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YZ250X as a trail bike

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Just wondering how you like your YZX as a trail bike vs a Hare scrambles race bike? I know I enjoy getting over challenging terrain at a controlled pace. I am an older rider (58). I think the two front runners if I buy a new bike are the YZX and a used KTM 200. There is no real dealer presence for Beta or the other brands locally and I am only thinking about light two strokes. Tia.

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I really like mine, it's probably a little over kill for a trail bike IMO. It's really not much different than an MX bike except for the wide ratio gearbox. I personally like MX suspension for off road riding, so I think it's great!

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I enjoy the hell out of mine. I had an off-road modded 05 YZ 250 that I bought new and rode for 12 years. The X felt soft on power compared to my old bike when I ran it down the road after picking it up from the dealer but it feels perfect once on the trail. I would highly recommend it. I set my sag and have not touched a clicker yet and I have had my suspension revolved on my last 5 bikes.

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3 hours ago, nicad said:

Just wondering how you like your YZX as a trail bike vs a Hare scrambles race bike? I know I enjoy getting over challenging terrain at a controlled pace. I am an older rider (58). I think the two front runners if I buy a new bike are the YZX and a used KTM 200. There is no real dealer presence for Beta or the other brands locally and I am only thinking about light two strokes. Tia.

I just purchased a new 2016 YZX. I am a 62 year old trail rider. I also have a KTM 200EXC. 

The YZX is fun. Hey, it's new and different! I'm still in the "learning stage" of riding it and figuring out it's feel. The suspension on the X is great. The springs are correct and at near stock settings it feels great. The jetting is off a little and needs some attention. I am seriously considering a flywheel weight. Not that I have any problems with the power characteristics, I just want a little more "lugability" and stall resistance. Although the Yamaha has great brakes, I am starting to see what some people are complaining about. To me, they have plenty of stopping power, it's just the modulation aspect of them that I am having an issue with. When I hit the brakes with the KTM, I know exactly what they are going to do. I can steer with the rear of the KTM and I know how far the rear is going to slide with the appropriate amount of rear pedal. I'm not getting that (yet) with the Yamaha. That is not a deal breaker, just an observation.  

For the last 12 years, the KTM 200 was my primary trail bike. With a good suspension revalve/springing the KTM is a stone reliable and stable bike. Easy to maintain, light and small enough that you feel very comfortable and confident on it. I'm 5'8" and I can touch the ground easier (especially with a EE soft seat) than I can with the X. The quality on mine is top notch. It is easy to work on and maintain. Beside the KTM suspension issues, I can't really think of a quirk, with the possible exception that some people have issues with brake system maintenance. They can be hard to bleed, you just have to be patient when working with them.

At this point, my plans are to tweak the X and make it my primary ride. I'm in the process of "freshening up" the KTM. It's a keeper because I've had it so long and finally got the suspension like I want it. Time will tell, but if the YZX holds up and gives good service, I will stick with it. I've got to shave the seat a little,  get it jetted properly, and maybe a flywheel weight.

A KTM 200 is going to be hard to find. They aren't making them anymore, and it seems that people that own them are hanging on to them. I know I am. They are offering the 150 instead. I did not consider a 2017 KTM. If you can find a good 200, budget enough for a good suspension revalve and possibly springs. In my opinion, you will be frustrated if you don't get the suspension fixed!

The YZX and KTM 200 are totally different bikes. That is neither good or bad, just an observation. I love both of them but for different reasons. The YZX is a blast to ride, even tight trails! It has plenty of power, although it is smooth and very linear. The suspension is fine right out of the box! Good quality and finish. You will like it. The KTM 200 is a great trail bike, but IMHO, only after getting the suspension revalved by a good reputable suspension expert. It's comfortable, plenty of power and no surprises.

 

I hope this info helps. Good luck!

 

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Thanks for the replies. DMRogers, I was going to PM you about your KTM 200 and it's qualities vs the YZx, so your answers are timely. I have found a 2015 KTM with an acceptable price and a claimed 2 hours of use in rural Quebec, but that is about a 30 hour drive round trip. I guess your 200 is with the smaller 125 based frame?

 I had a 5 days riding on a KTM 300  with a Rekluse clutch, and three of those were with left hand braking. I think I quite liked this left hand braking, so that would change the brake issue (Not sure if your modulation issues are based in the brake design or pad material.) I think the Rekluse might work quite well with the YZ x . Probably wouldn't do that in the first year of ownership if I get one. 

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1 hour ago, nicad said:

Thanks for the replies. DMRogers, I was going to PM you about your KTM 200 and it's qualities vs the YZx, so your answers are timely. I have found a 2015 KTM with an acceptable price and a claimed 2 hours of use in rural Quebec, but that is about a 30 hour drive round trip. I guess your 200 is with the smaller 125 based frame?

