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Question about bike for my son.

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1st things 1st. Hello thumpertalk!

I'm in the market for a trail bike for my 12 year old son who will be 13 in September. He's not aggressive at all and stands 5'10" and 145ish. He has never ridden before. I took him to the Yamaha dealership and sat him on a ttr125L and he looked like it fit pretty good. (Does the "L" on the 125 designate big wheel)? The YZ85 fit him perfect but I'm not buying a 2 stroke. A guy here locally has a Honda CRF150 for sale also. Any suggestions on what size bike I should be looking for? I haven't ridden a dirt bike in 25+ years so I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

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Why not a 2stroke? If no 2 stroke then the crf150 would be good. Is the bike locally a 150F it a 150R

I've read that 2 strokes don't make good trail bikes unless you spend money on them. The local Honda is CRF150F.

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Same as the Yamaha. Ik people with both bikes the Suzuki is a good trail bike but from what I can tell with my friend who has one its in the shop more then on the trails.. If I were you the ttr125 or crf150 or the Kawasaki klx140 or a 80-85 two stroke

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ok. Thanks for the replies. What do I need to look for when looking at used bikes other than the obvious (oil leaks)?

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1st things 1st. Hello thumpertalk!

I'm in the market for a trail bike for my 12 year old son who will be 13 in September. He's not aggressive at all and stands 5'10" and 145ish. He has never ridden before. I took him to the Yamaha dealership and sat him on a ttr125L and he looked like it fit pretty good. (Does the "L" on the 125 designate big wheel)? The YZ85 fit him perfect but I'm not buying a 2 stroke. A guy here locally has a Honda CRF150 for sale also. Any suggestions on what size bike I should be looking for? I haven't ridden a dirt bike in 25+ years so I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

Welcome to TT!

For a totally new rider of his age and size, the TTR-125 will make a good first bike (the L, or LE version, has a 16"/19" wheelset). My advise would be to try to find a used one as he will probably outgrow it pretty quick. The idea with the TTR is to build confidence and basic skills, then move along. I agree with you on not getting him on something like a YZ85 for a first time beginner bike, as I said before, the plan is to build confidence, not try to hurt him. The CRF would make a good second bike, but give him a minute or 2 to learn first.

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The ttr and crf150 have the same power basically. No differences. Get the crf it has the almost same speed easy to ride smooth clutch everything. And wiggle the wheels to check if the wheel bearings are bad. Dirt/mud means not maintained and if it has a rusty chain that usually means it wasn't taken good care of. Make sure it runs smooth idles smooth and has good tires an straight handlebars. Obviously by first look you'll have a good idea on wether it was maintained well or not.

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Given his height and size, I would start him on a CRF230F. You can put him on a CRF150F (but he is pretty much too big for it right now). I would only do that if you are looking for a handme down bike for the wife or another family member. The CRF150F sits higher than the TTR125L or DRZ125L or KLX140L and weighs more. My son was about 5'7" or 5' 8" when he started on a CRF150F. By the time he reached 5'10 5' 11" he looked too big for the bike and we moved to a WR250F.

I wouldnt put him on a two stroke 85 or two stroke 100 to start with - he is too large for those bikes and they are not beginner or trail friendly. Would be way too easy to wheelie that bike with a taller heavier rider on it (e.g. your son). I own/have owned a CRF80F, CRF100F, CRF150F, KX100, YZ85, WR250F, KDX200 as my kids progressed through several motorcycles.

The L does designate big wheel and you will find the L versions of these bikes have a 19" front/16" rear wheel with various levels of suspension travel. An 85 cc two stroke such as the KX85, KTM85, RM85 CR85R, CRF150R has 17" front/14" rear and is a close ratio transmission race bike (very fast and very pipey). The Kawasaki KX100, Suzuki RM85L, a Honda CR85RB and a Honda CRF150RB have 19" front/16" rear and are all MX bikes.

Search for threads on what to look for on a used bike. The CRF150F, CRF230F, KLX140L, TTR125L can be had in great, barely used condition since a lot of people buy them for girlfriends, wives, new riders, etc and they dont get used much or the riding experiment didnt work out. I would expect to pay between $1250 and $2000 for an '06-09 model of these bikes. Take a look at Kelly Blue Book for an idea about pricing and look at Craigslist to understand asking prices for the models you are interested in.

