Best bike for woods and track riding?

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4/1/2020 7:54 PM

I’m looking for recommendations on a new bike. I’m an intermediate rider, I don’t race. I currently ride an 18’ CRF250R and love the bike, but it’s an entirely different animal in the woods. It’s also not set-up for the woods. I previously owned a KTM 200XC-W, and absolutely loved the bike. It wasn’t a blast on the track, but still rideable. I got the CRF because I wanted to stick to tracks only. But I’ve come to miss the woods, and 2-strokes in particular. Although I will give the new CRF some credit, it’s pretty snappy for a 4T. But it feels like a lot of bike in the woods. I’m also 5’6 and weigh 130, so It’s not easy to throw around like my 200.
I’ve taken an interest in the KTM 150’s, as I hear they’re much like the discontinued 200s but snappier. Which I like. But when compared to the price of a YZ 125, I’m undecided. I’ve always found Yamaha’s to be affordable and reliable. The new YZ125X is also a potential contestant, but they seem very 4T like. I don’t ride technical woods, I usually do single track and maybe some technical stuff but not much. Thats why a standard YZ125 with some upgrades might be better fit, on top of riding track. Or a KTM 150 sx/xc? I love riding the local tracks when I can, but want something that’s fun and easy to throw around. With the CRF I kinda just hold on lol. It’s not always fun at times because it just has so much power that you don’t really have to work for it. And what’s the fun in that? So what do you all think?

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4/1/2020 8:00 PM

Tc 250, yz 250 both do very well with some clicker adjustments on track and woods...

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4/1/2020 8:03 PM

Husky FX350 is right in-between your 250R and your 200 XC-W...

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

4/1/2020 8:07 PM

Those 200's still come up used. I'd jump back on one of those! (But you can't have mine; never selling it!)

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4/1/2020 8:09 PM

The tried and true YZ250 two stroke will do it all for you

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4/1/2020 8:12 PM

Yz250fx

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4/1/2020 8:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/1/2020 9:49 PM

i'm 75% MX, 25% faster trails/GNCC style offroad
have been on an array of two stroke 250's since the mid 90's. just switched to a husky fc350 a couple months ago, ZERO regrets. easily my favorite/most versatile bike i've ever had. there's a reason a lot of/most of the top guys in GNCC are on 350's...

TeamGreen mentioned FX350, thats basically same bike but with 18" rear, larger tank, slight diff susp settings. if i rode more mx, i'd go the fc route, fx route if i rode more trails...

maiden voyage @ big buck gncc
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4/1/2020 8:22 PM

YZ250’s are absolute beasts. I rode one, and it scared the crap out of me 😅 I could never ride one to its full potential. They’re a bit intimidating for me, but maybe one day.

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4/1/2020 8:50 PM

Betas 125/200 are really solid on mx and in the woods. It sounds like you want a 2 stroke, so I'd be checking the Beta or ktm/husky 150.
Like many have said a yz250 is really good for anything except hard enduro type riding. But if you're not comfortable with the power of a 250 then keep it in the 125-200 range. I ride a husky 300 but I absolutely love taking my old man's Beta 125 out and pounding some laps. I dont care what anyone says, a 125 is the most fun bike out there.

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4/1/2020 9:11 PM

If you are close to the Texas Panhandle (AMARILLO), I have a 2014 200XC-W with fairly low miles/hours.

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4/1/2020 9:16 PM

This. 250 X


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4/1/2020 10:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/2/2020 5:59 AM

currently sitting in my shop are;
2017 350xcf
2018 tc125
2015 300xc
2015 450sxf (snowbike)

i have a private track and ride probably 35%track and 65% offroad (everything from desert to extremely gnarly mountain single track)

i have previously owned a 450 2 other 350s, 4 300s a yz250 as well as multiple other bikes over the years that would not fit the vintage or bike you are looking for.

as of very recently, i was able to throw a leg over a '19 Beta 200rr and a 150tpi

first off, it sounds like you are really leaning to a two stroke so maybe my description of the 350 will not be of help to you and maybe it will.

to start off, the orange and white 250/300s and the 350s could nearly be thought of as fraternal twins. i have long said if austria quit producing one of them, i would be happy with the other. the 350 feels similar to the 250/300 in that it is about the snappiest 4st i have ever ridden and power output is similar. the difference is that the 350 has a powerband that feels about twice as wide. if you are willing to stretch its legs, the 350 will pull a gear for what feels like twice as long as the 300/250. the latest generation of 350s certainly makes more power up top than the 250/300 but in the middle they are pretty equal with the 250/300 having slightly more right off idle. the new gen 250/300s are game changers in vibration... they make the 350 feel like a paint mixer (not really but they really do have less vibes than the 350 which is saying a lot). the latest gen TPI 250/300s do feel slightly softer down low but make up for it in how seamless the power is and they do seem to rev a little better. in all honesty, the latest gen 250/300 tpi seem to be closer with each other in terms of power than they ever used to be. i still think i could tell them apart if i wasn't told which i was on but it is getting very close. i am planning on holding off for the '21 250XC to replace my 350 with. the only reason i am going to a 2 stroke is to change it up. i have gone 2st/4st/2st for the last 4 bike purchases. as a purebread moto bike, the 350 absolutely is a better bike if lap times are your main concern. in the gnarly, i'd give the nod to the smokers and everything in between it is a tossup.

