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Seeking midsize playbike suggestions

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Greetings:

I'm planning to get a new bike next year, and seeking suggestions re: what to get. I currently have a '91 Yam XT350, which is getting long in the tooth. The suspension is a bit on the weak side on the XT, so I don't really want to get another one. Also I want electric start. Otherwise the XT is everything I want in a dirt bike: strong motor, low seat height (I am 5'8" with a 32" inseam), fairly lightweight and very easy to ride and economical to own.

I do pretty much 100 percent woods trail riding. I have 50 acres of woods in my backyard, and ride other trails in Minnesota too. I'm not racing against anybody, but I like a powerful bike. My first off-road bike was an XR650L, and the motor saved me more times than I can count.

Here's what I'm considering, and the cons of each as I see them:

XR400: A little tall; no magic button.

CRF250X: Probably way tall, needs frequent shop visits (I'm told)

CRF450X: Way too tall; too much bike for me. I'm just having fun on the trails.

KDX220: (I had one of these a few years ago; I liked it) It's a two-stroke; takes lots of shifting and clutch work, and I'm just too darn lazy.

DRZ400: Yellow clashes with my gear. (Dunno much about it, honestly.)

TTR250: Slow

CRF230: Ditto

XR250R: Ditto and no electric start

I haven't set a price range yet, but I'm inclined toward something used. I could buy new too, though, if I talked myself in to the CRF250X.

Any suggestions or comments on my observations would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

MTB

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DirtDaddy:

Thanks SO MUCH for your thoughtful and helpful suggestion.

There are so many people out there who have so little time on their hands, they won't even open a post that they find uninteresting. But you aren't like that, DirtDaddy. NO, you've got lots of time to open posts that don't interest you, and then offer such amazingly insightful comments.

WOW. I am so lucky to have a DirtDaddy like you.

Your Friend in Dirt,

MTB :thumbsup:

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MTB,

Are you opposed to owning a Suzuki? None of the bikes you listed are Suzukis. Are you exhibiting some discriminating behavior that we need to address? From your profile, I never would have guessed that you hate the color yellow. The shame….. Yellow has made up so much ground in the battles of color bias and you just come along and piss all over that success. Yellow hater.

If you were not so color blind, you would have realized that the DRZ400E is the bike for you. Here are the strong points…..

• Electric start

• Liquid cooled

• Less aggressive than a CRF, KTM, or WR, but still very trail worthy

• In production long enough that the parts are available and used bikes are reasonably priced

• Reliable

• Quiet and good performance with stock exhaust

Here are the weak points……

• Yellow

I hope that you can see past your blatant biases and consider the DRZ400E as your next trail bike.

Ride fast - take chances,

Chad

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Thanks for waking me up.......

If you don't look into yellow, check out the CRF250X. An all around good play bike.

Your friend too in dirt,

DD... slow CRF230F-- delightfully fun bike.

:thumbsup:

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Ckulzer:

If you'll look again, you'll see that I DID consider the DRZ very carefully and thoughtfully. But in your eagerness to accuse me of bigotry, you missed it.

Actually I edited my post and added the DRZ line for your benefit. (Yes, I'm supposed to be working today. Thanks for asking.)

Thanks also for pointing out my bias. I was only scarcely aware of the DRZ previously, and now I will give it a closer look.

(Actually I thought a Suzuki was a piece of raw fish served with no rice, or perhaps an SUV that falls over when you turn sharper than 8 degrees.)

What I do remember reading about the DRZ was that it's kind of heavy. I'm sure it's no heavier than my XT, but the weight may be more top-biased. I'll have to dig up some reviews and research that bike some more.

(Hmmm, ... can I accept a yellow bike in my household? Somehow it just doesn't seem right. Unnatural even. But then again, I _am_ both a Unitarian and a registered Democrat. I suppose I have to at least give the DRZ a chance.)

(But geez, ... yellow?!!)

:thumbsup:

Regards,

MTB

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Hmmm, ... can I accept a yellow bike in my household? Somehow it just doesn't seem right. Unnatural even.

Actually, they come in green and blue too. :thumbsup:

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Since you liked the KDX200, get a KTM 200EXC. Its a better 200 and its smaller sized. I have a Yamaha YZ450F and a KTM525 and the KTM seems 2" shorter.

