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Which bike? Getting into and upgrading.

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1. What is your skill Level (be honest)?

Novice-Intermediate 

2. What's your height & weight?

5’9, 220 with work clothes on, I’ll be a tad more once suited up with all the gear.

3. What year, make, & model of motorcycle are you coming from?

Well I’ve had a Honda crf230f and I feel like it’s time to move up to the next learning level. Its a complete stock bike. 

And, what do you want the new bike to do better?

well the usual things, speed... jumps... more hp... that pulling feeling thru the gears...,but not arm ripping.

4. What's your ballpark budget? 

Im purchasing new.

5. What types of terrain will you be riding?

Woods, fields, harescrambles races. And some mx so I can work on jumps like harescrambles would have. Not 60 foot triples.

6. Will you be racing or just play riding?

both, I ride as a weekend warrior at the deercamp from spring to dove season with friends. It covers fields, woods. Only attempt at mx track was small jumps and whoop sections, and the corners.

im am dying to race the harescrambles in the secca series down here in the Ms,AL,Tn area.

probably in the 30+ c class, I know It’s probably more competition than I can handle but gotta start somewhere, right?

brand doesn’t matter to me...

maintainence.... I know it comes with all types. My 230 has been just change oil and check air filter. But I know I can be more elaborate with a new bike. 

I hope this helps with any suggestions for a bike. My local dealer Carries all brands.


 

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You'll probably want to look at one of the cross country bikes.  These are suited for fast hare scrambles and even some track time.  Here's bikes I think should be on your short list...

Two stroke... Yamaha YZ250X, KTM 250 XC or Husky TX 250

Four stroke... Yamaha YZ250FX,  KTM 250/350 XC-F or Husky FX 250/350

You should narrow it down to 2 stroke or 4 stroke first.  Do you have a preference?  If you decide on a 4-stroke you'd next have to decide if you want a 250 or 350.

Doc

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A new ktm has a very tall seat height 39inchs or so , you would need to lower it most likely. Do some research for bikes that you can touch the ground , --  xtrainer ext. The older ktm are at around 37inches. I think for you 37inches and less is practical. Other than that all new bikes are good , euro bikes are better for more money. 

Pick up a old xr or kdx etc and fix it up and ride it as well. It makes a good spare buddy bike and builds up wrenching skills.

 

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I’ve been looking at the ktm 350 exc-f.

im guessing I could use it also for harescrambles? And all the other riding I want to do, another reason being I can plate it for the 1 week I ride in Colorado that would be very useful.

i see that many of these style bikes don’t have a backup kick start on them. Is that a concern?

would the 350 be a good choice?

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24 minutes ago, mswings said:

I’ve been looking at the ktm 350 exc-f.

im guessing I could use it also for harescrambles? And all the other riding I want to do, another reason being I can plate it for the 1 week I ride in Colorado that would be very useful.

i see that many of these style bikes don’t have a backup kick start on them. Is that a concern?

would the 350 be a good choice?

 

I have the 350 XCF-W which was a previous model that was the EXC-F without all the emissions stuff on it.  I love mine.  It's super easy to ride and makes everything easier than it should be. 

The only downside, and it's not KTM's fault, is it comes with all the emissions stuff and an ECU programmed to EPA specs.   If you want it to run the way the engineers intended you're going to have to desmog it, put on a different muffler end cap or slip-on muffler and put in a Vortex ECU.  It will run VERY hot stock, be prone to flame-outs and lack performance.   Stock I think they dyno at something like 38 or 39 horsepower.   Desmogged, with slip-on muffler or end-cap and the Vortex I want to say they dyno'd at 48 horsepower.

But it isn't just a power thing.  They run much, much cooler.  They don't stall.  And the bike just feels happier everywhere in the rev range.

Also if you get the EXC-F there are 2 other things you might want to consider for serious offroad use.  Different tires and different final gearing.  Stock they are setup with DOT tires and gearing that makes it comfortable on the road.  