i have owned a yz250 and have time on a buddy's 250x. unless you are planning to race moto exclusively, the x is a better choice and will do fine at the track. it is a little smoother and the power is a little more refined. its certainly not "pumpkin" smooth but it is improved. suspension settings on the x are also more refined for offroad... very similar to the XC line in terms of stiffness and maybe a hair stiffer. the yz is a purebread racer. its power is anything but refined compared to the austrian smokers but worlds smoother than say a CR250. it still hits hard but i was able to smooth it out with a flywheel and some head work for offroad, for MX the hit was fun... not faster, but really fun. the X feels similar to what i ended up with on my yz only with a little less juice. in all honesty, the blue bikes are a great value compared to the austrian scooters in terms of initial cost but i do feel like you get what you pay for. the orange/white bikes are at the top of the game in terms of 2 strokes.

betas- a great friend of mine has a 300RR and i recently got to throw a leg over a 200rr. the italian 300 motor is fairly comparable to other 300s especially when the powervalve is adjusted. they come jetted fairly well from the factory which cannot be said of the carb'd austrian bikes.... of pretty much any year that i have owned. the best way to describe the feeling of the bike is that it feels like 9/10s of a full size bike.... which is fantastic for me since i am 5'8". having said that, the beta 300 feels heavy compared to my '15 300 and even heavy to the TPIs. not worlds apart but noticeable. the stock forks are absolutely too soft for anybody that is fast even in a trail setting. having said that, my friend had his sachs revalved (he is a fast intermediate) and they work fantastic. i have even moto'd his bike at my place and while they are certainly a little soft on the track, they still would work just fine (they are magical in the gnarly). having said that, the chassis of the beta was not designed for moto and it shows. as speeds pick up the bike gets pretty twitchy and you certainly feel it's weight in the air. the front end has a vague feeling in fast flat turns as well.

200rr- i was really wanting to love this bike... after all i am half Sicilian and would love nothing more than to throw an italian bike in the shop. to be honest the bike was just meh. it certainly felt similar the 300 chassis/handling wise. having said that, it definitely felt lighter though not extremely light like a 125 (to be expected). to be honest the felt weight was the biggest let down for me as the motor was the highlight of the bike. it makes good torque down low especially for a small bore and has a great midrange. the only downfall is it doesn't rev like a small bore. it doesn't fall on its face like the 300 but it definitely needs more revs. having said that the bottom and mid are great and encourages you to be aggressive. vibes are low (though nothing like the CB austrian bikes) and stock suspension is still soft. if i had to pick between the 200 and 300 betas it would be the 200 hands down. it just needs to go on a healthy diet and gain some revs in the top end.... i could live with having to revamp the forks and shock. a steering stabilizer would be a must in anything but the slower technical stuff. the low seat height is a big plus for us vertically challenged.

last spring i bought my nephew his first full size bike (125sx) since he had outgrown his 85. i had forgotten how much fun it was to ride a small bore and talked about it so much, my wife surprised me with a left over tc125. i had planned to make this a dedicated track bike but it only took one trip into the mountains with the feather weight to realize how much i loved it on single track.... now mind you, not the gnarly stuff as the 300 and 350 are certainly more suited to that with the much needed bottom end. i left the engine stock other than starting off with a kehin carb as i chased my tail with the mikuni jetting. i had the kehin pretty well dialed but it definitely was ultra finicky with temp and altitude changes. i have had lectrons on my last 2 carbed 300s so i called kevin at lectron asking about the 125... he assured me i wouldn't be disappointed with them on the small bore so i tried it.... he was right. this little bike has more bottom than it should yet still screams up top and fuel milage went up as well (important offroad since it is spooled up all the time). so for offroad, the bike shines in all but the uber technical and even then it works just fine... it just wouldn't be my first choice. fast, semi fast and tight single track that isn't overly technical and the 125 shines! nothing like trying to twist the right grip off while in the trees! i am never tired at the end of a long day of offroad. on the MX track i feel like a kid again ringing this thing's neck. to be honest, i am probably more tired at the end of a practice day on the 125 because you have to be so busy and so aggressive on it but certainly less tired if i'm racing motos. my friend just picked up a YZ 125 for his son and i have spent about 2hrs on it. it definitely has more bottom end than a stock austrian bike and therefore i think it would be even better/easier to ride offroad but the orange and white bikes are certainly faster in outright power which is noticeable on the track.... i have to admit that a well jetted yz125 may be my favorite sounding bike when spooled up.

