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Suggestions on 2 new bikes

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A little background. Looking to pick up 2 new bikes soon for my wife and I who live in N Idaho. Trails and dirt roads with just small transit on street to riding areas. I have tons of trails/dirt roads near my house, most within 5 miles down the street. I’m 46, 6’1” and weight 170lbs, my wife is 5’8” and is 130lbs.

 

I grew up in NM and rode dirt bikes (yz and kx) most of my childhood up until I joined the military. Haven’t really been on one since. My wife has virtually no experience. I did try to teach her to ride my street bike, but that’s about it. My wife wants a KTM and I’ve been married to her long enough not to argue with her. The upside at least she identified a brand. I’m not brand specific, but I don’t know a thing about KTM. For Idaho the 2 or 4 stroke doesn’t seem to be much of an issue to get a plate for street legal use (lights, horn, etc), just restricted to no freeway use.

 

Age is catching up to me so I’m not interested in racing, but enjoying the dirt, trails again, and getting my wife involved. Then hopefully my youngest son.

Thanks in advance. 

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A little background. Looking to pick up 2 new bikes soon for my wife and I who live in N Idaho. Trails and dirt roads with just small transit on street to riding areas. I have tons of trails/dirt roads near my house, most within 5 miles down the street. I’m 46, 6’1” and weight 170lbs, my wife is 5’8” and is 130lbs.

I grew up in NM and rode dirt bikes (yz and kx) most of my childhood up until I joined the military. Haven’t really been on one since. My wife has virtually no experience. I did try to teach her to ride my street bike, but that’s about it. My wife wants a KTM and I’ve been married to her long enough not to argue with her. The upside at least she identified a brand. I’m not brand specific, but I don’t know a thing about KTM. For Idaho the 2 or 4 stroke doesn’t seem to be much of an issue to get a plate for street legal use (lights, horn, etc), just restricted to no freeway use.

Age is catching up to me so I’m not interested in racing, but enjoying the dirt, trails again, and getting my wife involved. Then hopefully my youngest son.

Thanks in advance.

If you don't have a problem with weight I would say get your self a DRZ400. For your wife I would say a KTM 200 maybe? If you can get it plated.

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Thanks for the input. Haven't looked at or researched the DRZ400 yet. Looks like a lot of info here on that bike. 

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I perceive Idaho riding to be a lot like Colorado riding and it sounds like you can convert/plate a dirt bike in Idaho.  A lot of people in Colorado do the same thing so they can connect from trail to trail etc.

 

Look at the Enduro bikes for yourself

 

Yamaha WR250F/WR450F

Honda CRF250X/CRF450X

Kawasaki KLX300R (only produced '08-09)

KTM 250/350/400/450/500 XCW (4 Strokes)

KTM 200/250/300 XCW

Husqvarna is made by KTM and essentially offers the same models in White/Blue/Yellow

 

How did teaching your wife to ride a street bike go?  For a first time rider on the dirt, I would recommend her starting on a trail bike like the CRF150F or CRF230F.  When I started my 3 kids riding, I always had a growth plan in mind.  Somethign I might suggest is you could start on a KTM 200 XCW and decide if like a 2 stroke enduro.  Start your wife on CRF150F/CRF230F.  When your wife has mastered that, move her up to the KTM200 and then you can move up to the 300 2 stroke (if you like them) or the 450 4 stroke..  You might then pass on her starter bike to your son who might be ready to learn on the CRF150F/CRF230F depending on his age/height.  How old is your son and what height?

 

FYI...a 250/300 2 stroke is roughly equivalent to a 400/450 4 stroke (talking about watercooled models here) but probably 25-35 lbs lighter.

 

DRZ400 is a good option if you are going to do a lot of street riding, but i dont picture that is your situation in northern Idaho.

Edited by SilvFx
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Nice and lightweight with e-start for the wife: 200xc-w (2 stroke) it's still pretty peppy for someone with no real experience, but I'd still recommend that over the 250xcf-w for a few reasons. The 200 is about 13lbs lighter, has more bottom end power (yes the little 2 stroke that could) and is cheaper to keep alive LONG term. If she'd prefer a 4 stroke (which is easier to live with in a dual sport application) I'd suggest the 350 over the 250 even though it adds about 5lbs more. The 350 is easier to ride in my opinion since it makes better bottom end power than the 200 2T or the 250F and while it is never lacking power, you don't have to rev the crap out of it (like a 250f) or have a "hit" in the powerband (like your typical 2t, though the 200 is fairly smooth.) If the 350 is the chosen powerplant, you can get an EXC model that is 50 state street legal, but if it's really easy to plate, the xcf-w is pretty much the same bike but already uncorked, comes with better gearing, and can usually be bought MUCH cheaper than the EXC. No matter which engine you choose, I'd suggest sticking with a wide ratio transmission model for your intended use (models that have -W at the end i.e.: 350xcf-w, or the EXC's.)

 

If she's dead set on an orange bike, staying in the family (KTM or Husky) wouldn't be a bad idea for you. Lots of parts interchangeability between models means you can keep less spares on hand, and rob parts from her bike to keep yours going! Even more so if you both end up with the same model. For that reason alone, I'd take a good hard look at the 350 since it has enough power to keep things exciting for you and will be forgiving enough for her to learn the ropes on. Maybe buy one and see which one of you is in love with it, and if the other wants more/less bike.

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@SilvFx

I’ll be going down to look at some bikes this weekend and you’ve given me a very extensive list. Thank you.

 

For the most part teaching my wife to ride my street bike (06 Monster S4R) went pretty smooth. Just around the house area and no freeway. However she did pop the clutch and the bike jumped up on her. She didn’t dump it, but was done after that. She said the bike was too much for her.

