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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm 28j old,1m80, 85Kg and about to finish my drivers license and the goal is to start riding off road in Belgium (Enduro). Off course like every motorcycle enthusiast in my early years i had 50cc all juiced up so i had a small tast of riding on 2 wheels as a young free man in highschool chasing from the police hahahaha.
Now finally i have the resources to buy myself a first Enduro what is a long time dream. Now i ask myself the big question if i buy myself a new 4stroke is it smarter to stick in the beginning with e 250 or go straight to 350?

I'm looking forward to read what your opinions are!
 

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I started off road at 49, luckily in the uk there us an enduro school where you can try all the bikes.

250 four stroke was easiest to ride and plenty powerful enough. 300 2t was most fun, 500 was impossible to ride hard, but easy to plod about on. 350 was also good balance of ease of use and friendly to use.

Ended up with 350 as took one as px on bike i was selling. Find it great for trails as it has more low down power but stil agile.
 

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Assuming by enduro you mean track riding/racing then I'd recommend a 250f for the first year or two. Then you can swap for something more powerful if needed.

Power only hurts beginners.

If you're doing predominantly trail riding then the 350 is a great bike but will work against you on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yess, most of the rides will be single tracks trials not on a race track (never say never). Thanks for the the advice so far, i think i will go for the 350 EXC-F because i will start slow in normal mud fields on farming roads and build up
 

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yess, most of the rides will be single tracks trials not on a race track (never say never). Thanks for the the advice so far, i think i will go for the 350 EXC-F because i will start slow in normal mud fields on farming roads and build up

If you mean single track like the americans use the term (i.e. you use a van/trailer to take the bike to a riding area) which can be quite tight and narrow, then I would definitely stick to the 250. But that's up to you. If you're a real beginner and you're on single track, you will be using about 1/10th of what the 350 can do and it'll will be a tiring handful.
 

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If you're a real beginner and you're on single track, you will be using about 1/10th of what the 350 can do and it'll will be a tiring handful.
That was me, but I found the 350 no harder to ride than the 250, you just use less throttle / revs for the required pace ;-)

I do waste 90% of the bikes potential, but I would still waste 80% of the 250's potential, but witht he 350 I have more torque on tap, can get away with being in the wrong gear more easily and don't have to work it as hard, which I am hoping means it will maybe last longer / wear out slower. It also has an advantage on the roads linking the trails as as well wth the extra torque and slightly higher gearing.

Now, on an MX or Enduro track I do find it a bit harder, if I ride around an Enduro track as if I am out green laning all is good, but as I up the pace (or try to) that's when the power and torque can become a disadvantage as it will spin up and wheelie quite easily and regardless of the Map Mode or TC setting it is a bit of a handful, obviously riding slower / pulling higher gears tames it, but when I want to feel as if I am mastering the bike the bike it makes it clear who the bitch in the equation is ;-)

I think I would probably lap a track faster on a 250, but as that's not what I bought the bike for I am happy, but would of been equally happy on a 250.
 

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Don't know, but here's my personal experience.

I started properly off-road on my 500exc as an old fart. Seemed easy enough ploughing around forests along single track and just blasting around logged areas along the logging machine tracks. Hurt myself hitting a tree, but nothing to do with the bike or its power. School boy error of continuing to ride in the woods when knackered (in my defence I was on my way home and only about 100 metres from a gravel road).

Found and joined an enduro track/club and it was a bit of a different ball game. Everyone else is suddenly super-skilled and super fast. Apparently with super-human skills and stamina. They seem to stick to the slippiest shit, and float and hop over everything. Most have 250-350 bikes.

I've continued with the 500 as I'm never going to be a racer and the 500 does double duty on gravel and trails for longer distance camping trips.

However, after a few tips and practice out at the track, I'm now keeping up (just about) with most of the super-humans on the 500. On Tuesday night I was hammering along our newly laid out 12km twisty, rocky forest track just behind one of the better riders who helps run the track, and about two-thirds of the way 'round he stopped and suggested we swap bikes for the last third, so I could see what a properly tuned, lighter bike is like. He has a well fettled 350 4-stroke. When we both finished the course, we both said how much we disliked each other's bikes (though he did like the power of the 500 on the few open, straight bits).

The 350 didn't feel any more nimble, or much lighter. Though, he's heavier than me and so his suspension felt much harder to me (and mine felt too soft to him). I guess it's what you get used to. Maybe I'd step up a level after spending more time on a 350 that's properly set up for me? Possibly.

Maybe starting on a 250 would've had me improve faster. Though physical limitations of being an old fart are probably a bigger factor.

Other little things also made quite a big impact. My bike had a Rekluse on it when I bought it. After removing it, I got much better really quickly. I just became far more engaged with the bike overall and had more control (and spent less time fixing the bloody thing and riding instead).

