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What kind of dirtbike would you recommend?

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Hey guys, new here just registered. I have a couple questions if you guys could help me that'd be great. I'm thinking of getting a dirt bike rather soon, can't wait!!! lol - anyway, i don'r have the money to buy a new one, im selling my quad to get one right now. What would you guys recommend for a good bike to get - something easy to start on that i'm not gonna grow out of fast. I ride an 03 polaris predator 500 right (thats my quad). It's fast as hell and a lot of fun. I'm about 5'11 185 lbs roughly. And another question is, what do i do for maintenance, i have asked some friends and they all tell me different things.. one of them tell me the motors on dirt bikes blow up all the time, so that was sorta scary lol. If you guys could give me some bikes that might be good that you have used from personal use, that are really good and reliable that would be great, i had someone wanting to trade me a 2000 kx 250f, but i have heard some things about Kawasaki from people that scare me - anyway thanks guys! hope to hear from you !

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Every one has there own option and often trashes other brands defending so take what everyone says with a grain of salt. What kind of riding do you plan on doing? How much are you looking to spend? Do you want to go two stroke or four and why? All of this will help us make a better recommend a good bike for you.

Edited by ctfrazer

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I know that this question has been asked 10 million times, but I am 13, 4'11", 90 pounds and have very limited experience on dirt bikes. Will ride mostly trail and that kind of thing, definitely no racing. I have about $1,300-$1,500 so obviously no where new. 4 stroke is what I have been thinking about, but would you recommend a 2 stroke? As for brands, I really don't care as long as it isn't a Chinese knockoff/ pit bike. Thank you very much.

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I'm looking to do trail riding - And at first I was looking to get a 4t, I heard they are better for trail riding.. But I figure that's just preference. The most important thing for me is reliability and a bike that's easy to start with and I won't grow out of fast lol

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I would look trail bike then. Cheap maintenance on my DRZ 400E, easy to ride, will tractor up anything I point it at, nice even power. I liked it so much I bought a second on for my son, for his first dirtbike. Other options I would consider is Yamaha WR 250 or 450. Or you could go two stroke with the kawi KDX model. All of these bike do well for trail riding in my opinion.

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I would look trail bike then. Cheap maintenance on my DRZ 400E, easy to ride, will tractor up anything I point it at, nice even power. I liked it so much I bought a second on for my son, for his first dirtbike. Other options I would consider is Yamaha WR 250 or 450. Or you could go two stroke with the kawi KDX model. All of these bike do well for trail riding in my opinion.

What does maintenance for bikes entail? I know cleaning the air filter and changing oil every 10 or so hours, but what besides that - I have read some horror stories of 4t bikes having bad valve issues xD and expensive maintenance :p is it really as bad as it is mad out to be ?

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hmm, so in terms of maintenance, I suspect it's pretty similar to quads. i.e. 4T are more complicated than 2T. in general, more dust means more wear, more filter changes, more oil changes, etc... keep water out and lube suspension parts/linkage/stems, etc... change brake pads before they are gone.

 

in terms of the best bike for you ? some good reliable trail bikes are honda/suzuki/yamaha,kawasaki 4T trail bikes like TTR, XR,DR, KLX etc. they tend to be heavier than a 2T.  for woods smaller/lighter bikes are better. something, like a kdx200 is a good all around reliable light woods/trail bike. I'd probably stay away from motorcross 4T (e.g. crf250r, crf450r, kx250f, etc...) for the time being. they are a bit more finicky and regular maintenance is more expensive than 2T. wr250f is pretty nice. I don't know how much you want to spend. I would try to find the nicest (lowest hour) bike in the class you are looking for you can comfortably afford and see if you can test ride it to see how comfortable you feel on it. do you have any friends with some trail bikes who will let you ride one to see what you'd like ? 

 

in the end, most working/well-maintained motorcycles will put a smile on your face. I.e. I ride a xr200r, rmx250, 250exc and until recently xr350r and I'm restoring a cr480r. they all have their strengths. the cr480r will be the hardest to ride (i.e. requires the most skill to not hurt/kill myself), but they are all fun. 

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The DRZ's and WR's don't seem to have valve issues. That is one of my reasons for me choosing to ride a drz. Sure there are faster bikes out there, and lighter bikes, but the old drz keeps running great. As far as maintenance goes change the oil clean filter and ride. I like to change my fork oil once a year, along with my brake fluid and antifreeze. Replace consumable parts, such as chain and sprockets, brakes, tires, or whatever I brake along the way. But I must say my drz's are low upkeep for a dirt-bike.

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I also check the valves a couple of times a year. Still in spec and I pound this poor bike.

