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Been out of biking too long, need your advice on a "new" bike!!

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Looking for some “new” bike advice. I haven’t ridden off road in nearly 15 years, in fact the last off road bike I owned was a ’91 RM125 and before that was an ‘8? IT250.

I’ve always enjoyed two strokes; the smell, sound, power band, etc. But with all the development in four stroke technology I’m not opposed to owning one. In fact it very well may be what I’m looking for. No premixing would be alright with me.

This bike will be used for Midwest (Ohio) trail riding with the occasional short commute to the trail head (if possible), no racing. The RM was very light, which I loved, but didn’t have the power I’m looking for in a bike I’d buy today. I consider myself pretty fit (36, 5’11”, 165#’s) and am avid road and mountain bike rider. I plan to ride it hard and enjoy some maintenance but don’t have the time for a high maintenance bike.

I’ve spent hours and hours doing searches and reading up on all the bikes I “think” may be the one for me but now I’m less certain than ever. :thumbsup: My budget is $2500. If this is something my boys (6 & 8) continue to do, I’ll buy a new bike in a couple of years. I’m open to all suggestions and am asking for your help.

Bikes considered:

Yamaha WR’s

KTM EXC’s (two and four strokes)

There are more, but these are the one’s I’ve focused on

Some questions I have:

Do today’s 250F’s have the same power as the 250 two strokes I last rode 15 years ago? Is the weight close?

Will a 250F be a miserable bike to ride 20 miles to a trail head?

Are the late 90’s 400F’s good buys considering they are now ~8 yrs old? Would I be better served spending more on say an ’02 model? Do they feel as heavy as the 250’s of yesteryear or do they handle better?

Does a KTM 300 EXC deliver smooth power or does it hit like the 250’s from when I last rode?

Will a 300 two stroke be a miserable bike to ride 20 miles to a trail head?

I’ve been out of touch so long it hurts. :applause: Help put me on a bike. :ride:

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A 200 exc has similar power delivery to a 250f and it carries its weight better and is a fair bit lighter. Since you're so light, that'd be the perfect bike for you. 250fs make as much peak power as the 250 smokers from the late 1980s, but there is more of a power spread and the power comes on smoother. 250fs are maintenece intensive. If you want them to live, you're looking at cleaning the airfilter every ride, changing the oil every 3-5 casual trail rides, and checking/adjusting the valve clearances every 4 months or so. Historically, the YZ/WR 250fs have had the most durable engines

The early 400fs are brutes, they are also quite tankish compared to recent 450fs. Early 400fs weigh about 260lbs wet and they are top heavy. If you want a 400cc thumper, look for a recent 04-newer 400 exc.

From what I've read, the KTM 300s make smooth power but they do make ALOT of it. Apparently they can be a handful or they can be pretty managable...its all in the wrist. The 300's are supposed to be smoother in power deliver compared to a modern 250 smoker

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Your size = any bike.

Your budget = not just any bike.

kdx200?

Edit - personally I hate kick starting 4st bikes, so either 2st or 4st w/ estart for us.

.

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Honda XR400

can be made street legal for short ride to trails

no premixing

undeniably the most reliable bike on the planet

meets all requirements for off road registration in all 50 states.

the bike will last for 20 years with only oil and filter changes.

easy to ride long distances(not a arm ripping hp machine)

(disclaimer) may not have the power or the suspension action u want tho.

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Your size = any bike.

Your budget = not just any bike.

kdx200?

.

I can't believe that slipped my mind. The KDX 200 or 220 would be pretty sick too :thumbsup:

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I would go for a KDX if i were you...I actually did haha...

If you do try and get a 200 because the 220s are known to have the piston skirt break plus you cant rev them as high as you can a 200.

I just bougth a KDX 200....it has outstanding torque for a 2-stroke...i can lug it up huge hills no problem or you can blast up them :thumbsup:

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I never thought of the KDX either. Would you say they are in the same class as the TTR suspension and build wise? Will the suspension handle a good beating? I plan to ride this bike hard.

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I would get the YZ250F. You will like it's user friendly style of power and grow into it fast. At first it might seem like it is too powerful for you but trust me, in a month...................you'll want more power! :thumbsup:

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From a power perspective, I was OK with the 250 smokers of the early 90's. I actually preferred it to the 125's. Are the modern 250F's more powerful than the early 90's 250 smokers? :thumbsup: Is so I'm OK with that. But I don't want a maintenance headache either.

I'm not too concerned about the power of any of the bikes I've listed. I spent considerable time on the older KX500 rockets. I just don't want to lug around a tank.

I'm a little concerned about the KDX's suspension though. Are they stout bikes that can take some punishment?

And spody, why buy a KTM and which one?

