26 yr. old noobie wants first bike

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#1
ABOUT ME: i'm 26 years old, about 5'9" tall but with short legs and weigh a little over 200# (i feel like i'm writing a personial add). i have very limited experience riding motorcycles. when i was little i had a honda 50 (i think) that i tore around on, but that was about 20 years ago. i've ridden street bikes -- both cruisers and crotch rockets -- a some, but never with any consistancy. when i was in my late teens i mountain biked (singletrack) for a couple of years. i am reasoniably mechanically inclined and if i have a good set of dirrections can do about anything with a wrench.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR: i'm looking for a good bike that i can play with for a long time and not outgrow. i don't really want the expense of a new bike because this is a new thing that i'm getting into.

HOW/WHERE I'LL RIDE: i think that i'll mostly ride the bike on trails, not tracks. i live in north texas right now and it seems there are trails everywhere (some big and wandering, some tight and technical). there are a couple tracks around that i would think that i would go play on too. i guess i'm looking for the best of both worlds: a bike that i can take out and eventually fly through the trails, as well as take to the track and play on the jumps. i am planning to move to greater denver in about 7 months, i don't know if this matters or not.

i've searched these forums and haven't really found what i was looking for yet. if there is any more info needed, just let me know.

TIA. -- jallen
 
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#2
Do yourself a favor and get a KDX, be it 200 or 220. They are very reliable, easy to work on cause it's a two stroke and will work extreamly well on the trails. Either has enough power to get you in and out of trouble. Plus, you will not out grow in a year. Good luck with it.....
 

Smit-Dog

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#3
I'd also suggest a KDX as first bike, especially if you're buying used. Reliable, TONS of knowledge on this site about them (check out the KDX forum), and lots of ways to beef up performance if you're worrying about outgrowing a first bike.

The KDX is much better suited for the trails than MX, however, so you'll have to consider which one is more important to you.
 
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#4
KDX for first trails bike (but really only trails), cool, thanks.

what would be a comparable choice that's a bit more moto friendly?
 

Smit-Dog

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#5
I'd say that a Yamaha WR250F would be a good trails bike, but more capable on the track compared to a KDX.

You will pay more for a WR than a KDX, and there are maintenance issues to consider with 4-strokes.
 

Jonny426

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#6
The WR's are tall enough to be an issue for a newbie. Also restarting the 4-stroke can be a pain after a fall. I love my Yamaha but would not recommend the wr/yzf's to anybody who is not confident on tall bike.
 

Smit-Dog

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Good point Jonny...

I'm 5' 9", 180lbs, and normal legs (if chicken legs are "normal"!). I've briefly ridden a WR and YZ250F, and the slightly taller seat height was not a problem. Now if you're stalled on the side of hill, and didn't have the e-button (2003 and 2004's WRs do), that will be a big problem.

I'd still consider a 2003 and up WR250F, or a KDX (best bet, IMO).

To help narrow it down, what's your price range?
 

Chili

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#8
The KDX is a good suggestion and can be made "acceptable" for light track duty with some suspension work. Also the KTM EXC line of bikes may be of some interest to you.
 
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#9
I just got into riding last year. My first bike is a 2003 rm250 plenty of power for track and trail. Im 5' 11" 210lbs. I suggest you dont go too small on the bike you buy. I have a friend that did that, he also got into riding last year only he listened to people that told him to go small on his first bike. He bought a CRF230, he ca'nt keep up. Now he is scrapping money together to buy something faster. (2 bikes in 2 years!) I'm not saying buy the biggest monster out there. Just remember as you ride your skill will grow and so will your hunger for more power!
 

Smit-Dog

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#10
I see a lot of people making the mistake of buying the CRF230 as a first bike. You can tell they were sold by a salesman instead of getting educated on DRN!
 
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#11
Originally posted by Smit-Dog
To help narrow it down, what's your price range?
i'm not trying to skirt the question, but i would like to spend as little $$$ as possible, while getting a good bike that is will be right for how i will use it.

what i mean is, i don't want to say "my limit is $X" because as soon as i do, someone may not suggest the perfect bike becasue it would be $500 over my stated limit.

at this point, i'm more interested in finding the RIGHT bike. if i have to save my pennies for an extra three/six/nine months to afford it, i'm ok with that. i don't want to be in the position where a year later i feel like i have to get a different bike because i didn't get the right one in the first place.

i hope that this makes sence.
 

Smit-Dog

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#12
Well, given the fact that although 5' 9", you have (self-proclaimed) short legs, I'd go with a KDX. Shorter seat height than a WR, and the KDX seat has a lot more cushion, so your legs extend to the ground even closer.

As far as prices for used bikes, they vary a lot depending on age of bike, type, modifications/add-ons, and condition.

These are estimated ranges; do a search in the "For Sale" forum on this site, or www.CycleTrader.com, or check your local paper.

1-2 year old WR250F: $3,600 - $4,600 (I'd only get the e-start)
1-2 year old KDX220: $2,600 - $3,300
 
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#13
Just my opinion because I'm am very happy with my purchase. I would buy a CR-YZ-RM-KX-250, Easy to maintain if you have even limited mechanical knowledge. YZF450 CRF450, (more difficult to maintain in my opinion) all have plenty of power for trail or track, all have great suspensions, adjustments can be made for shorter riders(look at the pro riders, these are not big guys.). Just my 2cents
 

woodsy

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#14
You know Jallen, you remind me of my Nephew "Cartwheel". He was in the EXACT some position as you about 1 1/2 year ago and went with the KDX. His intent was to spend a year on the KDX and then buy the big Cruiser he had been dreaming about (he called me and wanted me to help him find a streetbike - I told him the ONLY way I would be willing to do that was if he would spend 1 year trail riding with me first!!). He had TONS of experience on BMX and is a little bit if the daredevil sort so I wasnt surprised when he took me up on the offer...
He bought a 97 KDX200, we prepped the bike and he is ALWAYS on that thing!! He rides year around here in Michigan and absoulutly LOVES his bike!! The KDX is as tough as they come, if prepped right will handle moderate jumping, is the most nimble bike you can get for the tight stuff and the price is right - he paid $1700!! He has now even gone to the extent of getting his Cycle Endorsement on his license and has street legaled his KDX so he can legally ride it on the road!! I recently asked him if he is going to sell it now that it is time for the street bike - "NEVER" was his response!! Something else to consider, rebuild are DIRT cheap on the KDX if necessary (go price a topend job for ANY of the 4 strokes and you WILL find out that you can buy a good used KDX for the same price as a rebuild job on a YZF/CRF/KXF!!!
Also, I know some of the folks that that have responded to your post and they have given VERY good advice here on DRN!! My advice is DITTO theirs!
Now, concerning the fee involved for all of this advice.. Please read below:
For advice about which bike to buy:
You pay the food, lodging and fuel for Smitdog and I to come down there
and ride some of those AWESOME trails you have. While we are there we will help you setup your bike and be willing pass on our "tight trail navigational skills" :) :) to you but ONLY after you show us where all your secret riding areas are.... IF Smitdog decides he has no intersest in going on such a questionable trip with a person such as myself (that could be rewritten to say - "trip with a questionable person such as myself") then I will be allowed to bring along (1) person of my choice..
Does this sound reasonable? Please respond BEFORE winter leaves our area!
Woodsy
 

Smit-Dog

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#15
Woodsy - As my advance man, I appreciate you securing students, bikes, and training locations for my Kaw-Dog™ KDX seminars. Seeing as our good friend jallen is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you better get to un-screwing those KX Kold Kutters.... We got us a road-trip!

:)