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Best NW woods bike?

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I took my shortest ride ever today. My dad and I went to Taneum this morning. I had my CR500 and my dad has a KLX650R. I was a little afraid that his bike might be too much for him on those trails as this was his third off-road ride since getting out of it 30 years ago (the first two rides we did the Green Dots). I took off up 1363 and waited about 200 yards up the trails. I waited, and waited. Finally after about 10 minutes I started walking back down and he came up around the corner. He had dumped the bike on the first switchback and I could see he was frustrated. His gearing was too high so he was having trouble pulling, and he felt like the bike was awfully high for dabbing a foot. At this point he's dog-paddling an awful lot. I told him that it was ok if we called it quits for the day so he didn't get stuck or hurt farther out, so we bailed (luckily he lives in Ellensburg). I really want him to have a good experience doing this as this is my favorite kind of riding and would like him to go with me. I'm wondering what everyone's opinions are on the following bikes for an older guy (58) to use in a little bit tighter stuff.

1) XR250/400

2) KDX 200/220 or RMX250

3) KTM 200/300

4) KLX 300/400

5) Any CR/YZ/RM/KX 250 with a flywheel weight and geared lower

He's about 6-2, 200 in ok shape. Ideally what he rides would have some kind of aftermarket autoclutch as well, so some of these bikes may not be suitable based on clutch availability.

I'm thinking about selling my CR500 as now that I'm back up here I don't really feel like this is a good area for it. I would like to possibly get a bike each for my dad and me out of the ones listed above (around $2000 or under each). I know the Honda and Yamaha 250 four-strokes would be good choices, but they would be out of my price range. Any info would be much appreciated. 🙂

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I don't have time on a big variety of woods bikes but I don't think you can go wrong with a WR250F. I picked up a 2 year old WR250F for $2500, did all the free mods, installed the 03 YZ e-cam, TT decomp plug and a new "take-off" YZ250F exhaust system. Quick little bike that is perfectly content to plod along. I'm 5'10" and 220#

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The XR400 or 250 would be the easiest to ride for someone just starting to ride the trails. KTM two strokes would require a little more experience but you can get an auto cluch for them and I think the XR400 too. Last time I checked the Quincy Honda has a new XR400 on the showroom floor. The KTM 200 is a very good bike for a novice or experienced rider but it cost a pretty penny. The four strokes are easier to ride. Sometimes a little more weight is not a bad thing since it keeps you planted and not so much bouncing around like a real light bike can do.

The WR250 would be a great bike too but again older guys do better with a little more 4 stroke power. It helps get them out of situation where the riding ability is not so good. I know cause I'm 55 and the power of a smooth running four stroke has save my bacon more than once.

If your riding a CR500 which is an excellant trail bike when set up but requires more effort to ride than the KTM 200 or 300.

Just my opinions on this. Personally I would own any of the bikes you mentioned but when I was first learning a four stroke made the trails much easier.

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Get him an XR 250. It's got plenty of torque, hooks up good, low seat height and definitley handles better then that pig of a KLX 650. Anything over 300 lbs. shouldn't be consider a trail bike.

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I'd agree with Vibeguy (Ok he has some vintage bikes too 🙂 ) but the WR250f with electric start would be good for him. If he gets to a point where he needs more power there is always big bore kits. You can even start to find kick start models only for lower prices. 🙂

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Either of the XR's will get him anywhere he wants to go. The 400 will just get him there a little faster.

Jeremy

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I love my KTM200EXC for woods riding. Those things were built for the woods riding that we have in WA. It rocks!!

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XR250, KLX300, KTM250EXC 4 stroke, KTM200EXC

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another vote for xr250,also vote for kdx200.both are very good bikes for nw trails,operator freindly and last forever.

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I own a 2002 xr200r and my dad rides it sometimes. He is 49 years old, about 190 pounds, and 5'11". When i bought my bike back in september he rode it and it was his first ride on any bike since he was 16. About 5 years ago he had an operation on his back and he didn't complain at all after riding some tight trails. He loves the xr200 and he keeps asking me when im going to sell it to him lol. I picked mine up for $2650 canadian and it was mint. I would say go with an xr200r (even though its not on your list), the xr250, or xr400.

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I have a klx400r, same as the drz400e, and it makes a decent trail bike but a bit big and heavy to start out on if you ask me. My wife has a crf230f and before I put the kouba link on it I used to have a blast riding that thing around in the slime. It is low enough to maintain good enough control of and if it's jetted correctly and the power up kit is installed it is just zippy enough to be entertaining.

New dirt rider + electric start = happy guy

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I agree with the e-start, I also have a inseam handicap :applause: . I really enjoy the button start when I get myself into a bind on the trail. The DRZ is a bit heavy and I hate picking the goofy thing up when I tip over.

For what its worth:

I also have a KLX 300, it is probably a better single track trail bike than the DRZ. It is much lighter, lower and turns tighter. It kicks easy and will go anywhere, just not as fast.

TONY

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Bang for the buck = KDX200

Best lightweight ride = 200EXC

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Bang for the buck = KDX200

Best lightweight ride = 200EXC

Where have you been? How's the house deal? Call me and we'll ride. I'm home most days before 5:00.

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You can't go wrong with the XR250. The WR250F is a good choice, but the XR is air cooled, kickstart and all around simple. If you decide on a XR look for a 96 thru 04 there is no difference other than color, and 96 was the last update.

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Well, I bought an '83 XR200R last night for $700. Hopefully this works out for him. If it doesn't, I can sell it and make my money back. Thanks for all the input!

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If you're on a budget, go for the KDX 200/220. The EXC 200 would be my first choice, it's worth the extra money spent! :applause:

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Don't sell the CR500!!! With the right set up they are awesome trails bikes.

My 94 is PERFECT for the woods. I'm a petite and dainty flower but my beast takes me everywhere. There is no replacement for displacement! Mine has torque reeds, flywheel weight, Burly Pipe (not made anymore), 13/52 gearing and most important a steering stabilizer!

For your dad, the XR200 is a great bike for starting out but I would think it would be a bit short for a 6'2" guy. I rode one a few years ago and at 5'10" it felt cramped to me. For $700 though, it's worth a shot and you can get the money out of it to put towards something bigger if needed.

I had a KLX300 and it was pretty good but felt front end heavy. Tried out many of the XR's, CR250 (mx gearing & no flywheel weight), DRZ400 (way too heavy for what we ride) and the CRF250R, CRF400R, CRF400X and a couple 200EXC's. They all had their good & bad points but nothing compared to the all around useability (if that's a word) of my CR500.

Just this weekend one of my cousins I was riding with commented (he's on a KTM450) that they need to get me on a 4 stroke. One of my other cousin's was quick to comment back (on his KTM400) that it was hard to beat a 500 in the woods. Of course he wasn't on one anymore but that doesn't mean anything does it? :applause:

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