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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been following a thread in another section about ways to improve your street riding skills, and several very knowledgeable people on the forum recommend riding on dirt to improve your street skills. Im in, that sounds like great advice and its something me and my lady wanted to get into anyways. so whats a good used dirt bike to learn on, whats good for me: Im 6'4", 34" inseam, 180 lbs, 7 years street experience, no dirt experience. my lady is 5'10", 30" inseam, i'm not crazy so i'm not going to post a woman's weight on the internet but we can say skinny/petite, 3 years experience riding street, no dirt experience, we would buy 2 bikes, one for each of us, I am handy so don't mid doing my own maintenance. Also, we are in san diego county, should we take a class to learn the basics of dirt? thanks in advanced to all the people on the forum who know more than I do and aren't afraid to share there wealth of knowledge!
 

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Go to a bike shop and try them on for size.

My guess is your wife would be a Yamaha TTR125LE - electric start, 125CC, about 170 lb bike and a very mild power band but still plenty capable. Very reliable bike as long as it has not been modified.

It is a much better bike than the XR100/CRF100 because the suspension and powerband are better.

The CRF 150 weighs about 30+ lbs more and is a little taller so it might be intimidating to your wife.

For you as a starter bike you can go with a YZ or CR or RM or KX250 2-stroke 2002 or older so it still has a green sticker and you can ride it year round in California.

Or you can go 4 stroke and I'd suggest the CRF250X or the WR250F but not all of them were green stickers in the 2003-06 vintage so be careful there.

The dual sport water cooled 4-stroke 250s from Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki are way over weight in the dirt at close to 300 lbs and are way under powered on the street as they top out about 75mph and you are wringing their neck to get there.

If you want a dual sport, the Suzuki DR250-350-650 family are great reliable bikes but nothing real special about them.
 
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No dirt bike recommendations from me, it's been waaay too many years since I've owned one, but......you wife is definitely not "petite". She may be thin, but petite is commonly used to describe a woman who is somewhat short and weight really doesn't enter into the mix. :cool:
 

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I will 2nd the TTR's. 125LE for her and a 250 for you. They are great starter bikes, low maintenance and user friendly.
With no time in the dirt I would avoid the 2-strokes unless its a KDX or ECX. Motocross smokers are a handful until you get your feet wet.

My 2 cents.....
 

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I will 2nd the TTR's. 125LE for her and a 250 for you. They are great starter bikes, low maintenance and user friendly.
With no time in the dirt I would avoid the 2-strokes unless its a KDX or ECX. Motocross smokers are a handful until you get your feet wet.

My 2 cents.....
TTR250s are rare bikes as they did not sell well, at least not in California.

TTR230 and the predecessor TTR225 are readily available but the 250 is taller, has more power and better suspension than the 225/230. I have a TTR230 that I use as a loaner/adult training bike as it is very capable bike (my favorite play bike) it just doesn't have a great suspension or great brakes but it will climb just about anything, just don't expect it to do anything fast.

If you want a basic learner bike the TTRs are hard to beat.

I have a YZ450F suspension for my TTR but haven't gotten around to it...
 

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Honda Rider Education Center is a great place to get some experience on a dirt bike without having to buy one first. One thing I've learned in the past, my wife takes direction/instruction from a stranger/professional better than she does with me "telling her what to do".

Colton Rider Education Center - Honda Powersports

They provide everything. Bike, gear and riding area.

Just a thought.

-Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great advice forum, im going to talk to my tall, skinny, but not petite :D girlfriend and see when we can schedule a class, im new to california is the green/red sticker an emissions thing?
 

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Great advice forum, im going to talk to my tall, skinny, but not petite :D girlfriend and see when we can schedule a class, im new to california is the green/red sticker an emissions thing?
Yes, it has to do with riding "seasons" because of emissions. It's not a issue if you plan on riding on a motocross track/private property all the time. But if you want to go to the mountains or the desert the sticker color comes into play as does a spark arrester. If you do get into riding off road and you want more options, the best thing to do is get a dual sport. A license plate overrides all green or red sticker issues. There are even signs off road that say "no green sticker vehicles beyond this piont", with a license plated dirt bike you are free to go beyond that.

Also, my wife is 5'5 and she had a TTR-125LE to learn on. Your wife being much taller can ride a full sized bike. The bigger wheels roll over stuff off road better.

