Just starting out what to buy?

I am 30 yo, 5'11, 240lbs

I have tons of mountain bike experience and I have ridden atv's and PWC's and what not. Looking into buying a dirt bike and have heard that 2 stroke's are a lot of maintenance every few hun miles and tho I am mechanically inclined I don't want to deal with that. Would be riding heavily wooded trails and wide open trails too as well as some ditch banging. I was thinking a 350 or 400? any input is greatly appreciated.

You were misinformed on 2 strokes being high maintenance, that is a general blanket statement. There are 2 strokes, such a Kawasaki KDX or any KTM XC/EXC (I currently own both bikes) that will run a couple hundred hours of trail time without a complete rebuild if maintained properly. You might have to put a piston in after 100 hours, but that cost would be minimal. Then there are 2 strokes, such as 125 MX bikes that rev very high and require rebuilds maybe every 20-40 hours. However, a rebuild on a 2 stroke can be done by almost anyone and it is generally inexpensive by comparison to 4 strokes. I have never heard of a 2 stroke trail bike needing a rebuild after a few hundred miles. With all of that being said, 350cc is not a very common size. KTM just came out with one, but they will run you about $8 grand. Yamaha made a 400cc (YZ400 and WR400 back in 98-99) and KTM still manufactures a 400 EXC, which is an excellent bike. What is your budget?

thanks for the response, I just think that a 4 stroke would be a better fit for me. As for a budget 5k tops but I am looking for something older. I have a good friend who has a XT350 and swears by it and I have also seen some YZF400's for sale at a resonable price so I may go that route. I just dont really know too much about small engines and power to weight ratios yet, so I was looking for some insight.

4 stroke with low maintenance requirements, plenty of power for a big guy but with a manageably delivery? You sound like a candidate for either a DRZ400E or an XR400.

I wouldn't completely rule out 2 strokes, though, particularly something along the lines of a clean used KDX or KTM EXC.

xr400 or kdx220

xr400 or kdx220

I would have never thought a 250 would be a good fit for me? I have also seen Kawasaki 300 4 stroke's are they any good?

i didnt say to get a 250, its a kdx 220 two stroke trail bike. if you are going to get a 300 2 stroke trail bike, i would get the exc KTM, xr400's are bulletproof just like the kdx 220 and the exc 300. those are by far your best three choices

i didnt say to get a 250, its a kdx 220 two stroke trail bike. if you are going to get a 300 2 stroke trail bike, i would get the exc KTM, xr400's are bulletproof just like the kdx 220 and the exc 300. those are by far your best three choices

Ah ok thanks, do you know the year range for those?

the exc is still made, i saw one on craigslist from 09 about 2 days ago.

the kdx is from 1990's to about 2006 or 2007. if you get the kdx get a clean 01-03 because they made next to no changes on the bike from 2000 to 2006.

xr400's were made from the 90's to 2003. but trust me those bikes are great for everything except track and soooooo easy to maintain. put a new piston in every 200 hours and change oil/filter and clean air filter every 2-3 rides and you will have absolutely no problems whatsoever

getting the newest bike is overrated especially when its a trail bike, my buddy takes care of his trail bike like an mx bike so he will probably literally get 400 hours out of his top end. good luck and i hope i helped

the exc is still made, i saw one on craigslist from 09 about 2 days ago.

the kdx is from 1990's to about 2006 or 2007. if you get the kdx get a clean 01-03 because they made next to no changes on the bike from 2000 to 2006.

xr400's were made from the 90's to 2003. but trust me those bikes are great for everything except track and soooooo easy to maintain. put a new piston in every 200 hours and change oil/filter and clean air filter every 2-3 rides and you will have absolutely no problems whatsoever

getting the newest bike is overrated especially when its a trail bike, my buddy takes care of his trail bike like an mx bike so he will probably literally get 400 hours out of his top end. good luck and i hope i helped

Ok thanks that helps alot

no problem man!

Your not making any sense to me? You do not want to buy a 2t for maintenance reasons, yet you are willing to buy an older 4t. Uhhhh…… you ever tried to keep an older 4t running? Or paid the $$$$ to fix it?

The basic daily maintenance needed to keep either type of bike functioning is the same. The 2t does need a bit more annual maintenance. Rings and piston do need to be changed in a 2t more often than a 4t. But over time the 2t will be the less expensive and lowest maintenance bike to own.

Put the maintenance issue out of mind and focus on the type of riding you will be doing and what type of bike and bike set up you need to fulfill your riding requirements. Once this is settled in your mind, then go bike shopping.

Great to see you interested in bikes. it's great fun!! Happy trails.

Your not making any sense to me? You do not want to buy a 2t for maintenance reasons, yet you are willing to buy an older 4t. Uhhhh…… you ever tried to keep an older 4t running? Or paid the $$$$ to fix it?

The basic daily maintenance needed to keep either type of bike functioning is the same. The 2t does need a bit more annual maintenance. Rings and piston do need to be changed in a 2t more often than a 4t. But over time the 2t will be the less expensive and lowest maintenance bike to own.

