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Old 09-18-2012, 07:39 AM   #16
NitroRoo
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Buy whatever you can afford. Save up your money, then get the best deal you can. If you can swing buying a brand new bike, more power to ya - but you can get way more bike for your money buying used. You will have to be patient, but for about $2k you should be able to find a used 250-400cc dual sport in decent shape. Don't go into debt at 16, you'll want the gas money later, trust me
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:42 AM   #17
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I'm biased as I have the CRFL. You can always move up to a more potent bike later after you build your skills. You have plenty of time. Go check them out in person and throw a leg over each one. The WRR is a tall bike. Go with which one gives you a smile because at the end of the day that's why we ride!
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:06 AM   #18
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumperbuddy View Post
From what I can tell, I think I should be leaning toward the Honda (which will be kept stock until the military starts giving me pay checks, which wont be for another 2 years):
1. Price
2. power- less than the WR, more than the KLX?
3. off road performance- good enough to mess around, ride trails and some semi-moderate(?) singletrack?

On the order of suspension, what makes the WR superior? is it just the amount of travel it has?
Another thing to consider is that this is your FIRST bike, but it likely won't be your last.

Any of the three bikes you mentioned will be more than capable for you to learn and grow on. Whichever bike you purchase will allow you to learn what works best for you. As your weight and size (limb length, etc,) change so too will the ergonomics you require for a bike to work well for you. Also, as you gain experience in your riding you may find that you lean more towards the road or more toward the trail. With experience allowing you to know what is important to you, you may decide power is more important to you than suspension, or vice versa. Or comfort over performance, or performance over comfort. The combinations and permutations are nearly endless, and you'll have to find where along the spectrum your enjoyment of riding is best served.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that you're overthinking this decision. It seems to me that you're doing it the exact correct way. I fear, however, that you're forgetting that this is only going to be (hopefully ) the first of many bikes in your life. And, let's be honest ~ dual purpose bikes are, by design, a compromise. What makes them great in the woods detracts from their on-road ability. And, by design, what makes them acceptable on the road detracts from their dirt worthiness. So you need to find the bike that has it's bias in that equation of compromise more in line with your bias for how you intend to use the bike.

You mention that you expect that you're riding will be +/-70/30 road to trail. With that in mind (I'm assuming, based on your "70/30," that this will be your primary transportation that you would like to be able to play with in the woods when you're not riding to school, to friends homes or to a job) the super dooper off-road suspension may not be as important as good manners and abilities on the pavement. The Honda seems like a good choice for your intended use, still having plenty of what you'll want and need for off roading. The engine in the Honda comes out of a very capable road bike. The others have dirt bike engines. They're all great, but perhaps the Honda will be just a smidgen more in line with your intended use and function.

Just my $0.02, YMMV. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to save up enough money to have all the proper safety gear - full face helmet, armoured jacket, boots, gloves, etc. Better to buy a gently used bike and have the gear than to blow your entire savings on a bike you can't afford to ride safely. Remember, we all go ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time) for a reason.

Edit: I read lots of posts about people finding very gently used KLX250s for somewhere in the $2,500 neighborhood. And while it may not be the brand new bike of your dreams, they're great bikes. And don't overlook the Kawasaki Super Sherpa, the Yamaha XT225 or the Yamaha XT250. All great bikes. And maybe any of them, if you could get one in the $2,500 range would be a better bike than the Honda for $5,500. You can always sell one of these used bike within a year for nearly what you paid for it and get the new bike when you're 17. They're not going to stop making them and you won't have lost your desire to ride by buying used as long as you research your purchase carefully - you don't want a clunker, just a nice 250cc from someone who thought they needed a bigger bike before they were able to do any damage to the first one they bought.

Hannda screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 09:16 AM
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:51 AM   #19
Grreatdog
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When I was 17 and looking to buy my first bike all the old timers said to buy what I could afford because I would grow into it and then I could move up later. So I bought the much cheaper new Kawasaki rather than the new Yamaha I wanted. Within weeks, if not days, I wanted to kick all those old guys for telling me that.

So I doubled down on saving my money then went back and bought the newer Yamaha I wanted in the first place. But I now was also out the loss on that Kawasaki when I could barely afford a bike to begin with. Moral of the story: buy the bike you want even if you have to save longer or buy used. The Yamaha costs more for a reason.

Granted that Honda has a nice price point. But I have seen the WR in action offroad many, many times and it is a heck of good bike. Buying a cheap bike planning to upgrade the parts that make it cheap is a fool's game because it ultimately costs you more in the long run. Though I admit there is a certain pleasure in doing just that.

