it is super easy. You really need to test ride a 2t before buying imo.

 

Alabama is right, even the XR250 still weighs more than the KDX. But it is impossible to say if weight will even be an issue not really knowing what type of trails you are going to ride. The XR400 is on the reasonable end of heavy. XR250 on the light end of 4-strokes. Also, both will be horrible on an mx track if you ever want to try that.

 

And, I can't remember if I said it earlier, a modern 4-stroke might be just as reliable if you don't put that many hours on them. Then you get great suspension, a lighter 4-stroke, better handling, etc, etc, etc. You just take a little bit more of a gamble with the initial purchase if used. If you do look at modern 250s, the CRF250x is supposed to have a great mellow powercurve. More tractable like an XR. You'll have to do a little research because they have valve issues initially, but after 2005 (I think) they got better. Also couldn't go wrong with a KTM 250xc/exc type. There is also the KTM400 I completely forgot about. Would make a great started bike. I've heard the MX/SX can be a bit of a handful, so stick with the offroad version if you can (XC/EXC). These will all be more expensive than the KDX/XR though.

 

I love looking/thinking about new bikes, if you couldn't tell :)

Edited by basalt

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