Looking to move from Quads to Dirt Bikes

----Alright I think I posted this in the wrong forum at first, so I just copied it and am reposting it here, I apologize if you see the duplicate----


This is probably the millionth threadicon1.png like this y'all have seen, so I'm going to preface the rest of this by apologizing and pleading for your help.


So, here's the deal: I've been riding quads my whole life, and most recently I've been riding/racing a 2007 Suzuki Z-400 since...well...2007. However, I've always wanted a dirt bikeicon1.png, and now I'm at a point in my life where getting a dirt bike is feasible and more practical for me. I'm not a novice rider, and whichever bike I get I know I'll be riding hard (hah) so I need something to last. I haven't ridden any dirt bikes in recent years so that I'd feel comfortable making an informed decision on my own, which is why I'm reaching out to you for help. 


I'm 5'11", 170 lbs, and in good shape. My main riding areas will be in Midwestern/Southern Indiana in the woods and fields.


Riding Style: Aggressive. I'm not going to drop thousands of dollars on an off road vehicle to treat it like a princess. I get my money's worth. That Z-400 has been to hell and back about 4 times but is still holding on.


Budget: Let's not worry about this. I want to hear everyone's opinions with the financial aspect completely removed. I am however looking at purchasing a new, not used, dirt bike, so I'm expecting it to be expensive.


With my limited experience and my large amount of uninformed research, it seems to come down to either a 250 or 450. I'd like to hear your opinions on those, as well as any other you might suggest.


Thank you for reading my post, and thank you in advanced for any information/advice you can offer me.


I read your other thread and came here. The yz250f is a 4 stroke and the yz250 is a 2 stroke. I'm not looking at the specs but the 2 stroke is probably lighter by a few pounds (probably not enough to be a big factor) and has more power. I'm not an expert but I believe a 250f puts down around 35-37hp and the 250 would be around 45-48ish.

I am familiar with z400's I used to own one. You're probably used to the checking of valve clearance and shims and all that. The 250f would probably require a little more attention to maintenance than the z400 only because they rev 3000rpm higher. Never owned one just from what I hear.

I don't mean to start a 2 vs 4 stroke argument but the 2 stroke is a much simpler engine with fewer parts. The top end will have to be rebuilt maybe more frequently but it is quite a bit cheaper than a 4 stroke to do. If it blows up big than its also a pretty big difference in rebuilding money wise. You said budget doesn't matter much so that may not be of concern.

But really to sum it up a yz250 and a 250f aren't in the same class. A 2 stroke 125 is more comparable to the 250f where the yz250 is with the yz450f.

I've ridden a 250f and it was pretty fast. I had a KTM 250 2 stroke and it scared me lol. I wouldn't rule out a yz125 though. In a straight line I think it would pull away from a z400. The general consensus is that starting on a 125 makes you a better rider because it teaches you good throttle/clutch control that will transfer over if and when you move to a bigger bike. I kind of wish I had done that.

One more thing, a 450 may be a little much if you've been off of bike for a while. I don't know your skill level but the 450's are brutally fast.

Maybe that will help a little, I'm sure someone will chime in that knows more about it than me.


Edited by Racerjoey1



If money is no issue.. the CRF450R hands down.


Go big, Go fast, or Go home.. just don't get hurt trying.!



Check out these guys. (Soggy Bottom Boyz..)






Thank you for going into that much detail. I think for my purposes I'm just going to stick with a 4 stroke. I've never ridden a 2 stroke bike, but a while back I got a chance to take a banshee 350 out for a spin, that thing was an absolute blast. Still preferred my z400 though haha but that might just be from putting so many hours on it.


I think you might be right about the 450. I contacted a friend who used to race and he said the same thing. The only concern I have is do you think I would "outgrow" the 250 fairly fast and start wanting more power, or do you think it'll last me a good while especially since my dirt bike experience is limited? I've never had experience on a 250, so I don't know what to compare it to. The last time I rode a dirt bike was a couple years ago on my cousins KTM 450 that he had decked out for GNCC racing. I didn't spend too much time on it but hot damn did that thing was like a rocket.


For 250's, a friend turned me on to the Yamaha WR250F. Any experience/thoughts on that one? They also have a 450F, although it's looking like I'll just end up killing myself on a 450 lol.






Thanks for the suggestion, any particular reason why I should go with the 450?

