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Finding the right bike for hare scrambles

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Over the past few years I have been racing hare scrambles and have progressed to where I'm in B class on decently tight trails with rocks and whatnot. I'm a skilled rider but 5'11 and 145lbs and am looking for a race bike (ttr125s). I had a 2001 CR250 that I converted to a woods machine and loved it and sold it to try out the commonly used ktms. I tried a 2010 300xcw (I know it was too much bike for me) and could never get comfortable on it as it always felt twitchy, harsh, and not planted unlike my cr even after getting the suspension redone on the 300. I then traded that for a 2012 250 sx that I also converted to woods (suspension and all) and hated for the same reason. It was twitchy, not planted, and beat the crap out of me pretty much. And now I'm on a 2014 kx450f that feels amazingly planted but is a terrible woods bike. (Didn't plan on keeping it, was just going to use it to get some cash for college). I've always heard that yz125s and yz250s are amazing in terms of their handling and suspension departments. I'm considering one of these two as I have found I do not like how ktms feel. Being as light as I am, I feel like a 125 might be okay torque wise in addition to the fact that I'm experienced. I want a bike that I can ride FAST on in the woods and I understand that power may not be the answer because on all of my bikes that have been obviously too big I have noticed that I get a ridiculous amount of wheel spin in the trees and that wears me out more than anything. At the same time, I have had success on a 250 2 stroke. On a 125 I could get over or through anything because of how light it is. Has anybody (who is not a beginner rider) raced a 125 in the woods and felt like it had enough power. Or should I just go with my gut and get a yz 250?

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Over the past few years I have been racing hare scrambles and have progressed to where I'm in B class on decently tight trails with rocks and whatnot. I'm a skilled rider but 5'11 and 145lbs and am looking for a race bike (ttr125s). I had a 2001 CR250 that I converted to a woods machine and loved it and sold it to try out the commonly used ktms. I tried a 2010 300xcw (I know it was too much bike for me) and could never get comfortable on it as it always felt twitchy, harsh, and not planted unlike my cr even after getting the suspension redone on the 300. I then traded that for a 2012 250 sx that I also converted to woods (suspension and all) and hated for the same reason. It was twitchy, not planted, and beat the crap out of me pretty much. And now I'm on a 2014 kx450f that feels amazingly planted but is a terrible woods bike. (Didn't plan on keeping it, was just going to use it to get some cash for college). I've always heard that yz125s and yz250s are amazing in terms of their handling and suspension departments. I'm considering one of these two as I have found I do not like how ktms feel. Being as light as I am, I feel like a 125 might be okay torque wise in addition to the fact that I'm experienced. I want a bike that I can ride FAST on in the woods and I understand that power may not be the answer because on all of my bikes that have been obviously too big I have noticed that I get a ridiculous amount of wheel spin in the trees and that wears me out more than anything. At the same time, I have had success on a 250 2 stroke. On a 125 I could get over or through anything because of how light it is. Has anybody (who is not a beginner rider) raced a 125 in the woods and felt like it had enough power. Or should I just go with my gut and get a yz 250?


I am 190 lbs and still ride a built yz 125 in the woods all the time, it has all the power you'll need in the woods plus more. Take my word, buddies ride 300s and 250s, I smoke them every time, even smoked eyes when their out.

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I am 190 lbs and still ride a built yz 125 in the woods all the time, it has all the power you'll need in the woods plus more. Take my word, buddies ride 300s and 250s, I smoke them every time, even smoked eyes when their out.

450s' not eyes, autocorrect. Screenshot_20170422-182808.png here's the bike btw.
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Does it matter which class you are in?  Does your race series have a 125 class?  Been a while since I had a 125 but I found it more work to go fast on a 125 than a 200 or 250.  Now with KTM's 150 some guys are riding those.  But on my 250 I come up behind guys on 150s in enduros and they look like a lot of work.  They are putting in so much effort and using so much energy to go slower than I am on a 250.  

But if you are young and you find that thrilling then I guess it could be fun!  :thumbsup:

But I'd vote 250 2 stroke. 

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That thing is sweet! Yeah I'm always jumping on the bandwagon of "oh it will have the extra power when I need it" but every time I race in the trees on those big (for me) bikes, some slick sections I'm thinking I would be fastest on an xr 100!

