MNSBR: Dirt Bike For Trail Riding - MNSBR

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Dirt Bike For Trail Riding

#1 User is offline   Rider Icon

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 08:18 AM

I am thinking i am going to switch from the track to riding dirt this year. I have only ridden dirt a couple of times but found it really enjoyable. I am not looking to ride MX tracks but ride trails. I have started down the bike research path and can't decide what would make the most sense for me.

My first thought was to just get something cheap like a CRF230F or a TTR230 but I am not sure if I would like better suspenders, more hp, better brakes, etc, sooner than later. So this had me looking at nicer trail bikes. I was hoping to stay with the big 4 to get the most value for my money. It seems like only honda and yamaha have trail ready bikes that are not dual sports.

Honda: CRF250X
Yamaha: WR250F or YZ250FX

These bikes seem to be pretty rare on CL at the moment but that might change as spring approaches.

I get concerned about buying a used dirt bike because I have never owned one and they can easily be neglected and they require relatively short maintenance windows. Looking at the yamaha service manual they are calling for a valve inspection every 12.5hr of riding. I am not sure how often i would expect to need a top end or bottom end rebuild. If you compare the service intervals of the WR250R (Dual Sport) they are dramatically extended. I am not afraid to wrench on a bike and i am sure i can probably learn to do a top end, but probably not able to do the bottom end. If I end up buying a used bike and it needs motor refresh sooner than later, I feel like the cost saving buying used would be negated by the fact that I need to pay big money to have the engine worked on.

So I have few questions for the group.

What is the sweet spot for buying used?

Would you think i would be better off with a dual sport like the WR250R or Honda 250L even if i don't care about the street legal portion. My turn off is the extra weight, the more to break when you crash, less power, worse suspenders, etc. Advantage is they are cheaper, less maintenance, road legal.

Are there any local off-road forums where guys would be listing bikes for sale that I should check out?

If anyone might be interested in a trade I have a well setup 2011 CBR600rr track bike and a 2013 Ducati Multistrada I am thinking of selling.


Thanks
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#2 User is offline   Jim Hubert Icon

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:36 AM

Since you don't have much experience with dirt bikes, I'd suggest you befriend several guys who do. That way you can mooch multiple rides and figure out what would be best for your situation.

A street-legal dual sport is going to be very heavy. Personally, I would never consider one.

The 12.5 hour valve inspection you quoted is for full-on racing. Trail riding would be considerably less demanding.

Yes, dirt bikes often have maintenance neglected. A segment of the market just buys a new bike rather than doing much beyond oil changes. Unless you are a capable mechanic and the price is right, you don't what one of those bikes.

I know you like two-strokes. Have you considered a KDX? http://www.kdxrider....orums/index.php

I used to be firmly "Japanese only", but am softening on that after a few years with Spanish trials bikes. This is the off-road bike I currently lust after, but I really don't need another motorcycle hobby! http://www.betausa.c...tent/xtrainer-0

Also, check out the forum you'll find following this link: http://www.goldeneag....org/index.html
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#3 User is offline   Torchsport Icon

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:50 AM

Selling the street bike as well?? :bankhead:
So you are set on the 4 stroker?
But yeah...a WR used gently for woods/trail riding will not need a lot of valve adjustments.
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:25 AM

Yamaha for trail riding. They are pretty bullet proof just make sure to change the oil.
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:47 PM

View PostJim Hubert, on 29 December 2017 - 09:36 AM, said:

Since you don't have much experience with dirt bikes, I'd suggest you befriend several guys who do. That way you can mooch multiple rides and figure out what would be best for your situation.

A street-legal dual sport is going to be very heavy. Personally, I would never consider one.

The 12.5 hour valve inspection you quoted is for full-on racing. Trail riding would be considerably less demanding.

Yes, dirt bikes often have maintenance neglected. A segment of the market just buys a new bike rather than doing much beyond oil changes. Unless you are a capable mechanic and the price is right, you don't what one of those bikes.

I know you like two-strokes. Have you considered a KDX? http://www.kdxrider....orums/index.php

I used to be firmly "Japanese only", but am softening on that after a few years with Spanish trials bikes. This is the off-road bike I currently lust after, but I really don't need another motorcycle hobby! http://www.betausa.c...tent/xtrainer-0

Also, check out the forum you'll find following this link: http://www.goldeneag....org/index.html


Thanks for the info Jim. I haven't consider the KDX at this point. Regarding a non-japanese bike, not opposed to other brands, mainly i was looking at dealer support and lower cost of entry, aftermarket costs, etc.
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#6 User is offline   Jim Hubert Icon

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 12:52 PM

This is a resource you may find helpful: http://www.bikefinds.com/

I also sometimes use Search Tempest https://www.searchtempest.com/ to look for bikes within a couple hundred miles.
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:04 PM

View PostTorchsport, on 29 December 2017 - 09:50 AM, said:

Selling the street bike as well?? :bankhead:
So you are set on the 4 stroker?
But yeah...a WR used gently for woods/trail riding will not need a lot of valve adjustments.


Regarding the street bike, I bought that Multistrada two years ago, rode it a some the first year and not once last year. My interests are ever changing and MN street riding just doesn't do it for me anymore. I am torn on which bike or bikes to sell. At some point i think i would rather apply some of my bike money to other interests and my garage can barely handle the two bikes I have.

