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Need Advice on Bike for Beginner Rider

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I have introduced several people to our sport (I've been riding for 40+ years - currently on an '04 525 EXC) and I've convinced two of my fellow ATV riders (I ride the Renegade 800) to come over to the single track life as well. One is familiar with bikes and I am pointing him towards a KTM 300 2-stroke or 400+ cc 4-stroke so he can survive at altitude (base camp is at a power robbing 10,000 FT) in Colorado during our annual trip. Any other suggestions? His budget is about $4000.00 US

The other friend is more difficult as he has never owned a bike or riden before. So, I am looking for a bike for him and I am focusing on the Suzuki/Kawi 400 DR/KLX and maybe an XR model as well. Does anyone have any other suggestions for a guy that does not enjoy turning wrenches and just wants a reliable manageable ride? He doesn't consinder maintaining a bike as play time like I do. Suggestions? His budget is $3500.00 US

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I think you've pretty well hit the spot. I own a DRZ-250 ('03) and really like it. It's been super solid reliable. I weigh 170(ish) and it's got moderate power. Great for a beginner, but also keeps me entartained too (although I find myself wanting more power now). I've gotten up climbs that my buddy of a YZ400 couldn't make it, but that's mostly rider skill.

The XR400's are GREAT bikes too, I've known several friends who had one (or two, or three) and love them. Also solid bikes. A solid beginners bike with plenty of room to grow.

I'm a fan of a 250f for your first bike. I have found that I'm a much more agressive rider and also faster in the tight stuff than some people I've ridden with on 400's (even a YZ400!) because I'm not intimidated by the bike. Put a noob on a high performance big bore and they'll hesitate to crack the throttle (if at all!).

IMO, the 400XCw is far and away the best trail bike around, though. High performance and stone cold reliable from the reviews I've read, and friends who have them.

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The other friend is more difficult as he has never owned a bike or riden before. So, I am looking for a bike for him and I am focusing on the Suzuki/Kawi 400 DR/KLX and maybe an XR model as well. Does anyone have any other suggestions for a guy that does not enjoy turning wrenches and just wants a reliable manageable ride? He doesn't consinder maintaining a bike as play time like I do. Suggestions? His budget is $3500.00 US

For this guy, why not a nice used KLX300R. Very manageable, good suspension for a non-race machine, lighter than the XRs and decent reliability. Nothing overwhelming about the bike. I also like the DRZ400E, bonus is the magic button.

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2 stroke - kdx200/220

4 stroke - KLX300

I've had good experience with these bikes as well. Great for trailriding, etc.

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I had a yamaha xt225, 02. It was an amazingly reliable bike. I had it in water up to the handle bars for a short bit. It did die when I got to the bank, but started right up after draining. Decent power, not much available for aftermarket, but it's very close to the ttr's so you can sometimes mix n match with them. I'm bout 200 and it carried me with no problem. Gear it down a bit and you should have a good bike you can take anywhere.

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