Recommendation for 2nd bike???

19 replies to this topic
  • Mike955i

Posted December 05, 2005 - 03:12 PM


I've been riding a BRP for about a year now and I've just dual sported it. Love the power for DS uses, love it in the desert, hope to tour Baja next year on it but it just kicks my ass on tight, loose, technical trails. I did a ride this weekend that included some difficult climbs and lots of loose, deep shale and I ended up dumping the pig 5 times and that has me thinking about a 2nd bike and wanting some opinions from those who have been here.

I have every intention of keeping the pig but I really struggle with the following issues:
  • Weight
  • Seat height; 29" inseam means I'm constantly struggling for footing on rocky trails
  • Front end wash out - all the time!
  • Kick start effort when flooded; wears my ass out fast

I've ridden an XR400 and I know that bike would work but I'm also interested in the WR450 and KTM 400/450EXC. However, they *appear* to have the same seat hieght challenges the BRP gives me. Also, stated weights for these bikes are not that far from the BRP's stated 277 lbs; what gives? As for me, I'm about 280# geared up, 41 y/o with average skills. I'm just looking for something lighter, shorter and easier to ride in the steep, tight stuff. I appreciate any help.......Mike

  • ed_de_winters

Posted December 05, 2005 - 03:54 PM


Mike, I recently got a Husky TE510 (coming from a 650r). The husky is lighter, at claimed 238 lbs., and it has e-start. But it is just as tall as the BRP. And I don't have enough time on it to comment about front end wash-out, but it seems well planted. In my limited use, it is easier to use than the 650r in tight stuff. It doesn't have the low-down hit of the tractor-like BRP, but it has gobs of power not far off idle. The Husky dealer network isn't strong (though I have one near), but the newer models seem to be building a good reputation for quality compents and reliability. The 06s come plated from the dealer, which is nice especially here in CA. I'm not a dedicated brand guy, and like the brp immensely. But I think the 510 (or maybe the 450 if this will be a second bike) has much of what you seek, except for a lower seat. Ed

  • don87xr600

Posted December 05, 2005 - 04:07 PM



  • khelton

Posted December 05, 2005 - 04:11 PM


Cut the seat down , no one needs that much foam..if you do you are
" leaping tall buldings with a single bound".. I think Ceet can cut them down for you, can get an easier 2 inches lower that way.

  • J_Daniels

Posted December 05, 2005 - 04:42 PM


After manhandling the Pig in the woods for most of the spring and summer, I picked up a 99 CR125 for $1500. Best money I ever spent! Now I can enjoy the power of the Pig in the sand, and save wear and tear on my poor abused body when in the woods. Plusses of the little CR: kickstart it with a finger, super light, super cheap, and pretty durable. Also makes a great 2nd bike for the wife or buddies; it can go fast, but isn't scary.

  • TimBrp

Posted December 05, 2005 - 05:14 PM


I picked up a husky wr250 for the tight gnarly stuff. Found out I'm not much of a 2 stroke guy, missed the torque too much. I used to ride 60+miles of tight singletrack with the pig. You wanna talk BEAT. I'm currently looking into another bike also. A nice light 4 stroke. I love the pig, as most do here but... it has it's sore spots. You can run it through's a real 'do it all' machine but it will beat you up. Currently I'm eyeing the gas gas FSE450. It also has a 500 package too. Fuel injected, done right. Sharp looking bikes with all the goodies. Got a dealer in the area that sells them now and he hooks it up. We'll see.

  • Old_Man_Time

Posted December 05, 2005 - 05:17 PM


I am in your exact situation weight and height wise. Your not gonna find a good bike that will answer the short inseam problem. Lowering kits also effect the bikes handling and suspension. I have learned to put up with the bikes being tall. An E-start will go a long ways in helping you out specially when you find yourself holding the big XR up where its not so easy to kick it. I put a Baja Designs E-start on my XR650R and an Edelbrock carb which dealt with the hard starting issue after dumping it. It now starts 1st or 2nd kick after dumping and many times it simply does not die. Edelbrock is a good investment. I road the big XR for many years in the tight stuff and did just fine. The right tires will help you out. I found that a trials tire up front helps reduce the wash. Trials tire in the rear is great in the slow stuff but the trials tires cannot handle the abuse of the big XRs torque combined with speed on fire roads. I also installed an autoclutch which makes you feel like your cheating when riding the big XR in the woods. It makes everything easy.

This last summer I purchased a 05 KDX220 and boy did that bike surprise me. It is awesome in the tight stuff and it handles my weight just fine. Pretty inexpensive too.

But you might consider the KTM 200 or 300exc or several of the Motocross 250s would make good woods bikes (yz250 or KX250 or RM250).

If your set on another four stroke the 510 mentioned in a previous response are awesome bikes once they are set up right. And the fact that they are dual sportable makes them even more attractive.

I also own a 525exc which I feel is an awesome woods bike when you want to move a little faster in the tight stuff and it is a very desert worthy bike too.

At one time or another I have ridden all these bikes and find them all capable.