I am not set on a 4-stroke, but my bias has been 4-stroke, mainly because I feel there are more options and they don't require as much rider skill to keep the engine in the sweet spot. A lot of the 2-stoke bikes i see have big motors and i am not sure i can handle them at my skill level.
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:35 PM

All the guys out here (Bozeman) swear by KTM. Little more difficult than MN. If you want a two stroke KTM 300 four stroke KTM 350
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:45 PM

I had a kdx, wish I never sold it. Super easy to ride, enough power to have fun, light and durable.
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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:40 PM

Join the Thumpertalk forum. Lots of great in there. Plenty of Minnesotans there as well.
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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:19 AM

Had a little time to kill. Found this for ya if you were considering a dual sport.
I am not sure of the years of these stats. Just some info for you.



Lightest street legal stock dual sport?

Yamaha XT225 --> 238 lbs. (dry)†Source link
KTM 350 EXC-F --> 241.4 lbs. (ready to ride, no gas)†Source link
Husqvarna TE250 --> 246 lbs. (dry)†Source link
Husqvarna TE310 --> 247 lbs. (dry)†Source link
Beta 350RS --> 247 lbs. (dry)†Source link
KTM 500 EXC --> 250.2 lbs. (ready to ride, no gas)†Source link
KTM 450 EXC --> 253.1 lbs. (ready to ride, no gas)†Source link
KTM 530 EXC --> 253.1 lbs. (ready to ride, no gas)†Source link
Honda CRF230L --> 267 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Suzuki DR200SE --> 278 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Yamaha TW200 --> 279 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Kawasaki Super Sherpa --> 282.1 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Yamaha XT250 --> 291 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Kawasaki KLR250 --> 293 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Kawasaki KLX250S --> 297.7 lbs. (wet)†Source link
Yamaha WR250R --> 298 lbs. (wet)†Source link

Above numbers are OEM claims.†
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#12 User is offline   Jim Hubert Icon

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:53 AM

View PostCBR600F4i, on 29 December 2017 - 06:35 PM, said:

All the guys out here (Bozeman) swear by KTM. Little more difficult than MN. If you want a two stroke KTM 300 four stroke KTM 350

When I think KTM, I think 2-stroke (although they are making 4-strokes and even electrics now). I just Googled the elevation of Bozeman and got 4800 feet. A powerful engine is a huge benefit with the thin mountain air.
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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:58 AM

View PostJim Hubert, on 30 December 2017 - 07:53 AM, said:

When I think KTM, I think 2-stroke (although they are making 4-strokes and even electrics now). I just Googled the elevation of Bozeman and got 4800 feet. A powerful engine is a huge benefit with the thin mountain air.


They are even making fuel injected 2 stroke now.
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Posted 30 December 2017 - 08:10 AM

Any conversation of actual dirt bikes has to include KTM so the idea of the big 4 needs to be opened to the the big 5.

First of all, know that Iím a Honda guy from a 40 year Honda family and if I go looking for something that I want, I see what Honda offers first because they are simply built and designed to be long lasting, easy to work on, usually they have comfort as a main criteria and just are more ďlivableĒ in my experience. Iíve owned and ridden about every make there is at one point or another and have found this to be true across the board with a few exceptions.

The best bang-for-the-buck, do-it-all dirt bike out there is a Yamaha YZ or WR 250F. Itís fast enough to be fun anywhere you could ride in short of the desert, easy to work on, reliable, easy to ride slow if you need to, lots of parts available, just overall a great, one stop shop for a dirt bike. KTM has some great options as well but do your research before buying because they have some motor designs that didnít work so well, especially the early 4 strokes, so be sure you buy one thatís a good one, most of the ďnewĒ ones are solid, say after 2010. Donít quote me on that year, google a model you are interested in.

You canít go wrong with a CRF250X and the reason they are hard to come by is they are solid mounts that run forever.

Two strokes are your choice but after spending a few years trail running an Ď00 CR250R, an incredible trail bike with a few mods I might add, I got sick of carrying my own gas and having to premix what Iíd need for the day. Itís not hard or that big of a deal but pulling up to any pump and filling up is very nice and one less thing to worry about.

I have a WR450F and will say a 450 is a lot of motor for around here and a 250 is a much better bike for the trails. I donít ride dirt much anymore and while I blame a bad motocross wreck I had a few years ago for why, if I was honest about it, I think the 450 is such a beast itís not fun on tight trails and I just donít enjoy it like I did my old XR250 (and even my old CR) and it becomes work to ride. Donít get me wrong, itís a blast, but like bringing a cannon to shooting range to play around.

Dual sports will always be a compromise and be heavy for what you use it for compared to a dirt only mount so unless you really want the street capability, stick to dirt only. Plus with the OHV license for dirt bikes, itís easy to license one if you change your mind.

Not sure if this helps but there you go.

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for all the great info everyone. Looking around CL there are only two bikes that really catch my eye. I am not really in a hurry to buy, i just know sometimes winter can get you a better price. I should really sell something first.

https://minneapolis....6420234522.html - The hours seem low, but i don't know its history or when i would expect to need to do a top or bottom end refresh.

https://minneapolis....6424657533.html - Seems like a nice option for a light trail bike, but being a 2008 @ 3k when i can get a '16 @ 4.5k seems hard to compare. Especially with an unknown history.

What are peoples thoughts on that FX?
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