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Old 01-25-2014, 07:14 AM   #1
Noreaster OP
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Reconsidering re-entering the sport. (kinda long but I could use advice from experien

A couple hers ago things started to go wrong. I bought a bike. A 2005 KTM 450 EXC. It needed to have the suspension re-done but it was winter so I blew it off until the spring when the bike wouldn't start. We had a new baby in the house so the bike kinda took a back seat and even though I worked on it half-heartedly off and on after that, I never got it running again. The nest spring I fell off the V-Strom and that set of a series of unfortunate events that had me sidelined from life for almost a year. Then we moved. Then it was winter again and so it's been a couple of years since I rode any thing and I want to get back into the swing of things, as it were. OUt to the shed I went, in the bitter cold, to try to get the 4-fiddy up and running.

My dear, blessed, thoughtful and beautiful wife watched this process for all of a week and declared that it was time for me to "go get a new bike". And by new she meant new, not new to me.

I am 46 years old, 230 pounds and about 5'11". Before my break, I was riding about ten years, but before that I hadn't swung a leg over a bike since I was a wee lad. So, as a result, I do NOT have 30-40 years of riding experience, despite my age, and I never developed the skill set that young riders do. I have ridden several thumpers over time. KLR650, DR650, A KTM 250 exc turned into a 350 (that I particularly liked but sold because we were having a baby) and the bike I had longer and enjoyed the most: a 2003 DRZ400s. The only "dirt bike" of them all was the KTM and it lasted only a few rides.

What I decided that I want to do is get a "dirt bike". JUST a dirt bike. I want to ride it dirt bike places. Wide trails and weekday practice session on the MX track to start. Maybe start doing some group rides with the local club or even try to do a J-Day race or NETR event. Ultimately, I plan on keep plugging away at my 450 and making that my dual sport bike.

What I was thinking was that I want a two-stroke bike.I have been toying with the idea for years, just never pulled the trigger. Color choices become limited to White Blue and Orange at that point. Size and style choices? Throught the roof! Where I have kind of settled is in the 250-300 XC range. I rode a 300 EXC for a spin around the block once, a could/few years ago but I didn't let it rip as it was some one else's Bike (trail bike, race bike, way to get to and from work bike: not the kind of thing you bin on a test-ride). So, I can't really pick between the two.

Then doubt creeps in. Should I just get a WR350? CRF250x? Cheeper than the KTM, no oil/gas mixing… I can stay away from all the temptations that a headlight brings if I get any leftover 250f of any color, any where. And save a boat-load of cash. (penny wise-pound foolish: that's how I roll). Maybe puss out and get a 230? How about do an end-run around the "New Bike" mandate and get an old, air cooled 250 trail bike or YZ125 motocrosser? (except that I am afraid the the mandate has a secerate expiration date locked some where in her head).

"Get whatever you want" is a horrible thing to say to a fat kid with ADD but that's the place I'm in . Please help.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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You have a KTM you are going to get to know perhaps better than you wanted too. Keep it in the family, get a KTM 2 stroke (don't underestimate the 200).

On your 450 - get a new battery and clean the carb properly as a first step.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
Noreaster OP
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Originally Posted by SRG View Post
You have a KTM you are going to get to know perhaps better than you wanted too. Keep it in the family, get a KTM 2 stroke (don't underestimate the 200).

On your 450 - get a new battery and clean the carb properly as a first step.
In the process! Much better than I wanted to!
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'The typical DS rider buys a bike and leaves it in a shed for 4 years before listing in on craigslist with 600 miles and "ran when parked".' Navin
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:44 AM   #4
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that KTM450 will do anything you want to do. but a 250 or 300 KTM would fit the bill nicely I have a 98 200SXC the first year they truly came out. there have been many advances since then it will run with any 250 they are great super lite bikes. the other bikes are good but KTM is the best right out of the box..
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #5
Noreaster OP
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Just seems like a bike like that is writing a check my ass can't cash. I don't want to look like one of those guys who thinks he's "pro" because he has good gear and crap skills.
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'The typical DS rider buys a bike and leaves it in a shed for 4 years before listing in on craigslist with 600 miles and "ran when parked".' Navin
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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the great thing about getting a bike that you know has goodies that are above your skill is the better you get the better it will work under you. the adjustment on on is great and you can soften it up to start out and stiffen it up as your skill improves.

