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Fatty getting ready to buy a dirt bike

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Hey Im new here and have read a bunch of the "am I too big" threads but still have a desire to ask it for myself. Ive been riding Harleys exclusively since I turned 18 (38 now). I havent touched a dirt bike since I was in my early teens. A coworker races MX alot and is 50 years old. He has put the bug in my ear several times over the last 5 years and Im at the point im ready to break down and buy. We have a couple local tracks here in northeast Nebraska and some nice trails down south. So thats mainly what I plan on doing. Im not looking to turn the fastest lap at the track or break land speed records. I just want to go out and enjoy myself this summer. Im just torn on what to buy. Im 5'11" and weigh 215 lbs (but hopefully cutting at least 15). I myself think a 250f is enough for me but i keep hearing im too big for it. My real dilema is that i have a 2004 yz250f lined up to buy this weekend. Its too good a deal to pass up really. Its got less than 50 hours, old man owned (he followed his kid around the track on it) and doesnt have a scratch one on it. The paint is still on the frame where his boots shoulda rubbed it off!! I think i can get it bought for $1200.

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but i also found a good deal on a 2004 crf450r that was owned by a hardcore racer and dumped lots of cash in it. excell rims, titanium valves, race tech suspension, leo vince exhaust but its sat for a couple years and hours are unknown....hes asking $2000

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I tend to over think things I want to buy. I work hard for my money and hate wasting it. I just dont want to be wanting more if I go the 250 route. Also Im a pretty skilled Harley mechanic and machinist/fabricator.....is modding the 250 an option down the road? Again Im as green as they come to dirt bikes so go easy on me. Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Hey Im new here and have read a bunch of the "am I too big" threads but still have a desire to ask it for myself. Ive been riding Harleys exclusively since I turned 18 (38 now). I havent touched a dirt bike since I was in my early teens. A coworker races MX alot and is 50 years old. He has put the bug in my ear several times over the last 5 years and Im at the point im ready to break down and buy. We have a couple local tracks here in northeast Nebraska and some nice trails down south. So thats mainly what I plan on doing. Im not looking to turn the fastest lap at the track or break land speed records. I just want to go out and enjoy myself this summer. Im just torn on what to buy. Im 5'11" and weigh 215 lbs (but hopefully cutting at least 15). I myself think a 250f is enough for me but i keep hearing im too big for it. My real dilema is that i have a 2004 yz250f lined up to buy this weekend. Its too good a deal to pass up really. Its got less than 50 hours, old man owned (he followed his kid around the track on it) and doesnt have a scratch one on it. The paint is still on the frame where his boots shoulda rubbed it off!! I think i can get it bought for $1200.

1329103540.jpg

1329103597.jpg

1329103557.jpg

but i also found a good deal on a 2004 crf450r that was owned by a hardcore racer and dumped lots of cash in it. excell rims, titanium valves, race tech suspension, leo vince exhaust but its sat for a couple years and hours are unknown....hes asking $2000

honda.jpg

I tend to over think things I want to buy. I work hard for my money and hate wasting it. I just dont want to be wanting more if I go the 250 route. Also Im a pretty skilled Harley mechanic and machinist/fabricator.....is modding the 250 an option down the road? Again Im as green as they come to dirt bikes so go easy on me. Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

i would go with the yamaha if it were me, less prone to valve problems. im 190lbs and went from a 450 down to a 250f and love it, you could always put a 300 kit in it down the road for a light powerful bike.

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For that price, you can always turn around and sell the 250f and still get your money's worth back out of it. Try the 250f to get used to riding offroad and when you're ready to move up, you can move up to the 450. Nothing wrong with going straight for the 450, but thats just how I would do it.

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Go with the 250. It'll be all you can handle for at least a few years. 450's will get you in trouble a lot quicker and a 250 engine has more than you'll need for years to come.

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thanks guys. Thats my thoughts too. Id hate to let this bike slip away. Seems like a really good deal. Ive been watching bikes for several months in papers, ebay and craigslist and havent found anything even remotely this nice for this amount of money. Around here people are trying to get $1500 out of mid 90s bikes that look like they went through a war zone. FYI dont ever put an ad on CL for WTB stuff......i had people calling me at 2am the other night! Even though i said text only.

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Go for the Yamaha , for 1200 its a great deal. Yep, you can big bore it down the road , or easily get your money back out of it.

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im just going by what hes told me on the phone. Im looking at it saturday. Evidently the old guy put an hour meter on it when it was new. Hes really askin $1700 but he made the mistake of telling me hes strapped for cash right now so Im hoping i can get it for $1200. Does the Yamahas have the year and VIN on the neck/frame like Hondas?