Bottom line for me is patience. Which I had little of when I was a teenager. But as an old man I have learned that being patient until I find the right used bike then not being afraid to pull the trigger when I do means better bikes and more than one bike. I haven't bought a new bike since the mid 80's even though I can afford anything I want now.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:51 AM   #20
drm
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1. save money and buy used bike: ride the snot out of it, drop it, work on it, ride the snot out of it, learn from it
2. use rest of money and buy the best gear you can afford (helmet, gloves, jacket, pants, boots)
3. if you really need to upgrade, mod the current bike to suit, or re-sell it and upgrade from there after you have some experience.

i personally have a used $2500 klx250s and love it. i did know i wanted one till i bought it. i could be riding a drz or xl or wr or (insert cheap dualsport here) if the price was right and was for sale locally.

drm screwed with this post 09-18-2012 at 11:32 AM
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:32 AM   #21
thumperbuddy OP
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Hannda- I love you. Thanks for all the great info and opinions, you definately give me confidence as far as buying the honda.

As far as gear goes: I have plenty from 2-up'ing the eastern seaboard (and a little west) with dad for over 8 years.
My gear over the years has included:

Baby Biker brand 3/4 jacket and armored pants

AFX full face Helmet

Various Fox, Cortech gloves

various boots

Vega Full Face

custom made Draggin' Jeans with knee and hip armor inserts

Firstgear jacket.

MY most current 2-up'ing gear loadout includes:

Nolan N-100E Modular Helmet

FirstGear Armored, mesh jacket, in womens XS

Olympia AirGlide II Mesh pants

Cortech Tourmaster Mesh Summer gloves.

For a DS setup, id probably sell my Nolan and buy a DS helmet. (The old gear has already been passed down to my little sister.)
The jacket pants and gloves would still serve me well, on and off road, although id be more inclined to ride trails in jeans than my full sized pants. So, Im all set for gear. Now its just a matter of finalizing my choice, whether it be a new honda, or a used (in great condition), cheaper kawi or yamaha.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:45 AM   #22
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FWIW I just picked up an 08 WR250R w/ 6k on the clock for $2700.00 and im loving the hell outa it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:07 AM   #23
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Dave View Post
FWIW I just picked up an 08 WR250R w/ 6k on the colck for $2700.00 and im loving the hell outa it.
ThumperBuddy ~ QUICK, offer hiim $2,800 for that bike!!!!!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:20 AM   #24
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LOL. if an oppurtunity like that presented itself, id be more than happy to snatch it up. unfortunately, smaller, more dirt oriented DS bikes are less common where I live (Long Island), since there isnt much dirt to be had here.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #25
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Look more upstate NY. I got mine out by Herkimer NY.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #26
thumperbuddy OP
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Hmmmmmmmm...
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumperbuddy View Post
LOL. if an oppurtunity like that presented itself, id be more than happy to snatch it up. unfortunately, smaller, more dirt oriented DS bikes are less common where I live (Long Island), since there isnt much dirt to be had here.
That may be to your advantage. I'm willing to bet there were bikes like you're looking at purchased locally as "starter bikes" that were quickly replaced by their owners upgrading to something of 650cc or greater that was 100% road bike (or probably 1000cc cruisers or sport bikes). Bikes like you're looking for may be had locally and cheap. It's possible.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #28
jckid
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I gather from your post that you are a girl, and about the same height/size as me. I have a KLX250s and a WR250x. I would recommend both bikes, but as a new rider you might find the KLX easier to ride. It's pretty forgiving if you're not in the correct gear, and doesn't mind being lugged. The WR needs to be ridden at a little higher rpm's and it doesn't like to lug as much. Also the KLX is not as tall, which might be an advantage at your height. I've sat on the CRF250L. It's about the same height as the KLX and looks good in person. I haven't ridden one though.

I started riding when I was 6, and at 15 (like you) I got my learner's permit. My dad had lots of confidence in me and put me on a 750 v-twin cruiser, but later I got the bike I really wanted--a Honda XL185. It was legal for me to ride anywhere, as long as my dad was on his motorcycle following behind me. I think I was only allowed to ride in daylight as well. So why wait until your 16? Why not pick up a bike you can start riding now, then upgrade? Something like a DR200, CRF230L, XT225, or TW200 can be had super cheap...like maybe $1,500 or so. Get some experience on one of those, then move up to a new CRF230L, KLX250, or WR250R when you turn 16.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #29
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The new honda has a nice broad power band, and I hear its jet smooth.

But yes, save lots of money for gas, campgrounds, tires, etc, you will likely want to ride all over and all the time, I did when I started.
Nothing worse then having a bike and no money to ride it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #30
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JCkid, Im a dude. LOL. and in NY, I dont believe there is a motorcycle learners permit. Additionally, I have nowhere near enough moolah saved yet to buy a bike.
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