 I had a 5 days riding on a KTM 300  with a Rekluse clutch, and three of those were with left hand braking. I think I quite liked this left hand braking, so that would change the brake issue (Not sure if your modulation issues are based in the brake design or pad material.) I think the Rekluse might work quite well with the YZ x . Probably wouldn't do that in the first year of ownership if I get one. 

The brake issue could very well be the pads. One of the first things I did when I got the KTM was different pads and I slotted them. Plus, I'm still getting used to the YZX. I have found at my age that I take things a little slower. 

Yes, my EXC is the smaller frame. So, as you might guess, the two bikes feel totally different. Both are great rides, but really, the Yamaha is the most fun to ride. I know the KTM so it is very predictable. No surprises. Even though the KTM is a great bike, and I found a great suspension person that finally got it fixed to my satisfaction, it still is no match for the KYB stuff. On regular trails, it is fine, but my wife and I have some practice trails here at the house and they are very rough. Tons of braking/acceleration bumps, roots galore and tight. Sometimes the PDS shock can beat me up. But it tracks very nice after the rebuild. It used to deflect off of anything.

I just got back from a quick ride up in the woods. I had a blast. Even though the trails are very dry, it was fun. A lot of how I feel about them is how I physically feel. I have had polio since I was one and it can kick my butt sometimes. So sometimes I can ride and feel like selling them. Then on days like today, I get a rush. 

Have you had the chance to ride an X yet? That is what happened to me. I was in the market for a new bike and was considering Yamaha, Husky and KTM. One ride on the X did it for me.

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No I haven't ridden the X, and I suspect a test ride will be hard to get. A few of the local dealers have one, but have not assembled them yet. My gut feeling is they will sell out this year and then I might have to wait. I also feel it is getting close to now or never to buy a carbed 2 stroke.  I can get them at a pretty good price in Canada. About $5700 before taxes. The KTM's run about 25-30% more. I have certainly read enough testimonials here to know I would find this bike a total blast. I guess my worry is that it is too live a wire.  That and the nagging feeling….do I really need a dirt bike? I do have a nice mountain bike and locally the trails are fantastic in the Toronto ravine system. The recurring theme though is you only live once, you are not getting younger and it's healthy to keep moving and challenge yourself. I have come so close to walking in the dealer and saying... wrap it up. 

 

Maybe tomorrow.

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13 minutes ago, nicad said:

No I haven't ridden the X, and I suspect a test ride will be hard to get. A few of the local dealers have one, but have not assembled them yet. My gut feeling is they will sell out this year and then I might have to wait. I also feel it is getting close to now or never to buy a carbed 2 stroke.  I can get them at a pretty good price in Canada. About $5700 before taxes. The KTM's run about 25-30% more. I have certainly read enough testimonials here to know I would find this bike a total blast. I guess my worry is that it is too live a wire.  That and the nagging feeling….do I really need a dirt bike? I do have a nice mountain bike and locally the trails are fantastic in the Toronto ravine system. The recurring theme though is you only live once, you are not getting younger and it's healthy to keep moving and challenge yourself. I have come so close to walking in the dealer and saying... wrap it up. 

Maybe tomorrow.

Please humor me and allow me to make a (long) reply.

I'm 62, have polio, had two bikes (2005 KTM 200EXC & 2002 Honda XR400R) and I'm looking at the final stretch before retirement. I didn't need another bike, really. I simply wanted a new bike to enjoy for the years I have left. I would not change that decision, it's been too much fun. And really the purchase was kind of an offhand deal. See, my son just won the regional ATV Pro Championship and promptly retired from quad racing. So, he wanted to try his hand at mountain bike racing. We are a cycling family, in fact Brenda and I did 20 miles this morning. Anyway, we went to the mountain bike race with Cam to watch and snap some photos. The local Yamaha dealership owner was pitted next to Cam and we spoke. I have known him casually for years. So I asked him when he was going to get in some Xs. He said he thought he might have one, and after lunch asked me to stop by the shop and he would check.

He didn't have one, but he got on the phone and found one. I preferred a 16 due to the regular finish on the wheels. Without any BS, he gave me a good deal and I bought it then. His daughter went and got the bike and I picked it up a few days later. 

We haven't been able to go on any big trail rides yet, we are pretty busy! However, we have several miles of trails here at home. My wife rides as well, and honestly, we hit the trails almost every day. It keeps us sane! She is a nurse and I am in IT (Tech services). Trail riding melts the stress! 

Our kids have left home, and the reality has set in that if we want to do something, don't hesitate, just do it. So, we are traveling, biking, trail riding, you name it, we are trying to do it. 