i just very recently got to throw a leg over a te150i. talk about a big surprise. that motor is bar none the smoothest small bore smoker that i have ever ridden and has WAY more bottom end than a small bore ever should. this bike is actually luggable... and i don't mean for a 125/150. it actually feels VERY similar to the beta 200 off the bottom. in all honesty, it feels very similar in outright power compared to the 200 with the exception that the 150 revs much further (this is how i hoped the 200 would rev). having said that, it still signs off much sooner than my 125 and even the 150SXs i have ridden. the down side is that while it certainly feels lighter than my 350 and 300s (and still feels significantly lighter than the beta 200), it is noticeably much heavier than my 125. also, the suspension while plush, is extremely soft (fairly similar to the beta RRs). if austria decides to build a 150XC tpi or a TX150i i will be first in line for one. while i don't think the engine makes quite as much outright power as the 125 moto version, it is certainly broader. i could still live with it on the track and think i would love it for offroad and certainly wouldn't be afraid to take it into the gnarly stuff. it just needs to lose some of the weight it has gained for me to be truly happy with it. after you ride a sub 200lb bike it makes everything feel heavy. having said that, with the right suspension mods, the TE could still be made to work as a light duty moto scooter and an offroad scalpel.

onto suspension. it is hard to argue with the SSS suspension. it just does everything well. having said that, where the AER/XACT may not be as plush on the small stuff while at the same time being able to gobble up large hits, the AER fork... in my opinion... is more versatile as a a dual purpose moto/offroad fork in its ability to be softened up or made stiffer depending on what you are doing. for instance, if i take my 350 to race moto, 151lbs and a few clicks of comp and rebound and i am super happy. for desert i'll back it down to 145lbs and for technical or mountain single track 134lbs and i am a happy camper. on my YZ i found a happy medium in valving and spring rates that worked good for moto and desert but was OK at best for the gnarly. don't be afraid of the austrian air fork... while it may not be quite as good of a specialist as the KYB, it is still a very good fork certainly more flexible for a do-it-all bike.... this is coming from a guy that was not happy with (but didn't hate) the pre 4CS forks.... and loathed is not a strong enough word for what i thought of my 4CS forks. the AER is pretty damn good in my opinion even without revalving.

my suggestion would be that if your primary concern is budget, the blue bikes are hard to argue with... if money is not a primary concern then a 250XC would be hard to beat especially if you have to have a smoker. also don't be afraid of a 350... it is an EXTREMELY versatile platform that is super easy to ride, has good bottom, a great mid and gets VERY serious if you hold that right grip to the stops. a side note the 350exc and XCF motors are completely different animals.

if a small bore smoker is calling you, make a decision on how much track and offroad you are doing. if it is mostly for the track or even 50/50 a 125 sx/tc would be hard to beat especially with how versatile the fork is. if you are leaning to more offroad but still a decent amount of of track time then the yz125x might be a good bet and you will have some money left over to get a little more out of the motor if you need it. the te150i would be a very good choice if you are doing mostly offroad with some moto sprinkled yet also wanted to play in the gnarly... that and you were willing to do a little suspension work depending on your skill level. the engine feels like it makes as much peak power as the yz125 with loads more in the bottom and mid... the sacrifice would be the weight penalty though i think a decent amount could be lost with removing the fender bracing/rear light and exchange the headlight for a number plate.

sorry for all the spelling and grammatical errors... i typed this on my phone. hope this helps you

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4/1/2020 10:40 PM

The YZ250FX is an awesome bike. Suspension is great out of the box. It would be high on my list for your weight.

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4/1/2020 10:41 PM

The yz350f

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4/2/2020 1:16 AM

Goon126 wrote:

The yz350f

This above. Yamaha... you listening???? Keith?

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4/2/2020 3:48 AM

Yz250 with a flywheel weight and Rekluse Auto clutch

Or, keep your current bike and put a rekluse on that. Makes riding woods so fun and easy. You can put it in 2nd gear, keep your hand off the clutch entirely then just aim and shoot

I had a 2013 yz250 2 stroke with a flywheel weight and rekluse and rode mostly moto but maybe 1/5 woods. Bike was perfect for both

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4/2/2020 4:49 AM

XC300

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4/2/2020 4:54 AM

Yz250FX is my do it all bike. Works great for GP’s and MX and hangs with all my 300 pals in the woods.

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4/2/2020 4:55 AM

observeroffacts wrote:

Yz250 with a flywheel weight and Rekluse Auto clutch

Or, keep your current bike and put a rekluse on that. Makes riding woods so fun and easy. You can put it in 2nd gear, keep your hand off the clutch entirely then just aim and shoot

I had a 2013 yz250 2 stroke with a flywheel weight and rekluse and rode mostly moto but maybe 1/5 woods. Bike was perfect for both

You don’t need a Rekluse🤦‍♂️ Band aid for bike skill.

