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My first bike (complete newb that needs help)

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Hey guys im currently saving up for my first dirt bike, ive been doing some research and ive decided to get either a honda or ktm dirt bike(suggestions open). Theres many different type of styles of dirt bikes im not sure which one suits me, I want a bike pretty much just for fun and recreational use, i want a bike good for medium/big sized air jumps and long trails and one that has a bit of kick to it that can go pretty fast. Before you recommend me some beginner bike i ask you not too because i can only buy one bike i cant afford to get a beginner bike then upgrade later, i want a good performance bike. one an experienced rider would want. Im 19 years old 185cm tall i weigh around 68kg. for the price anywhere between $3000-8500. If you suggest a bike please state why

Ive noticed that some bikes are 2 stroked,4 stroked, 6 stroked, whats the difference between these and are dirt bikes manual or automatic.

Thanks guys for taking the time to read this really means alot to me : )

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Do a LOT more reading before spending any money on a bike. (6 stroked lol)

Read a lot so you can try to form your own opinion then ask for others opinions and this way you can actually understand their reasoning.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it really is for the best.

Edited by woods-rider

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First before I give you my 2 cents on what bike you should buy, they're are only 2 engine types for dirt bikes not 3: 2 Stroke and 4 Stroke. The links below describe the diffrence between the two.

Dirt Bike History 2 vs 4 stroke

http://www.dirt-bike-tips-and-pics.com/2-stroke-vs-4-stroke.html

Pros and Cons of 2 and 4

http://www.deepscience.com/articles/engines.html

This is a KTM 125SX (2 Stroke)

125_SX_90_Grad.jpg

This is a KTM 250SX-F (4 Stroke)

250_SX_F_90_Grad_03.jpg

Ok enough of the that anyways from what it seems like,you want some action and kick from your bike and have fun with it.

From what I see If you want to ride trails often you might be happy with something like a Honda XR250R (CRF250X Newer Verison) or a KTM 250 XC-F these bikes are good for trail riding for both crusing and racing fast through the trails but the only problem is at first they might feel heavy though and the suspension not really good for jumps and track, if you like that stuff more I recommend either any kind of 125 2 stroke or 250 4 stroke race bike, if your up for that sorta thing, they're not that comfortable in trails but boy are they fun to just pin the throttle.

So its up to your preference.

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ross ....you might only be able to afford one bike, but that does not mean you have to start with a bike that puts you in over your head from the very first ride.

Buy used and when you quickly improve your skills you can sell the used bike (for probably not much less than you bought it for). And then you can buy another more appropriate bike for based on your experience and your desires. Almost no one (without experience) starts on the perfect bike that will handle various skill levels.

Your mention of 6 strokes and asking about manual vs. automatic tips everybody off that you are very much a novice and have a lot to learn. And, there is nothing wrong with that. Glad to see how eager you are to get started, but you need to always buy the appropriate bike for your skills.

With the exception of the small kids bikes, every offroad bike is a "manual" That is, you have to manually shift the gears with your foot and in nearly 99% of the cases you have to use a hand operated clutch. You may have read a bit on TT and elsewhere about automatic clutches. Those are aftermarket add-on accessories that make a motorcycle sort of like an automatic in that you dont have to use the clutch lever, but you still have to manually shift and pick the right gear for the conditions. Those have their place, but you need to learn how to use a clutch lever and shift before moving on to an autoclutch.

As far as price points, I assume you are talking Australian dollars, so keep in mind a lot of commenters here are from US or Canada and have US models and US market conditions in mind. You might find things a lot different in Australia. Hopefully some of th Aussie TT members can provide some suggestions for bikes for a 19 year old novice.

Also....big/medium sized air jumps are for experienced riders only and the needs you described cant be met by a single bike. Those big jumps you see being done are by motocross riders on bikes that are designed for motocross racing and jumping. You can catch some air on the trails, but even after riding for 37 years, I find that keeping my wheels on the ground gives much greater control and I am catching air only on those jumps/hills, etc where I know the trails quite well and can see the landing. I am trying not to come across as condescending....just want you to understand any jumping that you might envision comes long after a whole lot of other basic learning of how to control your motorcycle.