Several years ago, when the discovery that polio actually went into remission and comes back at a later age, my doctor told me that, "one day I would wake up (if I was lucky enough) and would not be able to walk again. The paralysis comes back, and it isn't pretty. I'm having more trouble with it every year. But I deal with it. As long as I can keep going, I am going to! The pain is just something I deal with.

So............ don't think about it too long. As they say, we ain't getting any younger! At this stage in our lives, it really isn't about justifying wants. Most of us have everything we need and mostly everything we want.

The guy that was nice enough to offer to let me ride his 250X at a trail ride that Brenda and I were at back during the holidays told me the same thing. He was about our age. He didn't need a new bike, but he wanted one and he enjoys riding. It keeps him sane.

Let us know what you decide to do, and how much you enjoy it. I know you will!

That is all. Thank you!

Oh, and I've enjoyed the conversation!

 

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Inspirational Sir. Great shots of those two bikes. Your KTM still looks new! I agree the 2016 looks classic with those wheels.  Several of my friends have been doing things lately with your outlook in mind. I held off biking when I had young kids. I viewed it a bit like smoking (I am talking street bikes). pleasurable, addictive and  dangerous. I have watched my relatives dissipate with Alzheimers in old folks homes and a friend who is 62 is pretty advanced with it.

I took up ski racing and mogul competition 7 years ago and this is my prime passion. Haven't missed a year  on the slopes since 1962.  I unfortunately had a bad fall racing a ten year old in a dual slalom two months ago. Still not back to normal and getting a bone scan on Monday for my Pelvis. Darn setback. I love all kinds of machines and have followed motorcycle tech for a while. My plan  has been  to buy a sport touring bike when I hit 60, once my youngest is at College.  (Either a BMW 1200 RS or a 650 sized sport tourer) And ride all over the continent and Europe.  Since I can't get hit by a car while woods riding, I can move this purchase up to now. I collect and restore cars as a Hobby and think I will reduce this and open up space for motorcycles. 

Great that you and your wife get out and do this together. I'll be riding solo with my cellphone unless I meet up with like minded folks out on the trail. I suspect there is a good network in Southern Ontario. 

I hope  you wear these bikes out well before that @$%@$ Polio thinks about making a visit!

If ever you are out in Oregon, there is a 62 year old guy I know who rides like the wind and takes customers out on his fully equipped 2017 KTMs and Huskys. 

Thanks for all this advice (on more than one topic)

Cheers, Bob

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mikeylikesit said:

The X can go slow all day but as a rider it's very hard not to ride it fast. It's just fun.

 

 

I bought an x this year after a 12 year or so break from riding dirt bikes.  I'll turn 50 in October and pondered buying a used bike and decided to just dive in.  I've never been a fast rider (but like to ride fast at times), and after taking time this weekend focusing on my suspension settings, and the addition of an FMF Gnarley pipe I can ride this thing slow and fast.  The bike does like to be ridden fast, but as you can see in the video I'm not riding very fast on these trails.  Can it handle speed? Yes, is it too high strung for just trail riding no.  Put a pipe on it and it won't need a flywheel weight.  The Gnarly made a significant change in the low/mid range in my opinion and I can lug quite easily, get the front off the ground whenever I need it.  

My last ride video is below.  

 

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After having (3) 200's in the past and now having had a few yz's under my belt I can share a little bit comparing the ktm to YZ.

If you are after lightweight, these two are a tie, the difference being the yz has a stronger livelier engine.   Thought I was going to keep the 13 & 16 200's forever.

well the outdated yz(for some) cured me of the hoarding tendency  :)

 

KTM handling is an acquired taste, if its the only bike you ride, then you can get used to it and you wont know the difference.  Howver, ride a bunch of bikes back to back and the neutral handling of the yz will feel great.   motor, chassis / suspension really won me over the pre 17' ktms.  

 

Yzx can be made even tamer than stock with timing adjustments, throttle cams, gearing, fww's, powervalve tuning, jetting etc...   it takes a bit more work to make it mellow like a ktm ( all around hardcore trail bike out of the box).  but it can be done.

 

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Thanks for posting the Video Fitz16….Lovely part of the country Oregon. Interesting that there is a lot of detuning potential Shaheeb. the throttle cam sounds interesting? Are most of you running spark arrestors? I'd have to where I want to ride.

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On 4/22/2017 at 2:23 PM, dmrogers said:

To me, they have plenty of stopping power, it's just the modulation aspect of them that I am having an issue with. When I hit the brakes with the KTM, I know exactly what they are going to do.

I must agree on the modulation ,Super slick creek bottom stuff with the 2016 small rotor  .  I upgraded to a larger rotor / braided line and it was a major improvement on modulation and power . 