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4/2/2020 5:10 AM

I'll throw in a vote for the 150sx.

I ride hare scrambles, in Michigan- intermediate class. When I ride for fun it's 70/30 single-track/mx. I've used a different bike each of the past three seasons- a YZ250f, a KTM 250xc, and a 150sx. This will be the first year I won't be changing bikes. I LOVE my '18 150sx.

TBCH, if I was riding majority track, a small bore two stroke would not be my pick. Last fall I went to a practice day with some track buddies and took my friends '19 350sx out for a sesh. It resulted in serious FOMO! But I know I wouldn't dig it for a 2-1/2hr HS, or 40mi of single-track.

With that being said, I wouldn't have much of problem going back to a YZ250f, in the woods either.

Also, as far as the SX v. XC or the F v. FX, the track bikes are always a better foundation for me. I almost always prefer the mx gearbox and definitely prefer to add only the woods goodies that I value. I'm a minimalist by nature, and it's much easier to get exactly what you like, and keep the weight down. Right now, my only mods are an FMF Tubinecore spark arrestor, FastWay full wrap handgaurds, a plastic skid-plate, carbon fiber pipe gaurd, and brake snake. Kick-stand, e-start, 18" rear wheel are things that only sap my energy, with minimal return.

Of course, it's all completely dependent on your geography. Michigan single-track is tighter woods, sandy soil, some roots, and minimal glacier churned rounded field stones.

Good luck.

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4/2/2020 5:12 AM

ham wrote:

YZ250’s are absolute beasts. I rode one, and it scared the crap out of me 😅 I could never ride one to its full potential. They’re a bit intimidating for me, but maybe one day.

Try riding one with a flywheel weight. Depending on the weight of the FWW, you can take most, if not all, of the hit out of it. Mine was set up for trails when I bought it, and it had an 11oz FWW on it. Really tractable, but almost too tame.

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4/2/2020 6:24 AM

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4/2/2020 9:13 AM

gjbruny wrote:

currently sitting in my shop are;
2017 350xcf
2018 tc125
2015 300xc
2015 450sxf (snowbike)

i have a private track and ride probably 35%track and 65% offroad (everything from desert to extremely gnarly mountain single track)

i have previously owned a 450 2 other 350s, 4 300s a yz250 as well as multiple other bikes over the years that would not fit the vintage or bike you are looking for.

as of very recently, i was able to throw a leg over a '19 Beta 200rr and a 150tpi

first off, it sounds like you are really leaning to a two stroke so maybe my description of the 350 will not be of help to you and maybe it will.

to start off, the orange and white 250/300s and the 350s could nearly be thought of as fraternal twins. i have long said if austria quit producing one of them, i would be happy with the other. the 350 feels similar to the 250/300 in that it is about the snappiest 4st i have ever ridden and power output is similar. the difference is that the 350 has a powerband that feels about twice as wide. if you are willing to stretch its legs, the 350 will pull a gear for what feels like twice as long as the 300/250. the latest generation of 350s certainly makes more power up top than the 250/300 but in the middle they are pretty equal with the 250/300 having slightly more right off idle. the new gen 250/300s are game changers in vibration... they make the 350 feel like a paint mixer (not really but they really do have less vibes than the 350 which is saying a lot). the latest gen TPI 250/300s do feel slightly softer down low but make up for it in how seamless the power is and they do seem to rev a little better. in all honesty, the latest gen 250/300 tpi seem to be closer with each other in terms of power than they ever used to be. i still think i could tell them apart if i wasn't told which i was on but it is getting very close. i am planning on holding off for the '21 250XC to replace my 350 with. the only reason i am going to a 2 stroke is to change it up. i have gone 2st/4st/2st for the last 4 bike purchases. as a purebread moto bike, the 350 absolutely is a better bike if lap times are your main concern. in the gnarly, i'd give the nod to the smokers and everything in between it is a tossup.

i have owned a yz250 and have time on a buddy's 250x. unless you are planning to race moto exclusively, the x is a better choice and will do fine at the track. it is a little smoother and the power is a little more refined. its certainly not "pumpkin" smooth but it is improved. suspension settings on the x are also more refined for offroad... very similar to the XC line in terms of stiffness and maybe a hair stiffer. the yz is a purebread racer. its power is anything but refined compared to the austrian smokers but worlds smoother than say a CR250. it still hits hard but i was able to smooth it out with a flywheel and some head work for offroad, for MX the hit was fun... not faster, but really fun. the X feels similar to what i ended up with on my yz only with a little less juice. in all honesty, the blue bikes are a great value compared to the austrian scooters in terms of initial cost but i do feel like you get what you pay for. the orange/white bikes are at the top of the game in terms of 2 strokes.

