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Criteria for a Trail Bike

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I'm looking for a trail bike for tight single track in the forests of Southern California. I'm a 5-10, 140 pound "old" guy who most would classify as an intermediate or "B" class rider. Something around $3000 would be great.

My current ride is a TE-250, and it does well at what I'm currently asking it to do: play ride in the desert. Every now and then I do something like the Mojave Trail, where a plate is required, so I might keep the TE. But I'd like to do more technical rides in the forest, where the saddle height and weight of the TE250 are extreme disadvantages to a skinny old guy like me.

I've looked at some possibilities -- CRF150/230, the old XR200, TTRs, KDX200 and so forth, and I'd like to hear more about these and other bikes. But I'd also like to get a list of criteria to help me choose one bike over the other once I've narrowed my choice down to a few good possibilities. At this point, my list goes something like this...

Air cooled, 4 stroke

Or a very quiet 2 stroke

Maybe 175-200cc?

Saddle height 34 inches

Around 220 pounds wet

21/18 sized tires but I'm open to suggestions

Trials tire on the rear, for sure

What I'm looking for is a bike that is not only much lighter than my TE250 so I can man-handle the thing around if need be, but one that will also be easier for me to ride through rocks and roots on narrow trails where my legs are way too short way too often.

Any help you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated... thanks!

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i had a 230 for a year and did alot of trail riding. i weigh 220, and i'm 6' tall and the bike rode just fine for me i was going up hill climbs in 2nd sometimes 3rd gear. there really low maintenance and you can find them fairly cheap. i bought mine in 07 it was a left over 06 and it only cost me 2800.

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Consider the XT225 if you want a dual sport. Fun ride even for my FAT butt. Perhaps the Suzuki DRZ250 as well??

I rode a TE250 '08 model. NICE bike but too spendy for me. I'm 6'2" so that's why I liked it I guess.

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My TE-250 is a 2007 and it's exactly what i wanted in a play bike for the open desert -- fast, reasonably light and so forth. But I weigh 140 pounds with gear, so for trail riding, it sucks. I've heard good things about the XTs but they are WAY too heavy for riding tight single track. Ditto the overweight DRZs, all of them... 🙂 No, i'm looking for a bike that i can lift the rear wheel off the ground if necessary. Guys have suggested Yamaha's TTR-125 or Kawasaki's KLX-140. We'll see, thanks for the come back...

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i have a 125 2 stroke and it is pretty good in tight trails but you have to really know how to ride it and i have a 250 2-stroke set up for enduro and tight trails and it is a great bike lots of power and i know its a little bigger than you were looking for but im about your same size and i do just fine

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My TE-250 is a 2007 and it's exactly what i wanted in a play bike for the open desert -- fast, reasonably light and so forth. But I weigh 140 pounds with gear, so for trail riding, it sucks. I've heard good things about the XTs but they are WAY too heavy for riding tight single track. Ditto the overweight DRZs, all of them... :D No, i'm looking for a bike that i can lift the rear wheel off the ground if necessary. Guys have suggested Yamaha's TTR-125 or Kawasaki's KLX-140. We'll see, thanks for the come back...

Hit up slackinhard here. He has a KLX125 that he put KX100 forks on and a BBR exhaust. He's about 6 foot but well under 200 lbs. He absolutely FLYS through the trails on it. He likes it plenty. I've actually thought about pimping out a TTR230 myself someday.🙂

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Is lowering the TE 250 an option.

Coffee on here has his lowered about 3 inches. Hes about 5'10" and I think he could flat foot it now. Also lowering the suspension would also lower the CGs making it feel more nimble while in motion. The TE 250 is such a goods woods bike it'd be a shame to limit it to desert play rides

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Hi BannerUp! I'm sort of glad to hear a guy say what I've felt all along about the TE250. I've got an 07 too and it's a great bike, but doesn't work so great in the tight stuff for me. I'm 5'4" and weight 125 (140 w/gear on) - dang, I'm fat!!! I'm getting by right now with a KX100 for a woods bike as it's very light and fluffy (170 lbs), but it would be a little small for you. Of all the bikes you listed above, the KDX would be my pick, but I'm partial to two strokes. The KDX is a very mellow, mild mannered bike that has a loyal following. I would not recommend a DRZ250 to my worst enemy, had one, hated it. Can you say top heavy pig???

