Enduro/Trail Bikes. Suggestions?

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#1
Well before I state my situation, let me first say hello.

I am 17, and currently in HS. I have been riding since the age of 5 and got my first bike (PW80) for my 6th birthday.

I have owned my own bike up until last year where I sold it to buy a car. After finally cleaning up the car, I will soon be selling and buying (I hope) a Jeep TJ.

During this time, I have ridden ALOT of quads. Anything from a Kawasaki Bayou 220 up to throwing around a 400EX.

My grandfather owns several acres in Western Michigan. I ride there quite a bit when time allows, as well as riding with my cousins in the Mountains of Western PA, and even my friend's back yard in a rural part of the Metro Detroit Area.

This past weekend, I broke out my uncle's bikes while we were 'up north' and got them going again. A 1984 Honda XL200 Dual Sport and a Mint 92 Kawasaki KDX200 Enduro.

After riding 'bike again, I realize how much I miss it. The way I see it, anyone can drive an ATV over sand, logs, whatever, but the ability to cross the same terrain on a Bike just makes it all the better for me.

I am on the hunt for a bike for myself. I pondered the idea of offering to buy my uncle's KDX200. It is still VERY clean, and runs great. The odometer seems to not be working, but I have been looking into the newer Enduro computers. I love riding this bike, but there seems to be a lack of parts, and I know it is only going to be getting more scarce. I would only really like to pick up a new graphic kit for it if I decide to purchase her.

As far as a bike goes, I am looking for something intermediate. I am about 6'3", 215lbs. I have been looking at Honda CRF250X's mainly. I am not too picky on a 2 vs 4 stroke. I want to stay around 200-300cc's just for weight concerns. I have also looked at a few KTMs and Husqvarnas. My only concern is that I have a Kawasaki/Yamaha/Suzuki dealer about 10 minutes from my house, and Planet Honda/Metro Powersports is nearby also. There are not many KTM dealers around, and only one Husqvarna dealer in MI.

Other than trail/fun riding, I would like to try my hand at a few enduros next summer. Although I do not tout myself as a "great" rider, I am always looking to better myself and have some fun.

Reliability is always a concern. I am quite mechanical in that regards. I am a mechanic at the local bike shop, and I enjoy working on and restoring cars in my spare time, but I don't want to be tearing into a bike after every ride.

Kickstands are really a must in my eyes, and I would highly prefer having lights, etc. Although those can be easily added.

Price, I am looking used at around the $3500 pricepoint. This is what I was looking to spend on a decent 400ex, so I am hoping I can get a nice bike for this price. I can get a bit more if need be, but I would like to have room for any improvement parts I may need. A stock bike is preferred.

Thanks for reading the term paper!

Sticky Q&A for quick reference said:
1) your physical size -6'3"ish ~220lbs

2) How physical / aggressive are you ? - Well conditioned and quite aggressive due to hockey.

3) what do you plan to ride- MX/SX tracks, woods, fields with friends or ????? "MX"/Enduro Track at own place in Western MI, friend's field, possibly some Enduro Ridding.

4) Do you have any riding experience? Nearly 12 years worth.

5) Do you think you will race ? Enduros possibly, always up for racing friends or introducing them to ridding.

6) Are you mechanically inclined and will you be doing your own bike work? I can work on cars well and done Voc classes in school on small engines. I would get a service manual, though.

7) Do YOU have a preferance to a brand/ motor choice (2 or 4 stroke)? Lately have ridden "Hondars", but Kawasakis are serviced locally too. I am not too picky, but KTMs have no local dealer. Stroke is not a big problem, I have covered my concerns a few posts down.

8) Do you have a dealer close by your home that you might use and what brand(s) does he carry? Honda about 25 mins away. Kawi, Suzuki, Yahama about 10 away. KTM nearly an hour.

9) How much ($) do you plan to spend on a bike?
Realistically, <$3k. Is that enough for a nice one nowadays?

10) Do you live in California? Michigan.

