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Old 04-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
Verbal tactician
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: central Mn
Oddometer: 11,404
With a $4500 budget, I would look for a used 06-07 KTM 250 xcw. With the leftover money, add a trials tire to the rear and buy up your protective equipment.

For rocky, super tight woods, over-heating could be a problem for an off-road noob with a 4t.

For those recommending a KDX......... while it is a fine machine for a beginner, someone that is as physically fit as the OP and has been riding mtn bikes, the OP would outgrow a KDX quickly. I would imagine the offroad learning curve is not going to be very steep and with your fitness, you could easily be a good C-class competitor in your 1st year.
all around good guy
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