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I'm about to spend 10K on a dirt bike, is it the right one?!?

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Whatup?!

I'm 6'3" and 180 pounds, I'm about to buy my first dirt bike and price isn't too much of an issue but a bargain would be great! I'm torn between a KTM and Honda. I think 450 is the way to go. I'm strictly going to be doing trail riding in the woods. I'm very athletic so I can handle a bigger bike even though I have limited experience. What's the best trail bike to buy? I want it to last for the next three to five years

Thanks guys

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Your 'first dirt bike' meaning you have no previous riding experience ?

 

Even for experienced riders, 450's are often considered too much & too heavy for trail riding.

In your case, an off-road oriented 250 4-stroke would be plenty  (WR250F, CRF250X, KTM250XC-F etc.)

if you don't intend to ride MX tracks, don't buy an MX race bike as a trailbike as there are much better suited choices.

Edited by mlatour

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I've heard that the something like a 250 or 300 would be better for trail riding because they shift out of gears better in wood type areas but I'm afraid that because of my size it will quickly become too weak for me. Is a 300 the best bet? I think I'll outgrow a 250 after the first couple months. I've heard a 450 can't really get out of third gear in the woods. whats the best 300 to go with if that's the best size for a trail bike?

Thanks for the replies fellas

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Mlatour I've ridden a lot of four wheelers and a dirt bike maybe five or six times but I have a lot of experience with pretty much anything that has a motor. I can catch onto things very quickly but like I said I've heard that 450's can't really get out of third when deep trail riding

Mlatour, I've ridden a lot of four wheelers and a dirt bike maybe five or six times but I have a lot of experience with pretty much anything that has a motor. I can catch onto things very quickly but like I said I've heard that 450's can't really get out of third when deep trail riding

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I've heard that the something like a 250 or 300 would be better for trail riding because they shift out of gears better in wood type areas but I'm afraid that because of my size it will quickly become too weak for me. Is a 300 the best bet? I think I'll outgrow a 250 after the first couple months. I've heard a 450 can't really get out of third gear in the woods. whats the best 300 to go with if that's the best size for a trail bike?

Thanks for the replies fellas

 

You'd outgrow a 250 2 stroke? Might as well just get a 500 2 stroke. But you might outgrow that as well. Just go for a Maico 700 2 stroke. On a serious note very few people can use a 250 2 stroke MX bike to its full potential. KTM, Beta, Husky, TM, (sherco??) make 300 2 strokes, with the ktm being the most popular I would say. 

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My cousin(my ridin buddy) is getting rid of his 230 because it doesn't have enough power so I was just worried that a 250 would create the same issue. But maybe that extra 20 cc makes a big difference right? Would a ktm 350 be better than the ktm 300? From this advice I'm leanin to the KTM300 EXC. Thanks for the answers, I trust people on forums more than a salesman

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Although only a 20cc difference in engine displacement,

you can't compare a 230cc recreational entry level bike with a 250cc performance oriented off-road bike.

It's like 15HP versus 35HP.

 

Depending on your type of trails and current experience/abilities,

a two-stroke 300 is perhaps a bit much, especialy as a 1st dirtbike.

 

Many experienced riders are quite satisfied with the performance

and especialy the agility of a 250 4-stroke, say a WR250F or YZ250FX.

Edited by mlatour
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I'd grab something used and start riding to see what you really want, once your riding  try other guys bikes to compare.  10K is a lot to  learn you have the wrong or too much bike.

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Don't buy a 450. I guarantee you it will slow down your learning curve. Your basing it on your cousin's 230 which is a completely different thing than a high performance dirt bike.

* 230s are very mild air cooled 4 strokes... 15 horsepower tops, no top end at all.

* 250 four-strokes are high performance liquid cooled motors that can put down up to 40 horsepower and 20 ft/lbs of torque. The power is linear and smooth.

* 250 two-strokes can put out around 45 horsepower and 28 ft/lb of torque. That power is concentrated in a much smaller RPM range than the 250 four-stroke so it's much less forgiving and has a lot more "snap". A 250 two-stroke can put a new rider on his butt pretty quickly.

* 300 two-strokes put out just a hair more horsepower than the 250s, but about 34 ft/lb of torque. They have more of a bottom end focus and the 250s have more top end. They are actually about dead even in a drag race. A 300 two-stroke is not a bike a beginner should be considering.

