Dec 31, 2002
Hi Everyone, I'm getting back into riding after a 10 year hiatus. I'm 6'2" 230lbs, intermediate level rider. Wondering if a Rm250 can be modded to make a good all around harescrambles/trail/plincking around bike. Was considering a KDX220, but not sure if it will haul me around with enough OOMPH!



Apr 6, 2003
Don't overlook the KDX. Two years ago I also came back to the sport,
after a twelve year layoff, on a KDX 200. I think it was the perfect bike
for me at that time. KDX's are renown for being friendly, unintimidating
bikes, yet they pack a surprising amount of performance, especially
considering the price. A 220 would haul you around, no problem. Also,
there is a wealth of information to be had about the bike at justKDX, so
check it out.

Concerning the RM, any 250 MX bike can be made to work in the woods, it
just requires some focused mods. Most start with a flywheel weight to make
the power less abrupt and a little more tractable. Having the suspension
modified for the woods is also a good idea. Take a look at some of the
magazine tests of off-road modified 250's to get an idea of where to start.

In my opinion though, without knowing what your skill level was before
the layoff, I say go for the KDX. An MX bike is still an MX bike no matter
how much you tame it down, and if you're just starting back up the last
thing you need is to try to wrestle a 48 HP rocket through unfamiliar


Mar 7, 2002
RM's make good woods bikes.
Get a set of handguards and a flywheel weight of your choice and have fun.

I did own a 98 rm and it made me an optimist about suzuki's
I also rode an 01 last weekend and it was brand new, and it needed the jetting sorted out .....but man did it handle !!!!!

see ya


Jan 1, 2003
I gotta agree with jruggery. A stock KDX is a mild mannered machine with a nice progressive power band. With a few inexpensive mods (well documented on the JustKDX site) you can turn it into a screamer. This lets the bike grow with you as you re-acclimate yourself to off-road riding.
Another nice thing is that a used KDX is CHEAP, and can be sold for the same in a couple years when you're ready for that MX bike.
Get the 200, I ride with a 6'1", 210 lb. guy that flys through the woods on his 200. The 200 powerband is more like an MX bike than the 220.

Can't go wrong.....


Mar 30, 2002
The best thing you can ever do to a KDX is add a pipe. Makes a ton of difference. The Fatty on the 200 wakes the bike up. The most unexpensive thing you can do to a KDX is remove the air box snorkel. This too makes a big difference. They're jetted rich for the factory. Check out the JustKDX page for more info. The RM has the most low end and a KX has a more low to mid hit. The CR and YZ would be a nightmare in the woods. If your on the track a considerable ammount of time(or you jump) the RM might be more forgiving. If your in the woods and play around on the track the KDX is versitile machine.


Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 16, 2002
I had 2 Rm's in the recent past. Both 95 and 96 models.. Both of them were AWESOME woods bikes!! Could be ridden fast or slow and HANDLED second to none!! Problem is, neither one was reliable!! The 95 had MAJOR powervalve problems and clutch basket issues and the 96's came from the factory with TRASH tranny's! I wouldn't own another one of either of that model year.. Well, maybe if they were free :)


Jan 4, 2003
Come on. If you see intermediate anywhere in the post DONT recommend a kdx. I listened to people on this forum and bought a kdx then wanted something different after about 4 months.


Nov 30, 2003

I'm in the same boat as you, 5'11", 235. I also just got back into riding after being out for 13 years. (I got tired of watching my 12 year old son ride by himself) The last bike I had was a 1987CR250, sold in 1990. It was stock and handled the woods great.

Last month, I purchased a 1993 RM250. The price was right at $750. Since it is used, I don't know the history. I did rebuild the top end and install Boysen Pro-Series Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass Reed valve in the stock reed cage. The bike came with a Procircuit Platinum Pipe and a 304 Silencer. I use it primarily in the woods.

I think 2 stroke motocross bikes are great in the woods. If you like the "snap" of them, nothing can fill that thrill. In my opinion.

I don't know if your buying new or used, but heres my take on the bike. Handling is great, easy to whip around. The bike feels nimble and light. Power is great as well. Almost all situations can be handled with a twist of the throttle. Very little fanning of the clutch is needed. The bike does like to keep the momentum up, only for the steepest of climbs.

To give you and honest opinion, I'm nitt-picking the bike some. It works great for me. Power is great and predictable. Long/Steep climbs aren't a problem and can be tackled with minor clutch fanning. The only improvement I'd make would be gearing. I would drop one tooth off the front sprocket only for really tight woods. I have an O-ring chain, it shows no need of replacing any time soon. But for around $15 dollars, it seems the most cost effective mod for torque.

Hope this helps, Steve.

P.S. I don't plan on ordering a front sprocket anytime soon.


Dec 31, 2002
Thanks everyone for all your responses. I sat down and had a good talk with a friend who has ridden pro class hare scrambles. It looks like I will be riding a modded KDX 220 for awhile. If I feel the power is not enough, I can always upgrade. In the meantime, I will be checking my ego at the door and spend a couple years getting my riding abilities up on a tried and true bike that is set up for my weight and current riding status. Thanks again. I'm off to the KDX website!
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