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Beginner bike for MX + Trails, Possible?

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Hey all, I am currently loving my DRZ400SM for tardin' around town but I also live in a fairly suburban area so there isn't much around dirt-wise.  I am keen on learning to ride trails and MX though and I was wondering what models I should be looking at that could do both (if that's even possible, I know they are very different types of riding).  I'm about 6'1" and 220 lbs so probably I will need a little bit bigger of a bike.  But I'm open to suggestions, the cheaper the better since this will be a side-bike.  Reliability is king!

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Do you want a 2T or 4T ?

I've been trying to read up on it and from what I can tell the difference is:

2-Stroke has more available torque at any given point in the lower end, but has lower top speed and can be more difficult to control than a 4-stroke, requiring much better throttle and clutch control.

4-Stroke has less available torque in the lower end but a greater yield in top end speed and is more forgiving on throttle. Also are much more expensive than 2-strokes for repairs/maintenance if something goes wrong.

 

I would love to try a two-stroke just based on the cost factor alone, but also because it's something different from my thumper.

 

One of my friends recommended to me a KDX200, is that too much to control for a beginner??

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I've been trying to read up on it and from what I can tell the difference is:

2-Stroke has more available torque at any given point in the lower end, but has lower top speed and can be more difficult to control than a 4-stroke, requiring much better throttle and clutch control.

4-Stroke has less available torque in the lower end but a greater yield in top end speed and is more forgiving on throttle. Also are much more expensive than 2-strokes for repairs/maintenance if something goes wrong.

 

I would love to try a two-stroke just based on the cost factor alone, but also because it's something different from my thumper.

 

One of my friends recommended to me a KDX200, is that too much to control for a beginner??

4 strokes have more torque. KDX 200 would be ideal for woods riding but not great for on a MX track

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4 strokes have more torque. KDX 200 would be ideal for woods riding but not great for on a MX track

I mean, I'm not looking to win any races, just to be able to take part.  I just need something that can do both-- not something that will dominate at both

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Yz250 with a flywheel weight. YZs are truly a do all bike with just a couple mods.

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Any 250f. The KDX200 will be horrible on the track.

 

A 450f lets you be lazier, but you have to work harder (yes I meant to say that).

 

The only way to know if a 2t is for you is to ride one. 300xc would be my choice for a trail/track 2t, but its not exactly a beginners bike. Watched my friend (with 2 years experience on his own KTM 450) loop out our other friends 300xc on a wet, rooty, EASY hillclimb and break all sorts of stuff on the bike. Sometimes 2ts are awesome. Sometimes they are a rabid dog. All it takes is too much throttle at just the wrong time. Clutch is key on any 2t. That said a 125 (without enough power to really do that) could be perfect for learning to carry your speed, use the clutch properly, etc. They are cheap and when ready you can move to a bigger bike.

 

Above friend loves his 450 and wouldn't trade it for anything. But I gotta say the 450 was too much for him for a long time. Still is to some degree. I think he would have learned to ride quicker and better on a bike that got him into less trouble and couldn't bail him out of some problems with a twist of the wrist. He had many years street experience/hooliganism.

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Any 250f. The KDX200 will be horrible on the track.

 

A 450f lets you be lazier, but you have to work harder (yes I meant to say that).

 

The only way to know if a 2t is for you is to ride one. 300xc would be my choice for a trail/track 2t, but its not exactly a beginners bike. Watched my friend (with 2 years experience on his own KTM 450) loop out our other friends 300xc on a wet, rooty, EASY hillclimb and break all sorts of stuff on the bike. Sometimes 2ts are awesome. Sometimes they are a rabid dog. All it takes is too much throttle at just the wrong time. Clutch is key on any 2t. That said a 125 (without enough power to really do that) could be perfect for learning to carry your speed, use the clutch properly, etc. They are cheap and when ready you can move to a bigger bike.

 

Above friend loves his 450 and wouldn't trade it for anything. But I gotta say the 450 was too much for him for a long time. Still is to some degree. I think he would have learned to ride quicker and better on a bike that got him into less trouble and couldn't bail him out of some problems with a twist of the wrist. He had many years street experience/hooliganism.

I'm totally fine with starting small, but will 125s support my weight?  Or is that not a matter of displacement and more just suspension tuning?

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I'm totally fine with starting small, but will 125s support my weight?  Or is that not a matter of displacement and more just suspension tuning?

 

Any bike you get will need the suspension tuned for your weight. I actually don't know if 125 frames are smaller than 250/450fs but the last one I rode ('03 yz125)  a few months ago seemed fine for the little I rode it. They aren't real exciting and all your dumb friends will probably laugh at you, but they are great for learning.

 

I do think you get a lot of the same benefits from a 250f and a bike that will probably last longer (skill wise). If you really can't decide find some 2ts to ride and go from there.

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