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Woods 2T for a novice/intermediate: 125 or 250?

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Hey folks, so I'll give you a little backstory: I own a KLR 650 with knobs and have braved it on 4x4 trails and all sorts of things it's really not meant for, and over the summer took my brother's CRF 250X out 4 or 5 times and really, REALLY came to appreciate what having a light purpose built dirtbike means...

Price Range (total with mods): < $2k if possible

Height: 5'10.5

Weight: 170

Skill Level: Novice/Intermediate, lots to learn but feel pretty comfy on the 250x

Terrain: In WA we have dusty/rocky/hilly business to the east, and muddy/rooty in the west, so quite a mix.

So now I've got the bug, bad. And it's gotta be 2T. The cheapness and ease of maintenance, the weight, the sound/smell... also from the sound of it I would learn a lot more and it would help me become a better rider.

Out of all the research I've done, the KTM 200 XC-W seems like the best fit, but is also $$$. Therefore early 2000's 125's or 250's with modded flywheels and suspension look like a good way to get similar results, but which one?

125 would be light and fast but I'm worried I might outgrow it, whereas something like a YZ250 has an intimidating amount of power, but with those mods and maybe a throttle cam could be totally manageable for someone of my skill level. So which one do you think I should go for? Any help much appreciated.

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You can find decent KTM 200 EXCs or XC-Ws around here for $2000-$2200, but Im not sure about your area. It seems bikes are cheaper here than up North. My second choice would be a KDX 200, its a trail specific 2t...not quite a KTM, but a good beginner bike. I owned a KDX 220 and sold it a friend recently...its very capable and dependable. My 3rd choice would be a 250 MX bike with a fly wheel weight...however, a 250 MX is really no beginner bike...it would depend on what you define as "intermediate". It sounds to me you might have your hands full with a 250, but some people learn quickly.

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Yeah the KTM 200's are somewhat rare around here and are either really old or way more than I can afford. :thumbsup:

KDX is a good call, I did look a bit into those, although I was kinda concerned by the somewhat old-schoolish suspension. Apparently that can be remedied though, if only I had $2400 right now: http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/mcy/2657893307.html

Agreed on the 250 MX bike, I've heard you can tone down the 'hit' on them but they are still super-powerful.

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Yes the kdx suspension is lacking. I would go for the 250 smoker. Then add a heavy fly wheel weight, different size sprockets (if needed), and some stuff like hand guards, skid plate, and a larger tank.

Keep an eye out for a KTM. You would also be fine with a KTM 200, 250, or 300.

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Dont worry to much.

Get a 125 or a 250 mxer any jap brand will do.

The parts for old models are cheap and easy to find unlike KTM that aftermarket stuff might not be as easliy available and youll have to get OEM which is more expenve.

On a novice/intermediate level you can live with a 5 speed and with a not so plkush suspension.

Anyone who says otherwise is too picky, or has $$ to spend.

You will have lots of fun on a stock 125 or a 250 yet you´ll have to work harder on a 125 to keep rpm´s up, it will feel way ligter and easier to handle.

A 250 will let you not be so aggressive if you desire to and will be a total beast if you ride it hard. However with the bigger bike you will have this choice unke with the 125.

I have ridden stock 2 stroke mxer´s on the trail for many years and i have had lots of fun with them. I don´t race and i aint pro but i have ended up with more money in my pocket than the other guys with brand new 4T from buying the bike´s and from maintenence.

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All previous posts are right on the money. for anyone getting into trail riding the KDX is a dependable machine that has managable power and are bulletproof. as for the suspension, as long as your not hitting mx tracks i think its just fine for trail riding, did i mention its REALLY RELIABLE!!!

The ktm 200 is also a bike which ive been able to try (2004 model i believe) and that is the ultimate trail riding bike: very light, lots of manageable power, and will cope with smaller mx jumps. in the end both are great machines and you cant go wrong with either

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I would rather have a kdx than a MX 2 stroke with fww

unless you dump a thousand bucks into the suspension a MX bike will beat the crap out of you in the woods, unless your a B speed rider all the time

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I would rather have a kdx than a MX 2 stroke with fww

unless you dump a thousand bucks into the suspension a MX bike will beat the crap out of you in the woods, unless your a B speed rider all the time

Not me. MX bikes have more ground clearance, handle better, and weigh less. I got my MX suspension re-valved/sprung for $500. If you're 6'2" or taller the KDX feels small.

However, for the topic of this thread the KDX fits the bill best.

