New To Dirtbikes What To Look For?

4 replies to this topic
  • moto403

Posted May 30, 2009 - 10:38 AM


so i am looking at getting a dirtbike after riding 4wheelers all my life. my buddy has a 1988 xr200 and 1984 xr500. both feel pretty comfortable. the 200 definately handles better but the 500 is more my speed power wise. i was looking at getting a 400,426,450 but i am on a limited budget($1500) and all i need it for is trail riding.

what kind of things do i need to know about these newer high reving four strokes. are they more prone to grenading? what kind of maintenance do i need to pay attention to? or would i be better off sticking to an xr400 or xr600? i want good power but don't want to spend all my time on maintenance.

just for for reference i'm mid thirties 6'2 and weigh about 210lbs i have limited ride time(less than a year) but have riden yz250's and other big bikes and i'm very comfortable on them, but have yet to throw a leg over the newer thumpers

  • davcon

Posted June 01, 2009 - 09:16 AM


I'm about the same size as you and I got back into dirt bikes after being off for 18 years. I initially got the WR250F which handles great and the power was good enough for my reentry into the sport. However, eventually I needed more and ended up with the YZ450. If you have any doubt about handling the power, I'd say go with the WR450. They are a bit detuned. You might end up with the YZ eventually tho. The new 4strokes are high performance so they require diligent maintenace. Your price range will limit your choices. But you might get lucky! Good luck and let us know what you get.

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  • yamaha racing 230

Posted June 01, 2009 - 01:45 PM


welcome to TT , anytime you buy a used thumper u have the added risk of it gernading , the yz/wr 400,426 are very durable bike when basic maitence is done like cleaning air filter every ride and frequent oil changes every 3-5hrs ,

  • moto403

Posted June 01, 2009 - 07:28 PM


i've seen several early 2000's 400,426,450's in that price range and still in fairly good shape.
i'm more concerned with the maintenance and cost to fix if i have an issue. what can i expect to pay if the top end gives out?
and will they put up with moderate speed trail riding? or do they need more speed to keep them cooler?
is there a way to detune slighty for more reliability and a little longer interval between maintenance so i can ride a full 8 to 10 hr day without having to go back to the truck and change oil?

  • DMC707

Posted June 01, 2009 - 08:16 PM


---- 8 to 10 hour day? -- do you ride the ISDE or something?

but seriously ------ any $1500 four stroke is a gamble while a $1500 2 stroke is much more likely to be a home run

A top end which would require a new cam, piston, valvaes, springs and seat lapping or other head work can easilly pass the 1500 mark which would double your investment if it ever came up.
If your lucky, the 2 stroke would cost a hundred bucks for a piston kit and 50 or 60 bucks for a set of reeds

I have an aquaintance who was merciless on his old 426 --- it probably ran 150-200 hours between rebuilds and was used for everything -- MX, hare scrambles and trail riding. It lasted and is still in use.
My 08 450 though starts puking coolant when i idle it for 3 or 4 minutes to bring the oil temp up to change the oil !

Who knows------ a lot depends on how you (and the PO) ride the bike

For 1500 --- my fun bucks would be maximized by getting a '99- '03 or 04 YZ 250 2 stroke

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