New Dirt Bike for Beginner
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grasshopper    10

I am 49 years young, about 85 kg and never have owned a motorbike and have virtually no riding experience. I have always wanted a dirt bike for the frill of it, but with no friends riding I have just not got around to it. Have my learners and getting my provisional in next few weeks.

I am now biting the bullet and weighing up which bike to buy. Single trail, dirt roads, forest trails, riding parks is where I am guessing I’ll be riding. But to be honest, not really sure of where, but it will be somewhere close to the Gold Coast where I live.

I have been educating myself with all the online reviews and think that I am on the right path, but with so much info available it is difficult for one without bike experience to siphon the truth from the BS and agendas. One example is whenever I have called a KTM dealer, and said I have been considering buying a Beta, every time they pretend they have never heard of Beta. This is obvious sales propaganda from KTM and that pisses me off.

Anyway, I have been set on 2017 Beta xtrainer or rr250. Reviews suggest that the 250 is easier than the rr300 and has better suspension than the xtrainer. The 2017 KTM 250 exc was considered but cost too much.

So I was seriously considering a new rr250 with 12 months rego for $11,600, $770 more than xtrainer at $10,830. Now I just found out that the local ktm dealer has the 2017 ktm 250exc on sale for $11,945 with 6 months rego.  The only downside seems to be the Mikuni carb.

Is the ktm worth paying the extra $400 over the rr250, and $1,115 over the xtrainer? Or should I just buy the easier to ride xtrainer? Can anyone set me free from this too hard decision?

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Greasa15    955

Welcome to dirtriderz. 

With not much or no dirt experience I would recommend the beta xtrainer. You could also look at a 250f or the 350,  both being four strokes which will be easier to learn on. I have never ridden the xtrainer but have heard that they can go to the same places as the 250 2st. 

A true beginners bike would be the suzuki DRZ 400. Softer suspension, being a dual sport but less power to keep you out of trouble. But it's all to do with experience, so if you can ride some bikes and that will give you more of an idea.

Maybe some dealers will let you test ride but down here its not common.

Good luck

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grasshopper    10
4 minutes ago, Greasa15 said:

Welcome to dirtriderz. 

With not much or no dirt experience I would recommend the beta xtrainer. You could also look at a 250f or the 350,  both being four strokes which will be easier to learn on. I have never ridden the xtrainer but have heard that they can go to the same places as the 250 2st. 

A true beginners bike would be the suzuki DRZ 400. Softer suspension, being a dual sport but less power to keep you out of trouble. But it's all to do with experience, so if you can ride some bikes and that will give you more of an idea.

Maybe some dealers will let you test ride but down here its not common.

Good luck

Was once thinking of the DRZ but the weight put me off

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PeteV    4,699

A drz250 would be a much better choice than the 400 . I wouldn't by a new bike as first bike .. The 250 4t's are all a bit heavy and 450s way to heavy I'd seriously look at a KLX150 like this
http://www.bikesales.com.au/demo/OAG-AD-12907834/2016-Kawasaki-KLX150BF-(KLX150F)/?cr=0&psq=%28%28%28Make%3D%5BKawasaki%5D%26Model%3D%5BKLX150BF%20%28KLX150F%29%5D%29%26%28%28SiloType%3D%5BDemo%20%26%20near%20new%20bikes%5D%7CSiloType%3D%5BPrivate%20used%20bikes%5D%29%7CSiloType%3D%5BDealer%20used%20bikes%5D%29%29%26Service%3D%5BBikesales%5D%29&pso=0&pss=Premium
to get you going then once your tired of it sell it .. The beta cross trainer is a great choice. Light, low seat. Not to aggressive.



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Gypsy501    2,944

Definitely a 4stroke mate for a beginner
2017 KTM 250f - 350fexc
2017 Husqvarna fe250 - 350
2017 Yamaha wr250f

At your age mate you deserve to spoil yourself and buy something your going to love just staring at her in the garage.

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PeteV    4,699

Gypsy is probably right the 4 strokes are much easier to ride.

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Greasa15    955

Would the xtrainer be as easy to ride as a 250f?

Only put up DRZ as your from qld with road reg only. If you plan on commuting then you have to look at it. Bit it seems like it will be for fun so an enduro would be the way to go.

I bought a wr450 when I'd been on dirt for a year and should have bought the 250. I think if your 6ft plus then go a 350, if not buy the xtrainer.

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millsyswm300    28

swm 310 is a great bike ( re named husky ) , i picked mine up for a  dash under 9k. coming from a fair few years off and a 450 before that, it was a perfect to get back into it.

the dealers also have a new tune for these bikes which picks up the bottom end, mine is getting done tomorrow.

IMG_20170310_191412 (1).jpg

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BIGGIE    1,730

plenty of options out there.