Edited by SilvFx
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Yeah if you want a 4 stroke the Crf230F would work well. I'm 14 5'9 125 pounds and I love it. There are a lot of 2 strokes that are trail monsters, like a KTM 200. But since you say he isn't aggressive the smooth and gentle power of the 230 will be better in my opinion. He would be to tall for the TTR125 and the CRF100. So if you want a bike that will last I think the CRF230 is a winner 👍 .

When you look at a bike check the oil is it low, high, dirty, etc. Do a compression test. For example, a CRF230's stock compression is 190 psi at wide open throttle, and the compression should be around 15% of the stock compression, but it is really hard to do a compression test on a bike that is kick start. Is the chain well lubed and set at the right amount of slack? Just look at the overall cleanliness of the bike. Is it garage kept?Does it have any mystery rattles? Check the forks for leakage, if it is leaking it's just needs a 20$ set of fork seals. Good luck!! And Welcome to TT :D

Edited by CRFRIDER1998

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Thanks for all the replies. I have found a 2005 TTR125L that looks good for $1,100 and a 2006 CRF150F for $1,500 that looks pretty much like new. I really would like to pick from these bikes for him to learn on and to make sure he likes riding. According to another website the seat height for the Yamaha is 31.7 and for the Honda 32.5. The Honda has electric start only, and the Yamaha kick start only. I'm leaning towards the 125L because its cheaper and if he does enjoy riding I'll probably be looking for a 230-250 next summer. I look to make a decision Friday so any more input you folks have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

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150f. Is the bike if get.

Yeah, I agree the CRF150F is the better bike. Don't worry about the electric start, it's very reliable. Edited by CRFRIDER1998

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All good advice -- especially from SilvFx. His advice was very good when I got a bike for my 12 y/o daughter.

My two cents:

I bought a CRF150F for my son when he was 11 (last year). It was his first bike. He is shorter and much lighter than your son, but somewhat agressive when he wants to be. The 150 was just too heavy for him to really have fun on.

So I decided to get him a YZ85 just based on the weight. I figured he could learn to deal with the kick. He learned that very well and the bike is lots of fun on the track and on the trails. It gets even better on the trails as he is learning to manage the torque and bog with the clutch. To the degree he works on it, he is becoming a better rider than I am. Similar to you, I didn't ride a bike for 30 years before getting bikes for the kids.

I kept the 150 for my wife, but I think that if she keeps with it she may be moving up to something a little lighter and faster before long.

Just my opinion, but I think good suspension makes for more safety than lack of power. The 150 will go plenty fast, but when you hit obstacles with it, it is more likely to bottom out or bounce you off simply due to the weight and suspension characteristics. I have to remember this when riding it. It seems that for me (6'2" and 180 lbs) the 150 is more likely to hurt me than my 450. I have to always remember that when hitting obstacles with it.

I always tell folks to recall when they were kids and learned to ride. It was most likely on a two stroke and they learned fine. I think it is much easier to learn stuff when you are 13 than when you are 45.

I think my next bike will be a 2t, but I will have to learn to ride it all over again.

If I were 5'10" and 145 lbs, I think I would want to be riding a 125 2t.

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What about Suzuki DRZ125L? Are they good bikes?
I rode a ttr125 a couple of times and the bike was ok not very good so then i rode a crf150f and let me trell you the 150 is so much better in ever aspect go with the 150. ive had no experience with the drz but it really the same as the ttr so (not good) Edited by kawiboy82

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What I started out on is a pw50 then a ttr 90 and then a cr80 to a cr 250... Riding the cr 80 in the trail will make him a way better rider than going and getting him a crf 150f or r... It will take him longer to get used to the bike and he will be a little nervous at first but he will not be a lazy rider and won't develop as many bad habbits... If you just HAVE to get him a 4 stroke get the 150r because 150 f is too little and he will get unhappy with the motor and suspension

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Thanks for all the replies. I have found a 2005 TTR125L that looks good for $1,100 and a 2006 CRF150F for $1,500 that looks pretty much like new. I really would like to pick from these bikes for him to learn on and to make sure he likes riding. According to another website the seat height for the Yamaha is 31.7 and for the Honda 32.5. The Honda has electric start only, and the Yamaha kick start only. I'm leaning towards the 125L because its cheaper and if he does enjoy riding I'll probably be looking for a 230-250 next summer. I look to make a decision Friday so any more input you folks have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

So what did you get? Have you gone riding yet? Is your boy excited? You?

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