Put the maintenance issue out of mind and focus on the type of riding you will be doing and what type of bike and bike set up you need to fulfill your riding requirements. Once this is settled in your mind, then go bike shopping.

Great to see you interested in bikes. it's great fun!! Happy trails.

Well I know that 2t has more bottom end power vs a 4t that more top end power.

Will be all trail riding open and narrow, sand, long hills, mud, water ect. Not interested in MX at all.

When i say older i mean mid to late 90's, and I have heard from friends that the XR400's are pretty bullet proof so I think that is the bike for me.

Well I know that 2t has more bottom end power vs a 4t that more top end power.

Will be all trail riding open and narrow, sand, long hills, mud, water ect. Not interested in MX at all.

When i say older i mean mid to late 90's, and I have heard from friends that the XR400's are pretty bullet proof so I think that is the bike for me.

You're a bit backwards on that power delivery vs RPM thing....thumpers (4 strokes) have more grunt down low in the RPM range.

For what you described and your not being overly excited about a high maintenance machine, I would suggest the Suzuki DRZ400, Honda XR 400, or the Kawasaki KLX300/400's.

All those bikes can be purchased at reasonable prices on the used market and still get many years of reliable use out of them without having to break the motor open (as long as they haven't been thrashed).

All very stout, reliable, minimum maintenance machines.

PS-I've owned an XT350, and they're a sloppy, underpowered, under suspended, ill handling sow in off road conditions. They're best suited for gravel roads, fire breaks and short stints of blacktop, or the occasional cow pasture cruise.

If you've never ridden a motorcycle before, are you sure you want to start with something so big? I'm a noob to bikes and my YZ250F is plenty for me...

Have you looked at a WR250F or WR450F? You could probably get a used mid 2000's one for $2000-3000

Also, from what I hear, 4T's have a more usable- beginner friendly power curve than 2T's. Again, I'm a noob so I'm only going off what my buddies who ride tell me (and help from this site!)

Thumpers have more moving parts - more parts to break, but unless you have two left thumbs, you should be able to save a lot on maintenance by doing most of it yourself.

Just thought a little input from a fellow beginner might be helpful. Then again, maybe I'm just slow :thumbsup:

Wr450f

yeah id recommend as many people have said: ktm 300, ktm 200(very underrated!!!), kdx 220 (prob best bet), xr400, wr250f, or wr450f....

if youre doing any woods the ktms and kdx will be really nice, great usable power (similar to a 4t) and nice and light and filckable.....

the xr's are super reliable tank like bikes, but heavy!!! and IMO a little outdated as far as suspension goes...also probably about the only RELIABLE late 90s to early 00s 4 stroke

if you go the route of the WR, great bike, light, decent handling, decent suspension and can be opened up to be a little more powerful, if you got 5k to spend, you can easily get an 05-07 for 4k...you get e-start with it too!

I think people should be careful referring to 4 strokes and 2 strokes as groups. For example, there is nothing similar about the maintenance, power delivery, or weight of a XR400 vs a CRF250R. To compare apples and apples, you must compare specific models. The same goes with 2 strokes...for example, referring to "2 strokes" as a category can be comparing apples to oranges. For example, a KDX220 and a 250 motocross bike are both 2 stokes, but have very different purposes.

The KDX is a good suggestion for any beginner...light and low maintenance. The XR400s are good bikes, but they outweigh the KDX by about 30 pounds...you will feel every ounce if you ride single track. I am about to sell a KDX220 to a guy coming off of an XR400...that weight gets old after a day of hard miles.

Well I for sure want a 4t as they dont have the imediate power that a 2t has.

So is the kdx220 a 4t?

Another question I have is are the following 4t's? wr250f, wr450f, yzf250,crf250? Does the 'f' stand for four stroke?

yes the f usually means 4 stroke....wr's are 4 stroke, so is the yzf and crf....

but like someone said there is NO DEFINITIVE 2 vs 4 stroke difference....a trail-made 2 stroke will be better for trail riding than a race bred 4 stroke, e.g. the yz250f or crf250....know what i mean?

there are things other than the engine's power delivery that define trail vs. mx bike, and beginner bike...

and again, you kinda got that backwards with the immediate power thing....a 2 stroke actually ive you just gave it a little bit of gas and dropped the clutch would more than likely just die...2 strokes deliver power at a higher RPM than a 4 stroke so a 4 stroke would actually have more immediate power, which is what makes them easy to use for a lot of people....however....the 2 strokes that we have recommened, KTM 200, 300, KDX 220 are 2 strokes desgined to kinda behave like a 4 stroke, they have tractable power which is it sounds like you are looking for

it sounds like you're kinda afraid/overestimate the "HIT" of a 2 stroke...which i personally find to be the biggest over exaggeration there is...some 2 strokes hit when the get on the pipe like older YZs, CRs, RMs and KXs, but most modern 2 strokes are pretty friendly bikes to ride.....i bought a wr as a first bike and really wish i had bought a KDX or KTM instead....i was REALLY surprised when i rode a friends 300...i thought it was almost easier to ride than the wr250....

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