-Shannon
 

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A pair of CR500 two-stroke Hondas will do the trick. LMAO. Seriously, Motomania had good advice. I would go with a WR250F for you and a TTR230 for her, both Yamahas.

I have owned a couple of CR500 Hondas and they cannot be ridden by most mortals.

Since you live in San Diego, I would seriously consider Colin Edwards Boot Camp school in Texas. I enrolled my wife in a similar class (Cornerspin), and the results were amazing in her skill level. She has since ridden Baja and she does a good job of keeping up with my crew of psyco friends on the road.

Boot Camp
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
cool, thanks for clearing that up, im definitely going to want something thats ready to go anywhere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A pair of CR500 two-stroke Hondas will do the trick. LMAO. Seriously, Motomania had good advice. I would go with a WR250F for you and a TTR230 for her, both Yamahas.

I have owned a couple of CR500 Hondas and they cannot be ridden by most mortals.

Since you live in San Diego, I would seriously consider Colin Edwards Boot Camp school in Texas. I enrolled my wife in a similar class (Cornerspin), and the results were amazing in her skill level. She has since ridden Baja and she does a good job of keeping up with my crew of psyco friends on the road.

Boot Camp
thats super impressive, good to hear those classes are worth the money, I will look into the colin edwards class, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
dude, im so ignorant (thats why im on the forum, I guess : ) ) when i buy one of the recommended bikes, is it a hassle to get it plated and street legal?
 

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Also, the skills they teach you are transferable to the road. They are big on flat tracker body positioning which gives you a good sense of how far you can lean a bike over. One good thing is that they will teach you good habits, and if she doesn't take to the dirt, you can learn the easy way.

I spent a lifetime in the dirt, and a sliding streetbike (front and rear) does not freak me out at all. Also, I can make rapid adjustments to situations in a smooth fashion, which can be lifesaving. All of this can be attributed to my dirt experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Also, the skills they teach you are transferable to the road. They are big on flat tracker body positioning which gives you a good sense of how far you can lean a bike over. One good thing is that they will teach you good habits, and if she doesn't take to the dirt, you can learn the easy way.

I spent a lifetime in the dirt, and a sliding streetbike (front and rear) does not freak me out at all. Also, I can make rapid adjustments to situations in a smooth fashion, which can be lifesaving. All of this can be attributed to my dirt experience.
what you say hits the nail on the head for us,
We are both interested because:

A.) want to have fun in the dirt
B.) want to ride faster and safer on the street
C.) its an excuse to buy 2 more motorcycles!
 

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Since she's 5'10, I wouldn't get her on anything smaller than a 230 (Honda CRF or Yamaha TTR) since it'd be way too short. Since you have street experience, I would recommend sticking with 4 strokes, as 2 stroke powerband is a total different beast to be learning. I have a crf230 that I let my buddies and gf ride, its a great starter bike with easy maintenance and enough power to climb anything without being scary. The TTR230 is a very similar bike, so go with what you can afford. You should be able to find them in green sticker unless its an older yamaha... just means you can ride it at the parks year round. For you, check out a CRF250x (not the r). It is geared a bit lower, has both kick and electric start and will have enough power to keep you happy. I ride a crf450x, but I've been riding for many years. There are some awesome spots to check out in SoCal, I've only been down to Gorman unfortunately as anything else would be too far. Good luck!
 
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AFAIK, if it didn't come from the factory as a dually, it's practically impossible to do.....


In Cali. In AZ it's easy.....

dude, im so ignorant (thats why im on the forum, I guess : ) ) when i buy one of the recommended bikes, is it a hassle to get it plated and street legal?
 

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Get something used. You will be dropping it.

;-) (but it's true)
New or used with a dirt bike really doesn't matter. If someone tells me that they never dropped their dirt bike I call b.s. on the spot. If you haven't dropped your dirt bike, were you really riding it?
 

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New or used with a dirt bike really doesn't matter. If someone tells me that they never dropped their dirt bike I call b.s. on the spot. If you haven't dropped your dirt bike, were you really riding it?
I was just thinking about resale value.
 

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when i buy one of the recommended bikes, is it a hassle to get it plated and street legal?
States have varying rules on converting dirt bikes to make them street legal. Some states don't allow a conversion at all, and to be street legal the motorcycle must have been manufactured as such.
 
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