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what bike should i buy? help!

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Im 20 years old, 5 10, 165 lbs. My price range is anywhere from 0-3000. I Used to ride as a kid but stopped at the age of 12 on a cr125. Id love to get into the sport again but im wondering what bike is right for me(250f or450f). Id say my skill level is around 5 out of 10, 10 being Villipoto. When getting back into riding i'll mostly ride trail or dessert (ocotillo).

Right now im debating between an 07 kx250f, yz250f and kx450f

Thanks!

~kyle

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Are those bikes all 07s? A lot has to do with the condition of a used bike. If that Yamaha is in good shape I would lean towards that. The engines were somewhat bulletproof if maintained and the suspension was really good. I would tell you to stay away from a 450 for now, they are brutally fast and powerful and can be a handful for someone just getting back into riding.

What is your mechanical skills? Can you fix things yourself? High performance fourstrokes don't do very well when not maintained correctly. If your mechanical knowledge is nil and you plan to bring it to a shop then no worries! Any reason for not looking at maybe a two stroke? You might not feel comftable on a 250 2t but what about a KDX 200/220 or maybe a KTM 200?

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^^ Exactly. I would stay away from 250Fs unless you are very mechnically inclined and dont mind dropping cash on parts. 2t is so much better for riders on a budget. Many used 250Fs on the market are just waiting for an unsuspecting buyer...then BOOM! If that happens, get out your wallet.

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Pumpkin450- yes all of those bikes listed were 07. My mechanical skills are 5 outa 10 (meaning i could probably fix it, but theres a possibility of screwing something up haha). Here is an example of one ive been looking at...http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/mcy/2817985216.html. Good condition and the guy wants 2k for it... Anyways you guys keep bringing up 2t? Are y'all referring to a two stroke? In the end I just want something reliable and to be able to ride legally throughout the whole year (If i wanted to). If i decide for the 2 stroke route, will i lose power in comparison to the 4 stroke?

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Pumpkin450- yes all of those bikes listed were 07. My mechanical skills are 5 outa 10 (meaning i could probably fix it, but theres a possibility of screwing something up haha). Here is an example of one ive been looking at...http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/mcy/2817985216.html. Good condition and the guy wants 2k for it... Anyways you guys keep bringing up 2t? Are y'all referring to a two stroke? In the end I just want something reliable and to be able to ride legally throughout the whole year (If i wanted to). If i decide for the 2 stroke route, will i lose power in comparison to the 4 stroke?

Well 5 outta 10 isnt bad but it translates into a 50/50 chance of getting it right, or wrong! With those odds I would probably sway away from a 4t for now (2t for two stroke and 4t for four stroke). Everything pretty much made is pretty reliable but all motorcycle manufactures have their individual issues. Many many mechanical failers happen due to lack of maintainence. As for power, a 250 2t produces more power then a 250 4t. Numbers vary per bike but the average 250 4t produces about 35hp +/-, a 250 2t produces about 45hp +/- and a 450 4t produces about 55hp +/-. The power of a 250f is quite broad and very easy to ride were as a 250 2t can be a little more abrupt. Not crazy though.

A 250 2t is about as reliable as you can get. The advantage a 250 2t has over the 4t is when something does go wrong, they are quite a bit less expensive to fix vs a 4t.

As for year round riding in California, I know nothing of the rules and your on you own with that. I think some older 2t models were allowed to be ridden all year but im not sure.

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Hey there, you realize the bikes you list are motocross bikes? Yet you plan to trail ride? Lots of maintenance on those bikes for general play/trail riding. If maintenance is your thing, go for it. Any bike needs maintenance, some just need more than others.

As others have stated, the 450 idea could wait a year or two until you get acclimated to the saddle…..

Not too much difficult terrain there in Ocotillo. A motocross bike should do fine, but what if you go somewhere else?

The bikes you listed are not green sticker, but you would like to legally ride all year?

You need to look at bikes that are set up for the type of riding you would like to do, play/trail riding, and can be legally ridden all year, green sticker/CAplate. Is that a fair assessment?

