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Old 07-30-2014, 06:38 AM   #1
DingerJunkie OP
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"Vinduro" selection assistance

Hello all. I am recreating my initial post, accidentally put in the wrong section of the board, over here. Hoping for sound input.

After an extended amount of time in the pure-street world (spent the last year with a Concours 1000), I'm headed back to the woods/trails. My son has caught the dirt bug, and I'm using this as motivation to hit the dirt again.

Here in MI, it is relatively simple to make most woods-capable bikes street legal (off-highway), so the goal is a 85/15 dirt-to-street balance enduro/hare-scrambles bike.

My budget, power preferences and sentimental nature means it will likely be a two-stroke from my high-school years, and I've found two that are finalists in the project selection sweepstakes. However, I don't have direct experience with either bike and am looking for feedback from people who have owned/ridden one or both in Eastern enduro conditions (woods, sand, mud, snot, two-track...no wide-open Western/desert conditions).

...and the candidates are...
- 1984 Yamaha IT490 (different porting/compression than YZ, so hopefully not the same blubber/ping issues that the motocross bike had)
- 1984 Husqvarna 500XC...last of the air-cooled, twin-shock Swedish woods smokers

Both are in the same price range. Both need detail stuff like plastics (relatively easy to get). Husky needs a kickstart spring replacement.

So, any advice on the selection? I'm also sort of torn on big-bore vs small-bore. One can be "lazier" with lots of power on-tap, versus having to "attack" with a smaller smoker, but all that power and weight may be more fatiguing in itself. Will I be beating myself to death with an open-class ride in the intended conditions?
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
davesupreme
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why are you looking at those old bikes, when you could get a nice KTM 300 pretty cheap $$$?
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
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Three reasons come to mind on the selection range.

First, I like to get my hands dirty with rebuilds/frame-ups, and this vintage would qualify.

Second, "cheap" is relative. I could buy either one of these, plus replacement parts, plus tools, and still spend less than $1500 for a very clean ride at this point. That same money would get me a KTM 350 in mid-nineties vintage that would still require a lot of work. The goal is to hit the trail with a nice, clean, personalized bike, plus riding gear, for no more than $2K.

Third is a matter of character. The elemental, simple nature of air-cooled smokers appeals to me. This is a minor point, though...I may consider a great find in the price range that is liquid-cooled/power-valved/disc-braked, but finding that with a woods-friendly power curve in my target price point will be very tough.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #4
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What is your son riding, how old and good of a rider is he and are you planning to mostly ride with him? Are you planning to ride a lot of single track or mainly more like snowmobile trails and logging roads? I would think the answer to these would help direct your choice. Also I wouldn't be too quick to think I could get a 30 year old Husky for free and have a good trail bike for under 1500. I think either bike would be fun to blast down a two track and if you are a decent dirt rider you may enjoy them but most guys would probably have more fun on a KDX200 in single track trails or riding with a kid on a TTR125 or such. Whatever you decide, your getting a dirtbike and that's great.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Son is moving out of his single-speed phase (PW-50) to a DS80 or equivalent. This means that I'll be "cow-poking" when with him and charging when I'm with "the dads."

Planning single-track, with sled-trail/two-track thrown in as needed to connect stuff. Knowing my son, we may even occasionally noodle around on vintage-grade/natural/amateur motocross tracks at paces we can handle (no huge doubles, endless whoops, etc...).

I cut my teeth on an IT200 in this environment, which was perfect for me as a 160-pound teenager. I'm now a 210-pound fortysomething, but I still expect to spend at least 30% of my time really needing aluminum bark-busters if you get my drift.

I've witnessed both the 500 (hill-started, no kick) and the 490 running, so I know the mechanical needs for either would be under $200 before plastics.

I'd really consider a KDX, RMX or mid-displacement Euro woods bike if I could find one at a reasonable rate here, but the class is very thin in the used market...can't see spending nearly $2K for a heavily-worn bike.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
chaddhamilton
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Dinger, I like your plan. Nothing like a quick run down the asphalt on a 2 smoke and then ducking into the woods. I've always liked the IT series(looking for a 200 myself), so I'd say go with the IT490. With drum brakes, I think you can still race the post-vintage AHRMA class with it and what a blast that would be as a CC/enduro bike.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
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A bike with a smaller cc engine is easier to ride than one of this half liter monsters. I have a 500 cc KTM, detuned down to 50hp, with is too street legal, it's dun in open space or riding supermortard but single trails are very physically. Instead riding trails with my 1988 260cc Beta or the 276cc 1980 SWM is much nicer.

The mentioned IT 200 would be on the right direction.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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Okay...a half-liter is abusive in the woods then? Sigh...must keep looking.