 

id suggest a mid bore, either 250, 300 or 350 and agree with the others a 4t would be easier to begin with.

 

unless youve got your heart set on a brand new bike id go a second hand, these things drop in value quite quickly and since you havent ridden before it might not be something you stick with long term (hope that isnt the case but its an unknown).

 

Happy shopping :D

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5EXC    2,356

I bought my first bike at 41 , KTM 350 brand new .

One of the best decisions I have ever made .

It was great learning on the new bike because it had not been modified to suit another rider to what ever they thought was right to change .

4 stroke for sure  250 or 350 EXC .

I would recommend a low seat too for a beginner , its only 15mm but  that can make a huge difference to falling over or not when stopping on un even ground.

Don't modify the suspension , only spend money on protecting the bike from falls 

Radiator guards and Bark busters

14 hours ago, grasshopper said:

Is the ktm worth paying the extra $400 over the rr250, and $1,115 over the xtrainer? Or should I just buy the easier to ride xtrainer? Can anyone set me free from this too hard decision?

Most of us are recommending a 4 stroke 

 

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Ausberg    372

Sounds familiar.
I got into riding again at 47, looked at a few different bikes from a husky 310 to a drz400, settled for a near new husaberg 350.
Been a fantastic bike to learn on, and still learning.
The advice I was given was make sure you buy a bike that will do what it needs to do, is forgiving and thus gives you more chance of staying upright.
That was mainly why I spent the extra dollars to learn on a Berg and not a DRZ.



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grasshopper    10
18 hours ago, Greasa15 said:

Welcome to dirtriderz. 

With not much or no dirt experience I would recommend the beta xtrainer. You could also look at a 250f or the 350,  both being four strokes which will be easier to learn on. I have never ridden the xtrainer but have heard that they can go to the same places as the 250 2st. 

A true beginners bike would be the suzuki DRZ 400. Softer suspension, being a dual sport but less power to keep you out of trouble. But it's all to do with experience, so if you can ride some bikes and that will give you more of an idea.

Maybe some dealers will let you test ride but down here its not common.

Good luck

Was once considering the 4 strokes but decided to steer clear due to the extra maintenance costs. DZR 400 seems too heavy to begin with.

 

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grasshopper    10
16 hours ago, Gypsy501 said:

Definitely a 4stroke mate for a beginner
2017 KTM 250f - 350fexc
2017 Husqvarna fe250 - 350
2017 Yamaha wr250f

At your age mate you deserve to spoil yourself and buy something your going to love just staring at her in the garage.

But what about the extra costs in servicing, as it seems to be an issue with a lot of riders?

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Gypsy501    2,944
But what about the extra costs in servicing, as it seems to be an issue with a lot of riders?

Don't believe everything you read mate, load of crap 4strokes cost extra to maintain.
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grasshopper    10
1 minute ago, Gypsy501 said:


Don't believe everything you read mate, load of crap 4strokes cost extra to maintain.


If you do the work yourself on a 2 stroke doesn't it work out a lot less $$$ compared to taking a 4 stroke to a shop for all the recommended maintenance?

 

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grasshopper    10
4 hours ago, 5EXC said:

I bought my first bike at 41 , KTM 350 brand new .

One of the best decisions I have ever made .

It was great learning on the new bike because it had not been modified to suit another rider to what ever they thought was right to change .

4 stroke for sure  250 or 350 EXC .

I would recommend a low seat too for a beginner , its only 15mm but  that can make a huge difference to falling over or not when stopping on un even ground.

Don't modify the suspension , only spend money on protecting the bike from falls 

Radiator guards and Bark busters

Most of us are recommending a 4 stroke 

 

Servicing costs is only what turns me to 2 stroke

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grasshopper    10
15 hours ago, Greasa15 said:

Would the xtrainer be as easy to ride as a 250f?

Only put up DRZ as your from qld with road reg only. If you plan on commuting then you have to look at it. Bit it seems like it will be for fun so an enduro would be the way to go.

I bought a wr450 when I'd been on dirt for a year and should have bought the 250. I think if your 6ft plus then go a 350, if not buy the xtrainer.

I am 5'10. Sat on the 250 exc and had my toes touching ground, beta would be even better. Talk of 4 stroke servicing costs scares me from buying a 4 stroke.

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Gypsy501    2,944

If you do the work yourself on a 2 stroke doesn't it work out a lot less $$$ compared to taking a 4 stroke to a shop for all the recommended maintenance?
 

Same same
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2t4me    4,245

I wouldn't let the costs of servicing be your deciding factor either way mate. 

* 4t's have oil filters that need to be changed along with the oil but to counter that 2t's have premix that needs to be added with fuel.

* if you're not at all mechanically minded then with a 4t you will need to get a mechanic to do intermittent valve adjustments (I dont know how regularly!) but again to counter that you'll need to do top ends every 80 or so hours on a 2t.

