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Buying First 2T, Agree With My Findings?

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As the title states, I am in the market for my first 2t and am looking for some general confirmation to my findings based on several weeks of research.  I have read countless threads on TT along with other boards, articles, etc. 

I am 46 years old and am in excellent shape and would consider myself “athletic”.  Rode street bikes for 25 years and graduated to dirt bikes three years ago.  First ride was an XR250R and then a new 15 CRF250X for trail riding.  My son and I want to ride MX tracks thus my venture into the 2t world.  My plan is to ride the 2t on the track and maybe trails but at this juncture, buying it for the track.  I have no plans on entering any old timer races but if I really enjoy it, maybe.   

My budget is $1600.00 and based on my research (subjective of course) I have narrowed down my most likely make and year as follows (obviously in most cases newer the better). 

 

03-05 Kawi KX125 (best engines for make and model)

03-05 KTM 125SX (best mid range for make and model)

Any late 90’s and newer YZ125

*More bad then good on Honda CR125’s thus I have eliminated them from my list

 

I’m not looking for “what bike should I buy” advice but more confirmation on what I have found reading countless threads, articles, etc. 

 

I’m ready to buy and don’t want to miss something.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

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16 minutes ago, Rodeojones said:

 

*More bad then good on Honda CR125’s thus I have eliminated them from my list

I had a 2002 CR125 this year. Not so good for trail riding but IMO (purely mine) no 125 is. Once you got in the far upper mid range and then top end the motor pulled great so I don't know why so much dislike for these for MX racing. 

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2 minutes ago, shrubitup said:

I had a 2002 CR125 this year. Not so good for trail riding but IMO (purely mine) no 125 is. Once you got in the far upper mid range and then top end the motor pulled great so I don't know why so much dislike for these for MX racing. 

I've read countless people say that 125's don't have bottom end but some have better bottom end then others...lol.  The CR125 is constantly referenced as having zero bottom end to weak mid and like you said, catch fire at the upper end of the pipe.  Being a beginning 125 rider, I figured having a ride that was a little more forgiving on the lower end of the rpm's would be better.

Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.  

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36 minutes ago, Rodeojones said:

I've read countless people say that 125's don't have bottom end but some have better bottom end then others...lol.  The CR125 is constantly referenced as having zero bottom end to weak mid and like you said, catch fire at the upper end of the pipe.  Being a beginning 125 rider, I figured having a ride that was a little more forgiving on the lower end of the rpm's would be better.

Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.  

I haven't ridden the KX or YZ but I can only assume they're somewhat similar. KX likely the better value over the YZ when limited to 1600$

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it's almost 2018.  I wouldn't consider racing anything from the 1900s mainly because I hate having parts problems.  If I can't get every part for it at the corner dealer or from Rocky Mountain I wouldn't want to own it.  I believe that manufacturers only sell parts for 10 years after the last production unit is manufacturered.

For that reason, I'd be looking at the current model YZ125 even if it meant bumping the budget or buying a bit of a project.  I don't know off the top of my head the last time the YZ125's changed.  I thought it was '06 or '07 but Shrub said '05 so he's probably right.  But if you buy that bike, you'll be guaranteed at least 10 years of easy parts availability and probably more.  To me that's worth the extra initial outlay.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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6 hours ago, Doc_d said:

it's almost 2018.  I wouldn't consider racing anything from the 1900s mainly because I hate having parts problems.  If I can't get every part for it at the corner dealer or from Rocky Mountain I wouldn't want to own it.  I believe that manufacturers only sell parts for 10 years after the last production unit is manufacturered.

For that reason, I'd be looking at the current model YZ125 even if it meant bumping the budget or buying a bit of a project.  I don't know off the top of my head the last time the YZ125's changed.  I thought it was '06 or '07 but Shrub said '05 so he's probably right.  But if you buy that bike, you'll be guaranteed at least 10 years of easy parts availability and probably more.  To me that's worth the extra initial outlay.

Doc

2005 yz125 brought current motor and frame. Suspension went SSS in 2006. Bold new plastics and graphics followed. Maybe a pound lighter since 2005.

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I spent some time on a 13 ktm 125. . If you're going to go the 125 route get yz or a ktm. The ktm motor will be stronger the yz will have the better suspension.  

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I see a fair amount of 2003 and less YZ125's for under the $1600.00 mark but 2005's are a grand more.  I will keep looking and hope for a winter decrease in prices.  That being said, RMATV has every part one would need for an 03 YZ125 so it may not be a bad buy for my 1st 2t. 

Thanks for the advice...

Edited by Rodeojones

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I trust on top of the $1600 you have an additional $1000 for repairs?