Yeah...the dream would be an IT200 that was close enough to intact that I could restore to "really nice" for $1500 or less. Still searching for a KDX KTM200 in the same shape/price range as well...
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:18 AM   #9
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Abusive, well its up to the riders physical strength. Fore already kicking the KTM os hard work while the smaller once start with ease, but its most about the environment you are riding in. Maybe even your single trails can be ridden with a 500cc as they are more strait out and not bumpy, are winded along any treest and filled with roots and loose stones ?

Reatoring a 200 - 250 or a 500cc there is depending the effort and cost no difference but depend how they perform a lot of difference.

BTW.: If you want to rode on streets I personal would look out for a 250 XR aorcooled mount some nice new upgraded suspension kits to the bike, get rid of everything that is not essentially needed and off I would go.

Two stroked dirt bikes on regular street ... there are easier ways of riding ...
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:58 AM   #10
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Go for the IT490.

My IT465 goes everywhere Team Orange goes and I do not have to worry about boiling over.

I use two head gaskets to drop the compression a bit.

Fit it with a Rick Stator lighting coil and an H4 light and she is ready for night rides.

Here is mine:
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:44 PM   #11
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Now that is what I'm talkin' about, Mr. Carts! Yeehah! The blacked-out plastic give that baby a real Mad Max feel.

BTW, in Michigan...especially in the UP or extreme Northern Lower Peninsula...one can literally stretch trail rides for days if you're able to pop off at the trail head and shoot a few miles down a two-lane to a local gas station, restaurant or motel. "Street-legal" there is only about not getting arrested when rolling into a small town between trail sections.

There's literally enough nearly-connected trail up here for the Cycle Conservation Club to run the "six days of Michigan" yearly, where one never rides the same trail twice for an entire week...running the "trace of the mitten."
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:27 PM   #12
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Its not blacked out, the number plates are not installed.

It is street legal with the turn signal relay mounted under seat.

I mounted a 10aH battery in the fender pack.

I ride mostly fire roads and connecting single track trails.

Nothing like a Big Bore Two stroke. I mostly ride around in 3rd gear which will pull from a walking speed up just about any hill.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Carts View Post
Its not blacked out, the number plates are not installed.

It is street legal with the turn signal relay mounted under seat.

I mounted a 10aH battery in the fender pack.

I ride mostly fire roads and connecting single track trails.

Nothing like a Big Bore Two stroke. I mostly ride around in 3rd gear which will pull from a walking speed up just about any hill.
\I ride a 91 KX500 in the tight woods of north east PA it's the best way to see the woods. Plenty of torque ANYTIME ANY GEAR, walk up hills in 3rd or 4th gear that make 200's piss their pants. I think you'd be happy with either of the 2 bikes you are looking at.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:33 PM   #14
stainlesscycle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DingerJunkie View Post
Will I be beating myself to death with an open-class ride in the intended conditions?
i think you will be man handling the open classers in any tight woods. i think most would agree an it200/kdx200 is more than enough for most woods riding. i ride an it200 regularly and have many many choices of big and small bore bikes. everything else sits, the it200 gets ridden. i'm 185lbs and am definitely not too big for the it200... i have been over 200lbs, and it still will drag you right along... they are spring a bit soft, so $150-$175 worth of springs makes a world of difference. i don't ride it on the street at all... but it'll go through eastern woods significantly faster than a big bore.. and they will pull 3rd gear from a crawl...
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:32 PM   #15
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There is some good advice here, but like Mr. Carts, I say go for the IT490 wonder machine!

These are superb bikes. Reliable, versatile... and fast, fast, fast!

Many parts interchange with the yz465/490. And since the yz465/490 was made from 1980 to about 1992 (WR500), a good deal of these parts are still available new. There is always plenty of used stuff for them on ebay too.

I like the Husky but the IT/YZ490 parts will usually be much less expensive and more plentiful than for Husky (as I am finding out).

OK, so here is my IT490 taken a couple of years ago.. note the street tag!



Next photo is in a cross country race last year. I admit it can be a handful in the tight stuff but it will smoke just about everything else out there if your in good enough condition to ride it.

Apparently I was not good enough as I only made it half way through before pooping out. But it was big time fun while it lasted!



I even motocrossed (in the old guys class) at Unadilla after have trouble with my yz465. This "trail bike" surprised plenty by finishing 3rd in both motos. And the "trail bike" smoked some pretty nice iron too.



Be warned though...suspension is a little soft for MX.




I only rode it on the street a couple of times and found the knobby tires to be too squirmy for me. It was tagged to be eligible for some Jersey endur o events I had my eye on. Honestly, it is not too good on the road.

Anyway, as you can tell, I am a very big fan of the IT490 and have had lot's of fun with mine.

Every time I ride it I am thinking "man this thing is fast". It has a broad and tractable power characteristic and really rockets out of the turns. It is very addicting .

Geezer Kevin
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My Vintage Husqvarna/Motocross Restoration Extravaganza Thread
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