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Welcome to the board.
First off, having lived in Tennessee myself for years, NEVR RIDE IN THE LAKE BOTTOMS WHEN THE LAKE IS DOWN!!! NEVER! The TVA will come and take your bike, and fast. Forget that if it crossed your mind. I saw it happen at least once a year as I ran a campground and marina and when the lake dropped, bikes and ATVs/quads came out and got taken.
Enough of that shit. (Hahaha!) Your size will work for either bike really, but in my opinion, you will learn to ride far better on the 125cc two-stroke (2t) in the long run than on the 230. You have to work the clutch more and control the throttle better, and you will learn proper gear selection as well. Thugh you will use the clutch far more, and may burn one out learning, you will wear one out anyway in due time and you need to know how to replace one, so... Plus, a 2t bike is easier to work on than a four-stroke (4t), and parts are usually cheaper as well, individually and as a whole as a general rule. You will have to ride harder and keep the throttle open more on the 125 2t, but that is what you want anyway in the long run, plus at your size you should be able to handle it fairly quick so long as you respect the bike and its power.
I hope that helps you out, and do not forget to look into the 200 2t lines concerning a KDX by Kawasaki, and you might get lucky and run across a KTM 200 for a fair price as well. They have a little more power than the 125, but not as much as a 250, and they are still fairly easy to elearn on and you will use the clutch a bit less.
Keep us posted.
I've never seen a 230 vs 125 comparison before (they are way different bikes) - usually it's a 250f vs 125. :)
Since you don't have any experience and are leaning more towards trails, the 125 may not be the best choice, although I agree with bleed that it can help you become a better rider. Have you considered a 250f?
I second the KDX choice. They're usually cheap, and have tons of mods if you start to outgrow it. Your budget might dictate which bike you get though. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
I have seen a 230 125 comparison before, first hand.
I have the 125 and my buddy owned a 230 at the time. The 230 was far easier for me to ride in terms of working the bike through the tight Florida scrub, but for me at least, the 125 was far more fun.
I have to say, good on you for narrowing your choices down on your own.
I reckon the two options you've picked are both good starter bikes and I was leaning towards the 230 when I read this last night. Bleed makes some good points in favour of the 125, but I think the KDX200/220 idea could be the one. Like hair says, there's plenty you can do to them later on if you want to and they're as reliable as an axe. Also much easier to ride than a 125 , which I reckon are very peaky.
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