Apr 22, 2000
I need another bike. Well I don't really neeeeed one, but you know. Given your vast experience, what bike should I look for? Here's the story:
1st bike - 1975 Yamaha DT250 (yes I am that old) - driver's license revoked two weeks later.
2nd bike - 1976 Yamaha IT175
Sold them both in 1979 and didn't ride again until 1999.
Bought a 1999 Suzuki DR350S dual sport - 700 miles of street riding to get used to it - 1st off-road ride and I dumped it and the pig landed on top of me, breaking two ribs. Sold it an bought a lighter bike.
Enter the 2000 KDX220. Been riding it off-road for the last 2 years, with a little MX track riding. Starting to push the limits of the suspension (already beefed up on both ends). Comfortable jumping singles and clearing small tabletops.
I tried a friend's RM250 on an MX track. It has a stiffer than stock suspension and RG3 suspension work. After 30 minutes, I was hitting jumps I never thought of trying before and clearing my first double (a long but relatively safe step-up). I'm hooked on air time! What a difference a real MX bike makes - literally launching out of the corners. It was a blast to ride, but to be honest, I probably never had it over half throttle for more than a few seconds the whole ride, and when I did, it nearly pulled my arms off - yea I know I gotta get way forward on the bike BEFORE it hits - learned that one the hard way.
Next chapter - man meets irresistible force in the form of a WR250F and I just had to buy it. KDX pales in comparison. WR is much better in the woods, on the track, in the garage, on the trailer . . . This is EXACTLY the bike I always wanted for woods riding and I can also clear step-up doubles pinned in third (with my eyes wide shut).
The problem is that I have (finally) realized that I can't have it both ways - a good woods bike and a MX track play bike in one. Soft enough for the woods equals major bottoming out on the track. Smooth enough power in the woods equals HOPE it hits soon enough to clear the whole jump, not 90% of the jump - that last 10% hurts.
I'm looking for a bike that will be strictly a track play bike. I have no intent, or desire (or talent) for racing, so that's not even a consideration. Any real woods riding is nearly 3 hours away and those trips take some planning, and lots of time. I can play ride local MX tracks within an hour of home almost anytime.

So, the question is: "What bike should a 6' 1" 220 lb 43-year-old kid get for playing on an MX track?"
And remember, I hate heavy bikes (I still cringe every time I see a DR350). I've been racing mountain bikes for 6 years and I'm conditioned to be able to flick the bike around.
Some off-the-top thoughts are:
YZ250 or CR250 with some added flywheel weight to ease the hit
YZ400F or 426F
Cannondale vapor bike
Honda CR450F
Lots of you have probably gone down this same path already, and of course I had to post this in the Thumper forum because this is where all the smart guys hang out.

Just to clarify-
I have the WR250F and I'm setting it up for pure woods riding.
I'd like a 2nd bike just for the MX track.

What do you recommend and why?
Last edited:

sfc crash

Human Blowtorch
Jun 26, 2001
first off,i stink as a competitive rider,ergo sfc crash!:eek: i rode my first centr clutch b&s back in 1974,then had an indian125,suzi 125 dualsport,then joined the army 1981, didn't ride at all,then had a 78 xl250s(pig) and now an 87 kdx beat to hell 200.recently i figured i'd saved enough pop bottles and ridden beaters for too long, time for a new bike. i live on 8 acres, mostly wooded ravine, but am surrounded by corn/bean fields ie; wide open spaces.i went with the wr426 and couldn't be happier. i read all the'too much of a brute for tight woods".."will buck and boil after lots of first and second gear tight trails'..etc...i've set the worlds record for slowest going on a 3 hour trail ride in 95 deg heat, no buck,no boil.i ride tight,i say TIGHT wooded trails with up/down hill switchbacks and no problem. when i was picking up my shiney new 2001 wr426 everyone from the salesman to the mechanic were warning me about this bikes "brute power" i was afraid to kick it over first time,thought it would be like some looney toons deal where i cracked the throttle and whooooosh,no more lil' crash. i cut the grey wire and unplugged the exhaust and air box,(will do the yz timing) and i gotta tell ya, this is the most predictable bike i've ever riden,the first time i got air i was going up a table top, it was so smoth i didn't expect to leave the ground, it was so smooth that my confidence went through the roof. i'm glad i didn't get a wr250 because i'd always wonder about the power i gave up. it starts on the first or second kick,even when i dump it. and i can race it! sorry about the long post and maybe had i bought an xr400 or dr400 etc, i'd be just as happy, but it seemed to mr that this was the top of the line big bore japanese bike and i'm not at all dissapointed. now, i wish i could ride worth a damn:think


Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 1, 2001
Buy a YZ250F, you will love it! It makes a great woods bike too if you don't need the lights and WR tranny.


Mi. Trail Riders
Dec 6, 1999
Yeah, I vote with the Badgerman, and not just because I usually have to suck his dust!

I've got a WR400 and YZ250F in the garage (my kid rides the 250). I'm, let's just say, close to your dimensions. Since you don't like heavy bikes, scratch the WR/YZ426, and probably also the KTM400SX. The YZ250F makes a better all around bike because the closer ratios actually help keep it at the premo powerband in the woods with a heavier rider.

I'm selling my WR400, and another YZ250F is on my short list of replacement bikes.


May 15, 2000
So you know where I come from, I'm:
-42 and 363/365th years old ;)
-trail ride and race harescrambles (Senior B Class)
-do an occasional MX and can do doubles. Actually I finished 3rd in 25+ B/C Class at local MX race...........on a DRZ-E 400 set up for woods, he he he.

From what you stated, it sounds like the YZ250F would be a good choice. You can ride MX tracks and still do some trail riding with it. It can be a buger to start when it gets hot, though.
A 250 2-stroke will do the trick also.


Nov 8, 1999
YZ250F, WR250F

I really love riding those bikes, but I don't think I could own one as my only bike. I ride desert mainly, and it just isn't enough bike. At 6'1", 220 lbs, you might find this bike to not be enough, over time. You will fit nicely on a KTM400. I put a deposit down on the new Honda CRF 450 ( 225 lbs. dry, 231 wet), and am still keeping my KTM (300). My demographics are nearly identical to yours, both in terms of riding history, age, height, and weight, (42, 6', 198).

I am a little confused as to whether you want 2 bikes or not. So, I would try to find a bike that can do it all; if you are just having one bike. You can set the suspension on a bike like the CRF to handle either woods or MX riding (I hope). On most of the new racing 4-strokes you can.

There are so many great bikes available right now, I wish I could own many of them. Good LucK with your decision!


Seven OUT!
Dec 21, 2000
yz250f.... i am much lighter than you, but i am the same, i ride some track and i ride woods trails as well.... I have no complaints, actually, the bike to me is like a cross dresser... it is awesome for me on the track, and i love it in the woods and hills with its torque. at this time, it is the lightest 250 4stroke out there, until honda's arrives, but no cemented date on that just yet....


Moto Junkie
Apr 21, 2000
If you like the WR250F - I think you'll LOVE the YZ250F for playing around on the MX tracks. And if you decide to venture back into the woods - you should be fine, too.


Apr 25, 2001
My choice - KTM 400/520 MXC or maybe SX. Although you will probably have a blast on the YZ/WR250F, due to your weight, I would recommend a larger bike. The WR426F is a great bike also, but much heavier than the KTM's, and doesn't have the same quality of standard parts (chain,handlebars,clutch, etc...) The KTM SX models weigh about 15 Lbs less than a 426, the MXC models weigh about 5 Lbs less (but have electric start - A HUGE PLUS!). It would be great to try to test ride all of your options, because different bikes work for different people.


