Cheap racer?

OK, here is my situation… I am going to try to follow a dream of mine and try to race for the first time this summer at age 32. It may be a little late to be getting into the game, but I really don’t care.

I plan on riding both motocross and some hare-scrambles. Here is the kicker…. I will only have about $1500-$2000 to buy a bike. From what I’ve been seeing on craigslist and other places, I am confident I will be able to get either a early 2000’s 250 2-stroke, a mid 2000’s 125 2 stroke, or a mid 2000’s 250F. There is also the possibility of a yz426F as well but I’ve been told that would not be a great bike for hare scrambles at all.

So of those choices, what would you recommend? Keep in mind also that repair cost is a concern. $100 here and there is not a huge deal but having to drop $500-$1000 in one pop would definitely side line me for a while.

I know it’s a little crazy to even want to race when I don’t have a lot of extra cash, but I’m getting any younger, and a lack of money doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams.

Thanks in advance for any input.

OH, and i don't know if it makes a difference but i'll be riding the b/c classes, it's my first time racing i am surely no a class rider.

if i was on a budget i would not even consider a four stroke as rebuild costs are huge compared to 2t's also a 2t would make you a better rider if it was my money i would look for a 2t 250 (IMO).

its never to late to start hope his helps mate :smirk:

if i was on a budget i would not even consider a four stroke as rebuild costs are huge compared to 2t's also a 2t would make you a better rider if it was my money i would look for a 2t 250 (IMO).

its never to late to start hope his helps mate :smirk:

I agreeee... 250 2st

I agree that 2 strokes are the way to roll.

I'm on the same page as the OP, 32 years old and wanting to race. :smirk:

I started on a 125 and would like to say the 125 probably makes the best beginner bike, but it doesn't make the best racer. Its too easy to make mistakes on it and one mis-shift can be the end of your race. Plus when it comes to scrambles, its nice to have the bottom end of a bigger bike.

I'm thinking the best thing for you would be a 250 2 stroke. Plenty of bottom end, easier to ride because of it and much more versatile then the lil pingers.

Now what bike to get... thats the biggest question.

In my humble opinion $2k is too little for a good 250 2t race bike. Any bike you buy for that much money will need a lot of work, even if its been maintained perfectly, it will still need to be setup for you. If you spend slightly more money on the bike and have a few bux left over for getting the suspension serviced and possibly doing a top end right off the bat, it would be a better situation. You don't want a late 90's early 2000 bike, they're just lugs. I'd focus on a final generation japanese model OR something more current from the KTM brand.

The difference between a $2000 250 and a $2500 250 is substantial. You can probably talk someone down on a $2800 bike, which means you can get one hell of a good machine. The idea is to get the newest thing possible, with the most modern suspension. Then, spend another $500 bux on tuning it up for you and I'd also replace the top end whilst your at it.

All in all, you really need to spend $3k on buying and building a competitive 250 race bike. You can probably get away with spending 2k on buying and building a 125, as the market is flooded with used bikes for cheap money. But honestly you need to look at the type of riding you'll be doing and focus your attention on what bike will accomplish that riding the best. I honestly think anyone who is going to need a versatile machine like you do, you should do it right to begin with and find the extra money to buy a 250 and do it up right.

Edited by tye1138

250 2t

I think you would be better with a 250F if you are serious and are not just going to be part of the filler pack at the back. To run up front you want the newest thumper you can afford.

I think you would be better with a 250F if you are serious and are not just going to be part of the filler pack at the back. To run up front you want the newest thumper you can afford.

This brings up a question for me.. And don’t get me wrong I am more used to 4T bikes and I would love to get a thumper, but wouldn’t a 250 2T be faster and more agile than a 250 4T? Especially because I will most likely be running in vet classes where the displacement is open. I know I’d be giving up some horsepower to the 450’s with a 250 2T but wouldn’t a 250 4T make the gap even bigger? Or is there something I’m missing that would make it more competitive than the 250 2T?

I have been racing cross country for 3 years now and I am 26. Being comfortable with your bike is alot more important than how much power it has expessially in the amatur classes. Every cc bike has its advantage and disadvantage. I recommend a 2t for ease of service and when you crash during a race it is easier to start (i did have a 426 and starting after a crash would take all of my energy). Find a well kept mid 2000s bike 250 or even 125 and get used to it then race, but if you weigh over 180 the 125 might not be such a good idea.

if you are on such a tigh budget, racing is not for you. ther eis unexpected costs that come up all the time, travell expenses, gas, sign in fees, etc...i go througha rear tire every 8 rides and thats pushing it.

i get that your in a budget, but spending that little on a bike will not get you that much of a bike. if it is a 2 stroke, i would put a new top end in right away, chain, sprockets,etc....

maybe just stick to riding and enter a few local races to get your feet wet.

wouldn’t a 250 2T be faster and more agile than a 250 4T?

It would seem that 250 2t's would destroy 4 strokes... But don't forget, there really isn't a "modern" 2 stroke made, anyone who still makes them, stopped development years ago, unless you buy a 2011 KTM, or another euro brand. I think what backwoods was trying to say is; the 4 strokes are SO much more modern then the 2 strokes, the chassis is what will wear you down and send you to the back of the pack.

I personally know a few people still racing 250 2t's and are getting away with it, but sadly all of them are riding KTM's and they're modern.

I still stand-by my initial idea and think you should buy a 250 2t and make it work for you. Just because other people choose to not even try, doesn't mean you can't. :smirk:

if you are on such a tigh budget, racing is not for you. ther eis unexpected costs that come up all the time, travell expenses, gas, sign in fees, etc...i go througha rear tire every 8 rides and thats pushing it.

i get that your in a budget, but spending that little on a bike will not get you that much of a bike. if it is a 2 stroke, i would put a new top end in right away, chain, sprockets,etc....

maybe just stick to riding and enter a few local races to get your feet wet.

that is accually what i plan on doing. i'm not going to do a "full season" rather i plan on hitting about 3-4 local motocross (and 1 or 2 senior nationals) and a few hare scrambles. i by no means plan on racing every single weekend and traveling all over the place. i just want to get a few races under my belt and see how i can do with what i have.

250 2stroke all the way.

Have you considered racing older bikes in the vintage or evolution/ultima classes?

Good way to get your feet wet for not much money. With 1989 being the cut-off date, you can get a decent handling bike with a solid engine for $1500, probably a lot less.

Racing the old iron is VERY fun and is as competitive as you make it and a lot more forgiving.

Have you considered racing older bikes in the vintage or evolution/ultima classes?

Good way to get your feet wet for not much money. With 1989 being the cut-off date, you can get a decent handling bike with a solid engine for $1500, probably a lot less.

Racing the old iron is VERY fun and is as competitive as you make it and a lot more forgiving.

Not a bad idea. that could always be my plan B.

Trust me...evo mx aint gonna be cheaper.... find a 2000- 2001 cr250 or 2002-2004 yz/rm250 in your price range and have fun.

So the vast majority are saying go with a 250 2T. is there one brand i should look for over another as far as reliability......... or really any other reasons.

See above post DJ...they are the best generally speaking.

See above post DJ...they are the best generally speaking.

was there one that stands out from the rest or would all be pretty comparable?

They are all good, i had the yz in 02... good bike and not that far off spec wise to the current yz's...

yeah, i would think if i can find a yz in good condition, parts availability should be better than the other discontinued japanese models, no?

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