Are Dirt Bikes For Me?

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#1
I searched the forums, Google, etc., so I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I posted asking about what bike to get a while back and I'm still working towards one. I would like to go with a 2 stroke 125. I'm 5'6" and 165lbs(lost some weight since my other post lol). A lot of guys reccomended a KDX200, but I think I would like a 125 2 stroke. I'm leaning more towards a KX125, but I'm looking for anything in a reasonable price range for me. I've been riding quads since I was pretty small, but I understand dirt bikes are a whole different thing. How can I try one of these things out? None of my friends have bikes and I don't know if I want to drop a few hundred dollars on an MSF course. I'm only 17, money isn't free flowing lol. And of course there is no where to rent around me. I'm not afraid of having to dump the bike because I've taken my share of spills on my quad. But, how much tougher is it to ride a dirt bike? Will having so much expereince on a 4 wheeler make me want to go back to the simpleness of 4 wheels instead of 2? Honestly, how tough is it to learn how to ride? I've never even sat on a bike, but coming from a riding family...I wanted to try dirt bikes after riding quads so long. It seems like the only thing for me to do is buy a bike and teach myself, I don't know where to go to try one out. If I go to a dealer and dump the thing, I don't think they'll be too happy :pissed: . Most of my riding will be up in Tug Hill, NY. We have a place up there and that's where we ride the quads most of the time. If anybody is familiar with the area, you know it's wide open, flat terrain, mostly town roads, and moderate trail riding. I assume that's probably some of the easiest riding I can get, but I guess it's a matter of learning everything. Somebody help me out, I'm confused lol. :coocoo:
 
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#2
You may love the bike, or you may prefer the quad, hard to say. My experience is this:

A quad can go anywhere slowly. On a quad you can work your way up the nastiest hill or through the worst boulder field.

On a bike, there is a certain speed at which trying to rider slower is just not easy! You have to attack a hill, maintain your speed in order to stay in control.

On the flip side of the coin, on a bike you only need to find one skinny path through a rough section. On a quad, you need to find two wider paths ~ 40 inches apart that doesn't have anything too tall in between. A bike will have 12 inches of suspension travel compared to the quad's 8, which makes a BIG difference in absorbing the bumps. A bike weighs about 100 pounds less than a quad which makes them nimble and much more responsive.

In my family we have both. I choose my ride based on where I am planning on going. For a longer ride I will take the bike, no question about it. If my son says "Come on dad, let's see if we can get to the top of that mountain" I will probably take the quad. Sand washes are really fun on a quad but not on my bike. Whoops are a lot more fun on the bike than they are on the quad. I only ride the quad at night.

I think that you would do real well on a 125 two stroke. I am sure that you will find yourself going much faster with much less effort on such a bike than on a quad. Now, when your friends on quads start playing around in the mud and boulder fields you may be at a disadvantage, however.

Don't buy new, buy something ~10 years old and you should be fine. If you end up not liking it you can always sell it again for what you paid for it.

Rod
 
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#3
Thanks for the info rmc. I have another question now. I'm still looking through all the ads everyday to see if anything pops up in my price range. Now, there is a guy selling a 1991 YZ250 for $800, plus he says negotiable. Now, I expected the bike to be kind of ugly since it was older, but I've been looking at pictures and it's a sharp looking bike actually. Should I even consider this bike at all? Is a 250 MX bike just going to be way too much for me to handle to start with? What are the dangers of buying a 15+ year old bike? I wanted to see what your thoughts were before I even contact the guy. His ad doesn't even state the condition of the bike, but I figured maybe it would be worth a look. Thanks again!
 
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#4
What quad do you ride? If its a big quad, im sure you have some experience handling lots of power.
 
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#6
CHR!S said:
What quad do you ride? If its a big quad, im sure you have some experience handling lots of power.
My quad is only a 4 stroke 300. But, I've got experience on much bigger bikes like my father's 4 stroke 700 twin and my buddy's 4 stroke 660. I handled the power fine and since riding those quads I feel that my 300 is wayyy underpowered. I wasn't sure how wide or narrow the powerband is on that bike either, which I was concerned with too. With my quad, it's so underpowered that I constantly pin the throttle to get the most out of it, I assume I would have to break that habit with a YZ250 or else I'll end up on my ass. But mostly I'm curious what you think of that bike for someone who has never ridden? Given my size and experience would it be too much or a good choice since it will be a size I can stick with for a long time? I just don't want to make the mistake of getting something too big and not enjoying it because it's bucking me around.
 
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#7
I would say with your height and weight that a 125 would be a good starter bike. Im sure you can handle a yz 250, it just might take a little longer till your more comfortable on a 250.
 
