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Which bike for a bigger guy?


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I'm a 26 year old 6'4 250lb (I'm buff as hell, believe me!) man that wants to get into trail riding dirt biking.

 

I have no experience on two wheels and little experience on ATVs but really want to get into dirt biking and I'm slightly confused with what bike would be best for me. I've done a little googling before posting this thread and most search results point me towards a 450 or up. Is this too much for a new guy? Can I easily learn on a bike that size? Are there any other bikes you would suggest? Doesn't have to be new. (Preferably something under $2k.) 

 

Thanks for your time.

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if you're getting a 4 stroke get a 350cc or bigger bike. if youre getting a 2 stroke a 250 will get the job done. you could get by with a smaller bike but you'll want a bigger bike once you become competent at riding. the drz 400 and xr 400 are good trail bikes for a guy your size to start out with. newer 450 and 500cc race bikes are very powerful and are a bit much for newer riders/

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shit, i cant remember the last time i spent more then 2k for a bike. theirs older bikes in good shape if you look hard enough. 

 

Suzuki dr350 or drz400, Kawasaki kdx220, or Honda xr400 would probably be the best to  start with. If you aren't going to be running tight single track, the Honda xr650r is a good choice as well. Eventually you may want to move to 450 4 stroke or 250 2 stroke, but I would not suggest these to learn on

agreed, i had a kdx 220, nice bike but its to small for him. he'll need bar risers and a tall seat.  im 6ft and felt cramped on mine. it pulled me ok though. im pretty fat to probably 275 with gear.

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Thanks for all your input. I really appreciate it. 

 

With a 2K budget your very limited in options. If you could save up more to increase that budget to 3K, your range of options will go up probably 5x.

 

That is doable. I just said 2k because I wasn't wanting to drop a whole lot on a bike that I might need to upgrade from quickly. What options do you think would be better suited to me at the 3k price range? Thanks.

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Thanks for all your input. I really appreciate it. 

 

 

That is doable. I just said 2k because I wasn't wanting to drop a whole lot on a bike that I might need to upgrade from quickly. What options do you think would be better suited to me at the 3k price range? Thanks.

If you know you are committed to the sport for sure, then as an adult I think it's reasonable to go for a bike that will last you a long time, not just something to ease into the sport with.  As an inherently heavy person due to height, you're going to want power, but obviously it needs to be manageable, not a strict motocross bike.  I'm thinking something like a 2003 - 2007 KTM 300XCW/EXC (same model, just updated labeling) might be a reasonable bike to look at. The 03-07 XCW/EXC's are two generation outdated of chassis, but are decent nonetheless, especially for a novice rider. Also with it being a 2 stroke, maintenance will be much more reasonable for an inexperienced mechanic as well as more affordable. I actually just found a bike that looks to be in super condition that seems to be relatively close to you.  http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mcy/4777419110.html

Edited by motonack
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2nd the KTM 300 although you'll have some trouble finding a decent one for less than $3K most places. You can set up the powervalve to make easy, tractable power and crank it up as your skills improve. Resale on them is strong if you find it's not the bike for you.

A 450 is way too much bike for a beginner even if he is big. Even experienced street riders comfortable with liter bike power have trouble learning dirt skills on one.

Keep in mind that at 220lbs the springs will be way too soft and the suspension will be buried in the stroke until you respring for your weight. Plan on at least a few hundred bucks if you do the work yourself, $500 or so for a shop.

At this rate, a $2K investment isn't very likely, more like $4K to have a proper bike.

The other route to take is to buy something like an XR400 or KDX just to get your feet wet. Ride it as-is for a while and upgrade within a couple of years. If you buy a decent one, keep up with the maintenance and don't get crazy with upgrades you'll get all your money back when you sell it.

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KDX is a great bike to learn on and you'll probably be able to sell it for what you paid.Being your first bike don't buy anything to sweet...not yet anyway. The first bike will be dropped about a hundred times or so. Ask me how I know. Second bike is the one to settle down on for a while and plunk down some cash. My two cents...

