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Old 01-04-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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new to dirt

hey all, new guy here who's only ridden street but looking to get into dual sport and trails. what do you recommend for a bike? My preference would be trails and maybe i'd try the MX bit... one issue I have is I have a short inseam (28") so I have no idea if I can even find a bike that will fit me. 5'6" 190lbs
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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My son is about the same size and he rides a crf250x with a Kouba link (for lowering the rear) and the fork tubes sunk in the triple clamps about an inch. You could do this with just about any dirtbike. Carmichael isn't any taller and it worked out pretty well for him.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
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What are you looking to spend? A kdx 200 sits pretty low and is a decent trail bike and can be had for around a grand. If you're looking for something dirt/street I would say DRZ or KLX with shaved seat foam, you can find those for around 2-3k. If you want to mix trails with MX and no street, any 2t 250 MX bike works great with a flywheel weight, barkbusters and a spark arrestor; I'm partial to suzukis and newer yamahas. It is a lot easier and cheaper in the end to turn an MXer into a trail bike than the other way around, although I have no problem with my trailbikes on euro style MX tracks. I wouldn't worry too much abought the height either, as long as you can tiptoe on one side or the other you are ok imho.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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I have a couple friends of mine who are big into dirt, one MX and one trails. The trail guy suggested a Yama TT125 and the other said a YZ125 and saying I would get bored fast of the TT. I also asked about the 125 vs 250 and suggested starting on the 125 as its more forgiving which is alright.

I actually found a couple KX125's for sale... and was going to pick one up. 2001 YZ125 for $1250 and a 2007 YZ125 for $2100. Is it worth it to spend the extra coin for the newer model? Granted I'll be a weekend rider only
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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Depending on the condition, hours and maintenance performed you can get a great deal on an older bike, but be wary of smokers and two strokes, they are generally being sold for a reason. I would go with a 4 strike personally because maintenance is less intense, and they are a little more forgiving for learning. I have a 99 DR350 thats street legal, which means I can get to any trail head and home without loading or trasnporting. Of course I would never take it on a MX track because if the suspension, but it can take some decent jumps. Dual sport is where it is at in my opinion. Let me know either way, I have some trails I ride almost daily
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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pass on the TT....it'll be luggin' once you get the hang of the dirt.

I'm partial to a 2T, but newer 4 strokes reign the trails and MX scene these days.

I took a MX bike and put barkbusters and spark arrestor on like Clark mentioned. I ride my bike pretty hard and it has yet to skip a beat....but I do regular maintenance with EVERY ride. Gear oil, air filter, and adjust chain tension/lube every ride and a new top end every 40 hrs or so. It's been bulletproof so far.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:20 PM   #7
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so what would y'all recommend for a first bike then? I have plenty of street experience, just none on 2 wheels in the tree's. I would eventually like to get into the dual sport but this I'm looking for now is just for weekend warrior fun. Some say 2 stroke, some say 4 stroke. ugh.

is there much of a group riding dirt in/around Houston?
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:43 PM   #8
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A 2t 125 is NOT more forgiving than a 250 in the woods, they have to be ridden "on the pipe" a whole lot more or have almost no power. A 250 makes power on the pipe too, but its a broader spread of power and with a pipe like an FMF Gnarley, it's spread wider and easy to use in the woods. As far as 2t vs 4t is concerned, it's ford vs chevy. There are pros and cons to each. I personally don't care for engine braking. I brakeslide most turns and blip the throttle a lot to maintain speed so I coast, and that style of riding doesn't work (for me anyway) on a 4t. I would not buy a 125 for woods riding unless I was 120 lbs.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDN_bacon View Post
so what would y'all recommend for a first bike then? I have plenty of street experience, just none on 2 wheels in the tree's. I would eventually like to get into the dual sport but this I'm looking for now is just for weekend warrior fun. Some say 2 stroke, some say 4 stroke. ugh.

is there much of a group riding dirt in/around Houston?
+1 to what everyone has said so far. Assuming that this isn't something you want to ride on the road with, get something along the lines of a Honda crf250x. You can tear up the trails and tear up any MX track with it. Basically covers any weekend warrior fun you may want to get into.

People will always say differently, but you can have just as much fun on a 2 stroke in the trails as a 4 stroke. I can promise you that. For most people it's just a preference thing. That being said, you can find 125 2 strokes very cheap all day long on craigslist. Of course, i will always recommend a Honda either way.

I also recommend you stay away from the "trail only - beginner" type of 4 strokes that are out there. Like Honda's XR line, Yamaha's TTR line, etc. They will be fun, but you'll want a faster bike quickly. Plus if you want to have some fun on a MX track, you'll wish you had a better bike.

Just my .02
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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is there much of a group riding dirt in/around Houston?
there is, to some degree. I race hare scrambles once a month (usually within a 2-3 hr trip from Houston), I try and ride the SHNF at least every other month and then an occasional trip to the MX tracks (plenty of em in houston area).