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I have a DRZ 400s. Has everything you want to include a plate. I ride it more then any of the "dirt" bikes I've owned. Ya it's heavy and a bit down on power compared to the 400 K and E models. Did I mention it has a plate and I ride it a lot. In a lot of places where folks (on 4 wheelers) ask me, is it hard to ride that thing here?

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I've always wanted a KTM. They are cool bikes. And even though the color orange is, empirically, even more objectionable than yellow, somehow the KTM looks really bitchin' anyway.

But the problem I have with a KTM is the difficulty in getting parts and maintenance. Honestly I don't even know where there's a KTM dealer around here. And I've heard that it takes months sometimes to get parts for 'em.

My sense is that a KTM is sort of like the Ducati of off-road bikes: very cool and they work well, but you must be a Euro-aficionado to justify the cost and overhead of owning one.

As a KTM owner, can you dispel such myths about KTMs?

Regards,

MTB

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DD:

1) CRF250X: When I first read the Dirt Bike review, I said, "That's the bike for me." Then I read about the ultra-anal maintenance that the 250R requires, and assuming the X is probably similar I am shying away from it. (It's not reasonable for me to consider a bike that requires a new piston every 15 hours, or valve adjustment as frequently as the 250R seems to require. I don't mind wrenching on a bike now and then, but that's just ridiculous.)

2) CRF230: It looks like a great playbike. Is the motor as weak as I've heard? I'm guessing it's a downsized XR250 motor, which is not an eqation that adds up, IMHO.

Thanks much,

MTB

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RE: KXF250, ... thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into it. You said it's ready for the dirt, but as a motocrosser would it not probably have the wrong cam and jetting for woods work? Not an insurmountable issue necessarily, but a consideration ...

Regards,

MTB

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Yeah, the 230F motor is not the strongest around. It's based on the old XR200 I think. Made in Brasil. But rejet, air filter, pull the baffle and you get a stronger "weak as you heard" but incredibly fun as all getout trail bike. It's enough for me and the type riding I do, which is deep woods, single track, mud, some hill climbing, etc. No track for me, unless I'm playing around the TT or Vintage track with my son.

Sounds like you need lots of power in a smaller bike. I've heard the 250X is a bit tallish in the tooth for slow trail riding, but will kick tail otherwise. And yes, I have begun hearing about the valves and stuff becoming a drag.

When you find the right bike please let us know.

Oh, I prefer air cooled bikes over liquid cooled. I'll carry my beer cooler for that! :devil::thumbsup:

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KDX220: (I had one of these a few years ago; I liked it) It's a two-stroke; takes lots of shifting and clutch work, and I'm just too darn lazy.

DRZ400: Yellow clashes with my gear. (Dunno much about it, honestly.)

If you are too lazy to shift the KDX, you're in for a big surprise trying to wrestle around the extra 60 pounds of DRZ weight all day. My DRZ has been demoted to a riding to work bike since I got the KDX. Any of the bikes you mentioned that were too tall can be lowered, don't let that make your decision for you. Just my 2 cents.

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I have a DRZ400s and just added a CRF230 for my son. The DRZ is kind of heavy for a woods bike, but good power and if you are used to the 650L, this will seem fine to you. The CRF needs to be tweaked, but has been a fun little bike so far. I feel a lot more confident on it in the tight stuff. Much lower seat height than the DRZ too.

I would also consider the WR250. There are some tweaks for it that will get you yz type performace, but with the e-start. Or for a larger bike, the wr450, which has e-start and kick.

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You don't mention any Yamahas....the TTR250 or the WR250 are BOTH great trail/play bikes. I have a good friend who rides a TTR250 these days. He is an ex-desert racer who rode Husky 250s mostly, and he loves the TTR. It'll take anywhere he wants to go....and gets him back :thumbsup:

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well im a yzf man myself but for you the xr 400 or being it seems you like the magic button i recently got to ride wolfchilds drz 400 s with it blindingly fire white lazer headlight (just ask him its bright) any way this is the dual sport modle and i rode it here in michigan in our sandy and more sandy and hey look way over there more sand trails, this was with a close to no knob in the center rear tire. it road great just dont push it hard through the woops, a nice cushy seat(unlike the piece of plywood i have) and even on a steep sandy uphill the rear tire still didnt slip, it was like a tractor going up the hill no spin or bogg, his isnt stock either but, id get with him hopefully he sees this and he could answer anyquestions on this bike, or just go to the drz forum, and you can get this bike in other colors than yellow.

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