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Old 10-24-2014, 08:36 PM   #1
dhallilama OP
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talk me into (or out of) a "modern" 2 stroke woods bike

I've been on the fence with this for a while, which for me is odd... I've not been one to be accused of reasonable or well thought out decisions often.

Here's the thing: I'm thinking of setting my "only old bikes" thing aside and getting something modern. Not new, that's just crazy talk... more specifically something along the lines of a steel framed YZ250, '99 up. See, I made the mistake of riding a 2001... totally stock other than revalved for a 160lb rider. I just happen to be 160. Light, flick-able, tractable power, decent top end... really a comfortable/easy bike to ride.

Until now, the most modern dirtbike I've owned was a '89 KX500 (it was somewhat modern back when I owned it). I've had a ton of 70s and 80s bikes from 250s to open class, Huskys and Japanese mostly.

So while the steel framed YZs aren't all that super modern, it's still modern compared to what I'm accustomed to. For what it's worth, I've ridden a CRF450X, CRF250R, YZ450F, WR426F... all brand new at the time. Fun, but nothing I'd give a second thought about. Modern 4 strokes aren't my thing, not really into aluminum frames.

Me: in my 40s, been riding offroad for 35ish years. used to race (hound/hair, enduro, desert, mx, road, everything). do all my own maintenance/work, have built many, many bikes.

Where I ride: the wet Pacific North West woods, everything from putting around to going all out and hurting myself. occasional desert. plan on a good amount of my riding being with my (young) kids.

not necessarily set on a YZ250...
would like to stick with a steel frame...
100% set on 2 stroke...
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #2
dhallilama OP
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oh, and for what it's worth, I quite like the KDX200... but man it feels it's age and doesn't have the top end to keep me from getting bored with one being my primary off road bike...
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
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The yz250 from1999 on up was the best 250 of the time. They still feel good compared to new bikes. You can't go wrong with them for performance or reliability.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:14 PM   #4
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I ride older bikes. I get told all the time I need a newer smaller bike for the woods. I tried a few 250's and a 300. Nice machines. Then I rode a 2002 KTM MXC 380. That was a blast. Felt like a scaled down version of my YZ490.
Now I'm getting ready to put together a 2002 KTM EXC 380 for the woods. You might like one of those too.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
MATTY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhallilama View Post
oh, and for what it's worth, I quite like the KDX200... but man it feels it's age and doesn't have the top end to keep me from getting bored with one being my primary off road bike...
KDX 200 i would go with this sugestion, i like them a lot.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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Another vote for the steel framed YZ250. Very capable, anvil reliable, cheap. Tons of aftermarket support if you are inclined to mod it at all. Hella fun. Can't go wrong with it.

KDX200 are great too, YZ would be more fun IMO.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
dhallilama OP
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I do like the KDX200 quite a bit... but sure lacks the top end for open areas... and the suspension doesn't feel all that much more capable of any of the old bikes i'm used to.

No real experience with KTMs, but I've ridden a couple & liked them. Parts availability & cost are a bit of a concern, but I've not really looked into it much.

In the end a big part of what I get will be what shows up for a good price on the ol' Craigslist or a local swapmeet. Probably clapped out (read: cheap) and needing totally gone-through & rebuilt (read: no longer cheap... but i really like projects).
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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Another KDX200 endorsement here. It's my Alaska Swiss Army Knife! Outstanding in tight woods singletrack, quiet, low-end tractor, bulletproof motor. Mine is currently my only offroad bike and loving it.

Peace
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:40 PM   #9
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Check out Fredette Racing for info tips and downright love of the KDX. The Man won a bunch of ISDE medals on a KDX.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:13 AM   #10
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There are plenty of 200exc/xcw KTM's on Portland Craigslist. Find one you like that fits your budget and buy it.

Plenty of parts, plenty of aftermarket, and lots of em are plated.

Put a flywheel weight on and you will be unstoppable in the woods.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:17 AM   #11
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steel framed yz250 or ktm 200 as mentioned, or even the yz125... - these are the best price to performance out there. parts are easy, and plentiful. the ktm 200 and yz250 are holding value better than yz125 if you ever intend to resell, but all are available under 2k in decent condition - surely you well need to service all the suspension bearings/wheel bearing etc. it seems everyone i see for sale has trashed linkage.... any of these with a flywheel weight is formidable in the woods.. the yz have a 19" rear, if that makes a difference to you... a generation back is the it200 and kdx200 - both are excellent woods bikes, but some parts (especially oem cosmetics) are getting harder to find. i think the days of the $400 it200/kdx200 is quickly disappearing...
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:40 AM   #12
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The OP's thing about a top end to entertain would keep me off old pre-powervalve bikes. To me, any fairly recent KTM two stroke from 200-300 fits the description. They have a steel frame, good suspension, good brakes and an adjustable powervalve to put the hit where you want it. Being easy to plate in many states is just a bonus.

Nothing against the venerable old YZ250 except they stopped evolving a long time ago. These days the orange ones have crazy big aftermarket support. So you can make one into many different things for not a lot of money. I tripped over a virgin garage queen with full BD dual sport kit and plate for $2000 a few years back.

It is a riot to ride. Having somebody ride it always ends with them grinning like an idiot and often ends with an offer to buy it. But it stays in my garage until I trip over an e-start 250 or 300.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:57 AM   #13
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Do it they are awesome! I'd suggest not limiting to steel framed bikes. The ALU frames are bombproof and often come with much better suspension. Fwiw I raced a late steel framed yz for a while and never got it to handle really well. Lots of people like them but it just didn't work for me. I love my 2001 cr250r and am also a big fan of 2003 on KXs. The twin chamber 47mm forks on the CRs are heaven my when setup well. Really a big step ahead of the rest. I also really liked the 1990s CRs and KXs.

I love kdxs as well, but they are totally different from an MXer. New orange ones are nice BC they come set up for woods. They have almost caught up to the outright performance of a late 1990s map bike as well. :)
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:21 PM   #14
dhallilama OP
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after the suggestions and a bit of reading, the 200 exc is looking pretty tempting... used prices are somewhat decent, too. l

ktm 200... yz 250... looks like a couple good directions to go...
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Old 10-26-2014, 04:10 PM   #15
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A late CR500 with a FMF gnarly pipe. That thing on the right side of the bars really does make 'em rideable. If you find all those you listed lackluster it's the logical choice.

If you consider that too much a YZ250 w/ a 300CC big bore kit is a great woods/off road bike.
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