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Thanks everybody! I appreciate all the advice. I think I'll save up a little more money and try to find a local KTM300XCW. If I happen to stumble upon a XR400 or KDX220 for a decent deal I might pull the trigger on one of those. Thanks again.

 

Part of the answer to 'which bike?' is gonna come from you and how good an athlete you are. If you've got good reflexes, good balance, tend to learn fast and are a 'get back on the horse' type, it's not out of the question to start with pretty much whatever comes along, including a 250F or 450F, that works and is cheap, especially if you find one that was owned by another big guy who already set up it up. You're gonna crash so, gear is a must, more so than the 'perfect' bike. Boots, helmet, chest protector, knee, elbow, all of it. You are GONNA crash.

 

It would be good if you had some riding buddies to help get you going on basic technique so that when you crash you have a little better idea why the next crash happened and, to me, that's the bottom line; you don't know shit to begin with and a more appropriate bike is going to be wasted on you until you do know what you're doing. At this point, at your size, there is not a world of difference between the MOST PERFECT bike for you in the world vs. a rather typical used whatever. Maybe you wreck a few more times and maybe a little more spectacularly with the 'wrong' bike, but, maybe you learn faster, too. Plus, your buds will, hopefully, have GoPro's and get the best stuff recorded.

 

Dirt bikes are dangerous as hell and only adrenaline addicted morons ride them but, they are also just about the kewlest thing in world history right after the electric guitar and beer. Or, is it beer and then the electric guitar? I can never keep them straight. Point being, at this point, part of your responsibility, if you are going to join the club, is to go create your chapter in the book of Dirt Bikes. Whatever you get, if you're cool enough to be one of us, this is merely bike #1 and most people were on the 'wrong' bike for #1 but, didn't really know what that meant until bike #2 and it wouldn't have mattered anyway. "I crashed the hell out of the perfect bike for me and then I got pretty good".  No one says that. Being ON a bike, some bike, any bike, is the point.

 

 

I would say avoid Cr500's and KX500's. They will probably kill you.

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Part of the answer to 'which bike?' is gonna come from you and how good an athlete you are. If you've got good reflexes, good balance, tend to learn fast and are a 'get back on the horse' type, it's not out of the question to start with pretty much whatever comes along, including a 250F or 450F, that works and is cheap, especially if you find one that was owned by another big guy who already set up it up. You're gonna crash so, gear is a must, more so than the 'perfect' bike. Boots, helmet, chest protector, knee, elbow, all of it. You are GONNA crash.

 

It would be good if you had some riding buddies to help get you going on basic technique so that when you crash you have a little better idea why the next crash happened and, to me, that's the bottom line; you don't know shit to begin with and a more appropriate bike is going to be wasted on you until you do know what you're doing. At this point, at your size, there is not a world of difference between the MOST PERFECT bike for you in the world vs. a rather typical used whatever. Maybe you wreck a few more times and maybe a little more spectacularly with the 'wrong' bike, but, maybe you learn faster, too. Plus, your buds will, hopefully, have GoPro's and get the best stuff recorded.

 

Dirt bikes are dangerous as hell and only adrenaline addicted morons ride them but, they are also just about the kewlest thing in world history right after the electric guitar and beer. Or, is it beer and then the electric guitar? I can never keep them straight. Point being, at this point, part of your responsibility, if you are going to join the club, is to go create your chapter in the book of Dirt Bikes. Whatever you get, if you're cool enough to be one of us, this is merely bike #1 and most people were on the 'wrong' bike for #1 but, didn't really know what that meant until bike #2 and it wouldn't have mattered anyway. "I crashed the hell out of the perfect bike for me and then I got pretty good".  No one says that. Being ON a bike, some bike, any bike, is the point.