  • Husky_Forever

Posted December 05, 2005 - 05:19 PM


If it were four strokes for 06, the Husky TE 450 or 510. Both street legal out of the crate or keep them dirt only. :ride: If it were two strokes, probably either a KTM 300 or a Yamaha YZ 250. For the 2 stroke Yamaha 250, have the wide ratio gearbox swapped in and a lighting ignition. :p Standard replacement for all desert/Baja ridden YZ 250s. :applause: Steny

  • TimBrp

Posted December 05, 2005 - 05:23 PM


I saw a guy on Ebay selling leftover 04 husky TE450's for 3400 OTD, new. I was very tempted. If husky had a better following and parts demand, I'd have more of them. I guess that's partially the consumers fault

  • oldturtle

Posted December 05, 2005 - 06:24 PM


I have been going through this same situation from 93 to 01 while dual sporting my XR600 and then from 01 until now with the XR650R. Most of the early years I had several KDXs for the trail bike and they were great for me. In about 1998 I felt like a change so I tried a string of bikes including XR250, XR400, and then a KTM250EXC 2 stroke. I finally settled on needing both a KDX220 and a XR400 to go along with the XR650R. The XR400 and KDX220 are both perfect trail bikes for me and with my grandson turning 16 I like to have a bike to bring along for him to ride with me. Also the XR400 is green sticker and can ride year round but the KDX220 is red sticker so has limitations. The KDX220 is a much better trail bike for me than the very competition oriented KTM. There are some places where the KTM was faster but considering that the KTM was much taller and more tiring I just liked to ride the KDX better and maintenance of KDX was much simpler than the KTM.

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  • wr450fyamaha

Posted December 05, 2005 - 06:29 PM


yz250f, yz450f, crf250, crf450, ktm250f, ktm400f, ktm 450f, ktm 520, ktm525, kdx200, kdx220, klr300, ttr250?, kdx400. take your pick.

  • wr450fyamaha

Posted December 05, 2005 - 06:30 PM


wowa, kdx400? what am i thinkin, ment drz400 mah bad.

  • phuzz

Posted December 05, 2005 - 06:59 PM


I like my 250R. I'm 6'3"/220lbs

But there's also a slew of other bikes I'd probably enjoy as well.

  • xrslagfan

Posted December 05, 2005 - 07:09 PM


I had the exact same dilemma. 2 answers: Buy a Michelin S12 for the front tire. Best front on the planet, end of story. No more washouts!!

I bought a cheap 1997 Xr400 and spent last winter building the motor up to a 440 and perusing ebay for goodies. Love the bike for the goat trails, lotsa torque. reliable as a hammer! Feels like a 70% version of the brp in most aspects. Forks suck but lightweight oil and forkbrace do wonders.

Now the twisties fear me.

  • Mike955i

Posted December 05, 2005 - 07:45 PM


Wow, great response; thanks for all the opinions. I've got a line on an XR400 in great shape but I have to admit the 2-smoke MX'rs have caught my interest (but I've never ridden a 2-stroke in my life). I was suprised to see the KDX 220 in the mix, not because I doubt it but because I've always liked the idea of that bike. I just wonder how well it would haul my carcass around. Appreciate the comments on the YZ upgrades, that's what I'm looking for.

I'll keep the S12's in mind, although I was leaning towards the X11 trials because of all I've read about them. Thanks again for all the comments!

  • XRsteve

Posted December 05, 2005 - 08:45 PM


I have both a XR400 and a 650L. The 400 is the tallest bike I've ever owned, but thats ok for me because I'm 6'1". If you can get used to the height, it is a really good trail bike. As far as 2-strokes go, I think that the KDX220 is the most reliable and great for trails. Both do have kickstart only. I haven't actually ridden one, but the DR-Z400 might be closer to what your looking for.

  • blueridge

Posted December 05, 2005 - 11:16 PM


I have both a BRP and a DRZ400. The DRZ does trails better, for sure. Strangely, when ridden on trails the DRZ feels MUCH lighter than the BRP, even though it weighs 30 lbs more. The a/m support for the DRZ is great, and the mileage is so much better than the pig gets.

  • oldturtle

Posted December 06, 2005 - 07:53 AM


One very good feature with both the KDX200 and 220 is that they are very docile, almost 4-stroke like, when totally stock. Then as you gain skills and feel the need for more power all you need to do is toss on a $160 pipe and rejet and it is a whole new bike, much more power but retains nearly all the easy to ride bottom end. This is by far the easiest way to go if you choose to 2-stroke.

  • roosterk0031

Posted December 06, 2005 - 08:25 AM


I replaced my 87 xr600 w/ a 04 KDX200, quite pleased with the power, its no xr600 but quite quick still. Ease of starting and around 230-240 lbs it is very nimble. I'm sure the KTM200 that are extremely common in competetions are better, but I'm not that good. Still haven't adjusted to leaving a smoke trail, once warm trail is very minor. David

  • Husky_Forever

Posted December 06, 2005 - 08:44 AM


I'm about the same size as you, and I agree, the pig's not the bike for the woods during the winter months..Got a cracked helmet to prove it!
Picked up an '04 250 exc rfs about a year ago- man, like riding a bicycle in the woods..sweet. :applause:
Posted Image

Nice trail! Would love to ride that someday. Steny

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