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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I am a long time street rider. But unlike most people I am going the other way. I think when I get back from Iraq I am going to take up the dirt riding expierience. Now I know the two are not the same, so I am throwing out any suggestions and asking for opionions from more expierienced dirt riders.

I was thinking of a very used YZ125 or something of that nature for a first bike. Let me know what you all think. I am 28 years old and not a kid, as my name implies.
 

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very used is cheap, but a lot more work. Unless you're pretty small a 125 2 stroke MX'er should not be too much bike. They are made for the 5'6"-5'10" 140-170lb smaller class racer.

It may well be too small for you if you are a large person.... or, it may be the wrong style bike altogether.....

look through the other threads on this subject a bit, then come back and tell us your

weight
height
inseam
style of riding (trails, desert, MX, trials, big air?, racing?)
experience with dirtbikes
fear quotient (all balls no brains? too smart to let gravity have control? adrenaline junkie? enodorphine fiend? somewhere in between?)

Then we can help you in the right direction... :)

oh, and dirt riding is way more fun than street riding... and less likely to get you killed... injured?, probably, but killed?, probably not.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am a short guy 5'6 175 lbs. I am not worried about my short inseam. I have been standing on tip toes to balance various street bikes for the last 8 years of riding.

My ball level is pretty high. I have never had a problem doing track days, or race schools on the street.

My dirt bike expierence is nill, like I said, lots on sport bikes 0 on the dirt. Closest thing was BMX racing when I was kid. Race ABA for many years.

they way those responses were sounding, a 2 stroke 125 might be too small? I thought those were crazy fast, and the 250's were just insane. Let me know.

I have no problem working on an older bike. I am going to F*^% it up anyway, arn't I?
 

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hmmm, you sound like a good candidate for a 125... they are wicked accelerators, you don't wiegh so much that it won't go, and they are a little bit smaller than the 250's.

I would not suggest to most that they start learing on a MX bike, but if you have a lot of street experience, and aren't easily scared off, you should get a grip on the basics pretty fast (a lot of the initial learning has more to do with clutch/throttle operation, which is essentialy the same on a street ride). I would never recommend (again) that someone start with a 250 MX'er, no matter how much balls they have... the bikes are unruly fast, pretty tall, and geared for nothing but GO.... that coupled with the extra power (which no one needs while learning) make them very frustrating to learn on.

If you get a used 125 for a good deal you can sell it later and hop on a 250 if you out grow the 125 (which won't be too quickly). I don't think you will be let down by a 125 2 stroke MX'ers power. The only thing you may want more power for would be desert dune riding and serious hill climbs...

and, yes, you are going to F*^% it up anyways... but sometimes with a used machine you spend all your time chasing problems and very little riding.... it can be very frustrating....

find a sweet deal on a 125 in your area... get the least hashed out bike you can for your cash (pay more attention to the shape it's in than what brand it is!).

oh, and get the proper gear!
 

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I would stay away from 2strokes altogether if you're inexperienced. My son rode an XR250 for years and I suggested the same when his friends got in to the sport. He's moved up to a DRZ400 now and can stay with me in the woods very well, I'm on a YZ426. So unless you plan on riding tracks only, the best all around play bike for your experience and size would be an XR250, DRZ250 or WR250.
 

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what goosedog said, unless you want to do motocross rather than trails. If you want to ride MX, a trail bike isn't gonna work too well. A 250F MX bike is a great choice.
 

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It sounded to me like he wanted a bike that would GO FAST, be cheap, and keep up with his balls as his skills developed.

These guys are totaly right that 4 strokers are easier to learn on.... but I doubt you will find that a problem (I've taught a few streeters to dirt ride on 2-strokes, they do just fine)... in my experience, it's the people who are trying to learn the clutch finesse that have problems with 2-strokes.. (theres not a lot of torque there to compensate for clumbsy clutch work.. but the top end screams.

An older used 2-stroke is cheap as the dickens... just try and find a 'older' used 4-stroke with LOTS of balls... they just didn't exist until pretty recently... otherwise, the 250F MX bike WOULD be the ideal bike to learn on...

Again, with proper clutch skills and knowledge of the basic principals of inertia, the 125's make perfectly acceptable trail rides.

IF you're ALL about trails, and NOT jumping and screaming through the whoops, goosedog has some solid advice (and those bikes are available relatively cheap in the used sector... but don't expect them to do 4th gear wheelies when they slam into the powerband and you give a tug... they don't produce the type or the amount of power that a new 4-stroke MX'er does)...

