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What’s a good FIRST Dirt bike for 16 yo?

oldschool

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There’s an 08 CRF 250 listed in the spam section.
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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Just helped my nephew get this. 2020 KTM 250 2stroke. The power and suspension for a factory bike is amazing. He has very little 2 wheeler riding experience and so far he is doing great on it. He would have been upset with anything smaller. But we ride mostly in the dunes. Kid is already huckin that thing and big air. Pretty proud if him!
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JUSTWANNARACE

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I am a 2-stroke guy through and through. So my opinion is pretty one sided..lol I would look into a 250cc. Alot less maintenance and when the time comes a great engine to cut your teeth on rebuild wise to get to know your bike and mechanical skills. Alot less moving parts and WAY cheaper to rebuild. Keep good fuel and premix in them and they will last forever. Throttle control is everything, just cause the power is there doesnt mean you have to use it. But when you come into a situation where you need it, it is there!
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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It enevidable that he will end up in the dunes and the 250 will be great..
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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250 4 stroke for the win. Don’t listen to the clowns that say 4 strokes are too much maintenance because that’s just straight bullshit.
Clowns..lol I've been into bikes for 2-stroke and 4 since I was a kid and have rebuilt more than most. 2-stroke maintenance, change the tranny fluid and keep good fuel and premix in it.. 4-stroke, change oil constantly, and some are seperate tranny and motor, oil filters, adjust valves, timing chains, timing chain tentioner, one way bearings on the electric start, ect.. but what do I know..lol
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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A 2-stroke rebuild maybe $1k
A 4-stroke rebuild let's start a $3k and go from there..
 

Sharp Shooter

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Clowns..lol I've been into bikes for 2-stroke and 4 since I was a kid and have rebuilt more than most. 2-stroke maintenance, change the tranny fluid and keep good fuel and premix in it.. 4-stroke, change oil constantly, and some are seperate tranny and motor, oil filters, adjust valves, timing chains, timing chain tentioner, one way bearings on the electric start, ect.. but what do I know..lol
He said the kid was a newbie not a factory rider. lol!! sheesh
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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He said the kid was a newbie not a factory rider. lol!! sheesh
Even more the reason IMO. Although I do agree dessert technical riding would be easier on a 4-stroke but.. if you learn on a 2-stroke you can damn near ride anything..
 

JDub24

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you will NEED to rebuild a 2 stroke no matter what in a much shorter amount of time than you will ever need to rebuild a 4 stroke. If changing more than one or two quarts of fluid and adjusting valves every 100 hours is too much maintenance for you/ your son you might want to find a different hobby.

Not to mention how pissed your wife will be when she finds JR with his case in the kitchen oven set at 450 degrees so he can split the case for his bi-yearly rebuild on the 2 smoke. :D


Damn, that’s a big difference. I know 2 strokes are pretty simple too
 

Sharp Shooter

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Damn, that’s a big difference. I know 2 strokes are pretty simple too
You can run a newer 4 stroke every weekend for years before needing a full rebuild. I rode almost every weekend for 7 years at the local track and did one top end and 3 valve adjusts in that time frame. Change your oil before it turns black, keep a clean oiled filter in it and ignore the 2 stroke clowns who obviously dont know what they’re talking about. And I’m 52 years old and started riding at 13 on 2 strokes.
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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You can run a newer 4 stroke every weekend for years before needing a full rebuild. I rode almost every weekend for 7 years at the local track and did one top end and 3 valve adjusts in that time frame. Change your oil before it turns black, keep a clean oiled filter in it and ignore the 2 stroke clowns who obviously dont know what they’re talking about.
Have you seen the maintenance manual on the new 4-strokes? Suggested valve adjustments every 10-15 hours, piston replacement every 25hrs or so. Timing chain replacement at the time of the piston. And when a piston let's loose that means, cam, valves, chain, tentioner, oil pump, strainer, valve springs, keepers, retainers, crank bearings, nikasil, head work, ect.. a 2-sroke let's loose and your looking at crank bearings, nikasil and maybe some head machining..
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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You can run a newer 4 stroke every weekend for years before needing a full rebuild. I rode almost every weekend for 7 years at the local track and did one top end and 3 valve adjusts in that time frame. Change your oil before it turns black, keep a clean oiled filter in it and ignore the 2 stroke clowns who obviously dont know what they’re talking about. And I’m 52 years old and started riding at 13 on 2 strokes.
Lmao.. some people get lucky
 

