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Bike for Friend

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Hey all, I have a friend who is interested in riding since seeing my bike, and might want to get into it. I know I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I was starting to look at bikes for him (I have a vested interest in this, I don't currently have any other riding pals). Personally I think Honda's the best option for beginners, so I was looking at the CRF's, hoping for a 230 or 250. However it seems that around here the 450s are much more commonly available, and often cheaper than the smaller bikes. Just curious on people's thoughts for that big of a bike for a new rider. He's 22, a hair over 6' tall, and about 160lbs, and most of my (presumably his as well) riding I would call Enduro-ish. Rarely go out for more than a few hours at a time, but definitely out in the desert doing single track and trails, not going in circles on an mx track.

 

The caveat to this is that he's going to learn on my bike, since nothing else is available, and my bike happens to be an EXC450R. Sooooo... yeah. Should he drop to a smaller bike after learning on a big bike?

 

Just looking for insight. Thanks!

Edited by Knissone

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The 450 wouldn't be the best bike to start him on and him being 6' the 230 would most likely be to small for him. I'd say the 250 would fit him the best as long as he goes easy on the throttle at first.

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You know it occurs to me I might have a really sweet hookup for a 230 that I might not be able to pass up. Originally I figured on starting him on a 230 and fairly quickly upgrading to a 250. So now I'm thinking I'M going to buy the 230 just to have an extra bike if someone wants to join me. Then he can ride that for now, and if he gets into it enough to pursue a bigger bike he can.

 

It's been a long time since I've been on a 230. I don't remember it being horribly small, and I'm also over 6' and a lot heavier at about 210lbs. I do remember it being way underpowered for me. At the time I was comparing it to a KTM 2-stroke 250, though. Am I remembering it correctly, with the power being a bigger problem than the physical size of the bike?

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I'm not certain of the seat height, but they aren't crazy small bikes by any means. I have a shorter buddy who rides one, and I can plonk along on it just fine.  Obviously its not ideal ergonomics for racing, but for a beginner the low seat height is nice, even if he is fairly tall.  It will eliminate the low speed tip over as a problem if nothing else.  BTW,  I'm north of 6'1" and 210ish.  

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I'm not certain of the seat height, but they aren't crazy small bikes by any means. I have a shorter buddy who rides one, and I can plonk along on it just fine.  Obviously its not ideal ergonomics for racing, but for a beginner the low seat height is nice, even if he is fairly tall.  It will eliminate the low speed tip over as a problem if nothing else.  BTW,  I'm north of 6'1" and 210ish.  

This seems to be about what I remember, too.

 

The specific bike I'm thinking of is in the family, so I'll try to ride it myself next weekend and see what I think. Aunt bought it brand new, barely rode it, sold it to my Dad for my step-mom, who still doesn't ride it. So basically it's still brand new, and I think it's a 2007-2009, somewhere around there. I think I can pick it up for $1500 from Dad, he's offered it to me before.

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I'm 6'2 170lbs and started on a 2009 crf230l. Had no experience on a motorcycle before this. It was a great bike to learn on as the seat height is short and the power is very mild. The bike lasted a month and was sold for a DRZ400. I remember before riding the crf, my brother in laws DRZ scared me because of its height and overall size. I'm glad I got that one month under my belt on the 230. I did look like a huge cramped dork on the 230 however. I remember my mom seeing me first time on it and she was like "that bike has to go, it is way too small for your size". Coming from my mom who hated the idea of me riding a motorcycle, it resonated. When I got the DRZ she approved much more haha

Anyways, if I did it over id probably go with the 250 right off the bat knowing what I know now. However, the 230 definitely installed confidence when first getting going. I suspect if your buddy gets one it won't last long once he gets the hang of it. For what it's worth I ride 250s now. DRZ is long gone

Edited by NW_drZ

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I'm 6'2 170lbs and started on a 2009 crf230l. Had no experience on a motorcycle before this. It was a great bike to learn on as the seat height is short and the power is very mild. The bike lasted a month and was sold for a DRZ400. I remember before riding the crf, my brother in laws DRZ scared me because of its height and overall size. I'm glad I got that one month under my belt on the 230. I did look like a huge cramped dork on the 230 however. I remember my mom seeing me first time on it and she was like "that bike has to go, it is way too small for your size". Coming from my mom who hated the idea of me riding a motorcycle, it resonated. When I got the DRZ she approved much more haha

Anyways, if I did it over id probably go with the 250 right off the bat knowing what I know now. However, the 230 definitely installed confidence when first getting going. I suspect if your buddy gets one it won't last long once he gets the hang of it. For what it's worth I ride 250s now. DRZ is long gone

Yeah, I'm not expecting it to last long for him. But if I can pick up the 230 from Dad for cheap to have any extra bike for friends, I wouldn't complain. Then THIS friend can learn on it and get hooked, then buy his own bigger bike, and then we'd have a third bike to expand the group.