And as far as skill level:


I'm by no means an expert, but (not to toot my own horn) I am pretty good. However, that's on a quad. I just don't know how well that skill translates over to dirt bikes.

If money was no object for me, there would be a new KTM 300 XCW sitting in my garage instead of a `05 CRF450.

Check them out, it might be a good fit for you.


If you have the opportunity, I`d suggest round up some of those friends/cousins and try out a few different bikes.


This 450 I picked up will be more than enough machine for me, but it will take some getting used to the difference from a 2-smoke.

Well it's not that money is completely no object haha, I've just budgeted well and have a well enough paying job so that I'd still feel financially stable purchasing a bike new.

I just got back from going into a shop and looked at the Yamaha WR250F, any thoughts on that one? The throttle stop on it is retarded but apparently that can easily be removed.

I understand budgeting and currently have a home mortgage, payments on 2012 Tacoma TRD/TXPro, 2011 Impala work car, and 2011 `Busa, not to mention other obligations.


I have no experience with that WR, and for the most part dirt bikes in general; I have been w/out one for quite some time.


I just mention the KTM, because I like the 2 stroke, and of the bikes available today, KTM would be my choice.


From what I understand the XC-W model has a wider spread between gears made more for woods riding? (I`m sure someone will correct me if wrong)

Not sure if much else is changed from the XC, flywheel weight..dunno?


Take your time and do as much research you can, some fairly serious change for a new toy. Hope whatever you decide works well for you.


hope more will chime in here too.


Edit--2013 Tacoma..lol..be paying on that sucker for awhile

Edited by Nosmoke

If you're interested in a 4T but think you'll out-grow a 250f and worried a 450 might be too much you should consider looking into a 350xcw. Great woods weapon, lighter than a 450 and more grunt than a 250f. Nimble in the woods too. Plus, it has the easy button for those times when a kick start isn't practical (steeps and crossings).

Just a thought.

In my opinion there isn't much that translates from quad riding to dirt bikes except maybe picking lines and just being smart. Even picking lines is different because you only have one tire track to worry about.

I guess to answer the question if money was not a factor I'd probably look for a wr250f. Somebody mentioned it but the wr has a wide ratio transmission for trail riding where the yz has the close ratio.

I don't know really I can't afford a new bike yet so I don't know much about the new models.

I'm looking for a KDX.

Yeah it's starting to look like the WR250F is going to be my best bet. I've always been an advocate of "overkill is underrated", but I think going with a 450 in this case will be how I end up with two broken legs and half an arm.


Just found out my buddy has an RM-Z250 that he'll let me try out, so hopefully that'll give me an even better idea of what to get. Thank you everyone for your input!

Negative. The WR's come all corked up so a 450 won't dislocate any joints until it is remapped and opened up. Go for the 450. It's a sweet bike. Both are bullet proof.

Also the power delivery and the suspension on the mx bikes are way different from those of woods bikes. Don't compare the power or the ride of the rmz and expect the same thing from a wr. Two very different bikes.

Edited by poconovfr

Gotcha, that'll give me something to think about. What about the weight factor though? Most of my riding will be semi open to tight trails, and the fields (once we get the crops out). I'm assuming the 450 is harder to maneuver but is it really that big of a difference?

I rode quads for years, had a built trx450r, so I naturally went and got s crf450r... Yes they are fast, but a little common sense and practice and it's all good! Just take it slow... I'm glad I did as I probably would have out grown a smaller bike after some time on it.

Gotcha, that'll give me something to think about. What about the weight factor though? Most of my riding will be semi open to tight trails, and the fields (once we get the crops out). I'm assuming the 450 is harder to maneuver but is it really that big of a difference?

not really. If you plan on racing then go lighter. If you plan on trail riding the weight isn't a big factor until you have to pick it up late in the day. Then you're reminded it's 270.



was that crf450r your first dirt bike?





So basically the WR450F is going to be  a lot more mellow than say a YZ450F?


The WR450F a will have better all around trail manners than the YZ450F. General rule of thumb, if it came from the factory with a head light it will be more trail friendly than it's closed course brethren. In most cases anyway. I ride a 450XCF and it's got quite a bit more bark than the 450XCW I was considering, yet both are considered woods bikes.

It was my first motorized bike, not just dirtbike, had always been on quads till then and ive never had a road bike

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