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Also...didnt mean to avoid your question about what bike. Take this with a grain of salt since I dont know what is available in Austrailia. Given that you are about 6' 0" and 150 lbs, I would recommend you probably start on on an aircooled 4 stroke trail bike with wide ratio transmission.

Something like :

  • Honda CRF230F
  • Yamaha TT-R 230

If you absolutely must, you might consider the watercooled 4 stroke bikes such as:

  • Yamaha WR250F
  • CRF250X
  • KTM 250 XCF-W

I believe both the Honda X and the Yamaha WR both come with throttle stops that limit the throttle opening to about 2/3rds (not sure about Australian models). Most experienced riders replace these to get full throttle openings and several other 'free' modifications. I would feel more comfortable with you starting on the air cooled variety (first two I mentioned) while you are learning the throttle, clutch, braking, shifting etc.

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Hi ross. I'm Aussie, and I would recommend you start on a more refined bike to learn. As silvfx said a CRF230 Honda is a good place to start you could pick one up for $3000 and they are literally bullet proof.

I would not recommend a 2 stroke because of the power delivery (I've been riding them for years and still catch me out) , not to mention you have to mix gas, which you could forget lol.

I woundnt buy anything over 250cc four stroke.

Maybe a wr250r.

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I started on a kx125 2 stroke when I was 14.. so since you are 19 you can pretty much get any bike you want. My best friend started out on a yz250 2 stroke when he was 16 (which is similar in power to a 450 4 stroke). 2 strokes, in a perfect world are twice as fast as 4 strokes of the same engine size. The smallest bike you could go with is a 125 2 stroke. It is very important that it is a 2 stroke instead of a 4 stroke. A 125 is the slowest bike with the standard 38-39" tall seat height. All "big bikes" are about this tall at the seat no matter the engine size whether it be a 125 2 stroke tiddler or a 500 2 stroke monster. This is important to know because the height of dirtbikes is intimidating your first time you attempt to ride one. they are all manual shift and usually 5 speed, but some are 6 speeds. 2 strokes are a lot cheaper and easier to maintain. There is about 1/4 the moving parts in a 2 stroke engine. this is important to know because you WILL be working on your bike and you WONT have a clue how to work on your 4 stroke.

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+1 to starting on a used "beginner" bike and SilvFx suggestions. I'm not sure what the used bike climate is like in australia, but since you're going to beat up your first bike anyway, a cheaper used one will let you ride without beating yourself up over mistakes you (should be and inevitably will be) making. If you're worried about losing money, I would think devaluing a $9k race bike by learning on it would be the poorer move in a fiscal sense. I don't just mean resale (if you figure out it's not the right bike for you or you can't ride anymore) but parts, labor and maitanence will be a lot more money/time-wise too. A 250F, 125t or even a 230F all have tons of HP, more than you'll need beginning on a trail, though I cannot speak for doing big jumps. When I was growing up back home, a 50cc two smoke was considered powerful, so it's a little weird to move here where a lot of guys are starting on 450fs or 300ts. It would be good to do some reading about the pit-bike trend to realize you can have lots of fun on a nimble bike that doesn't produce the power of a fighter-jet. I do like the idea of being able to uncork or unlock a bike as you get better, like the WR250F or a CRF230F. When you get really good, you can sell your used bike for almost the same as you payed for it and buy your uber-bike then.

I did a lot of lurking and research before I bought my first bike, not to mention getting to ride a few first (XR200, CRF230F, 300 XC). Some of the more relevant things I learned by reading was the different maitanence between the different bikes: 250F racers need a lot of preventative work (honda's especially) , major rebuilds are extremely costly and more difficult. A top end kit on a 2 stroke usually only costs $100-200 (add $200 for bottom end too) and can be done by a relative novice. A CRF230F has been run with no filter/fluid changes regularly, for eight years by a novice who couldn't change out of first gear (and stayed at the redline) and still be a champ (friend of mine, YMMV).

The first bike I went to look at was a YZ250 (as dirtjumpordie brought up), and having now tried my friend's 250SX, I'm very glad I went the route of a CRF230F. I'm not saying you couldn't learn to handle it (a peaky, powerful mx racer), I'm just saying it's a lot of bike for a beginner and there's no way you'd have the energy to deal with it on a long trail ride.

