MX woods bike

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Nov 7, 2000
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#1
I need a little bit of help from fellow woodsriders:
I am curently riding a 2000 KDX 220 and I'm a fairly aggresive rider
Recently I got the chance to ride a modified RM250 in the tight stuff and I loved it, When i got on my KDx again it didn't even feel like it was running (and yes it was for all those wise guys out there)
ANyways i would just like some feedback on how others like mx bikes in the woods, what mxer and what mods are the best
I like the RM's ability to turn and rate that higher than just raw power
ANy help you could provide me with would be great
thanks in advance
 

jeb

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#2
We own an KDX200 so I know where you're coming from. Any of the 250MX bikes will out turn it and will reward aggressive riding more. The KDX is a wonderful bike but it's hard to be competetive on them up against converted MX bikes or dedicated woods bikes. You did hit the nail on the head about one of the RM's strong suits in turning. It's a renowned bike in that area.

You'll have to spend some money to convert any MX 250 bike into a good woods machine. Suspension, flywheel weight, spark arrestor, oring chains and possibly lighting coils head the list. There are some very good dedicated woods bikes that may fit your needs, too. GasGas and KTM both make great bikes for the woods. All setup and ready to go out of the box. Suspension setup will probably still need some tweaking, though.
 
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#3
i've just converted a 01 kx250 and love it! did all the protection gizmos ie: handguards, skidplate, sharkfin etc. added a flywheel weight, pipe and silencer and got a better woods bike than my last three katooms (sorry mike). i've left the suspension alone and can carry 4th gear pinned thru the deep michigan sand whoops in a nice straight line and still soak up the smaller logs without feeling them! of course i'm a big guy 6'3", 220 so it helps soften the initial stroke. i've ridden alot of bikes(four and two stroke) and this is one of the best i've ridden. one thing, if you plan on riding over 30 miles look at a fuel tank! so go pick up a new mx'er from a parking lot rider who can't hang and get busy!!! i've got less into my kx than any new woods oriented bike and it looks trick, or at least it did until sundays mud ride:( my list= acerbis dhh and universal tailight, wer steering dampner, moose skidplate, hand and brush guards and lighting coil,scotts shark fin,brake snake,ims 3.2 tank,pro circuit pipe,fmf torque reeds, steahly flywheel weight and a good deal on a kx250 with renthals and pro circuit spark arrestor already installed. oh yeah spend money on a good quality o-ring chain and sprockets then roost all them wr's, kdx's and ktm's (o.k., i deserve whatever punishment may come from this reply, but luckily michigan is 90% sand and it does'nt hurt like those rocks that make up the other 10%)
 

dirt bike dave

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#4
I bought a dialled in '99 CR250 from an AA enduro racer. The bike has just about every mod you can make, and it works GREAT in the woods. I prefer it to the KTM300's that my buddies have, as it is less tiring to ride.

The '99 has less aggressive porting than other CR250s which results in good fuel range, decent piston life and excellent low end power for a 250.
 
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#5
DB Dave: does your CRE have the wide-ratio trans, & what are your thoughts? Necessary for NorCal or no?
 

dirt bike dave

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#6
Close ratio tranny, running 13/49 gears (stock is 13/50) w/ an 18" rear hoop. Top speed is about 58-60 mph. The 1 tooth smaller rear sprocket does raise first gear up a little, but also gives a little wider gap up to second - sometimes it's nice to spread 1st and 2nd out a bit.

First gear is a bit tall and extreme trails can require some clutch abuse if you stall at the base of an obstacle, but the bike will make it through or over just about anything. IMO, this '99 has better low end than most, so it can tolerate the high first gear.

In the woods w/occasional fire roads, my top speed is usually around 45 mph on a 55-70 mile loop. If you were dual sporting or riding in an area where higher top speeds were needed, the WR would be nice, but it's certainly not necessary for woods riding.
 

MN KDXer

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#7
I know exactly what you mean, and I'd suggest to give the MX bike a good thought.

I ran a 220 with a bunch of goodies last season ('00), and switched to a 01 RM250 for this season. My RM has a Bills Pipe, FMF TC2, Boyesen reeds, and a 13 oz flywheel weight. Without a doubt, for me anyways, the RM is a MUCH better machine than the KDX ever was or ever would be. I love the power, and the big bike feel is nimble steering, yet stable at speed.

As to top speed, my Watchdog recorded me hitting a 72 mph with stock gearing on a last summer's enduro, but I had that baby TAPPED!!! It hits 65 pretty easy.