* 350 four-strokes have around 50 horsepower and 28 foot pounds of torque. They are much more linear and less snappy than the 250 and 300 two-strokes. They have less torque and that power is made over a MUCH larger RPM range. So even though they have a little more power they are easier to ride.

* 450 four-strokes have around 55 horsepower and 36 ft/lbs of torque. Because it's a 4 stroke the power is linear but it's spread over a narrower RPM range than a 250 or 350 foir-stroke. That power is concentrated in a smaller area and lower in the revs making it harder to ride and more likely to put a new rider on their butt.

If you are going to be riding woods, get a woods bike not an MX bike. I'd highly recommend something like a KTM 250 XC-F or YZ250FX. Those bikes are in a completely different class than your cousin's "play bike" CRF230F. If we can't talk you into a four-stroke 250 and you really have your heart set on something bigger, then get a KTM 350 XC-F. It's got a lot of power but it's more manageable for a newer rider than any of the 450s or 250/300 two strokes. You'll have the best chance of learning quickly on a 250 four stroke enduro bike in my opinion.

There are a lot of people who are very fast, who have been riding for many years who can't fully use a 250 four-stroke to it's full potential in the woods. Trust me, a 250 four-stroke isn't going to hold you back at all for at least several years of riding when you are just starting out.

Good luck and welcome to the club!

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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Mate go the 350 , I'm your height 120kg and I ride a 500 in tight single trail , my riding buddies are manly on 300, I have no problem keeping up with them.

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Lots of good input here. My 2 cnts don't buy new, find a really good used bike you will save lots of $. Look for a bike with upgrades you will want down the line and you will not have to drop even more cash for all the extras. 450 is to much for a woods especially if ur a beginning rider. And it's the unexpected on a bigger bike that will put you on your ass and get you hurt witch u don't want. I always tell people get a bike you can learn and grow into and end up riding the piss out if instead of the bike kicking your ass. In other words starting smaller is better IMHO. See if you can test ride both a 2 stroke and a 4 stroke to see if yiu can get a sense of what you like. Will be hard because you have no reference point. In a nut shell 4 strokes are easer to ride because the power is always a small twist away. A 2 stroke takes more effort to ride because you are always trying to keep the RPMs up to get the power out of the bike. BUT The new class of 2S bikes make lower torque and are good for slower technical riding like in the woods And are much lighter than the 4Ss. As said by others don't get an MX bike / race version bike. Look at the trail bikes as by the obove post. Good luck, keep it safe and have fun as hell!

Edited by Bill_B
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Very good advice so far.

I would tend to agree that a 350 4 stroke will be the best all rounder for a new to the sport rider.... it has plenty enough power as to not hold you back even as you progress.

The 2 strokes do very well at technical riding as they will idle so low but they aren't a beginners bike in my opinion and if you want to really enjoy the sport, I would give yourself the best opportunity at doing exactly that by not buying a bike that will scare you.

Ktm are great bikes. I'm sure all the others are too, but o only have experience of these.

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Have a 350 4t, 5'10" & 190 with no gear... the bike is fast, its plenty of power for the woods and 5th & 6th are plenty fast in fields, open power lines/fire roads..etc. Until you develop decent throttle control and body position, even a 350 4t can get you in trouble quick. You will not out grow the power of any 250cc or larger modern enduro bike... for perspective, colton haaker races a husky 350 4t and the guy is blistering fast over stupid rough terrain. IMO they're the ideal bike size, they're just a tad heavier than 250 but make slightly less power than a 450. They're basically a 250 on steroids. 450s are heavier and the power is a chore in the woods, even for an experience rider. 2t bikes are a different animal and I wouldn't recommend one for someone new to dirt bikes but a 250 2t could be tamed with a power valve spring that kills that 2t power hit until you're comfortable and confident after a couple seasons. Then you could put an aggressive spring back in and wake the bike right up. 

 

The only way to really know what bike is right for you is to ride a few different ones after getting the basics of riding down which only comes with seat time. For this reason, I would not suggest buying a brand new for your first bike. I would buy something used and cheap that you don't care about kicking over. There is a learning curve transitioning from quads to dirt bikes. While you're in that learning curve, your bike is going to hit the ground pretty often... it doesn't stay up right on its own like a quad. Unless you're wealthy, you're going to cry when a 10k bike hits the ground and shit flys off it or you kill a radiator. Being nervous about banging up your brand new expensive bike can mess with you mentally and prevent you from riding properly and in some cases, it can actually cause crashes due to lose of focus or getting stiff instead of staying loose. I've bought a couple new bikes after quite a few years of riding, I rode a quad for a number of years too so i'm speaking from experience here. 