Doc

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3 hours ago, mswings said:

I’ve been looking at the ktm 350 exc-f.

im guessing I could use it also for harescrambles? And all the other riding I want to do, another reason being I can plate it for the 1 week I ride in Colorado that would be very useful.

i see that many of these style bikes don’t have a backup kick start on them. Is that a concern?

would the 350 be a good choice?

I can tell you that no backup kick start can be a pain in the butt.  Just spent a couple hours in Moab.  One of them had a 350 XCF-W and the starter would not engage to start it, no kickstart and attempts to tow it to pull start didnt work because the bendix was still half engaged.  Ended up having 10 guys are so trying to tow it back 10 or so miles and barely made it home by dark.  Not fun.  If KTM has a kit to add the kickstart, i would add it just in case it is needed due to elec starter or battery failure.

XC-F bikes i believe are plug and play for lighting kits.  Can you convert/plate dirt bikes in MS?

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1 hour ago, SilvFx said:

I can tell you that no backup kick start can be a pain in the butt.  Just spent a couple hours in Moab.  One of them had a 350 XCF-W and the starter would not engage to start it, no kickstart and attempts to tow it to pull start didnt work because the bendix was still half engaged.  Ended up having 10 guys are so trying to tow it back 10 or so miles and barely made it home by dark.  Not fun.  If KTM has a kit to add the kickstart, i would add it just in case it is needed due to elec starter or battery failure.

XC-F bikes i believe are plug and play for lighting kits.  Can you convert/plate dirt bikes in MS?

Ugh I didn't realize they removed the kicker... My '16 has it.   I hate that trend.

 

Doc

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Plating here 

requires 1 headlight, 1 rear brake. Is all I could read for Ms dmv. They didn’t say anything about blinkers and such.

i would like to have the kick start,

maybe I should look harder at the 250xc, 300xc 2 stroke and just add a plug and play sicass lighting kit if needed!??

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At first I was thinking a Honda CRF250X would be the bike for you, but after reading all that you wanted to do (race, do everything et cetera) I would suggest a KTM 300. Way less maintenance than a 4 stroke, easy to ride (300s are tame tigers) and fun as hell. Lots of decent used 300s everywhere.

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18 hours ago, mswings said:

Plating here 

requires 1 headlight, 1 rear brake. Is all I could read for Ms dmv. They didn’t say anything about blinkers and such.

i would like to have the kick start,

maybe I should look harder at the 250xc, 300xc 2 stroke and just add a plug and play sicass lighting kit if needed!??

If you want the MS license plate to make the bike street legal, I would nail down exactly what that takes to convert/plate one in MS.  That way, you'll know what bikes from which to choose/shop.

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After talking with some friends that do the harescrambles and stuff and riding like I do/want to do. I’m thinking dirtbike, and when the time comes to adv ride in Colorado have a second bike like a Honda cb500x/cb750x adv style bike with a capacity to carry some wolfman bags for those over the mountain/pass style town rides.

 

but now my question is is the ktm still needed for the price. Would say a standard kawi/Yamaha 4t or Yamaha 2t fine for the weekend play and harescrambles.

ive seen 2019 kx250, yz250f for as low as $6200 in my area. 

The yz250f,yz250x really close.

thoughts?

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1 hour ago, mswings said:

After talking with some friends that do the harescrambles and stuff and riding like I do/want to do. I’m thinking dirtbike, and when the time comes to adv ride in Colorado have a second bike like a Honda cb500x/cb750x adv style bike with a capacity to carry some wolfman bags for those over the mountain/pass style town rides.

 

but now my question is is the ktm still needed for the price. Would say a standard kawi/Yamaha 4t or Yamaha 2t fine for the weekend play and harescrambles.

ive seen 2019 kx250, yz250f for as low as $6200 in my area. 

