Re-entering the MX world

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3/12/2017 7:21 AM

Hello all!

I'm new here to the Vital MX forums. I'm hoping to get some help deciding which bike would be good for me.

Brief background about my experience. I was riding in the mid 90s. I had a Honda XR70 first, and then a KTM 65. I had one when they first came out in the mid 90s. I got out of motocross after a while, but I would now like to get back into it.

Currently, I am 29. I'd like to get a motocross bike, but I'm not sure what to get. For now, I am looking at used bikes to make sure I still enjoy it before dumping a lot of money into a new one. I've looked at a couple used 125s and 2-stroke 250s. I've never made it to either class when I used to ride. I'm from the 90s, two strokes are what I know and what I'd prefer unless someone can convince me otherwise. I know there isn't much of a difference between a 125 and 250 in terms of dimensions, but there is a difference in weight and engine size. Considering I'm about six foot and weigh about 190 pounds, what would be the best bet for me? In terms of weight, I think I'm right between a 125 and 250, but I'm not sure if a 250 would be too much bike to start with considering it's been a very long time since I last rode.

I know there are other bikes out there other than motocross bikes. I want to stick with a bike tuned for motocross in case I want to get back into racing.

Sorry for the long post. Thank you everyone in advance for your help!!


3/12/2017 8:22 AM

I would pick whichever color or bike that you really want regardless what others or magazines say. A 250 2 stroke or four stroke would be a better option given your size...imo. All the bikes these days have their "issues" and none are without some sort of quirk or alleged mechanical problem. I would try a 4 stroke since you haven't owned one and personally I think they are alot of fun for the average rider as they are much easier to ride fast than a 2 stroke. I would be more concerned on making sure whatever you buy is in solid mechanical condition regardless of 2 or 4 stroke etc. Good luck in your search.


3/12/2017 8:40 AM

Find a 2006 or newer Yamaha YZ125. You dont need a 250, speed will come later. Get the suspension setup for your weight. While it may sound like an "old" bike, its almost the exact same bike they still make for 2017 so parts are easy to get. They also hold their resale value better than most 125's because the suspension is awesome and the bike is liked by pretty much everyone.


3/12/2017 8:43 AM

Was about to post the same as above. Buy a YZ125 to build skills/confidence. If you have some riding ability leftover, a detuned YZ250 might not be a bad way to go either.


3/12/2017 8:48 AM

I would look for a used 2-stroke 250. In my experience, the best used bikes are the ones with the least aftermarket parts added to them. A 2-stroke 250 will be easy to maintain, and should hold its value well when you go to re-sell it.


3/12/2017 8:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/12/2017 8:52 AM

I was 190 a year ago and had plenty of fun on my yz 125. I would start there. Theyr affordable and maintenance is easy. Of you aren't mechanically inclined you can figure out how to rebuild the thing easily. A four stroke might be another story. The 250f power is smoother and easier, so that's the trade off.

I had a 2001 yz 250 before that and it wasn't really fun for me because it was so fast.


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3/12/2017 9:57 AM

Thank you all very much for your comments! I'm glad to see pretty much everyone has mentioned a YZ125 because that's what I've been looking at. I've looked at some options and was wondering what everyone thought.

Option 1:

Option 2: (This one is a 2000...seems kind of old.)

Option 3:

Option 4: (This is actually a 2006 YZ250F. There's got to be a catch with the price.)

Option 5:
(This is a 2001 CR 125. Given no one mentioned CRs, I'm assuming there must be a reason.)


3/12/2017 10:05 AM

CR125's are notoriously slow. I had an '01 CR125 and an '01 RM125 and the difference in power was significant.


3/12/2017 10:14 AM

mnoble0902 wrote:

Hello all!

I'm new here to the Vital MX forums. I'm hoping to get some help deciding which bike would be good for me.

Brief ...more

Do you have any buddies that ride? Possibly a local private track or something of that nature? My advice would be to see if you could test ride one or two bikes if you have the chance. It sounds like you're exactly the same height and weight I am ( I'm almost 6'-1" and 185 - 190lbs ). I've been back on the 250 2 strokes about 2.5 years , and have loved every minute of it. But I'm also coming off ( on and off actually ) the 450F's.