betas- a great friend of mine has a 300RR and i recently got to throw a leg over a 200rr. the italian 300 motor is fairly comparable to other 300s especially when the powervalve is adjusted. they come jetted fairly well from the factory which cannot be said of the carb'd austrian bikes.... of pretty much any year that i have owned. the best way to describe the feeling of the bike is that it feels like 9/10s of a full size bike.... which is fantastic for me since i am 5'8". having said that, the beta 300 feels heavy compared to my '15 300 and even heavy to the TPIs. not worlds apart but noticeable. the stock forks are absolutely too soft for anybody that is fast even in a trail setting. having said that, my friend had his sachs revalved (he is a fast intermediate) and they work fantastic. i have even moto'd his bike at my place and while they are certainly a little soft on the track, they still would work just fine (they are magical in the gnarly). having said that, the chassis of the beta was not designed for moto and it shows. as speeds pick up the bike gets pretty twitchy and you certainly feel it's weight in the air. the front end has a vague feeling in fast flat turns as well.

200rr- i was really wanting to love this bike... after all i am half Sicilian and would love nothing more than to throw an italian bike in the shop. to be honest the bike was just meh. it certainly felt similar the 300 chassis/handling wise. having said that, it definitely felt lighter though not extremely light like a 125 (to be expected). to be honest the felt weight was the biggest let down for me as the motor was the highlight of the bike. it makes good torque down low especially for a small bore and has a great midrange. the only downfall is it doesn't rev like a small bore. it doesn't fall on its face like the 300 but it definitely needs more revs. having said that the bottom and mid are great and encourages you to be aggressive. vibes are low (though nothing like the CB austrian bikes) and stock suspension is still soft. if i had to pick between the 200 and 300 betas it would be the 200 hands down. it just needs to go on a healthy diet and gain some revs in the top end.... i could live with having to revamp the forks and shock. a steering stabilizer would be a must in anything but the slower technical stuff. the low seat height is a big plus for us vertically challenged.

last spring i bought my nephew his first full size bike (125sx) since he had outgrown his 85. i had forgotten how much fun it was to ride a small bore and talked about it so much, my wife surprised me with a left over tc125. i had planned to make this a dedicated track bike but it only took one trip into the mountains with the feather weight to realize how much i loved it on single track.... now mind you, not the gnarly stuff as the 300 and 350 are certainly more suited to that with the much needed bottom end. i left the engine stock other than starting off with a kehin carb as i chased my tail with the mikuni jetting. i had the kehin pretty well dialed but it definitely was ultra finicky with temp and altitude changes. i have had lectrons on my last 2 carbed 300s so i called kevin at lectron asking about the 125... he assured me i wouldn't be disappointed with them on the small bore so i tried it.... he was right. this little bike has more bottom than it should yet still screams up top and fuel milage went up as well (important offroad since it is spooled up all the time). so for offroad, the bike shines in all but the uber technical and even then it works just fine... it just wouldn't be my first choice. fast, semi fast and tight single track that isn't overly technical and the 125 shines! nothing like trying to twist the right grip off while in the trees! i am never tired at the end of a long day of offroad. on the MX track i feel like a kid again ringing this thing's neck. to be honest, i am probably more tired at the end of a practice day on the 125 because you have to be so busy and so aggressive on it but certainly less tired if i'm racing motos. my friend just picked up a YZ 125 for his son and i have spent about 2hrs on it. it definitely has more bottom end than a stock austrian bike and therefore i think it would be even better/easier to ride offroad but the orange and white bikes are certainly faster in outright power which is noticeable on the track.... i have to admit that a well jetted yz125 may be my favorite sounding bike when spooled up.

i just very recently got to throw a leg over a te150i. talk about a big surprise. that motor is bar none the smoothest small bore smoker that i have ever ridden and has WAY more bottom end than a small bore ever should. this bike is actually luggable... and i don't mean for a 125/150. it actually feels VERY similar to the beta 200 off the bottom. in all honesty, it feels very similar in outright power compared to the 200 with the exception that the 150 revs much further (this is how i hoped the 200 would rev). having said that, it still signs off much sooner than my 125 and even the 150SXs i have ridden. the down side is that while it certainly feels lighter than my 350 and 300s (and still feels significantly lighter than the beta 200), it is noticeably much heavier than my 125. also, the suspension while plush, is extremely soft (fairly similar to the beta RRs). if austria decides to build a 150XC tpi or a TX150i i will be first in line for one. while i don't think the engine makes quite as much outright power as the 125 moto version, it is certainly broader. i could still live with it on the track and think i would love it for offroad and certainly wouldn't be afraid to take it into the gnarly stuff. it just needs to lose some of the weight it has gained for me to be truly happy with it. after you ride a sub 200lb bike it makes everything feel heavy. having said that, with the right suspension mods, the TE could still be made to work as a light duty moto scooter and an offroad scalpel.

