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ShortStuffOn2Wheels

New woods bike for beginner

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Hey guys, I've been reading through this forum all evening and have learned some useful information, but I'm still stumped on what bike to buy. My personal situation is a little different, since I'm a 25 y/o guy that's only 5'4 (28-29" inseam) and 150lbs. Being as small as I am, a lot of full sized bikes are just a pain in the ass for me to ride. I had a YZ125 for a while, but I'm wanting something more short person and woods friendly. The YZ was fun, but just too tall for a beginner like me to feel comfortable on, and it didn't have the low end torque I wanted for the woods either.

So, I think I've narrowed it down to a few options. They're all pretty different from each other, but all seem to have their own upsides and downsides. The list includes the KDX200, CRF230F (maybe the new 250f, but leaning more towards the 230), and a KX100 simply because of how small it is. What would you guys recommend for my situation? I'm also open to other suggestions also.

Thanks!

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That's honestly at the top of my list, but I'm not sure I want to spend $6k+ on a bike when I'm still learning. I'd probably tear it up and wouldn't be able to ride it to its potential. Ideally, I'll eventually end up on an Xtrainer, but I'm fairly inexperienced and want a bike I won't mind dropping a few times until I become more comfortable in the woods. You think I should lose that mentality and just ball out on an Xtrainer?

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You can get most bikes lowered. Really just pick one you think is going to work and have a suspension shop lower it. 

Since you spent time on a yz125 a crf230 or a kx100 would be a step back. The xtrainer is probably a good candidate. Maybe a KTM 200 from 2006 and newer lowered. I know a 5'3" woman  that rode a lowered KTM 200 quite well.

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I had eyeballed the 200exc at one point, but quickly let that dream go when I saw the nearly 38" seat height. My YZ which was about the same height had a shaved seat and was sprung for my weight, but I still could never put a foot down, especially in awkward positions (on the side of a hill, in ruts, etc) and that became very exhausting. I know the crf230 and kx100 would feel pretty sluggish compared to my YZ, which makes it hard to pick one of them. But I've read that the 230 can run pretty well once it's uncorked. What about the KDX200? That should be on par with my YZ power wise, I'd think.

I want to convince myself to buy one of the cheaper bikes, but I'm starting to wonder if I should just fork out the extra cash for the Beta. 95silverstallion has a good point.

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Put some radiator braces,  bark busters and other simple protective parts and go at it. If your just riding single track at a easy pace, there's not alot of serious damage you can do. Bikes are pretty tough. 

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1 minute ago, ShortStuffOn2Wheels said:

I could probably have my dealer include all the guards I'd need and walk out the door around $8k. I will definitely have to ponder that one.

Yeah. I dont know your budget,  but I've always just bought new. You dont buy dirt bikes for profit.  It's the enjoyment of the ole getting out and riding.  If you like to work on them , then a used one might be the ticket.  Yiu can always fine a good deal on a used one, but like Forest Gump says, you never know what your going to get. Beta has a good warranty to boot. 

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I can afford a new Beta, I might just have to put off another project I had planned on doing in the coming month. But that may very well be worth it. I'll probably talk to my local Beta dealer and see what kind of deal they can make me if I bring them cash.

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I just started a club in the club thread and had a new guy joined.  I invited him to ride last weekend and he said he had a ball. He just bought a left over 18 xcw 250 ktm and he really liked it. Being a new rider there are things he' ll learns as he goes along and if he asks I'll be more than happy to give him my help. So. I think you and him are probably a little alike. If you can find someone local with some experience to help you along during your riding,  you will be fine.

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My dad rides, and I have a of friend who rides competitive enduro. I go to his place to learn new things whenever I have time. He's got everything on his property to teach a new rider, so I've definitely been taking advantage of that. I just felt really limited with the YZ. A lot of the technical stuff was really hard for me on that bike due to the way it delivers power, and it was so hard for me to put a foot down. I might have an easier time on an Xtrainer.

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11 minutes ago, ShortStuffOn2Wheels said:

My dad rides, and I have a of friend who rides competitive enduro. I go to his place to learn new things whenever I have time. He's got everything on his property to teach a new rider, so I've definitely been taking advantage of that. I just felt really limited with the YZ. A lot of the technical stuff was really hard for me on that bike due to the way it delivers power, and it was so hard for me to put a foot down. I might have an easier time on an Xtrainer.

