Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Returning to the sport after 16 years

Recommended Posts

I grew up ridig bikes. Went from a 1974 Honda XL70, to a mid 80's XR200, to an 89 Suzuki RMX250. I rode this last bike for a year or so pretty hard. Including 1 attempt at an MX in Acquasco, MD, and 1 lap of three of a hare scrambles, also at acquasco (it's a long story why it was only 1 lap. I'll let ya know over a few beers after we ride!). I then went to college in Tennessee, leaving the bike behind because i didn't have a place to keep it or work on it. I ended up selling it for peanuts and bought a mountain bike instead.

Recently, i've become re-enamoured with riding again. I originally was looking at street bikes (sport bikes), but decided that was too risky for me so I'm looking at Dirt. but I have no truck, so I'm looking at DOT legal. I want a pure offroader though, so I'm looking at KTM or Husky.

My question to you is this: If I'm used to a 250 2 stroke, and it's 16 years since i rode a bike that was 3 years old, but i want that same level of power and delivery of power, what should I get today? Given the street legal models start at 450, I'm limited in choices, 450, 510, or higher. I want a 250 2 stroke with late 80's power levels. I'm about 100 lbs heavier than that now. a 450 seems perfect... am i right? Or do I need a 250 and a Baja Designs kit? :applause:

Is comparing an '89 2 stroke 250 to something i can get today even worth it? Should I go with a peaky 450 or a tractor 510 (another question entirely i think)? I'm in the east, I like the woods. I don't think I'll race TOO often...

My main goal is a bike that I can commute on, but also take on jaunts to my old haunts, and new haunts that I couldn't get to before because of no truck parking, and now, well, just no truck! I loved my RMX250. But I weighed a buck thirty back then, buck fitty at most. i want a small, light, flickable bike that can haul my 215 lb ass around like that 250 did back then. I ride in eastern woods.

Lots of questions asked. :applause: i hope others enjoy this thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RMX was a great off-road 2 stroke with a friendly powerband. If your a big boy now I would pass on a 250 4 stroke. Any 450 will have enough power, but the bigger bikes are actually very manageable.

From what you said my biggest concern is your wanting to commute. The Husky and KTM are DIRT BIKES with a plate, not a street bike. Be realistic, if your going to be on pavement over 10% of the time get a Suzuki DRZ.

The race bikes are a lot lighter and require more frequent maintenance, they can be totally reliable if used as designed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The RMX was a great off-road 2 stroke with a friendly powerband. If your a big boy now I would pass on a 250 4 stroke. Any 450 will have enough power, but the bigger bikes are actually very manageable.

From what you said my biggest concern is your wanting to commute. The Husky and KTM are DIRT BIKES with a plate, not a street bike. Be realistic, if your going to be on pavement over 10% of the time get a Suzuki DRZ.

The race bikes are a lot lighter and require more frequent maintenance, they can be totally reliable if used as designed.

He's right about the dirt/street compromise. Even though I love my KTM, in my opinion, the DRZ is better suited to your commuting idea. Lots of the guys I trailride with ride a DRZ. Since riding skill is more a factor than the bike, even though the DRZ is a lot heavier (not nearly as "flickable") and has less power than my KTM, those guys can usually pass me when they want to. I love the KTM but I wouldn't want to use it regularly to commute. I also think you'll find the modern 4 stroke power to be easier to control than some of the earlier 2 strokes because the 4 strokes seem to have a smoother, wider power band.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a KTM450EXC with a tag in Florida. The tag is perfect for connecting trails and riding a few miles to a riding area. I would never use it to commute. It is, as others have said, a dirtbike with a tag. The KTM EXC's are not real road worthy in my opinion. The tag just opens up more riding areas... that's the benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was considering the Suzuki. My commute is 10 minutes by car. Around here you have to have a truck or a tag to get to the riding areas. there are tons of little places to go around here that you can't really park at. Yes the suzuki would probably be better for me too because I don't have a really good shop/garage, just a shed in the back yard. maintenance would be harder in the grass i suppose... Dammit, you talked me out of it. at least now i don't have to deal with Wayne :applause:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an idea. Buy a hitch for your car. Tow your bike on your commute. When you pass your fovorite trail on the way to work, say the heck with it and go RIDE:ride: Sorry. The four feet of snow in my driveway is starting to drive me crazy:crazy: Tough to find a middle ground on a flickable bike you can commute on. I think you will be blown away by the advancements in four stroke technology. I always used to think of them as tractors too. I switched to the tractor three years ago and I'll never go back:applause: I'm 210 and my KTM450xcw hauls me around great when I can hold on to the bars. The power band is every bit as awesome as my 93 RMX's ever was. Good luck.

GO ORANGE:thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are asking for a bike that doesn't exist. Riding the Eastern woods and commuting to work for 10 miles is a task that no bike can do well at. Just which scenario are you willing to compromise on? My 450 EXC is great in the Western woods, but I hate riding it on the street. A DRZ would be a handful here in the woods, but okay for 10 miles of pavement.