11) Your age? 17
 
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Sep 2, 2007
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#2
I think you'll like CRF250, it has really good suspension which works well on mx track, but if you generally ride your bike on trails you can get KTM, but you dont have any dealer around so the best choice will be CRF in my opinion..
 
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#3
I think any CRF250X, WR250F or KTM 250XCF-W would be good. If you could find a used KTM 400EXC that might be the bike for you.
 
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#4
So I have been looking, and my only concern is that a 250F seems like it may be a bit slow for me. I don't want a 450F due to price, and weight. I am not weak by any means, and actually am very well conditioned due to hockey, but I don't want to lug around a heavy bike just for the extra bit of speed.

I have never personally owned a smoker, other than a Blaster, which is oil-injected. Mixing oil/gas isn't really a problem, but my only problem with the KDX is that I don't know how much I will be ridding, so I am always either mixing or "throwing out" old gas.

Are 2-strokes to the point that they won't be supported any time soon? Price for the performance seems to favor them, but I plan on keeping this bike for awhile, so.

How reliable are the 4's over the long run? I imagine rebuilds will be expensive, but will they need rebuilt as often as a 2?

I should explain my primary ridding place more. We have 10 wooded and 10 "cleared" acres.

The cleared section has a 1.2 mile perimeter all-natrual (no digging/building of jumps, etc) track running around it that is about 20 feet wide. It has a long straightaway with rolling hills into a 90* sweeper. Through a tight section up a gravel driveway. Left, back onto the trail to a slightly shorter straight with a few small "kickers" into another 90*. Then, it is downhill into a sandy rhythm section and into a VERY loose, deep, sandy turn with a slight berm.

There is also a loop off of the back trail, it is just wide enough to fit an ATV through. It has some sandy "esses" into a small thatch of white pine, downhill into a trail cut through tall weeds, and feeds back into the mail trail or deeper into the woods. It has many turns, switchbacks, small hills, shallow creek crossing, down logs, etc. A pretty fun loop.

Anyways, I also updated the main post with the info from the sticky, even though I pretty much unknowlingly covered most of the info.
 

Rich Rohrich

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#5
bustedtrigger137 said:
So I have been looking, and my only concern is that a 250F seems like it may be a bit slow for me.
If a modern 250F goes too slow, it's not the bike's fault. ;)
 

dirt bike dave

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#6
A modern 250F will have far more power than the KDX200 you rode, especially if the KDX has stock pipe and jetting.

For $3k, you can get a very nice used bike, especially a 250 two stroke, which will make even more power than the 250F.

You can get parts mail order for all the brands, so I would not let dealer location deter you if you find a good deal on a used bike.

In most parts of the country, KTM is the dominant bike at enduros, for good reason. They make great trail bikes, IMO. The 200 is a real hoot to ride, even for a guy your size. Also, the stock KTM exhuasts are usually quiet, which is good.
 
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#7
dirt bike dave said:
A modern 250F will have far more power than the KDX200 you rode, especially if the KDX has stock pipe and jetting.
Stock Jetting AFAIK and a Power Core 2 Muffler/Spark Arrestor.

Well I have been looking at KTMs and still the 250X (can't argue with the reliability of the other Honda's we have owned). Does the 250XCF have lights?

Also, I have looked on spec sheets but I cannot tell whether or not these bikes have Spark Arrestors. Are they still even needed?

I really don't want the bike to be excessively loud. The 400EX has the White Bros. E-Series exhaust and it is definitely loud. I normally ride on Private property in a secluded area, but it still seems excessive to me.

Is there a way to tell which KTMs come with the computer? If I picked up a bike, it would be on the top of the list of things to add.

I am very concerned with reliability. I was reading something about how the pre 2k6 250X's had valve adjustment problems, does this still stand true?
 
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#8
I think there is a KTM dealer in Brighton. Now, that is really not that far from the Metro Powersports store.
 
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#9
Yeah, I believe C&C still does KTM.

Supposedly there is a new place off of Ford Road that does KTM and/or Husky. Going to do some more investigating next week.