 

My thoughts, without the knowledge, is right on par with the growth plan you suggest. I’ll see how some careful suggestions work with her. My son just turned 15, around 5’10” and just recently started showing interest.

 

As far as street that will be very little. I live too far out of town and with so much country to see it will be 90%+ on dirt. 

 

@TheLetterJ

Good point on the e-start.

 

She went down to the KTM dealership today and what she’s telling me the salesman was trying to talk her into the 350exc. He didn’t really say why however, but stated that she’s was a little short and he would recommend lowering the bike for her (at a cost). I asked her if she sat on it and what she thought. But she didn’t get on the bike. I’ll take a look this weekend and the other models as well. 

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FYI...the KTM EXC's are the street legal versions of the XCW (Wide ratio transmission and lights), but the problem is they are emissions compliant and run like shit unless you put in a competition ECU.  Given you can convert/plate an offroad bike in Idaho (at least I think you said that), I would pick the XCW before the EXC.

 

That being said, based on what you indicated about your wife, the 350 XCFW 4 stroke KTM is WAY too much bike to start her on.  With your son being 5' 11", he can fit on a full size bike, so if he is going to learn with a passed down bike from your wife, you may want to start her with a CRF230 so it will fit your son too.  Take a look at some videos of these bikes and i think you will see and agree that anything beyond a 250 4 stroke and 200 two stroke (watercooled models) are too much to start on for your wife or son given they have no dirt bike riding experience.

 

If you buy the CRF150F or CRF230F (Trail bikes) used you can turn them with little depreciation when they are ready to move up to an enduro/offroad style bike.

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If she is intent on an orange bike look at the free ride. It'll still be tall for her stock. A 105 is another option. Snappy though.

You can cheat and loosen up the suspension.In a second someone is going to say don't do that. It can be put back when she's ready.

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Don't know that there is a beginner friendly KTM. The 200 is a great bike but is also alarmingly powerful. Maybe if it was tuned as soft as possible and had a rekluse?

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Don't know that there is a beginner friendly KTM. The 200 is a great bike but is also alarmingly powerful. Maybe if it was tuned as soft as possible and had a rekluse?

 

A 200 has one of the easiest power bands to handle IMO. Not to mention you can adjust the power valve with a screwdriver to make even more soft of a hit. 

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Don't know that there is a beginner friendly KTM. The 200 is a great bike but is also alarmingly powerful. Maybe if it was tuned as soft as possible and had a rekluse?

Honestly I have to agree with you. It's not impossible to learn on but definitely not ideal. I started on a ttr 125 (way too small for me being 5'10") and I rode a '98 200exc and was scared at first. Is recommend starting on a smaller bike for sure like the 230 mentioned above. Buy a used 230 and you'll most likely be able to sell it for what you bought it for. For example I bought my ttr for 800 put a few hundred into it and sold it a year later for 900.

Especially if the trails have rocks and such with the higher seat height and more power she might get herself into trouble. Even if the 200 seems mellow compared to other bikes it's still over 30hp and that's not all that easy to learn on unless she's going to be on fire roads for the first month. Plus it might turn her against the sport if the bike is too much for her.

Just something to think about since I am/was in a similar situation with learning to ride and all.

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Talked my wife on getting a starter bike before any large investment is made and our son can learn as well. Going to go look at a 2004 CRF150F, $2200 OBO and a 2004 KTM EXE 200 $2400 OBO. Both bikes are supposed to be well maintained with documentation. 

 

Went looked at another CRF150F, but the guy couldn't even get it started. At this point I'm really trying to track down and get a decent used CRF150F. Fingers crossed. 

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Talked my wife on getting a starter bike before any large investment is made and our son can learn as well. Going to go look at a 2004 CRF150F, $2200 OBO and a 2004 KTM EXE 200 $2400 OBO. Both bikes are supposed to be well maintained with documentation.

Went looked at another CRF150F, but the guy couldn't even get it started. At this point I'm really trying to track down and get a decent used CRF150F. Fingers crossed.

considered a 230?

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never mind about that, didn't read the posts above, the 230 is a good choice, e button, forgiving, and holds its value great. Your wife will want more power soon, but you can hand it down to your son.

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That CRF150F was WAY WAY overpriced.  Bought a 2006 CRF150F about 4-5 years ago for $1650.  And it was absolutely spotless.  Guy bought it for his wife.  I think she rode it maybe 3-4 times when they went camping.  Rode it for two years and sold it for $1575.  This was years ago.

 

Doesnt surprise me that it didnt start.  They are jetted super lean from factory and need to be rejetted.  Trying to start in the winter would be very difficult with stock jetting.  Take a look at www.kbb.com/motorcycles and www.nadaguides.com/motorcycles.  I bought my Honda CRF's at about 15% off the dealer retail price from private parties for excellent condition low hour bikes.

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That CRF150F was WAY WAY overpriced.  Bought a 2006 CRF150F about 4-5 years ago for $1650.  And it was absolutely spotless.  Guy bought it for his wife.  I think she rode it maybe 3-4 times when they went camping.  Rode it for two years and sold it for $1575.  This was years ago.

 

Doesnt surprise me that it didnt start.  They are jetted super lean from factory and need to be rejetted.  Trying to start in the winter would be very difficult with stock jetting.  Take a look at www.kbb.com/motorcycles and www.nadaguides.com/motorcycles.  I bought my Honda CRF's at about 15% off the dealer retail price from private parties for excellent condition low hour bikes.

 

Thanks SilvFx for the info on that and the links. 

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