but Jap bikes are good, and will probably do anything you want them to do, KTM is just far above them the day they roll off the floor.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
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First thing I would do is fix the 450. It sounds like that is the bike to fit your needs actually and the reason you made that purchase to begin with. Take it down to your local shop and get an estimate for all the repairs if you can't or don't want to mess with that yourself and just see what you're dealing with there.

Once the 450 is running, you can assess your current needs, skill level, riding ability and all that. If it is not fitting the bill, you can always sell it or trade it in as opposed to just letting it rot in the garage. An '05 still has some value now but the longer you let it sit it's just getting older.

You switched gears at one point from a DRZ and EXC to a YZ125. Doesn't sound like you have had much experience at all on a 2 stroke mxer and it would be a drag to buy a bike and hate the way it felt because 2 strokes feel different than 4 strokes. If you decide a 2 stroke is what you want, I would hesitate in buying a 125. At 230lbs you are pretty darn heavy for those motors to lug you around an mx track. A 250 2 stroke or a 450f is probably gonna be your best bet there.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
Noreaster OP
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Originally Posted by TJVandal View Post
First thing I would do is fix the 450. It sounds like that is the bike to fit your needs actually and the reason you made that purchase to begin with. Take it down to your local shop and get an estimate for all the repairs if you can't or don't want to mess with that yourself and just see what you're dealing with there.

Once the 450 is running, you can assess your current needs, skill level, riding ability and all that. If it is not fitting the bill, you can always sell it or trade it in as opposed to just letting it rot in the garage. An '05 still has some value now but the longer you let it sit it's just getting older.

You switched gears at one point from a DRZ and EXC to a YZ125. Doesn't sound like you have had much experience at all on a 2 stroke mxer and it would be a drag to buy a bike and hate the way it felt because 2 strokes feel different than 4 strokes. If you decide a 2 stroke is what you want, I would hesitate in buying a 125. At 230lbs you are pretty darn heavy for those motors to lug you around an mx track. A 250 2 stroke or a 450f is probably gonna be your best bet there.
Yes mom.......

Of course you're technically "right" but the view of the glass half empty is this:

Two grand (roughly) to get the thing running enought to find out if any thing is wrong with it. Could be a sweet ride, could be a pile of bolts. Either way, I'm riding a peddle bike until the whole project is finished, IF I don't loose interest and wander off again. I don't want to end up Throwing good money after bad.
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'The typical DS rider buys a bike and leaves it in a shed for 4 years before listing in on craigslist with 600 miles and "ran when parked".' Navin
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
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300xcw. Super motor (lug it or wide wfo), good suspension out of the box, and a button. Simplicity, light weight, and reliable. What else do you need?
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
Noreaster OP
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Originally Posted by motomike14 View Post
300xcw. Super motor (lug it or wide wfo), good suspension out of the box, and a button. Simplicity, light weight, and reliable. What else do you need?
An extra eight grand? I don't know why I'm fighting this so hard other than the only "good" dirt alike I ever had I bought brand new. All the others were crap in one way or another. Even the 350 that I like so much got a lot of post-purchase $$$$ dumped into it.

Back on (my own) track:
Why the xc- over the xc? The guy at the shop told me that the only real difference was the light kit and that the suspension was softer ( link less to I think).
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'The typical DS rider buys a bike and leaves it in a shed for 4 years before listing in on craigslist with 600 miles and "ran when parked".' Navin
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Noreaster View Post
Yes mom.......