Just pick one type of riding and buy the bike best suited for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh, see. two more posts, and two more opinions. :cry:

I love these threads! Just don't start calling people nazi's! :lol:

Here is my thoughts now that I have had some sleep. I really don't give a crap how the bike is on the roads. I've ridden my RMX there enough to know how they work there. I want a dirt bike. Tags are a bonus to me. A way to avoid the hassle of parking at the places where leaving a vehicle with a bike trailer behind might draw too much attention in the local spots i know/see. A trailer for the car is defenitely in the plans. it's that or borrow a friends truck all the time, and that's not a real good idea. I plan on getting to places more than a 30 minute ride away somehow! I wonder if I'll get a ticket for keeping a tagged bike in the dirt on the shoulder. :applause:

having said that, the Suzuki is damn cheap! :applause: I would have to assume the engine in it will be a little more maintenance free (I know i didn't change the oil in my old bike every 10 hours...) than these high strung things. I haven't adjusted a valve in ages. but i still have the feeler guages! but for a one bike only situation that I'm in... I want to go with a capable and fun off road bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in the desert and my idea of commuting is connecting trails with dirt roads to get to town. The KTM is perfect for me I also have a DRZ but it collects a lot of cobwebs since the new KTM came home

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want a pure offroader though, so I'm looking at KTM or Husky.

I want to go with a capable and fun off road bike.

Going by what you describe you want out of the bike and the fact that you're only using the plate to get to and from local trails, then I think you're on the right track with either the KTM or Husky. Personally, I'd get the KTM 450 exc but that is because I know very little about the Husky's. But also because I think KTM has the best support, resale value and makes one of the finest and easiest to work on off-road bikes. Ask Hawaii Rider, he just made the same decision between the same two bikes and ended up with the KTM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahh, see. two more posts, and two more opinions. :cry:

I love these threads! Just don't start calling people nazi's! :cry:

Here is my thoughts now that I have had some sleep. I really don't give a crap how the bike is on the roads. I've ridden my RMX there enough to know how they work there. I want a dirt bike. Tags are a bonus to me. A way to avoid the hassle of parking at the places where leaving a vehicle with a bike trailer behind might draw too much attention in the local spots i know/see. A trailer for the car is defenitely in the plans. it's that or borrow a friends truck all the time, and that's not a real good idea. I plan on getting to places more than a 30 minute ride away somehow! I wonder if I'll get a ticket for keeping a tagged bike in the dirt on the shoulder. :applause:

having said that, the Suzuki is damn cheap! :applause: I would have to assume the engine in it will be a little more maintenance free (I know i didn't change the oil in my old bike every 10 hours...) than these high strung things. I haven't adjusted a valve in ages. but i still have the feeler guages! but for a one bike only situation that I'm in... I want to go with a capable and fun off road bike.

If your sure what you want and your going to do it no matter how many people advise not to, then I wonder why you even ask.:lol: So just go buy the KTM and be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why don't you just get a 450exc and get it plated? that will work. I rode one at a KTM demo day and the power delivery was so smooth and pulled forever in the dirt and mud. you won't be disappointed you got a KTM!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride my 450 EXC to work 15 miles each way and out on the twisties every now and then. It is fun. It is no sport touring machine, but it's a nice switch from the VFR 800 I usually ride. I get it on the pavement more often when the knobbies are worn down...if they are too worn for the next dirt trip, I try to get some use from them on the street before they come off. A softer seat would do wonders for it if you want to actually sit for more than 5 minuites at a time. Even on street rides, I find myself standing alot. People look at me kinda funny...they aren't used to seeing that.

The DRZ doesn't appeal to me...seems like too much of a compromise in dirt worthiness...but, I have never ridden one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to Custom Performance today. Gave me the creeps. he told me the husky was a batter choice because the KTM's emmissions gear was more permanent and harder to remove. My bulls*** detector went off. He has the husky in stock, but not a ktm. So I suspecvt he's trying to unload it... But i do like it. i'm torn between the husky and the KTM. The KTM has the supermoto kit right? does the Husky?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I am a Husky rider (but do like both bikes). There was something about the Custom Performance guy on the Husky side about a year ago. Someone purchased a Husky from him and had a extremely bad experience. I used to race Aquasco Hare Scrambles back in the day too. If you want to talk to a dealer about the two call Ridersville Cycle in Berkeley Springs, he sells both and ask for Harold (owner). P.M. me and I can give you his number.

I have to agree with everyone else they are trail connector bikes. It is great feeling riding into town just waiting for the police to pull you over when you are legal. Especially after all those enduros I used to run with a fake tag. I rode my street legal TE about 3 miles to get to a patch of woods I never knew were there. If you do get one of the two make sure you get the wheels balanced. Welcome back and once a Dirt Biker always a Dirt Biker. Check out tomahawkmx.com too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×