Dirt Bikes don't have to be cost prohibitive

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1/10/2018 11:16 PM

I agree the cost of new bikes has gotten a little out of hand, and it makes it very tough to cultivate new participation. But the reality is, it doesn't have to be.

My youngest son injured him self pretty bad back in June(broken radius, ulna, collarbone and ankle). He just got back riding over New Years weekend. He requested we just hit the desert for a bit to get back into the swing of things. I thought that was a great idea for him to get back on the bike in and easy, safe way. My only reservation was, I really didn't want to take my very fresh KX450F out to the dez to get bushwacked and timed out. This motivated me to pull down a thrashed, neglected, basket case '98 YZ250 I've had in my rafters for 15 years and get it ride worthy again. I figured if a '98 CR250 is good enough to podium straight rhythm, then a 98 YZ250 should be enough for a desert fun bike. Luckily I have the know how and the tooling to repair any part of a motorcycle, so that saves a lot on labor, but I figure I have about $2,500 total in building this bike. I kept my costs down by scouring Ebay and picking cost effective parts. Plus I get great support from my local dealer John Burr Cycles. In the end I ended up with a great desert bike. 18" wheel, skid plate, FWW, etc.. And the thing is now tight and fresh from front to back. The real kicker, the thing is a blast to ride!! Don't get me wrong, I love my 450 and wouldn't trade it for anything as far as the Moto track goes. But this bike off-road is just a hoot! I for sure like it better than my 450 in that scenario. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I have riding it. Long story short, getting involved in this great sport doesn't have to be too expensive. And we as a community should do a better job of celebrating and promoting the fact that there are cost effective routes into the sport. Cheers


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1/10/2018 11:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/10/2018 11:28 PM

The yellow looks dope!! I’m currently building 98 yz250 myself. Can’t wait to get it runnin.

Was that aluminum subframe a bolt on? Or did it need some modding?

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1/10/2018 11:24 PM

Killer bike!

Just to play devils advocate here though, you took a $2,000 dollar bike and put $2,500 more into it to freshen it up (with your own labor and know how). A new person to the sport wouldn’t be able to do that, and would likely have 5-6 k wrapped up in a similar project with the cost of the clapped out bike included. So now we’re back to fixing up clapped out bikes for 5-6k or buying a new leftover 250f for 6K. Either way, it’s throwing a newbie to the wolves IMO, and not at a cheap price point.

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Washed up moto and enduro weekend warrior.

1/10/2018 11:37 PM

Great looking bike.

I’d argue that bikes are cheaper than ever. You get a lot for your buck.

The issue is that wages havent kept up with inflation. And neither has the Anerican work ethic or skillset. Critical thinking died out a long time ago.

Bikes arent selling. It’s easy to blame the price. But I think tracks have gotten too intimidating to the noob. And most people just dont earn enough (which is different than saying bikes are too expensive).

Whatever the case, you’re intent of this thread is correct. A lot of fun can be had on a $2500 beater. I rode them for years in Glamis and never felt like I could be having more fun than I already was.

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Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: A loser, poser, lame-ass. One who talks the talk, but could never walk the walk.

One who talks shit and doesn't back it up, but rather ends up eating their shit in return. A fuckin 'tard.


Usage: Slang

1/10/2018 11:39 PM

MxKing809 wrote:

Killer bike!

Just to play devils advocate here though, you took a $2,000 dollar bike and put $2,500 more into it to freshen it up (with your own labor and know how). A new person to the sport wouldn’t be able to do that, and would likely have 5-6 k wrapped up in a similar project with the cost of the clapped out bike included. So now we’re back to fixing up clapped out bikes for 5-6k or buying a new leftover 250f for 6K. Either way, it’s throwing a newbie to the wolves IMO, and not at a cheap price point.

Thanks for the complement. For certain, there is merit to what your saying. It certainly isn't a turn key situation, but I think a new guy can get a decent ride together for $25-3000 with a little know how or guidance from vets like us. Decent meaning reliable and capable enough to have a really great time. For the record, I didn't start with a $2500 bike, I started with this(left these photos out originally as I didn't want this to be a build thread):

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1/11/2018 6:58 AM

Good deals are out there. Although the newer YZs get top dollar there is nothing wrong with a 2004 - 2007 KX, RM, or CR 125 or 250.

Rebuild suspension $200, Tires, $200, Bearings $200, Chain & Sprox $120, Wrench rabbit kit + labor $1000?(not sure about this one as labor can vary). You may need to rebuild wheels, or address cylinder wear but I think a person can get in the game for around $4000 - $4500 which is what a brand new 125 cost in 2003 when I started riding.