I will say this, MH is a sportbike scene. You'd probably find more riders for organized rides with TRH (trail riders of Houston), HoustonMX, or even Thumper Talk or TWT. The "core group" of riders here on MH is everything but consisitent! Right Clark?
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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there is, to some degree. I race hare scrambles once a month (usually within a 2-3 hr trip from Houston), I try and ride the SHNF at least every other month and then an occasional trip to the MX tracks (plenty of em in houston area).

I will say this, MH is a sportbike scene. You'd probably find more riders for organized rides with TRH (trail riders of Houston), HoustonMX, or even Thumper Talk or TWT. The "core group" of riders here on MH is everything but consisitent! Right Clark?
Houstonmotocross.com is also a good site for the Houston MX scene.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #12
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Houstonmotocross.com is also a good site for the Houston MX scene.
that's what I meant, but I don't post there and forgot the name.

CDN Bacon, be prepared for when you show to a MX track with bark busters on your bars....the good MX riders will have a good laugh at you knowing you don't fit their mold...trust me.

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Old 01-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #13
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there is, to some degree. The "core group" of riders here on MH is everything but consisitent! Right Clark?
Yeah I have that coming. Just remember that you missed the last ride at shnf to catch fish, and I work weekends a lot so I can't race a series. That being said, lets get a MH SHNF ride orginized again, any free saturdays?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #14
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Yeah I have that coming. Just remember that you missed the last ride at shnf to catch fish and drink beer, and I work weekends a lot so I can't race a series. That being said, lets get a MH SHNF ride orginized again, any free saturdays?
can ya blame me? I'm "free" every Saturday this month minus the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd (I'll be racing). I'd prefer the 15th or 29th though.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #15
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I appreciate all the input guys, guess I'm still shaking my head though. I still got guys here (at work) saying get 2 stroke and some saying 4 stroke...there seems to be 2 distinct camps and they don't cross at all.

Maybe I'll go ahead and pick up that YZ125 and try it out... only thing i worry about is fouling up plugs learning and of course, I have a small case of arthritis in my clutch hand so clutching after a few hours can get painful on a streetbike, can't imagine how bad it'll be on a dirt (ugh)

Here's another one for you, a longer offroad trip, say big bend park for a weekend, this isn't going to work is it.... something like a drz400 would be better suited?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:19 PM   #16
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I appreciate all the input guys, guess I'm still shaking my head though. I still got guys here (at work) saying get 2 stroke and some saying 4 stroke...there seems to be 2 distinct camps and they don't cross at all.
Pretty much. I love my 2 stroke, but haven't had lots of time on a 4 stroke. I can see the fascination of the four strokes, but the snappy throttle of a two stroke can't be beat.

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Maybe I'll go ahead and pick up that YZ125 and try it out... only thing i worry about is fouling up plugs learning and of course, I have a small case of arthritis in my clutch hand so clutching after a few hours can get painful on a streetbike, can't imagine how bad it'll be on a dirt (ugh)
Rekluse would be an option. Knocking on wood here, I've NEVER fouled a plug in my 2t....maybe it's because I don't use engine braking and find pulling the clutch, and blippin' the throttle easy to do. I dunno, maybe I ride on the pipe all the time (not really, I'm too slow for this)

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Here's another one for you, a longer offroad trip, say big bend park for a weekend, this isn't going to work is it.... something like a drz400 would be better suited?
You don't want a 2 stroke for a long ride. Heck, if I planned on riding for more than a few seconds in 3rd gear or higher I wouldn't want a 2 stroke.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #17
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The Honda crf250x also has a button (for starting). The Kdx 200 is a pretty fun woods bike and fairly cheap. I gotta think that a 125 would get old quick especially in the woods.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #18
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Thanks for the help yesterday guys, think I've decided to go with a 4 stroke for the first bike... not knowing how aggressive I'll be on the trails etc, there is less worry of fouling plugs etc.

So next question is, what model and size? I was looking at a crf 150r big wheel, ttr-230 and a kdx 300. any comments on either or recommendations?
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #19
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It's probably a klx 300, and you're not going to have fun on any of those on an MX track. Fouling a plug is not really an issue, as long as you're jetting is close. I can't remember the last time I did that other than a cold start at the truck, I carry a spare plug in my camelback and can r/r it in minutes with 1 wrench. The crf150r is an MX bike but its the size of an 85cc 2t, set up fot a kid. The TTR has a conventional fork that may drag in the ruts and a low output aircooled engine. I guess out of the three I would pick the KLX300.
What is your bike budget?
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #20
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I was trying to stay around $2k or less. I found an '08 CRF 150R big wheel... $2100. I read a bit about them on the boards and guys said they were good for an adult...big advantage for me it is it will fit my short inseam well.
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