Looking to buy first bike.....


22 replies to this topic
  • AZNative

Posted February 22, 2006 - 12:38 AM

#1

Been doing my research and talking to friends. This will be my first bike so I am really trying to evaluate what will be best. I live in AZ at 7,000 and most of my riding will be done at that altitude. I am 5'9" 167 lbs and in excellent athletic condition. Most of my riding will be trail and forest service roads with a couple of miles on surface streets to get to the trail heads. While I have been on a couple bikes in the past I have never had them off road. I raced mountain bikes for years and know that some of those skills transfer, but there are many new skills to learn.

Hoping you all would have some good advice for me, so here are a couple of questions:

Would I get bored of the WR250 really quick and would it be too little engine at this altitude?
Is the WR450 way too much bike?
How does the 2006 ride on the trails and is it too big for tight technical stuff?

I could come up with a lot more questions, but those are the three basic. If you have any other comments I would be happy to hear them. All the reviews I have read on the 450's steer me toward the WR, not that the others aren't as good or better, but ya gotta like the price too.

If anyone on here is in the Flagstaff, AZ area, please let me know. If any of you live here and ride a WR450 I would definitely like to pick your brain! The biggest area of comparison I would like is the 250 vs the 450 up here.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
Dave

  • Idaho_Stas

Posted February 22, 2006 - 08:42 AM

#2

Welcome to the sport...

Can't comment on the altitude issues, but from what you are describing the WR line is a good place to start.

I have a friend who has gone through the same transition you are contemplating. Athletic, skilled mountain biker who had some experience with motorcycles... but not much off road. He went with a WR450 (I think his is an '04) and has not looked back. He is doing very well and having blast riding.

As long as you have had enough time on bikes to learn proper throttle control (to keep you out of trouble), I'd lean toward the 450.

Good luck :thumbsup:

  • dbailey223

Posted February 22, 2006 - 09:25 AM

#3

Go 450. As has been posted here before, you can always not twist the 450 throttle as much, but when you run out of throttle on the 250, there's nowhere else to go. And, the 450 doesn't hit like a ton of bricks unless you want it to do so.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted February 22, 2006 - 12:46 PM

#4

Go 450. As has been posted here before, you can always not twist the 450 throttle as much, but when you run out of throttle on the 250, there's nowhere else to go. And, the 450 doesn't hit like a ton of bricks unless you want it to do so.



Saying "don't twist the throttle as much" is like only drinking half of your beer instead of buying the light beer.

Lets be honest, if you have the 450, you WILL twist the throttle. You WILL open it wide up. Curiosity WILL get the best of you.

What will hit like a ton of bricks is your body onto the ground. I hope you land in soft stuff. You will get to know your othorpedic specialist real well. That 450 can be scary fast, even for experienced riders.

I would be more concerned about this being your first bike. If you were already a street rider and had mastered throttle control, then I would think you could go with a bigger bike with no problems.

But... while you are learning how to operate the bike and gaining some experience (it will take some time) you might better off riding the 250 for a couple of years or until you gain about 40lbs.

Get the WR250, or even something tamer than that as a very first bike. Believe it or not, the 250 will easily get your adrenaline pumping.

Am I trying to scare you a little, sure! But, consider my statements along with all of the others and make an "informed" decision.

Good luck and be safe.

  • JCORMI

Posted February 22, 2006 - 12:54 PM

#5

For fire roads and the type of riding you are describing go with the 450. It will have all you need, and I really think that newbie or not, a 250 is going to leave you wanting more, especially in wide open areas like you described. :thumbsup:

  • shocked

Posted February 22, 2006 - 01:32 PM

#6

I am in Prescott, AZ 5500 Ft Elevation, I was deciding between the YZ450, WR450, and WR250 - I wound up buying a 2006 WR-450, with riding these forest roads and trails - you will love this bike, plus being street legal is a bonus. If you are going to buy one, you might check with the Yamaha Dealer in Prescott Valley - the mechanic would builds all the bikes rides a WR450, so when he built mine it had all of the Free Mods done, once I broke it in I added a ProCircuit T-4 Pipe and Re-Jetted the carb - the bike is very fast and fun. shoot me an email and we can exchange phone numbers if you want to talk. dpilgrim@commspeed.net

Dan

  • AZNative

Posted March 07, 2006 - 08:17 PM

#7

Thanks for the posts guys.... I still have not made up my mind. All bring up interesting points, especially mauricedorris. Riding is a skill I will pick up very fast, but I am not stupid... the 450 is gonna be a lot of power to sit on. But, I keep coming back to the altitude issue up here. Maybe the WR450 might be the way to go and just hold off on the performance mod's to keep some of that power at bay until I get some time under my belt? Is the WR 250 just gonna choke on climbing hills at 7,000 ft and higher?