Good luck to you!

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Consider the XT225 if you want a dual sport. Fun ride even for my FAT butt

the 4-joke yami XT225 serow is a very potent trail bike... and they are bullet-proof.... i have no complaints about them in the trails. you can take them to anywhere as you pleased, literally point-and-shoot 🙂

the following tech specs and traits about this bike that i got from another site are as follows:

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

manufacturer : yamaha

model name: serow 225 WE

category (class): enduro

engine capacity (displacement): 223 ccm (13.61 cubic inches)

engine type: single cylinder

bore x stroke: Ø70.0 mm x 58.0 mm (Ø2.76 inches x 2.28 inches)

stroke: 4

valves per cylinder: 2

timing system: SOHC

cooling system: air

gearbox: 6 speed

front brake: single disc

rear brakes: single disc

overall length: 2070 mm (81.5 inches)

overall width: 805 mm (31.69 inches)

seat height: 810 mm (31.89 inches)

wheelbase: 1350 mm (53.15 inches)

ground clearance: 285 mm (11.22 inches)

curb weight: 108 kg (238 lb)

fuel capacity: 10 liters (2.64 gallons)

max power: 20.00 hp (14.6 kW) at 8000 rpm

max torque :19.00 Nm (13.97 ft-lbs) at 7000 rpm

power/weight ratio: 0.19

additional good traits of this bike also include the following:

1. signal lights are rubber encased so there's small possibility of bending even after a bad fall.

2. wiring harness are seamless.

3. the right footpeg is located comfortaby, not advanced quarter of an inch, unlike other bikes.

4. skid plate is standard.

5. side mirrors have two bends along the stems allowing better adjustments.

6. it has a stock utility bracket located at the back.

7. low seat height.

8. chain is an ordinary link-type, not requiring special tools to dismantle.

9. low-maintenance.

10. very cheap to own.

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you just described a KTM 200. It works great with a trials tire as well.

https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=674250

I am amazed at how much easier the 200 is to ride than my trusty WR250F was. The performance is very similar, just in a 2 stroke form. Ride on and you will agree.

I like the W or EXC better for the plusher susp, bail out first gear and the overdrive 5th/6th. 2nd - 4th are the same on both 200 models.

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A KDX will do everything you want and more. I am 6'3. 235 lbs and it gets my fat ass around pretty quick. It is a little heavy, but the suspension is perfect for some technical woods riding. Also, with it being a second bike, it will be cheap, to buy, maintain and fix. Fixing is not something you will do very often as they are extremely reliable 2-strokes. No doubt you will be satisfied with a kdx.

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if only they still make them, the best enduro/ trail bikes would still be the torque-inducted low-compression type air-cooled 2-stroke yamaha DT250s 🙂:D

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if only they still make them, the best enduro/ trail bikes would still be the torque-inducted low-compression type air-cooled 2-stroke yamaha DT250s 🙂:D

:worthy:

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if only they still make them, the best enduro/ trail bikes would still be the torque-inducted low-compression type air-cooled 2-stroke yamaha DT250s 🙂:D

Yeah, thumbs up to that! My riding buddy had one of those in the 60s, and it was a great bike. After the industry came out with reed valves, the DT got even better. And all the other 2-strokes, too, since that helped them from loading up so easily. What did the old DT weigh?

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Around 220 pounds wet

You have pretty much eliminated everything except a ktm 200 with your criteria.

I think it's about the best technical woods bike I've ever used, but it's pretty close with the ktm 250's. The 200 is lighter, and has 6 speeds tho, which is why I got one.

On an older one, you may want a flywheel weight and/or gnarly pipe to tame the hit and boost bottom end power.

the 4-joke yami XT225 serow is a very potent trail bike... and they are bullet-proof.... i have no complaints about them in the trails. you can take them to anywhere as you pleased, literally point-and-shoot

As long as you're not in stuff that is too steep and loose, and you're not in a hurry, the xt225 is a good playbike. On alot of mtn trails tho, I found it didn't have the beans to pull 2nd gear, but couldn't get traction in 1st gear.

