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From street to dirt? What to buy?

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My background:  Street bike riding for ~15 years.  R1's, GSX-R 1K, Ducati 1098S, etc.  I've had about 6 bikes and currently I ride a 2007 1098S dedicated track bike.  I try to get out to the track often and I typically am in the fastest groups out there.  My track bike has it all, full Ohlins NIX forks, TTX shock, slipper clutch, race glass, fully race prepped, etc.  I definitely take it serious and hit it hard.

 

I want to add a dirt bike to my stable.  I have very little experience riding dirt bikes.  I've ridden a couple friends over the years in the past when we're out at the desert, but that's about it.  I've never owned one, never been to a dirt track, etc.

 

I am 36 years old, 6'3", about 210lbs.  I was thinking right off the bat, maybe a used up to 2008 or so CRF450R.  Then I wonder really how much track time am I going to get, vs tearing it up out in the desert?  There is a track local to me and my friend who I race with has a dirt bike and recommends going there, so I figure a good amount.  He is on a 250 and says he is fine with it, but then he also races an air cooled hyper motard, so I dont think he is concerned with the absolute fastest times and such.

 

I think I will enlist him when the time comes to actually buy a bike, so he can inspect it over, give his thoughts, etc.  but I am vascilating between CC's, brands and type of dirt bike.  I won't be dual-sporting so thats out, this really for some dirt track here and there as well as taking it with me when I go out to the desert to shoot guns, and just tear it up in the hills.  No sand.

 

Thanks for any feedback, it helps steer me in the right direction.

Edited by Agr0

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You are about my size.  You should be able to handle a 450.  They are a little much on a mx track but you can tame them down.  With your size a 250 would be OK on a MX track but you would hate it in the open desert.

 

If you really want to develop MX skills though it is better to start on a smaller bike.  All you will learn on a 450 on a mx track is how to survive.  Kinda like if you put an inexperienced rider on a go kart track on your 1098.

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By dirt track to you mean motocross? If so get the newest 250f you can afford and ride the wheels off it. It won't be bad in the dez if you get one with a 6spd trans.

Lots of the bozos on here will tell you to get a two stroke but there is a reason(s) there is so few at the track.

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By dirt track to you mean motocross? If so get the newest 250f you can afford and ride the wheels off it. It won't be bad in the dez if you get one with a 6spd trans.

Lots of the bozos on here will tell you to get a two stroke but there is a reason(s) there is so few at the track.

Reasons being?

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Reasons being?

there is no reason, two strokes and four strokes can both get the job done, depends on what you like better.

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there is no reason, two strokes and four strokes can both get the job done, depends on what you like better.

I understand that, I'm just curious as to what tommyb's opinion is.

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My opinion is that a 4t is easier to ride in general and track lays out favor them. Riding a 250f is a lot like a 125, the rider can not be lazy, need to keep the revs up to get around quickly. I have owned and raced them all.

My fastest lap times are on my 450. I can make mistakes and recover quick, ride lazy, rely on the motor to pull me around. They feel planted and predictable.

My slowest laps are on a 250 2t. Can't tell you how many I've owned, always preferred other bikes in the stable more and my buddies would comment on my decrease of speed on them even if I felt good.

My most fun laps are on a 125 2t. The sound of a 125 singing brings a smile to everyone's face but don't make any mistakes, it will cost you(time/positions). Corner speed, corner speed, corner speed!

My most confident laps are on a 250f. I can really hang it out and feel completely in control the whole time.

Edited by TommyB 754
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My opinion is that a 4t is easier to ride in general and track lays out favor them. Riding a 250f is a lot like a 125, the rider can not be lazy, need to keep the revs up to get around quickly. I have owned and raced them all.

My fastest lap times are on my 450. I can make mistakes and recover quick, ride lazy, rely on the motor to pull me around. They feel planted and predictable.

My slowest laps are on a 250 2t. Can't tell you how many I've owned, always preferred other bikes in the stable more and my buddies would comment on my decrease of speed on them even if I felt good.

My most fun laps are on a 125 2t. The sound of a 125 singing brings a smile to everyone's face but don't make any mistakes, it will cost you(time/positions). Corner speed, corner speed, corner speed!

My most confident laps are on a 250f. I can really hang it out and feel completely in control the whole time.

Fair enough. Good points.

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To the OP, prepare to learn to ride all over again. Virtually nothing about street technique carries over to dirt. In fact a lot of it is opposite.

 

And fair warning, a 450MX bike is gonna be faster than your Duc, R1, Gixxer, etc. relative to the environment. By that I mean that a 450 WILL put you on your head in any gear, and almost instantly. I usually caution new riders against them but a very experienced street rider can handle it.

 

I have been riding street/trackdays for many years and had my share of literbikes. I think offroad is more fun and it's certainly cheaper.

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I vote a nice, well kept, newer, 250f, i'm sure it will be fine, malcolm stewart can race one in supercross, you can learn to ride on one just fine :thumbsup: 

 

Be sure to be careful at first, it is still a motorcycle, but nothing alike :p Have fun with it most importantly, if you're doing it and it frustrates you, change something, it's supposed to be fun and that's what it's all about. And if you buy a bike and decide you don't like it, sell it and buy something you do want. Whatever you do, if you want it to be, it will be a blast!

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