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Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Old 12-29-2006, 09:54 AM
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Default Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Got the dirtbike bug again now that my son is big enough to ride. Anyone here ride?

Have been looking at Hondas and Yamahas. I had 5 while I was a kid and want to get a 230 or 250 for me and an 80 for my son.

Considering getting a cheap 125 thumper for me now (TTR, KLX), and hand it down to my son in a couple of years and then move up, but not sure I'd be happy with a 125.

Anyone have a Honda CRF230F or Yamaha TTR? The yamahas are much cheaper and considering them. Don't really care about the aftermarket parts, which I read are more available for the Hondas.

Also want to stay away from the clutchless bikes for my son. I learned on a 60 with a clutch and want him to get that behind him instead of getting use to just jamming the brakes and twisting the throttle. That rules out most under 80CC.

Since sem-autos are the norm now I am looking at XR80s. He is 10 and about 4'6, I guess, and a true beginner. The XR will be a little much for him for a while, but I think he'd outgrow a CRF70F in a couple of months.

We'll just be trail and woods riding, no track for now.

Definately going used for my son, but considering new for mine.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:50 AM
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Default RE: Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Rode Honda for years & years & years.

CR125, CR250, CR500 (LOVED that bike), XR 200, XR 250, XR600.

Bad elbows and worse right knee have kept me from riding any more


Okay, enough crap about me - get the mid-sized four stroke for yourself. Enough power without killing yourself, and you might even be able to get out of bed the next day

The small thumper for your boy is a good start.


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Old 12-29-2006, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Haven't rode in years but getting the bug myself. My thinking is more of an enduro. I can ride on any of the roads up North to get to all of the logging roads and remote ponds. Couple of cold ones and a 4 piece fly rod sounds like fun. There are 100's of miles of logging roads and snowmobile trails.

I can't think that you would be very happy on a 125. I wouldn't be anyway. I think that the 80 for your kid to start out is fine along with the standard set up. (clutch/shift)

When he outgrows it sell it and upgrade for him. You'll be all set or..... You can upgrade with him.

If the little bikes hold their value like the Kitty Cat snowmobile from Artic Cat, you can't go wrong.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:55 PM
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I just sold a CRF 230. Based on what you've written, I'd say either of the 230s would be a good choice. Check out Evilbay. You can find some really good deals on them there.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:07 PM
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It depends on your size,ability, and type of riding you want to do, MX, trails, pits? Most of the smaller 4 strokes have weenie suspension and any real sized adult male will be undersprung and beaten to a pulp in any riding conditions other than very mellow trail riding.

EDIT: just read your post again, I see your going on the trails.XR's are great beginner trail bikes. For you, I'd want either the CR-F 450 or ANY KTM , 2 stroke or 4.. KTM owns the trailriding market for several reasons, they just flat out get it done.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Thanks for the responses. I really don't think a 125 will work well for me for long either, although for now it would probably be fine and I could hand it down to my son in a year or 2.

Going to start the search this week and will probably look for an XR200 or a CRF 230, if I decide to spend that much. In all reality I will be doing some pretty mild trail riding so I don't need an large displacement bike. Plus I'm 5'9 165 lbs, so I don't want anything too tall.

Going to start first with the XR80 search for my son, although the CRF70Fs are easier to find and less money.

Should be a good wintertime activity to keep us outside since fishing is done for us.
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

i have 4 wheelers for the girls.only problem now if it dont have a gas motor they wont get on it.bikes are old news
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:49 PM
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I have had the bug too. My son is now 9 and our neighbors bought some and it is driving him crazy. The only problem is we live in RI and their is no place left to ride.

I had Honda XL100, Suz TM250 (before RM) , Honda Elsinore 250 CR. I miss those days.
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:07 PM
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I wish I still had a kx 125
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:02 PM
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Nicmegmatt - 1/1/2007 7:49 PMI have had the bug too. My son is now 9 and our neighbors bought some and it is driving him crazy. The only problem is we live in RI and their is no place left to ride.I had Honda XL100, Suz TM250 (before RM) , Honda Elsinore 250 CR. I miss those days.
Join NETRA and get the kids involved in some nervice novice rides. Then if they enjoy it, they can move on to the junior series. It's a great organization for people who ride in New England, you will find places to ride from other members. I raced their series for a few years and had a blast. I wish my 11 yr. old was a little more motivated to ride, but he's pretty fickle. I bought him a KTM 50 mini adventure when he was 5, but he never really seemed to REALLY want to ride. If I asked him to go riding it was either "I guess so" or "nah, not now". I don't get it, most kids foam at the mouth when it comes to dirtbikes. He is an accomplished offshore fisherman however, so I can't complain too much.

EDIT: I still have his 50, it's way too small for him and only has maybe 10 hours, its mint. if someone is interested shoot me a PM . Great beginner bike for a 5-6 yr. old.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:47 PM
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My son races at the amateur level and at 12 years old, I had him on the Honda CRF250R. It was a tad tall for him but he quickly grew into it.

I started my son on a clutched bike and I'm glad I did. He was able to learn what a clutch was for early on and I didn't have to break any bad habits where clutches are concerned.

