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Which bike should I buy for single track and woods riding?

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If would not buy a CRF250L of KLX250S for the woods.  Pretty much pick any other bike that's been recommended and you'll be much better off.

 

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I put together the following summary following everyone's great comments and feedback.

Seems XR250R is the best rookie bike for riding single track woods, the KDX220 is the best bike for improving woods riding skills, and the WR250F is the best advanced bike for single track woods riding.

The XR250R and KDX220 are cheapest used bikes and fairly reliable and easy to maintain while the WR250F is expensive to buy new.

I like the XR250R and KDX220 36" seat height to make things a bit less intimidating as I improve my riding skills, and they are both a bit lighter than the WR250F.

For the 2018 riding season I'm thinking of buying either a used XR250R or KDX220 and improve my riding skills. Once I've become a better rider I'll be confident investing in a new WR250F. Is that a good approach?

 

Bike Summary.jpg

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Kdx 200 or 220 would get my vote, 220 is supposed to have a bit more low end but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between them. 

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I put together the following summary following everyone's great comments and feedback.
Seems XR250R is the best rookie bike for riding single track woods, the KDX220 is the best bike for improving woods riding skills, and the WR250F is the best advanced bike for single track woods riding.
The XR250R and KDX220 are cheapest used bikes and fairly reliable and easy to maintain while the WR250F is expensive to buy new.
I like the XR250R and KDX220 36" seat height to make things a bit less intimidating as I improve my riding skills, and they are both a bit lighter than the WR250F.
For the 2018 riding season I'm thinking of buying either a used XR250R or KDX220 and improve my riding skills. Once I've become a better rider I'll be confident investing in a new WR250F. Is that a good approach?
 
5a8c76b8c8091_BikeSummary.jpg.364877df5db3cf8af49690ec2a2aeba9.jpg

Yup. And if you start on a kdx you'll probably be hooked on smokers for life. They carry their weight lower than equivalent 4 strokes, are easier to start, easier to work on, sound better, are quieter, and smell good.
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On 2/20/2018 at 0:04 PM, HeavyRotation said:

They carry their weight lower than equivalent 4 strokes, are easier to start, easier to work on, sound better, are quieter, and smell good.

That’s the smell of fun :thumbsup:

Edited by Builderdude
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On 2/20/2018 at 0:04 PM, HeavyRotation said:


Yup. And if you start on a kdx you'll probably be hooked on smokers for life. They carry their weight lower than equivalent 4 strokes, are easier to start, easier to work on, sound better, are quieter, and smell good.

Once you go black, you never go back.

3067158898_1fb34c2e8f_o-L.jpg

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I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone for the great advice. I wanted to provide an update on my decision.

I test rode a bunch of bikes over the last few weeks. I tried a 2009 Husqvarna WR165, 2010 Honda CRF230F, 2002 Honda XR250R, and 2006 Yamaha TTR250.

The Husqvarna was an incredible machine - insanely fast, lightweight, great brakes and smooth clutch. After a 30 minute ride I found my feet and hands were pretty numb from the vibrations. It had good low-end pickup followed by no power and then the sudden top-end hit wanted to rip my arms out. I was able to chug along in 3rd no problem but found it required a ton of shifting in tighter stuff. The power was addictive but I could see it getting me in trouble for the kind of riding I want to do.

The CRF230F did everything well, but I felt very cramped at 6'1" even with riser bars. It was kind of boring and didn't instill any excitement to adventure or ride. On the positive side it was very easy to flick around and would be very low maintenance :)

The XR250R fit me very well and had a nice smooth power delivery. Kick starting it wasn't fun...took numerous tries and wasn't particularly enjoyable kick starting on an incline. I also found it lacked the low-end grunt that I expected from a 4T 250.

Lastly I spent some time on a TTR250. I discounted this bike when I first came across it, but as soon as I got in the seat it felt just right. The size fit me like the XR250R but it had the magic button. Power delivery was nothing close to the Husky, but it comes on smooth and has good low-end grunt. I managed to pull it up hills in 3rd no problem. The suspension is soft and the seat is wide, but I found it surprisingly comfortable and easy to move on even when standing up. My only hesitation was the lack of kick start for emergencies out in the woods, but I guess I'll get a chance to practice my bump starts :p 

After a bit of deliberation I went with the TTR250 and couldn't be happier. It is comfortable for my 6'1" size, has great low-end grunt, has e-start, and should be low maintenance. I'm excited for the riding season.

I also wanted to mention that during the test rides I tried a 5kW mountain bike. In terms of pure fun nothing beat the ebike - twist the throttle and the instant torque puts a smile on your face and you zip past everything in total silence. Up until 30 mph it is pure joy...anything above that starts to feel unstable on the mountain bike tires and frame. Above 30 mph the TTR250 feels WAY more stable and capable. If I had the money I would get the ebike for short rides around the local trail and the TTR250 for the long weekend adventures :D

Edited by bob_slinger
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You really want a new KTM 300 XCW. Its the two-stroke with more torque and low end grunt than most four strokes. And cheap, only $10,000 or so.