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6 hours ago, nicad said:

Thanks for posting the Video Fitz16….Lovely part of the country Oregon. Interesting that there is a lot of detuning potential Shaheeb. the throttle cam sounds interesting? Are most of you running spark arrestors? I'd have to where I want to ride.

Yes TurbineCore 2 is USFS approved.  Assume it is approved in Canada.  I'd recommend adding the Gnarley although you don't have to.

 

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10 hours ago, Rosehill Ryder said:

I must agree on the modulation ,Super slick creek bottom stuff with the 2016 small rotor  .  I upgraded to a larger rotor / braided line and it was a major improvement on modulation and power . 

Which is a popular upgrade on the YZ. And apparently an efficient one as well.

But I've been thinking about the differences between my (vintage) KTM and the YZ. I think because I've had the time to ride a lot over the last few days. 

First, the front brake, as least for me and my level of riding, is fine and powerful enough. At least at this point. However, it is much easier to pick up speed quickly on the YZ. That extra power is apparent when switching bikes! I've caught myself several time picking up speed quickly in sections on my little test track that caused a little excitement. So I can see where a larger rotor and braided lines would be quite noticeable.

The rear brake has plenty of power. And I mentioned the modulation, and that is true, however, I started thinking that it might be more than the brakes. The KTM has different pads, plus they are broke in and slotted. The KTM has a well used rear Pirelli. The YZ has those massively new knobs and I can really tell it! 

Plus, I've been rear-steering with the KTM for years. I'm sure my familiarity with that bike has to come into play. 

The KTMs front rotor is the same size as the YZ. The KTM rear rotor is a good bit smaller than the YZ. And it still has great feel to me. Not that the YZ is bad by any means. I think the difference is more apparent since I can swap and compare bikes. Really, there is no comparison. They are too different to be compared in a serious way. It's still fun though.

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On 4/24/2017 at 3:50 AM, shaheeb said:

After having (3) 200's in the past and now having had a few yz's under my belt I can share a little bit comparing the ktm to YZ.

If you are after lightweight, these two are a tie, the difference being the yz has a stronger livelier engine.   Thought I was going to keep the 13 & 16 200's forever.

well the outdated yz(for some) cured me of the hoarding tendency  :)

You are right, both bikes are light. But the YZ honestly feels lighter to me. My real life test was the two times I have dropped it. It was very easy to pick up! Of course, the KTM has an IMS tank. That could explain the difference in feel. 

The YZ is very light and flickable!

KTM handling is an acquired taste, if its the only bike you ride, then you can get used to it and you won't know the difference.  However, ride a bunch of bikes back to back and the neutral handling of the yz will feel great.   motor, chassis / suspension really won me over the pre 17' ktms.  

It is an acquired taste, however, it's really hard to get used to a bike that deflects unpredictability and doesn't track like it should. After a good suspension revalve the tracking and deflection is much improved. BUT, the YZ is great out of the box! Plus, it does have a neutral feel. 

Yzx can be made even tamer than stock with timing adjustments, throttle cams, gearing, fww's, powervalve tuning, jetting etc...   it takes a bit more work to make it mellow like a ktm ( all around hardcore trail bike out of the box).  but it can be done.

Not having to shell out big bucks to fix the suspension leaves funds for taming it down. The FWW and throttle cam would be good additions.

 

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On 22/04/2017 at 4:16 PM, dmrogers said:

a quick ride up in the woods. I had a blast. Even though

Looks like I am in deep now, as I just put a deposit on a 2017 YZX.

I think they are going to sell out in Canada as our dollar craters this week

$5696 plus taxes. And that was without any haggling. Hopefully I made the right  life choice. I know my main biker friend was advising me to wait a bit. This has been a very difficult decision.... Now I have to build a trailer to House it and buy all kinds of safety Gear .

Thanks for all the advice

Bob

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4 hours ago, nicad said:

Looks like I am in deep now, as I just put a deposit on a 2017 YZX.

I think they are going to sell out in Canada as our dollar craters this week

$5696 plus taxes. And that was without any haggling. Hopefully I made the right  life choice. I know my main biker friend was advising me to wait a bit. This has been a very difficult decision.... Now I have to build a trailer to House it and buy all kinds of safety Gear .

Thanks for all the advice

Bob

Let the fun begin! 

Don't look back, just enjoy! I used to kick myself for buying something and then seeing it cheaper later. Not anymore. You are going to love it.

Just an update: Last Saturday I had some spare time so I decided to rejet mine. I just used jets from the spare kit that comes with the bike. Went with a 175 & 48 (from 178 & 50). It made a noticeable difference. Pulls much better now. Cleaner too. Eventually I will get the squish set properly and do some fine tuning with the jetting, but that can wait 'til winter time. 

Congrats on the new purchase! Be sure to let us know your impression when you get some time on it.

 

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