Sharp Shooter

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Yeah I started checking my valves at the suggested intervals and found them in spec time and time again. I would probably follow the manual to a t if I were Justin Barcia but neither I or the newbie 16 year old will he ringing the bikes neck to the edge of its capability. They last a long time when you’re not a pro racer.
 

Sharp Shooter

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When the 4 strokes took hold of the market in the early 2000’s they weren't nearly as good as whats available today or even 10 years ago.
 

Pattle

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Wow, lots of opinions, but most seem to be favoring 2 stroke. Not me.

You live in CA like me, so I recommend a plated 4 stroke. if he doesn't have his license yet, he will soon, and waaaay more riding areas available to those with a plate. My current ride is a KTM 525, so for a keeper bike I think that's a very good one. However, if you want a starter bike that you plan to sell once he gets the hang of things, I recommend a Suzuki DRZ400S. Great basic bike, very reliable, a bit heavy but not bad. They've been making them for almost 20 years so easy to find a good used one.
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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Yeah I started checking my valves at the suggested intervals and found them in spec time and time again. I would probably follow the manual to a t if I were Justin Barcia but neither I or the newbie 16 year old will he ringing the bikes neck to the edge of its capability. They last a long time when you’re not a pro racer.
Thays a whole nother level..lol ask Dan Lamey(Dasa racing) how many heads he does for team monster energy Kawasaki every year..lol
 

rmarion

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IMO... 1st bike... STAY AWAY from 125 2 stroke. Too difficult to ride as a 1st bike. (powerband wise) they are equal to a chainsaw.... idle or WFO...

250 - 2 stroke MX ( same theory as 125)

if 2 stroke is a MUST!!! get a 250 - Cross country bike, wide ratio = can lug the bike around. Most have electric starter....

most likely will not be his ONLY bike... but he needs to have ENJOYMENT with the bike.....

if the bike has too much instant power (not fun to ride) gear it up!!! use taller gears (larger countershaft sprocket) smaller rear sprocket. This will settle down the bike. and make it easier to manage.... (top end it will be WFO, he'll never get it there)

just remember ENJOYMENT...

Slow, Ex Pro Mxer... (who can still twist the throttle)
 

Ziggy

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Get something affordable to see if he likes it first, most any bike will do fine for a first timer...... maybe even an enduro if you take the can am on the Az streets.
Then check back later with all the rdp primadonas for an appropriate fit if an upgrade is necessary.:)
 

JUSTWANNARACE

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In all reality this is another ford vs chevy debate. It is all in preference smokers vs thumpers. The reality of it is the guy will be happy(for awhile) on what ever he gets, as where all of us as kids. As long as he can get out and ride there is nothing better.

Just go into the situation, anything you buy used, expect a rebuild.. for valve jobs(serdi cut) and 4stroke head porting 2 people stand out which is Dan Lamey dasa racing in riverside cali, and John Dyer racers edge Arizona in Tucson az. Nikasil (for cyl replateing) 2-stroke or 4-stroke, millinium plating in Wisconsin. US chrome is hit and miss. Crankworks or falcon on crank rebuilds. 2-stroke cyl porting I would suggest redline racing in sweethome oregon. Or give me a pm.
 

Magic1

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If your kid has talent and can ride BMX good just get him a 250F or 125 of whatever brand he likes. 2 Stroke is great, cheep and unlike people say on the thread super reliable. You wont do a bottom end for literally hundreds of hours and a top end in about 100. The biggest expense will be air filter oil LOL. Just get a new one too, save the drama.
 

