What is today's KDX?

Hello all...it has been a long while since I've been here...and an even longer time since I've been in the dirt.

Here's the background.  When I rode frequently it was on an IT200 and a KDX200 in the woods of Michigan as a 165 lb teenager.  I'm now in my late forties, 225 lbs, in Central Texas, with a son who is zipping on pee-wee moto tracks on a JR50 I rebuilt for him. 

Good excuse for me to abandon the street and get back into the dirt.  I have the budget for only one bike, and I'm looking for the following characteristics.

  • Tame enough to be able to cow-poke on trails with my kids on family weekends without the bike feeling frustrated (the reason I don't like my FZ1 in the city...it is meant to GO and hates restrained riding)
  • Serious enough when ridden with purpose/aggression that I can run vet-class hare scrambles or 40+ motocross competitively without destroying the bike
  • All-day comfortable if I end up on an all-day ride in West Texas
  • Maintainable by a garage mechanic at reasonable cost...looking to avoid four-stroke top ends with shim-under-buckets and titanium valves every 15 hours
  • classic two-stroke power curves preferred, but the right four-stroke would be fine
  • Available on the used market at a reasonable price (under 3K in good condition)
  • Made in the last 10 years to ensure good parts availability and aftermarket support...I had a '92 KDX250 that got sold when worn powervalve replacement barrels were no longer available

Basically, I think I might love an RMX250 or properly set up KDX200, but the newest of those are 12-15 years old.  I'd also consider an XR400 or KLX300, but the age thing for support and wear comes into play.  Newer four-strokes seem to be maintenance hand-grenades by comparison to the pre-YZ400 four-bangers.  Converted motocrossers are probably too high strung to ride with the family.  Since I'm building/buying bikes for the family, I can't afford the latest from Beta/KTM/Husky, etc...

So, what is out there that would fit the bill in your collective opinions?

Addendum...if I'm being completely unreasonable in my "must-haves" list, then tell me which part needs to be sacrificed.  I'll give up distance comfort.  I'll give up two-stroke power curves if need be. 

I just remember the days when a guy could go all "Scott Summers" and win an open-class moto with a kitted XR600 that could still be used for trail work at a reasonable overall cost.  I also remember when someone could go "Jeff Fredette"  and zero-out an A-loop on a playbike that was still all-day-fun away from the race without breaking the bank.  Are those days just gone?

A mid to late 2000's YZ250. Take a couple degrees out of the timing, add a torque pipe (FMF Gnarly or Pro Circuit 2) and a 9 oz flywheel weight.


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Thanks TT Addict...you're pretty sure that will still be relaxed enough to allow me to trail with my kids?  If so, that is a project I can start right away.

 

Any other recommendations?

You might want to gear it down a little at first if you're riding with a JR50. The bike will easily chug along. Thing about kids, they learn and grow fast. It won't be long and they'll be on a 65 or 85 and waiting on YOU.

 

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Lots of bikes would fit the bill, YZ250 is a hard hitting MX bike that will blow the doors off the YZ490's of the era bikes your used to, would take a fair bit of set up to do all the tasks you'd be asking of it.

Bikes I'd consider knowing your uses, not order of ranking. CRF250X, KTM 250XCF, 200XC, 250XC, 300XC, YZ250FX, YZ250X. Knowing your price range would help narrow them down. KTM 400EXC 05-07 might be a good fit also, think of it as a more modern xr400, very reliable as was very popular during it's hay day.

Don't shy from fourstrokes, those made in the last 6-7 years are very reliable.

Thanks, TommyB.  I'll probably look at the larger displacement bikes if I go four-stroke, given I'm now 225lbs.  As I stated in the first post, I'm giving myself a hard cap of $3K, with mod money coming later.

Edited by dingerjunkie
additional info.

The current off-road do everything bikes are 200-300 ktms. There is no direct KDX equivalent. 

 

 I hate poking along on 4 strokes. Any   2 stroke is bettet to me. If you choose a 4 make sure it has a fan.

ktm 300, any one of them.

On 8/7/2017 at 8:29 AM, dingerjunkie said:

Hello all...it has been a long while since I've been here...and an even longer time since I've been in the dirt.

Here's the background.  When I rode frequently it was on an IT200 and a KDX200 in the woods of Michigan as a 165 lb teenager.  I'm now in my late forties, 225 lbs, in Central Texas, with a son who is zipping on pee-wee moto tracks on a JR50 I rebuilt for him. 

Good excuse for me to abandon the street and get back into the dirt.  I have the budget for only one bike, and I'm looking for the following characteristics.