If you want a little of both... but more towards the trail end, check out the KDX 200 or 220... they are 2-strokes built for enduro, not MX.... quick acceleration, but they need some supension work to do the tracks with any dexterity.... They are cheap as all get out, and haven't improved much in the last few years

If you don't care how much you spend... your choices are much broader.
 

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good advice RoostRider

and:

RoostRider said:
If you don't care how much you spend... your choices are much broader.
haha life's choices are often really about how much you want to spend :laughing
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info guys. I am in Iraq right now, and just having some pipe dreams. It seems like from your all advice, that I will best served with a 2 stroke 125 mxer. I do want to some jumping and track riding. I am pretty sure I will be a POS and just f(*& it up as I learn, to jump. Glad I got medical

Thanks
 

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Great advice from all here.

I bought an enduro (380EXC) thinking I would be riding 90% trail and 10% track.
Found out I ride 90% track and 10% trails. I bought the wrong bike....

I just sold the trail bike and bought a dedicated MX bike a 2002 YZ250. I'm pumped for the upcoming season.

I also found out that it is easier to tame down an MX'r that it is to make a trail bike go fast and safe (ie. landing the big one) on the track.

Don't discard the 250 2 stroke as an option. Throttle control must be understood no matter what you ride but the 250 is stronger down low and less clutching is required. Short shifting is an option on a 250 whereas the 125 needs to be on the pipe to move or jabbing the clutch to get on the pipe.

Shifting is also a major requirement on a 125, a 250 has the power to pull longer gears.

You can look at this the same as street bikes.

A 600 bandit is a great little around town bike. Not so great trying to keep up to a R1's down the highway. Or a 450 4 strokes on a fire access road.

A R6 needs to be shifting all the time to be keeping up to a R1.
A 125 needs to be shifting all the time to be keeping up to a 250.

On the other hand, if all your buddies ride around town all day, then a R1 or a R6 for that matter is not so fun, a 600 Bandit would be a blast.

Part of your decision should reflect where you are planning on riding and who you will be riding with. If they all have 125's then by all means get a 125. 125's need more maintenance than a 250 too as they are run harder (have to be to stay on the pipe, in the power) than a 250.
Mind you, not all 125’s are created equally, or 250’s for that matter.
KTM’s have a more direct way of getting air into the pump which gives them more midrange than any other, 125 or 250’s.
Honda CR’s are renowned for having the most HP and it shows in their midrange #’s. My riding mate has a CR250, I’ve tried riding it and it is a monster. It is as close to a 125’s power delivery characteristics than anything else I’ve thrown a leg over (not the best trail bike but it rips when your trying to make up some time on the MX track).

I'm just getting back into it myself and get more out of 15 minutes on my dirt bike than I do a full day on my street bike.....
 

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If your just getting into dirt bikes a 250mx bike is not a good idea there beasts, even a detuned one like a yamaha wr 250 is still a killer for a little new guy, if it where me id get a cheap old four stroke xr250l's and r's are nice learners bikes, plus even when your fairly expirienced you can keep with anyone in tight trails because there light and short wheelbase not to mention you can lug them like a truck i can idle mine down railroad tracks in four gear without stalling there just good bikes, there slow but never break down
 

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YZ250F, good for track or trail, handles great, easy to ride and will go fast if you know how to ride it. Thumpers are much easier to learn to ride on than 2 strokes IMO...a 250 2s could be discouraging or dangerous for a beginner.

Oh yeah, check out www.sanangelomx.com - really fun place to ride! Reyndogg, me, and a couple other Austin CF'ers will be there 2/5-6 for a STORM hare scramble.
 

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i love riding dirt.....i used to only ride dirt. now i have street bike, dirt bike and pocket bike, but i like dirt the best! i do a little trails, but i love getting air! :D
 

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Dude get yourself a used 125 Smoker and ride it. If you have riding experience on the street you could probably even get away with a 250 but they will bite you in the ass. A 125 is a great place to start. They are a little cheaper to maintain, turn better and will not get you in as much trouble. Just change your tranny oil, clean your airfilter and keep up with your maintenance after every ride.

The older 4 strokes are going to be heavier and slower and the newer ones (YZ-F, CR-F, etc) are hella expensive when it is topend rebuild time. Plus there is nothing like the sound of a finely tuned ring-dinger blazing around a track.
 
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