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HELP: Bike selection - getting back into riding

Joined
Oct 7, 2021
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#1
Getting back into riding! Want to mainly ride tails, woods, etc near Reading, PA. Grew up learning to ride on a small KDX100 during family summer vacations, mainly flying around a grass field. Had a FZR for a few years in my 20's. No 50 years old, 5'11" and 190lbs.
Shops hear me are telling me to buy a KTM 350 or 400. My budget is, let's say $4k. Good with a wrench - so if I get a bike that needs to be modified, I am comfortable doing the work.
QUESTION 1: 125 or 250 Have been leaning towards a 2-stroke due ease of maintenance and fun factor. Would a 125 be enough? Would a 250 with mods (i.e. flywheel weight, throttle tamer) be too much?
QUESTION 2a: Assuming a 125, I have been leaning towards a Yamaha YZ125 - that would be modified for the woods (flywheel weight, 18" rear, etc.) or do I get a 2015 KTM 125 TC or the KTM 125 TE - i have seen all available for sale used locally.
QUESTION 2b: Assuming a 250, also looking at a YZ 250 modified like the 125, but add a throttle tamer.
Please help! Need advice from this experienced group!
 

RM_guy

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Damn Yankees
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#2
Welcome to DRN! Your reasons for leaning towards a 2 stroke are spot on. Easier maintenance and the fun factor...plus parts will be cheaper. For you size and weight I'd recommend a 250 over a 125. A 125 wold work but it would also be work to ride it to keep it in the power band. You will have a lot more fun on a bike that gear selection isn't as critical. You can put a flywheel weight on a 250 to help it chug along in the slow stuff and adjust the power valve to tame the hit. No throttle tamer needed. I sounds like you have some bike experence so it's not like you think the throttle is a light switch.

As far as a 19" vs 18" rear wheel, I rode for years in the woods with a 19" wheel. There are plenty of tire choices out their. It won't be as compliant as an 18" but there are 19" sticky cheater tires available.

Let us know if you have anymore questions! Happy hunting!
 
Likes: scootiescoot
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Oct 7, 2021
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#3
RM_Guy - Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply! It is greatly appreciated. I need to look into the power valve adjustment - to see how this works :-)
 

RM_guy

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#4
The power valve basically raises and lowers the top height of the exhaust port. The higher the port, the quicker it gets into the top end power. There's a lot going for that to happen but if you turn the valve in, it will stay in the lower end of the power band longer and the valve will be delayed moving up which makes the transition into the top end smoother. It avoids the "hit" into the power band. It's easy to adjust so you can play with it. Depending on the bike you can turn it it in 1/8 to 1/4 turn increments.