Old rider coming back, thinking KDX 200/220 or DRZ 400. Kicker is, I've HAD both.


Mar 15, 2018
So the title sums it up. I think I last posted here in 2004, based on my CP. At that time I was living in CA, riding a '00 DRZ-E which had been dual-sported and plated. Tore up everything from the Santa Monica Canyon roads to Gorman on that thing. Got many compliments on my ability to "keep up" from the YZ250F and YZ450F guys in the dirt, and I remember an AWESOME day in the Santa Monica's with a guy on a street-legal TZ250. I knew it was no CRF or YZxxF, but it was bulletproof and reliable, and that's what I wanted.

I had lived in MO prior ('01 or so), and had a 2nd gen KDX200 (don't remember the exact age). I traded the KDX (to a member here) for the DRZ, as I knew the big thumper would be better for the desert riding of SoCal. I remember trail riding on the KDX and really liking it...except for my two stroke bias. Two strokes and I never really got along. Still, from what I REMEMBER, it was a fun, light-ish bike that was good in the woods. I remember seeing an INCREDIBLE change in the power delivery after swapping the pipe, though I don't remember what pipe I put on it. It was a "woods type" type.

So here it is, nearly 20 years later, and I'm back in MO. This time instead of a single guy with a life revolving around motorcycles, I'm a married guy with 3 kids. I'd like to get into some trail riding with the oldest (14, male) and middle (6, female). I'm back to looking for a fun, reliable, inexpensive bike to bomb around no. No MX stuff here, trail riding only. I'm about 5'10", and 194lbs (working on losing 10-20 of that).

I've not really kept track of the dirtbike world since I left it, back in '06 or so. At the time, I wanted the DRZ because the other Japanese 4 strokes were (IMO) too maintenance heavy. The DRZ was heavy, and down on power, and slow, but it was reliable as a brick. I'm curious if the 4 stroke world is still like that, or if they are now less maintenance intensive (meaning, "look for a newer, lighter 4 stroke").

So, I'm looking for an inexpensive, fun trail/dirt bike. The KDX and DRZ pop in mind, because I had them and liked them both. However, the KDX is quite old now, and out of production. I don't know if something "better" has come along to replace "that class" of bike. The DRZ is still heavy and slow, I'm sure, but not quite as old. Lots of clean looking S models to slap an FCR on, or buy an E model (like I had), and convert it to street. I'd like to spend the least amount possible, but it would certainly be under $3000.

I'm curious what the input would be from those who have been more active, more recently, than I have.


Dec 31, 1969
I'd look for used KTM, anything from the last 10 or years would be a much better choice than either the KDX or DRZ ... both of which are dinosaurs. If you are stuck on those two, I'd much rather use a KDX in the woods. But as long as the KDX has been out of production, I can't imagine finding one that's not a basket case would be easy.

Good luck! Let us know how it comes out.


Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 1, 2001
I'd look for used KTM, anything from the last 10 or years would be a much better choice than either the KDX or DRZ ... both of which are dinosaurs.

Good luck! Let us know how it comes out.

Yes, a two stroke 250 KTM (EXC or XCW) from the last 10 or 15 years would make an excellent and reliable trail bike. A gently used YZ250 could be a great option too depending on where you’ll be riding.
Top Bottom