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Best Beginner-ish Dirt Bike

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Hi, I am looking to get back into the sport of dirt biking. When I was little I used to ride a Honda XR 50, and a Yamaha PW 80. I am now 15 years old, and 5'10", 135 lbs and am looking at buying a new dirt bike. I will be riding primarily gravel roads and short trails with friends, and also be visiting the track a fair bit. I have a few years of dirt bike experience under my belt, and I have also been riding four wheelers since I could walk. I currently ride a 400ex, and and have ridden CRF 100s, YZ85s, and YZ250Fs, so I can handle that power. I have a fair bit of riding experience, so I shouldn't need a true "beginner" bike. I have been considering all sorts of bikes, from 85 2t's to 450 4t's. The specific bikes I am looking at are

 

450 4t

250 2t

250 2t

230 4t

200 2t

150 4t

125 2t

125 4t

110 4t

100 4t

80-85 2t

 

I am open to any other bike suggestions. I would like to stay slightly on the cheaper side as well, as I am paying for the bike, and cant afford anything near new. Please point me in the right direction.

 

TOM

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250 4T such as the WR250F, CRF250X or KTM 250 XCF-W.  KTM 200 XC-W would work as well.  All of these are watercooled enduro offroad bikes.  I am hesitant to recommend anything beyond these in terms of power given your limited riding experience.  These will give you some room to grow  your riding skills.

Less expensive and also a decent place to start is with the aircooled 230 4 strokes such as CRF230F or TT-R 230

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Thanks everyone! What would you guys say is the biggest I could go. I would like to get a bike I can keep for a while, grow into, and not get bored with little power.

I am also leaning towards a 2 Stroke, mainly for low maintenance costs/easy rebuilds, and for the fun of the powerband.

Edited by TOM400ex

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Bump. I am now thinking a 450 4t would be too much cost in maintenance. Would this be true?

If so what other bikes are cheaper to maintain. (Oil Changes, etc.)

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450s aren't too bad, so long as you don't ignore filter maintenance/ proper installation, oil changes and keep up on valve adjustments, and cam chain wear/ replacement. 

I'm my experience a 250 f ( meaning hi-po 250 4t) it was too expensive to own.

im a diehard two stroke person, so keep that in mind, but the 250 2t is my bike of choice for me. It can be tamed down or cranked up. And I can afford it. And I just prefer to be riding one regardless.

for a beginner friendly low maintenance, easy to ride and reliable 4 stroke; look at xr250/400, ttr250, and the like of air cooled 4 strokes. more modern(and a bit more complicated) choice would be wr450f/crf450x

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the kid's 15 years old, 5'10" and 135 lbs.  prior experience is a 50cc bike.  He should stay very far away from from a 450 4T or even a 250 2T is going to be WAY too much bike.

A 200 two stroke (KTM or much older Kawasaki KDX200) is probably going to put you over your head ability wise, but might work OK.  It is a terrible idea to grow into a bike.

Edited by SilvFx

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Would a 125 2t a good idea? I like the looks of the YZ125's too.

 

I also like the sound of a 250 4t, as I have experience on one. My only reservation is the cost of oil/filter changes every 10 hrs, and the extremely high rebuild costs.

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Would a 125 2t a good idea? I like the looks of the YZ125's too.
 
I also like the sound of a 250 4t, as I have experience on one. My only reservation is the cost of oil/filter changes every 10 hrs, and the extremely high rebuild costs.

I am 5'11 180 pounds and I love my yz125. I also have a YZ 250 F but I ride the 2 stroke twice as much. It's lighter and easier to handle and what you hit the power band You have a smile from ear to ear
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2 hours ago, Four square T said:


I am 5'11 180 pounds and I love my yz125. I also have a YZ 250 F but I ride the 2 stroke twice as much. It's lighter and easier to handle and what you hit the power band You have a smile from ear to ear

What he said. If your considering air filter changes to be high maintainence then brother, maybe motocross isn't your sport. There is SOO much tuning potential in a yz 125 or really any 125 for that matter the sky is the limit. If your knowledge of bikes and they're inner workings is limited than my opinion is a 150 4t. Reliable. Not as much carb tuning required... etc. but you know what they say about opinions....