Also, if you have the money, would you buy an old used bike to learn on first or just shoot for the brand new one (which has the obvious advantages). I am not so concerned with putting down a couple grand and financing the rest. The bike is gonna get some scratches regardless.

  • jerryls

Posted March 07, 2006 - 08:44 PM

#8

Buy a 450 and leave it stock. Its pretty tame when its all choked up and has a throttle stop. Once you feel comfortable, do the free mods and enjoy. At 7000 ft you'll be glad you did.

BTW you already have a huge advantage from mt biking, which is picking the best lines. You'll take to it like a fish to water.

Jerry

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted March 07, 2006 - 10:25 PM

#9

I think you are smart for considering the different perspectives. I wasn't so smart and have gotten to know the orthopedic specialists at the local hospital (who by the way, love dirt bikes because they are good business). I broke my foot and wrist in the past year in seperate crashes. That is how I know how hard it is to 'not' twist the throttle.

You can jet either bike for the altitude. Thats not an issue.

There is an advantage to buying every kind of bike.

The 250 is a very good bike. If it were green sticker for 2005, I would have bought one (I should have). It has good power, is light, and a lot of fun. I have gotten the chance to take a few spins on them and know that it needs to be wound up a bit. But it is designed for that. I'm 205lbs and it moves my fat butt along just fine.

The 450 is the last bike you will ever need to own. It will do everything and has the power to both thrill and kill you. It handles good, but you won't ever consider it "light". You will have to slow down and use generous amounts of clutch while turning. But on the straight sections, man-o-man, what a rush! There's nothing like it. But keep it corked until you are ready for the additional power.

You could just get a used bike to get your feet wet. You could start out with an xr250 and won't have to worry about learning how to maintain the wr's. Wr's are not exactly "gas and go". But the XR is exactly that. You'll have tons of fun.

You could get a used 8-10 year old xr250 for about $2000. Then you ride it for a year, learn a lot, avoid meeting your Orthopedic doctor and have a boat load of fun. "bling bling" means nothing on the trails, so looks aren't too important for dirtbikes. With the money you save, get top notch safety equipment (especially boots)

In a year, you will know more about your riding style and personality. You will also be much more experienced. Then you will easily decide which bike you want and probably won't need to ask. Sell the used bike and get most (if not all) of your money back.

Then get the wr of your choice.

All of the options are good. Just think them through.

  • Moondogger

Posted March 07, 2006 - 10:52 PM

#10

I have to agree with Maurice. I would explore the "used bike" route first before jumping in to buy a brand new WR (whatever size you end up choosing).

I started out my dirt bike career on a Honda XR250. I bought it new in 2001 (probably should of bought used and saved some money). I loved that bike, low-maintenance, bullet-proof, and it got me out of every situation the trail could throw at me. Granted it wasn't the fastest of steeds, but I'm not really into going fast anyways.

I sold the bike about a year ago and got an '05 WR450. I got the bike all dialed-in, Edelbrock carb, FMF Q2 pipe, Race Tech Suspension, Applied Triple Clamps, and Fatbars. This bike is amazing, huge low-end torque, great handling, and more speed than I'll ever need. I love it.

So what's my point? Buy a used bike, ride the heck out of it for a few years, and then decide which WR you want to get. Also, there have been plenty of times when someone will go out, buy a brand new bike, get all the new gear, and guess what, they end up not liking the sport.

-Alex

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • snmhanson

Posted March 08, 2006 - 07:29 AM

#11

I too agree with the last two posts. For my first bike I bought an older 200 two-stroke which I then beat the hell out of while I learned. Doing this had many benefits: 1) I didn't thrash a brand new bike, 2) Mellower power and easier to learn on, 3) Didn't cost all that much ($1200), 4) Didn't really lose much value (although I haven't sold it - I keep it around for friends to ride), 5) Made me really appreciate the power that the WR450 offers.

You always could buy a WR450 and keep it corked up while you learn as was mentioned earlier but if you think you may be falling a fair amount while you learn why not do it on a bike that has seen it's share of abuse rather than a brand new ride? You can always sell the old bike and get a new one at any time and probably only be out a very small amount of cash. The WR450 is a great bike and not really all that difficult to ride but I am glad that I started on a nice light and mellow bike before moving up.

