21 year old looking for a bike

Jun 28, 2007
1) your physical size (both height and weight are important)

I am 6'1 and 240 pounds.

2) How physical / aggressive are you ?

Not very aggressive.

3) what do you plan to ride- MX/SX tracks, woods, fields with friends or ?????

I plan on riding on trails.

4) Do you have any riding experience?

I rode an ATV about 7 years ago, that's it though.

5) Do you think you will race ?


6) Are you mechanically inclined and will you be doing your own bike work?

No, I know nothing about engines.

7) Do YOU have a preferance to a brand/ motor choice (2 or 4 stroke)?


8) Do you have a dealer close by your home that you might use and what brand(s) does he carry?

Yes, I have a dealer, I'll have to call on what brands he carries.

9) How much ($) do you plan to spend on a bike?

I'd like to keep it under $3000

10) Do you live in California?

Mar 25, 2007
too small, you will get bored of it too quick. i think a wr250 would work good for you.
Apr 18, 2006
There are a few issues that you should be aware of and some trade offs between different styles of bikes. The fact that you live in California adds a few extra issues to the equation.

If you haven't heard of it before then you should study up on the California Green/Red sticker issue. California requires that all off highway vehicles (OHV) be registered if they are to be ridden on public lands. If you stay on private property (priavate MX tracks) or are competing in an approved competition then the OHV registration is not required.

California will issue a bike either a Green sticker (desired) or a Red sticker based on the year of the bike and if it meets the EPA standards. Any bike model year 2002 or older is grandfathered into the Green sticker. Newer bikes that don't meet the EPA standards get the red sticker. For the most part, a newer MX bike will get the red sticker, and there are NO newer two strokes that are green sticker eligible.

If you are buying a used bike in California it is worth more money if it has proper, current OHV registration. You will find a lot of bikes for sale that don't have either the Red or the Green sticker. These bikes, for whatever reason, were never registered in California. In some areas you can get away with riding without registration, but in other areas you can not. For example, most of the Mojave desert area lacks sufficient enforcement to worry about. But if you go up into the forest areas the registration is usually necessary.

It is certainly possible to register a used bike in California but you will be dealing with DMV. Expect it to take at least two trips to DMV and one to CHP (with the bike). Figure what a couple days of your time is worth and factor that into the price of a used bike with no registration.

Okay, on to the type of bike. Dirt bikes come in two basic flavors: MX (which are the competition bikes) and "Off road" (sometimes referred to as trail).

A MX bike is going to have a high performance engine (won't meet EPA requirements). This high performance engine will have a high compression ratio which will require premium gas. It will also be harder to kick and a bit more tempermental in general. It will produce a lot more power, however. The MX bike is going to be tall and have a long suspension travel so that it can absorb the really big jumps. It is going to be as light as possible, so it won't have a headlight, odometer, or kickstand. They are also the more expensive models. Two stroke and four stoke models are available. An example of a MX bike is the Yamaha YZ series.

An "off road" bike is built more for casual riding. The low end models are fairly inexpensive and come with some nice features, such as a kickstand, headlight, and even electric start. Such a model will have a bit lower seat height to accomodate the smaller riders, and usually a four stroke engine. They will cost several thousand dollars less then the MX bikes. They have significantly less suspension travel so they won't handle the extremes that a MX bike will, and they can be significantly heavier, especially with electric start. An example of such a bike is the Yamaha TTR230.

The higher end "off road" bikes are often built with the same engine and frame as the MX bikes but with the options of the more casual bikes. The Yamaha WRO250F or WR450F is an example of such a bike. The engine is high performance but slightly "detuned" to meet the EPA requirements. It still requires the premium gas but it is eligible for the green sticker. It has a headlight, electric start, kickstand, odometer, etc. It has the same suspension travel as its MX cousins and is a very cabable and rugged bike. It is also priced up with the MX bikes.

To get into your price range you will be buying used. Perhaps only a year or two old if you buy something like the TTR230 or 5 years old if you buy a MX bike. If you are going to buy a MX bike then I would recommend buying 2002 or older to get the green sticker (or at least be eligible for it).

Two strokes are a blast to ride once you are comfortable enough to handle the "power band". They can also be very frustrating to learn on because they simply do not perform well at low speeds and just "putting around". If the engine isn't worked hard the plug tends to foul and the engine can just die and refuse to start until you change the plug. If you are climbing a hill and fall off the power band the bike you will find yourself stalled on the hill.

A four stroke is much more forgiving and will tolerate being "Lugged". It may not give you that rush of the pipe kicking in and the bike just taking off but it will provide a much more dependable and predicable power that is much more forgiving of your mistakes.

On a four stroke I wouldn't go less then 230cc. On a two stroke, a 125cc bike is a very capable bike and a blast to ride, but but it doesn't have any power to spare so if you don't keep it "on the pipe" you aren't going to make it up the hills.

If you are going to ride dirt bikes then I highly recommend that you embrace the idea of getting your hands greasy and working on your bike. Dirt bikes are the most rugged toys I know of but they do require a fair amount of maintenance and when you crash, things break. Being able to fix things yourself will save you a lot of money and allow you to ride more. The good news is that dirt bikes are also the easiest motorized thing I know of to work on.

Good luck