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So many bikes to choose from, need help...

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Hello, new here to TT. Although not new to bikes. I'm in the market to get a new bike and as many others, I'm having a tough time deciding which one. I'm personally 5'8, 140 lbs. Bikes of choice:

- 2015 Yamaha yz250f

- 2015 Yamaha yz450f

- 2015 Yamaha yz250fx

- 2015 ktm 350 xcf

- 2015 ktm 300 xcw

- 2015 Honda crf450r

Those are my picks so far.As for the type of riding I do, is mostly trails. I do plan to get on the track once and a while. The trails I ride are somewha somewhat rocky with slippery mud and rutted ground.I also ride in the sand a lot. Not really tight woods but traction can be bad after it rains. I've been told that a yz250f is for me by my neighbor. I don't see anything wrong with a mx bike on the trails, I see them all the time where I ride. Although, I've read that a mx 450 can be a little to much for woods even after a flywheel weight, sprocket change, and so on. Although, the ktms are a bit pricey. I know dirt bikes aren't all about hp but idk, that new yz450f is so sexy looking (did I just say that...!?). Anyway, I know I haven't asked to test ride them but I'll sit on them if that helps. Getting a bike with linkage suspension is almost needed since I'm only 5'8 and it can take different adjustments. As for experience, I've ridden a kx85, owned a wr250f and I'm selling my wimpy ttr230 right now. As for the 2-stroke vs 4-stroke battle, I want a bike that offers insane low end torque that's overall light and nimble. Maintenance is not an issue and don't really care about 4t maintenance stuff. I like a smooth power band. Anyway, any comments, thoughts, insights, or opinions is greatly appreciated!:)

Thanks! -Moto850

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Thanks for your input!:)I've compared the yzf to the yzfx and the extra weight isn't a big deal. The 18-inch rear tire is a big plus and the wide-ratio transmission, the kickstand isn't a big deal, the electric start is nice especially if I stall it out when it's hot. The yzfx is almost perfect. I'm not sure if the radiator is different from the f to the fx. The 450's don't weigh that much compared to my ttr230. I sat on a crf250r today and I loved the feel. Other than that, the F and FX are identical. Same engine, same chassis, same suspension for the most part and so on..excluding the sprocket size. I would get a ktm but they're so expensive. Is it possible to turn a yz450f into a trail bike? The wr450f is waaaay to heavy, at 273 lbs..I'd be crushed if it fell on me lol. I should go with a 250 but since I ride in the sand sometimes, I may want even more torque. And with a 4t, the power is manageable and I won't have to ride it like a 2t. Making a 450 into a woids bike has veen done before but many say it requires pure stregnth and skill to control it. Although, I heard the new yz250f reverse slanted engine is better than ever. Hmm, Idk if I could control the monster power of a 450...

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Lots of people ride MX bikes on the trails but that doesn't mean its the best way to do it. The suspension on those bikes are valved for the track, trail bike suspension is gonna be much more plush.  Of the bikes you listed I would consider the yamaha 250fx and pretty much everything and anything from the KTM xc-w line.  You want the wide ratio trans, the 18 rear and the kickstand (kickstand sound stupid until you have to take a leak on the trail). Electric start is the shit too especially if you ride on tough trails and you stall the bike in awkward spot.  Forget having to kick the bike, just hit the button!

 

I rode practically every KTM at a demo earlier this year and the bikes are fantastic.  I bought a new one almost immediately after the demo.  People rant and rave about how good the 300xcw is.  Thats almost the only bike i didnt ride (I rode the 200 and 250 xcw though) because the line was too damn long!  The 250fx is a brand new bike and I doubt anyone is gonna be willing to give you a deal on them.  I would head out and look for a left over 2014 KTM xcw.  You can get them at a pretty big discount.  On cycle trader there are 2014 300xcws advertised for 6600

Edited by PTECH
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Thank you for all of the suggestions :)

Many guys say go with the 300 xcw, so I guess it's a great bike. Unfortunately, there are no ktm demo days where I live..which I would go there and compare all of them. Would a 300 xcw handle track riding as well? Because I plan to ride on the track every now and then. As stated, where I ride there is more sand than dirt and it can get muddy fast where I ride. But since I'm use to 4-stroke power, is the 300 xcw going to seem like a 4-stroke with that new powervavle? Just curious:)

I wonder if the 300 XC is worth looking at.

Revavling suspension can be done, my neighbor use to trail a kx250f and he rode the piss out of it. It never blew up either. I'm really consdering the 300 xcw now. It's light, cheap to maintain, set up for trails, and it's orange (lol). I'll just swipe the idea of any 450, they're to powerful. I still haven't seen a fx in person nor the 300 xcw so I'll go and check them out, sit on them..but probably end up on a ktm 300 xcw:)

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KTMs seem to be cheaper in the south and southeast so you're fortunate on that.  There are a couple dealers in GA that sell bikes for really cheap. Halls Motorsports and Mountain motorsports both have 2014 300 xc-ws for around 6700. 