 

 

I would say avoid Cr500's and KX500's. They will probably kill you.

That's a great post.

I started riding when I was three, on a 3hp minibike. Couldn't even come close to touching the ground with my feet. Fast forward to six years old and I'm on a race ported YZ80. At eleven I had a Honda CR250.

 

Every one of these bikes was a bad fit. Yes my dear old Dad was a bit of an idiot... 

 

But at least I was riding. To the OP, do like this guys says above: BUY THE GEAR... at least a helmet and boots to start. You'll want more than that in short order.

And then buy a bike. Like I said, if we all had to start out on the perfect bike we wouldn't have been riding. Get something and get out there. Dirtbiking is just a ridiculous amount of fun!

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Part of the answer to 'which bike?' is gonna come from you and how good an athlete you are. If you've got good reflexes, good balance, tend to learn fast and are a 'get back on the horse' type, it's not out of the question to start with pretty much whatever comes along, including a 250F or 450F, that works and is cheap, especially if you find one that was owned by another big guy who already set up it up. You're gonna crash so, gear is a must, more so than the 'perfect' bike. Boots, helmet, chest protector, knee, elbow, all of it. You are GONNA crash.

 

It would be good if you had some riding buddies to help get you going on basic technique so that when you crash you have a little better idea why the next crash happened and, to me, that's the bottom line; you don't know shit to begin with and a more appropriate bike is going to be wasted on you until you do know what you're doing. At this point, at your size, there is not a world of difference between the MOST PERFECT bike for you in the world vs. a rather typical used whatever. Maybe you wreck a few more times and maybe a little more spectacularly with the 'wrong' bike, but, maybe you learn faster, too. Plus, your buds will, hopefully, have GoPro's and get the best stuff recorded.

 

Dirt bikes are dangerous as hell and only adrenaline addicted morons ride them but, they are also just about the kewlest thing in world history right after the electric guitar and beer. Or, is it beer and then the electric guitar? I can never keep them straight. Point being, at this point, part of your responsibility, if you are going to join the club, is to go create your chapter in the book of Dirt Bikes. Whatever you get, if you're cool enough to be one of us, this is merely bike #1 and most people were on the 'wrong' bike for #1 but, didn't really know what that meant until bike #2 and it wouldn't have mattered anyway. "I crashed the hell out of the perfect bike for me and then I got pretty good".  No one says that. Being ON a bike, some bike, any bike, is the point.

 

 

I would say avoid Cr500's and KX500's. They will probably kill you.

 

Right on! I suppose I was on a bit of a "unicorn" hunt for a perfect bike but your post really puts it in perspective. Thanks. I'm leaning towards a KDX220/KTM300EXW but will definetly play the field a little more than I had originally sought out to do. Minus any 500s or really tricked out bikes. Haha.

 

Oh, and I think its electric guitar and then beer! 😛

Edited by BigTonyMcGee
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Right on! I suppose I was on a bit of a "unicorn" hunt...

Hmmm...I was gonna say I see no good choice let alone purpose for an ATV but, if there is one, that might be it. 

 

I can go with guitar/beer but, I'm not sure. Is the beer to celebrate the guitar or is the guitar to write songs about beer???? Far tougher question!

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That's a great post.

I started riding when I was three, on a 3hp minibike. Couldn't even come close to touching the ground with my feet. Fast forward to six years old and I'm on a race ported YZ80. At eleven I had a Honda CR250.

 

Every one of these bikes was a bad fit. Yes my dear old Dad was a bit of an idiot... 

 

But at least I was riding. To the OP, do like this guys says above: BUY THE GEAR... at least a helmet and boots to start. You'll want more than that in short order.

And then buy a bike. Like I said, if we all had to start out on the perfect bike we wouldn't have been riding. Get something and get out there. Dirtbiking is just a ridiculous amount of fun!

 

That's what I am talking about; yet another chapter in the Book of Dirt Bike.     

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