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All bikes have VIN numbers stamped on the frame and you can figure out model year from that. If you get it for 1,200 have someone freshen the suspension (Sounds like it was never touched) and up the spring rate on forks/shock for your weight. The YZF's are very reliable with proper maintenance and it will be a great bike to get you back into the sport.

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Rule #1 Never trust anything anybody says when you are buying a bike...unless you know them personally.

It almost sounds too good to be true...if he didnt have a title, I would be very cautious.

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a couple things that arouse my suspicions about claims of low hour bikes are any changes to the OEM equipment. I can see from the pictures alone that the seat, the graphics, grips, and perhaps the plastics) are not OEM (doesnt have a scratch on it --- then why the replacement of the graphics, grips, seat/seat cover, etc?)

Why did he change them out? Does he have the original seat? etc. True low hour bikes typically have all the original plastics, graphics, warning stickers, etc and every aspect seems to match that.....sprockets, chain, underside of engine case/skid plate, linkage, etc have very few marks/pitting from rocks hitting the underside, etc.

Take a close look at pictures of OEM YZ250Fs so you can tell what parts have been replaced. If he is a straight forward guy he will tell you everything that was replaced and why and may still have most of undamaged OEM equipment (I know that I do).

For all you know he slapped the hour meter on last year. Not that I would grill somebody this hard...but the only way to truly prove it is to show the actual receipt for purchasing the hour meter and show dated pictures over the years with steadily increasing hours shown on the meter. I would just look at all the other aspects of the machine to look for wear and tear. Also look closely at the wheels/rims for damage and being out of true. I have test ridden at least 10 used bikes were i could visually see the rims were bent (or needed to be trued) as I slowly rode down the street. Walked away from every one of them because that was just the tip of the iceberg for other problems also identified.

As moto_rider7755 is indicating, go in with a healthy does of skepticism and look very closely at all the wear items (sprockets, chain, chain guides, chain sliders (on swing arm) tires, brake pads, rotors, forks, fork seals, grips, levers, cable guides/retainers, rubber grommets, side covers, radiator shrouds, decals, etc), airbox/filter and the underside of the bike to determine if the claimed hours seem to 'match' the visual wear and tear. See if he has a service manual. Check to see if he has kept track of any maintenance performed by himself or a shop. Doesnt mean its not worth buying, but you need to factor in the visual inspection to the negotiated price.

The biggest risk is what you cant see inside the motor. If you read this forum you can see a number of stories/concerns about the 250F motocross bikes getting ridden/revved very hard. The cost of having to rebuild/replace the top end on these four stroke bikes can easily exceed $1,000 depending on the work to be done and how much you can do yourself. Also plenty of stories where people are parting out these bikes rather than rebuilding a motor that needs both the bottom-end and top-end replaced simply because the cost of repairs exceeds the market value of the bike (i.e $1500-$2500 of engine repairs needed).

Not trying to scare you.....just trying to point out the riskiest and most expensive aspect is the internals you cant see. I judge a book by its cover (by looking closely at the external wear items I listed). If they show wear, you can assume the internals, bearings, bushings you cant inspect are equally or more so worn out. Lastly, dont be afraid to walk away from a supposed good deal if things dont look right. I have walked away from more bikes than I have bought (i.e. didnt even bother to negotiate the price- and gave them some face-saving excuse) at about a 3 to 1 ratio and that is after you have already sorted through the ads so that you only go look at the supposed 'gems'.

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ride the 250, if it doesn't sound weird or feel bad it's your best bet. honda had some valve seat issues in those years. both are good bikes, but 1200 bucks is cheap :smirk:

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im pretty savvy when it comes to buying stuff. One of the reasons i wont buy a vehical off of ebay. This guy told me he put different graphics on it and a grip seat cover. He said plastic are originals. He did put a rear tire on it. Ill be able to tell if its been apart. Ill pick it over pretty good. How can I tell what year it is by the VIN? Im not familiar with japanese VINs.

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Funny...I consider myself cautious and I bought a boat off of Ebay. As long as the product isnt misrepresented...you are the one with the money, so you can leave if you arent happy. It was a damn good boat for the record.

If you go over the bike like SilvFx stated, it will be cool...you will either walk away from a POS or get a steal on a good bike.

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Plastics may be original, but they seem to be missing the "Yamaha" logo from the front/rear fenders as well as both "YZ450F" stickers from the rear fender and the emblems from the side covers....so my guess is he either removed them, they came off when pressure washing, or he replaced all the plastics.

Again...nothing wrong with replacing plastics and refreshing the bike, but I expect people to be honest about it and maybe produce the original plastics or tell me they were damaged by a fall (which wouldnt be surprising at all since everyone bites it once in a while and any fall scrapes the crap out of the plastics).