Also sometimes you just get lucky. I bought a cherry 2008 YZ250 off a guy in 2012. He initially wanted 4k for it but I didn't even respond to his email. He emailed me out of the blue a month later saying he would take $2300. Best damn $2300 I ever spent. Now I have a 2017 KTM 350 sitting in the garage and I think "man I wish I still had that $2300 YZ250" LOL.

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1/11/2018 8:24 AM

I agree the sport as a whole has alienated the market it is designed for(blue collar families) in some ways. Bikes such as the XR 200, KDX 200, and similar woods bikes aren't sold anymore new and good luck finding them on the used market because, once someone owns one, they keep them. Personally, I feel like two strokes are great if you already know how to ride but are scary to new riders. Having taught a number of my friends to ride, I feel like they love it but can't justify it. Perhaps small bore dual sport bikes that can be used street and on mild trails could get more people riding at at least some capacity. Tracks could also be argued as part of the problem because they aren't usually beginner rider or bike friendly. Our local vintage series used to have a play bike class(TTR, CRF, XR, DRZ lines) that did really well and I believe part of the success it had was the fact people could race simple tracks on cheap bikes and not get hurt. Personally I feel like projects like yours are great but there's larger issues to getting new riders. I don't know, still a bueatiful YZ! Have fun with it!

RCB33

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1/11/2018 8:46 AM

Jabroni wrote:

Great looking bike.

I’d argue that bikes are cheaper than ever. You get a lot for your buck.

The issue is that wages havent kept up with inflation. And neither has the Anerican work ethic or skillset. Critical thinking died out a long time ago.

Bikes arent selling. It’s easy to blame the price. But I think tracks have gotten too intimidating to the noob. And most people just dont earn enough (which is different than saying bikes are too expensive).

Whatever the case, you’re intent of this thread is correct. A lot of fun can be had on a $2500 beater. I rode them for years in Glamis and never felt like I could be having more fun than I already was.

I agree with everything he said.

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2013 CRF450R Factory Connection revalve, All stock.

1/11/2018 9:44 AM

I almost sold my '06 YZ250 a year ago and I'm glad I didn't. I probably could not have justified buying a brand-new bike with the amount of riding I do, and now I can clean up the old one and have a machine I really like anyway.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

1/11/2018 10:02 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/11/2018 10:05 AM

IMO, $3k, +40 (or more) hours of skilled labor, +support from a local dealer and apparently countless hours on ebay scouring deals, for a 20 year old machine is both cost-and-time-prohibitive for most people.

Bike looks good, though.

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1/11/2018 10:06 AM

MxKing809 wrote:

Killer bike!

Just to play devils advocate here though, you took a $2,000 dollar bike and put $2,500 more into it to freshen it up (with your own labor and know how). A new person to the sport wouldn’t be able to do that, and would likely have 5-6 k wrapped up in a similar project with the cost of the clapped out bike included. So now we’re back to fixing up clapped out bikes for 5-6k or buying a new leftover 250f for 6K. Either way, it’s throwing a newbie to the wolves IMO, and not at a cheap price point.

bought a clapped out 01 yz125 for $400. and put around a grand into it, and its good to go. and theres loads of bikes for less than $2500 that are ready to ride. i payed $3000 for a 06 yz250 that was damn near mint.. most people at the track assume it had less than 10 hrs..

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1/11/2018 10:45 AM

I picked up my '06 CRF 450R in frigging MINT condition for under $2K. Love that bike
and suits me just fine.

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1/11/2018 11:12 AM

If you have more pics, notes and helpful commentary...

You'd be helping others by making this a "Bike Build" thread and showing them how to "get'er done".

Excellent job on your Yellow Dezert Screamer!

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

1/11/2018 12:51 PM

chuckie108 wrote:

I agree the cost of new bikes has gotten a little out of hand, and it makes it very tough to cultivate new participation. But the reality is, it doesn't have to be.

My youngest son injured him self pretty bad back in June(broken radius, ulna, collarbone and ankle). He just got back riding over New Years weekend. He requested we just hit the desert for a bit to get back into the swing of things. I thought that was a great idea for him to get back on the bike in and easy, safe way. My only reservation was, I really didn't want to take my very fresh KX450F out to the dez to get bushwacked and timed out. This motivated me to pull down a thrashed, neglected, basket case '98 YZ250 I've had in my rafters for 15 years and get it ride worthy again. I figured if a '98 CR250 is good enough to podium straight rhythm, then a 98 YZ250 should be enough for a desert fun bike. Luckily I have the know how and the tooling to repair any part of a motorcycle, so that saves a lot on labor, but I figure I have about $2,500 total in building this bike. I kept my costs down by scouring Ebay and picking cost effective parts. Plus I get great support from my local dealer John Burr Cycles. In the end I ended up with a great desert bike. 18" wheel, skid plate, FWW, etc.. And the thing is now tight and fresh from front to back. The real kicker, the thing is a blast to ride!! Don't get me wrong, I love my 450 and wouldn't trade it for anything as far as the Moto track goes. But this bike off-road is just a hoot! I for sure like it better than my 450 in that scenario. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I have riding it. Long story short, getting involved in this great sport doesn't have to be too expensive. And we as a community should do a better job of celebrating and promoting the fact that there are cost effective routes into the sport. Cheers


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Photo

You are too smart for this forum. Get the fuck out immediately.

