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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've i have been off a bike for a while, but looking to get back into it with the kids. Last time I rode was on a friends yz426. This time around I was looking for at a few different models including the xr400, crf450x, wr450, or a possible ktm. Unsure which ktm though. Mostly riding in the Northern California forest with the occasional Nevada desert riding.

I'm looking around the 2000-2500 price range if possible. So that puts me in the early to mid 2000's year wise it looks like. Anyways sorry for the babbling, let me hear what you guys recommend.

Edit- saw a 03 ktm 525mxc today. Too much bike for the woods? Reliable?

Thanks David
 

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depends on how much work you want to do vs riding and how much power you want. if you want something dead reliable go for the xr400, its got a solid amount of power, and its air cooled. its a little heavy, and a little slower than a 400cc bike that is liquid cooled. the crf450 or wr400/426/450 are great bikes too, they are faster and better suspension. they will require a little more maintenance, but still amazing bikes. I ride a wr400 that I love. the ktm stuff is a little lighter and maybe a bit more performance oriented, but it requires more maintenance, and parts are more expensive.
 

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check out a ktm 300 xc. Excellent woods bike, light, great low end torque.
 

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I'm 6'1" 200-210ish, a 200 would pull you around no problem also, and be the most flickable in the tighter stuff, 250 will obviously work also. I don't totally agree with the degrees of maintenance above, especially the KTM 400's. It'll depend more on the history of the bike and it's care. I've been down the 4 stroke road and am back to 2 strokes. Now that I think about it, I had to work on the xr the most. Next closest would be my wife's crf250x, compared to ktm400, 450, yzf426, ktm 200-250 2t's.
 

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A 525 will be ideal for logging roads and is fine on most single track that isn't "snotty rocky, so tight you can't get your bars between the trees straight" stuff. It is lighter than an XR400 and feels even more so with suspension and brakes. The 525 is not scary hard to control power, it is a monster motor but very tractable. Yes you will be faster and progress more quickly on a 200-300 two stroke in the woods but they suck on dirt roads for any more than a couple minutes.

KTM's are not unreliable or even high maintenance, they just need to be paid a little more attention to than your lawn mower that is lucky to get an oil change every other year. The maintenance charts are based on a racing schedule where guys are bouncing off the rev limiter repeatedly, while it says to replace the piston at 40 hours, most guys are going 300 or so. To me, how easy they are to work on makes up for working on them slightly more often. Removing the seat and tank is half as many bolts as a Honda CRF, re-jetting involves loosening the clamps and twisting the carb in place as opposed to removing the exhaust, sub-frame, and shock on a Honda CRF. Top end rebuilds can also be done in-frame, as can CRF's, Most XR's require you to pull the motor.
 

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OG48 So your 200lbs 6' how is your riding ability, a district AMA rider or a dad that just wants to ride with your kid on fire roads? Or both. And where are you riding Georgia red clay or California granite etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OG48 So your 200lbs 6' how is your riding ability, a district AMA rider or a dad that just wants to ride with your kid on fire roads? Or both. And where are you riding Georgia red clay or California granite etc.?
Right down the middle Tim, between hardcore wannabe and casual dad haha. I live up hwy88, close to pipi and omo ranch rd. So I would guess a little of both but maybe a little more of the good ole red stuff.

Thanks for the ideas so far guys. It helps a lot.
 

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Hey we are almost neighbors,:) We even ride the same area cool, Well my boy is 165lb and rides a 2007 KTM 200 XC and I have a 2009 KTM 530 XC-W I'm 6' 1" 212 lbs.
The 200 is perfect bike for my kid, my extra weight pulls it down on top end.
The 530 is a pretty dam nice bike for dirt trackn' fire roads single and double track. Tight down hill switch backs really starts showing it weight. like I said in my earlier post the KTM 300XC is a really nice woods bike it is a 2 stroke that lugs down like a 4 stroke and cheep and easy to maintain. ....Just my .2cents
 

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it's hard to go wrong with a good old(2003-2004) xr400. no radiators to worry with, reliable as ever, not finicky about the jetting and can be made dual sport to boot. i have an 04 xr400 to piddle around on and a 09 yz450 to get my race on!
 

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Removing the seat and tank is half as many bolts as a Honda CRF, re-jetting involves loosening the clamps and twisting the carb in place as opposed to removing the exhaust, sub-frame, and shock on a Honda CRF.
Only 2 bolts on a crf450 seat, is that excessive? And if you're doing all that to rejet a CRF than you're doing to wrong. At most, remove seat and tank but if you have the ratchet end wrenches or get creative, you can twist the carb without removing anything.

If the woods aren't too tight, the crf450x might not be bad but you could go with the R and save some weight and have a tad more power. But then you lose the e start.
 
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