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First dirt bike, not sure about it.

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Hi ladies. I am looking at getting my first dirt bike. I have been riding on the street for 2 years and currently ride a Z1000 on the street and track and sometimes ride a friend's CBR600RR track bike. I'm 5'-6" 150lbs with a muscular/athletic build, not a girly girl at all. I want the bike for trail riding and living where I do, (south MS) and with a small budget ($1,700) I find myself somewhat limited with bike choices.

So here goes... I test rode a CR250R and found I was too short to successfully kick start the thing without a footstool. Once I was on the bike and riding (the owner started it for me) I felt somewhat uncomfortable with turning because I am used to a streetbike and felt like it was just going to lowside at the least bit of lean angle. Anyway... that doesn't matter, I just need to get used to it. I don't really consider myself a timid rider, but at the same time I'm not going to head butt everything that is in front of me without at least looking it over for a second. I'm thinking I want a CRF230F because I don't want to have to sell and upgrade in a matter of months.

I'm going to Birmingham this weekend for a trackday and posted on craigslist there that I was looking for a bike with cash in hand. So far I have gotten offers of a 1990 XR200 that needs some work for $700, 1999 XR400R for $1,300 that I think will just be way too tall, 2003 CRF230F for $1,600 if I go pick it up, 2005 YZ250F for $1,700 that is again too tall, and a TT-R 225 for $1,700.

I have read that the TT-R is a big heavy bike that is somewhat underpowered for its weight. At this point I'm really leaning towards the CRF230F. Any suggestions? What bikes are equivalent to the 230? I have read some threads on here, but it seems that I'm a little.. uh... heavier than most women, and am not afraid of the bike's weight since I deal with my Z1000. I just don't want a bike that is going to feel sluggish.

Dang I have a problem with rambling. If you made it this far you need a trophy.

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I think you are prob too good of a rider to go with the smaller 4 strokes.

CRF230 ect..... are you just play riding or wanting to kinda go fast?

those are good pit bikes and beg kids bikes but you will prob get bored if you want to jump anything or MX on a track.

You are taller than Ricky Carmicheal?

My GF had trouble for a while till she got used to the taller bike but learned quick on a yz125 and she is 5'-3" if she is lucky

How about a YZ125/250 and lower the suspension some?

just my 2 cents

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From the list you've provided, and your background info, I would go with either the CRF230F or the YZ250F. From there, I think it just depends on how aggressive you plan to ride. If you're a pretty aggressive rider, or if you plan to do MX, I'd go with the YZF. If not, then I'd say go with the CRF. At 5'6", and with your experience on a big road bike, I would think you could handle either one. It sounds like you don't want too tall of a bike though, so maybe the CRF, or you could get a lowering link for the YZF. Good luck and have fun...

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While the YZ250F and the CRF230 are 2 totally different bikes, I would consider either of those. the CRF is a kitten compared to the 250F and you will probably get bored on the CRF230 after a while. Also, you might want to look into a 125 2 stroke. Maintaining a 250 4 stroke can get a little pricey. Like Gene said I think you will get used to the height. I am 5'4 (almost...) and I have gotten used to big bikes. I feel very cramped on my CRF150F which is just a tad smaller then the CRF230. there are several girls on here riding full sized bikes that are under 5'6.

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I think you'll get bored with a 230. I'm thinking a 125 2 stroke would be perfect for you. The YZs do tend to be very tall (over 39" seat height) but a Honda CR125 or Kawasaki KX125 might be perfect (37" seat height). Bear in mind you will have to adjust the suspension (race sag) for your weight so the bike might seem taller if you are buying from a guy or gal who is heavier than you, and once you bring that rear shock down some, it will be better. A Z1000 is not a beginner bike, nor is the CBR so if you are used to riding those, I would look into a larger, faster dirtbike. I can only tiptoe a CBR and I manage to ride a CR125 although I'm happier with the kx100 I just bought. Since you are taller than me (I'm 5'4"), I think you would fit fine on a CR125. You can always add a lowering link while you get used to it, or for forever if it makes you feel better. I'm pretty limited on sport bikes due to my height. If I ever upgrade to a super sport I already know it will be a GSXR just because I can get the balls of my feet on the ground. CBR or R6, forget it! I'd have to have it lowered.