My long-winded two-cents, keeping in mind it's from a fellow newb.

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Here’s a thought, go by the largest dealerships in your area and look at bikes. It sounds like you need to actually look at bikes in addition to reading……. Sit on them, see which one fits you. You don’t have to buy one, just look and feel. (Maybe there aren’t any dealerships where you live?)

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Thanks for all your comments i read every single one of them :smirk:, after reading your comments i think ive decided on either a honda CRF250X OR honda CRF250R, i heard the CRF250R is faster, is it pretty much the same as the X but a bit more power? if anyone knows the difference between these bikes i would love to know thanks again, Ross

EDIT: i also noticed CRF250R has a better muffler than the X

hehe another edit, i heard the X bike is enduro, i heard thats for going over logs and rocks and stuff im not interested in that, just pure riding on dirt.

guess whos back for another edit, i really would like to do dirt bike tracks with jumps and also some trail riding my question is will a jumping bike really be that bad when im riding it in trails?

Edited by ross123456

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I think youngztr is giving you great advice about going to a dealer and talking with them about the capabilities of each bike. No one likes to admit this, but be sure to tell them that you are a complete novice and that you want to learn about the differences between enduro bikes and motocross bikes. Be sure to ask for a salesman that actively rides dirt bikes and has done both (motocross and off-road). I think this is worthwhile visiting a dealer(s) even if you end up buying used and if you disclose that up front that you might by new/used from them or used from a private party (i.e. they need to earn your business and you will spend your money in the manner you believe most efficient once you have been educated).

Off-road riding (or any riding on dirt away from tracks specifically set up for motocross racing) = CRF250X/WR250F/KTM 250 XCF-W

Motocross track racing = CRF250R/YZ250F/KX250F/RMZ250/KTM 250 SX-F

The general differences between the bikes are transmission ratios (i.e. gearing), more top-end power on the motocross bikes, and on the suspension (motocross bikes more suited to jumping).

Do not discount the importance of a wide ratio transmission. To translate what that means is that the first several gears need to be 'low' enough so that you dont have to fly through a tough section of trail, rocks, roots, etc at 10-12 mph because the engine will stall if you are trying to ride it at 3-4 mph and pick your way through the terrain. On the other end of the spectrum with a wide ratio transmission, you will be able to cruise along on dirt roads at 55-70 mph without having the bike screaming at 13000 rpm like you do with the close ratio transmissions on the motocross bikes if you attempt those top end speeds (big time wear and tear on the motor). With the motocross bikes you have close ratio transmissions...meaning there is not that much drop in engine rpm between gears (i.e. they are closely spaced gears). This translates to something like minimum riding speed is 10 mph and maximum is 45-50 mph for the 'R' and 3-4 mph minimum and 55-65 mph maximum for the 'X'.

Not sure about the terrain in Australia, but dont for a minute think that you will never need to ride at slow speeds or that there is no way you would ride at less than 10 mph. The wide ratio trans allows more flexiblility across a wider range of terrain. This would allow you to ride the rough, steep stuff slowly if necessary or cruise along comfortably at higher speed on smooth wide open desert.

Dont discount the Yamaha WR's. They are widely thought (not just by the Yami guys) to be more reliable than the X's (the 2007 and prior X's are reported to have more valve wear issues). Check the TT forums.

One last thing...the WR's and X's (and some models of KTM's - XC, XC-W, EXC) have lights or the ability to add lights (meaning they have a stator or electrical generator with the capacity to run other stuff beyond just the ignition). With many of the motocross bikes, they may just enough electrical power to run the ignition and adding anything further can require very expensive mods or even a different bike. There are lots of threads on TT about whether you start with a WR/X and make some mods to pick up the best features of the YZ/R or vice versa. And, of course, some guys will tell you to just start with a KTM off-road bike so you can avoid that dilemma entirely.

Don't forget to 'save' money to buy the proper gear. Helmet, goggles, boots at absolute minimum. You will also likely want jersey, pants, knee & elbow protection, and possibly chest protection. This is for off-road riding....you may need even better if you fancy yourself to be a motocross rider.

.

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