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Sooo...California girl transplant stuck in Colorado - buying a dirtbike and trying to decide which one...any opinions?

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Give a kdx 200 a look.  They are mtn goats.  if you can find one in good condition, consider it.  Very low maintenance.  Very capable trail bike.  Good parts availability.  Most any suspension tuner can work on / improve it if necessary.   Like previously stated, shave the seat a little, get a lowering link and raise the forks slightly in the clamps.  All combined should give you a reasonable height.

Another option is find a used Husqvarna wr144.  Great suspension, the motor's are surprisingly good and again they are very durable and easy to work on.  The advantage of them is they can be had for very reasonable $$$.   I'm 200lbs + gear.  I can ride my 144 just about anywhere.  I haven't done any long sand climbs, but ridden just about everything else...

http://vimeo.com/110672616

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If you want a 250 get one then go visit Davey Durelle at Durelle racing in Elizabeth. He will be able to respring and lower the bike to work for you.

My wife has had 3 of her bikes done. Kdx 200, 400 exc and 350 exc. the advantage of lowering it by putting in spacers, they can be taken out when you sell it. Although many of my shorter inseam friends love her short 400.

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If you want a 250 get one then go visit Davey Durelle at Durelle racing in Elizabeth. He will be able to respring and lower the bike to work for you.

My wife has had 3 of her bikes done. Kdx 200, 400 exc and 350 exc. the advantage of lowering it by putting in spacers, they can be taken out when you sell it. Although many of my shorter inseam friends love her short 400.

This is excellent advise. Most other "suspension guys" can also lower your suspension. This is the bast way to get your bike lower and not screw up the handling by altering the geometry. Shaving the seat foam also helps and is a no cost option.

CoKTM

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Yeah I'm not so sure that I'd get hung up on size of engine

Kailub Russell won the last GNCC on a 150 cc KTM against all the 450cc

guys,course he's not just anybody but he even beat Charlie Mullins who had just come back.

My son lives in Colorado and we ride there often and his wife rides a 150 cc KTM and it

does everything that we do just have to ride it a little harder.

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The kind of bike you get depends on what kind of riding you want to do, although at $2K your options are limited. And do you have 2K for a bike and another grand for suspension mods?

So tell us, are you an adrenaline junky or a trail plonker? Do you want to ride strictly fire roads and wide trails? Steep singletrack? Do you want to be able to go on an MX track? Etc, etc.

 

There is a bike out there to do what you want but other than just a general recommendation like "Buy the nicest and newest YZ250 you can afford" it's hard to give advice.

 

From the description you gave, you are pretty much a novice rider. While they are a ton of fun in open areas, a 250 two stroke MXer is whole lot of bike for the trails and the suspension is valved wrong for it. If you are dead-set on a two stroke in the $2K range I'd very much recommend an older KTM 200 EXC or similar enduro rather than an MX bike. They make a lot more controllable power and they work a LOT better without a ton of mods. Alternatively, you can usually get a flawless KDX for that price. I'm not the biggest Kawi fan but the KDX is a really tough trailbike. Bearing in mind that it's kind of crude compared to a proper racing enduro like KTM builds.

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Lets house swap.  You can come to Georgia and use my YZ250 and I'll come to Colorado so I can go snowboarding and snowmobiling.

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My wife is 5'4" and rides a 250 I just put a lowering link on it. Pro Circuit makes one. There are other companies but you will have to research that and find one that you like.

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Nothing wrong with a suzuki, honda or a modern yamaha.  Not a fan of the ktm suspension and chassis. I would consider a 125 as well as a 250f.  Depends on the riding.  If your doing strictly off-road than a 250 would be nice.  IF your doing moto and off-road than a 125 or 250f wouldnt be bad.  If your racing a lighter, easier to ride bike would be better so the 125/250f is a option.  

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Jobs are a dichotomy. $$$$ for toys but no time to play with them….

Some people view money as a status symbol. I view it as a tool to be used.

I keep turning promotions down at work because they would translate into more travel and more time away from family.

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If you are doing more trails an early 2000's Ktm 300 or 200 will be great. Should be able to get them for well under budget leaving cash for suspension repairs etc.

Since you said you are decent with a wrench I'd say don't be scared of a bike that needs a little work. I imagine CO is snowy and cold by now so you have the winter to work on it.

I have a buddy that picked up a 2001 KTM 300 Exc for $1100. He's done some work and made repairs. It's a great bike.

I highly recommend talking to a suspension shop. Local would be best I believe. Somebody in this thread I think mentioned the name of a shop local to you. Do this before you buy a bike. Tell them what you want to accomplish, the type of riding and the type of bike. Let them make some recommendations. My buddies 300 is linkageless so you can't get a lowering link. Also when you get a lowering link it changes the leverage on the spring so you may need a different rate spring for you weight vs a stock link rate for your weight. plan on $1000 for this work. Keep mind you may lose some travel but at your weight I think you would be hard pressed to use all the travel. Yes anything you do will affect the geometry and handling. But MX geometry and handling isn't designed for woods. And vice versa. I think you want the best experience riding locally. A local suspension shop can help immensely.