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Thanks for all the info. I was looking up seat heights on some bikes and the YZ250F has a seat height of 39 inches while the CRF230F has a seat height of 34 inches. I think my Z's seat is 32 inches with only 3/4" or so of sag. I know dirt bikes will sag way more than that. If I have time this weekend I think I will go look at both the CRF and YZ, but I think seat height may be the deciding factor between those two. The CR I rode was a 2 stroke, and its nice... but for tight trails with big trees I do worry about the sensitive throttle of a 2 stroke. 99% of what I will be doing will be in the woods, so I don't anticipate top end speed being something that I'll be longing for, although I never know.

Roxy... its funny you say that, because when I sat on a GSXR I felt like it had the same seat height as my bike and the CBR. My friend just put a new shock on his CBR so it sits even higher than it did last time I rode it. And it has rear sets on it while my Z doesn't, so I feel like a contortionist sitting in the riding position in my leathers AND I can't pedal it around for anything. Should be an interesting weekend!

Next question... any ever motard out a CRF or YZ?

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I moved up to a CRF230 last year & found it a very nice bike to increase my riding skills on without getting into any serious trouble. I have so since moved on to a 250F & really love it.

But the 230 & if you get bored, it's not like you're going to lose much if any money on the re-sale.

Check out the CRF150/230 for motard info

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Someone called me today from Canada and he motarded his YZF; I believe many have done the same with the CRF. Supermotojunkie.com is a good source for that sort of thing.

Thanks for all the info. I was looking up seat heights on some bikes and the YZ250F has a seat height of 39 inches while the CRF230F has a seat height of 34 inches. I think my Z's seat is 32 inches with only 3/4" or so of sag. I know dirt bikes will sag way more than that. If I have time this weekend I think I will go look at both the CRF and YZ, but I think seat height may be the deciding factor between those two. The CR I rode was a 2 stroke, and its nice... but for tight trails with big trees I do worry about the sensitive throttle of a 2 stroke. 99% of what I will be doing will be in the woods, so I don't anticipate top end speed being something that I'll be longing for, although I never know.

Roxy... its funny you say that, because when I sat on a GSXR I felt like it had the same seat height as my bike and the CBR. My friend just put a new shock on his CBR so it sits even higher than it did last time I rode it. And it has rear sets on it while my Z doesn't, so I feel like a contortionist sitting in the riding position in my leathers AND I can't pedal it around for anything. Should be an interesting weekend!

Next question... any ever motard out a CRF or YZ?

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Thanks for all the info. I was looking up seat heights on some bikes and the YZ250F has a seat height of 39 inches while the CRF230F has a seat height of 34 inches. I think my Z's seat is 32 inches with only 3/4" or so of sag. I know dirt bikes will sag way more than that. If I have time this weekend I think I will go look at both the CRF and YZ, but I think seat height may be the deciding factor between those two. The CR I rode was a 2 stroke, and its nice... but for tight trails with big trees I do worry about the sensitive throttle of a 2 stroke. 99% of what I will be doing will be in the woods, so I don't anticipate top end speed being something that I'll be longing for, although I never know.

Roxy... its funny you say that, because when I sat on a GSXR I felt like it had the same seat height as my bike and the CBR. My friend just put a new shock on his CBR so it sits even higher than it did last time I rode it. And it has rear sets on it while my Z doesn't, so I feel like a contortionist sitting in the riding position in my leathers AND I can't pedal it around for anything. Should be an interesting weekend!

Next question... any ever motard out a CRF or YZ?