Good luck with the decision!
 

FlyinRyan

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#8
Thought I would add my .02$

Rode MX bikes for many years and made the switch to KTM's last year. Mostly rode Kawasaki and Yamaha. Both good bikes for the woods.

MX Bike for woods = Money spent on tank, lights, suspension, off-road hardware (Skid plate, pipe guard, etc), and personal items (Handle bars, grips, etc)
KTM / Gas Gas / KDX = Money spent on suspension, personal items (handlebars, grips, etc) and offroad hardware (Skid plate, pipe guard, etc)

You wil put more money into an MX bike for the woods than a KT M / Gas Gas bike, no matter what anyone will tell you! The KDX also takes some money to get it up to race speed, IMO.

Comparing my 1999 YZ 250 and my 2000 KTM 250, the YZ turned better plain and simple. The YZ also had a harder hit that would wear me out faster, the suspension was great at hare scrambles that were fast, but at the 70 mile mark of an enduro it would start to beat me up pretty good. The rear brake was better on my YZ, but the front seemed stronger on the KTM. KTM had a much smoother motor and I could ride harder longer. The suspension worked great at enduros but hare scrambles it was a little soft. Both bikes held up very well and I never had any problems with either. The KTM did go all season on a top end, where I had to rebuild the YZ in the middle of the season.

As you can tell both bikes had their own good / bad traits. As for the KDX, there's that guy Fredette that beats me and most midwest guys any time he shows up on his trusty KDX. My father rode KDX's for years, but I just didn't like the handling or the suspension.

I ride AA in the midwest and would prefer the KTM over the MX bikes because of the smooth motors and not having to buy tank, lighting coil, etc each year for the MX bike.

Hope this helps.
 

firecracker22

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#9
One of the faster guys around here rides a RM 125, nearly stock except for gearing, handguards, bars and big tank, and Suzuki has a pretty strong showing of RM 250s at most of our races too. There are a couple more on CRs and the others ride KTMs. Now I'm just talking about the A and AA classes here. I was surprised to find the RM 125 much easier to control than I thought it would be. I might buy a 125 for my next bike, depending on what I think when it's time to lay the KTM to its final rest.
 
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#10
i'll agree with ryan, you do have to put more money into an mx bike to make it woods ready, but, your chances of picking up a used mx bike that someone bought because ricky rides it, rode it once and decided he's afraid or don't like riding, are much better than picking up a quality used woods bike, simply because woods (race quality) bikes are bought by riders who are experienced. which means you generally have to buy a new ktm for let's say 5400 or an mx bike ridden once for 3000 and put 2000 into it and have one hell of a bike! the newer mx bikes do not have near the hit that even the 99's have. i have had the chance to ride a 99yz back to back with a 00 and could not belive the difference.
 

FlyinRyan

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#11
Very good point about buying used MX bike, I have seen some bikes going very cheap, but then you spend all that money to make it "woods" ready, could have just bought a new "woods" bike, right. IMO it's just easier to buy the bike that is 95% ready.

I did have a 2000 YZ 250, but only got to race it for a month before it was stolen. That bike had an awesome motor! It was very smooth but pulled so hard I would get arm pump for the first 10 miles even with a 12oz flywheel weight, not the problem with the KTM (I know KTM must be slow right). I was getting better results on the KTM because I could hold on.

As close as all the bikes are nowadays, I say find one that you are comfortable on and go for it. In the end you always spend too much money on your bike because we want this or that, I know I do!
 
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#12
i will never say that ktm's are slow, i've owned four in my life and all of them were nice bikes! i agree, ride what you are comfortable on after all it's 90% rider. on a personnel note, i like to ride something different, thats why i started riding ktm's, now i see more orange in the woods on any sunday than the first day of deer season!
 

JMD

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#13
I doubt Flyin' was really saying KTMs are slow; I believe his comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Besides, speed is not measured by how hard the bike tries to yank itself out of your arms on the straights. If it were, they wouldn't need to hold the race at all, just put all the bikes on the dyno and give the trophy to the "fastest." No; speed is measured from the start to the finish, and in some situations a "slower" bike is really a lot faster way to cover difficult ground.
 
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#14
I love riding/racing my CR250 in the bush. The only mods i did were a 51 rear sproket, and thinner base gasket, aswell as the handguards and other goodies. Although i'm considering gettin a ktm for my next bike for suspension reasons.:)