 

You could take a xc-w on a track but its not gonna be ideal.  The suspension on the xc-w is made for the trail.  High speed and big jumps is not where that bike is gonna shine.  The XC would be more at home on the track but still not what its made for.

Edited by PTECH

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KTMs seem to be cheaper in the south and southeast so you're fortunate on that.  There are a couple dealers in GA that sell bikes for really cheap. Halls Motorsports and Mountain motorsports both have 2014 300 xc-ws for around 6700. 

 

You could take a xc-w on a track but its not gonna be ideal.  The suspension on the xc-w is made for the trail.  High speed and big jumps is not where that bike is gonna shine.  The XC would be more at home on the track but still not what its made for.

Sounds like a killer deal, I'll see if they have anything for that low. And since I'm selling my old ttr, I'll have even more money to spend on upgrades. So are you suggesting I get the xc over the xcw? If I get the xcw, ride the track and decide I like that style of riding...I'm screwed. Also, will it be good in high speed sand riding? There's several things about the xcw I don't like. 1. Is the linkageless suspension, 2. Not good for tracks 3. The "vibration" that I've heard of. Also, the maintence on 4t's are not as bad as people label them to be. If you don't ride it hard, it won't blow up like a high-compression race bike. I wonder if I'll miss the traction and torque of a 4t, but there's only one way to find out and a test ride in a parking lot won't do any good.

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Sounds like a killer deal, I'll see if they have anything for that low. And since I'm selling my old ttr, I'll have even more money to spend on upgrades. So are you suggesting I get the xc over the xcw? If I get the xcw, ride the track and decide I like that style of riding...I'm screwed. Also, will it be good in high speed sand riding? There's several things about the xcw I don't like. 1. Is the linkageless suspension, 2. Not good for tracks 3. The "vibration" that I've heard of. Also, the maintence on 4t's are not as bad as people label them to be. If you don't ride it hard, it won't blow up like a high-compression race bike. I wonder if I'll miss the traction and torque of a 4t, but there's only one way to find out and a test ride in a parking lot won't do any good.

 

Possibly.  The XC is a bike for people that are racing GNCC or harescambles or something, or depending on your ability someone who is riding trails really fast. The suspension is valved stiffer so out of the box an xc would be better on a track I would think.  However XCs dont have the wide ratio trans or a headlight.  The newer XCs actually do have linkage type rear but not having a linkage is more of a thing in your mind than anything.  I always thought the PDS system was ancient and outdated...My 500 exc doesn't have a linkage and its the best feeling suspension I've ever rode.  The only time I dont love it is bashing through high speed desert whoops and even then its very good just not as good as it is everywhere else.

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Possibly. The XC is a bike for people that are racing GNCC or harescambles or something, or depending on your ability someone who is riding trails really fast. The suspension is valved stiffer so out of the box an xc would be better on a track I would think. However XCs dont have the wide ratio trans or a headlight. The newer XCs actually do have linkage type rear but not having a linkage is more of a thing in your mind than anything. I always thought the PDS system was ancient and outdated...My 500 exc doesn't have a linkage and its the best feeling suspension I've ever rode. The only time I dont love it is bashing through high speed desert whoops and even then its very good just not as good as it is everywhere else.

Yeah, true. I'll be riding more trail than track so I guess the xcw is better for me. Not sayimg the xc is bad but the headlight and gearing will be awesome on trails. The wide ratio transmission doesn't matter tbh, I see guts trail a yz250 all the time so it's not that bad..lol just saying. It's ashame they don't make the 300 mxc anymore. My neighbor has one and it's a nice bike despite it being a '03

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KTM 250xc or KTM 250xcw. Light and can handle a track day if you desire.

Do you know how the 250 xcw stacks up against the 300 xcw? I read somewhere that the 250 is more nimble but the 300 has more torque. Which weight isn't an issue, anything will seem lighter than my ttr230:P High speed desert riding may be different/hard on such a light bike....

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Do you know how the 250 xcw stacks up against the 300 xcw? I read somewhere that the 250 is more nimble but the 300 has more torque. Which weight isn't an issue, anything will seem lighter than my ttr230:P High speed desert riding may be different/hard on such a light bike....

 

Where are you riding the desert in Missouri? LOL 

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Where are you riding the desert in Missouri? LOL

Well not exactly desert but sand riding. I ride at St. Joe state atv park:) Mostly sand in the main riding area and then the trails turn muddy and rocky in the woods. Lol. Whatever bike I choose, it will either be the 300 xc or xcw. Yes, I do plan to put a fmf gnarly and powercore2 on after rejetting. I'll also run 50:1 fuel. (I've been doing research on this bike for awhile now).

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I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions you have.

 

3. The "vibration" that I've heard of. Also, the maintenance on 4t's are not as bad as people label them to be. If you don't ride it hard, it won't blow up like a high-compression race bike. I wonder if I'll miss the traction and torque of a 4t, but there's only one way to find out and a test ride in a parking lot won't do any good.

