Some of you guys have drank too much of the orange Kool-Aid.
It's fun to get all excited about a new bike but you have to asks yourself - do I really have the technical single track available to justify a Free Ride as my dirt bike?
Of all the trail available in NorCal. I would say 5% is Free Ride teritory. The rest would be more fun on a 350exc/f. Unless you are a very timid rider and always goes slow. Then the Honda may be just as good for you at 1/2 the price.
The forks are off a 85SX - kids bike.
They may work execlent on the slow technical stuff but take a 200lb dude in the whoops on then and the performance will be very Honda like.
As to comparing prices to a trials bike -- You can get a NEW GasGas for $5,500 While $1,000 less than a 35exc/f = $9,500 for a Free Ride in CA.
The Free Ride will be plated in the U.S. It's the only way they will sell any.
I have money and love trials 10x more than ripping down easy stuff on my 450exc... still I don't see dropping $10k on a Free Ride. Even thougn it would be perfect on my favorite 5%.