Help Help a newbie

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#1
Hi all ,
I’m thinking about getting into riding. I ride street now but rode a CRF150F a few weekends ago at a local MX track. I had a blast!
I’m 5’9”, 170 lbs.
I don’t know if I should be looking at a 125 2t or a 250 4t
Pure MX or woods?
I anticipate riding mostly track, not racing though.

Any suggestions for a decent used bike?
 
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#2
If you'll be mostly riding tracks, pass on the trail bikes. Other than that, pick your poison; 2 or 4 stroke.. although if I were new to the sport, I'd be looking for a used 2-stroke. Cheaper to own, easier to fix, cheaper to buy and fewer possibilities of what could be wrong with used bike.
 
Likes: DavidR8
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#3
I suppose I need to ride a 2-stroke. My only concern is that I read that they don't have 'any' torque at low rpm, making it a steeper learning curve vs a 4-stroke with more torque at lower rpm ranges.
 
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#4
Another way of putting that (what you heard) is:

" I can be a lazy on a 4-stroke "

Which would be true. It's also true that if you are being lazy on a 2-stroke, especially a 125, there won't be much bottom. On the other hand, there is nothing like the sound (and feel) of a 2T on the pipe!

They are certainly two different animals. Keep in mind, there are MANY commenting on forums these days that have never ridden anything but a 4-stroke ... this is a case where you might want to listen to the old guys too ... we've ridden and raced both, lol. This much is sure... a 2-stroke is a lot more exciting than riding around on a "couch".

Truth is, 4-strokes are great. But when they break, man it's a big deal. Normal maintenance is a lot more involved and if you're buying a used one, how will you know if the previous owner maintained it as he/she should have? They are a lot more complicated with a lot more that can go wrong. On the other hand, a 2T is about as simple as it gets. New top ends are cheap and you can easily do it yourself... I could go on and on (and usually do) but it's getting late.

At the end of the day, buy the best bike you can with the budget you have. Have someone that knows what they are looking at go with you. Here's a video that covers some of the basics of what to look for:

And BTW, welcome to DRN.


Here's part one... a lot of it is about buying on craigslist, etc.

How to buy used dirt bike from Craigslist – part1 – Motocross, Dirt Bike, Supercross, Off-Road Forum | Dirt Rider
 
Joined
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#5
Another way of putting that (what you heard) is:

" I can be a lazy on a 4-stroke "

Which would be true. It's also true that if you are being lazy on a 2-stroke, especially a 125, there won't be much bottom. On the other hand, there is nothing like the sound (and feel) of a 2T on the pipe!

They are certainly two different animals. Keep in mind, there are MANY commenting on forums these days that have never ridden anything but a 4-stroke ... this is a case where you might want to listen to the old guys too ... we've ridden and raced both, lol. This much is sure... a 2-stroke is a lot more exciting than riding around on a "couch".

Truth is, 4-strokes are great. But when they break, man it's a big deal. Normal maintenance is a lot more involved and if you're buying a used one, how will you know if the previous owner maintained it as he/she should have? They are a lot more complicated with a lot more that can go wrong. On the other hand, a 2T is about as simple as it gets. New top ends are cheap and you can easily do it yourself... I could go on and on (and usually do) but it's getting late.

At the end of the day, buy the best bike you can with the budget you have. Have someone that knows what they are looking at go with you. Here's a video that covers some of the basics of what to look for:

And BTW, welcome to DRN.


Here's part one... a lot of it is about buying on craigslist, etc.

How to buy used dirt bike from Craigslist – part1 – Motocross, Dirt Bike, Supercross, Off-Road Forum | Dirt Rider
Thanks!
I'm very mechanically inclined so not terribly worried about maintenance but definitely less downtime the better.
I appreciate your wisdom and the welcome!
 
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#7
Correct. And a 250 2T is in the same class as the 450 4T.

added:

The 4-stroke is inherently less efficient as the 2-stroke, thus the need for overhead / twin cams, etc... these 4 stroke engines are similar in design to formula 1 … high-tech and high revving! On the other hand, a modern 250 2-stroke is as complicated as a weed-whacker and much smaller in overall size and weight.

The governing bodies had to allow the new (around '97-99 if I recall) 4-strokes to go all the way-up to 450cc to race in the 250 class, (soon after the 250f in the 125 class) to be "competitive". The debate was heated to say the least.

What many found was while the 4's had wide powerbands with a lot on the bottom which allowed less accurate gear selection and less clutch use, they had / have a tendency to stand-up in the corners, meaning, it's harder to keep one in a rut/berm and leaned over; when you get on the gas coming out, you had to fight it more to keep it leaned over. Easy enough to understand: higher center of gravity and more mass. 4-strokes are generally heavier overall, any carry some of that additional weight higher up in the frame.

Another difference is felt in jumping ... some felt it was easier in that when you chop the throttle after leaving the jump face (due to engine breaking) the need for rear brake-stabs was reduced. 2-strokes free wheel much easier (less engine braking). Early on, before everyone adapted to the 4t's, there were lots of stories of engines dying mid air... you can brake-stab a 2t without the clutch, do it with a 4t and you kill it.

Finally, the biggest impact 4-strokes have had, imho is NOISE. This was and is a huge issue in the sport. The problem is that 1) they are louder and 2) the frequency of the noise much lower .... think sub woofer. The sound travels much farther. This lead to mass track / riding area closings. As urban sprawl continues, it just gets worse. Finding a good close-to-home place to ride continues to be a thing for most of us.

In my case, we had a great track, just north of Dallas, that was a 30 minute drive. Great dirt, and a good owner who prep'd it well and often. We could take-off early on a Saturday, get a ton of laps in and be home by noon. When life keeps you busy, you don't necessarily have a full weekend day to spend each week, so it was perfect. Closed due to noise. The owner told me straight-up, 4-strokes were to blame.

So here we are. Fewer places to ride and new 450's cost $10,000. Dealerships will tell you sales are down and have been for a few years. That's why I tell anyone that asks about getting into the sport, to test the waters before going all in. Find a used bike that's easy and inexpensive to maintain. Buy used gear if you can, although a new helmet is a must (never buy a used one). Limit the $$ you spend until you know you are in it for the long haul. You can always upgrade.
 
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#8
Thank you for the additional information.
I’m kind of surprised by the noise comment but I understand the reasoning.

It’s ironic though as one reason I am considering a 4-stroke is because the higher frequency pitch of a 2-stroke exhaust not that appealing to me. Maybe it’s an acquired taste?

Around here, there are definitely more used 2-strokes to choose from and they tend to be newer than a 4-stroke.
However there are few 125 2-strokes almost all 250s and I can’t see that starting out on a 250 2-stroke is a smart idea.

Not wanting to start a brand war but my sense from the research I’m doing is that a YZ125 is top of the heap with Kawasaki/Suzuki next and Honda last.

Definitely hear you on the gear! When I rented the bike, I was kitted out in full gear and I felt quite safe in it. So that’s a must. Not to mention that my significant other is keen on keeping me in one piece.

Regarding boots however, I didn’t have any feel for what my feet were doing as a I stabbed at the shifter and brake. I’m definitely used to the feel of my Alpinestar street boots. I expect that I’d get used to MX boots though.
 
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#10
Regarding boots however, I didn’t have any feel for what my feet were doing as a I stabbed at the shifter and brake. I’m definitely used to the feel of my Alpinestar street boots. I expect that I’d get used to MX boots though.
Completely normal for noobs. In no time at all, you will be completely comfortable in them.
 
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