I'm left to guess what your trying to say but do sense the sarcasm.  Thanks for the help....

Edited by Rodeojones

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I believe what he is saying is that any bike that you can get for $1600 is going to be 10+ years old, pretty beat up (unless you get extremely lucky) and thus, in need of some work. Especially if you want to hit the track with it.  

Personally, I wouldn't trust a 10+ year old bike, with unknown service history, on a track without going trough it.  Thoroughly.

 

Now, with that said, I think your best bet is an '05+ yz125.  

My very first bike was an '06 yz125 (bought new) and I loved that thing.  But as you mentioned above, realistically you're looking at one pre '05.  And in that case, I'd still go with a yz.

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You should reasonably assume all chassis bearings, suspension fluids, bushings and seals need replaced. There are a lot of bikes out there running on main bearings long past being due for replacement. This is especially true with 125's. Then there is the nickle-dime crap that is usually wrong that adds up fast.

Do you want a bike ready for the track or a clapped out roach?

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47 minutes ago, jmfreeman535 said:

I believe what he is saying is that any bike that you can get for $1600 is going to be 10+ years old, pretty beat up (unless you get extremely lucky) and thus, in need of some work. Especially if you want to hit the track with it.  

Personally, I wouldn't trust a 10+ year old bike, with unknown service history, on a track without going trough it.  Thoroughly.

 

Now, with that said, I think your best bet is an '05+ yz125.  

My very first bike was an '06 yz125 (bought new) and I loved that thing.  But as you mentioned above, realistically you're looking at one pre '05.  And in that case, I'd still go with a yz.

I appreciate the feedback and what I was looking for when making this post.  I would rather learn from others experiences then make costly ones that I could have avoided.    Based on what some are saying, the wise choice may be continuing to save until I can afford a newer bike.  I'm certainly not opposed to doing so. 

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My last brand new 125 was a CR125 in 95. I rode it almost every day from spring to winter in NE Ohio. By 97 it had a new cylinder, crank, and all internal/external bearings when I sold it to buy a 250. 125's are relatively​ short lived bikes when ridden hard. I want to say the manual recommended piston replacement every 2.5 hours!

Point is careful inspection and a bit of luck is of the utmost importance when purchasing used dirt bikes.

Don't take what I'm saying as pessimistic, I wish you nothing but luck.

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I picked up a 95 KTM440 in very good condition for $450 off of Craigslist.

Just watch the ad's and be ready to jump on the good deals.

That said there is plenty of junk bikes on Craigslist that I would not take for FREE.

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On 9/19/2017 at 9:26 AM, Truman Sparks said:

I picked up a 95 KTM440 in very good condition for $450 off of Craigslist.

Just watch the ad's and be ready to jump on the good deals.

That said there is plenty of junk bikes on Craigslist that I would not take for FREE.

I owned a 95 KTM 440 EXC. The owner should have paid you to take it off his hands.

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Just throwing out some ideas...maybe consider selling the CRF250X and picking up an XC/XC-F version from KTM that can do double duty offroad and on the track. 

One other thought occurs to me when reading your post is that I know a number of guys that rode offroad for years and managed to hurt themselves pretty good at an MX track.  I am of the opinion that unless you grew up riding MX tracks and kept your skills over the years, you are asking for trouble/injury.  There are others that disagree with my opinion but there is a reason not many old-timers are riding MX tracks.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SilvFx said:

Just throwing out some ideas...maybe consider selling the CRF250X and picking up an XC/XC-F version from KTM that can do double duty offroad and on the track. 

One other thought occurs to me when reading your post is that I know a number of guys that rode offroad for years and managed to hurt themselves pretty good at an MX track.  I am of the opinion that unless you grew up riding MX tracks and kept your skills over the years, you are asking for trouble/injury.  There are others that disagree with my opinion but there is a reason not many old-timers are riding MX tracks.

 

 

I appreciate your feedback and opinion.  I have thought about selling my CRF250X and buying a newer, modern bike but I have it set up perfect for the PNW trails and am slow to the idea.  I do like your idea though of a KTM XC and will look into it.

You bring up some things I have thought about as far as injuries, risk/reward, etc.  I will ride a MX track for the first time this Saturday and will make an honest assessment of my skills, health, aversion to the risk, etc. 

Thanks again for your thoughts, much appreciated.  

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Update:  My son and I rode Riverdale Raceway on Sunday and had a blast.  We rode their Arena track and 50's track (GP style) and were grinning the whole time.  No crashes for either and emerged healthy but sore (still am today) :)  That being said, i'm hooked on MX and will be looking to buy a 125. 

Thanks all for the advice...

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