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1/11/2018 2:47 PM

BobbyM wrote:

You are too smart for this forum. Get the fuck out immediately.

LMAO, Bobby never fails.cool laughing

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Twist the grip off of it! Slinging parts and service at Marine World.

1/11/2018 3:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/11/2018 3:12 PM

BobbyM wrote:

You are too smart for this forum. Get the fuck out immediately.

You prefer to hang out with the ones that make you look smart? wink

Nicely done, Chuckie.

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1/11/2018 3:32 PM

RCB33 wrote:

I agree the sport as a whole has alienated the market it is designed for(blue collar families) in some ways. Bikes such as the XR 200, KDX 200, and similar woods bikes aren't sold anymore new and good luck finding them on the used market because, once someone owns one, they keep them. Personally, I feel like two strokes are great if you already know how to ride but are scary to new riders. Having taught a number of my friends to ride, I feel like they love it but can't justify it. Perhaps small bore dual sport bikes that can be used street and on mild trails could get more people riding at at least some capacity. Tracks could also be argued as part of the problem because they aren't usually beginner rider or bike friendly. Our local vintage series used to have a play bike class(TTR, CRF, XR, DRZ lines) that did really well and I believe part of the success it had was the fact people could race simple tracks on cheap bikes and not get hurt. Personally I feel like projects like yours are great but there's larger issues to getting new riders. I don't know, still a bueatiful YZ! Have fun with it!

RCB33

Yup. For farting around on the BLM land trails behind my house and maybe cutting some half-fast laps on the practice MX tracks carved out in the hills there, my lil' KDX is tough to beat. It's simple, easy to work on, parts are available and for a 58-year-old with no interest in going any speed faster than I'm willing to hit the ground at, it's perfect.

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1/11/2018 5:29 PM

RCB33 wrote:

I agree the sport as a whole has alienated the market it is designed for(blue collar families) in some ways. Bikes such as the XR 200, KDX 200, and similar woods bikes aren't sold anymore new and good luck finding them on the used market because, once someone owns one, they keep them. Personally, I feel like two strokes are great if you already know how to ride but are scary to new riders. Having taught a number of my friends to ride, I feel like they love it but can't justify it. Perhaps small bore dual sport bikes that can be used street and on mild trails could get more people riding at at least some capacity. Tracks could also be argued as part of the problem because they aren't usually beginner rider or bike friendly. Our local vintage series used to have a play bike class(TTR, CRF, XR, DRZ lines) that did really well and I believe part of the success it had was the fact people could race simple tracks on cheap bikes and not get hurt. Personally I feel like projects like yours are great but there's larger issues to getting new riders. I don't know, still a bueatiful YZ! Have fun with it!

RCB33

Bigfoot wrote:

Yup. For farting around on the BLM land trails behind my house and maybe cutting some half-fast laps on the practice MX tracks carved out in the hills there, my lil' KDX is tough to beat. It's simple, easy to work on, parts are available and for a 58-year-old with no interest in going any speed faster than I'm willing to hit the ground at, it's perfect.

Photo

That a "86 KDX? That was my first "big bike". Very good bike and it looks like yours is still in good shape. Congrats.

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1/11/2018 5:44 PM

lucas51 wrote:

That a "86 KDX? That was my first "big bike". Very good bike and it looks like yours is still in good shape. Congrats.

It's an '88, which is essentially the same bike. It was a "barn find." The guy I bought it from picked it up from the original owner last summer. He replaced the crumbly air-filter, changed the fluids and cleaned it up. I bought it from him last October. It still has the original tires! I've got some fresh Dunlops, a new seat cover (the old one cracked with age) and some fresh clutch plates that I'm going to install this weekend. Then all it will need is stiffer rear spring and fork springs and it'll be good for me for a lonnnng time.Photo

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1/11/2018 5:48 PM

Riding doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be on an ancient bike.
I had a 2005 yz125 for about 5-6 years. Picked it up for $2000 and only put a few hundred in it the whole time I had it.
My 2011 yz250 ready to ride with new tires and bearings for under $3500. Unfortunantly like the magazine builds I'm blowing more money on shiny bits. It's a sickness
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