I've decided I want a dirtbike. Help me pick one.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by GoodKnight, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. GoodKnight

    GoodKnight New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nj
    I have 2 years of street riding, with at least 10 track days under my belt. I'm still in the slow group, but i was on the verge of moving up before the season ended. I've switched off between my f4i and rc51, so I'd like to think i have decent bike control.

    I want to get a dirtbike, preferably used, but have no clue where to start. Should I get a 2 stroke? 4? 125? 250? Anything I should look out for?
     
  2. Infrastructure

    Infrastructure New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,520
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well what do you plan on doing with the bike? Riding trails? singletrack? Or do you plan on going to the track and riding motocross?

    I had always been a 2 stroke fan and always owned 2 strokes until recently. While visiting my brother I was given the opportunity to ride washougal on his new 4 stroke and I was amazed with how far 4 strokes have come. Loved 2 strokes because of the major power hit when you come on the powerband, but like 4 strokes because of the instant roll on power. Both require you to properly keep up on maintenance but in my opinion more maintenance is required on a 2 stroke. If I remember correctly 2 strokes will not be produced after 2006. I guess it all really depends on your riding style :dunno: Go over to www.thumpertalk.com to research 4 strokes and then you have www.pingertalk.com for 2 strokes.
     
  3. GoodKnight

    GoodKnight New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nj
    :bowdown:

    I want to do some track riding, maybe dable in motocross a little. Strictly recreational though.
     
  4. Infrastructure

    Infrastructure New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,520
    Likes Received:
    0
    well you ask 100 people and you will get 100 different opinions. I am biased since I own a 4 stroke now but I wouldnt dream of going back to a 2 stroke, although if I had the funds to purchase a 2nd bike it would be a 2 stroke so I could have the best of both worlds. One thing I really had to get used to riding a 4 stroke is the engine braking, man it can be bad news for you when hitting jumps and landing.

    If you want to do trail riding with some time at the motocross track and would like an e-start and headlight for trails out in the woods then I would suggest looking at the honda CRF250X or the CRF450X. A 4 stroke 250 is equivelant to a 125 2 stroke and and the 450 is equivelant to a 250 2 stroke. If you think you will be hitting the motocross track more than the trails then I would suggest looking at the CRF250R instead of the X, or any of the F models the other 3 large manufacturers produce. But like I said above, visit the corresponding forums I listed above for more info on 2 vs. 4 to possibly narrow down your options.
     
  5. GoodKnight

    GoodKnight New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nj
    Yeah I think i'm set on a 2 stroke. Would a 2 stroke 250 be too much for a newb dirt rider? I can handle both my bikes on the track no problem.
     
  6. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,487
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ca
    I've been riding Hondas my whole life and I wouldnt touch a CRF250 with a telephone pole. That is unless you dont mind replacing valves constantly.

    A 2 stroke 250 will be fine. If you need some time to get used to the hit pick up a flywheel weight.

    As for maintenance, a race bred 4 stroke will cost more than a 2 stroke. With the 2 you just have to throw pistons at them every 30-60 hours (depending on the riding) at $150 a pop (incl gaskets). With a 4 you have to throw pistons and valves at them every 30-60 hours (depending on riding) at about $200 for the piston (incl gaskets) and $200-600 for the valves (depending on which ones you get) plus machine work. Stainless valves extend the life quite a bit, but they dont last forever.

    For trail use the engines do last longer than what I quoted above. Those figures would be for motocross use. (450s tend to go a little longer than 250s due to lower revs). With OEM Ti valves they cant be let go too long or eventually they will break as the valve head is friction welded to the stem. Pro Circuit makes billet Ti valves, but they go for a cool $600 a set. SS valves will last much longer than Ti valves, so for a weekend warrior that is the route to go. Bottom line is valves are a wear item like the piston, they just dont last as long as several pistons anymore.

    Other maintenance (oil changes, air filter cleaning) is nearly identical between a race 4 stroke and 2 stroke.
     
  7. Infrastructure

    Infrastructure New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,520
    Likes Received:
    0


    shows how much you have actually read about the valve problems with the CRF. 04 valve problems were horendous, I havent had a single problem with my 05. With the new heads on the 06 I highly doubt they will have valve issues.
     
  8. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,487
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ca
    The 04 valves regularly failed premature basis. On the later bikes they work as they should, but still need to be replaced at regular intervals. Titanium is rather soft and the bikes rev to the moon. Things are going to wear out.

    It still adds up to more expensive maintenance than $150 top ends a 2 stroke requires. Forget it if the 4 stroke motor grenades. Just dont kid yourself that a race bred 4 stroke is cheaper to maintain than a 2 stroke. It used to be the opposite when 4 strokes consisted of XRs, TTs, and DRs but CRFs, RMZs, and YZFs are a whole different breed.