May 3, 2001
Yep them YZ250 can go fast in the woods, I chased one for about 10 miles on Sat. (personally I think it was cause there were 2 DRZ's chasing him) Right Badgerman hehehe!



Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 1, 2001
Ten miles! It seemed more like seventy-five!

It was like a bad dream! I had two bright yellow bikes hounding me all day. Shame on you guys for making me ride over my head like that. I could have hurt myself! ;)


May 1, 2001
Badgerman, LOL bad dream:D I was working my butt off just trying to stay with you. Now if we had some fireroads:p

I guess I did not know that we live that close to each other. We got to get togeather for a ride again. I'll be back up at LMC this week-end helping arrow the course. My Next free week-end is Labor Day:(



Apr 3, 2001
One more vote for the YZ250F. I'm 32, 200lb, 6', and it's the perfect bike for me. Light weight, controlled power, and great off-idle acceleration. I will never buy another 250 2-stroke (although I still enjoy a good 125!) You will not be dissapointed by the power of the 250F. It's plenty fast.

Oh, and it uses 50% less fuel than my 250 2-strokes!

Mike Hubert

Apr 22, 2001
I have a 1999 KDX220, Fredette did the engine and carb and Race Tech did the suspension, it has an FMF rev pipe. I ride 95% MX and I'm even older than you, 47, nearly ancient. You might put a few more bucks into your existing ride and get the job done. I can take anything the kids take, it just takes me about 100 hours of observation per jump before I'm willing to take them on.


Freedom Ain't Free
Jul 3, 1999
Okay, I haven't read everybody's post, cause I'm to lazy, but what I can extrapolate from a quick scan is that everybody (including Okie, wherever he is) thinks this new 250F is the end all machine. Okay, maybe not the end all but I sure seem to be hearing allot of people making recommendations about two different machines that I think are so far apart a comparison is not even warranted. But I gonna make one anyway.

I own a 2K YZ426 and this thing rips. Weight has been a issue in some tight woods, but living in Texas tight woods are such a rarity that that is really not a consideration. When the 426 is rode correctly I don't think weight is that much of a significant factor as everybody plays it up to be, just look at Tim Ferry & I think you'll agree with me here. The 426 just flat out hauls. Need the front wheel up, gas it. Need to slow down, get off the gas. It a fantastic machine and probably the only bike I'll ever own unless Honda made something in the CRF, which I have my doubt's about.............

I have also been on a couple of YZ250F's & I love this machine, & I think after some seat time I could learn to ride better laps times, but it ain't no 426. Coming out of a corner, setting up for a jump or getting ready to tackle a big uphill the 426 is going to be more forgiving and deliver more power smoothly & quickly than the 250 IMO. Although the 250 is lighter and more agile (according to some) it does not have that raw power that I have come to love so much in my 426. I have personally spoke with someone coming off a 250 2-stroke onto a YZ250F who was telling about how a large uphill was a significant challenge for the 250F. I just grinned & reminded him I had recommended the 426.

A YZ250F is a serious riders machine. You gotta have skill & high level of expertise to really make this bike kick, IMO. A 426 is a rookie machine for rookie people like me. It is so much more forgiving and delivers the power I need to get my rookie butt out of rookie mistakes.


Big Pig
Nov 20, 2000
lost in the deserts of NM
Originally posted by taraker :
"Okay, I haven't read everybody's post, cause I'm to lazy, but what I can extrapolate from a quick scan is that everybody (including Okie, wherever he is) thinks this new 250F is the end all machine."