  • Tame enough to be able to cow-poke on trails with my kids on family weekends without the bike feeling frustrated (the reason I don't like my FZ1 in the city...it is meant to GO and hates restrained riding)
  • Serious enough when ridden with purpose/aggression that I can run vet-class hare scrambles or 40+ motocross competitively without destroying the bike
  • All-day comfortable if I end up on an all-day ride in West Texas
  • Maintainable by a garage mechanic at reasonable cost...looking to avoid four-stroke top ends with shim-under-buckets and titanium valves every 15 hours
  • classic two-stroke power curves preferred, but the right four-stroke would be fine
  • Available on the used market at a reasonable price (under 3K in good condition)
  • Made in the last 10 years to ensure good parts availability and aftermarket support...I had a '92 KDX250 that got sold when worn powervalve replacement barrels were no longer available

Basically, I think I might love an RMX250 or properly set up KDX200, but the newest of those are 12-15 years old.  I'd also consider an XR400 or KLX300, but the age thing for support and wear comes into play.  Newer four-strokes seem to be maintenance hand-grenades by comparison to the pre-YZ400 four-bangers.  Converted motocrossers are probably too high strung to ride with the family.  Since I'm building/buying bikes for the family, I can't afford the latest from Beta/KTM/Husky, etc...

So, what is out there that would fit the bill in your collective opinions?

KTM 200 EXC or XC-W. 200cc, light weight, tame and reliable. :)

20170807_134201.jpg.f271d04df492eeba4535dd5187e5ad5a.jpg

Yamaha WR250F. Every bit as reliable as any two stroke. All day comfort. Fast enough. Doesn't run hot unlike any 450F. Uses little gas. Electric start. 

250 four stroke of some sort. They make plenty of power compared to old stuff like the kdx etc. and are way easier to ride. Enough to haul 220bs around too.

The modern 4 strokes dont need constant top enda and valve adjustments if they are being trail ridden. Those recommendations are for hard core racers / MX'ers that are revving the bike all the time. For trail riding, change the oil and keep the air filter clean. Check the valves once a year and adjust as needed.

Even for $3k, im sure you could find an older EXC200/250/300 that would be a good fit.

2 hours ago, XRalways said:



Even for $3k, im sure you could find an older EXC200/250/300 that would be a good fit.

Suspension on these older models is poor. One shouldn't sacrifice so much just to have a KTM. Obviously he could have a KX RM CR YZ 250 for less than $3K too and have decent suspension once trail modded (unlike old KTM). However, he doesn't need a zippy two stroke for what he's described at this point. 

Thanks, everyone, for your replies.  I think I'll begin my search with the likes of KTM 200/250/300 XC, XCW or EXC.  I found a few mid-2000's GasGas, but I'll avoid those due to the likelihood of parts availability issues in the future.

If I an find a clean KTM400 to check out, I guess I will.

I hadn't really given any thought to 250F motocross bikes, but they may have the right mix of "go" and easy trail riding with their inevitably softer low-end power.  Glad to hear they're not the hand grenades I've heard them to be...I'll just need to be careful about wear levels with a used 250F if I go that way...don't wish to be rebuilding one any time soon.

Just now, shrubitup said:

Suspension on these older models is poor. One shouldn't sacrifice so much just to have a KTM. Obviously he could have a KX RM CR YZ 250 for less than $3K too and have decent suspension once trail modded (unlike old KTM). However, he doesn't need a zippy two stroke for what he's described at this point. 

...actually, the one thing that is keeping me considering the two strokes is that I love "coming on the pipe" when I have the chance.  I'm looking for that zippy nature, while still being just tame enough to be manageable on a day of family trail riding/exploring.

Didn't realize suspension was such an issue with the older KTM lines.

1 minute ago, dingerjunkie said:

...actually, the one thing that is keeping me considering the two strokes is that I love "coming on the pipe" when I have the chance.  I'm looking for that zippy nature, while still being just tame enough to be manageable on a day of family trail riding/exploring.

Didn't realize suspension was such an issue with the older KTM lines.

Many will say that you can tune the older KTM suspension and while that's true - the result isn't so great. Just my opinion. For all day trail riding with kids the off road oriented two stroke (instead of MX oriented) is definitely what you'd want if you went two stroke but result typically is more fatigue than a 250F trail bike. 

Im not a KTM whore; but it seems to me that one of those bikes would be a goodfit for the OP.

250F's can be ready to pop. At $3k you are looking at 8ish years old. Depends on highly on what kind of maintenance was done before hand. Receipts are good to have.

Or, a nice 04? 06? Kdx220. Cant remember the last year. Around hear I have seen some super clean KDX220's for around $2500.

1 minute ago, XRalways said:

Im not a KTM whore; but it seems to me that one of those bikes would be a goodfit for the OP.

250F's can be ready to pop. At $3k you are looking at 8ish years old. Depends on highly on what kind of maintenance was done before hand. Receipts are good to have.

Or, a nice 04? 06? Kdx220. Cant remember the last year. Around hear I have seen some super clean KDX220's for around $2500.

KDX. Yes. Great bike for what he wants. 97-05 for 220. 96-06 for 200. 

12 minutes ago, dingerjunkie said:

 

If I an find a clean KTM400 to check out, I guess I will.

 

The older KTM RFS oriented engine is very good for reliability. The older KTM suspension on the four strokes just seems to work better due to the nature of the weight and power delivery of the four stroke. Purely my opinion. I had a 2000 KTM 200 EXC. Terrible forks that couldn't be cured IMO. If it weren't for the forks then that bike would have been great. 

Edited by shrubitup

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