I have several friends that woods race and ride MX bikes on our tight East Coast woods. They do lots of back tire steering and clutch work.

I used to build hot rod motors, tuner cars, etc wtc. now i build bike motors for fun. I can make them make great power, however if you can't get it to the ground it's useless. We would build really fast cars for people but they would never upgrade the brakes or suspension. Same with dirt bikes.

Suspension is now the first thing I do.

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Well, I was hoping to start off with something I could beat on and get myself together with - I don't know, maybe $2000?  Mechanical ability is easy, I've been wrenching since my dad could get me to sand the firewalls of his classic 60's Jags.  I'll be doing it all myself, so I won't be wasting cash on a shop that might underestimate me and charge me to put it on a stand and spin the tires...  

 

Oh yeah you can make it work with 2K. Might take a little time to find a well maintained bike, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't get a early 2000 model and still have enough leftover to get the suspension tuned/lowered to your needs. 

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I think you are getting good advice above about having the suspension professionally lowered, but by the time you respring and have lowered you are probably looking at $500-$800 maybe more on top of the price of the bike (and maybe money well spent).

 

I think more important for Colorado is having a wide ratio bike to begin with and maybe lights so that you can convert/plate (which is another conversation that you should explore).  I don't think a YZ250, KX250, RM250 or CR250R etc are a particularly good fit for offroad/enduro riding.  The wide ratio two strokes are pretty limited such as the KTM 300/250/200 EXC/XC-W, or the Kawasaki KDX200 (last made in 2006) or KDX220 (last made in 2005).  Husqvarna/Husaberg, GasGas and Beta also have wide ratio two strokes in the 250/300 size (GasGas and Husky actually have a 125 wide ratio model but pretty rare).  The KTM 150 mentioned above comes in SX (motocross) or XC (semi close ratio transmission) models. 

 

Riding season is pretty much done for the year, so you have some time to look during the winter when prices are lower.  KTM's are well regarded and their prices in the used market reflect that.  I also find that used KTM's can be well used because they are generally bought and ridden by enthusiasts....so difficult to come by any cream puffs at great prices.

 

I went through this dilemma with my daughter who is 5' 4", and we ended up going the route of an '06 KDX200, with a shaved seat, Kouba lowering link, and moving up the front forks. This didn't seem to negatively affect the handling...but it can certainly do that....and I would guess the much better approach would be to have the suspension professionally lowered if you go with a KTM.  All depends on how much money you want to spend.

 

I bought her KDX200 from a guy in Cheyenne between Xmas and New Years for $1800 two years ago that had been barely ridden by his ex-wife.  They can be tough to find and I tend to share your opinion (or did) about Kawasakis, but I have now owned two (KX100 and KDX200) and have been pretty satisfied (but you gotta like lime green or that can be a deal breaker).

 

Lastly.....what the heck do you mean about being "stuck" in Colorado?  Most people are dying move to this state...but I do understand that California can offer a few more things than Colorado (such as beaches and ocean and 30 million of your closest friends to compete for all that cool stuff).  Generally better that you don't advertise you are from California.  Since the late sixties....locals/natives (that's me) have been bitching about Colorado being Californicated and it continues apace (I think OR, WA, NV and AZ residents view it similarly).

Edited by SilvFx
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Give a kdx 200 a look.  They are mtn goats.  if you can find one in good condition, consider it.  Very low maintenance.  Very capable trail bike.  Good parts availability.  Most any suspension tuner can work on / improve it if necessary.   Like previously stated, shave the seat a little, get a lowering link and raise the forks slightly in the clamps.  All combined should give you a reasonable height.

Another option is find a used Husqvarna wr144.  Great suspension, the motor's are surprisingly good and again they are very durable and easy to work on.  The advantage of them is they can be had for very reasonable $$$.   I'm 200lbs + gear.  I can ride my 144 just about anywhere.  I haven't done any long sand climbs, but ridden just about everything else...

http://vimeo.com/110672616

I suppose my preference is for something I can take to CA when I go back to visit my buddies - if I show up with a dedicated trail bike, complete with fanny pack then they're going to send me home.  I'm doing a thorough search for KTM's.  Still considering a yz250 and not impressed with Honda...this has become a bigger question than I'd originally thought...ugh.

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If you want a 250 get one then go visit Davey Durelle at Durelle racing in Elizabeth. He will be able to respring and lower the bike to work for you.

My wife has had 3 of her bikes done. Kdx 200, 400 exc and 350 exc. the advantage of lowering it by putting in spacers, they can be taken out when you sell it. Although many of my shorter inseam friends love her short 400.

Hmmm, I've just got to pull the trigger on the bike...

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Yeah I'm not so sure that I'd get hung up on size of engine

Kailub Russell won the last GNCC on a 150 cc KTM against all the 450cc

guys,course he's not just anybody but he even beat Charlie Mullins who had just come back.

