So, I've decided I want to get into trail riding. Seeing as I haven't seriously ridden a dirtbike in 14ish years, I don't know what I'm looking for. Someone suggested a KDX200, and someone else a CRF230. I'm looking for friendly suggestion that I can look into to start out in the dirt. I'm not new to motorcycles I've been riding street for the last 13 years, I'm not looking to race, just play around in the woods some. Thanks!
Oh, please don't turn this into a huge deabte, I'm just looking for some friendly suggestions. Thanks!
There may be guys who can advise you better than I can....and that are more familiar with the many fine Japanese bikes out there.
But I am friendly with a multitude of very serious, very accomplished trail riders and they all ride KTM's. They cost more to own and maintain but IMHO (I've got some seat time on all types of KTM's) they are among the best if not the best. Super-light weight, stonking motors, trail sorted supensions, and no noticeable weight penalties for features like starters. Their four strokes stand up against the best Jap bikes and they are also just plain COOL.
While it has become more difficult, a savvy person can also get the majority of them tagged up, with Vermont tags if nothing else. In my experience, street legality is very important.
Good luck with your search, and check out some other forums like ADVrider. Ecea.org is what us East coasters refer to for info on bikes, Dual Sport rides and Enduros.
out of the two you listed the 4 Stroke CRF just can't be beat. Great bike, nothing fancy but what it is and does just plain works. If your Aggressive in your riding and budget is not tight I'd suggest the 250X. Better motor, brakes, suspension... heck everything! but its reflected in its price.
If you're in the Wisconsin - Michigan - Ohio area,....which is where we trail ride, let me know, I'll let you swing a leg over my 600.
Thanks for the offer, and if I was closer I'd take you up on it. But I'm in the east tennessee region. I've thought about the xr400 as well. But finding one in good shape that fits what my budget is proving to be a little bit of a difficult task. Again I thank you for the offer... Nce lookin' bike!
From people I've talked to they said the CRF is great if you just like to ride at a slow pace, and look around. Which I plan to be doing a lot of, but I've been told the suspension holds it back more than the motor does.
A year and a half ago, I als decided getting into dirt riding would be cool. I got a new 07 WR 450. What a mistake. That thng beat the crap out of me even when I wasn't crashing it. Too big too heavy, too powerful.
I sold the WR450 and got an 09 KTM XC200W. The KTM is at least 50 pounds lighter. It is as simple as a motorcycle can get. Rugged 2 stroke engine doesn't need the top end re-done for at least 200 hours. I forget how much that costs, but I was surprised how cheap it was. 200 hours is a long time on a dirtbike. The 200 is very tuneable. I have mine set up fairly mild with a bit of 2 stroke hit at the top of the powerband. The newer KTMs also have a hi/low map in the ignition module. Pretty cool.
If I had to do it all over my first bike would be a used Honda 230. The local Honda shop has a used one for $2300. I lost that much when I sold the 450. I could have bought and kept the Honda for what I lost on the Yamaha.
My 2nd bike, the KTM 200, was a home run. I think it cost me $5700 cut and dried.
If you are looking at a trail only bike, I'd look for something that weighs less then something with more power, especially if you aren't planning on riding real fast. I have a wr250r which has served me well and I do enjoy trail riding it, but at a little shy of 300# it wears you out after a couple days on the trails. I rode my wifes 140 for a day the weekend after I got my cast off because I knew my wrist wasn't up to my bigger bike on a trail yet and I really enjoyed it even though it only has 11.5 HP. I wouldn't want it all the time but it was an incredible difference to throw around a bike that light. I can't wait until I can afford another offroad only bike, but I'm still only looking at getting a 250, just something way lighter without all the electronics and street legal garbage that adds weight.
I Don't try to explain to people why I ride a motorcycle
"For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who don't understand, no explanation is possible."
I have three sons and we have Honda CRF's. We have a 70, 80, 100 and a 230. Just like most Honda products, they are bullet proof. The 230 is a great bike. Plenty of power for trail riding. And if it's not enough you can rejet the carb and open the intake box and exhaust and have plenty of power. All of that for about $30.