onto suspension. it is hard to argue with the SSS suspension. it just does everything well. having said that, where the AER/XACT may not be as plush on the small stuff while at the same time being able to gobble up large hits, the AER fork... in my opinion... is more versatile as a a dual purpose moto/offroad fork in its ability to be softened up or made stiffer depending on what you are doing. for instance, if i take my 350 to race moto, 151lbs and a few clicks of comp and rebound and i am super happy. for desert i'll back it down to 145lbs and for technical or mountain single track 134lbs and i am a happy camper. on my YZ i found a happy medium in valving and spring rates that worked good for moto and desert but was OK at best for the gnarly. don't be afraid of the austrian air fork... while it may not be quite as good of a specialist as the KYB, it is still a very good fork certainly more flexible for a do-it-all bike.... this is coming from a guy that was not happy with (but didn't hate) the pre 4CS forks.... and loathed is not a strong enough word for what i thought of my 4CS forks. the AER is pretty damn good in my opinion even without revalving.

my suggestion would be that if your primary concern is budget, the blue bikes are hard to argue with... if money is not a primary concern then a 250XC would be hard to beat especially if you have to have a smoker. also don't be afraid of a 350... it is an EXTREMELY versatile platform that is super easy to ride, has good bottom, a great mid and gets VERY serious if you hold that right grip to the stops. a side note the 350exc and XCF motors are completely different animals.

if a small bore smoker is calling you, make a decision on how much track and offroad you are doing. if it is mostly for the track or even 50/50 a 125 sx/tc would be hard to beat especially with how versatile the fork is. if you are leaning to more offroad but still a decent amount of of track time then the yz125x might be a good bet and you will have some money left over to get a little more out of the motor if you need it. the te150i would be a very good choice if you are doing mostly offroad with some moto sprinkled yet also wanted to play in the gnarly... that and you were willing to do a little suspension work depending on your skill level. the engine feels like it makes as much peak power as the yz125 with loads more in the bottom and mid... the sacrifice would be the weight penalty though i think a decent amount could be lost with removing the fender bracing/rear light and exchange the headlight for a number plate.

sorry for all the spelling and grammatical errors... i typed this on my phone. hope this helps you

Great post!

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4/2/2020 9:13 AM

BoldNewGraphics wrote:

I'll throw in a vote for the 150sx.

I ride hare scrambles, in Michigan- intermediate class. When I ride for fun it's 70/30 single-track/mx. I've used a different bike each of the past three seasons- a YZ250f, a KTM 250xc, and a 150sx. This will be the first year I won't be changing bikes. I LOVE my '18 150sx.

TBCH, if I was riding majority track, a small bore two stroke would not be my pick. Last fall I went to a practice day with some track buddies and took my friends '19 350sx out for a sesh. It resulted in serious FOMO! But I know I wouldn't dig it for a 2-1/2hr HS, or 40mi of single-track.

With that being said, I wouldn't have much of problem going back to a YZ250f, in the woods either.

Also, as far as the SX v. XC or the F v. FX, the track bikes are always a better foundation for me. I almost always prefer the mx gearbox and definitely prefer to add only the woods goodies that I value. I'm a minimalist by nature, and it's much easier to get exactly what you like, and keep the weight down. Right now, my only mods are an FMF Tubinecore spark arrestor, FastWay full wrap handgaurds, a plastic skid-plate, carbon fiber pipe gaurd, and brake snake. Kick-stand, e-start, 18" rear wheel are things that only sap my energy, with minimal return.

Of course, it's all completely dependent on your geography. Michigan single-track is tighter woods, sandy soil, some roots, and minimal glacier churned rounded field stones.

Good luck.

I spent Saturday riding a 2020 TE150 TPi. Lots of fun but I love small bores and I’m usually faster on them in the woods. Threw a ton of big sand pit climbs at this weekend and surprisingly it can climb pretty good.

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4/2/2020 9:14 AM

MudPup545 wrote:

Super fun bike and the forks are much better on the 2020 model.

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4/2/2020 9:16 AM

gjbruny wrote:

currently sitting in my shop are;
2017 350xcf
2018 tc125
2015 300xc
2015 450sxf (snowbike)

i have a private track and ride probably 35%track and 65% offroad (everything from desert to extremely gnarly mountain single track)

i have previously owned a 450 2 other 350s, 4 300s a yz250 as well as multiple other bikes over the years that would not fit the vintage or bike you are looking for.

as of very recently, i was able to throw a leg over a '19 Beta 200rr and a 150tpi

first off, it sounds like you are really leaning to a two stroke so maybe my description of the 350 will not be of help to you and maybe it will.

