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Big Guy, Interested in Trail Riding

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So my buddies and I have all decided that we are going to get bikes before next summer to go ride trails mostly in NM.  I know nothing about dirt bikes and I would like some recommendations/tips for buying a bike.  I am 6'2" and 250 lbs. I mostly ski and Mt. Bike now, but think of more like a lineman build.  The only bike I have ridden (once maybe 3 miles on a pretty flat dirt road) was a KTM 650 (not sure on the exact model).  I have done a lot of ATV riding mostly on a Grizzly 700 (not sure that is relevant) in the Absaroka Wilderness in MT (pretty rough area). 

 

My buddy just picked up a Honda 230 (again not sure on specifics) for $700 w/o doing any research.  I would also like to pick up a cheap(ish) bike to make sure I enjoy it prior to making a large investment.  Something that would be a decent bike for a few months that I could sell again close to cost.  I was thinking under $1500.

 

Any and all advice is welcome.  In the near future I am obviously looking for used and cheap, but some advice on what kind of bike would be ideal (not considering cost) is great too.  Anything in particular to watch out for when buying a used bike would be awesome as well.

 

Thanks!

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you might be able to find a Yamaha TTR 230 for that money...

 

maybe able to find an early 400/426 but i'd bet it would be roached

 

could go the 2 stroke way but not great for a beginner

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Under 1500 is a little hard to do but there are a few out there. Under 2500 really opens up your buying possibillities.

 

Here's an idea: http://sacramento.craigslist.org/mcy/4558038855.html

or

http://denver.craigslist.org/mcy/4602486909.html

 

I know these are a ways away from NM, but it's a start. Check out http://www.bikefinds.com/ for more!

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I second the ttr 230 advice. I would also strongly consider a xr 400 or some xr which ever size your feel comfortable with. The xr is the most bulletproof bike out there. but if you can find your self a crf 230 ttr 230 or a xr of your preferable size you will be set for all the trails especially since your friend has a 230 you'll stick right with him compared to if he had a crf450x you would be way behind. Good luck.

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On the cheap end, a 2 stroke would be the way to go.  I'm guessing the majority of dirt bikers learned on a 2-stroke, so I don't see it being a big deal.  Just take into consideration that at 250lbs or so, you may need to change out the springs depending on what the prior owner was using.  This may add $200-350 or so depending on spring cost, if you will do the work your self, take it to a shop, etc.

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$1500 budget is problematic for buying anything more than a trail bike (CRF230F, TT-R 230 DRZ 250).  Possibly might be able to find XR250/XR400, but usually not that cheap.  One other thought is the older Yamaha WR250's (2 strokes) or you might be able to find KDX200 in the $1500-$1800 range (I paid $1800 for '06 KDX200 in middle of winter a couple years ago).

 

If you move up to $2500, there are more possibilities (WR250F/WR450F, CRF250X/CRF450X, KLX450R, maybe an older KTM 200/250 XCW or EXC.

 

http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/mcy/4568701437.html

 

 

Not sure where in New Mexico you are....but you might try www.searchtempest.com to open up your search.  Lot more bikes for sale in Colorado than in NM.

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A KDX200 two stroke would be a good fit for you. It's a good two stroke for the trails and they are reliable for a two stroke. I found a 1999 which seems to be in good condition in Santa Fe for $1300 (http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/mcy/4561006729.html). Here's a 1994 in Belen for $1200 (http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/cto/4602572206.html)

 

 

nice find.....i wouldnt go any older than 97.  The '97-06 run was the same "h" series model.  Prior to '97, parts are getting tough to find.  I am still able to order OEM parts for our 2006 KDX200 and I would wager 90+% of parts are the same between 97-06

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nice find.....i wouldnt go any older than 97. The '97-06 run was the same "h" series model. Prior to '97, parts are getting tough to find. I am still able to order OEM parts for our 2006 KDX200 and I would wager 90+% of parts are the same between 97-06

Yeah I'd definitely go with the '99 over the '94. Especially since its only $100 more

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Outside tight trails, its all about HP weight ratio with appropriate suspension. Big guy, big bike. Older XRs and DRs are bullet proof. The small kdx would be good if there's a lot of tight trails. Soft sand will have you pushing a small bike or burning clutches.

What type of riding do you plan? A lot of variation in NM. Does it need plates and blinky lights?

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So quick update and thanks for all of the advice. I ended up grabbing an 07 RMZ450. Not really a trail bike or what I was looking for, but I grabbed it for 1800 and it has barely been ridden. Figured I could play on that and get comfortable and then switch to something more fitting for my style of riding. So I've been riding dirt roads mainly and tried some open (relative to most of the single track in northern NM) trails. So far I love it, but it is becoming obvious that I want a real dualsport to cruise through the mountains and find trails. I keep dumping the bike out of my truck, riding a mile or two, and then hitting dead ends. Then I have to reload, drive somewhere else and unload again.

Anyways, the biggest problem I have with this bike is the handlebar height. If I try to stand up, my hands are either at ball height or I'm bent over so far that you could balance a bottle on my back. Planning on fixing that soon. Any other things I should look at as far as little tweaks? Don't want to spend a ton as it seems likely that I will trade up in the near future. Oh and I mostly ride hard dirt and rocks. Only sand I encounter is crossing washouts. Thanks again for all of the help.

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I'd start with risers and a tall seat. I rode an 07 RMZ 450 that had been setup for the woods and it was quite nice (suspension, big tank, skid plate, bark busters and a bit lower gearing), I was just dead set on a FI bike...

 

Look into NM's laws on street plating, you may be able to get bike road worthy with some minor changes (typically, light, signals, speedo, mirrors)

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I'd start with risers and a tall seat. I rode an 07 RMZ 450 that had been setup for the woods and it was quite nice (suspension, big tank, skid plate, bark busters and a bit lower gearing), I was just dead set on a FI bike...

 

Look into NM's laws on street plating, you may be able to get bike road worthy with some minor changes (typically, light, signals, speedo, mirrors)

+1

I'm 6'2", 240, and put 25MM risers and a tall seat on a 300XC. It made a world of difference

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Nice thanks. Unfortunately NM makes it impossible to re title an off road vehicle as a highway vehicle. I would need to take the bike to CO and sell it to my uncle (after meeting CO street standards) and have him get a new title.

So I'm looking at risers and I see a lot at 7/8 and around an inch. Is that enough to make a difference? Am I not looking in the right places?

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Pastrana bars instead of risers. Adds an inch and keeps the bars forward. Risers move the bars back as well as up. Taller seat helps too. I run pastrana bars, 1/4" risers and a tall seat. Works great.

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Oh I'm dumb, that's the bar diameter. I found the Tusk risers 15 and 30 mm.

30MM is pretty tall. I've been happy with the 25. It makes a lot bigger difference than you think. Moving the bars back wasnt a problem for me. My bike has 4 different settings for bar position. The tall seat is a great addition, too. Especially if you are older. It makes the transition from seated to standing so much easier. Seat and risers from Enduro Engineering were about $140 combined

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Another option might be to look at different handlebars. Fly makes some nice alloy bars with several bends available for about $30 list. I think I paid $25 at the dealer. Motorcycle super store lists the dimensions of each bend. A tape measure and some way to measure angles will help determine where you are, and you can decide where you want to go. Due to the slight differences of the "Yamaha bend" l ordered, I was able to cut the fly's an inch narrower and saved over a pound by getting the cut steelys gone.

Edited by knudsen

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