Tell me what to buy. Seriously!

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#1
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
YZ250F
YZ400F or 426F
Cannondale vapor bike
Honda CR450F
KTM400SX
Others?
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?
Thanks!
 
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sfc crash

Human Blowtorch
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#2
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
 

BadgerMan

Mi. Trail Riders
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#3
Buy a YZ250F, you will love it! It makes a great woods bike too if you don't need the lights and WR tranny.
 

MWEISSEN

Whaasssup?
Mi. Trail Riders
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#4
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.
 
Joined
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#5
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.
 

Strick

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#7
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!
 

zcookie49

Seven OUT!
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#8
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....
 

nikki

Moto Junkie
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#9
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.
 
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#10
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.
 

Fly'nBrian

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#11
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!

Brian
 

BadgerMan

Mi. Trail Riders
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#12
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! ;)
 
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#13
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:(

Brian.
 
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#14
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!
 
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#15
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.