to start off, the orange and white 250/300s and the 350s could nearly be thought of as fraternal twins. i have long said if austria quit producing one of them, i would be happy with the other. the 350 feels similar to the 250/300 in that it is about the snappiest 4st i have ever ridden and power output is similar. the difference is that the 350 has a powerband that feels about twice as wide. if you are willing to stretch its legs, the 350 will pull a gear for what feels like twice as long as the 300/250. the latest generation of 350s certainly makes more power up top than the 250/300 but in the middle they are pretty equal with the 250/300 having slightly more right off idle. the new gen 250/300s are game changers in vibration... they make the 350 feel like a paint mixer (not really but they really do have less vibes than the 350 which is saying a lot). the latest gen TPI 250/300s do feel slightly softer down low but make up for it in how seamless the power is and they do seem to rev a little better. in all honesty, the latest gen 250/300 tpi seem to be closer with each other in terms of power than they ever used to be. i still think i could tell them apart if i wasn't told which i was on but it is getting very close. i am planning on holding off for the '21 250XC to replace my 350 with. the only reason i am going to a 2 stroke is to change it up. i have gone 2st/4st/2st for the last 4 bike purchases. as a purebread moto bike, the 350 absolutely is a better bike if lap times are your main concern. in the gnarly, i'd give the nod to the smokers and everything in between it is a tossup.

i have owned a yz250 and have time on a buddy's 250x. unless you are planning to race moto exclusively, the x is a better choice and will do fine at the track. it is a little smoother and the power is a little more refined. its certainly not "pumpkin" smooth but it is improved. suspension settings on the x are also more refined for offroad... very similar to the XC line in terms of stiffness and maybe a hair stiffer. the yz is a purebread racer. its power is anything but refined compared to the austrian smokers but worlds smoother than say a CR250. it still hits hard but i was able to smooth it out with a flywheel and some head work for offroad, for MX the hit was fun... not faster, but really fun. the X feels similar to what i ended up with on my yz only with a little less juice. in all honesty, the blue bikes are a great value compared to the austrian scooters in terms of initial cost but i do feel like you get what you pay for. the orange/white bikes are at the top of the game in terms of 2 strokes.

betas- a great friend of mine has a 300RR and i recently got to throw a leg over a 200rr. the italian 300 motor is fairly comparable to other 300s especially when the powervalve is adjusted. they come jetted fairly well from the factory which cannot be said of the carb'd austrian bikes.... of pretty much any year that i have owned. the best way to describe the feeling of the bike is that it feels like 9/10s of a full size bike.... which is fantastic for me since i am 5'8". having said that, the beta 300 feels heavy compared to my '15 300 and even heavy to the TPIs. not worlds apart but noticeable. the stock forks are absolutely too soft for anybody that is fast even in a trail setting. having said that, my friend had his sachs revalved (he is a fast intermediate) and they work fantastic. i have even moto'd his bike at my place and while they are certainly a little soft on the track, they still would work just fine (they are magical in the gnarly). having said that, the chassis of the beta was not designed for moto and it shows. as speeds pick up the bike gets pretty twitchy and you certainly feel it's weight in the air. the front end has a vague feeling in fast flat turns as well.

200rr- i was really wanting to love this bike... after all i am half Sicilian and would love nothing more than to throw an italian bike in the shop. to be honest the bike was just meh. it certainly felt similar the 300 chassis/handling wise. having said that, it definitely felt lighter though not extremely light like a 125 (to be expected). to be honest the felt weight was the biggest let down for me as the motor was the highlight of the bike. it makes good torque down low especially for a small bore and has a great midrange. the only downfall is it doesn't rev like a small bore. it doesn't fall on its face like the 300 but it definitely needs more revs. having said that the bottom and mid are great and encourages you to be aggressive. vibes are low (though nothing like the CB austrian bikes) and stock suspension is still soft. if i had to pick between the 200 and 300 betas it would be the 200 hands down. it just needs to go on a healthy diet and gain some revs in the top end.... i could live with having to revamp the forks and shock. a steering stabilizer would be a must in anything but the slower technical stuff. the low seat height is a big plus for us vertically challenged.

last spring i bought my nephew his first full size bike (125sx) since he had outgrown his 85. i had forgotten how much fun it was to ride a small bore and talked about it so much, my wife surprised me with a left over tc125. i had planned to make this a dedicated track bike but it only took one trip into the mountains with the feather weight to realize how much i loved it on single track.... now mind you, not the gnarly stuff as the 300 and 350 are certainly more suited to that with the much needed bottom end. i left the engine stock other than starting off with a kehin carb as i chased my tail with the mikuni jetting. i had the kehin pretty well dialed but it definitely was ultra finicky with temp and altitude changes. i have had lectrons on my last 2 carbed 300s so i called kevin at lectron asking about the 125... he assured me i wouldn't be disappointed with them on the small bore so i tried it.... he was right. this little bike has more bottom than it should yet still screams up top and fuel milage went up as well (important offroad since it is spooled up all the time). so for offroad, the bike shines in all but the uber technical and even then it works just fine... it just wouldn't be my first choice. fast, semi fast and tight single track that isn't overly technical and the 125 shines! nothing like trying to twist the right grip off while in the trees! i am never tired at the end of a long day of offroad. on the MX track i feel like a kid again ringing this thing's neck. to be honest, i am probably more tired at the end of a practice day on the 125 because you have to be so busy and so aggressive on it but certainly less tired if i'm racing motos. my friend just picked up a YZ 125 for his son and i have spent about 2hrs on it. it definitely has more bottom end than a stock austrian bike and therefore i think it would be even better/easier to ride offroad but the orange and white bikes are certainly faster in outright power which is noticeable on the track.... i have to admit that a well jetted yz125 may be my favorite sounding bike when spooled up.

