"What [racing] bike should I buy?"

I'm a 19 year old guy. I had an XR100 back when I was around 13 but I grew out of it. I know how to ride. I also ride my dads 400 utility quad.

So I'm about 160lb and 6'2" and I've got a lot of energy.

I'm looking for a bike I can grow into (experience wise) and I eventually would like to start racing. I'm worried that the 250cc class is going to get phased out of racing like the 125 did, I've been seeing a lot more coverage in the 450s.

I've been looking at primarily CRF450Rs, YZ450F, and KTM 450SXF although I think the KTM is probably more expensive than the Honda or Yamaha, am I right? I'm buying used.

Thoughts? Advice? Options?


I would get back into the game with a 2t 125, and then upgrade once you get some practice in.

Coming from the background of a XR-100 at 13 and just riding utility quads, you're going to have to start from the beginning in terms of experience.

The 125 hasn't been phased out other than in terms of production. The day the 250cc class gets phased out and the only engine size left in racing is 450 4T's will be a cold day in hell, I assure you. Not to mention the death of the sport.

My advice: Start small and work your way up. Yeah, it'll cost a bit more, but the fact you're forced to learn the basics the correct way is invaluable, especially if you want to race.

125 2-stroke! If you learn on a 125 2t it will make you a better rider in the long run, not to mention there is alot of amature classes for the 125. The problem with the big thumpers is that they make you lazy.

125 two stroke....or a ktm 150 two stroke. This will teach you how to ride a bike, carry speed into corners, etc. If you are sold on 4 stroke, go with the 250 four stroke. Stay away from a 450!!!

I wouldn't get the 150. You really need to know how to tune those screamers to avoid problems.... You can how ever get a nice 144 kit on a 125 2t from Eric Gorr.

I would look into the Yz125 above all else. They seem to be very strong and reliable.

ktm 150sx. dont go straight into the 450's. as previously mentioned a 4 stroke can make u lazy (even though they have so much power, its all very linear). if you really want to become a good rider, get a 150 first. if you are seriously getting into racing, have a 250f as a race bike and a 125 or 150 2 stroke as a practice bike :ride:

The 150s also have reliability problems....

A yz144 would probably be better....

i hear alot of people hear ragging on the ktm 150 for no good reason. i know alot of people i race with that have that bike, and they have NO problems. one of my friend has had one hes been racing hard for a year now, and he has done pretty much nothing to it.

but yes, do not get a 450. theyve got so much power that the AMA doesnt even think the top guys can handle them, which is actually the reason KTM is coming out with the 350sx which will be raced in the 450 class. and all these people are saying get a 2 stroke and move into a 4 stroke later, i disagree. you will have to change alot of habits once you move to a 4 stroke, and you will probably be blowing through clutches with that itchy 2 stroke clutch finger. id say choose if you want a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke first, then either get a 150sx or a KX250F. those would be the best choices for your size

definitely start off on a bike you can handle, it's a bad idea to try and "grow into" a bike.

i was in the same boat you are last year, i had a XR80 when i was twelve as well as a cr80. recently i had a 400 ex which i sold to buy a yz 250f it was certainly a steep learning curve there is no way i could have thrown a leg over a 450 and expect to ride it with any skill.

...2stroke maintenance is far less than a performance 4 stroke....

Change oil and filter often!

check valves!

clean the air filter

oil the chain

put gas in it

replace worn parts...

yeah no kidding. dont go straight to 450f. your gonna get hurt. go to a 2 stroke 125 (yamaha, Ktm, Honda, ect.) or even the ktm sx150 wouldnt be a bad choice. but if you cant deal with 2 strokes then you could try a 250 4 stroke. i ride a 05 Kawasaki kx250f. i LOVE it! but with a 4 stroke 250 TEST IT OUT FIRST. take it too a track and try it same with a 2 stroke 125.

I'm not going to sugar coat this... You made the wrong choice.

1.) A 450F is the modern equivalent of an open class bike. You have never ridden a motocross bike, and this one will not teach you anything about motocross riding, except to be afraid of the bike. You are probably going to be frustrated when you start racing, because you will not know how to carry corner speed, the guys who came up on the smaller bikes will be able to run circles around you where it counts... the corners.

2.) Four strokes are much more maintenance intensive than two strokes, make sure you change the oil and filter OFTEN, and clean or change your air cleaner after EVERY RIDE. Learn how to check your valves, and be sure you stay on top of the maintenance. When a 4 stroke blows up, it costs ALOT to fix. 450's tend to be better in this regard than 250 4 strokes though.

