Best bike for a newb interested in enduros and hare scrambles

Discussion in 'Racing' started by novaboy, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    What's everyone's thoughts on a Husky WR125?
    #21
  2. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    finicky, the power is either on or off, and you need to be a racing god that never lets go of the throttle
    to make them go fast...

    what the others said, go with the KTM 200, just my 2c
    #22
  3. Future ten

    Future ten Been here awhile

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    The 300 is an icon of a bike in the senior classes. A do it all do it anywhere bike. very capable on an MX track too. great bike.

    My last steel framed CR 250 (96) with a fly wheel weight and light kit was a weapon in the woods. any CR for that matter when set up.
    #23
  4. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    I'm racing a 2009 250xc right now (44 yo B rider) in 2hr hare scrambles. I strted on a RM125 (underpowered for my 240lbs) then a KTM 300 (great bike, it was just 10 years old and technology had gotten better) Any 200-250-300CC 2 stroke would be the way to go.The more modern the better. I'm really liking my 250 having raced it this whole year as it's a good split between power and weight.
    #24
  5. yeroc40

    yeroc40 Been here awhile

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    Sounds like similar advice I was given when I had the same question.

    Unfortunately, not being able to sell my current ride, I will be trying my first HS on a CRF450R.:yikes
    #25
  6. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    They say God loves children and fools..:lol3
    #26
  7. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    I friend of mine did his 1st 2 years of HS on a CRF450. He HATED it until he had the suspension revalved for HS. Once he had the revalve, he said that it was waaaaaay easier to ride. He was also less exhausted by the end of a race.

    So, if you can afford it, it could make for a more positive experience and it will certainly make it more enjoyable.
    #27
  8. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    So what you're all saying is a 200XC. LOL
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  9. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    or xcw.

    My daughter has a 200xcw, it is a TON of fun to ride.
    #29
  10. Motorhead1812

    Motorhead1812 n00b

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    At 42, I decided to get back into off road riding after a 25 year break. I wanted to do some enduros, hare scrambles and dual sport rides but did not want to break the bank $. Some observations: in the woods, weight is your enemy no matter how it is distributed. An XR will feel much heavier than most bikes and is underpowered to boot. A 450 or larger motor is a handful no matter how you try to tame it down. If you were racing MX or desert it is the go-to model, in tight woods and rocks it is a liability.

    A racing 4 stroke makes twice as much power as an XR but will require a higher maintenance level. Unless you know the history of a racing 4 stroke motor be prepared for a rebuild in the future. They can be expensive - like $2000 expensive when things go wrong. 250Fs get worked pretty hard to make power, eventually they need some attention.

    I went with a 2005 KTM 250 EXC/XC-W (2 stroke) for my first 2 years of racing. It had been raced by the two previous owners and had all of the enduro gear installed including an ICO enduro computer. 2 full years of racing and no isssues with the bike. It is plated and I have done 10 dual sport rides with it. Deadly reliable and it will go anywhere and through anything. Last year I ponied up for a new KTM 300xc. After 16 enduros, 11 hare scrambles and 4 dual sport rides I gave it a fresh piston and rings, new brakes and tires and I am ready to go at a full season again including 2 nationals already. I ride tighter east coast singletrack in a mix of sandy terrain and hardcore rock racing.

    I bought my 250 for less than half of your budget and did well with it. In the northeast US $4,500 should get you a 2009 or 2010 250 XCW or maybe a 300. The 2008 and newer KTMs use an updated chassis and some of them are electric start. I didn't think I would like E start but my 300s works flawlessly and button starting the bike in a mudhole or on the side of a hill makes life easier. 2009 and newer KTMs have better forks than older models. 2009, 2010 and 2011 XCWs are essentially unchanged so the bike condition should be the determining factor.

    The senior (40+) class is open to all bikes so resist the temptation to go big. Most Vet and SR racers are on 250s 300s and 400s because of the weight/power relationship. A 125 is too tiring to keep on the pipe all day, but that is the only way it will be competitive.

    Look for something that has been maintained and maybe has some extras - I use a steering damper and a Rekluse auto clutch both will make you smoother and faster with less fatigue.
    #30
  11. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Motorhead, thanks for the info, appreciate the first hand advice. I'm gonna start looking around for used or leftover KTM 200-300. There is a 2011 300XCW with only 25hrs in Nova Scotia, but the dealer wants $6999. So there might be a drive to the US later this spring.
    #31
  12. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    [​IMG]

    ...you can't go wrong with one of these beauties! :evil
    #32
  13. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    this is the correct answer.

    It's also far more important to spend your money on set up (ergonomics, suspension) to make the bike work for you than it is on anything power related.

    The woods KTM or Husvarna 4 stroke 250s are fine as is a well set up Yamaha. Keep in mind the KTM and Husvarna start as woods bikes, not MX bikes like all the Japanese bikes do. I know too many people with problems with Honda 250s to even consider one.