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Never rode a kdx200 but have heard "they are great trail bikes" and "the suspension is fine for a woods bike but not for mx" many times. I am going to assume at this point you are sticking to your $2500 budget. You could check the kawi 2 stroke forum and/or the suspension forum. Also:

http://frpoffroad.com/

http://www.dirtrider.net/justkdx/

.

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I'll look into the KDX and XR. The maintenance of the WR250F scare's me a little. Any other four stroke recommendations?

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Id go with a Yamaha WR 250F. The engine is rock-solid reliable and makes a lot of power for a 250 4-stroke. Ive personally seen my buddy blow away 125 2-strokes off the line time after time in the 125C class that he races in. Id think it would be very comparable to an '80s 250 2-stroker.

Another to consider would be a Yamaha XT 225. It isnt all that fast, but it will be good for trail riding and you wont have to do anything to it to make it street-legal.

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If you want to increase the budget a little you have a lot of other options. The Huskys are incredibly well built and the TE250 would work very well and is 50 state street legal and one may come up used for $5k or less. The KTMs and Yamaha's hold there resale VERY well it seems to me so that is probably not going to help you even if you spent $5k but you may get lucky. The KTMs with plates are way out of your budget though.

Check out ebay for Huskys - they sell new in the crate this time of year VERY cheaply compared to the other brands. Don't think the street legal Huskys are going to drop in value as much, but the TCs, and 2st are fun bikes with lots of power and good suspension. Heins (sp) is a dealer so his stuff is real and I know people that have bought from them.

If you were not so picky about power and suspension the crf230 might even work - fun little bike perfect for chasing kids on the trails with a super wide gear box so you can both ride on the road and still go 5mph with the kids. That is another bike $2500 or less used and will hold its resale very well.

.

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20 miles to the trail head. On road? Because that will greatly influence which bike you can plate in your state. Probably WAY looser than CA, but still, check into it (dualsport forums).

There is NO WAY a 250f makes as much power as a early 90's 250. COMEON!

A stock 250f make mid 30's HP at best. However, they are pretty dang quick, especially if you're light like you are (even better when you're only 140!).

Personally I still want more power though and I'm not a super aggressive rider. I'm thinking if you can use a 2 smoke to get to the trailhead, go KTM200, possibly 300. VERY durable and quick (EXC is off-road, geared differently and different suspension...). You'll likely have to get a desert tank since you'll be at 40 miles just to get to the trail and back.

DRZ400's ride VERY nice but are heavy if you have to pick them up. They respond nicely to abuse, but are not MX machines - they do have softer suspension. Other 400's like the YZ400 and YZ426 are a PAIN TO START! DRZ has E-Start.

If you go 250f, they aren't all that bad for maintenance, it just depends on how hard you ride it - high in the RPMS = more valve checking. My 03 WR250f experienced 1 year of D36 racing (not me), and 2 years of my trail riding. I only get to ride once every month, sometimes 2, sometimes twice a month. I'm checking the valves for the first time tomorrow...I don't clean my airfilter like I should, I don't change the oil like I should. We'll see what the mechanic says tomorrow!

The Yamaha 250f has the most durable engine. Period. (I am not a Yamaha lover, I'm an equal opportunity brand lover). The others that now have good durability are out of your price range.

Hope that narrows it down some!

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I the same as you been out of dirtbiken for over 15 yrs. I am 38 ...6' and 40 lbs heavier than you. I bought a used o2'KTM 300 exc last spring. I have been having a blast on this bike. All the power I need and plenty of low grunt for pokin along on those lazy days.

Today I was in the mood just to poke around and look at the scenery, this bike is great for cruise mode. Then there are days when I ride with my buddies and the 300 has no problem keeping up with any of them.

DSC00003.jpg

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Another vote for the kdx200 here. I love mine and it handles pretty much whatever I throw at it. A few mods and the bike is perfect. All I am waiting on is my FMF gnarly woods pipe and the bike is going to be set up perfect for me. She pulls well down low and can putt over the real technical suff, but will still jump up and do 70 out in the desert. The suspension on them is ok if you get them set for your weight but it is by no means a motocross bike. They are also in your price range, I picked up mine for $2000.

Good luck on your new bike

-Don

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I the same as you been out of dirtbiken for over 15 yrs. I am 38 ...6' and 40 lbs heavier than you. I bought a used o2'KTM 300 exc last spring. I have been having a blast on this bike. All the power I need and plenty of low grunt for pokin along on those lazy days.

Today I was in the mood just to poke around and look at the scenery, this bike is great for cruise mode. Then there are days when I ride with my buddies and the 300 has no problem keeping up with any of them.

DSC00003.jpg

I am a 4 stroke kind of guy, mostly because I am used to my street bikes. But if i were looking to buy a bike and didn't have a preference, there is no doubt that i would seriously consider the ktm300 or the kdx220.

one of these days, I may get one just to have a smoker.

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