Chances are, you will end up selling this bike and either going away from the sport, or selling it and spending the money on a 125, or 250F....

yeah guys, i ended up going with a crf450r. i'm certainly not looking for the maintenance that comes with a 2 stroke, although i am fully aware that every dirt bike requires a lot of maintenance.

the bike isn't that bad, i've never understood the concept of "too much power." if there is too much power just pull in the clutch and let off the throttle.

i can sit on the bike completely flat footed, i actually look fairly big on it.

good thing is my sister is getting a cr(f?)150 expert so i will mess around on that.

i do have a couple questions though: when does racing season start? what racing class should i be in (with the 450 and 150)? what maintenance exactly will this bike require, and how often? anything else i should know about it?


Wow good luck.

Also, you mixed up the maintenance thing... 2 strokes require less, and cost less to repair than the 4 stroke. Though at least you got a 450 instead of a 250F as you won't be bouncing off the limiter like you would have on the 250F and wearing the bike down faster.

Not so sure jumping to the 450 was the best choice for someone coming off an 100cc thumper and utility quad though. It's almost like going from a bicycle to a liter bike...

As for the classes: 450 beginner, and Schoolboy / supermini for the 150 (unless your local tracks allow you to race in the 85cc class...).

good luck honestly, but expect to be in a cast or a doctor's office in the near future

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      Turn on the bike, and take a can of WD-40. Spray the WD-40 around the boot where it meets the carburetor. If the RPM rises, you know you have a leak, and the leak must be stopped. You must do this to make sure there are no leaks!
      Here is my configuration:
      04’ 230F
      Uni Air filter
      132 Main Jet
      45 Pilot Jet
      Power up needle, 4th clip position
      Fuel screw 1.75 turns out
      Riding elevation: 2000ft - Sea level
      Temperature – Around 60-90 degrees
      Spark Plug Tips
      When you jet your carb, a spark plug is a best friend. Make sure your spark plug is gapped correctly, (.035) but that’s not all that matters. You want to make sure the electrode is over the center, and you want the electrode to be parallel, not like a wave of a sea. Put in the plug, and run the bike for 15 mins, ride it around too then turn it off. Then take off the spark plug after letting the bike cool. The ceramic insulator should be tan, like a paper bag. If it is black, it is running rich, if it is white, it is running lean. The fuel screw should be turned out if it is running lean, and turned in if it is running rich. Go ¼ turns at a time until your plug is a nice tan color.
      Making sure your bike is jetted correctly
      While you are running the bike for those 15 mins to check the plug color, you want to make sure it’s jetted correctly now. Here is what the jets/needle/screw control:
      0- 3/8 throttle – Pilot jet
      ¼ to ¾ throttle – Needle
      5/8 – full throttle – Main jet
      0-Full – Fuel screw
      Pin the gas, does it bog much? Just put around, is it responsive? When you’re coming down a hill, the rpm’s are high and you have no hand on the throttle, does it pop? If it pops, it is lean and the pilot jet should be bigger. If it’s responsive your needle is set perfectly. You shouldn’t have to go any leaner than the 3rd position, but I put mine in the 4th position to get the most response. Your bike shouldn’t bog much when you have it pinned. If it does it is too rich of a main jet.
      Determining the plug color, you will have to mess with the fuel screw.
      That’s it, have fun jetting, and any questions, post on the forum, but remember to do a search first.
      Also, if your bike requires different jets due to alititude, humidity, or temperature, please post the following so we can better assist you:
      Average temperature
      Altitude (If you do not know this, there is a link in the Jetting forum that you can look up your alititude)
      Average Humidity
      What jets you are currently running
      What the problem is (If there is one)
      Just do that and we'll help you out the best we can.
      EDIT: The girl using this login name is my girlfriend. You can reach me on my new login name at 250Thumpher
      Then again, you're more than welcome to say hi to her!
      -Phill Vieira
    • By kashlak
      JUst curious of how many bikes,quads,trikes people owned over the years and what they were?
      78 honda atc 70
      85 honda atc 110
      ?? handa trail 70
      78 yamaha mx 80
      85 yamaha yz 60
      82 yamaha it 125
      85 kawasaki kxt 250 tecate
      79 yamaha yz 400
      86 yamaha yz 125
      85 yamaha yz 80 (playbike)
      92 kawasaki kx 250
      93 yamaha xt 350
      and last but not least a 99 kawasaki kx 250
    • By Bosch232
      Were the XL's the predecessor to the XR's?
      I have a friend who's looking at an old XL350, and I don't know anything about these bikes.