SBMech

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First bike? Has he ridden other kids bikes, and has a talent for it? I mean shit I read the thread but I don't see his actual experience or knowledge about MX?

I see he skates, probably has excellent balance and awareness. Good base to start.

Shit I went Trail 90, to CR125, to CR250, CR500, XR500, XR600, CRF450, always wanted a works bike, never could seem to have the cash for one when it was available.

My point being it's a series of progression, like any other sport, honestly I'd put him on a XR230 or XR250 depending on what experience he has and go from there.

The 4 strokes are easy to ride and learn on, once he gets his legs, you can put him on a 2 stroke rocket and watch his skills progress...or find he likes it a little mellower and wants to just cruise.

Not everyone is McGrath.
 

DaveC

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Damn

Next you should start another thread asking which brand of truck to buy :D
 

pixrthis

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If its first bike then check out the crf230. Air cooled impossible to kill and uber low maintenance. Buy it used and you'll get your money back if he wants to move to a 450 later on.

View attachment 838446
Exactly what I was thinking, 230’s are easy to ride and hold there value if they’re stock.
 

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First bike at that age and size get a YZ250F. Just ride and change oil and clean air filter. I had a lot of hours on mine and never opened the engine. The CRF150R is a gutless turd of a bike with no low end torque. If you're not experienced, working the clutch from a take off is a bitch. Really a terrible bike to learn on. If going that frame size a 2 stroke is the only way.
 

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Get one without electric start. Don't want to put any dings in the man card.
 

Boat211

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I’ll put in my 2 cents I guess too.

I think he is too big for a 150 but it’s a great place to learn the basics, clutch and brakes. The 150r has plenty of power I think but he will be cramped. I have a YZ 125 and a 2019 YZ250F currently. I absolutely love my 125. My only concern with a new rider on one is that they like to be rung out. He may have a hard time bogging it around. On the other hand, it will teach him clutch control. The 250f is easier to ride with the low end power. The electric start is awesome too. If your leaning towards a 125, I would look for a 2006 or newer YZ125. The 2019 YZ125 is the same as the 2006 except for a few little things over the years. Suspension is really good. I prefer off-road over Moto but my kid is opposite. I can do either with these bikes.
 

Nordie

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I really think putting him on a 250f of any brand. The roll on power is perfect, plus he's a big kid and should be able to handle it. He won't be bored with it in a year chasing more power.

Kind of like our parents buying us a shoe size a little big knowing we are going to grow into them.
 

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FWIW when I got on a 250F full time I was 14 and 5'-9" and 140lbs. Had no problem handling it or picking it up but I had been riding for 3 years by that time.
 

DLC

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Don’t get him to small of a bike, motor and size

otherwise you’ll be in the same spot next year buying a new bike for your kid...

you know he is going to love riding
My vote is 2 stroke 250, 4 stroke 250 or just get him a KTM 350 / 450 and be done with it for a while
 

GETBOATS

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Lots of good info here, my wife and I raised 2 boys, motocross was a staple at our house for 15 years ages 8 thru 23. I've stood behind them (literally) broom in hand to watch hundreds of gate drops. There is now doubt, the sport has helped them deal with life's challenges. Including the many injuries. We were track riders first and play/desert riders second. Mistake 1 is to much bike too soon for all of us including vet riders. So, absolutely no 250 two strokes, 450 four strokes for your kid. The problem is there really isn't a good step between the ttr-crf line and a motocross bike, with a year behind him, I'd for sure do a 125 two stroke, so now I would do a play bike, crf-ttr type, If he likes the sport then move up. But not too a 250 4 stroke, in the end he'll be a MUCH better rider the longer he stays on the 125. The maintenance of a motorcross 4 stroke can be incredible compared to the 125 2 stroke. In our early days reading the manual, "weird huh" it mentioned scheduled maintenance intervals and I laughed. Enter the intermediate classes years later and I was changing crankshafts every 40 hours, piston and rings every 20 on a YZ know for their longevity, so stay away from 4 strokes as long as possible. Its a laugh to listen to guys poopoo the 125's only to get on their 450's and get smoked by a proficient 125 rider (track riding). The 125 will be a challenge at any stage to get good use of the power band, its rather narrow, but the 125 won't allow him the cheat, he'll have the ride it. I'm not for blasting at 80 down the washes and always told my boys the desert trip were to just have fun and play ride, save the aggression for the track where we have EMT's and everyone is going the same direction. The desert is kinda like the lake lice issue we deal with at the river, haha. Regardless of bike, proper setup, safety gear a must. Its a great bond between fathers and sons. My youngest, now 27, prefers I go with him when he track rides like the old days. He's invited me the ride with them in ocotillo this sunday, and yes on one of his 125's, its a blast and plenty of bike, and I'm 6-1 200. get your plan going yesterday!!!
 

