The Best Dirt Bike For You And Me

by Joe Shepherd
(Houston, TX, USA)

1200 dollars for this or $8000 for a slower 250 four banger?

1200 dollars for this or $8000 for a slower 250 four banger?

If you are wondering what bike is best for you, read this. I went out and did the research in the real life not the rich life. This story for me first started when I recently ventured back into riding and was looking for what bike to buy. I have always loved the sport and tried my whole life to get into the sport. My family didn't have money and I currently don't have much either. I looked at all bikes and have enough knowledge to find out what's best for me. This comes from a childhood of on and off spurts of riding and letdowns. I always told myself "If I just had the money to afford a bike and ride more often I could be good." With most poor trailer park kids like me that wasn't possible. This is a belief I had.


From the first time on a track (on a borrowed bike) I could clear all the obstacles with a small amount of practice. I just didn't have the stamina that comes with countless hours at the track and O' Yea.. a bike. In those days most, if not all bikes at the track were two strokes.

I have kept up with the sport watching all AMA events in my area, and all local races. I am well aware of the four stroke and its rise to dominance. I just didn't know why. I knew it was a time I could buy a bike I just didn't know which would be better for me - a two stroke or four? I was ready to finally do what I loved so I started looking on the internet on the subject of two or four. I found nothing but people in blogs begging for the two stroke to come back, and found nothing that made me lean one way or the other. I just couldn't understand why people just went out and bought four strokes so I tried to find out. I went to the local track where I would hopefully be riding soon and asked around before I made my purchase. The one comment that kept poppin out was that not a lot of pro events allow two stroke 250's to compete with four stroke 250's, but im not a pro and this track allows it. One guy I talked to was a young man around 19-20 years old sitting in riding pants and watching his friends ride. I asked him "Do you ride?" He said "yes", but his bike is broken and needs a head job. He said he doesn't have the money to fix it and doesn't know when he will be able to afford to fix it. He rides a 450 four stroke and the head job will cost him around 1000 dollars.

Since I am a guy with little money and don't want a lot of downtime off a bike, this fact interested me the most. I wondered what I would do in the same situation. I snapped off a comment like, "Well if you had a 250 two stroke you could probably do the head job yourself and it would probably cost a lot less." He told me he had a 02 yz250 two stroke before he bought his 08 yzf450. He told me his two stroke handled as good and felt like it had the same power. He also said yes he could do the head job himself for around 200 dollars and would be on the track right now and wouldn't be borrowing friends bikes. I noticed his brother who just started in the sport was on a kx125 two stroke.

So with this knowledge I left the track after getting a few riding tips here and there and knew I had a decision to make. The only reason I came up with on why everybody is on a four stroke not a two is the AMA supercross and motorcross series. I believe people think that if it is good for the AMA its good for me. Those teams have lots of money and technology. I don't see that much with local riders, and it's not my situation either. I need fast and cheap and reliable not fast unreliable and expensive. I wondered if the supercross lites class all rode 250 two strokes what the local track would look like then. I believe the fastest rider on the tack is still the fastest if he is on a two stroke or four. I don't believe the displacement would make a difference until you are in a pro level of racing. I believe speed comes from a lot of riding and proper technique.

I decided to buy an 01 yz250 two stroke for 1200 dollars. I found the bike completely stock - even the piston was original. It was in the same condition as it was bought off the showroom floor, with just some minor scratches. I have been riding and practicing as much as I can and love having my own bike. I see no difference in the two bikes on the track. If I'm a better rider than the guy on the four stroke 450 I leave him behind, if he is better than me.. well you get the point.

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