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PNW Woods Bike - Recommendations ?

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I've read numerous posts on here regarding "what bike is best for me", and the bazillion comments, which confuses me more.  So I figured I'd post my own and see what kind of response I get.  Short story... Female, late 40s, riding in the Pacific Northwest, just got back into it this last year. 80% woods (single track or ATV trails, LOTS of trees, ruts, rocks, and roots), 20%... other stuff.  Currently riding a 1995 XR250R.  In years past I owned late 80s XR200 and early 90s CR250, but desert / So Cal kind of riding then.  The CR was a bit too much zip for me then.  I'm fairly new to the woods, so learning how to ride more technical, and why they call them "bark busters".  I'm looking at moving up, over, whatever to a different bike.  The XR is bullet proof, but a tad heavy, and kind of... rigid (?).  I keep thinking I'd like to find the middle ground of the XR and a 125 2 stroke. Something lighter, more nimble or whatever. So the search is leading me to some late 2000s 4 stroke mxers.   Currently eyeballing a 2009 CRF250R, and a 2007 YZ250F.   Am I on the right track ?   I've considered the 2000s YZ, KX, CR, RM 125 as well, with the mods for woods...  The idea of a 195 lb bike, and jack rabbit style riding is intriguing :)  but reading the 4s might be more forgiving, don't have to be wound out as much, and give a steady power band... yeah I know, valve checks, oil and filter changes, maint stuff n things.  Thoughts ?

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I second the 200 or maybe a 150? My son bought his GF a 2008 KTM 144 SX. This too is a 200 lbs bike. You say you worry about having to have it wound out but she rides it all day long and as far as I am concerned she never seems to wind it out. Yes every now and then she opens it up with a open straight stretch but like you she rides in the PNW in conditions you mentioned so the bike is being lugged most of the time. In the 2 or 3 years she has had the bike it has not once failed her in the field. Fires up with ease and has always been dependable.

 

SHE absolutely loves the bike.

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I've always owned 4 strokes because I like the torque its nice in the woods over rocks etc I think you would like being on a 4stroke so I mean you would take a little bit to adjust I rode a 2006 crf250 about 2 years ago great bike lots of fun then I switched to a 2011 kx250f I can't go back to a bike that isn't fuel injected theres such a huge difference in a carb bike and fuel injected if you have the money to buy a 2009 and newer do it you won't be let down

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I second some of the KTM 200 recommendations and would add the CRF230F to the list.  You mention the CRF250F and the KX250F.  Those are race bikes and I personally feel they would wear you out with the throttle snatch.  The on/off nature of trail riding requires an easy throttle "roll on" and race bikes will require heavy clutch work to ease the snatch.  I found this was the case with my CRF250X and it is mellower then then it's race counterparts.  If you did get a race bike then you could do what I did, add a heavier flywheel and a throttle tamer which would help.  

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What area in Washington are you closer to Tahuya or Walker. I'm close to Tahuya and could arrange a couple of bikes for you to test. I know several women that ride. Most are on 200 2st snd 250 4st with a couple on 250 and 300 2st. We can find you the bike that's going to be right for you. Plus have you meet some other local women to ride with. I can send you a pm with my number if you would like.

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Thanks for all of the replies. Im seriously rethinking my target list now. Bike weight, reliability and versatility are the biggies. I'll keep reading and researching.
So KTM seems to most loved... heard parts are hard to find and expensive - truth or fiction?

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What area in Washington are you closer to Tahuya or Walker. I'm close to Tahuya and could arrange a couple of bikes for you to test. I know several women that ride. Most are on 200 2st snd 250 4st with a couple on 250 and 300 2st. We can find you the bike that's going to be right for you. Plus have you meet some other local women to ride with. I can send you a pm with my number if you would like.

Thanks!!! Yep, Tahuya is where we ride. Feel free to send a msg. We can chat that way

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7 minutes ago, kdboydstun1 said:

So KTM seems to most loved... heard parts are hard to find and expensive - truth or fiction?

 

That's patently not true. Parts are easy to find as there are actually dealers for these bikes, go try to find parts for an Italian husky locally LOL. Expensive parts is also false, replacement parts run about the same across the board. Modern KTM's are very reliable so if you find one in good shape for purchase more than likely you'll only be buying standard wear parts for maintenance unless you're like me and like to wad the bike up occasionally breaking stuff. 

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