Take a look at the OEM parts diagram:

http://shop.thumpertalk.com/oem.asp?partcategory=50748&manufacturer=6&category=3&year=2004&model=1254

http://shop.thumpertalk.com/oem.asp?partcategory=50749&manufacturer=6&category=3&year=2004&model=1254

Regarding your comment that there is not even boot rub on the frame this may be correct, but it's hard to tell with the frame protectors that are on it which would keep the boot rub to a minimum or would cover up any boot rub. Not trying at all to tear down the purchase and if you get it for $1200 it may be a great deal, just trying to give you some mental ammunition for comparing his words against what you are actually seeing on the bike and you can draw your conclusions from there.

As far as telling the year based on the VIN.....I am not certain how to tell just from the VIN. However, every offroad bike that I have purchased (except one) the owner had the original manufacturers's certificate of origin (sometimes called the MSO or MCO) or a title with the make/model/year/VIN # on it. The MCO (which is issued in this case by Yamaha) has the VIN number that should match what is shown on the neck of the bike and it also has the make, model and model year of the bike. For the only off-road bike that I purchased without a title or MCO, I contacted the original selling dealer (while the seller waited and listened) and found out they sent the MCO to the finance company because the bike was paid for by credit card. I then contacted the finance company to ensure they did not have a lien on the bike and that the seller was free to sell (he was).

If this owner is as meticulous as he makes it sound, he should either have a title or an MCO showing the model year and matching VIN. If he doesnt, he better have a darn good paper trail and a very convincing story why neither title or MCO are available. Let us know the outcome after you see the bike in person and have a chance to test ride.

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I understand what your saying. Its a 250 but your right those stickers should be there. Your also right about the MSO. Ive actually seen alot of bikes being sold without them for some reason. Ill pick it apart good. Gonna try to take a racer coworker with me if he can go. I went and looked at a 2003 CR250R last weekend that was a "great running bike". He started it on a stand and let it idle for 15 minutes. A puddle developed under it..........the rear shock dumped its oil!! He didnt even work the suspension starting it! Then puddle developed under the right front case........antifreeze.....spurting out of the tell tale hole in the case. I then noticed a crack in the left side case. Rear rim was cracked too. He still wanted $1000.........I ran as fast as i could.

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I am 5'10" and am around 200 lbs. I ride a 250F and love it. If you need to have the suspension revalved and resprung for your weight. Its well worth the money. On the Honda. You say a guy who races MX owned it? I wouldnt touch it. I work on MX bikes and the most beat up bikes are the ones that are raced especially if the guy is an intermediate or pro. On the 250F take a closer look at it. Even if the 50hrs isnt exactly correct looking at the condition of the bike close up will be a good indication of how the person who owns it now took care of it. Pop the seat off and look in the air box. Is the inside of the air box filthy? Is the air filter clean? How does the engine oil look? Dont be afraid to go with a smaller bike. I have owned 450s in the past and I got hurt way more on the 450s. In fact I dont think I have once wadded up on the 250f. Good luck in whatever you decide. :smirk:

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I talked to the owner of the 250f again last night and asked about a MSO. He didnt get a title when he bought it but he does have a bill of sale and will make me one up as well. He did give me the VIN but there isnt much I can do with it. Not much on carfax for dirtbikes. Tried a few other places and came back with nothing. If its not registered somewhere or reported stolen it has no way of showing up.

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slyderHD...did the current owner buy this bike from another private party? Or did he buy it new from a dealer? If he bought it from a dealer, they are required (by the manufacturer) and probably the state to provide the MSO to buyer (or to the finance company if it was financed). If he bought from dealer and doesnt have the MSO, I would start being suspicious that a finance company might actually hold the MSO and have a lien against the bike unless they are fully paid.

If he has a paper trail (i.e. bill of sale from original owner) and will then provide a new bill of sale to you along with a copy of his original bill of sale....you MIGHT be OK. I can't speak to the rules in Nebraska, but in Colorado a Bill of Sale is sufficient. However, in Colorado if you then decide you want to convert from an off-road to an on road bike (i.e. title it and get a license plate), you either need to have the MSO or a Bill of Sale with specific penalty of perjury language about the bike being sold as an off-road bike. I mention this only in case you might want to convert/plate it in Nebraska and if Nebraska has some specific requirements about requiring an MSO or other documentation.

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Good luck, but your expecting him to go down about 30% on his asking price. In a price negotiation, to land @ $1200, you would have to start at about $800...pretty insulting. Even if you offer him$1200 and say thats your max, its still 30%. Hope he doesnt have arms like POPEYE! Im guessing you might land at $1500 on that bike.

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