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which bikes are the better riding enduro bikes out there?

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I know this is more of a general topic question and open to everyone's feelings and opinions, but it does have some to do with riding technique.

When I've helped out at 80+ mile enduro events, I've been surprized at how many KTMs are out there and how many 2- strokes guys ride and some CRFs....even though us normal riders choose lots of DRZs - dont see many in competition and i dont see many yamaha WRfs in enduros - lots of yamahas in hare scramles and cross countrys

I'm curious... when it comes to long distance tight rabbit trail enduros what do most riders like and why?

IF I SHOULD POST THIS ELSEWHERE then dear moderator beam me over there. :cry:

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The best bike I've had (unfortunitly not have) was a KTM 300 EXC. I'd like to try a 200EXC as well, but the 300 is great for a big guy. Its much lighter than any thumper and feels lighter when riding it. It will chug like a thumper and is much faster at WFO. Also the maintaince is less time consuming and expensive. The draw back is that its a red sticker bike and it has to sit in your garage for 1/2 the year unless you go far away in CA.

The YZ250 is supposed to have the best motor for a Jap MX 2-stroke, KX is good as well. The CRs are light, reliable and handle well, but the motor has no bottom end. This is fixable, but costs more. The RM's can out turn anything, thats why they are popular in some places and do well with the pro's.

If you get a KTM EXC/MXC, just ride it, if you get a MX bike add a gnarly pipe, turbine core S/A, and a 8-11oz flywheel depending on your needs and what others say works good. Some guys add a 18" rear, others just buy a heavier tube. I run the Bridgestone Heavy Duties or Moose HD in my 1999 KX250 and only have had one flat. I got a nail in the tire.

On my KX250, I have a scott's stabilizer (probably not needed as the KX is pretty stable, but I had it), IMS 3.0 gallon tank for HUGE range, stealhy 11oz FWW, Tag Cr Double High bars, spider grips (for vibes), Fastco anti vibe inserts, SDG Tall seat, Rad Guards, gnarly pipe, and a turbine core. My KX is harder to ride than my old KTM 300, but the suspension is better for all around use (enzo), the KTM was better for gnarly stuff, but I had it setup too soft for MX etc. If I had my 525 WP's on my old 300, I'd really have liked the 300.

So for me I like the thumper for trail riding and cruising and the 2-stroke for races. I like the thumper cause I can pull in and add gas, the 2-stroke I have to carry some oil and guess and all, but they don't have valves, cams, etc. etc. which sooner or later all create big headaches.

Another bike to look at if the Husky WR250/360. The 360 was last made in 2002 I think. Actually this is the bike I want to get. I wanted a 94, but now that the red sticker law is moved up to 2002, I want a 2002.

The DRZ is good for open trails, its just heavy in the tight stuff. If you have to have a thumper for enduros, try a CRF250X or a KTM 400EXC.

Good luck,

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I've been surprized at how many KTMs are out there and how many 2- strokes guys ride

I think that KTM targets the woods bikes, thats there market. Most others build MX and SX bikes. This spring I switched from a Yamaha WR426 to a KTM 300EXC. Really liked the WR. The 300 has a very similiar power delivery, smooth with very good bottom end and way more than needed on top. Ride it a gear high all day to tame the jump. 1000 miles and have not changed the spark plug. 228 lbs and feels like a feather. Like riding a big thumper on a diet. Previously owned a RM125 and CR250 and both were alot of work in the woods, had to be ridden hard all the time. If you ride AA they may be fine, if not there a handful. If I were to buy a new bike tomorrow it would be another 300EXC. :cry:

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It's a personal thing when it comes down to 2 vs 4 strokes. I had a older 94 KTM 300 exc - went to a new 2001 KTM 400 MXC ( now 450 BB kit) and ride my 450 much better and faster than my 300 - but I'm a 4 stroke guy. When racing enduro's I don't notice the weight. It is a sea of orange at the races - so my advise is for everyone else to ride blue , green and yellow when you race :cry: :cry:

see ya at the races :cry:

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For the open desert and dunes I like big four strokes, I have an odd ball 2smoker I love in the tight stuff, it's a canadian model WR250 with an Ohlins 360 top end, huge low end power and pretty light and flickable.

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I did the same thing as nctrailrider and I'm now on an 04' 300 EXC. You are on a DRZ400S which is heavier than an XR650R. Almost any of the new 450's will feel very light compared to your bike which helps in a lot of ways. Your bike is pretty much at the upper weight range for a dirt bike which is why very few aggressive riders would choose it for anything other than casual trail riding.

If you know someone with a WR426/450 or a KTM 400/450/525, see if they'll let you take it for a spin. Also try a 2-stroke just for the experience.

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" But the best bike out there is YOURS.

Cher'o,

Dwight"

That's one of the finest statements I've seen posted on this board, excellent point.

Doug

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I just picked up a KTM 200exc about a month ago , havn't been on my CRF450 since , the ktm is so easy to ride in the woods and the power is close to a 250.

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well, in the last few years, the only mainstream company that is really targeting the woods bike market is ktm (i'm not counting small mfrs like gasgas or husky). big surprise that something like 50% or more of the bikes at a norcal enduro are ktms. most any modern bike can be ridden fast, but in a 6 hour race, a light smooth bike can be ridden faster than a heavy or hard-hitting bike. the drz is a fine trailbike, but it's a pig, and the ergos are kinda funky (short cockpit, backwards sloping seat), and the suspension is reportedly too soft for race use (i didn't mess with the suspension on the one i rode).

most any bike requires some serious setup to race, so you could cut the drz some slack since even most of the ktm guys eventually get the suspension revalved for their weight, terrain and riding style. bottom line is that what you are comfortable on and used to riding will work for you as long as the suspension will do what it needs to.

mw

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thanks I appreciate the thoughtful replys. Next year when I'm in the market for my second bike, I will have to ask to ride friend's bikes.... and refer back to this post and others I've made on the subject.