    Not being worried about twisting the throttle too much is a great thing - don't buy a 450.
    #33
  14. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    TRUTH! My previous dirt experience was an XR80 that I had when I was 13. I picked up a KTM200EXC(which I'm glad to see is the most recommended bike so far) and I must say the learning curve of going from pretty much riding just sport bikes to full dirt/single track on a 2 stroke has been a pretty interesting learning curve vs. what I expect a 4 stroke would have been. Whiskey throttling a 2 stroke or at least the one I have turns into complete insanity super fast if you're a newer rider. At least in my experience. But, other than that two strokes are FUN FUN FUN.

    [​IMG]

    Examples of whiskey throttle oops...

    Whiskey throttle going up a steep hill, first day out on the bike, hadn't adjusted the bark busters and punched a tree. No, I don't wear the ring while riding anymore.

    [​IMG]

    Whiskey throttle after getting squirrelly through a mud puddle ends up in a swan dive into a deeper mud puddle. Buddy wasn't following close enough to get the actual splash down but you get the aftermath.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/d4XvYHn_b3M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    But again, I love the 200. I actually was just getting it for trail riding but really glad to see this thread as I want to do some ATV Motion series races next fall. Thought about doing one this spring but no way do I think I'll be ready for it yet so going to take spring and summer and ride a bunch then see about doing some enduro/races in the fall.

    So far I've ridden dirt, rock, sand(sand is horrible), and did my first MX track last weekend. MX tracks are RAD for being able to work on various things as it's repetitive. Also jumping a bike for the first time was a good rush too. I was wanting to work on turning and trying to get faster with that so it was great to be able to know exactly what was coming with the next turn.

    Anyhow, fun fun stuff will be looking for any and all suggestions and recommendations for getting better at single track/enduro style riding. Mostly right now I"m out of shape, so going to start trying to do stuff to get into better shape, I think that will help a lot.

    Cheers! Nice to see other mid life crisis guys hanging it out there. I'm 39. :D
    #34
  15. cynicwanderer

    cynicwanderer Been here awhile

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    maybe, our mid-life crisis is just our "suppressed childhood" coming out and the bikes are a "therapy tool".... lol

    if the Baja 1000 is a ultra-marathon, then hare scrambles are mini-marathons.

    my buddy (also having a 2nd/3rd mid-life crisis) is considering a crf250x to scramble and enduro. the choice is mostly economically driven (neither of us can afford a newer KTM 200/300), he also has to buy trailer to haul bikes.

    anyway, keep us posted on your bike choice and racing experience. it would be nice to have an "old farts with mid-life crisis racing scrambles/enduro" thread here.
    #35
  16. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Great input Silver ! Keep riding with faster people and you'll get quicker. Sounds so simple but it works.

    p.s. you probably know about adjusting your power valve but if not it's worth leaning about.
    #36
  17. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    Hrm, negative not aware of power valve adjustments, that something I should look up on ktmtalk? Right now it seems to be jetted right. Suspension is a heavier suspension and setup for 200 pound rider which is pretty much perfect for me. It's got the stock hockey stick pipe on it but also came with an aftermarket FMF pipe. I've gotten mixed opinions on whether I should try that out or not.

    It had a tall Enduro Engineering seat that was just way too tall to learn with so I swapped back out to the stock seat. I'm probably going to swap back up as I get better as most riders say the tall seat is easier to grip with your knees.

    Hah, can we change this to "Newbies interested in enduros and hare scrambles" :D
    #37
  18. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Silver,
    Your able to adjust when the power valve opens on your 200. Basically you can decide at what rpm it "hits". KTM talk or owners manual(Youtube even has videos of it) would be the best place to look as the 200 is different than the 250/300. I've got mine set-up to open as fast as possible as with my 240lbs I need it bogeying like "now".

    A taller seat makes it easier to stand up when you need to. I'm only 5'9" so making mine any higher is a detriment.

    I wouldn't worry about the pipe for now.But if you do decide to bolt it on you shouldn't have to re-jet.
    #38
  19. toro618

    toro618 Long timer

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    At 49 with very little offroading experience C rider, I entered my first ever enduro race a few weeks ago...finished the 75 miles in 5 h 52 min...with a 2004 CRF250R because that's the only dirt bike I have. Now that I experienced what's involved in an enduro, I am thinking about a Husky WR144 with an auto-clutch.

    My crf does not have an auto-clutch, and I think out of the 450 riders I was the only one without it. Every bike I looked at had a Rekluse stamped on the clutch cover.
    #39
  20. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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    Congrats on finishing!!! I'll tell you I had a two 9th place finishes then a 5th in the beginning of the season this year. I put in a Rekluse and won the next two..so I'm a big believer!.
    #40