I ride with some guys who race hare scramble on quads, we take a spring trip to WV (Hatfield McCoy Rock House trails) or KY (Black Mountain Harlan County trails) each year. Been accused of riding some effed up trails. I've been on a 500 Predator for about nine years but sold it last summer.
I tried a 250 2-stroke bike once. For about 500 yards. Didn't do anything dumb, but got and intimidated by it anyhow. I can't imagine that being a good bike in hard stuff unless your a very good experienced rider. Who would ever get to be one of those if you had to wrestle that thing though?
So I set out to find a cheap used dirt bike for riding the hard mountain trails with the quad guys, preferably one that would not a) attempt my murder constantly or b) make me fall asleep with boredom. I'm gonna crash, gonna have to heave it over stuff or drag it out of mud holes, so giant and heavy aren't on my wish list. Light and nimble are. I know how much muscle and endurance it takes to overpower a big 400 lbs quad and apply body english to make it travel quickly off road. Light and nimble, light and nimble, chant it with me, light and nimble.
"Skill. Do you have any? ... Get a bike that's way too much or your skills, and you'll spend most of the time in an advanced state of terror"
Haha!! Ok, I laugh because I KNOW how true that is.
The enormous MX bikes are out, that's just unwise. The trail bikes are real porkers, appear to be dog slow, and appear to have lousy suspension and often (gasp!) drum brakes! Jeez. If its pipe and slippers time, maybe I should just stay home.
But SMALL Mx bikes.... hmmmm...
The video in the first post here
really sums up the problems I see trying to have fun with a LARGE bike in difficult spots.
In this video of the 2009 Las Vegas endurocross
, I love the bike control these guys have. Watching them pick the front tire up and change lines, preloading the suspension, dabbing a foot, they are making the most of being on small bikes.
"Do this: Go out to the garage and find something that weighs about 75 lbs - a washing machine maybe. Pick it up. Do you really want to take that riding with you?"
Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, was famous for saying, "To go faster, just add lightness".
"One nice thing about [the KX100] is they're small. You can touch the ground easily. They're very light. And it makes it a lot easier to force your will on it, unlike a 250, for example."
"I must admit, the kx100 is a blast to ride. It's light weight and it will scoooot!!"
"I am 32 years old, 5'10 and 215lbs and have a blast on the little bike. It pulls hard enough and jumps great. I do have a 250 to get on when the extreme is what I need but if I had to have only one of the two, I would get the kx100. I ride for fun, not to race mx and the kx100 is just more fun."
Its growing on me.
"My wife currently trail rides a KX100 and loves it. We started out looking at the little trail thumpers ....They were all harder to start ... much heavier and had lousy chassies/brakes compared to the little KX."
I'm 160lbs and can run respectable laptimes on an outdoor, sand MX track where power is king. I'm faster on the ported 250cc two stroke of course, but still pretty quick on the 85 and 100 and always manage to pass more than a few 450's which is a hoot. If you've never ridden a small bore two stroke before be sure to sit way forward and cover the clutch the first time you whack the throttle just in case the rear tire hooks up ;) For reference, these things make as much power as a stock DR350 and literally weigh half as much.
You'll love flogging it about, really some of the most fun I've had on two wheels has been on the little bike.
There seems to be a theme here.
"Ive got an 06 modified KX100 playbike, set up for a bigger guy (me). Ive removed the stock peg mounts lowering them 2 inches, rewelded all new stronger than stock brackets. Installed taller and further ahead TAG Metals top triple clamp with renthal full size bars and its the funnest thing I ride! This bike will eat most big bikes lunch. I still cant believe how fast this little six speed is."
"I was definitely impressed with that little KX."
"It was actually fun being able to really ride that bike on the pipe. Overall, it really handle the technical woods stuff really well"
"She is still riding the heck out of it and loving it. My buddies ride it a bunch too! It is a seriously fun bike."
"Its more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than ride a fast bike slowly"
"I've been downsizing for years. Here in the east the bigger bikes are hard to ride in the woods-tire you out a lot. If you like to drop your bike picking up 50-75 extra big bore lbs sucks."
"Yes, you do have to work the clutch on the WR125 w/ bigger climbs but, I still have energy at the end of most rides and feel as though I rode the bike not the bike riding me!"
"That little bike [wr144] will just make you laugh inside your helmet all day long."
"The baby WR's are a hoot on the single track, no question. Folks that ride with me say I'm faster on them. Hard to have more fun on a dirt bike."
Summary of arguments from people who've ridden
the KX100: "Awesome. Surprising fun. Cant shake the feeling, want one".
Summary of arguments from people who've never
ridden the KX100: "Get a bigger bike, dummy. Your stupid."
So the KX100 is a balls to the wall mid-sized racer for a 110lbs 12 year old, but when fitted with a fat middle aged bloke its STILL got enough suspension and power to cough up a surprising trail performance in a compact easy to muscle package bettering most other bikes actually marketed for the purpose.