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Thread: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

  1. #1
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    Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Ok, so I've been riding street for 7 or 8 years and riding track for 4 of them, mostly on a 2007 Yamaha R6. I'm thinking I'd like to add a dirtbike to the stable, but I have zero dirt experiance and I'm having a lot of trouble narrowing down my selection. I'd love to here some recommendations. My price range is $2000 to $6000, but I'm leaning towards the low end if I can get a good and reliable bike without too many sacrifices. The high end is essentially there, because I'm really liking the idea of a 2012 KTM 350 SXF. I'm not sure what type of riding I'll be doing. I will try it up at IMI, on trails, or wherever. It does not have to be road legal, but wouldn't hurt. Otherwise I'm open to ideas, 2 stroke, 4 stroke, 250, 450, carbed, fuel injected, motox, enduro, etc.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moderator Jmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Wr426f/wr450f
    I've got more flavor than a packet of macaroni.

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    Senior Member j0ker's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Honda 50. Can't go wrong.

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    Member DriverDave's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    97-07 KLX300R
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    Gold Member asp_125's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Was quite happy with my KLX250 to learn the basics. WR250X are nice too, liquid cooled, 6 speeds. Downside is not too much fun on roads above 50mph getting to the trailhead. Depends, do you want to do singletrack or motoX? Enduro or dirt jumping?

    If I were going to get back into dirt: KTM 350 EXC-F
    Last edited by asp_125; Thu Jul 23rd, 2015 at 04:58 PM.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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    Gold Member Bueller's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    WR 250 and do yourself a favor and look for a titled bike no mater what you go with. May not seem like a biggie but if you get into trail riding you will want it.
    If you get an enduro type bike the suspension wont like MX tracks and visa versa.

    KTM's are the shit! But they will cost you more and parts are readily available but not like the Jap bikes.
    Last edited by Bueller; Thu Jul 23rd, 2015 at 04:53 PM.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Nolan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    I picked up a wr450 (complete noob, I have crashed the fuck out of it) . Looking at it now I should have gotten a 250. Save a few pounds, thirty pounds adds up after a dozen crashes. The plates are an added bonus to get wherever you want to go.
    Last edited by Nolan; Thu Jul 23rd, 2015 at 06:15 PM.

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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    KTM 350 EXC-F is what I really want, but out of my price range. Unfortunately, I don't know what exactly I want to do with it. So I guess ideally I need something capable of giving me a taste of various offroad riding types. I don't plan to mx race or anything, but I will probably take a few ill advised jumps. I'd like to take it when I get dragged camping. I have a truck and trailer, so I don't have to ride on the road, but I wouldn't mind the option either. I appreciate all of the responses so far.

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    Princess of Prius Sean's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    250cc, 4 stroke, any Japanese manufacturer (Honda is a solid choice), year- what ever's in your price range

    IMO it's worth it to get a plated bike, mostly for connecting trails (Moab, San Juans). 2 strokes are light and awesome, but I prefer the smoothness and engine braking of the 4 stroke. It's your first dirt bike, just get something, crash it a bunch (which you will) and learn about what kind of second bike you want down the road.

  10. #10
    Member big_sur's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    +1 on plated. Also, get a woods bike, not a motox bike ( EXC-F or XCF-W vs SX-F in KTM language) as the gearing, suspension, fuel range, etc will all be better for more generalized riding as opposed to lapping a motox track. Hard to beat a KTM 350 up here if you've got the coin but any of the japanese 250 woods bikes would be a good choice (X as opposed to R in most cases).

    More importantly, armor up whatever you get before you take it out. Handguards, skid plate, and radiator guards would be an absolute minimum before I'd start crashing it.
    Last edited by big_sur; Fri Jul 24th, 2015 at 07:47 AM.

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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Start with a two stroke as well. Overall cheaper. Plus buying second hand durtys can get pricy fast. Top ends on four strokes are not cheap. Two stroke on the other hand. Very cheap and easy to do yourself.

    But really if I were you I would go out with a group for a camping trip and ride a little before dropping a few k on a bike. Street and dirt are nothing alike. You might not like the feeling of loose a dirt bike is.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nolan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    I'm in the market for radiator braces. Twisted one side and bent the other, one radiator is a little bent. Need something a bit more stout apparently.

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    Member DriverDave's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    You just need to stop crashing!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Nolan's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Im getting better at the saves! That's gotta count for something!

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    Gold Member asp_125's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Handguards should be the full wrap "bark buster" kind, to save not only the hands but the levers. Shifter and brake pedals can be swapped out to the spring loaded swivel ended ones that fold upon impact. Nothing sucks more than not being able to ride back to the trailhead due to some minor drop bending / breaking a control lever or pedal. Though in a pinch, a rock works well as a hammer/anvil to straighten a lever.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsashark View Post
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    Quote Originally Posted by asp_125 View Post
    Handguards should be the full wrap "bark buster" kind, to save not only the hands but the levers. Shifter and brake pedals can be swapped out to the spring loaded swivel ended ones that fold upon impact. Nothing sucks more than not being able to ride back to the trailhead due to some minor drop bending / breaking a control lever or pedal. Though in a pinch, a rock works well as a hammer/anvil to straighten a lever.
    I disagree with the full full wraps. Hands can get caught in them. That is not fun. I would rather smash a finger over breaking an arm or wrist.

    http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/617...y-hand-guards/
    Last edited by #1Townie; Sat Jul 25th, 2015 at 01:30 PM.

  17. #17
    Gold Member Bueller's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations for first dirtbike?

    I have always used bark busters, but have stayed away from the plastic hand guards (except for supermoto and winter riding), but I generally like to separate myself from the bike in the event of crashing. I have never had an issue with getting caught in them and they have saved my hands and controls on many occasions. Sometimes I hit saplings or pylons intentionally.
    I do know someone, that is/was on this forum that did end up breaking his arm that way when he went over the bars. But I would still recommend them along with a wrap around skid plate, Radiator braces/guards and pipe protector if 2 stroke.


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