But of course!
The 400 / 426 was the hottest thing going until the 250f came along though.
And when the 125 / 150f (whatever) comes along, the 250f will take the back seat in popularity.
(will there be a YZ80F??????????? wow :confused: )
Just another "too super cool i gotta have one cuz the bike books say its the greatest and i gotta be faster than all the other kids in the neighborhood yea yea yea" bike.
O.K. before i get flamed, i'm sure these are decent cabable bikes.
But hype can turn a capable bike into "the worlds best" bike.
Alright, i'm done gripein'. :think


Seven OUT!
Dec 21, 2000
there aint no hype with this bike... If I was larger and alot stronger, i would go with a 426 buddy has it and he is a cple pounds more than me, he handles the bike, i like it alot too, and you really dont notice the weight except on tight trails as mentioned above, which we have alot of, or when you stop, especially at the top of a hill climb and having to pick it up ...but when it is moving, it is like any other bike.. great bikes..
********** but, as i said with the 250f, it isnt hype, depending on who you are.. me, i am a 170lbs 125 cc rider.. this bike to me, rips, especially with p/c pipe, it just opened my head and body to another realm.. now i know that against a 2stroke 250, it may lack a little, but i didnt want a 2stroke 250. i wanted to go to a yzf type 4stroke, and i was bummed at time for they were all 400s, (also KTM)... I had said in past that hoping they would build a smaller 4stroke and it happened....
it all suits the rider, someone who manhandles a 2stroke 250 will probably find the 250f a little limiting, but remember, its supposed to be a 125 2 stroke, I think some people loose track of that.......
the 400/426 is a badass machine as well, in the hands of the proper person, weight isnt an issue, just as earlier post mentioned Ferrys success...


Feb 3, 2000
TRAILDALE1, Based on your post,think yz250 two stroke,enough power to clear big doubles,even at your 220lbs,yet still has lighter feel and chassis weight than the big bore four strokes=great play bike for a mx track.I weigh 165lbs and use a 00' yz125 for the exact same purpose. MY TWO CENTS PETE.


Dec 13, 2000
Here's a curve ball for ya, insted of having 2 bikes, 1-woods,1-mx, (if you have one of each, YZF, and WRF, you will have about $12,000 ivested)
get a new GasGas 250 fourstroke, it will be better in the woods than a YZF and better on a track than the WRF. My reasons you ask, the GG bikes are geared more towards outdoor racing like the GNCC or enduro's, and should have alittle more flywheel effect than the YZ, plus it will have a electric start, and the seat height should be the same as the other GG bikes. The suspension and handling should be fine for an MX track as well. You wont have to spend some big bucks on all the extra stuff that you will have to by to make the bike fit and last more than a ride or two.

just my .02


Apr 11, 2001
I have only been riding for aprox 4 years . I started on a old beat up CR125 that some kid used for ice racing.After dumping to much cash in to the suspension to handle my size and weight somebodys wife (I don't think she was mine)suggessted I look into getting a new bike . So I posted a thread on dirtrider and after all the responces I'm now the proud owner of a 01 YZ426F and couldn't be happier.I'm 40 years young 6'4'' 225 lbs. ,Ihad cocerns about the weight also but once you ride the bike that will be forgotten .I've gotten high bend bars and am looking at taller seat foam but as far as tuning the suspension for my weight and conditions so far it has handled it without costing me a dime (just a little time ).Good luck and safe riding dbd


May 4, 2001
In my opinion you are on the right track. Two bikes make riding MX and woods much easier(safer also). It is extremely hard to take a bike set up for MX in the woods and feel comfortable on it. Rocks and tree roots are very unforgiving on suspensions set up for big G outs and jumps. On the flip side, a woods bike will bottom like crazy on a track and spell disaster if not ridden with caution. Sure you can find a happy medium, but it will not be as competitive or as easy to ride as the bike that is set up specifically for said useage. My choice would be a YZ250 2 stroke. This way you have the best of both worlds, a 4stroke and a 2 stroke. (I am a little biased here as I have a 250YZ and a 520KTM) Happy hunting. :cool: :)

Rich Rohrich

Moderator / BioHazard
Jul 27, 1999
Originally posted by teton

get a new GasGas 250 fourstroke, it will be better in the woods than a YZF and better on a track than the WRF.

Pretty bold statement for a bike that doesn't exist in a consumer form yet :)
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