* etc etc

In all honesty, as most of the blokes on here would likely attest to, the actual bike running costs are the cheap part of the sport - its the broken bits, tyres, protective gear etc that keep us in the bad books with our better halves!

 

As for bike choices, 2t or 4t, get what ever floats your boat the most - you're going to learn on whatever you buy and you're not going to have any bench marks to rate it against (maybe avoid bike swapping with others once you've got it!!).

What a lot of the guys have said is, in reality, very true - 4t's are "easier" to ride. In fairness, "easier" is probably not very accurate, what they are is more forgiving and in many circumstances require less rider input from a clutch and throttle perspective...

As my username would imply, I'm a little biased towards 2t's and I always swore I would never own one and had no interest what so ever in riding one. 18 months ago I did a 3 day ride down in Tassie (seriously, put it on your bucket list!) and late on day 1 I seized my engine, my choice from there was to either ride in the support vehicle for the next 2 days or hire a 350EXC from the tour operators. I chose to hire the 350 and as much as it pains me to say it I loved it. I think part of what stood out for me was just how forgiving (easy) it was to ride - the fact that I rarely ride more than once a fortnight probably made the ease part stand out more as it enabled some of my day 2 and 3 laziness to be covered up! 

Sorry, I digressed a bit then, anyways, back to your situation, don't be put off a 2 stroke due to warnings of them not being suitable for beginners or harder to ride. Today's 2 strokes are so so different to the light switch power deliveries of yesteryears motor crossers. Both the kato and beta's can have the power valves adjusted from a nice gentle hit to a wild quick hitting smile inducing hit - its up to you how you want it! Yes, as I've alluded to in my previous paragraph, a 2t will require a little more input from you but you're learning from scratch and everything is going to require input and trial and error! When you first get out there and you're cruising around the fire trails and tackling smallish hills etc in a beginners tentative style the clutch input and gear selections aren't really going to come into play. They (the clutch work and gear selections) will be more prevalent when you start tackling harder hills and obstacles and are trying to hold higher speeds through narrower tracks etc.

 

Now as for your choices of 2t's (assuming you stay on that path) don't fall in the trap of assuming that because the number is smaller that a 250 is easier to ride than a 300 as this is not the case. The 250's have less torque/low down grunt (or tractability) then the 300's, meaning that the before mentioned clutch control and gear selection is more important on the 250's than it is on the 300's (effectively what I'm saying is the 300's are "easier/more forgiving" when climbing etc than a 250 2t!). Yes the 300's have a bit more power and as such they need to be respected - but that goes for any bike, the right wrist has to be respected cos if your careless with it you'll get into trouble on ANY bike! The 250's are commonly described as a "revvier" bike that needs a bit more rider input to keep the revs up and keep it in its sweet spot.

For the record, I ride a 250 2t and by no means do I consider myself to be anything special on a bike and I am not a good enough rider to be consistently riding the bike "on the pipe", but I dont think its lacking in low down torque and dont really ahve any issue "lugging" the bike around and crawling up hills etc. However when and if this one is replaced it will likely be for a 300 as I'm only getting fatter, older and lazier! (or dare I say it, maybe even a 350!)

 

good luck and keep us all posted!

 

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grasshopper    10
1 hour ago, 2t4me said:

I wouldn't let the costs of servicing be your deciding factor either way mate. 

* 4t's have oil filters that need to be changed along with the oil but to counter that 2t's have premix that needs to be added with fuel.

* if you're not at all mechanically minded then with a 4t you will need to get a mechanic to do intermittent valve adjustments (I dont know how regularly!) but again to counter that you'll need to do top ends every 80 or so hours on a 2t.

* etc etc

In all honesty, as most of the blokes on here would likely attest to, the actual bike running costs are the cheap part of the sport - its the broken bits, tyres, protective gear etc that keep us in the bad books with our better halves!

 

As for bike choices, 2t or 4t, get what ever floats your boat the most - you're going to learn on whatever you buy and you're not going to have any bench marks to rate it against (maybe avoid bike swapping with others once you've got it!!).

What a lot of the guys have said is, in reality, very true - 4t's are "easier" to ride. In fairness, "easier" is probably not very accurate, what they are is more forgiving and in many circumstances require less rider input from a clutch and throttle perspective...

As my username would imply, I'm a little biased towards 2t's and I always swore I would never own one and had no interest what so ever in riding one. 18 months ago I did a 3 day ride down in Tassie (seriously, put it on your bucket list!) and late on day 1 I seized my engine, my choice from there was to either ride in the support vehicle for the next 2 days or hire a 350EXC from the tour operators. I chose to hire the 350 and as much as it pains me to say it I loved it. I think part of what stood out for me was just how forgiving (easy) it was to ride - the fact that I rarely ride more than once a fortnight probably made the ease part stand out more as it enabled some of my day 2 and 3 laziness to be covered up! 

