I must be insane. Back to the dirt
Posted December 27, 2001 - 07:34 PM
Honda XR400,Yamaha WR426,KTM EXE400,and the Suzuki DRZ400E.I,m probably really rusty right now but I definitely don't want to be regularly smoked on forest roads by my cousin on his new
YZ250F. Any suggestions?
Posted December 27, 2001 - 09:17 PM
Maybe to clarify your position, we should rank the bikes on a number of criteria:
From mild to Wild
From Potential to get more power for free:
For Handling Potential (including weight)
Running costs / Purchase Price (YMMV depending on location, maintenance etc)
For what you describe, you will certainly be at home on a WR400/426 - once you get the hang of the bike, and get the suspension setup for your needs... You would be smoking XR400's with a WR250F, so the 400/426 would be plenty...
You will outgrow a bike faster than you think, but with either the KTM or the Wr, you will have more room to grow... The KTM is more expensive, fewer dealers, but is a bit better in components supplied - but if you can live without an e-start, and you plan to change the stock bars to suit you, there is not much in it anyway... Hydraulic Clutch, a couple of other little things... Try and get a ride on both the KTM and the Yamaha, then get a ride on the other two... the Honda is bulletproof, but least exciting, the Suzuki has a bit more, but is not the same as the Wr or KTM... Hang out in the other forums for a while, see what issues and replacement parts people are needing to do to their bikes... what they are not happy with...
Welcome back to riding, no matter what colour you choose...
Posted December 27, 2001 - 11:36 PM
Posted December 28, 2001 - 05:04 AM
Not to worry, I didn't ride for 20 years and then bought a XT 350 (old) which I rode for about 6 months then went looking for a WR 400 brochure & ended up rolling out a new (at the time) 99 WR 400. I am still riding it and still think it was the best thing I have done in a long time(other than get back into dirtbiking). Oh by the way I am 55 years young and having a happy childhood.
I haven't ridden any of the other bikes so I can't compare them,just thought that age makes no difference when it comes to having fun.....
Posted December 28, 2001 - 07:00 AM
I did just read a write up in Dirt Bike (personally I do think DB sucks...) of a street legal CRF Honda. They loved it.
Maybe if the price is BRUTALLY right, go with something used to get into the swing of things and go from there. Brutally right means you can dump it and not lose any $$$.
For 2003, you should see:
revamped WR/YZF lineup
debugged and improved CRF Honda
KTM ALWAYS has great bikes to consider
Suzuki's new 4 stroker???
Maybe Kawasaki as well...???
Never(???) rule out Cannondale, although I already have.
If you go w/ used, steer for the 2K and > WR's. The carb and steering/handling were improved.
Posted December 28, 2001 - 07:42 AM
Yo Boner! Who you callin Old? I'm 43 and can kick A$$ with the best of em. Hell the fastest guy's I know are 38-50....So what are you sayin here ....everybody in their 40's is old and should be religated to the right lane, on some old chugger of a bike? No Way baby....Bring on the power....The faster the better.
Hell..I'm scheduled for a Heart Cath procedure next Thrusday....I'll be back on the race track a week after that.
Linden, Of all the choices you listed, In my (OLD)opinion ,The WR is the way to go. Not because it's a Yamaha, but because it is dependable does not require constant maintance like some of those you asked about. You can cruise or run flat out. Starting is NOT a problem it's an ART. Do it right and the fire lights off every time. Try to start it like a two stroke and you'll smoke a plug every time. The DRZ is an ok bike....but it is a heavy piece of underpowered pig iron, even against my 99 WR400. The bottom line is that the WR is a fun bike with the power and potential for much more. You want to climb that big hill with the youngsters....No Problem....You want to be able to catch em on the straights....No Problem...Get tired of woods riding and want to play around with a little MX...No Problem....Want to go to the dunes and Roost a little....No Problem. The suspension is set up for a 180 lb rider....so already you're ahead of the game. Want to protect you're investment....spend about $250 for Devol Radiator Guards, White Bros Skid Plate and a good set of hand guards and you're investment protected... Change the oil regularly, lube the bearings with Good Water Resistant Grease once every 3 months....Nothing left to do except have fun.....
What else could someone ask for?
BB....Just havin a little fun with ya....
Talk about OLD this pic was taken 22 years ago when I still had hair and no belly......I'm (Was) the one on the Right.. Man I look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened!
[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: YAMAKAZE ]
Posted December 28, 2001 - 03:55 PM
By the way. A friend of mine did purchase a street legal DRZ400. So far he has totally hammered the bike. He has replaced the blinkers, mirror, one wheel, and the start switch/horn apparatus. He regrets his decision. His original idea was to ride the bike to the trail, but it takes me just a few seconds to toss the bike in the truck and hit the trail. Plus when I get there, I have all of my tools, food, water and gas with me. Just a thought.
Good luck with you decision.
Posted December 31, 2001 - 12:00 PM
I also just got back into riding after taking about 7 years off.
All my buddy's have WR's but I had to be different and get a KTM MXC520, this thing has incredible power. It's super fast. I have to say that this is the best purchase I have ever made but of course I would say that about a WR if I owned one.
The BIG plus that really get's my fellow riders upset is the electric start One hit of the button and I'm off and it's only 10 lbs more than a 426.
Both are great bikes but if you can over come the sticker price and high maintenance of a KTM520 that would be my choice.
Posted December 31, 2001 - 06:47 PM
I own an 00' WR400 and an 02' KTM 520 EXC. These bikes are as similar as a dog and a cat. I don't recommend the 520 simply for this reason, you'll never see 42. In time you may be ready for it but not if your just coming back to riding. It's way too much bike. The WR400 on the other hand is a bike you can grow into, I know I did after not riding for 20 years. It's got really good power, suspension, and stability. If that's the bike you want, mine is for sale. I'm 5'-9" like you (Well, almost.. ) and starting on the side of a hill can be a real pain sometimes. Of course as you get to be a better rider you will stall less often. That's why I would have to recommend these e-start machines. The KTM's are a superior bike in almost every way, compared to the J.A. Pan Co. bikes . They are also more money. The DRZ is a good trail bike and the dealers almost seem to be giving these things away. There's also the Cannondales'. The dealers/factory seems real motivated to get some bike out there for exposure. They have trick equipment like the KTM and are American made! They are still an unknown, although the guys on our exotic forum seem to be having good luck so far. They have an entry level model, the X440S, that guys are paying between $5,500-$5,995. This might be the best value of all at that price.
You will have fun on any bike you buy, good luck.
Posted December 31, 2001 - 08:46 PM
I agree with the others. If you want a play bike to go out and have fun with, without having to do anything other than fill er' up, get the Honda. If you haven't ridden in years, it will have plenty of power for you. But if you want something with some b*lls, get the yam or the ktm, or if you can afford it, the cannondale. (I live about 25 minutes from the plant in Bedford, PA and my nearest shop wants about 8K+ for the few they have) I have ridden with one of the factory test riders(WHAT A JOB !!!!!!!!!) and they definitely RIP!!
Have fun with whatever you buy and be safe.
I'm rambling again
look at my previous posts and you'll know why!!