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Getting back into it - 125 or 250?

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Hi lads and lass'

Apologies if this has been asked a million times.  I did search but wasn't happy with the results.

Been looking at dirt bikes again as I've got a young son so it's bringing back nostalgic memories and I'm thinking he'd absolutely love to get started on dirt bikes in the next few years - as this was my pass time from 4 years old - 14 years old (got into other sports & my parents were sick of the cost of my racing and the time it took so I gave it up).  I've just bought him the bike I had & started on 25 years ago; a good old Yamaha PW 80.  It's just sitting there waiting for my boy to come of age now.

Tinkering about with it to get it up to scratch has brought a real urge out in me to get back on a dirt bike again myself.

I used to race a KX 80 when I was 13-14 - so power wise, this is still probably the fastest dirt bike I've ridden, which was no issue after a few months of riding it (from memory!)

I'm 32 years old, 65kg in weight and 5'11.  I'm athletic and strong for my size, but I don't want to go overboard with power - yet don't want to get something that feels sluggish after 2 months.

What would you guys advise I invest in first? a 125 or a 250 2-stroke? any recommendations on bikes would be more than welcome.

 

Thanks in advance.

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With very little dirtbike riding experience in my teen years, mostly rode 3-wheeled ATV's, owned a CR125 motocross but never really got the hang of it

I got back into the sport at 43 years old (I'm now 50), basically starting from scratch with skills so picked a 125, "not to get hurt'.

With it's peaky powerband, it no doubt made my learning curve steeper.

 

8 years later IMO a 125's 34 or so horsepower is plenty to have fun on for a recreational track rider but it's the effort required

to keep in it's powerband that wears you out both physically and mentally, it doesn't get any easier as you get older.

My riding skills have certainly progressed but my concentration unfortunately falls off sooner than before.

 

As much as I still find my 125 a fun bike to ride and the satisfaction of really pushing the engine hard with no fear of unexpected whiskey throttles,

if I were to buy a new bike again it would be a 250, the increased torque making it more forgiving to mistakes.

 

Since you have past racing experience, you are not a novice like I was when starting over again.

You mention "What would you guys advise I invest in first?" which I think is right way of looking at it,

not buying too much bike with the thought of maybe getting bored of it if your skills progress but buy rather according to your current skill level.

 

At 65kg (143lbs) a 125 would certainly have no problem hauling you around but the knowledge of clutch control wouldn't make a 250 too much bike either.

 

Edited by mlatour

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I don't know much about much, but will give you my experience in a similar boat just a few months ago.  I stopped riding at like 15 and am now 35.  My last bike was a 1990ish kx125.  I recently bought an old yz125 (2001) and it has more than enough power for me.  Best way I can describe it is when I have done stupid stuff or rolled the throttle a little too much, I was able to recover on the 125 but if I had a 250 I believe I would have just been along for the ride and ended up in much worse shape sending the bike to the moon or me over the top.  I do not ride aggressive or hard so the power thing isn't a big deal to me, more than enough power for me to do what I want on it.  I guess I'm saying just be honest with yourself what you want it for.  I am a 9-5er and have a desk job and can't really risk doing things that risk my health in big ways so the 125 lets me do my little jumps, get around the track in a fun manner and still make it home without any regrets due to a lack of power or too much power.  Oh all my references above are for 2 strokes for size/power.  I'm 6'5 and 240lbs roughly and at high altitude and the 125 with a bit of clutch work to keep the revs up will get me around the track in a way that makes me happy.

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What kind of terrain do you plan on riding.   Are you planning on trail riding or track racing?   Is there a reason you are only looking at 250 and 125 2 strokes?   What is your budget?   

Riding a 125 smoker is a lot of fun until you find yourself in deep soft sand for extended periods of time or start looking at big horsepower sucking hill climbs.  250 smoker is better in the sand and in the hills but can be a handful for beginners.    250 4 strokes are extremely easy to ride quickly for beginners but still lack the power for deep sand and big hills.   Ride a 450 4 stroke especially your trail oriented bikes and they have a ton of power.   Are very smooth and easy to control.   Maintenance and repairs are more expensive on the thumper so be prepared for that   

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I rode 125's when I was a kid, got away from the sport for a few years and got back into it on a 250.  These days I'm back on 125's again.  They are just more fun.  You can do almost anything on a 125 that you can on a 250, you just have to work for it.

I weigh 165 lbs and ride MX out here on mostly natural desert terrain tracks.  We have lots of sand, big berms, deep whoops and some very nicely constructed jumps.  A properly set up, strong running 125 is all you need.  On the other hand, a 250 can be down a few HP and still have all the power you need.  If you are not proficient in the art of jetting and tuning you may struggle with a small bore.