I think maybe it is all up to you in the end , but you could start on a 125 , spend some time on it and see if it's what you're looking for....if not , sell it ( you won't lose really any money ) and then get a 250. Better to start out on something slower and more predictable , until you get used to being out there.

Last note : If you truly love the riding , you have plenty of time to try many bikes over the years....just have fun with it. You don't have to stick with one bike forever. Test the waters my friend.


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3/12/2017 4:41 PM

@jeffro503, unfortunately I don't. A few of my friends used to race, but they have stopped and no longer have a bike. Thank you for your comments. I think for now I will look at 125s.


3/12/2017 5:05 PM

mnoble0902 wrote:

@jeffro503, unfortunately I don't. A few of my friends used to race, but they have stopped and no longer have a bike. Thank ...more

Smart choice, can't beat the "fun factor" of a 125.


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3/12/2017 5:12 PM

A great bike in between the 125 and 250 is the KTM 200. The 2008-2009 200XC model is a really good bike. It's considered an off road model but handles MX fine. It has a close ratio six speed transmission, closed chamber forks and no rear linkage. Not as much work as a 125 to keep in the powerband and has more low end pull. I've had a couple of them. I wish they'd update the motor and re-release them.


3/12/2017 5:43 PM

Get yourself a good used '06 + 125 and call it a day. If you find you're not into the sport you'll have no problem reselling and for more than likely the same price you purchased it.

Best investment you can make when getting back in the sport. Relatively cheap to buy and if you don't like it you sell it for the same price you bought it. Essentially not wasting any money at all.

Plus they're an absolute blast to ride. Honestly you don't need a 4 stroke unless you plan to compete at the highest level of the sport and at 29 that ship has sailed. Ride and/or race for fun. Have a blast meeting new people and enjoy those moments. After all life is all about experiences. Shoot the shit with your new riding buddies at the track and who gives a shit if you end up first or last. Battle with your friends and have fun bragging to them that you beat them or get picked on because you got lapped. Either way you put it you'll have fun and that's all that really counts in the grand scheme of things.

Have fun!


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3/12/2017 6:24 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/12/2017 6:26 PM

Good post / thread.
Im 31 and just re-entered the MX world. Had a bevy of 125's and 250F's. All Honda... I am 5'11" and about 175lbs. I went cold turkey, no bike or riding at all for 4 years. Too many concussions, mostly from Ice Hockey. I was in my early / mid twenties and wasn't willing to "back it down" for safety.

I race / rode for about 13 years, mid pack novice rider were my fastest days. I contemplated going back to a 125, just because of the ease of riding and fun. I had the chance to ride a 125 again before I bought and was just kind of left wanting a little more. There is upside and downside to the 125s. If you can ride a 125, you can ride anything, they are light and fun to dig into turns and blast.

That being said, for someone about my size, they require a lot of work and the versatility is limited to a certain extent. In the end I went for a used KTM 250 T. The bike is certainly more power than I need, but I also dont have to work so hard for it. Top ends will be few and far between, unlike the 125. Both are simple and inexpensive, tho. With the 250, it has more power than I need all the time, I just dont have to ride it as hard to have fun and go fast. I feel like its much less work, the power is a little more exhausting, but I dont have to ring it out and batter clutches to go fast.

I guess its very much dependent on skill level and intent of riding. If you feel OK with the power and extra weight of the 250T, I think its a better go in the long run. You size and weight are pretty much what they have in mind when the make 250Ts.


- When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro

3/12/2017 7:18 PM

I vote option 2. Option 1 is nice but way overpriced. You don't want that old 4T. And you want a YZ that's 06 and up.

Make sure to Google the shift stopper issue and ask about it to the owner. You might need to make sure, although it seems like they all would have come apart by now.

I have an 06 and I am smaller than you are. But they rip. If you run out of steam on that, you'd be seriously rolling, so I'd go with a 125 for sure.


3/13/2017 6:53 AM

Everyone here has been very helpful!! There are a lot of good suggestions from everyone. I definitely don't have the desire to compete at the highest level, so I'm glad to see some have said a four stroke isn't necessary. I just want to do this to have fun and make some friends. I will continue to look for '06+ YZ125.

I guess another question I have is about the difference between 125s and 250s. Obviously power and speed, but I'm kind of getting the impression 250s are actually easier to ride?