I think the GSXR does have the same seat height but it's much narrower than the CBR. All I know is I'm barely on my tip toes on the CBR but on the GSXR I have the balls of my feet down and am 100% more stable. You will find that since dirt bikes are so narrow, a taller seat height works out better than what the numbers show. My kx100 has a 34.3" seat height but it feels so much smaller than my Ninja 500 that has a 30.5" seat height. If a shorter, but fast bike would suit you without your being too small for it, consider a kx100 (2 stroke) or CRF150RB (4 stroke) instead of the 125 or 250. I still think if you can ride and handle a Z1000 or inline 4 600, that a 230 will bore you in a month. Try sitting on different bikes and getting a feel for what you want in seat height and weight. With your height I would think you might be a tad uncomfortable on one of the medium size bikes like the kx100 or the CRF150RB, but those bikes may be just the ticket if the full size bikes are too tall. If you do buy a 230, definitely go used because I don't think you'll have it more than a few months before you want to upgrade. Nothing wrong with doing it that way of course. Learn riding dirt on an easy bike, then upgrade. That's probably the safest way.

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The XR400 is the most bulletproof trailie in your list IMHO. If you can handle the weight and seat height it will serve you well. The TTR's are good choices also, but the older XR will outperform them in just about every department, with the exception of e-start.

An MX'er (YZF, RM, CRF - R, etc.) would be my last choice for a trail machine for a rider who is relatively new to the off-road realm. Too much maintenance, and overheating could be an issue.

Keep in mind this is coming from a Yamaha/Suzuki rider.

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The CRF-230 and TT-R-225/230 would be more like trading your Z1000 for a KZ-400. It's still a low-maintenance, dependable, functional bike, but less than exciting.

I'm a fan of the KDX-200 and KDX-220 for inexpensive off-road fun. Easy to start, low maintenance, very forgiving, FUN bikes. They're more like a GPZ-750. I'm 6' 3" and ride a 2007 Yamaha WR-450, but still have a BLAST riding my wife's KDX-220. On a lot of the tight woods trails or single track, it's actually easier to go faster on the KDX than on my WR.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=623845&highlight=

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I just got back into riding dirt bikes myself and ended up getting a GasGas EC250 2stroke. It's not to hard start when really cold and has like a lot of power too. Real easy to ride and has a hydraulic clutch too.

Very good bike :)

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Thanks again for the great replies. I have kinda decided on a CRF230 to start with and just sell and upgrade if I get bored with it. I just don't want to get in over my head and try to chop down a tree with the bike or any important body parts... the unimportant ones I don't care about. Unfortunately due to forecasted 90% chance of rain all weekend I'm not going to Birmingham so I'm back on the hunt here locally.

Thanks again everyone!

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dont get the ttr225 they are USELESS i had 1 for 2 weeks and traded it in for a cr250 if i were you i would go for the crf250 i ride my boyfriends quite a bit and i love that bike

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Everybody is adding their 2c so here is mine.

I have just started out and I have a CRF230F and I love it! I go riding with my husband and his YZ250, but it just that bit too tall for me feel in control. Obviously, being a 250 2 smoke, it is a beast and not something I would ever recommend for a lady.

I think the CRF230F a great bike to gain confidence and build your skill level, especially in the sand and over jumps. Don't be mistaken though, it is a fiesty bugger in the right hands.

As for the 2strokes....you can get one if you have mastered the skills and feel like a change, but I think you might just like the CRF enough to keep it!

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I love my 230F, it was my first dirt bike and you can do modifications to make it more fun! (open the air box, uncork the exhaust, change the gearing, I also added risers to the handle bars since I'm 5'7"). It is a fun, fun bike and bullet proof. I will always suggest these to new dirt riders. I am on my 3rd year of single track riding and after making mods I will keep my CRF. I just picked up a Husqvarna TE250, another bike you may want to consider. It does need some modifications though and helps to have a very handy mechanical boyfriend who likes to wrench on the bikes.

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Modifications we made to the CRF to make it a bit more fun:

- Took snorkel off and took out inner baffle of muffler (made it way louder fyi)

- Changed the needle/jet to: Honda part # 16012-KPS-921

- Front sprocket stock is 13, we changed to a 12.

- Changed air filter to a high performance moose filter

Also put handlebar risers on since it was killing my back standing. This really is a fun bike. Can't pull wheelies on it unless I use a rock or something but it's still fun in the woods.

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