So, as I said, I don't know. You're a lot younger, and I'm sure fitter. And you're more likely to want to develop your riding to a higher level in the future. In my experience, there are a lot more factors to consider than engine size. But maybe 250 would be a good place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Assuming by enduro you mean track riding/racing then I'd recommend a 250f for the first year or two. Then you can swap for something more powerful if needed.

Power only hurts beginners.

If you're doing predominantly trail riding then the 350 is a great bike but will work against you on the track.
Yeah it will be more for woods and muddy routes in the forest areas or on a Sunday to ride in tracks in between farmer feelds, and offcourse put some road tiers on to travel around country as a supermotard

great advice, love it!
 

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My nephew has an FE250 (Husky‘s EXC equivalent) and, for me, it’s horrible on the road as it’s very short geared.
I had an FE350 and, even though I am probably the slowest and most useless rider on here (or at least I admit it) it was so much more usable and dead easy to control on the clutch or throttle. On the road, it was great fun, which helped as, in a 120 mile day, 80+ miles are on road. That said, I think you can trash the rear drive with too much hard road use.

Definitely try and ride both. It’s shame you can’t get on an Ady Smith try out day as you can ride everything there and get help / instruction.
 

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If its for trail riding around south england then a crf300 2021 would be better than a ktm exc. But a honda moped would be more than suitable.
 

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Like "it's not Ginger" I started Enduro riding very late. Bought my first dirt bike with 50. I started with a 450 four stroke that killed me in minutes. But I kept it for one year. Then I bought a 350 four stroke and it was so much easier to ride that I couldn't believe it. We were 6 riders in our group, three 450's and three 500's. In two years they all bought a 350. They just thought a 350 is a girls bike but then realized that the old fart (me) with the 350 just rode better, faster and was less exhausted on the 350.
So I think you can handle a 350, especially at your age you are probably a lot fitter than I ever was. In the meantime I rode all bikes, 200 two strokes, 300 two strokes all kinda four strokes...It's personal preference no doubt. Personally I am a two stroke guy and I too use about 15% of what the bike is able to do but two strokes are a lot more fun. For racing I'd choose the 350 four stroke as it is easier to ride and quicker everywhere, except all extreme stuff.

I always wondered why the Brits ride so many smokers. When I looked at races over here I saw 90% four strokes, then watched races in the UK and saw 90% two strokes. It was clear that what we ride over here the average Brit would ride with one hand in the pocket. The tracks are so much harder in the UK, there is so much mud racing and extreme stuff that a two stroke really makes sense there.
 
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I bought this three weeks ago, just for trail riding, western alps, TET and stuff. It's a fucking heavy bike, but no electronics and cheap too. :) View attachment 39160
Good bike and without all the gimmicks, my africa twin is just about on the right side when you work out how to turn everything off, the later ones look like they have the switch gear from the space shuttle and as for keyless:rolleyes:
Not suggesting the thread starter should jump stright on to a big twin but IMO people do not give them chance, you get on it and yes it feels big heavy and cumbersome, you need some proper tyres and give it some time, I always think let the bike think it is it's idea to follow a burm/rut etc do not try to wrestle with it because no matter how big and strong you are it will take it out of you in no time.

My modded 950 s adv is the better bike for off road but when it comes to deserts and reliability it has to be the Honda, no doubt the Yamaha will be just as reliable.
 

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I did a tiny bit of light offroading on a Super Tenere and KTM 1190, both fine on easy gravel /dirt tracks - but not really off-road, more unpaved roads.

Sure they can do a lot more in skilled hands, but for mere mortals and people who did not start racing MX at the age of 4 they are hard work and as soon as it gets muddy they will stop, clip the edge off a rut and you have very little chance of keeping them up.

Also consider a scuffed to fuck Enduro bike is worth a shade less than an unscuffed one and I paid under £200 for a full set of genuine bodywork (Everything, panels, rad covers, tail peice, fork guards, headlight surround) for my FE350...

..Drop your big road bike and be prepared for a £1000+ bill, and used values on bikes like these that have obviosuly been used / crashed off road wil be thousands less.

BUT if you are doing way more road miles than offroad ones, covering large distances (TET etc) then a big(ger) ADV bike probably makes sense, my choice would be a Husky 701 as they are quite light (and look ace) maybe a KTM 790 / 890, possibly the 700 Yamaha - but it is about 60KG heavier than a 690 / 701 - like carrying a light pillion, and compared to an Enduro bike its like having a fat bloke on the back....

...An Africa Twin is as heavy as an Enduro bike with 2 fat blokes on the back!
 

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I've ad both the 250 & 350, the 250 is easier to ride, you can grab it by the scruff of the neck and man handle it around, the extra power of the 350 may catch you out for a while
 
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