Mar 12, 2008
I'm a new rider, just started a couple weeks ago on my girlfriend's XR100's and only been riding 2 times now. Not only am I way way too big for the 100's, but they are worn bikes. Frame bent on one, fixed somewhat. Front wheel/handlebars are off enough to screw with you when hitting bumps/rocks.

Anyways, I was looking for an all-round dirt bike, for trail and track Track more than anything, not used to heights for trails and giant hillclimbs scare the **** out of me. Right now I basically screw around, practicing jumps off of small lips here and there and cruising up and down Carnegie. I love everything. I'm a pretty big guy, 180lbs at 6'2". I'm probably going to be looking into used bikes since it'll be my first, but I'll just say price isn't a worry at the moment.

It must be a 4-stroke so I can ride all-year long. I was thinking of something around a 250, maybe smaller, big enough for my size and not tooo powerful. I've sat on a Yamaha 230 in stores, and didn't like how the seat felt, so if that's a common thing, stay away from Yamaha.

Also, my girlfriend is looking into getting a new bike. At first she wanted a 125, then we went to the local Honda dealer and fell in love with the CRF150R. She wants to know if the bike would fit her. She's 5'3", 140lbs, been riding for 4 years and loves the track and racing more than anything. Wants to stay away from 2-strokes so she can ride all-year long too.

-Note 2-
We're both 18, so won't be growing much. She wants a bike that'll keep her happy for years to come. I don't know what I want right now, but a 250 KTM 4stroke sounds sexy as hell haha.

-edit- Apparently I can get a green-sticker 2-stroke as long as it's 2002 or older, so recommend me some of those that I can find used too.
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Apr 18, 2006
Ok, you're in California and need to deal with the red/green sticker issue.

As you figured out 2002 and older are grandfathered into green stickers so if you are buying used you can go two stroke.

You mentioned a Yamaha 230: that would be the TTR series. It would be a pretty good bike for your GF as she is considerable smaller and the lower seat height would do her good. Not a bad bike for trail but not what I would recommend for you at a track. At 6'2" you should be on a full size bike. If you are riding at a track and taking jumps then the longer suspension travel will be desirable.

For the track a 2-stroke 125cc, about 8 to 10 years old would be a nice, inexpensive bike for you. When you hit the trail, and especially hill climbs, a small two stroke can be really tough on a beginner. A four stroke 250 would also be a good choice and much easier on a beginner but the cost is significantly higher.

When you go shopping for a bike you will find a fair number that do not have valid California registration. While this isn't necessarily a deal breaker you should definately factor it into the cost. As long as the bike doesn't come up as stolen you can get it registered, but it will take 2 to 4 trips to DMV and one to CHP. Not fun.

If you ride at private tracks you don't need the registration, but as you have probably already figured out the state parks, such as Carnegie, do require them.

Most places also require a spark arrestor, which is something else you will need to factor into the cost of the bike. Many of the "off road" bikes, such as the Yamaha TTR series, will come with a US Forest Service approved spark arrestor. Most of the MX bikes do not. You can replace the silencer with a spark arrestor version but expect to spend $150 or so to do it.

NOTE: when you are looking at bikes and wondering if the silencer is a spark arrestor or not, the approved ones will be clearly marked "USFS Spark Arrestor", usually stamped in the metal (not a sticker).

Bottom line: I would pay a few hundred more for a bike that had green sticker and title in hand. I would also pay a little more for a bike that was already equipped with a spark arrestor.

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