My 2003 KX125 was actually considerably slower than my 1997 in the condition it was in when I bought it.  It required major jetting changes, more ignition advance and a different pipe to make the kind of power I like.  The stock 2004 pipe makes better power than the Pro Circuit, as I came to find out.

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OP~

Good on you for bringing your son into the wonderful world of motorcycles!

 

Get your boy enrolled in a riding school. You take the class with him.

Get him some PPG. Instill in him that he uses said PPG, EVERYTIME he throws his leg over. YOU do the same. (He learns by watching YOU.) This means you set the example.

  He'll learn a lot quicker under the supervision of a trained ridercoach. Also, it would give you the perfect opportunity to ride various bikes during class. This would be the time you should be evaluating those different bikes. This should help you make a better decision on which bike to get for yourself.

  Soon, you'll have a riding buddy. Let HIM set the pace. You might have him "lead" as this will set the pace. (Expect it not much faster than walking pace.) You don't want him to "try to keep up with you." (This is when bad things usually happen.) 

Based on your previous experience, you might want to get a slower/easier to ride bike, rather than a high strung 2T. This will make for a more forgiving bike when you plonk along being led by your boy. In time, he'll develop. He'll grow and his skillset will develop, it just takes time. Meanwhile, enjoy the time you get to spend with your son, as it's irreplaceable. 

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On 9/27/2019 at 1:39 PM, Az Kill said:

Hi lads and lass'

Apologies if this has been asked a million times.  I did search but wasn't happy with the results.

Been looking at dirt bikes again as I've got a young son so it's bringing back nostalgic memories and I'm thinking he'd absolutely love to get started on dirt bikes in the next few years - as this was my pass time from 4 years old - 14 years old (got into other sports & my parents were sick of the cost of my racing and the time it took so I gave it up).  I've just bought him the bike I had & started on 25 years ago; a good old Yamaha PW 80.  It's just sitting there waiting for my boy to come of age now.

Tinkering about with it to get it up to scratch has brought a real urge out in me to get back on a dirt bike again myself.

I used to race a KX 80 when I was 13-14 - so power wise, this is still probably the fastest dirt bike I've ridden, which was no issue after a few months of riding it (from memory!)

I'm 32 years old, 65kg in weight and 5'11.  I'm athletic and strong for my size, but I don't want to go overboard with power - yet don't want to get something that feels sluggish after 2 months.

What would you guys advise I invest in first? a 125 or a 250 2-stroke? any recommendations on bikes would be more than welcome.

 

Thanks in advance.

I did the same thing, after not riding on an mx bike for years I decided to get myself back into it. I went and bought a CRF 250 4 stroke which was full of power and far too heavy for me to practice on, so I then got a RM 125 which was a lot better to clear the jumps but soon I wanted more power, I have upgraded as much as I can on the RM so far and I'm enjoying it at the moment. I'm still on the lookout for a KTM 150. If I was starting again I would go for the KTM 150.

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On 9/27/2019 at 8:39 AM, Az Kill said:

Hi lads and lass'

Apologies if this has been asked a million times.  I did search but wasn't happy with the results.

Been looking at dirt bikes again as I've got a young son so it's bringing back nostalgic memories and I'm thinking he'd absolutely love to get started on dirt bikes in the next few years - as this was my pass time from 4 years old - 14 years old (got into other sports & my parents were sick of the cost of my racing and the time it took so I gave it up).  I've just bought him the bike I had & started on 25 years ago; a good old Yamaha PW 80.  It's just sitting there waiting for my boy to come of age now.

Tinkering about with it to get it up to scratch has brought a real urge out in me to get back on a dirt bike again myself.

I used to race a KX 80 when I was 13-14 - so power wise, this is still probably the fastest dirt bike I've ridden, which was no issue after a few months of riding it (from memory!)

I'm 32 years old, 65kg in weight and 5'11.  I'm athletic and strong for my size, but I don't want to go overboard with power - yet don't want to get something that feels sluggish after 2 months.

What would you guys advise I invest in first? a 125 or a 250 2-stroke? any recommendations on bikes would be more than welcome.

 

Thanks in advance.

I would say go for the 125. The reason I say this is first, it is cheaper to pick up a 125. Should have ample power to pull you around no problem. My buddy had a KTM 125 that I rode a few times. Plenty of power for me, especially due to the fact that I just ride trails. For what I do, the 125 is enough. It might be different for you. I am 5'11" 150 lbs and the 125 pulled me around with no issues. 

Hope that helps. 

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