buying a 'tard, round 2.... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Talking buying a 'tard, round 2....

OKay, I found out there is an entire motard race series an hour from home... so now I have to figure what bike to get! I'm thinking that whatever motard I get would be a track-only bike, so I don't have to worry about it being street-legal. Then I'd have a fun track-day bike and I could race a bit.

I have never raced anything motorized in my life, so it seems the sportsman class would suit me fine. I was thinking Honda XR400 or Kawi KLX 300 'cause used ones are cheep. The KTMs and Husabergs I've come across do not fall in to the 'cheep' category

Then I started thinking, why not get a cr250? Is that retarded? Can you slide the back end of a 2stroke like the heroes of every Motard photo?

Anyway, advice from you racers would be helpful. I am peeing my pants to get a motard!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 01:56 AM
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2 Stroke Motards

Sure you can motard a 2 stroke, but....

The trade off is that there is no engine braking. Which means you have to be really hard on the brakes to get the bike to square off the corner. Also, there are situations where you will be slipping the clutch, whereas on a 4 stroke you can grunt it out.

That said, some of the really fast guys are running CR500's.

Honestly, stay away from the XR400 as a race bike. It's too slow and too heavy (and the suspension is not adjustable) for what you want to do. You might look at a YZ/WR250F. Lighter and faster than the XR. Or just get a CR250.

Ron West
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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thanks, i feel like a total newbie dork

i feel like when I first got a mountain bike a decade ago... I have NO IDEA what I'm getting in to.

Thanks for the tip on the xr400. Do you have an opinion on the kawasaki klx300?

I found a used cheap cr250 set up for woods riding, so it has a flywheel weight. Would that help in the engine braking?

By the way, your friend's KTM sounds awesome, but it was just too expensive (I decided to tone down my budget ) and there are a bunch of bikes around here...

I guess the answer is to just get a bike and ride, then I'll know better what I need. fun!

bored at work tim
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 03:27 AM
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KLX 300? hmm...

The only problem with that would be where it would fit in the rules. (check out for the rules). It's too big for lightweight and you'll be waaaaay at the back in middleweight (since you'll be racing against 400/426/450's). Although, this year may be a bit different since the YZ/WR250F's got moved out of LW and into MW. A buddy of mine had this bike and he sunk a ton of $$$ into it to try to get everything setup right for trail riding.

And yes, a flywheel weight will help the tractability of a 2 stroke dramattically (revs up slower, revs down slower) and will help it pull through the corner.

I bet you can get a used CR, lower it, put wheels on it and still be less money than a new WR/YZF.

While on the topic of wheels, you've got 2 choices to make it a real motard:

Option 1. (cheap route). Keep your 19" rear wheel. Find a dirt track tire dealer. Have your front wheel laced with a 19" rim (instead of 21"). 19" definately work better in the dirt than 17's, but 19" tires are not quite as good on the pavement (since they have a form of a knob).

Option 2: (better route). Take the stock hubs and get them laced up with 17" wheels. Benefits: better choice of tires, more contact patch, works best of pavement, works OK on dirt. My 17" wheels are 3.5" front and 4.25 rear. Since you have the hubs, brakes, etc already all you need is the rim hoops and spokes.

Have the CR dropped 2-3 inches. A good suspension guy can do this cheap (all they do is cut the springs and add spacers in the forks).

Ron West
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 07:57 AM
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As in any type of racing, the best way to start is probably to go hang out at the track and see if anyone is selling their already-prepped machine.

Suck mean people!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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that might be a good plan... though I want my new toy NOW !

Bottom line, I am looking for a track day bike to learn how to really ride... not necessarily a "race" bike, just something that would do me well on a track and help me achieve my goal of becoming an seasoned rider. I just think that racing a motard would be a blast, and motards make the most sense to me for riding on a track. Crashes do little damage, the speeds aren't ridiculous, and the bikes require some real handling skills.
Also, being able to take the bike off road in PA every now and then is a big plus!

I apologize for using this forum as a stream-of-conciousness diary as I think about all this crap. I am very bored at work.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2002, 11:49 AM
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Ronwest makes many good points, specially concerning competitive SuperTT racing.

I still think as someone starting out.
I have never raced anything motorized in my life
I would suggest something you feel comfortable on, around here people race almost anything and have a blast doing it!
There is a guy on a stock DT200 with a 21" Avon road pattern tire on the front and some other road rubber on the back. He's out there "mixin it up" and having a good time doing it. Meanwhile, He is planning and building his next one,(520 KTM!) applying what He's learned on the track. He's getting experience on the street too.
To get fast, track time is most important. Being able to ride your machine on the street helps raise your skill and comfort level also, not to mention being a lot of fun.

So, lord tim, get something affordable and ride. You'll have no shortage of ideas and advice at the track.

Cheers, Grok.

Try it...........You'll like it!
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