You'll be in good hands then.

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I think you'll be way happy.  Weight, power, brakes, suspension will all be considerable better than an air cooled trail bike.   Two-stroke motocross 125s are probably THE hardest bikes for newer riders in the woods in my opinion.   The 300 Xtrainer will have way more low end grunt and be much friendlier.

I wouldn't lower it unless you absolutely have to.   Ride it for a bit.   I'm 5'7".  When I got my first KTM with 38+ inch seat height I was convinced I'd have to lower it.  2 weeks later, I'm like "Pffftt it's fine".  

You'll be a better rider keeping your feet on the pegs and preferably standing when you are moving.   I'm an observed trials rider so I pride myself on keeping my feet on the pegs.  Sitting and paddling is a terrible habit in all but the most extreme terrain anyway.   I see a lot of guys who paddle their way through almost everything that isn't a smooth trail because it's a safety blanket for them.   Us short guys are force to keep our feet on the pegs and stand and ultimately when you get good at that, it pays off.

When you stop, shift your butt over one way and get that foot down.  Keep the other foot on the peg.    You'll still occasionally drop it when stopping, but who cares about the occasional 0 MPH flop over? 

Good luck!  Let us know how you like it when you get it.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

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16 hours ago, ShortStuffOn2Wheels said:

That's honestly at the top of my list, but I'm not sure I want to spend $6k+ on a bike when I'm still learning. I'd probably tear it up and wouldn't be able to ride it to its potential. Ideally, I'll eventually end up on an Xtrainer, but I'm fairly inexperienced and want a bike I won't mind dropping a few times until I become more comfortable in the woods. You think I should lose that mentality and just ball out on an Xtrainer?

If dropping the bike and damaging it is even on your list, then dirt bikes are not for you.  Dirtbikes get dirty and they get slammed onto the ground and sometimes parts get broken.  THIS is the sport.  What makes you think being experienced means you won't throw the bike on the ground?  I am in my 6th season of woods riding and I pitched my bike three times the last ride.  

Oh and the only people who can ride bikes to "their potential" are the pro's and maybe the experts.  The rest of us just ride to our potential.

The 250 XTrainer is a good bike for a beginner.  One of our group has one and that little bike just tractors up hills.  The other option is the KTM Freeride, which is a bit different but still worth consideration. 

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3 hours ago, Doc_d said:

 The 300 Xtrainer will have way more low end grunt and be much friendlier.

FWIW the 250 XTrainer is a completely different beast from the 300.  The 250 is way detuned from the RR version and is considerably smaller.

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I guess I'm gonna be the only one to give you a thumbs up on the kdx. A 1995+ kdx200 or 220 would be my suggestion. They are light (ish) make plenty of power, but not too much for a beginner. Good low end torque and midrange snap. Suspension would be adequate for your weight. 

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KDX's are not short bikes. I'm 5'6" and had to cut the seat so I could touch the ground. They're not light either. Nor do they handle great or have decent suspension.

Good motors, though it will probably be a 20 year old bike

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On 9/11/2019 at 7:36 PM, ShortStuffOn2Wheels said:

Hey guys, I've been reading through this forum all evening and have learned some useful information, but I'm still stumped on what bike to buy. My personal situation is a little different, since I'm a 25 y/o guy that's only 5'4 (28-29" inseam) and 150lbs. Being as small as I am, a lot of full sized bikes are just a pain in the ass for me to ride. I had a YZ125 for a while, but I'm wanting something more short person and woods friendly. The YZ was fun, but just too tall for a beginner like me to feel comfortable on, and it didn't have the low end torque I wanted for the woods either.

So, I think I've narrowed it down to a few options. They're all pretty different from each other, but all seem to have their own upsides and downsides. The list includes the KDX200, CRF230F (maybe the new 250f, but leaning more towards the 230), and a KX100 simply because of how small it is. What would you guys recommend for my situation? I'm also open to other suggestions also.

Thanks!

I have a very nice 08 KTM 105xc for sale, perfect bike for you.  :)

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