Do yourself and him a favor and don't go too small in the beginning. I have seen more kids hurt themselves trying to make a smaller bike fit their need (aggressive riding and jumping). Then mom and dad gets this "darn bike" notion and either sells it or won't let the kid ride it any more.

My son has been riding since he was 6 (started on a Suzuki DS80 with a clutch) and he has never looked back. He is 15 now and races the big bikes.

The bike size should be based on several things:

Intent of use
Riders size
and lastly, ability. That comes with seat time.

If he gets the bike bug, there is no cure!

The biggest thing for you to keep in mind is suspension. The XR models don't have the best suspension in the world and after a day of trails, MONKEY BUTT and ARM PUMP is almost guaranteed.

I've spent countless hours around dirt bikes and all have their strong points and weaknesses.

I could discuss bikes for hours. If you like, give me a pm.

BTW, here is a pic of my son at a local tune-up practice.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...r/DSCF2888.jpg
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:07 PM
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Good info. I had a Yamaha IT175 back in the day when I was 14 and loved it. Amazingly as a 2 stroke it weighed much more than the open 4 strokes do now.

Probably going to find a 200/230 of some sort to get me back up to speed. XR80 for the son will probably work as well. Don't want to spend a ton so used it will be.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:54 PM
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our kids first bikes were XRs. they were 6 and 12 at the time. we bought them a 50 and an 80. the 80 had a clutch.
cost me a 6 foot double pane glass door and a real scare.
boots, pants, jersey, gloves, helmet, googles--for every ride, kids. no matter how short.
a slip of the clutch in the yard, a confused throttle hand, a crash, 10 million pieces of glass strewn from the patio to the front door and everywhere in between, a motorcycle on the kitchen floor, and not one scratch on him. neither one would dare ride without full gear from then on.

the next jump was for the little one to go to a 70, at age 8. still a 'clutchless', and im glad. its really one less thing to fumble with, especially trail riding, which is where my kids do all of their riding. hes probably ready for a clutch now, at age 10. but he's such a little midget, he not ready for a bigger bike yet!

all in all, we have been nothing but completely and totally happy with the XRs.

cheers.
drew
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:15 PM
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Jeez, that's a heck of a story, with a glass slider involved. My son has already lost a CRF70F off a small jump and almost found a big oak before he laid it down.

I agree about the necessity for gear. Scares me to see kids ride with just a helmet, and usually unstrapped.

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Old 01-02-2007, 04:27 PM
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I have the KDX 200, great all around bike. It has plenty of power wihtout being too radical. It is a 2 stroke with a head light. It has a powerband and it does not have to run with too much rpms to make the hills. You will be able to do all the jumps and ride the trails.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:28 PM
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I've ridden dirt bikes for the past 30 years. Haven't raced MX since '94 though. I don't ride as much as I used to due to lack of time, but I still ride.

GWcpa, for your needs, you can never go wrong with a clean used Kawasaki KDX. You can find them in either 200, or 220 displacement. They are 2 stroke, and they are bulletproof. They are woods bikes so they have a nice easy to use power. Same can be said for a Suzuki RMX 250 (which happens to be the bike I own right now). They are lighter weight than the 4 stroke trail bikes and weight is always a factor with dirt bikes. Avoid the late model Kawasaki and Suzuki 250 MX 4 strokes as they have reliability problems.

For your Son's age and ability, an XR is a good choice. They are bulletproof as well and are easy to sell when he moves up. Used is the way to go. If he really takes to it, he will want to move to an MX bike. But avoid an MX bike for a beginner. Power is too peaky and difficult to ride. I would think you would want to start him off using clutch and gears. If he is going to continue on with riding, he's going to have to learn how to use them anyways. Though a recent development in the aftermarket world that is gaining some popularity, is the auto rev clutch.

Do not skimp on quality of gear. I always insist on Snell rated helmets. Boots, goggles are a must.

I don't know about the laws in your area, but regardless, if you are trail riding, you should have a spark arrestor.

Brad
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Dirt Bikes, Size, Make suggestions

Thanks for all the input. Today was the day to find a bike for my son. Found a few candidates in the trading post and narrowed it down to a 2002 XR80 Honda. Pretty good shape with a new rear tire thrown in to replace the worn one.

So far I've ridden it more than my son, and the thing is a blast. Got helmets and goggles ordered and plan on finding a 230 CRF or TTR, for myself next week. (KDX 220 preferred as suggested, but those things are rare around here.

Got my health insurance paid up and tax season hasn't hit full stride yet, so I'm ready to go. Hope to get jr up to speed with the clutch tomorrow.
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:51 PM
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GWcpa, don't forget to check out the Honda XR200 and 400 for yourself. My brother just bought a XR400, one of the best trail bikes made, too bad they don't make them anymore. His is a 2003 and he paid around 2K for it. It is so much easier to ride in the woods and trails than my crf450r. Its a nicely balanced, easy riding, low mantenance bike that should run forever.
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:12 PM
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Jim,

Good advice. I actually sat on a 2000 XR 2000 today and it fits me well. A little weary of top end work that may be needed on older ones, but am getting used to short shifting the thumpers. Still thinking about just getting a YZ. I really like the 2 stroke power on the pipe.

Going riding on a CRF150F tomorrow and a friend's CRF250R.
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:26 PM
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Whatever you get you'll have a blast I'm going riding tomorrow too.
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