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#8
YZ/250 said:
I would say with your height and weight that a 125 would be a good starter bike. Im sure you can handle a yz 250, it just might take a little longer till your more comfortable on a 250.
How much steeper do you think the learning curve would be on a 250 compared to a 125? Is it just a matter of the engine size or does the actualy physical size of the bike also make the 250 a tougher bike to learn on?
 
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#9
A 125 and a 250 are the same physical size, but a 125 is a lot more forgiving of a ham fisted newbie where as a 250 requires restraint and throttle control to keep it from getting away from you.
 

Patman

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#10
It would be more difficult to learn to ride a 125 well than a 250. Power makes up for a lot of bad habits / lack of skills. Get a 125 and learn to ride it well then move up to something bigger, you'll be a better rider for the effort.
 
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#11
Sounds good to me...because I know I'm the type of guy who likes to open it up a little too often. I'd rather do that on a forgiving 125 vs a 250 that will knock me straight on my ass. Patman, informative info for my newbie self...I'd much rather learn the skills needed on a 125 instead of forming bad habits, I'm the same way with quads. I guess my search will continue for the right 125.

Now, forgive me in advance because this may or may not be quite the idiotic question. I was looking through the dealer's site where we bought our sleds and came across an interesting bike. A 1999 Kawi KX80...I know, I know, but I had to ask because I keep tossing and turning the idea so I need your feedback. They only want $895 for the bike and it's from a dealer and it's not that old. It doesn't say if it is a big wheel, but in the picture it looks pretty big. Have a look: http://www.sharkcycle.com/pics/DB/000_4729.jpg

You guys would know better than me. A friend of mine used to have a KX85 big wheel and I remember that thing used to move, and he wasn't the lightest kid in the world. Considering the price, and the fact that I've never ridden, is that bike even a possibility? For some reason it seems like a decent bike to me in that picture. I just had to ask...I keep going back to the site to look at it lol...I really like the look of it. :nod:
 

Patman

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#12
It would be fun as a toy but not as a primary bike especially if you are riding with friends on more serious equipment.
 
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#13
Patman said:
It would be fun as a toy but not as a primary bike especially if you are riding with friends on more serious equipment.
That's where my issue is lol. Right now I have no one else to ride with. My family all rides quads and I'm the oddball who wanted to try bikes. My father isn't to hip on the idea, but he doesn't care as long as the cash is coming from my pocket lol. I can't see my brother riding dirt bikes in the future, he likes the quads too. None of my friends ride bikes, they all have quads. Like I said above most of my riding will be in my property, which is mostly open fields. Where we have property it is legal to ride the town roads, mostly gravel and dirt and there are very few trails that require much skill lol. If anyone rides Tug Hill, you know what i'm talking about. Basically all my riding would be with my family on the quads. If I feel I needed the quad for that day's ride I would just jump on that. If a KX80 would be a comftorable ride and if it could keep me with the pack, would you think it would be a good bike to grab to learn the basics on? Than, once I totally outgrow the 80cc powerplant, upgrade to a 125 or 250 down the line. If a 125 is forgiving, wouldn't these be really forgiving with all my newb mistakes lol? Unless of course I would look like an absolute clown riding this thing since it's so small.
 
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#14
Do not get an 80 . . . please. It's a minibike. I don't care if it has the big wheel option or not, it is still a minibike. You'll be much better off in the long run on a full size bike.

I would also like to address that it seems from your responses like you might not have exactly the right idea about what is meant by calling a 125 "forgiving". Don't be fooled . . . they are wicked fast, it just doesn't have as bad of a tendency to throw you off the back as a 250 does. There is a much bigger gap between an 80 and a 125 than a 125 and a 250 . . . in my experience anyway. On the track with my friends, the better rider will be in front between a 125 & 250. The 80 won't have a chance.

And I wanted to add a little to Patman's notion that a 125 is more difficult to ride and say that no, it is not more difficult to ride, it is however, more difficult to ride fast. Once you figure out how to keep the front from coming over on you on a 250 - you are going fast. A 125 will force you to use as much of the bike's potential that you can squeeze out of it. That is what makes it more "difficult" and will make you a better rider.

my .02
 
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Patman

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#15
LOL! No a 125 MX'er is for sure not a forgiving bike. It is a bike that would force you to learn to ride better in that it will require more clutch manipulation, better gear selection more maintenance and as an added bonus will be easier to feel what it is doing as well as be quicker to turn. If you want a bike to putt putt around with the family on quads I'd suggest looking at something like and XR250 or KDX. On the otherhand if you really want to ride a MX'er go to a track and make new friends to ride with. It's pretty easy and you won't have all that family baggage :laugh: