New to Dirt Bike Riding looking for some advice | GTAMotorcycle.com

New to Dirt Bike Riding looking for some advice

marlws

Well-known member
'ello
I have been riding a sport bike for three years. Not long. I currently have an immaculate 2014 Street triple ABS (which I am selling) I've had this crazy longing and obsession to get a dirt bike, specifically a dirt biking dual sport. So a ktm exc-f 250 or a Beta. I'm not interested in anything else. I am willing to put in the time and sacrifice to learn to ride a dirt bike. I'm 5'6" on a good day with about a 29.5" inseam. So no matter what I'll be lowering the bike internally and/or a lower seat.

The question is I can't decide between a Beta XTrainer 300, Beta 350 rr-s, or a KTM 250 EXC-F. I would be riding 10 miles to get to trails.
So, my riding would be split between 60% trails 40% roads. I just want something light and easy to handle so I can learn to be a better rider and really handle the bike.....

Would love to get anyone's thoughts....
cheers
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I'd think about height correcting boots before I lowered suspension (especially on a dirtbike). The seats suck at the best of times so cutting another inch out probably doesn't change much.

Just because I'm sure it will come up, do you have access to a trailer and tow vehicle? Although dual-sports can go offroad, a dirtbike will kick its *** (especially if you are planning on running tires that aren't full knobbies so the DS isn't terrible on the road).
 

marlws

Well-known member
Thanks for your reply. I don't have a car. I'd be riding to the trails. As far as dirt bikes, yeah that's why I am sticking to a beta which is essentially a dirt bike with lights or a KTM exc-f which is a nice compromise. I am fully prepared spend the $ and get the bike lowered internally. As far as seats, seat concepts actually replace the stock foam and put softer foam in, yet still remove an inch.
So I don't want to rule it out as an option, especially if i go with the KTM which is an inch taller than the betas;)

I'd think about height correcting boots before I lowered suspension (especially on a dirtbike). The seats suck at the best of times so cutting another inch out probably doesn't change much.

Just because I'm sure it will come up, do you have access to a trailer and tow vehicle? Although dual-sports can go offroad, a dirtbike will kick its *** (especially if you are planning on running tires that aren't full knobbies so the DS isn't terrible on the road).
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
'ello
I have been riding a sport bike for three years. Not long. I currently have an immaculate 2014 Street triple ABS (which I am selling) I've had this crazy longing and obsession to get a dirt bike, specifically a dirt biking dual sport. So a ktm exc-f 250 or a Beta. I'm not interested in anything else. I am willing to put in the time and sacrifice to learn to ride a dirt bike. I'm 5'6" on a good day with about a 29.5" inseam. So no matter what I'll be lowering the bike internally and/or a lower seat.

The question is I can't decide between a Beta XTrainer 300, Beta 350 rr-s, or a KTM 250 EXC-F. I would be riding 10 miles to get to trails.
So, my riding would be split between 60% trails 40% roads. I just want something light and easy to handle so I can learn to be a better rider and really handle the bike.....

Would love to get anyone's thoughts....
cheers
I agree with GG's comment below about the boots, but I think both the KTM and Beta could be lowered modestly with factory parts without adversely affecting suspension performance as long as you're of average or lighter weight.

From what I know the Xtrainer is a trials/trail bike hybrid while the beta 350 and 250EXC-F are competition worthy dirt bikes with lights, with the KTM having the benefit of being blue plate eligible hassle free.

If you're into the idea of trials riding then the Xtrainer or the KTM Freeride would be obvious choices while still being capable of casual trail riding, but if you plan to ride "elbows up" and be relatively aggressive in the trails then the others would be a better choice.

In my opinion quality and performance between Beta and KTM would likely be a wash, so I'd make my decision based on the local (to you) dealer and the dealer network, bearing in mind that dealers pick up and drop small manufacturers from time to time, often suddenly.

At the same time, if you've fallen for one machine over the others then get that one. "the heart wants what the heart wants", and you'll be able to make the other particulars fall into place.
 

blackcamaro

Well-known member
I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam and ride a YZ450 which is one of the physically bigger dirt bikes and my gf is 5'1" she rides a YZ125 lowered 1". I wouldn't lower a bike if I was you. These bikes are pretty light anyways so one foot down is fine at a stop.

I'd go with the KTM for no particular reason other then it being a larger brand and it's a real good bike. I'd sooner go looking for KTM parts then for a Beta and I'd rather try to sell a KTM down the line when your done with it. Might want to try and test ride a exc 350 and 250 back to back though.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Talk to Rob Lang at Langs Off Road.He is very wise in the ways of setting up bikes for shorter riders.
 

marlws

Well-known member
Thank you. Fair points. And good advice. I didn't consider the closeness of the dealer.

I agree with GG's comment below about the boots, but I think both the KTM and Beta could be lowered modestly with factory parts without adversely affecting suspension performance as long as you're of average or lighter weight.

From what I know the Xtrainer is a trials/trail bike hybrid while the beta 350 and 250EXC-F are competition worthy dirt bikes with lights, with the KTM having the benefit of being blue plate eligible hassle free.

If you're into the idea of trials riding then the Xtrainer or the KTM Freeride would be obvious choices while still being capable of casual trail riding, but if you plan to ride "elbows up" and be relatively aggressive in the trails then the others would be a better choice.

In my opinion quality and performance between Beta and KTM would likely be a wash, so I'd make my decision based on the local (to you) dealer and the dealer network, bearing in mind that dealers pick up and drop small manufacturers from time to time, often suddenly.

At the same time, if you've fallen for one machine over the others then get that one. "the heart wants what the heart wants", and you'll be able to make the other particulars fall into place.
 

marlws

Well-known member
Yeah, i think the KTM's would be retain their value but Beta's wouldn't be too far behind. But, I have decided to lower it. It's less exhausting, and more confidence inspiring, especially to new riders. I think that seems to be the 80% to 30% consensus;)

I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam and ride a YZ450 which is one of the physically bigger dirt bikes and my gf is 5'1" she rides a YZ125 lowered 1". I wouldn't lower a bike if I was you. These bikes are pretty light anyways so one foot down is fine at a stop.

I'd go with the KTM for no particular reason other then it being a larger brand and it's a real good bike. I'd sooner go looking for KTM parts then for a Beta and I'd rather try to sell a KTM down the line when your done with it. Might want to try and test ride a exc 350 and 250 back to back though.
 

marlws

Well-known member
Brain cramp 80% to 20% consensus;)

Yeah, i think the KTM's would be retain their value but Beta's wouldn't be too far behind. But, I have decided to lower it. It's less exhausting, and more confidence inspiring, especially to new riders. I think that seems to be the 80% to 30% consensus;)
 

Trials

Well-known member
How serious is the dirt terrain? The bikes you're looking at are very fast, they like some space to stretch their legs, if you are riding them slow or on rough terrain, they are going to beat you up and you would be way better off with a trials type bike ;) and I guarantee the seat will not be too high. If you have fire roads, cow fields, sand pits and nothing bigger then ~2 feet tall obstacles to traverse the enduro bikes would be great fun.
 

Trials

Well-known member
.... I just want something light and easy to handle so I can learn to be a better rider and really handle the bike.....

Trials bike.

You would learn more in 2 weeks then in 2 years of riding something fast on easier terrain.
 
Last edited:

marlws

Well-known member
Thank you. I think that's exactly what I needed to hear. I just want to learn the basics and get a strong foundation to build on. I'll 90% sold on the Xtrainer and maybe do some low budget fork mods like replace 5w oil with 15w. But of course, I'll default to what Lang's Off Road says.

Trials bike.

You would learn more in 2 weeks then in 2 years of riding something fast on easier terrain.
 

Mikel

Well-known member
Here are some points I'd like to make

1) you said you don't have a car
2) your profile says you live in Toronto
3) you will be riding the motorcycle to the riding spot

If all that is true, your closest riding spot is going to be the Ganaraska forest. Any of the bike choices here are going to make terrible commute to riding spots bikes. Almost all hard core dirt bikers own a truck or a suv with a hitch carrier, I've even seen a RAV4 with a MX Hauler, and I used to own an Audi A4 with a class 1 hitch and a small trailer. My personal opinion is a beta xtrainer will get old real quick. They can be fun but they are meant as a supplementary bike not as your main steed. Unless you have a sweet spot with all the fun trials obstacles setup that aren't going to get messed with the xtrainer is just going to fall short in so many ways. The ganny only has a few areas where the xtrainer kind of shines but can realistically be done on any bike. I have no idea what your finances are like but if you are going to commute to the riding spot, a KTM exc-f is your best choice, also you will have to get good at changing tires, because even DOT knobbies are going to wear out in like 1500-2000km.

Last fall I remember seeing a kijiji ad of a 2018 250 exc-f being sold in Barrie by a private seller for around $8500, the bike had like 300-400 km's on it. I'd look for something like that, you would basically be getting a new bike with a 2000-3000 discount, also when you buy the bike used, you can fudge the numbers at the MTO when you register it to save a bit on tax, but I don't condone that type of behavior just merely stating the obvious.
 

gqelements

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Thank you. I think that's exactly what I needed to hear. I just want to learn the basics and get a strong foundation to build on. I'll 90% sold on the Xtrainer and maybe do some low budget fork mods like replace 5w oil with 15w. But of course, I'll default to what Lang's Off Road says.
How are you going to ride Xtrainer from Toronto to the trails? Closest area to ride is ~70k outside city limits...
I'd consider the Beta 390 instead. It's the best 'in between' bike out there that can buzz along the highway and feel at home on the trails... If I were replacing my 500RR-s today that would be my choice.

PS: If you are on a budget, take the bike you wind up with to an auto upholstery place and have them shave the seat down for $20 vs investing in separate lower aftermarket seat; try not to lower it... You will learn how to slide off the seat on one foot very quickly and maybe being shorter will be a benefit, making you less inclined to duck-feet in sketchy terrain.. :)

And most of all, take a course!! Trail Tours, SMART, whatever. Its incredibly worth it.
 

marlws

Well-known member
I keep my bikes up near Creemore. So that's where I ride.


Here are some points I'd like to make

1) you said you don't have a car
2) your profile says you live in Toronto
3) you will be riding the motorcycle to the riding spot

If all that is true, your closest riding spot is going to be the Ganaraska forest. Any of the bike choices here are going to make terrible commute to riding spots bikes. Almost all hard core dirt bikers own a truck or a suv with a hitch carrier, I've even seen a RAV4 with a MX Hauler, and I used to own an Audi A4 with a class 1 hitch and a small trailer. My personal opinion is a beta xtrainer will get old real quick. They can be fun but they are meant as a supplementary bike not as your main steed. Unless you have a sweet spot with all the fun trials obstacles setup that aren't going to get messed with the xtrainer is just going to fall short in so many ways. The ganny only has a few areas where the xtrainer kind of shines but can realistically be done on any bike. I have no idea what your finances are like but if you are going to commute to the riding spot, a KTM exc-f is your best choice, also you will have to get good at changing tires, because even DOT knobbies are going to wear out in like 1500-2000km.

Last fall I remember seeing a kijiji ad of a 2018 250 exc-f being sold in Barrie by a private seller for around $8500, the bike had like 300-400 km's on it. I'd look for something like that, you would basically be getting a new bike with a 2000-3000 discount, also when you buy the bike used, you can fudge the numbers at the MTO when you register it to save a bit on tax, but I don't condone that type of behavior just merely stating the obvious.
 

marlws

Well-known member
Yes. I plan on taking a course for sure.
How are you going to ride Xtrainer from Toronto to the trails? Closest area to ride is ~70k outside city limits...
I'd consider the Beta 390 instead. It's the best 'in between' bike out there that can buzz along the highway and feel at home on the trails... If I were replacing my 500RR-s today that would be my choice.

PS: If you are on a budget, take the bike you wind up with to an auto upholstery place and have them shave the seat down for $20 vs investing in separate lower aftermarket seat; try not to lower it... You will learn how to slide off the seat on one foot very quickly and maybe being shorter will be a benefit, making you less inclined to duck-feet in sketchy terrain.. :)

And most of all, take a course!! Trail Tours, SMART, whatever. Its incredibly worth it.
 

marlws

Well-known member
I really appreciate all the feedback. LOL. It's making me really think hard, too hard. I forgot to mention, the bike would be kept at my parents house near Creemore. So I don't know what kind of trails are close to there. I do know from the locals there are some smaller accessible unofficial trails just off the side roads, that no one will get upset about. (Or so they say) And my budget is fine. I plan on my buying new and adding some accessories, of course, if a used model comes along, I'd try and snap it up.
 

marlws

Well-known member
Yeah, I've heard or at least read both sides of this argument.
Don't do it! All that will accomplish is to make the suspension lazy. Light fork oil imparts a more lively and responsive suspension, lively and responsive beats lazy.
 

Top Bottom