Suitable trail riding bike for relatively new rider...?

This comes from a fairly frustrating position after looking at various bikes for weeks on end... I am 5 foot 4, which when looking at off-roading trail riding suitable bikes limits me somewhat (or it did to begin with).

To begin with I looked (or tried for want of a better phrase) at Gas Gas Pamperas or CRF230s. Pamperas appear very few and far to come by (UK) and the CRF230s are either a lot of money for what you get, are stolen (not interested), or non runners... Plus, my worry with these is that I would quickly get too comfortable on them and want something a little bigger again...

At the moment I have an XR125, which has been an excellent bike for me to learn on - both on and off road. But now I find myself wanting to challenge myself a little more off-road and subsequently need something with a little more go.

I've come here looking for ideas.

I don't want something new/expensive given that it is simply a bike I will be learning on. It also needs to be 'easier to lower' or low enough for me already (I believe my max seat height is between 34-35 inch seat height), not too maintenance heavy, and not too intimidating - whilst being capable of trail riding and being fun.

Am I asking for too much?  :cry:

KX 100.

crf150rb 

An older xr200 might not be bad. I had an 86' model that I did some serious trails on. @Wild Alaskan can attest to that. Also a ttr230 might be alright, although the suspension is pretty primitive and might start to limit you after awhile.

Edited by Montana madman

yeah xr200s are pretty good for beginner riding if you aren't doing sand dunes or flat out hill climbs. 230s have gotten pretty chubby nowadays but would certainly work

20 hours ago, sambee777 said:

This comes from a fairly frustrating position after looking at various bikes for weeks on end... I am 5 foot 4, which when looking at off-roading trail riding suitable bikes limits me somewhat (or it did to begin with).

To begin with I looked (or tried for want of a better phrase) at Gas Gas Pamperas or CRF230s. Pamperas appear very few and far to come by (UK) and the CRF230s are either a lot of money for what you get, are stolen (not interested), or non runners... Plus, my worry with these is that I would quickly get too comfortable on them and want something a little bigger again...

At the moment I have an XR125, which has been an excellent bike for me to learn on - both on and off road. But now I find myself wanting to challenge myself a little more off-road and subsequently need something with a little more go.

I've come here looking for ideas.

I don't want something new/expensive given that it is simply a bike I will be learning on. It also needs to be 'easier to lower' or low enough for me already (I believe my max seat height is between 34-35 inch seat height), not too maintenance heavy, and not too intimidating - whilst being capable of trail riding and being fun.

Am I asking for too much?  :cry:

Since many on this forum are not from England, Ireland or Scotland you might want to elaborate on which models are available in your area. Some have different equipment than over the pond. For example a CRF230 here has no headlight and conventional forks. Other places it has a headlight and possible upside down forks, etc.

A true grow up-with-you bike that you can modify and upgrade for years to come would be an XR250R, post 96'. They are pretty short with stock springs.

Depending on how much your budget is, the Ktm freeride 250 could work for you.  It has a lower seat height at 36”

Hi all, 

Sorry for the embarrassingly slow response... 

 

@Jason76 Freeride's are lovely - went to a motorbike show this weekend and had a sit on one and they are at the very top end of what I would be 'comfortable' on currently. I am not the biggest of people, and often also find that when someone else sits on the bike the suspension moves a lot more than when I'm sat on it. Would appear I need to be piling on a few pounds... Unfortunately Freerides are a little steep still in regards to budget. I am not wanting something that when I drop it, I want to cry as it has all the spare cash I currently have invested in it. If this makes sense? 

@Firestone CRF230s here had conventional forks and no headlight here. Although, easily made 'road legal' by fitting road legal tyres and wiring in a headlight. It can then be registered, a number plate fitted, an MOT, and its ready to go. My only confusion with it is the drum break on the back? Is this the case across the pond? With regards to the XR250Rs post 96... There is currently only one on the UK ebay and it sits at the same cost as a 2014 KTM freeride. Appears these are either mega rare in the UK or mega popular.

@MontanaMadman TTR 230's are so lacking in the UK... I think in the last 6 months of keeping an eye on eBay and forums there was only 1 that has come up. TTR250's are much more common - don't know much about these though?

 

 

Low seat height, street legal usually available all over. And fun TW200. Powerful no, lots of plush suspension no. Lots of mods yes. FUN YES.