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Yeah, I'm not expecting it to last long for him. But if I can pick up the 230 from Dad for cheap to have any extra bike for friends, I wouldn't complain. Then THIS friend can learn on it and get hooked, then buy his own bigger bike, and then we'd have a third bike to expand the group.

i like where you are going with this.  It would make a good buddy bike.  As i mentioned earlier it will likely install confidence in him getting the controls and feel of a bike down.  

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i like where you are going with this.  It would make a good buddy bike.  As i mentioned earlier it will likely install confidence in him getting the controls and feel of a bike down.  

That's what I was hoping to hear! I agree  :thumbsup:

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This seems to be about what I remember, too.

 

The specific bike I'm thinking of is in the family, so I'll try to ride it myself next weekend and see what I think. Aunt bought it brand new, barely rode it, sold it to my Dad for my step-mom, who still doesn't ride it. So basically it's still brand new, and I think it's a 2007-2009, somewhere around there. I think I can pick it up for $1500 from Dad, he's offered it to me before.

Love it. Also its electric start which is very nice for beginners. Nothing worse than a frustrated beginner because the bike won't fire. 20 bucks says I could jump ona 230 and be in the same pecking order of my riding buddies anyway. I also ride an xr 250 and it only somewhat affects my speed compared to my yz 295. Same deal: plush suspension, low seat height, and linear power helps offset some deficiencies.

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Love it. Also its electric start which is very nice for beginners. Nothing worse than a frustrated beginner because the bike won't fire. 20 bucks says I could jump ona 230 and be in the same pecking order of my riding buddies anyway. I also ride an xr 250 and it only somewhat affects my speed compared to my yz 295. Same deal: plush suspension, low seat height, and linear power helps offset some deficiencies.

Frankly I was kinda hoping for a kick starter, to give some incentive not to stall :p But I agree, definitely nice. Hate that it doesn't have a backup kicker though...

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Don't forget the safety gear, helmets, boots, chest protector! don't want your riding buddy to get hurt early on in the game!

I have a TTR 230, I am now looking at a Husqvarna FE250 and I have only been riding (and swimming, eating dirt, falling off & running into trees) for about 4 months now!

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Don't forget the safety gear, helmets, boots, chest protector! don't want your riding buddy to get hurt early on in the game!

I have a TTR 230, I am now looking at a Husqvarna FE250 and I have only been riding (and swimming, eating dirt, falling off & running into trees) for about 4 months now!

Of course! I already have multiples of most critical things, and I want to get new stuff too. So he can use my old stuff to start.

 

I know how you feel, sometimes I wonder if it should still be called riding!

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So to update everyone, the 230 from Dad was a total bust. Great bike, Dad changed his mind and didn't want to sell.

 

Now I have a friend who just bought a brand new, still crated 2013 KTM 250, and is selling his old 2005 KTM EXC 450, which I'm interested in. Basically the same bike as mine, so that's a plus for only needing one set of tools, one set of spare parts, etc. The bike seems a little overpriced to me, so I wanted to get people's opinions. It's a 2005, around 4100 miles and I'd say around 250 hours, but seems to have been well maintained. Upgrades include a dual sport kit (useless to me in CA), keyed ignition, temp controlled radiator fan, really nice HID headlight upgrade, and it runs great. We're friends on Facebook and he posts everything, so I see a lot of his maintenance; within the last month he's redone the forks and put in a new water pump. Tires are half decent.

 

He said he was going to put it up for $4,000, but would go lower for me. I was thinking I could do $3,000-$3,500, but still not sure. The bike seems to be getting up there in hours, and I'd hate to have to do a top end in the first year. Honestly it probably won't get ridden too much, so it could be quite a while before it needs that, though. But having a nearly identical bike to my 04 EXC 450 is a very attractive idea to me... but then again it's not the best learner bike in the world.

 

So... thoughts? Bueller?

 

Thanks!

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