125 2 stroke or 250f for a kind of beginner?

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7/19/2018 5:55 AM

Hey guys I am sure this has been brought up before but not my exact situation so I am gonna ask anyways. I am in my 30's getting into dirt bikes. Going to be riding trail and track probably a little more track than trail. I am coming off of a Harley for the past 12 years which means I have just developed bad habits for dirt bikes.

Should I get a 125 two stroke or 250f? I like that the 250 is tamer but I am scared of the mechanical problems that come with them. I do not have a ton of money to buy a bike nor constant rebuilding of engines and huge expenses like that. Little stuff is fine but I can't constantly be throwing tons of money into it. So, can an adult with little experience on a dirt bike handle a 125 2 stroke. Thanks in advance for your help!

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7/19/2018 6:05 AM

250 two stroke

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

7/19/2018 6:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 6:22 AM

The answers will probably overwhelmingly be a 125 because it will teach you better technique, but will be more difficult to ride well. That being said, a 250F will be easier to just pick up and ride easily. Your choice depending on your goals.

The 125 will be far cheaper over the lifespan of the bike FWIW. Have you considered a 150?

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7/19/2018 6:23 AM

My goals are to be able to get around a track comfortably. Which to me means not constantly worried of crashing and able to hit jumps confidently.

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7/19/2018 6:25 AM

125 or 150 two stroke....

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7/19/2018 6:25 AM

I recommend a 125 2 stroke to any newbie no matter the age (18+ that is). The 125 is easier to start off on then a 250 2 stroke and is cheaper to buy and maintain then a 250f. Also, even an experienced rider can hop on a 125 and have a blast so its not like you will really out grow it unless you want to start racing competitively, but even then most tracks have specific classes for them now so that isnt really an issue either.

If you do get a 125, I'd highly recommend the YZ.

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2018 crf450r
2015 Ninja 1000

7/19/2018 6:31 AM

125 or 150 two stroke for sure. It will teach you how to be a better rider and in the end is way more forgiving than the 250f. If you are just out there for fun you will love the 125 and how cheap it is to ride.

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7/19/2018 6:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 6:40 AM

A 2 stroke is a good way to start out. Used Yamaha’s are plentiful.

Riding a torque HD You are not used to having to having to wring out a 125 or clutching the hell out of it so it is harder to keep on the pipe than a 250.

Gary Bailey sell some good in structural videos that I would recommend

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7/19/2018 6:42 AM

250f is fun and easy to ride. A 125 is fun to ride. But a little more of a workout

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7/19/2018 6:51 AM

If money is no object and racing isn't in your future,
Get a new 4 stroke.

If you want to race, build skills first on a 2 stroke.

If you are a cheap ass like me get a 2 stroke.

Watch how to ride videos repetitively on youtube.

First bike mod should be suspension for your weight.

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7/19/2018 6:51 AM

Thanks so much for the replies. Would a 125 also be ok in the woods?

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7/19/2018 6:54 AM

Think of the 250F as a Harley and the 125 as a GSX-R600 (to put it in street terms...even though the 600 makes way more HP than a Harley!) tongue

Don't worry about any motor mods to either and for that matter don't worry about mechanical issues on the 250F. You're not going to push it hard enough to be an issue...provided you pick one up that hasn't been flogged. Focus on freshening up the suspension. Just an oil change/service makes a big difference.

Going with either will have it's pluses/minuses, but excellent choices to get back into the dirt bike world. You could make an argument to get your feet wet on an easy to ride / traction and torque friendly machine...look no further than a stock(ish) 250F. You want a little more of a challenge, demanding (and rewarding) proper riding technique, on a much lighter (and lighter feeling) machine...125's are the way to go. Try to ride both before buying...there's a big difference between them!

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7/19/2018 7:00 AM

250F.

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7/19/2018 7:05 AM

billtom wrote:

Thanks so much for the replies. Would a 125 also be ok in the woods?

125 will be fine. A little down on power but lighter and more nimble

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7/19/2018 7:05 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 7:13 AM

250F Pros - Strong, good torque, fast but predictable and planted. Cons- used 250f could be maintenance nightmare due for valves and head work etc., not heavy but a good bit heavier than a 125.
125 Pros- Light, responsive, easy maintenance, loads of fun, lots of good used bikes, and if you run 927 they smell awesome. Cons- they dance around a bit more, need clutch work out of turns, cant tackle deep soil like a 250f.
You can handle the 125 just fine. For the first few rides find a nice safe open field, scout a few hundred yards of it first then open it up a few times to see where the meat of the power comes in. You dont want to experience this for first time on a track or singletrack. Street is a bad idea with knobs. Too slippery. Be wary of headshake with dirt bikes at speed, theyre not intended for 60+mph even though they're capable. Whatever bike you buy, setting the suspension up for your weight is improtant. The 125 is a new animal compared to a Harley, but itll only take you a few minutes to get the feel for the motors character.

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7/19/2018 7:36 AM

Can't believe no one has said it yet.

Comes off Harley....worries about mechanical.

Personally, I'd recommend the 125. They're easy to learn to ride and if you get a good used one you can learn/ride it for a year or so and more than likely resell it for what you paid for or close to it. After that get a 250f if you feel you need more power.

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

7/19/2018 10:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 10:09 AM

It's very easy to buy a 250f that looks nice and perhaps even starts and runs well but is in need of major engine work - despite assurances from the seller that it's all been checked or rebuilt. This is, of course, the worst case scenario, but it is too common. The worst case scenario for a 125 is much less costly. I would buy the bike that is in the best condition for the money that you want to spend (if a 250f, from someone you trust that you know has maintained the bike well). You can be perfectly happy riding either.

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

7/19/2018 10:44 AM

250f all day

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7/19/2018 10:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/19/2018 10:55 AM

billtom wrote:

Thanks so much for the replies. Would a 125 also be ok in the woods?

What kind of woods riding? That's very vague. If you're going to do nice easy trail rides do yourself a favor and get a trail bike. If you want to do races/go fast/ride aggressively get a 125 or 250 two stroke. If you're a true beginner and just want to putt around the trails I would highly recommend getting a trail bike though. You don't need a race bike to have fun. Especially when you're just learning how to ride.

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7/19/2018 11:15 AM

I will do some trail riding probably more open trails not a ton of single track but I would mainly like to be riding motocross tracks.

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7/19/2018 11:16 AM

Another dumb question....is it possible to "take it easy" and go kind of slow on a 2 stroke until I get the hang of it?

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7/19/2018 12:22 PM

you can but its much easier to ride slower on a 250f. good and a bad thing. How big are you?

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7/19/2018 1:28 PM

6 feet around 170 lbs

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7/19/2018 1:29 PM

Used YZ125. When its time for a rebuild do a 144. Have fun and then buy a bigger bike later, but keep the small bore because they're fun.

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7/19/2018 1:39 PM

billtom wrote:

Another dumb question....is it possible to "take it easy" and go kind of slow on a 2 stroke until I get the hang of it?

I seem to have no trouble riding slow on a 125. Riding fast is the challenge!

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

7/19/2018 10:13 PM

BobPA wrote:

250 two stroke

This would be the correct answer.

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7/20/2018 2:24 AM

If you're a real beginner a 250 4stroke will not need a lot of maintenance. It needs quite a bit of maintenance if you ride it hard but if you're just starting out and you start with a fresh piston and bottom end you can easily put like 70 hours on it before it needs a new piston. Just make sure you regularly change oil (like every 5 hours) and keep your air filter clean.

There are a lot of horror stories about 250 4 strokes on here but honestly there's not a lot to worry about on your level.

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