Low seat height, street legal usually available all over. And fun TW200. Powerful no, lots of plush suspension no. Lots of mods yes. FUN YES.
Rode mine to work today. Wonderful little bike!

Sounds like you just need to move to the US then you'd have all kinds of options and places to ride!!!

Beta X-trainer has a low seat and very tractable motor.

Yea the beta xtrainer is pretty awesome. I actually plan to buy one this spring. They're good for a beginner and advanced riders alike. The only trouble is i think it's more than he wants to spend. Here in the US they're about 7400 new

1 hour ago, Montana madman said:

Yea the beta xtrainer is pretty awesome. I actually plan to buy one this spring. They're good for a beginner and advanced riders alike. The only trouble is i think it's more than he wants to spend. Here in the US they're about 7400 new

My bad, saw that he's budget limited. However, compared to say the more race oriented bikes the X-trainer is a bargain because there's zero setup required to suspension or motor. Yes, some guards needed but only if conquering more advanced terrain. 

The Yamaha TW200 or XT225 are both great, shorter trail bikes but a bit heavier. 

2 hours ago, Montana madman said:

he wants to spend.

Not to be nit picky, as it were, but he is actually a she:ride:

 

3 hours ago, shrubitup said:

X-trainer

Lovely bike, but as predicted, a little over budget for the part time working student I am. It would appear that bikes are an expensive hobby and probably not the best to take up whilst money is an object that you have to consider at a central element of your life. Xtrainers are about £5700 this side of the pond... So not that much different. 

For some reason, XT225s have gained a mass following in the UK and they are more than TTR250s, CRF230s, similar to low milage CRF250Ls. Even in the awful state some of them are in!

4 hours ago, Montana madman said:

Sounds like you just need to move to the US then you'd have all kinds of options and places to ride!!!

Sounds like you need to pile a load of those bikes you lot are hoarding over the pond and send them to the much deprived British isle.

 

I have been eye-ing up some KTM EXC 200s today... Anyone have any experience with these? 

 

14 minutes ago, sambee777 said:

 

I have been eye-ing up some KTM EXC 200s today... Anyone have any experience with these? 

 

Too tall and too costly to lower. XT250 is ok but heavier than 225 and Bulkier too. 

200Exc is a bit pipey for a beginner.

What about klx140g Kawasaki or their klx250 with a lowering link? 

Ttr250 is a awesome bike but tall. 

2 minutes ago, shrubitup said:

200Exc is a bit pipey for a beginner.

 

This was one of my concerns... I hadn't done to my research into the TTR250s.

KDX220's come up quite frequently at a reasonable price - and my thought is that given they are 36inches (same as the freeride) they won't be 'too tall' nor too difficult to cut the seat down perhaps? 

I've had a few people suggest <200cc bikes. This is a bit of an odd size in the UK given that I am legal up until 125cc on the road currently and then have to pay £600ish to be legal on 125cc+ (which I intend to do in January - as I have to be 24). I feel like I wouldn't be going 'all out' at 140... Maybe I'm being a cc snob? :lol:

1 hour ago, sambee777 said:

This was one of my concerns... I hadn't done to my research into the TTR250s.

KDX220's come up quite frequently at a reasonable price - and my thought is that given they are 36inches (same as the freeride) they won't be 'too tall' nor too difficult to cut the seat down perhaps? 

I've had a few people suggest <200cc bikes. This is a bit of an odd size in the UK given that I am legal up until 125cc on the road currently and then have to pay £600ish to be legal on 125cc+ (which I intend to do in January - as I have to be 24). I feel like I wouldn't be going 'all out' at 140... Maybe I'm being a cc snob? :lol:

Kdx220 and ttr250 abt same size. The 220 has much better character for slow, narrow trail riding than the kdx200. Drz250 same size as ttr250. Drz250 is oil cooled which is nice. Xr250 also good but kicker only four strokes are a PIA to me. 

Not to mention Freerides are tough to get to run right (at least the 2t ones) and KDXs are all figured out years ago.

Would go KDX200 or TTR250.

XR250R is taller and kick only. Mine was cantankerous to start at times so wouldnt recommend one to a smaller new rider.

@sambee777 I like my under 250cv bikes. Rego is so cheap.

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