1990 kawasaki KDX200 good for starter bike...for wife?

If it's in good shape, good starter? She's 5'8" with 34" inseam. Can use a clutch. Casual trail riding, plus will use as a buddy bike for family occasionally.

If she's comfortable with riding, and is aware that there is a powerband, then I would say maybe. Generally, big bore ( over 125 ccs I consider big bore) two strokes can be disconcerting, because of the hit when a two stroke gets on the powerband. If she's ok with that, then sure. That's a good bike and will be fun even when she gets more experienced.

Maybe not. Look at the KLX140.

While I love the old E-series KDX's, parts are getting hard to find, they are heavy, and they're a 2t. I think KDXGarage has the right idea. KLX140L or 140G, TTR125L(E), or a CRF150 would be make a better casual trail ride bike. Yeah, none of them are serious off road bikes but are very easy to ride, easy to find parts for, fairly lightweight, good on gas, very low maintenance, and are not that intimidating for newer riders.

If they're only keeping it to get the wife riding experience and she ends up liking to ride - they'll sell it soon enough such that parts availability won't matter.

and if she gets scared on the KDX, she will never hop on another one again. Start smaller and work your way up.

 

If the bike is being ridden, then parts availability is an issue from day one.

On 11/6/2017 at 8:24 AM, LSHD said:

If it's in good shape, good starter? She's 5'8" with 34" inseam. Can use a clutch. Casual trail riding, plus will use as a buddy bike for family occasionally.

i built up a 1998 ktm 200 for my wife to ride , lighter then the kdx and mellow as to ride slowly and plod around in the lower gears

have not had a whiskey throttle moment at all , 200cc 2 strokes are easy to ride beginner bikes imo , hell i even ride it on occasions and it can be tamed down really well ( i don't like snappy power , more torquey 4 stroke style ) 

On 11/5/2017 at 8:09 PM, VintageKX80's Rock said:

If she's comfortable with riding, and is aware that there is a powerband, then I would say maybe. Generally, big bore ( over 125 ccs I consider big bore) two strokes can be disconcerting, because of the hit when a two stroke gets on the powerband. If she's ok with that, then sure. That's a good bike and will be fun even when she gets more experienced.

I have to disagree. With the engine size/hit statement.

Get on an 80 and pin it from idle.

Then try the same on a 500 or even a 250. Can't really go wfo from idle like an 80 or 125. 

Fact is that little 80 is going to sneak up on your ass in a blink if you don't know what is coming.

Big bore 2 stroke bikes demand respect from idle. They still hit, but you're already hanging on tight.

Small bore not so much.... until it hits the pipe. Then you're either sitting on the tank in a wheelie or laying in the dirt.

 

Op, I love my e series. It's the best of both worlds. Slow and low on the trails. Then my kid gets on the mx track with it and wrings it's neck leaving many confused on why the hell an old bike WITH A HEADLIGHT is whooping their asses.

Bought it not running, turns out the p.o. thought the coolant bottle under the back fender was for oil. Ran it straight gas.

Took time and money, but I found everything I needed to get it right.

Edited by Jethrobolas

All you have to do to smooth out any "hit" is add a tooth to the front sprocket.

And if you keep the stock pipe and silencer it's pretty mellow anyhow. Properly jetted it should be no prob to learn on.

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