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I may not have explained myself clearly. I do have a pretty good knowledge of the inner workings of engines, having rebuilt a few myself. I was referring to the cost of oil and oil filters, compared to just mix gas with a two stroke. I understand the basic maintenance, but my ATV would be the prime "money pit" at the moment. I would like to keep overall costs down, as I am slowly getting into this side of the sport.

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16 minutes ago, TOM400ex said:

I may not have explained myself clearly. I do have a pretty good knowledge of the inner workings of engines, having rebuilt a few myself. I was referring to the cost of oil and oil filters, compared to just mix gas with a two stroke. I understand the basic maintenance, but my ATV would be the prime "money pit" at the moment. I would like to keep overall costs down, as I am slowly getting into this side of the sport.

Ahh gotcha. I don't think it matters what you buy, used bikes can always be a gamble. And it's not a cheap sport anyways. But good luck to you. Hope you find what you want. 

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I may not have explained myself clearly. I do have a pretty good knowledge of the inner workings of engines, having rebuilt a few myself. I was referring to the cost of oil and oil filters, compared to just mix gas with a two stroke. I understand the basic maintenance, but my ATV would be the prime "money pit" at the moment. I would like to keep overall costs down, as I am slowly getting into this side of the sport.

2 stroke are generally cheaper to maintain from my experience plus you can search Craig list and find one with the blown top end and get it replaced pretty cheap.

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So I am really liking the sound of a two stroke as of now. Can anyone point me in the best direction. Should I go a little bigger, and grow into it (300,250,220,200), or get something that is just right (85/125), and sell it in a year. I am tall enough now to straddle any bike and touch on both feet (long legs). I also know that the throttle can go both ways, and think I might be able to handle a little power, but maybe not :rolleyes:.

Thanks Again

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Start with the 125 and work your way up. You can adjust better with having experience rather than hurting your self not knowing. My story of the yz125 (which I love) I bought it off craigslist for $425 had a blown motor and the original owner was strapped for cash. Put about 350 bucks in the bike and now this thing rocks. I have a lot of the tools already so I didn't count for that as cost. Sometimes it's cheaper to have things done then to go out and buy tools for keep that in mind. IMG_1412.JPGIMG_1312.JPG

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9 minutes ago, Four square T said:

Start with the 125 and work your way up. You can adjust better with having experience rather than hurting your self not knowing. My story of the yz125 (which I love) I bought it off craigslist for $425 had a blown motor and the original owner was strapped for cash. Put about 350 bucks in the bike and now this thing rocks. I have a lot of the tools already so I didn't count for that as cost. Sometimes it's cheaper to have things done then to go out and buy tools for keep that in mind. 

I agree. I think I will look into a 125 2t.I can then work up to be able to handling more power.

That looks to be a real nice bike! What year. Did you have the frame powdercoated? Also, would you mind telling all you have done in mods to make it as good of a bike as it is now.

 

On another side note, what would all of you recommend as far as a 125 2 stroke goes? Is the YZ the best, or should I look at something different?

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I agree. I think I will look into a 125 2t.I can then work up to be able to handling more power.
That looks to be a real nice bike! What year. Did you have the frame powdercoated? Also, would you mind telling all you have done in mods to make it as good of a bike as it is now.
 
On another side note, what would all of you recommend as far as a 125 2 stroke goes? Is the YZ the best, or should I look at something different?

Tires
Chain and sprocket
Fork seals
Shock seal
Plastics
Rebuilt carb
New top end. (I have diamond hone)
Seat cover
I stripped the frame with aircraft stripper primed and painted with automotive paint.
I am sure there are things I am forgetting but I did all the work myself and I have a few buddies in the industry to get me deals.

01 yz125

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Where would I pick up the tool for cylinder honing. I can see myself needing it sometime in the future.

 

What kind/brand of paint. I can see myself building one as you have.

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Where would I pick up the tool for cylinder honing. I can see myself needing it sometime in the future.

Amazon has pretty good deals. You can also buy a flex hone for your cylinder but it has to be the right size.

Flex hone $20

Diamond hone $150

The diamond hone does a better job but it's expensive and if you see yourself using it more than once it's the better deal. All the bikes I buy Are broken bikes from Craigslist, I put some some money into and this is what you get. All of these bikes for under 3k

IMG_1767.thumb.JPG.1998d945f923a8b5226caf7cc6c990b4.JPG

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