Sorry, I digressed a bit then, anyways, back to your situation, don't be put off a 2 stroke due to warnings of them not being suitable for beginners or harder to ride. Today's 2 strokes are so so different to the light switch power deliveries of yesteryears motor crossers. Both the kato and beta's can have the power valves adjusted from a nice gentle hit to a wild quick hitting smile inducing hit - its up to you how you want it! Yes, as I've alluded to in my previous paragraph, a 2t will require a little more input from you but you're learning from scratch and everything is going to require input and trial and error! When you first get out there and you're cruising around the fire trails and tackling smallish hills etc in a beginners tentative style the clutch input and gear selections aren't really going to come into play. They (the clutch work and gear selections) will be more prevalent when you start tackling harder hills and obstacles and are trying to hold higher speeds through narrower tracks etc.

 

Now as for your choices of 2t's (assuming you stay on that path) don't fall in the trap of assuming that because the number is smaller that a 250 is easier to ride than a 300 as this is not the case. The 250's have less torque/low down grunt (or tractability) then the 300's, meaning that the before mentioned clutch control and gear selection is more important on the 250's than it is on the 300's (effectively what I'm saying is the 300's are "easier/more forgiving" when climbing etc than a 250 2t!). Yes the 300's have a bit more power and as such they need to be respected - but that goes for any bike, the right wrist has to be respected cos if your careless with it you'll get into trouble on ANY bike! The 250's are commonly described as a "revvier" bike that needs a bit more rider input to keep the revs up and keep it in its sweet spot.

For the record, I ride a 250 2t and by no means do I consider myself to be anything special on a bike and I am not a good enough rider to be consistently riding the bike "on the pipe", but I dont think its lacking in low down torque and dont really ahve any issue "lugging" the bike around and crawling up hills etc. However when and if this one is replaced it will likely be for a 300 as I'm only getting fatter, older and lazier! (or dare I say it, maybe even a 350!)

 

good luck and keep us all posted!

 

Thanks 2t4me for your thorough advice. Which bike would you advise me on between the 2017 KTM 250 exc or Beta rr250? KTM has less vibration and a lighter clutch but you can easily make beta clutch lighter, and beta is a bit lower which may instil confidence?

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2t4me    4,245

personal choice - what do you prefer, Red or Orange?!?!

in your situation I'd probably lean towards the Beta for a few reasons:

* Lower seat height

* Oil Injection - you don't need to pre-mix your oil

* Power Valve adjustment is all done with one tool - theres just a single bolt on the side that you wind in or out. On the kato they also have a bolt that can be adjusted but they come with 3 different springs which is where most of the adjustment is. these springs arent hard to change but its not something you would do mid ride.

* The Beta power delivery is reportedly less aggressive - more suited to us trail riders! (Don't worry, it can still be aggressive though)

* Mixed reports on the 17 Kato's in terms of jetting issues, reed block and air filter box issues etc. they are all things that you can rectify BUT with little to no bike experience and no established local network of riding buddies do you want to tackle them yourself?

 

I's also stronlgy recommend you add the 300 into your equation as well, yes they are a little dearer but as per my previous post it will be the more forgiving of the options in the 250/300 range! 

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grasshopper    10
9 minutes ago, 2t4me said:

personal choice - what do you prefer, Red or Orange?!?!

in your situation I'd probably lean towards the Beta for a few reasons:

* Lower seat height

* Oil Injection - you don't need to pre-mix your oil

* Power Valve adjustment is all done with one tool - theres just a single bolt on the side that you wind in or out. On the kato they also have a bolt that can be adjusted but they come with 3 different springs which is where most of the adjustment is. these springs arent hard to change but its not something you would do mid ride.

* The Beta power delivery is reportedly less aggressive - more suited to us trail riders! (Don't worry, it can still be aggressive though)

* Mixed reports on the 17 Kato's in terms of jetting issues, reed block and air filter box issues etc. they are all things that you can rectify BUT with little to no bike experience and no established local network of riding buddies do you want to tackle them yourself?

 

I's also stronlgy recommend you add the 300 into your equation as well, yes they are a little dearer but as per my previous post it will be the more forgiving of the options in the 250/300 range! 

Yeah those jetting issues seem to be a real pain.

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dazzrmx    860

I totally agree with everything 2t has said however you say you have "virtually no riding experience". This concerns me a bit as the bikes you are loking at will hurt you with a small amount of whisky throttle(lack of throttle control). It is much safer and easier to ride an under powered bike as a beginner and your confidence will grow in a safer/controlled manner rather than just scaring you and perhaps ending the pleasure on 2 wheels.

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