For a smaller budget, I'd look hard at the KDX200/220 or the CRF250L

 

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9 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

You really want a new KTM 300 XCW. Its the two-stroke with more torque and low end grunt than most four strokes. And cheap, only $10,000 or so.

For a smaller budget, I'd look hard at the KDX200/220 or the CRF250L

 

Too late, he already got an expensive ttr250. 

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9 hours ago, RidingWithStyle said:


best woods bike ive ever owned.

YZs are a pretty common hence my post of TTR pics. Some woods are fast. Some woods are slow. TTR does slow better than a YZ.

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Congrats on the bike, the TTRs are the Yamaha version to the XR250. good bikes for technical riding. post some pics.

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On 3/26/2018 at 1:54 PM, bob_slinger said:

I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone for the great advice. I wanted to provide an update on my decision.

I test rode a bunch of bikes over the last few weeks. I tried a 2009 Husqvarna WR165, 2010 Honda CRF230F, 2002 Honda XR250R, and 2006 Yamaha TTR250.

The Husqvarna was an incredible machine - insanely fast, lightweight, great brakes and smooth clutch. After a 30 minute ride I found my feet and hands were pretty numb from the vibrations. It had good low-end pickup followed by no power and then the sudden top-end hit wanted to rip my arms out. I was able to chug along in 3rd no problem but found it required a ton of shifting in tighter stuff. The power was addictive but I could see it getting me in trouble for the kind of riding I want to do.

The CRF230F did everything well, but I felt very cramped at 6'1" even with riser bars. It was kind of boring and didn't instill any excitement to adventure or ride. On the positive side it was very easy to flick around and would be very low maintenance :)

The XR250R fit me very well and had a nice smooth power delivery. Kick starting it wasn't fun...took numerous tries and wasn't particularly enjoyable kick starting on an incline. I also found it lacked the low-end grunt that I expected from a 4T 250.

Lastly I spent some time on a TTR250. I discounted this bike when I first came across it, but as soon as I got in the seat it felt just right. The size fit me like the XR250R but it had the magic button. Power delivery was nothing close to the Husky, but it comes on smooth and has good low-end grunt. I managed to pull it up hills in 3rd no problem. The suspension is soft and the seat is wide, but I found it surprisingly comfortable and easy to move on even when standing up. My only hesitation was the lack of kick start for emergencies out in the woods, but I guess I'll get a chance to practice my bump starts :p 

After a bit of deliberation I went with the TTR250 and couldn't be happier. It is comfortable for my 6'1" size, has great low-end grunt, has e-start, and should be low maintenance. I'm excited for the riding season.

I also wanted to mention that during the test rides I tried a 5kW mountain bike. In terms of pure fun nothing beat the ebike - twist the throttle and the instant torque puts a smile on your face and you zip past everything in total silence. Up until 30 mph it is pure joy...anything above that starts to feel unstable on the mountain bike tires and frame. Above 30 mph the TTR250 feels WAY more stable and capable. If I had the money I would get the ebike for short rides around the local trail and the TTR250 for the long weekend adventures :D

Just saw this thread. How is the TTR250 treating you? I got a 1999 last spring and have really enjoyed it, but I am thinking a new YZ250FX is the ticket for me next spring.

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Just saw this thread. How is the TTR250 treating you? I got a 1999 last spring and have really enjoyed it, but I am thinking a new YZ250FX is the ticket for me next spring.
Try a YZ250X before you buy another 4 stroke. Just try it, you'll like it.
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20 hours ago, HevyRotashunz said:

Try a YZ250X before you buy another 4 stroke. Just try it, you'll like it.

I have thought about going that route but had thought it may be more power than I am ready for. The light weight and easier to maintain engine would be a huge upside, though.

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I have thought about going that route but had thought it may be more power than I am ready for. The light weight and easier to maintain engine would be a huge upside, though.
They're both nice, but YZ smokers are just magical. They don't have electric start though.

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2 hours ago, HevyRotashunz said:
2 hours ago, dave074 said:
I have thought about going that route but had thought it may be more power than I am ready for. The light weight and easier to maintain engine would be a huge upside, though.

They're both nice, but YZ smokers are just magical. They don't have electric start though.

Dang it! Now you got me thinking!

What is the riding like out in Oregon? I assume lots of tight wooded single track, but isn't there a fair amount of desert on the east side of the state?

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Dang it! Now you got me thinking!
What is the riding like out in Oregon? I assume lots of tight wooded single track, but isn't there a fair amount of desert on the east side of the state?
Yup, everything you can imagine. I ride it all on my YZ. Vertical woods gnar on slimy clay, rocky tech, high speed super silty volcanic soil studded with razor sharp lava rock, grassy ranches, loamy MX tracks, dry SoCal style hardpack etc. The only bike that turns my head is the TX300, but i don't need it.

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