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Suggestions on 125's

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First off I feel bad posting this as I've given advice in this section before, but I keep finding myself going back and forth on bikes.

This may get a little long but here goes:

I started riding at about age 18. I had a 96 KDX 200. From what I remember it was a lot of fun, but it never had any kind of hit to it. I know KDX's are pretty mellow, but this thing wouldn't get on the pipe even a little. After I sold it I realized the power valve was stuck closed. I had nice low end but no real power.

I had nobody really to ride with and nobody to really turn to for riding help so I sold it and bought a quad. That didn't last too long either.

Anyway after about a 6 year break I got a smoking deal on a 2000 KTM 250EXC. That bike was really fun but I still didn't have any real skill and to be honest it scared me. Sold it after about a year.

After another 6 years or so I bought a 99 XR400. This was my last bike. It was nice too, I liked the low end power but after the low end it just fell off. It seemed like after the initial grunt twisting the throttle more just made more noise. It was pretty heavy, and starting after a fall was a real PITA.

I ended up selling it and have been bike less for about 2 years.

About me, I'm 30 years old, 6,1", and about 195. I pretty much consider myself a beginner and I want to just start over fresh with my approach to riding. I'd like to clear all the bad habits and pretend I'm riding for the first time.

I ride trails only, never been to a track, but I don't want to rule that out. My budget for a bike will be between $1500-2000. I'm open to most anything except 4 stroke MX bikes, but after starting a flooded XR I'm really leaning toward a 2 stroke. My thought is since I want a fresh start to learn good riding skills is pick up a yz125. The trails I ride aren't extremely tight, but I'm not sure if that would be good for me being kind of heavy. The others I am considering are a KDX200/220, and maybe a KTM 200EXC. I have never had the chance to ride a KDX that was running like it should. I've ridden a 125 several years ago, and I liked the top end power. Does a good running KDX pull like that?

One more criteria is that I have a 5 year old boy. I am thinking about picking him up a pw50 or something after I get a bike so I'd definitely need to be able to follow him.

Again, sorry for the length but I wanted to try to give all the details.

Joey

Edited by JFortner5

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Go try out the KDX200 or 220! I'm pretty sure after ya try a good running one out I think it's safe to say you'd be very happy with the results.... Now if ya Wana think out side the box a bit 99-02 Kx125 roller with a KDX motor in there.

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I forgot to mention I am not a real aggressive rider. However I don't want to just putt through the trails, I do want to continually improve and become faster.

A hybrid sounds cool but I have a long way to go before the bike becomes the limiting factor lol.

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KDX was my first choice and I always seem to come back to it when I'm researching bikes.

But then I always read about 125's teaching skills that transfer to other bikes and help make a better rider. My main goal of course is to have fun, but I want to get better as well.

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Ive red your forum and I've also never ridden a 200 2 stroke but to me it sounds like a cr 125 or something like that would suit you. I'm 5'7 110 and I ride a 2003 cr 125. I've never been at a track but ride trails all the time and the bike works great. Its pretty hard to get into the top end in the tight trails but when I get into a open field, the bike loves to pull up the front wheel in 4th... Its scary fast and very light. You obviously way quite a bit more than me so I'm sure that the power on it would be very manageable. They're also quite cheap and easy to work on. Today is actually my sweet 16 but when I was 15 I replaced the top end by myself on a bagel bakery salary lol. Basically what I'm saying is that it sounds like this bike would be great for the trails following your son, but when you get into a place where you can really open it up it will fly for you. 

Not to mention I bought my 03 for $1300... I don't think you will be finding a ktm 200 for anything like that. :p

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There are a few around 15-1800 near by, but you're right is easy to find a 125 in that price range. I'm still not quite ready to buy a bike yet but I love thinking about it looking at them until I can.

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I love my 04 Yz 125. Every one likes to say they suck on trails, but how treacherous is the trails you're riding? Unless I'm scaling a mountain I'll have a hard time keeping it from bogging.

Biggest thing is making sure they're jetted correctly so you don't foul plugs all day.

The 125's are super light and snappy and are easy to flick around on the trails

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I used my 05 YZ 125 for woods riding and hare scrambles and found it pretty good. I weigh between 185-190 without gear and actually found the stock suspension was pretty good in the woods. I ran a heavy flywheel weight which helped and ran a 12 tooth sprocket up front which really helped it in the tight technical, slow sections. I spent the most time leaning the bike out so it wouldn't foul plugs in the woods at low speeds. I'm pretty much at sea level and had to go to a 40 pilot jet and adjust my fuel screw 2.5 turns out to get it right. I dropped the needle one notch as well. Using a thinner base gasket or just silicone helped the bottom end power a bit too. It was nice and light in the woods, relatively easy to ride and cheap to work on. I would recommend it.

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Thanks for the replies. I think I mentioned I had ridden a 125, but that was a long time ago and it was just out in an open field so I have no real experience on one.

It seems like everyone says they are horrible for woods, but I often wonder how many of the people who say that have ridden them.

I do like the idea of a really light bike, but I'm still liking the KDX too.

I think it's just gonna come down to the cleanest bike I can find within my budget be it a 125 or a 200.

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