Learning to ride

Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
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Location
Vancouver Island
#1
Hey all,
New to dirt riding but not new to motorcycles.
I had my first dirt experience a few weekends back at my local MX track on a rented Honda CRF150F. Not a powerhouse by any means but enough to get me hooked.


Definitely want to buy something, I expect 90% track but not race. As a dirt beginner my options at this point feel like a 250 4t or a 125 2t.
I’m 5’9”, 170 lbs.

I watched a few YouTube vids of a fellow on a 125 2t where the rider’s hands were visible so I could see how the clutch and throttle interplayed.

Definitely lots of clutch work to keep it in the powerband.
Is this a fairly obvious thing to do when riding?

My apologies if this is a ridiculous question.
 

truespode

Wheelie King
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
7,627
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#2
Any 125 two stroke will require a lot of clutch play. Even the KTM 150 and some 250's depending on your riding style... with a 2 stroke body position and clutch work are keys, especially in the corners.

4 strokes are much more forgiving and has enough torque to cover up mistakes.

My speed almost doubled and the obstacles I would jump increased when I went from a 1993 YZ/WR 250 with modified suspension to a 2001 YZF250 with stock suspension. My 93 had a motor built by Eric Gorr and was amazing. Best 2 stroke motor my slow spode tail ever rode and plenty of low end grunt.

However, the ease of riding a 4 stroke, especially the 250F lines, increase confidence.

The downside is they require more attention to the detail of the maintenance and are more expensive to rebuild or modify.

My riding was in my late 20's to late 30's from 1999 to about 2014. 2012 was my last harescramble and I never was faster than mid-pack Vet C in the woods or back of the pack C on the track. I lacked quality corner speed which I attribute to me ditching the 2 stroke and going 4 stroke too early. I never learned the right way to do things but at my age I was only out to have fun anyway.

I personally feel the KTM, CRF or YZF 250 four strokes are the most versatile bikes you could own. I am 6' and 230ish and if I got another bike I would strongly consider a 250 fourstroke if I was to go racing again.

However, at 46 I probably would just get a 2 stroke, start it up in the garage and make BRAAAAAAAPPPPPP sounds until the neighbors called the cops just because I love that sound more than anything adult rated you can think of :)

If you buy used the biggest thing outside of worrying about reliability, hours on the engine, etc. is suspension. Most garage queens never have the stock suspenders touched and the past 10 years the suspension has improved by leaps and bounds. There are things on my 2006 YZ450F that I had no problem trying on stock suspension that I wouldn't try on my 2003 YZF250 with MX-Tech suspension. In 3years the suspension improved that much for the track.

It beat me up in the woods but nothing like my 93 250 2-stroke with modified suspension.

See where I am going?

Even a spode like me can tell the difference in suspenders and a good suspension is the best upgrade and best piece of safety you can spend money on.

If I could afford it I would get another bike but I am busy chasing a 4 1/2 year old little girl who isn't interested in the neighbors PW50 so I don't see a bike in my future any time too soon. Maybe one day I will change her mind :)

Ivan
 
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
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Location
Vancouver Island
#3
I have a soft spot for the XR line of bikes as that is what I lusted for as a kid. An XR200 in the driveway would have been the ultimate for me. So my search started with the familiar; XRs 200s and 250s. There are a few for sale locally. And none of them look like dogs.

I face the reality that where I live, getting to the closest trail riding is a minimum 1 hr drive whereas my local MX track is 20 mins away.

So knowing that I'm likely going to be on the track more than trails takes the XRs out of the mix (unless someone tells me otherwise)

There are a number of CRF230Fs and 250Rs for sale locally. The 230s appeal to me because of their rugged nature (and I always root fot the underdog!) but I recognize their limitations and wonder how much money I'd pour into a 230.

I'm not worried about the maintenance of a 250R because I can do everything myself. Adjusting the sixteen valves on my ST1300 or dealing with its combined ABS braking system makes almost anything else seem easy!
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
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Location
Vancouver Island
#4
I stopped by my local Honda dealer on the way home to get a sense of the size of a CRF250R.
Dang! It’s tall. I’m 5’9” and it feels like I could comfortably stand beside it and rest my elbow on the seat. I have a 32” inseam and the CRF250R seems like a huge bike.

The WR250R and YZ125 they had in stock seemed equally tall.

The size is a bit intimidating to be honest.
 
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