i just very recently got to throw a leg over a te150i. talk about a big surprise. that motor is bar none the smoothest small bore smoker that i have ever ridden and has WAY more bottom end than a small bore ever should. this bike is actually luggable... and i don't mean for a 125/150. it actually feels VERY similar to the beta 200 off the bottom. in all honesty, it feels very similar in outright power compared to the 200 with the exception that the 150 revs much further (this is how i hoped the 200 would rev). having said that, it still signs off much sooner than my 125 and even the 150SXs i have ridden. the down side is that while it certainly feels lighter than my 350 and 300s (and still feels significantly lighter than the beta 200), it is noticeably much heavier than my 125. also, the suspension while plush, is extremely soft (fairly similar to the beta RRs). if austria decides to build a 150XC tpi or a TX150i i will be first in line for one. while i don't think the engine makes quite as much outright power as the 125 moto version, it is certainly broader. i could still live with it on the track and think i would love it for offroad and certainly wouldn't be afraid to take it into the gnarly stuff. it just needs to lose some of the weight it has gained for me to be truly happy with it. after you ride a sub 200lb bike it makes everything feel heavy. having said that, with the right suspension mods, the TE could still be made to work as a light duty moto scooter and an offroad scalpel.

onto suspension. it is hard to argue with the SSS suspension. it just does everything well. having said that, where the AER/XACT may not be as plush on the small stuff while at the same time being able to gobble up large hits, the AER fork... in my opinion... is more versatile as a a dual purpose moto/offroad fork in its ability to be softened up or made stiffer depending on what you are doing. for instance, if i take my 350 to race moto, 151lbs and a few clicks of comp and rebound and i am super happy. for desert i'll back it down to 145lbs and for technical or mountain single track 134lbs and i am a happy camper. on my YZ i found a happy medium in valving and spring rates that worked good for moto and desert but was OK at best for the gnarly. don't be afraid of the austrian air fork... while it may not be quite as good of a specialist as the KYB, it is still a very good fork certainly more flexible for a do-it-all bike.... this is coming from a guy that was not happy with (but didn't hate) the pre 4CS forks.... and loathed is not a strong enough word for what i thought of my 4CS forks. the AER is pretty damn good in my opinion even without revalving.

my suggestion would be that if your primary concern is budget, the blue bikes are hard to argue with... if money is not a primary concern then a 250XC would be hard to beat especially if you have to have a smoker. also don't be afraid of a 350... it is an EXTREMELY versatile platform that is super easy to ride, has good bottom, a great mid and gets VERY serious if you hold that right grip to the stops. a side note the 350exc and XCF motors are completely different animals.

if a small bore smoker is calling you, make a decision on how much track and offroad you are doing. if it is mostly for the track or even 50/50 a 125 sx/tc would be hard to beat especially with how versatile the fork is. if you are leaning to more offroad but still a decent amount of of track time then the yz125x might be a good bet and you will have some money left over to get a little more out of the motor if you need it. the te150i would be a very good choice if you are doing mostly offroad with some moto sprinkled yet also wanted to play in the gnarly... that and you were willing to do a little suspension work depending on your skill level. the engine feels like it makes as much peak power as the yz125 with loads more in the bottom and mid... the sacrifice would be the weight penalty though i think a decent amount could be lost with removing the fender bracing/rear light and exchange the headlight for a number plate.

sorry for all the spelling and grammatical errors... i typed this on my phone. hope this helps you

Thank you so much! Lots of good information.

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4/2/2020 9:20 AM

Husky TX300

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4/2/2020 9:24 AM

crusty_xx wrote:

Husky TX300

Great Bike!

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

4/2/2020 10:31 AM

I’ve heard the 300s (KTM/Husky) are some of the best, most versatile bikes. But are they heavy? I like the small bores because they’re easy for me to throw around, and I feel much faster on them. I’m not sure how the weight would compare.

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4/2/2020 10:39 AM

I just got a new husky TX300i and it doesn't feel heavy at all to me. And holy shit does it rip haha! Haven't had it on a track yet but its a weapon in the woods. And with the air fork it makes it a bit more versatile for riding woods and mx. I'm quite happy so far even with the stock suspension.

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