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4 stroke for girlfriend?

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Mar 18, 2007
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#1
Ok, so I got my girlfriend a 125 2 stroke to learn to ride on, and having NEVER ridden any sort of motorized bike, let alone anything with a manual transmission, she is having trouble with all the quirks of a 125 (narrow power band, stalls w/ rear brake, fouling plugs from lugging it, etc). She can ride it fine but is essentially not aggressive enough to use the power when she needs it (sand, hills, etc)...So here comes my stupid question:

I thought maybe a 250 4 stroke would fit her just right for her riding style, but unfortunately all the bikes I have found in that size range are way out of our price range even with selling the honda... Sooooo...

Today i found a very good deal on a 99 YZ400F. Problem being that it is (much) more powerful and heavier than the 125, but much more suited to her low rpm riding style in the trails, etc. I ride a 250 2 stroke, and wouldn't want her to learn on that, since it picks up pretty damn fast. I gotta assume a 400 is just as, if not more powerful than my 250, but can it be tamed easier?

Just wanted some advice on this scenario, since it is a good deal, but may not be worth it if she is just going to kill herself on it... Flame away :)
 

ghunter

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#2
It is my opinion that a beginning rider has no business anywhere near a WR/YZ 400/426/450-class machine. For that matter, a beginner shouldn't be learning on a 125cc motocross bike either. These bikes - even toned down - are just not forgiving enough for a beginner.

If you care about her, get her a beginner's bike and swap it out as she gets better. Race bikes are a handful for even a strong, experienced rider and should be avoided unless you want your girlfriend to get dismayed or hurt and tell you what you can do with your motorcycle.

Old XRs can be had for a reasonable $$, tend to last forever if maintained, and are good to learn on. Your only other really good (newer) learning bikes are the newer 4-stroke TT-Rs, CR-Fs, DR-Zs, etc. But if you are working with a low budget, check out an older XR.
 
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#3
Actually the ttr and xr were the 1st to come to mind, but just haven't had any luck finding one, just no selection here locally. The only real reason the 400 was considered was because it was pretty local and I could get it for a good price.

I think I was letting the deal get in the way of the fact that it was too much bike for her...

Thanks for the reality check, that's what I was looking for and expecting! On that note, anyone have a cheap 250ish 4 stroke in the southwest that they are looking to sell???
 

nikki

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#4
YZ400F for the beginner girlfriend.... absolutely not!!! I will bet money that she wouldn't be able to start it. And not only that, it's a tank, weighs a TON, turns worth a crap, and one good twist of the throttle on accident and she's going to the ER.

If you're mainly doing trails, and want something in a decent price range (under $2000), how about a TTR125 or CRF150 or XR100? Or maybe even a KX/RM 100 2-stroke? She might "outgrow" one of these if she's real agressive, then maybe it will be time to upgrade to a 250F or 250X. I would think you can find an older 250F Honda/Yamaha for around $2500-$3000, like a YZF/WR or CRF/X.
 
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#5
Thanks Nikki, I figured as much, but like I said, just wanted to make sure since the dollar signs started talking to me since it was a great price.

My girlfriend isn't really small, which is my motivation to look towards a 4 stroke 200-250ish... Just because some of that torque would help her out. The problem is that 2500-3k is a little more than we want to spend currently, so it starts to limit the selection. We have the 125cr to sell and use to fund the next one, I just want the a bike to buy before we sell the other...
 

_JOE_

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#6
I just bought my wife a new ttr125l for 2100 today. I can almost gurantee you would have that into the 400(which I agree is WAAAAAY too much for a beginner female) by the time you "tamed it" for her. At least I dont have to worry about it being discouraging for her. I will only consider getting her a full size when I'm confident she can ride my CRF well. I think your girlfriend would get hurt or her confidence will be seriously crushed. Get her something little to beat around on till she gets the hang of riding a bike with a clutch and how they handle. Hope you find something for her! :cool: :ride:
 
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#7
Actually the guy is just trying to get rid of the bike, which is in great shaped with current maintenance for under 2k :cool: Actually, with a little talking, and not including his old gear with the sale, it is looking close to 1500 :yikes: Which is why the money started talking to me, you know, whispering in my ear sort of devilish... Yea...

But I agree, even a 125 4 stroke would be great for her because she could get confident and rail that thing without getting in the same trouble as a 2 stroke or 400... But man, a clean yz400f for 1500! If I wasn't starting grade school this summer I would have that in a heartbeat for myself!
 
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#8
Like everyone else said, forget the 400!

How tall is your girlfriend? Unless she is an Amazon I would not recommend any full size MX bike. Once she has a fair amount of experience it may not be a problem that she has to stand on tip-toe to hold the bike upright or lean it 45 degrees to kick start it, but forcing that on her to start with will just get her psyched out.

If she isn't agressive by nature then you would be a LOT better off to get her a bike that she is comfortable with and is easy for her to operate. That includes starting. Have you ever tried to start a YZ400F? You are talking a high compression big bore engine, it doesn't kick over easily. I can picture her jumping up and down on the kick start lever and it not budging!

Believe me, the happier she is, the happier you will be. If she stalls it on a hill you will both be a lot happier if she can just push a button and get going again instead of having you come back to start it for her.

Yes, I am suggesting electric start. Adds a little weight but it simplifies life a ton. And a kick stand, so where ever she decides to stop she can stand the bike up. Something that has a low seat height so both feet can touch the ground. A four stroke that she can lug and putt around to her hearts content.


If she is small I would say a Yamaha TTr-125 would be okay, but if she is more average size I would recommend a TTr-225 (or 230). A quick check on Craigslist of my area has several of TTr-225, 2003 to 2004 for around $1700.



Rod
 
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#9
Thanks Rod, too bad I don't live where you do, all the 200+ ttr's in my area are 2000+ dollars. She actually can kickstart the 125 fairly easily (of course it isn't a 400 big bore either...), and the height on the 125 is good. I don't think it is the stature of the bike, but the 2-stroke nature of it that makes it hard for her, if that makes sense. The lack of low end power, clutching, and a rather non-linear powerband are the limiting factors for her.

I am glad so many of you guys gave me input on this, because having not ridden a 4 stroke (at least not a dirt bike), I didn't have any real world comparison, only generalities about both types of bikes (2 & 4 stroke).

I am keeping an eye out, there are have a few xr's and ttr's here, just a little out of the price range, even after selling the 125... She is about average size, which is why I was thinking of a 200-250ish sized 4 stroke like the kdx's, ttrs, whatever. I'll keep up the search. Thanks again! :ride:
 

DougRoost

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#10
Stay away from those big TTRs as they are tanks. She needs to build confidence and a lighter bike is best. I suggest you re-read Nikki's post.

FWIW, I started my daughter off on an XR100 and she's now on a 2-stroke KX100 with 10oz. flywheel weight and loves it. A key reason is the KX100 weighs 149 lbs and has great suspension.
 
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#11
Hmm, good thinking. Just out of curiousity, she is about 5'5 and maybe 150ish (not thin, not fat, with large assets); what sort of size range would you recommend on one of those crf150;s. etc?
 
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#14
On that note, there is an xr 400, xr100, crf100, and crf150 available locally within my price range... Any suggestions? Most of you suggested a 100, are the crf's 4 stroke also? All I know is my bike, and that is a 1st gen alum frame cr250 2 stroke, everything else is an unknown to me... Thanks!
 

_JOE_

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#15
Get the crf150, It has the best suspenders of the little bikes, and it is 4 stroke. The xr 400 is TOO MUCH BIKE! The 100s may be a little too short.