This all sounds like good advice to me. Thanks.
Originally Posted by DirtViking
I was in a similar situation about a year ago. I have a 1200 GS and found that I had very little offroad riding skills. I ended up buying a KLX-250S. After a few weeks of riding I found an offroad riding school and attended a one-day class. Best thing I ever did for my offroad riding.
My instructor told me that my choice of bikes was excellent. The power delivery was mild compared to the fire-breathing 450's, but the bike could still get the job done. He suggested that I keep that bike for about a year to build up my ability. I think that was pretty good advice. I did keep that bike for about a year but in the meantime ended up buying a kdx-220 for purely offroad stuff. (Night and day difference between that and the klx in the offroad environment.) Eventually, I found the KLX wasn't enough for me. I was pushing harder and wanted more... It didn't make sense to try and upgrade everything on it. I sold that and bought a WR450 that I plated.
So where is my advice in all this? Buy the nicest, well-maintained, 250cc bike you can find in your local area. I would pay a premium for the maintenance part. Go out and ride the hell out of it. After a few months of ownership, I bet you'll have a clearer idea of the type of riding you'll be interested in. After you know that, the bike choice will be easy.