My son lives in Colorado and we ride there often and his wife rides a 150 cc KTM and it

does everything that we do just have to ride it a little harder.

I think riding hard won't be an issue - I'm competitive and don't want to lose, that's going to be my downfall, I think.

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Lets house swap.  You can come to Georgia and use my YZ250 and I'll come to Colorado so I can go snowboarding and snowmobiling.

I have a better idea, why don't you come up here to snowboard and snowmobile (when we actually get some damn snow) and then you can bring your YZ up with you!  ;-)  Win, win!  haha...

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I think you are getting good advice above about having the suspension professionally lowered, but by the time you respring and have lowered you are probably looking at $500-$800 maybe more on top of the price of the bike (and maybe money well spent).

 

I think more important for Colorado is having a wide ratio bike to begin with and maybe lights so that you can convert/plate (which is another conversation that you should explore).  I don't think a YZ250, KX250, RM250 or CR250R etc are a particularly good fit for offroad/enduro riding.  The wide ratio two strokes are pretty limited such as the KTM 300/250/200 EXC/XC-W, or the Kawasaki KDX200 (last made in 2006) or KDX220 (last made in 2005).  Husqvarna/Husaberg, GasGas and Beta also have wide ratio two strokes in the 250/300 size (GasGas and Husky actually have a 125 wide ratio model but pretty rare).  The KTM 150 mentioned above comes in SX (motocross) or XC (semi close ratio transmission) models. 

 

Riding season is pretty much done for the year, so you have some time to look during the winter when prices are lower.  KTM's are well regarded and their prices in the used market reflect that.  I also find that used KTM's can be well used because they are generally bought and ridden by enthusiasts....so difficult to come by any cream puffs at great prices.

 

I went through this dilemma with my daughter who is 5' 4", and we ended up going the route of an '06 KDX200, with a shaved seat, Kouba lowering link, and moving up the front forks. This didn't seem to negatively affect the handling...but it can certainly do that....and I would guess the much better approach would be to have the suspension professionally lowered if you go with a KTM.  All depends on how much money you want to spend.

 

I bought her KDX200 from a guy in Cheyenne between Xmas and New Years for $1800 two years ago that had been barely ridden by his ex-wife.  They can be tough to find and I tend to share your opinion (or did) about Kawasakis, but I have now owned two (KX100 and KDX200) and have been pretty satisfied (but you gotta like lime green or that can be a deal breaker).

 

Lastly.....what the heck do you mean about being "stuck" in Colorado?  Most people are dying move to this state...but I do understand that California can offer a few more things than Colorado (such as beaches and ocean and 30 million of your closest friends to compete for all that cool stuff).  Generally better that you don't advertise you are from California.  Since the late sixties....locals/natives (that's me) have been bitching about Colorado being Californicated and it continues apace (I think OR, WA, NV and AZ residents view it similarly).

Hey, thanks for all that great advice - I really do appreciate it.  And please don't misunderstand my attitude towards Colorado, I love it here.  It's just that all the stuff I grew up doing in CA is pretty much null and void here; I'm having to relearn everything I love and I'm missing the ocean big time.  For a girl like me, it's like I've been knocked down more than a few rungs of the ladder I busted my butt so hard to climb.  Surfing, dirtbike riding, working on my own car, etc. etc, needless to say, my buddies didn't make it easy for me to talk the talk without walking the walk.  Just frustrating.  I'd never presume to insult anyone here...sorry about that.  :)

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Hey, thanks for all that great advice - I really do appreciate it.  And please don't misunderstand my attitude towards Colorado, I love it here.  It's just that all the stuff I grew up doing in CA is pretty much null and void here; I'm having to relearn everything I love and I'm missing the ocean big time.  For a girl like me, it's like I've been knocked down more than a few rungs of the ladder I busted my butt so hard to climb.  Surfing, dirtbike riding, working on my own car, etc. etc, needless to say, my buddies didn't make it easy for me to talk the talk without walking the walk.  Just frustrating.  I'd never presume to insult anyone here...sorry about that.   :)

 

 

you're not.  I was just busting your ba.....uuhhmm...your chops.

 

Still lots to do.  My daughter is the son I never had.  She likes to ski, snowboard, ride dirt bikes, climb mountains, snowmobiling, 4 wheeling, camping, shoot guns etc.  You'll fit in just fine and get to compete with the boys.  I assume you are up in the mountains or in Summit County based on some of your comments...which should give you plenty of outdoor opportunities.  Use this chance to explore New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and maybe even Montana as well.

 

Welcome to Colorado and enjoy your time here.  And the unwritten rule is that you don't tell anyone else from out of state how much you like it.  And don't be sharing epic photos/videos on facebook, instagram, vine, etc.  Tell them it sucks and yet you are somehow getting by! 

 

 

p.s. Colorado probably has more dirt biking opportunities than any other state in the country...so you will see that you don't have to give that up and in fact will see/do bigger and better things than you could in CA. You might also look into whtewater rafting and kayaking that probably was not readily available in California.

Edited by SilvFx

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