What I find most interesting is that our leader dwight competed sucessfully all those years on an XR400........talk about goofy ergos that bike with its ramp seat looks like a lazy boy recliner sofa bike. :cry:

Like dwight said YOUR bike is the best..... I love my DRZ.....love is blind they say

I think the KTM 300 EXC peaks my interest the most. :cry:

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" But the best bike out there is YOURS.

Cher'o,

Dwight"

That's one of the finest statements I've seen posted on this board, excellent point.

Doug

No offense meant to either you or Dwight but I STRONGLY disagree with that statement. I've read a lot of Dwights posts and his XR's were far from stock. The DRZ400-S is a dual sport which means it's a comprimise between on/off road and it's a very good bike for that purpose. He could put a lot of $$ into it and make it better for off road but he's still starting with a bike that weighs about 40 lbs. more than an XR400.

He could get a bike that is more suited for off road riding and enjoy riding it a lot more. Even going to a DRZ kicker would be an improvement in power and weight.

I had an XR400 and could absolutely fly on that bike but I felt beat to hell at the end of the day and after a while I wasn't enjoying the ride. I moved to the WR and it was a vast improvement and a whole lot more fun to ride. Now I've switched back to a 2-stroke and again it's a lot more enjoyable for me.

I still think you just need to ride as many bikes as you can before you buy anything. You'll be surprised how different they feel off road.

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vmaxcbr900wr426, seems to me you actually agree with the point Dwight made. Maybe you just misunderstood. Whatever bike that you have that suits your style and needs IS the best bike. Point being that all the argument over which bike is the best is uh, pointless. You say you're happy on your current ride and that's what matters. There are guys out there that will tell you what your riding is no good and you need to switch because the new Hondakawsuzaha is better. Maybe so, but what really counts is how you feel about your ride. That was the point.

Happy trails

Doug

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Thanks all good points... again I wasn't tryin to start a which bike is best thread... just tryin to learn something (in between my OT bs posts.)

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For 16 years I rode Honda XRs and now I am riding KTM 4 strokes. But the best bike out there is YOURS.

Cher'o,

Dwight

Dwight

I beg to differ

The Better Bikes out there are the ones ahead of you :cry:

I do agree with you though, And will take it a little further. Any bike that suits your fancy, it dont matter what the other person rides, there is no better bike then the one your on as dwight put it

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I have to put a vote in for my 03YZF250. Auto clutch, pro tapers, hand guards, and re valved susp. Its so incredibly flickable, light, and plenty of power with bone stock engine and exhaust (Im 200 lbs too). Bullit proof, starts 1st kick always too, it doesnt have all the mechanical issues the other 4 stroke MX 250's do. I ride with a friend who has a DRZ 400. In a drag race from a stop I smoke him by 20 bike lengths and late brake the crap out of him in the woods. The auto clutch makes a world of differnce. Also, its more than happy on MX tracks and when the trail gets rough.

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I think for here in Colorado the 300 exc is extremely hard to beat light powerfull forgiving and reliable I rode my 300 exc HARD last week for four days straight at HAHNS Peak by Steamboat millions od sharp 5 inch rocks everywhere and felt great 70 plus miles each day I did the same several years ago on a 426 YZF and remember drooling on myself from being sooooo tired at the end of the day at the Campfire. I was a four stroke guy big time and today if you were to give me my choice of a 450 exc or a 300 exc. It would be the 300 exc in a heart beat it is the best bike I have ever ridden

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I was a four stroke guy big time and today if you were to give me my choice of a 450 exc or a 300 exc.

Me too. Just switched from a KTM 520 EXC to a KTM 250 EXC 2 smoker and love it. I'm not an enduro racer, but for the woods, you can't beat one of the KTM 2 strokes. 200, 250 or 300, its all good. -Ed

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funny, Cisco who has a DR-Z400 and had 04 KTM 300 EXC, just traded his 300 for an orange 450.

Some guys are thumpers at heart I guess. But my friend at work explains that 2 strokes are explosive. he says I would love a good 2 stroke woods bike in a lot of the woods but on some parts like rocky, soft soil, messy long narrow climbs with roots and all then I will miss that low rumble tractor pull up the hill ability of my thumper. He says in that condition its easy to stall those 2 strokes and your screwwed on a hill and having to kick it.

MY DRZ is a tractor......thats funny at age 50 most of the women I date are as ugly as tractors too. No wonder I love my DRZ more. :cry:

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When they start putting Checkpoints where I ride, then I will think about getting a lighter bike. That is the only thing that will made "ME" any faster over 100 miles. Besides being 20 or 30 year younger.

I have a friend that is in his 60's an A, or maybe a AA rider, that races an DRZ400E in Enduros. This guy can cook on any bike he rides.

I have another friend (also in his 60s) that has tried four different bikes (over the past two years) to beat the first guy. The second guy judge's the bikes by how for behind he is from the first guy at the end of the Enduro. :cry:

These guys may be old, but they are still vary fast in the woods. Only time has slowed them down.

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