Edited by SenorThumpy
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daily, I agree with others that with your experience the 450 is too much of a bike. I'd much rather see you on a 250 4 stroke and no more than a 350 4 stroke. Either way, you're going to be growing your skills along the way. Starting with the 450 is too much bike at the current time for you. Notice also that I said 4 strokes for you as well, Much more linear the way the power comes on, 2 stroke may take some getting use to. Not better or worse but for you I'd rather see you on a 4 stroke.

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I've heard that the something like a 250 or 300 would be better for trail riding because they shift out of gears better in wood type areas but I'm afraid that because of my size it will quickly become too weak for me. Is a 300 the best bet? I think I'll outgrow a 250 after the first couple months. I've heard a 450 can't really get out of third gear in the woods. whats the best 300 to go with if that's the best size for a trail bike?

Thanks for the replies fellas

Because of your size? I'm 6'2" 225 lbs, and although it had been a few years since I'd ridden, I have over 20 years on dirt bikes, with racing experience, and my current YZ250F is more than enough in the woods.

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Just because you are athletic, doesnt mean you're going to man handle the bike, get that idea out of your head or you will end up humbled and hurt very quick. Go with a 250 2T or maybe a ktm 350; if you've never rode before those will probably be too much for you as well.

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Don't buy a 450. I guarantee you it will slow down your learning curve. Your basing it on your cousin's 230 which is a completely different thing than a high performance dirt bike.

* 230s are very mild air cooled 4 strokes... 15 horsepower tops, no top end at all.

* 250 four-strokes are high performance liquid cooled motors that can put down up to 40 horsepower and 20 ft/lbs of torque. The power is linear and smooth.

* 250 two-strokes can put out around 45 horsepower and 28 ft/lb of torque. That power is concentrated in a much smaller RPM range than the 250 four-stroke so it's much less forgiving and has a lot more "snap". A 250 two-stroke can put a new rider on his butt pretty quickly.

* 300 two-strokes put out just a hair more horsepower than the 250s, but about 34 ft/lb of torque. They have more of a bottom end focus and the 250s have more top end. They are actually about dead even in a drag race. A 300 two-stroke is not a bike a beginner should be considering.

* 350 four-strokes have around 50 horsepower and 28 foot pounds of torque. They are much more linear and less snappy than the 250 and 300 two-strokes. They have less torque and that power is made over a MUCH larger RPM range. So even though they have a little more power they are easier to ride.

* 450 four-strokes have around 55 horsepower and 36 ft/lbs of torque. Because it's a 4 stroke the power is linear but it's spread over a narrower RPM range than a 250 or 350 foir-stroke. That power is concentrated in a smaller area and lower in the revs making it harder to ride and more likely to put a new rider on their butt.

If you are going to be riding woods, get a woods bike not an MX bike. I'd highly recommend something like a KTM 250 XC-F or YZ250FX. Those bikes are in a completely different class than your cousin's "play bike" CRF230F. If we can't talk you into a four-stroke 250 and you really have your heart set on something bigger, then get a KTM 350 XC-F. It's got a lot of power but it's more manageable for a newer rider than any of the 450s or 250/300 two strokes. You'll have the best chance of learning quickly on a 250 four stroke enduro bike in my opinion.

There are a lot of people who are very fast, who have been riding for many years who can't fully use a 250 four-stroke to it's full potential in the woods. Trust me, a 250 four-stroke isn't going to hold you back at all for at least several years of riding when you are just starting out.

Good luck and welcome to the club!

Doc

Doc_d nailed it! Take all his advice to heart. I've owned all of the above except the new Ktm 350's, and for a guy your weight the 350 4 stroke will be perfect.

Only thing I'd add is a Rekluse core auto clutch. Almost stall proof. Put that on my ktm 300 2 stroke and 250 4 stroke and it makes it SO easy. 300 2 stroke is a beast, don't recommend for starting out. 250 4 stroke would be easy, however in woods, altitude changes and your weight, an elect start fuel injected Ktm 350 would be #1. It's Ktm's best seller, so resale is strong too.

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