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if your 6'2" or taller your an ogre

I can say I've never actually needed more ground clearance than a 1978 IT400 has, and I've never had a revalve for both ends that cheap, what shop was that?

we did some tree crossings yesterday, my son on his cr250 had more trouble than anyone else, including the 1978 IT400, and that 400 is no slouch either

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I'm currently on a 200exe, and its just what you are looking for, although I must say I'm still searching for something lighter with more mx oriented suspension... (hint hint, 2012 150xc)

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if your 6'2" or taller your an ogre

I can say I've never actually needed more ground clearance than a 1978 IT400 has, and I've never had a revalve for both ends that cheap, what shop was that?

we did some tree crossings yesterday, my son on his cr250 had more trouble than anyone else, including the 1978 IT400, and that 400 is no slouch either

Was at LT Racing in Port Orchard WA three years ago anyway. I've found my ogre legs are handy for log crossings. :thumbsup:

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Wow, thanks for all the replies, the ensuing conversation has been really helpful. So it sounds like the 125 is probably out, it sounds like it'd be fun but also sounds like I might outgrow it.

The KDX sounds like a great intermediary for where I'm at, but so does a trail-modded 250/200... tough call! I think trying to go look at some off craigslist and giving them a quick try out will really narrow it down to the feel that suits me best. Most definitely keep looking for the KTM 200's as well.

Thanks a bunch for all the helpful advice fellas, whatever bike I choose, I'll dedicate my first 'BRAAAP' to the TT forums :thumbsup:

shrubitup, that is an awesome deal for revalving, and in a good area to go test it out :ride:

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i actually love my 125 in the woods haha..might gear it down soon..FWW would be nice, got new bars,bark busters,and rear tire! cant wait to have it out again, jetting works wonders..

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My riding buddy just ran into the same problem, he loved the KDX motor but the rest of the chassis/suspension had much to be desired.

So I built him a KDX hybrid using a 2001 CR125 chassis. It turned out really good, almost like the motor was meant to be in there. It was way cheaper than a KTM 200, weighs 195 lbs, and has one of the most reliable two-stroke motors you can have.

kdx1-1.jpgkdx2.jpg

If you're at all interested, contact me and we could do another build. I have a 2001 KX125 roller sitting here intended for another kdx/kx build!:thumbsup: You'd be in it for under 2k and have the best anti-KTM option on my opinion.:ride:

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Dont worry to much.

Get a 125 or a 250 mxer any jap brand will do.

The parts for old models are cheap and easy to find unlike KTM that aftermarket stuff might not be as easliy available and youll have to get OEM which is more expenve.

Why must you lie about ktm parts being higher than the jap bikes... I pay $167.99 for a top end kit.....and never have needed a crank...unlike those jap bikes we've had/ have...

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My riding buddy just ran into the same problem, he loved the KDX motor but the rest of the chassis/suspension had much to be desired.

So I built him a KDX hybrid using a 2001 CR125 chassis. It turned out really good, almost like the motor was meant to be in there. It was way cheaper than a KTM 200, weighs 195 lbs, and has one of the most reliable two-stroke motors you can have.

kdx1-1.jpgkdx2.jpg

If you're at all interested, contact me and we could do another build. I have a 2001 KX125 roller sitting here intended for another kdx/kx build!:thumbsup: You'd be in it for under 2k and have the best anti-KTM option on my opinion.:ride:

I find it very hard to believe that its 195lbs, as neither the kdx or cr is 195lbs....

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Wait and drive distances if neccesary for a KTM200. I own one now, and have owned a KDX200 and an RM250 setup/revalved for woods, and have also ridden a CRF250X - if you think that bike was flickable and snappy, you aint seen nothing yet, the KTM is quicker, more responsive and 25lbs lighter.

I drove 3 hours for my 06 200 last winter, paid $2000. Wait around for a deal to pop up, and jump in the truck cash in hand.

OR, if you can't wait, find a KDX200. A truly great bike with decent suspension after a simple fork resping. The makes almost as much power as a KTM200, is just a few lbs heavier and is just more dated, but by god it WORKS.

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I find it very hard to believe that its 195lbs, as neither the kdx or cr is 195lbs....

Huh, thats funny. Honda lists the 2001 CR125 dry weight at 192.9 lbs. The KDX engine weighed 1 lb more (measured on a scale). Oh ....I added a headlight. Lemme guess, you ride a KTM?

Its considerably lighter than my 2003 CR250. My riding partner has picked it up, turned it 180 degreeson a tight single track and set it back down. Its light....

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Huh, thats funny. Honda lists the 2001 CR125 dry weight at 192.9 lbs. The KDX engine weighed 1 lb more (measured on a scale). Oh ....I added a headlight. Lemme guess, you ride a KTM?

Its considerably lighter than my 2003 CR250. My riding partner has picked it up, turned it 180 degrees on MT clifty and set it back down. Its light....

look at my garage :thumbsup:

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