    If anything, my first post is a lesson in why you should stay away from a first year model.
     
  9. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'm amazed that the 4-strokes require so much maintenance to keep em competitive.

    I'd go 2-stroke although my only dirtbikes were and RM125 and a CR250.

    I miss that 2-stroke 250. Power to go over anything. Not great on fuel, but damn was it fast. I did a few amateur desert races with it, but then sold it when I bought a car.
     
  10. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,487
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ca
    They arent so bad if you're just trail riding, but for racing they are pushed nearly to the limit. Minimum weight and maximum performance means a lot of maintenance.
     
  11. GoodKnight

    GoodKnight New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nj
    How are the Kawasaki dirtbikes? Specifically the KX's?

    And would a 125 be too little for me? I was reading some boards and some people say that the 125 can move them just fine, but I dont want it to be like riding a 250cc street bike.
     
  12. Infrastructure

    Infrastructure New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,520
    Likes Received:
    0

    your height and weight? have you ever ridden a dirtbike before? how long have you been riding street?
     
  13. GoodKnight

    GoodKnight New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nj
    5'8, 200 lbs (muscular build). Been riding street for over 11k miles, with about 10 track days on my f4i (600cc, 96 hp, 400+ lbs) and my rc51 (1000cc, 130 hp, 450+ lbs).

    Never been on a dirtbike before.
     
  14. Infrastructure

    Infrastructure New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,520
    Likes Received:
    0
    well its really up to you but I would prefer to learn on a smaller lighter bike and then move up from there. If you go with a 125 to learn how to ride and eventually you tire of it and want something with more of a hit then sell it and step up to a 250. With your height and weight though you would probably be better off with a 250.

    And if you are definitely going 2 smoker then I would suggest looking at a yamaha yz250 over a kawi. Yami's dominate
     
  15. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,487
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ca
    A 125cc 2 stroke dirtbike will rip the pants off a 250cc street bike, so dont worry about that. The problem with 125 dirt bikes is the powerband is fairly narrow so you have to ride pretty aggressively to keep the bike in the powerband.

    If you're unsure maybe pick up a good used 125 for cheap then if its not enough resell it for what you have into it and get a 250.

    The YZ250 has been a pretty awesome bike the last few years.
     
  16. KDXman

    KDXman New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 2003 YZ250 and there is nothing bad i have to say about that bike, it is pretty fast but if you take it easy you can get used to it i think. And pretty much it will go as fast as you want, it will definitly go faster than you can ride it so you will never get bored with it.
     
  17. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    2-stroke 125's are like riding a chainsaw. You gotta beat on em to get power out of em.

    For your weight, I'd really look at a 250 if you go 2-stroke.
    I was seriously considering a 4-stroke if I pick up a dirtbike. I really enjoyed the desert racing I did and the old Honda XR400's were nearly indestructable.

    I may find one thats a few years old and refit it. Maybe even make it street legal just for fun.
     
  18. dhacmbs

    dhacmbs OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    8,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    if i where you i would look into a 2 stroke 125 reason being
    1. cheaper to maintain
    2.cheaper parts
    3.you can learn so much on a 125 compared to a 250
    4.less maitence
     
  19. Fetish

    Fetish OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Messages:
    16,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    check out ktm
     
  20. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Depending on the riding, a 2-stroke is NOT cheaper to maintain nor is there less maintenance.
    Even on a 2-stroke 250, there will be less work to do over the 125. The 125 would really be working with a 200lb rider.

    I'd probably say go 4-stroke if you're just looking for a play bike.
     
  21. dhacmbs

    dhacmbs OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    8,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    if by 4 stroke you mean a trail bike 4 stroke ya they are less maintenance than a 2 stroke mx bike but a 2stroke mx bike is less maitneance then a 4 stroke mx bike
     
  22. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    119,226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    that would really depend on what you mean by less maintenance.

    Replacing the entire top end every 15-20 racing hours isn't exactly low maintenance.
    Sure there is more to a 4-stroke, but the 2-stroke gets done more than 2x as often.
     
  23. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,487
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Ca
    Recommended service interval on a CRF450R for race use is replacement of the piston/rings every 15 hours. Its been shown that a CRF450 will lose 2-3 hp after 15 hours.
     
  24. dhacmbs

    dhacmbs OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    8,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    you do the top end every 1- 2 years
    but unless you constantly check shit on a four stroke you could damage you'r valves and that gets exspensive. not to mention since fads are moving towards 4 stroke's all the parts are getting more exspensive.
     

Share This Page