The yz250f,yz250x really close.

thoughts?

can you clarify what type of rides you are wanting to do in Colorado?  Maybe specific examples because I dont know how to mentally translate "mountain/pass style town rides".  Give me an idea of total mileage that might look like -- where you are riding from/to and I can give you a much better idea of whether and ADV type of bike would work.

On local harescrambles and riding down in MS, dont really know how to advise you.  I am not a fan of using MX bikes for offroad but that is based entirely on my offroad riding experience in CO and UT.

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Example would be say taylor park above gunnison to tin cup over the pass to pitkin.

another would be Taylor park over to aspen and back.

 

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On 4/23/2019 at 12:51 PM, mswings said:

Example would be say taylor park above gunnison to tin cup over the pass to pitkin.

another would be Taylor park over to aspen and back.

 

Sorry forgot to answer you back.  Based on the examples you provided, I would be looking at a plated dirt bike not an ADV bike.  Sure you could take Cumberland Pass from Tincup to Pitkin on an ADV bike without much of a  problem, but all the stuff around there such as Tomichi Pass, Hancock Pass, Tincup Pass and some great singletrack in the area  would be painful on an ADV bike.  In addition, Taylor Pass from Taylor Park over to Ashcroft might be one of the rockiest little bastards around on the Taylor Park side, especially the long run through the river and around the corner.  Another pass in the same area as Taylor Pass is Pearl Pass from Crested Butte to Ashcroft.  Really rocky and rough.  Never seen an ADV bike come over that.  Not that some great rider couldnt figure out how to do it, but that would be herculean effort.  So, if you are talking about the old freight passes between the mining camps and being able to ride through small towns, connect loops etc.....plated dirt bike.  If you want to ride the 4 hours from Denver on asphalt to Gunnison/Crested Butte and beyond and then ride the dirt passes, you will want to stick with the old narrow guage railroad grades that could work for an ADV bike.

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i would go the 2 stroke route. nothing has quick power like a 2 stroke. i personally have a honda cr250r and i love it! i would get either a 250 2 stroke or a 300. 450's are nice power as well and the suspension is fantastic, but if you don't want a "arm ripping" bike, then i wouldn't go that way. i would do a 250 2 or 4 stroke, or the ktm 300.

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ok yes those are exactly what I want to ride out in Colorado... now for here in Mississippi for fun rides and harescrambles???... 

i need to blend them together (one for here to race scrambles and fun ride on) and one for (Colorado)

i guess the answer is ktm basically. My thoughts are:

250xc

250xc-f

300xc

350xc-f

the power of the 300xc, 350xc-f kinda intimidates me a little especially if I’m ready to twist it open during scramble races. But I want to give it hell for sure!

Also I’m gonna need to re-spring from what I read, since I’m 210 dry weight then add the plus gear factor. 

Thoughts???

 

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2 minutes ago, mswings said:

ok yes those are exactly what I want to ride out in Colorado... now for here in Mississippi for fun rides and harescrambles???... 

i need to blend them together (one for here to race scrambles and fun ride on) and one for (Colorado)

i guess the answer is ktm basically. My thoughts are:

250xc

250xc-f

300xc

350xc-f

the power of the 300xc, 350xc-f kinda intimidates me a little especially if I’m ready to twist it open during scramble races. But I want to give it hell for sure!

Also I’m gonna need to re-spring from what I read, since I’m 210 dry weight then add the plus gear factor. 

Thoughts???

 

if the 300's scare you a little then i would do the 250's. im 5'7 190 LBS and my 2003 cr250r rips fine with me on it. 

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I have a stock set up 2008 ktm 300 xc w  and it has a power hit but very predictable. It is very smooth power, not scary at all.

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1 hour ago, Wastate said:

I have a stock set up 2008 ktm 300 xc w  and it has a power hit but very predictable. It is very smooth power, not scary at all.

That's a bit rider-dependent. Smooth power doesn't mean not scary, as it's still nearly 50 peak HP and 10-12% more torque than a 250.

@mswings If not a 250, how about a 200 exc? Both will blow away a crf230.

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