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hmm, so in terms of maintenance, I suspect it's pretty similar to quads. i.e. 4T are more complicated than 2T. in general, more dust means more wear, more filter changes, more oil changes, etc... keep water out and lube suspension parts/linkage/stems, etc... change brake pads before they are gone.

in terms of the best bike for you ? some good reliable trail bikes are honda/suzuki/yamaha,kawasaki 4T trail bikes like TTR, XR,DR, KLX etc. they tend to be heavier than a 2T. for woods smaller/lighter bikes are better. something, like a kdx200 is a good all around reliable light woods/trail bike. I'd probably stay away from motorcross 4T (e.g. crf250r, crf450r, kx250f, etc...) for the time being. they are a bit more finicky and regular maintenance is more expensive than 2T. wr250f is pretty nice. I don't know how much you want to spend. I would try to find the nicest (lowest hour) bike in the class you are looking for you can comfortably afford and see if you can test ride it to see how comfortable you feel on it. do you have any friends with some trail bikes who will let you ride one to see what you'd like ?

in the end, most working/well-maintained motorcycles will put a smile on your face. I.e. I ride a xr200r, rmx250, 250exc and until recently xr350r and I'm restoring a cr480r. they all have their strengths. the cr480r will be the hardest to ride (i.e. requires the most skill to not hurt/kill myself), but they are all fun.

Unfortunately most of my friends ride quads ride now :p with the exception of one and he has a yz 250 - and once I sell my quad I'll have around 2500 saved up, I have seen a few bikes on craigslist around here, but most are mx bikes - I've gotten 3 trade offers for kx 250s though

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The DRZ's and WR's don't seem to have valve issues. That is one of my reasons for me choosing to ride a drz. Sure there are faster bikes out there, and lighter bikes, but the old drz keeps running great. As far as maintenance goes change the oil clean filter and ride. I like to change my fork oil once a year, along with my brake fluid and antifreeze. Replace consumable parts, such as chain and sprockets, brakes, tires, or whatever I brake along the way. But I must say my drz's are low upkeep for a dirt-bike.

thanks a lot - I am going to try to look for a wr or a drz!

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I appreciate the help guys - hopefully I can get a bike by the end of this month :p I want one so bad it makes me not even want to ride my quad xD

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Hey man, I too have just started out on dirt bikes, and I've ended up getting a Suzuki dr-z400e, it was recommended to me and I am not disappointed! It's great fun and easy to ride, and they are easy to maintain, don't worry about people saying the engines always blow up they on dirt bikes they don't! Unless it's a 2 stroke! All bikes need to be well maintained but the drz is easy and to look after as must people say they are bullet proof engines, if you don't want high maintenance stay away from ktm they need a lot even though they are sweet bikes other bikes I was recommended where a Kawasaki klx 300 or 450 and a Honda xr 400 all can be found at a decent price.

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Hey dune, if you don't mid me asking, how much would I be looking to pay for a decent drz?

I paid $2000 for my son's 05. It was super clean. Look for an E model between 02 and 06. These have the better suspension than the earlier models, and have not been detuned yet for epa. In the 07 model you got a lesser carb, weaker cams, and less compression.

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Is the wr250 as reliable as a drz400? Bc I was thinking about waiting a couple of months and maybe just getting a new wr250

there are two versions. the wr250r, which is dual sport and the wr250f, which is an enduro race bike. I don't have direct experience with either, but know a few people who have a wr250f and are happy with it, same with the wr450f. people I know who have them are happy with them. I suspect a DRZ is much like a XR400R in reliability and the wr250f/wr450f are probably as reliable when they are maintained properly, but have a more frequent maintenance interval than a DRZ/XR4.

 

so basically:

 

4T MX race bikes (crf450r, etc...) - complex, highly refined, short maintenance intervals, lot's of power & torque (esp the 450cc's)

2T MX race bikes (yz250,ktm250sx), etc..,)  - simpler, shorter maintenance interval, but cheaper maintenance (i.e. topends are cheaper), plenty of power

 

4T enduro/cross country race bikes (wr450/250f, crf450/250r, ktm525xc) - longer maintenance interval, but parts are still expensive (esp. euro bikes)

2T enduro/cross country race bikes (ktm300xc...) - economical race bikes, pretty reliable, parts are cheaper, but european bikes are more expensive)

 

4T trail bikes (drz400,xr400r, etc...) - bullet proof (especially xr400r), not as cheap to rebuild as kdx200 type bikes, but they last a long time. a bit heavy for tight stuff, tractors for hills, etc..., lot's of torque.

 

older 2T trail/enduro bikes (rmx250, wr250z, kdx200/220) - make good economical trail bikes, but don't last as long a 4T trail bike, fun to ride, good power.

 

some of the 90s/early 2000 2T bikes like cr250,kx250 were reasonable trail bikes as well, with some suspension mods. 

 

stay away from open class race bikes (cr500, crf450r, kx500, etc...) until you have some experience with off road motorcycles, while you can ride them mildly, the first time you accidentally yank the throttle too much, you can seriously mess yourself up by looping it, or launching yourself off into a tree/hazard. 

 

it also depends alot on your skill level, riding style and terrain.  there is no "one" bike that will do everything that you won't outgrow, however, bikes like the DRZ/XR4 are pretty good bikes, that you will probably keep, even if you outgrow them and get a faster ride later.

Edited by cynicryder

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Thanks very much cyn - that just pretty well summed up everything I was looking for - I am definitely going to look for a drz or xr

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Would a wr250r e a good bike, if I set it up for trail riding ? I don't plan on riding on road much, but I read that it's comparable to drz400 and cr4s?

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