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...As long as you're not in stuff that is too steep and loose, and you're not in a hurry, the xt225 is a good playbike. On alot of mtn trails tho, I found it didn't have the beans to pull 2nd gear, but couldn't get traction in 1st gear.....

i'm just 150 lbs, even less now, and the serow i had from a friend carries me fine :D

Yeah, thumbs up to that! My riding buddy had one of those in the 60s, and it was a great bike. After the industry came out with reed valves, the DT got even better. And all the other 2-strokes, too, since that helped them from loading up so easily. What did the old DT weigh?

125 kg (275 lbs) wet weight :worthy: ...almost just the same as the DT360.

compression ratio of the old 250 is only 6.8 : 1... a mild-mannered 2-stroke... by 1981, they were already torque/ energy-inducted 🙂

a brief history though: not only the reed valve technology that yami introduced in 1968(???), the company was also the first to produce successfully the power-valve system in 1977, which it incorporated in its YZ250s...incidentally, yami won the MX world championship that year :banghead:

how can you not "go blue"! haha! :ride:

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As long as you're not in stuff that is too steep and loose, and you're not in a hurry, the xt225 is a good playbike. On alot of mtn trails tho, I found it didn't have the beans to pull 2nd gear, but couldn't get traction in 1st gear.

True. The stock gearing is 15/45. Switching it to 14/45 or better yet 14/48 will give you good mtn trail gearing and ability to make 55mph on the paved road. It's no big bike performance wise but surprisingly able to do mild single track (relatively low center of gravity). If you get going too fast on it watch out for the suspension and chassis. The suspension will bottom and the skid plate makes itself very worthwhile 'cause you'll be banging it on everything. (Fat guy on a small bike - that's what happens:busted:). If you want to prevent crashing, this is a good bike to ride because you can never go fast enough on it to get into a hairy situation. BUT, it is brick reliable, sorta light, AND can chug and climb pretty well too.

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I'm looking for a trail bike for tight single track in the forests of Southern California. I'm a 5-10, 140 pound "old" guy who most would classify as an intermediate or "B" class rider. Something around $3000 would be great.

My current ride is a TE-250, and it does well at what I'm currently asking it to do: play ride in the desert. Every now and then I do something like the Mojave Trail, where a plate is required, so I might keep the TE. But I'd like to do more technical rides in the forest, where the saddle height and weight of the TE250 are extreme disadvantages to a skinny old guy like me.

I've looked at some possibilities -- CRF150/230, the old XR200, TTRs, KDX200 and so forth, and I'd like to hear more about these and other bikes. But I'd also like to get a list of criteria to help me choose one bike over the other once I've narrowed my choice down to a few good possibilities. At this point, my list goes something like this...

Air cooled, 4 stroke

Or a very quiet 2 stroke

Maybe 175-200cc?

Saddle height 34 inches

Around 220 pounds wet

21/18 sized tires but I'm open to suggestions

Trials tire on the rear, for sure

What I'm looking for is a bike that is not only much lighter than my TE250 so I can man-handle the thing around if need be, but one that will also be easier for me to ride through rocks and roots on narrow trails where my legs are way too short way too often.

Any help you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated... thanks!

have you ever considered the husky WR125, especially the '09?!

it is one of my orgasmo dream bikes, man! 🙂:D

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125 kg (275 lbs) wet weight :worthy: ...almost just the same as the DT360. compression ratio of the old 250 is only 6.8 : 1... a mild-mannered 2-stroke... by 1981, they were already torque/ energy-inducted 🙂 a brief history though: not only the reed valve technology that yami introduced in 1968(???), the company was also the first to produce successfully the power-valve system in 1977, which it incorporated in its YZ250s...incidentally, yami won the MX world championship that year :banghead: how can you not "go blue"! haha! :ride:

Can't argue with that -- blue is good... :D After getting out of MX and into Desert racing, I left Husky and went Yamaha. My last YZ was a G model, an '81 i think, and it had that boost bottle that helped the mid-range. Then they got rid of the monoshock and added a radiator, but I was 40 and quit. Now that I'm back riding again, I miss the monoshock and the 2-stroke, but lots of the stuff I ride requires a plate, or at least a green sticker, so I'm kinda wandering around here looking at my options. Thanks for the help...

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