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Does it matter which class you are in?  Does your race series have a 125 class?  Been a while since I had a 125 but I found it more work to go fast on a 125 than a 200 or 250.  Now with KTM's 150 some guys are riding those.  But on my 250 I come up behind guys on 150s in enduros and they look like a lot of work.  They are putting in so much effort and using so much energy to go slower than I am on a 250.  
But if you are young and you find that thrilling then I guess it could be fun!  
But I'd vote 250 2 stroke. 

It's not the bike making them work hard it's the rider. I whip all bikes bigger than this 125 on it all the time, I have plenty of bikes and are probably fastest on the 125 in enduro races

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You'll work twice as hard to be competitive on the 125, but you'll be a much better rider when you go to the 250 2t... All things being equal you'll be faster on the 250 2t...

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Yeah this is what I expected some guys say 125 some say 250... I've been successful on a 250 before but i don't know if I would be faster on a 125 being 145lbs...

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You'll work twice as hard to be competitive on the 125, but you'll be a much better rider when you go to the 250 2t... All things being equal you'll be faster on the 250 2t...

I swear to god you just try to disagree with everything I say no mattet what the thread. In some areas if not most enduro races unless your a factory sponsored rider, a 125 is plenty, if you know how to ride one you can still be the fastest guy on the track. And my local enduro lets you ride any class on any full sized bike. Well they let you sign up but I've seen guys bumped from A class and into B due to slow times

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Yeah this is what I expected some guys say 125 some say 250... I've been successful on a 250 before but i don't know if I would be faster on a 125 being 145lbs...

I'm 190 lol
You'll work twice as hard to be competitive on the 125, but you'll be a much better rider when you go to the 250 2t... All things being equal you'll be faster on the 250 2t...

I could see maybe working harder to be competitive, but if you can ride well it isn't very hard.

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Well I've noticed that I work hard on a bigger bike just to muscle it around. I'm fast so I carry momentum. It's kind of a toss up between working hard for power and working hard for handling...

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Well I've noticed that I work hard on a bigger bike just to muscle it around. I'm fast so I carry momentum. It's kind of a toss up between working hard for power and working hard for handling...

250 should still be light enough to muscle around. Like I said, I'm 190lbs and I can open up my 125 and it still hits like I weigh 115lbs. No loss of power for me. Id get whatever makes you feel comfortable, I highly doubt there's a spot in most enduro races where you could be pinned on any 125 race bike for such an amount of time where you'd need more bike, but also, some prefer 250s, I love mine and I usually ride mine more because I can be faster in the straights, but still for the most part I am faster in tight technical on a lighter bike.

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26 minutes ago, Kibmj43 said:


I swear to god you just try to disagree with everything I say no mattet what the thread. In some areas if not most enduro races unless your a factory sponsored rider, a 125 is plenty, if you know how to ride one you can still be the fastest guy on the track. And my local enduro lets you ride any class on any full sized bike. Well they let you sign up but I've seen guys bumped from A class and into B due to slow times

We've only had a discussion in only one other thread, of which the information you provided was wrong... Regarding this thread, I never even included you in my opinion so I'm not really sure what your issue is? 

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We've only had a discussion in only one other thread, of which the information you provided was wrong... Regarding this thread, I never even included you in my opinion so I'm not really sure what your issue is? 

My info wasn't wrong.

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It sounds to me that you prefer the planted feel of a 4 stroke, I would go that direction.

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Hey, can you post up your latest race results please... Kinda curious... 

I generally finish in the top 5 every race in 450A

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Just now, Kibmj43 said:


I generally finish in the top 5 every race in 450A

Please show me. Of course you don't have to, but you 'tell' us you're fast, 'show' me... Race results, trophies, series points? 

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Please show me. Of course you don't have to, but you 'tell' us you're fast, 'show' me... Race results, trophies, series

Trophies? I race for fun at the local tracks on race nights with like a $500 purse, race results? What do you want a print off of exact races and finishes? Lap times? Idc if you think or don't think I'm fast your mad because I shit on your POS ktms and now your butt hurt in every thread I comment on. I'm not going to start this argument on here. PM me and I can give you whatever you want fool.

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Please show me. Of course you don't have to, but you 'tell' us you're fast, 'show' me... Race results, trophies, series points? 

You can see my reply above

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