Best bike for over the hill mx

So, a little bit to THIS story so please be patient.

I'm 48, when I was in my teens I owned a smattering of different 4s of the day, mx175/xr200/250/350.  In 1988, I bought a 1986 cr500.  I rode the wheels off of this bike and sold it in 1999.  Shortly after that I married, with kids following and started mountain biking.  In 2008 I really couldnt stand mountain biking for one more day so bought a raptor 660.  I also bought my son a Chinese quad which served well.  Last year I made the decision for both of us to go to bikes.  Mostly because my son was getting very brave on the quad and I could see things going bad.  I got him a crf80, and myself a 13 yzf450.  

So, in October we spectated at an arena cross a few hours away.  The bug!!,

The week following we practiced at local tracks and I felt that next year we would both start racing.  The 80 will be fine for time for next year while he works on his skills.  For the 450 I have some concerns.

I've added auto clutch, kick stand, bark busters, geared it down, larger tank, lowering link, clutch lever, and a host of other items to make it a better bush bike.  Now I've been told that the kickstand has to go, so I'm thinking about buying a second bike and use it just for racing.  I'm most interested to hear what the other riders have as I've never raced a 40 plus and have no idea what will or will not work.

Should I buy another 450? Or 250 2st, or 250 4st?  I'm torn, or just ride what I have?

I'm in very good shape, 5-11, 185.

All input appreciated, thanks!

For your size.  Any 450 with electric start.  In your climate you could wear yourself out before a bike even started.

Were you riding motocross earlier in your life or just woods?  If you don't already have years of MX experience I think a 250 4-stroke is probably going to be the best route for you.  Of all the bikes listed they'll be the easiest to ride and learn MX skills on.  If you had years of MX experience when you were younger then you'll probably be fine on any of the bikes you listed.  It's just your personal preference at that point.


You also have another option.  Put your YZ450F back to stock and use it for MX.  Then buy a dedicated woods bike.  MX bikes don't make the best woods bikes for a number of reasons and today's selection of really good enduro bikes is huge.  Yamaha YZ-FX's, WR-Fs, YZ-X, KTM XCs, XC-Ws, XC-Fs, EXC-F/XCF-Ws, Husky TEs, TXs, FEs, FXs and Beta RRs.  All those bikes are going to be a significant improvement in the woods over a YZ450F.  They have motors with more flywheel mass, tuned for low end that won't stall, wide ratio 6 speed gear boxes with low first gear and tall 6th gear, cooling systems (some with fans) designed to ride slow technical stuff without overheating, 18" rear wheel for a tire with more sidewall and better traction over roots, rocks, logs, suspension that is designed to eat up roots and rocks instead of deflecting everywhere, electric start, hydraulic clutches (on most), larger fuel tanks, etc, etc.

Just another option to think about.


Edited by Doc_d

KX 500

If you're dead set on purchasing another bike, Doc has the logical answer. Fwiw, unless you initially plan on racing competitively in an advanced class it's no big deal to make a switch from woods set up to moto, then back. I do it occasionally on my 150xc; Remove kickstand and barkbusters, plug bar ends with Odi bar end plugs, and adjust suspension clickers. In your case, swapping out fuel tanks and countershaft sprocket might be desirable. If nothing else, you can confirm whether or not you like the YZ on the track before making a buy decision.

Yes, very good points guys. 

I did race a few races in my early 20’s but lost interest as I could never hang onto the cr and was out of shape.

I like the idea of buying a Ktm for the bush, but the driving factor is mx bikes in this part of the country come up for cheap.  So I’m thinking I might hold out, try both my bike and a 250 next year.  

Swapping add ons back and forth would be a pain as I would be riding alternate weekends, and the area cross looks like fun too.  If I go the whole year it’s worth it to have both bikes.

I can see houring out a bike damn quick using it for both too.  I put 35hrs on mine this year just in the bush, and the government kicked us out of the forest early summer.

For the mx racers, do the majority of the over the hill crowd ride open bikes or 250’s?

I watched a few oth videos on YouTube and a lot seem to be open bikes?

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