I looked at the 250 before I bought the 230. I also read a lot about both bikes. For the type of trail riding I wanted to do the 250 seemed just a little much. The 230 goes fast enough to get me in trouble.
The only thing I did notice on our last outing is that I could bottom out the suspension. I weigh around 200 pounds and we were hitting some fairly large jumps on a trail. It didn't cause me to lose control but it did get my attention. That might be enough reason to go with the 250... better suspension. I am going to look into the forks and see what can be done to beef them up a bit.
If you watch Craig's List you can find both bikes for around the same money. I said "around"... there will be some difference. I paid $2200 for my 230 and it is like a brand new bike.
Since you're just looking for a trail bike to "ride at a slow pace and look around", my only question is how tall are you? I've ridden all the bikes mentioned and for a simple bike to play around on or ride trails with I would recommend the CRF230f. It's a blast to ride and damn near bulletproof. My wife is 5'6" and can almost sit flat-footed on her 230, and the power is more than she needs. It's a few inches shorter than any of the other bikes mentioned. See if you can borrow someones 230 and you'll be surprised how capable it is! Granted, it has the most entry-level engine, suspension, and brakes of any of the bikes mentioned, but for what you're planning to do it'll be more than enough, and with regular maintenance will probably never break. I'm 6'0" and ride it with no problems. We bought it with BBR suspension and exhaust system, and power-up jet kit. While it wouldn't be my first choice for "serious" off-road, it is an amazingly fun and capable bike.
The CRF250X and Yamaha WR250 are both amazing bikes, but are more serious than the 230 and will require a bit more maintenance over the years.
The XR400 is another great bike that you can abuse for years with barely more than routine maintenance.
The CRF450X and the Yamaha WR 450 are both fantastic bikes but are WAY more you need for casual trail riding. I spent a weekend in SoCal on an '08 WR450 and own a couple 450Xs. Both are such capable bikes that they almost feel like magic when you see the situations they'll let you get away with. But for what you need I would not recommend them based on the sticker price.
If you want a 2-stroke, that KDX 200 and the KTM XC200 are both great choices. If you plan to do more serious riding in the future, I'd go with the KTM as it's way more advanced than the KDX, but newer and pricier as well.
Sorry to be rambling on and on... I love dirt bikes!!! You will absolutely love any of the bikes that have been recommended so far, but for the type of riding you plan to do I don't think you can do better than the CRF230f, especially if you find a good deal on one.
I've gotten the chance to ride the KDX, and it was a great machine. My only complaint, which is really just me being a "Sally" is the lack of electric start. I didn't think it would be much of an issue since the bike restarted really easily. However, I'm kinda short, 5'9" with about a 32 inseam. The KDX leaves me almos completely on my tip toes, which while moving isn't really a big deal, however, while I was playing around in the woods on one, I stalled out, in a situation in which my left foot couldn't reach the ground, and the kick starter is on the right side of the bike.... I've been informed I can lower the bike some, just trying to avoid that if i can. But it seemed like a very capable machine...
That XR looks nice, I'd offer him $1000 and go have fun. I had an XR 350 many years ago and it was a blast!
My only concern with the XR would be the size - you found the KDX a bit tall and would have liked electric start when stalled on a tricky trail. The XR is the same size as the KDX and won't be quite as easy to restart as the KDX. You can practically start the KDX by hand. Another factor to consider.
The KDX, XR, and CRF are all excellent bikes. Any of them will give you years of fun and trouble-free riding.
The CRF is a few inches shorter than the others and has electric start.
The KDX will be the cheapest and easiest to work on if you need to do top-end work.
The CRF has good power for a play bike (and can be opened up further with a jet kit), but the KDX and XR will both have more potential when you want to really get serious.
All have decent suspension for trail riding, and can be easily upgraded with aftermarket springs and re-valving if you're a heavier or faster rider.
through very different mediums, I think I've come to the conclusion that I will either look for a xr400, or kdx200/220 which ever I can find the best deal on. The XR he showed me from craigslist in about an 8 hour drive from where I live just to pick it up...