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Bike for a Beginner/Novice Desert Rider

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It's about time for me to move up. I'm still a beginner, but I'm getting better and better. I've been riding for six years, and right now I have an 06 crf150f, and I want something I won't physically outgrow- I'm 5'11'' and 154 pounds. I don't have a lot of money to spend; under $2000 is my price range, and want something light and mechanically reliable. I ride the california desert, and especially like singletrack. I'm open to suggestions, but I think my best choices would be a kdx200/220, a crf230, or an xr 250r. Maybe a 125 2 stroke? I don't care about street legality.

Thanks, Nick

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You cant go wrong with the kdx , of course pretty much newer the better. Better suspension and more nimble than the xr. A 125 mx 2t is not a very good single tracker. The kdx is lighter than the xr also.

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You cant go wrong with the kdx , of course pretty much newer the better. Better suspension and more nimble than the xr. A 125 mx 2t is not a very good single tracker. The kdx is lighter than the xr also.

Thanks for the advice. Is the 200 better than the 220 for desert?

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I vote 2 stroke 125...i just bought a 1997 YZ125 and it is just as fast as my 2007 kx250f. With that said i havent put so many hours on the yz125 but i was definately reminded why i love 2 strokes. Also if your riding the desert alot you'll have alot of high rpm long stretches probably which wears on a motor. It is alot easier and cheaper to maintain a 2 stroke in those conditions.

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The 220 has lower compression and a smaller carb to help low end torque. its your call for the desert. Either way they are both better suited than a 125 for single track and sand/desert.

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I must be a huge ***** or something...the only time i'd ever really want more power is on something like a well defined road or fire road.

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I'd suggest a 125 two-stroke. It is light, easy to maintain, and it will accomodate you as you grow.

Get a 2002 or earlier, so it is green sticker. Put a heavier flywheel on it to make the power delivery much more friendly. Get the suspenion done professionally for the type of riding you do.

You can probably get a nice ride for about a thousand bucks, and have plenty left over to do maintenace and upgrades.

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I wouldn't get a 125two stroke. If you can find a kdx, that would be a good choice, but if you can't find one I'd get a 250 2t....those are a dime a dozen and they can be had pretty cheap.

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Get a 250 2 stroke or a KDX with some work done to it (atleast a pipe).

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What about a Yamaha WR 250F? The motors last a long time with proper maintenance and the wide ratio tranny works well for desert trail riding.

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Yea any 250cc 4 stroke will work fine in the desert. I rode a CRF250R in Ocotillo Wells and Stoddard for years...it works just fine.

I now ride a CR250R which is a far superior machine for the desert.

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I'm a little worried that a cr250 or other 250 2t would be too much power coming off a crf150, and I recently sat on a '99 cr 250 at the dealership, and it was a little too tall for my liking. I mean, it could have been set up for a large rider, but I think I'd like something smaller.

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Dont get a 125 2 stroke unless you wanna be replacing the top end quite frequently because in the desert you will be pinning that thing and after time you will get bored of its lack of a longer powerband that a 250 two stroke would have. Get a 2000-2002 Cr-250r. Those bikes are awesome; I've got a 2000 and use it for just about the same thing as you. Maybe gear it a bit taller if you want and the suspension is so wonderful compared to a stinking 230 or xr. You will appreciate the buttery smooth gear box that is straight off of a race inspired bike. I got mine for $1300 so i would suggest not buying one over $1600 so you can have a few hundred bucks left over to buy new tires, plastics, grips, bars or levers if they brake, because trust me, those levers and bars bend easy if you have a little spill.

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I'm a little worried that a cr250 or other 250 2t would be too much power coming off a crf150, and I recently sat on a '99 cr 250 at the dealership, and it was a little too tall for my liking. I mean, it could have been set up for a large rider, but I think I'd like something smaller.

Lowering the suspension is easy or you can shave the seat. Im 15, only 130 pounds, 5'10'' and the cr250 is completely perfect for me. Power is intimidating at first but as long as you learn throttle control and not to just pop the clutch when you go for your first ride, you wont end up on your back.

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The honda crf230f is a nice bike too, and should fit your size pretty good.

in the 6 years that you rode your crf150f, did you ever have any issues with it.

sorry for the off topic question here, feel free to pm me if youd like instead.

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The honda crf230f is a nice bike too, and should fit your size pretty good.

in the 6 years that you rode your crf150f, did you ever have any issues with it.

sorry for the off topic question here, feel free to pm me if youd like instead.

Sorry, I should have been more clear in my first post. I've only had the 150 for a little more than two years, before I rode a crf 80. I've never had any problems with my 150 except for a bolt coming lose and locking my rear brake. It was a simple 30 second fix. Make sure you jet the 150 and put decent tires on it and she will be good to you.

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You will definatly be able to use a 250 2t extra power on more then just fire roads. Sand washes and uphills that dont have a "running start" to them is where you need the extra torque that a 250 2t provides. Coming off a 150f I garantee you that a 250 2t will intimidate you at first. But here are you options in my opinion. If you buy a 125 2t then you will be looking for a new bike the next season, because you will grow out of the power very quickly. And they are not very good desert bikes. You HAVE to keep them pinned to go anywhere. I would not trust any 250 4 stroke for under $2000 dollars....that bike is just to old and a catastrophic failure could cost you at a minimum$1000 to fix....minimum. A kdx would be optimal but I am not sure of their avalibility. I would aim towards either an 00'-01' cr 250 or a yz 250 (as new as you can find). I just sold my toatlly clean 01'cr 250 for $1500, so they can be had fairly cheap.

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