They don't vibrate. Not in an annoying way at least. 500 two strokes vibrate. 250s and 300s don't much.

 

The idea that riding a 4 stroke MX or enduro bike on the trails means you can maintain it like a trailbike or a 2 stroke is incorrect. In fact they ARE a high compression race bike. They still use Formula 1 technology with a slipper piston that will grenade the engine if you neglect it. You can neglect it more if you ride easy but it's still a factor. With these bikes you change the piston on a schedule or you pay the price.

 

A 250 or 300 2 stroke enduro actually makes more torque and gets better traction than a comparable 4 stroke. They are also much harder to stall. It's why they are the engine of choice for hard enduro.

Do you know how the 250 xcw stacks up against the 300 xcw? I read somewhere that the 250 is more nimble but the 300 has more torque. Which weight isn't an issue, anything will seem lighter than my ttr230:P High speed desert riding may be different/hard on such a light bike....

This is only a factor if you are riding the bike hard. In truth, anyone but an expert uses much less than either bike can deliver. They essentially both feel the same. 

 

In this you are absolutely correct. A proper enduro two stroke thrives in tight terrain. A big-bore 4 stroke is more at home in the desert. It's not so much that it's difficult to ride them in open conditions but that they are less well suited for it.

 

Lastly, and not highlighted above, if you are ever going to ride an MX track don't go with the XC-W. Get the XC. It will actually work well on the track where the XC-W will wallow and perform about like a hippopotamus. They are designed to soak up rocks and roots, not jumps and whoops. The XC is a crossover bike that does it all well. In fact, I hesitate to recommend KTM at all since I bought my Beta...

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I ride a 2015 ktm 200xcw. My buddy has an 07 ktm 250xc and my cousin has a 06 ktm 300xc so I have rode all of them. My bike is obviously the most tame but least torque. The 300 has the most torque but is way too nasty for me to ride at the beginner level. The 250 seems to be the happy medium. I can ride the 250 confidently but couldn't find one when I purchased my 200xcw so I figured I would punch it out when its time to rebuild.

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I ride a 2015 ktm 200xcw. My buddy has an 07 ktm 250xc and my cousin has a 06 ktm 300xc so I have rode all of them. My bike is obviously the most tame but least torque. The 300 has the most torque but is way too nasty for me to ride at the beginner level. The 250 seems to be the happy medium. I can ride the 250 confidently but couldn't find one when I purchased my 200xcw so I figured I would punch it out when its time to rebuild.

The OP should keep in mind that these bikes have an adjustable powervalve. It's easy enough to change the power delivery of either bike from a tractor to a rocket ship and vice-versa.

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Hmm, great suggestions guys! I will for sure not even miss my ttr230. All it needs is a clutch lever (it fell over on my damn foot and bent the lever..which my foot is still swollen..oh well lol). I love the fact that the 300 has the powervavle. It comes with the yellow spring installed but you get a green spring for even more mellow response or a red spring for gnarly response. The xc may be for me though but I wonder if the xc will be good on trails. The xc is more of a do-all kinda bike, its not a sx but its not a xcw either. The 300 seems to be a badass bike. It won't stall at low rpms (great for tight woods), has a smooth powerband compared to other 2t's and so much more.

Even a 250 4-stroke wouldn't be as good as the 250/300 in the woods since a 4t would stall easy with no rekluse. A 200 xcw (to me) has no balls. That's why I'd automatically go with the 300, which life is short so why not lol. The question comes down to the xc or xcw.

The trails will be single track, tight enduro hardcore teails and then maybe a soft dirt track, some (a lot) of sand riding, and then nasty muddy trails with roots, ruts and rocks. That's all on the top of my head, who knows..maybe after a little adventure I'll find even more crazy enduro type riding..not sure. Same goes for track riding.

So, is the xc up to the task or the xcw? For my style of riding, which would you recommend the most? Thanks :)

Edited by Moto850

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Beta 250/300 RR "Race". Better than a KTM and comes with a linkage. Only KTM worth buying is the 200 IMO. They're awesome.

 

BTW, you contradicted yourself. You said light and nibble but listed 4T's as an option and Insane low end toque as a requirement.

 

300 2T's have plenty of torque, all you'll ever need, but the 250 2T's are more nimble. 200 even more nibble again. I never failed to make it up any hill on my 200. I'd take less weight with sufficient torque over a heavy torque monster any day myself.

 

KTM 200 is a real riders bike.

 

If you're not on tight ST the gearing will be too short on the YZF250.

Edited by AddictedToBling

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Well only problem, there are no beta dealers where I live and aren't betas expensive? I've heard of guys choosing the 300 KTM over the beta. This may seem like a stupid question but is it possible to make a crf450r a good trail bike?

With a flywheel weight, 13/52 gearing, a rekluse clutch, skid plate, handle guards, and better foot pegs.

Just throwing that out there. But I love the low end torque of the 4t's. Any bike will seem light and nimble to my ttr230 :p

Edited by Moto850

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