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Hey there, you realize the bikes you list are motocross bikes? Yet you plan to trail ride? Lots of maintenance on those bikes for general play/trail riding. If maintenance is your thing, go for it. Any bike needs maintenance, some just need more than others.

As others have stated, the 450 idea could wait a year or two until you get acclimated to the saddle…..

Not too much difficult terrain there in Ocotillo. A motocross bike should do fine, but what if you go somewhere else?

The bikes you listed are not green sticker, but you would like to legally ride all year?

You need to look at bikes that are set up for the type of riding you would like to do, play/trail riding, and can be legally ridden all year, green sticker/CAplate. Is that a fair assessment?

Ya, like i said im new to this and still trying learn as much as possible b4 i go out and purchase a bike. What makes a bike able to ride all year? Spark arrestor? Finally, what bike would you consider suitable for me??

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OH and keep in mind, I'm wouldn't eliminate track riding completely... Im sure there will be a few times a year where ill end up at the track.

thanks

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Fair enough. You are 20 years old, so I figure you have a drivers license and would be willing to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your license. It also appears you have some riding experience. Riding a motorcycle is like a bicycle, you never forget how to ride, it just takes a couple rides to knock the rust off.

Your idea of a 250 four stroke, or there abouts, is right on. Now you need to decide whether you want to go strictly off road riding, or would like to do mostly off road with some street. These days in the wonderful state of CA a strictly off road bike has very limited use, and the use is being limited ever more.

In general, off road bikes are licensed as green sticker, a bike that can be ridden all year, or a red sticker, a bike that can be ridden part of the year. Red sticker bikes are usually ridden in late fall and winter.

A dual sport bike is an off road oriented bike that can be registered for street riding, plated, as well as off road riding.

If you desire to ride all year and on public lands, then look for a green sticker off road bike or a plated dual sport bike. This is the safest way to play and will provide you the widest latitude in recreational opportunity!!

I cannot tell you what bike to buy, No one can. I can steer you toward bikes that are fit for a type of riding, as long as I understand your type of riding, or what you want to do with a bike?

If you are looking for a dirt bike to play around on in Ocotillo a few times a year, and that’s all the riding you will be doing, then the bikes you mentioned will do just fine. Pick one based on condition and price and happy trails.

Honda makes a CRF250X and Yamaha makes a WR250F. Check these out and see what you think.

Edited by youngztr

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Alright thanks everybody for the help! Although i do have another question or two. I think i may be going the 2 stroke route, but i hear that top ends go bad fast... (like 25-30 hours fast). Obviously i understand if you baby your bike those hours will slightly increase. My question is, if i keep having to replace the top end, what does this entail for my wallet? How hard is it to replace a top end on say something like a 01 yz250? Keep in mind id be riding long trails, dessert lake beds, occasional track.

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A 250 top end is only going to be due a rebuild every 25-30 hours if you are racing MX (motocross)...in other words, revving the hell out of the bike between every gear. Even then, 25 hours may be overkill...depending on the bike and other factors. It sounds like you will not be riding MX very often..if that is the case, I wouldnt worry about the cost of a top end rebuild (generally about $200 if the cylinder doesnt need replating, but can be more). A properly maintained 250 2t might run closer to 80 or 100 trail hours without requiring a rebuild...if you dont abuse it. Generally, trail riders (especially beginners) dont ride quite as hard as the MX guys, so bikes tend to run longer intervals with lower maintenance. As an example, I know several people that ride KTM 250 and 300 XC/XC-W/EXC/MXC trail bikes (not motocross bikes), including myself. These bikes are known to run 100-150 hours on a well built top end if maintained correctly. So...long story short, you cant classify all 2 strokes in one category. You have to make a distinction between MX and trail.

If you are stuck on a MX bike, like a YZ250...thats great, but keep in mind that they are designed for MX riding. They have snappy power, MX gearing (tall in first and slower top end speed which may be an issue in the desert), and dont come with the same equipment as trail bikes...such as a kickstand, light, coolant overflow, etc. A 250 MX bike can be alot to handle for a beginner...it just depends on the terrain and learning curve.

In a nutshell, there is no perfect bike for all types of terrain and there are advantages and disadvantages to almost any bike.

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