Matt

  • YamahaWR450FMike

Posted March 08, 2006 - 01:05 PM

#12

Been doing my research and talking to friends. This will be my first bike so I am really trying to evaluate what will be best. I live in AZ at 7,000 and most of my riding will be done at that altitude. I am 5'9" 167 lbs and in excellent athletic condition. Most of my riding will be trail and forest service roads with a couple of miles on surface streets to get to the trail heads. While I have been on a couple bikes in the past I have never had them off road. I raced mountain bikes for years and know that some of those skills transfer, but there are many new skills to learn.

Hoping you all would have some good advice for me, so here are a couple of questions:

Would I get bored of the WR250 really quick and would it be too little engine at this altitude?
Is the WR450 way too much bike?
How does the 2006 ride on the trails and is it too big for tight technical stuff?

I could come up with a lot more questions, but those are the three basic. If you have any other comments I would be happy to hear them. All the reviews I have read on the 450's steer me toward the WR, not that the others aren't as good or better, but ya gotta like the price too.

If anyone on here is in the Flagstaff, AZ area, please let me know. If any of you live here and ride a WR450 I would definitely like to pick your brain! The biggest area of comparison I would like is the 250 vs the 450 up here.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
Dave


I live not to far from you, in Lake Havasu City. I have a 2004 WR450 and just love it. 1000 miles on it so far and not one single problem. Tons of power and just alot of fun to ride!

  • Whoya

Posted March 08, 2006 - 07:22 PM

#13

I have the wr 250 with all the mods. It runs really well but after 5 years now I'm craving somthing different. (450) The 250 makes it's power in the upper rpm range and I feel I must constantly shift the bike to keep it in the power band. It's been a great bike although a little tempermental. All my friends are on 450s and I'm craving a different type of power.
depending on your experience You might be better off with a good used 250 for a couple of years then move up to a 450. At your weight the 250 would be alot of fun.

  • Whoya

Posted March 08, 2006 - 07:31 PM

#14

Or heck if you got skills then get the 450. I just remembered your in AZ. and probably do alot of open desert riding. get the 450 and just get use to it.

  • AZNative

Posted March 09, 2006 - 04:01 PM

#15

I guess I am still leaning toward the 250, probably new (for a couple reasons). I am not worried as much about the top end since everything I have read says they will flat out run fast.... it just takes longer to get there then the 450. Given I will spend most of my time on trails, that is not the biggest issue. I am thinking the lighter bike with all the engine mods and an aftermarket pipe will give it all the power I could want for a first bike. Not to mention, I could play with the gearing to make sure it had the low end acceleration I would want on hills and over obstacles. I guess it's nice that this decision does not have to be made over night!

  • Matty05

Posted March 09, 2006 - 04:07 PM

#16

The 250 is perfect for your size and weight.
Throw on a MX race pipe and you will be in heaven. A pipe will make it way easier to ride as the stocker has no bottom end, heaps of mid and no top. A pipe will make the power linear.

Stock suspension will be exellent for you too.

I say go the 250. I am 240lbs, it has no trouble pulling me around.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted March 09, 2006 - 06:09 PM

#17

I have the wr 250 with all the mods. It runs really well but after 5 years now I'm craving somthing different. (450) ...


5 years ! I think you have maximized your investment and gained quite a bit of experience.

.. depending on your experience You might be better off with a good used 250 for a couple of years then move up to a 450. At your weight the 250 would be alot of fun.


I agree. The experience (or lack thereof) is a major, major factor.

Don't assume you won't be happy with the 250, you will!

  • timcook

Posted March 09, 2006 - 09:06 PM

#18

I am from Flag origanally. My WR 450 and I find ourselves up there quite often.Mainly at the cinder pits. We live in Tucson now.
As for you idea, I agree with most about the 450. Altitude will be of no concern. That is as long as jetting is on the money. That we will help you with after your purchase. I strongly suggest that you leave it bone stock for a while. This is why Yamaha has done what they have to the WR. Extremely managalbe power and torque....but when you are ready....there lies a BEAST under that ugly blue plastic!!!!!
hope this helps!

  • wormstrangler

Posted March 09, 2006 - 11:32 PM

#19

I don't see how you will get bored of a 250...do you get bored of your mountain bike which goes at 60km tops? :thumbsup:

  • AZNative

Posted March 10, 2006 - 01:35 PM

#20

It's not that I would get totally bored with the 250, it will allow me to have more fun on the single track, which is what I truly love. Given my personality and my tendencies toward competitive riding, I can see where I would grow in to the 450 pretty quick. However, with the mod's on the 250 I can see myself being very happy for a year or two, and probably safer. In two years I will be back down in Phoenix and altitude won't be the big deal. I will probably upgrad to the YZ450 though to get the power, but stay on a lighter bike. Up here I only have my company car so I need the street-legal bike to get me to the trails.... Thanks again for all the input, it is certainly helping me with the decision making process!




 
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