69hondo

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I am a fan of 2 strokes. My almost 16 year old daughter is five foot nothing an she just got a CR125. It is big for her but its also forgiving and the lightest bike in the size range. She just took it to Dumont and got a feel for it. I was going to go for the 150r but this girl likes to prove she can do what the boys do so we went with a full size bike. She strated riding her TRX 250r at age 10. stalled the clutch twice and then she was gone. If he is asking to get a dirt bike I am sure he will enjoy it. Hes going to crash that is part of it.
9882.jpeg
 

5150

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Whatever he ends up on, get him good gear and make sure he wears it. Dress for the crash, not the ride.
AMEN! Foot surgery costs more than the bike I bought my kid. 100% my fault that he had to endure the pain and downtime, don't be that Dad.
 

oldschool

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AMEN! Foot surgery costs more than the bike I bought my kid. 100% my fault that he had to endure the pain and downtime, don't be that Dad.
And you don’t need to by $600 Sidi’s, although I must say they are comfy, or $1200 knee braces. Most of the mid level boots have really good foot and ankle protection, get decent knee pads(Leatt Axis are really good), a good chest/spine protector and a good helmet . But the key to all gear working is, they have to wear it.
 

Flying_Lavey

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you will NEED to rebuild a 2 stroke no matter what in a much shorter amount of time than you will ever need to rebuild a 4 stroke. If changing more than one or two quarts of fluid and adjusting valves every 100 hours is too much maintenance for you/ your son you might want to find a different hobby.

Not to mention how pissed your wife will be when she finds JR with his case in the kitchen oven set at 450 degrees so he can split the case for his bi-yearly rebuild on the 2 smoke. :D
Dude...... What the hell did you do to your bikes over the years? I've been riding since I was 5 and can count the number of times I've had to split the cases on any of my bikes on one hand and have fingers left. Stuck a piston a couple times and had to do the routine $150 top ends every other year and that's about it. The most expensive part about my KX500 is that it's old enough that parts are starting to become harder to find and more $$.

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oldschool

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Dude...... What the hell did you do to your bikes over the years? I've been riding since I was 5 and can count the number of times I've had to split the cases on any of my bikes on one hand and have fingers left. Stuck a piston a couple times and had to do the routine $150 top ends every other year and that's about it. The most expensive part about my KX500 is that it's old enough that parts are starting to become harder to find and more $$.

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sounds like he was maintaining them.
 

JDub24

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Ha ha. Riding every day after school, on the weekends. All desert with the majority being in sandy washes just rapping the shit out of it for hours on end.

Don’t get me wrong I love two strokes (I have one hanging off the back of my boat) but in this case it’s not the right application.


Dude...... What the hell did you do to your bikes over the years? I've been riding since I was 5 and can count the number of times I've had to split the cases on any of my bikes on one hand and have fingers left. Stuck a piston a couple times and had to do the routine $150 top ends every other year and that's about it. The most expensive part about my KX500 is that it's old enough that parts are starting to become harder to find and more $$.

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