Of course you're technically "right" but the view of the glass half empty is this:

Two grand (roughly) to get the thing running enought to find out if any thing is wrong with it. Could be a sweet ride, could be a pile of bolts. Either way, I'm riding a peddle bike until the whole project is finished, IF I don't loose interest and wander off again. I don't want to end up Throwing good money after bad.
Right on, I must have missed where you said how much you had into the original purchase and that you already established a dollar estimate for repairs. Sorry for this oversight, just trying to help.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #12
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The wife sez YES and you are still saying NO

My recommendation is that you look at the 200XC. Great bike that doesnt demand a whole lot out of you to be great. You can bounce it off jumps at a motocross track, race a local Hare Scramble, timidly ride some woods trails, or conquer gnarly single track. Its not over powering, but still has plenty of pull to do everything that you want. The 300 is the choice that most will say, as it is a great do-it-all bike too, but its a little more $$$ and quite a bit more power that you dont need as a "new comer". I think the 200 is the better choice to get your feet wet again. Plus it will make a great addition to your 450 and V-Strom (if you still have that) - essentially covering all the bases you might need.

The WR's or CRF's are great choices too, but you will be keeping your 450, so they will be too close to what you already have. A 2 stroke will be a fun way to relive your youth and less intimidating than a big thumper. Plus the maintenance is next to nothing.

Thats the bike that Im looking to add to my collection as well. I already have the other end of the spectrum covered - and the 200 would be fun as hell to have
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:55 AM   #13
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You are 46 with wife and kids. If i were in that position, i could not justify spending much on toys. 2 grand to get the KTM in running/ riding shape seems a little steep. I would get a second or even a third opinion on that. Given the fact you have a family, I do think the best approach for fixing your KTM is getting a shop to fix it. Fixing it yourself could be too much of a distraction from family time.

As switchblade wrote, your KTM will do what you want. TJVandel had some good advise too. Maybe i look at things thinking too much about $$$ involved. Most, not all but most things that have tires and a engine are a depreciating asset.

Yea, i know i am a buzzkill.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:14 PM   #14
wiswoodsguy
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Originally Posted by ChromeSux View Post
You are 46 with wife and kids. If i were in that position, i could not justify spending much on toys. 2 grand to get the KTM in running/ riding shape seems a little steep. I would get a second or even a third opinion on that. Given the fact you have a family, I do think the best approach for fixing your KTM is getting a shop to fix it. Fixing it yourself could be too much of a distraction from family time.

As switchblade wrote, your KTM will do what you want. TJVandel had some good advise too. Maybe i look at things thinking too much about $$$ involved. Most, not all but most things that have tires and a engine are a depreciating asset.

Yea, i know i am a buzzkill.
You forget the biggest factor of them all = HIS WIFE GAVE HIM THE GREEN LIGHT TO BUY A NEW BIKE !!!!!!!!!!!!

NEVER and I say NEVER let these rare opportunities pass - sadly, they dont happen that often.

Has anyone taken into consideration that this gentleman has busted his ass for the past several years to get him and his family to this point ?? That maybe he truly deserves to have something that doesnt represent why he goes to work everyday - something other than his wife and kids that can bring a smile to his face ??

Lifes too short - If you have the money - buy your happiness for once. Plus at 46 its a great mid life crisis excuse that he will sell in 4 yrs to people like myself that are wanting a good deal on a mid life crisis themselves
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiswoodsguy View Post
The wife sez YES and you are still saying NO

My recommendation is that you look at the 200XC. Great bike that doesnt demand a whole lot out of you to be great. You can bounce it off jumps at a motocross track, race a local Hare Scramble, timidly ride some woods trails, or conquer gnarly single track. Its not over powering, but still has plenty of pull to do everything that you want. The 300 is the choice that most will say, as it is a great do-it-all bike too, but its a little more $$$ and quite a bit more power that you dont need as a "new comer". I think the 200 is the better choice to get your feet wet again. Plus it will make a great addition to your 450 and V-Strom (if you still have that) - essentially covering all the bases you might need.

The WR's or CRF's are great choices too, but you will be keeping your 450, so they will be too close to what you already have. A 2 stroke will be a fun way to relive your youth and less intimidating than a big thumper. Plus the maintenance is next to nothing.



Best advice your gonna get.
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