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Glad I picked this bike!

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I was shopping for a new bike for my 17yr old daughter.. she's a "young" 17... in my mind she is about 15.  She's about 5'3" and 120lbs.. she has owned and ridden a TTR50, and a KD80, but I still classify her as a beginner. Her KD80 (actually my KD80.. the one I learned to ride on as a kid in 1980) died over the weekend and we decided it's time to get her a "real" bike... one correct for her size.

Options:

KX80

KX100

TTR125

CRF150F

CRF150R

After a week of long late night google hunts.. and many review videos... many long TT threads... I came to the conclusion that a KX80 was too small, a KX100 was too fast and "peaky" for her level of riding (slow) especially since we only ride woods.. also a bit too tall.    I initially had decided on a TTR125... but man you know the TTR is sort of "cheap" feeling.. small, tiny bars, steel rims, flimsy plastic, super heavy, strange frame using the engine as a brace ... I know they are reliable and popular bikes, but they feel like walmart motorcycles... made to be cheap and not for serious riding.  I keep thinking of the TTR-50 which was so heavy it felt like it was made from bits of a neutron star.

I decided the CRF150R was too much power ... and it was out of my price range anyway so it got cut early...  

2 strokes in my price range were very old... late 90's and you know thats a bit of a risk.. and not the best bike anyway for a beginner.  I needed something that would go slow without fouling, climb easily, start easily, low seat height but not too heavy to pick up.  Low maintenance... a low compression ratio 4 stroke is a plus since it's cheap to maintain and feed (no premix, little maintenance). 

I did some more searching and finally found a 2005 CRF150F near me. Man I admit I had serious doubts... I expected crappy suspension, low seat height, extreme weight, and generally just a total junky "toy" bike like the TTR50 was.  I was wondering if a kick start bike was the right choice ... e-start would be easier for her... expected this thing to take many many kicks to get started.

I was so wrong!  The suspension is basic... by TODAY's standards.  By 1970's standards it's full out top of the line racing suspension lol.   Alloy rims, decent brakes, solid frame and pegs. It's actually pretty good! It's no motocross bike, but screwing around on the bike jumping random stuff around the neighborhood I wasn't able to bottom it at my fat 210lbs... and it still feels quite plush.  I am impressed.

The bike handles well, is not THAT heavy (she can lift it up from the ground)... it starts easily after a few "priming" kicks (it's been re-jetted).. suspension feels amazingly good for a budget "trail" bike... I have to say the bike is perfect for her.  I love that she has to "dig in" and kick start it instead of using a button.  She struggles a little because of her light weight but when it finally starts she has a huge grin of "YEAH I'm a bad ass" on her face... which is what we all feel when we kick over a bike.   I love it! No battery to die it's all on her to start it.

I'm so glad I didn't go with a full hard hitting motocross bike, and I'm also glad I didn't settle for a TTR125. 

I have absolutely no doubt I made the right choice.  I'm 5'4" and 210lbs and I find the bike extremely fun to ride so that says something.

I surprised her and had the bike on the trailer when I picked her up from school... man you would have loved the grin on her face she was so freaking excited when I told her it was her bike.  Her grin was ear to ear... all of her friends watching.  Good times.

After she did a quick test ride, I went thru the bike adjusting the bars (they were back too far as you see in the first photo), levers, brakes, clutch, cable routing, wired the grips, etc.  Previous owner installed 1.5" spacers in front forks which made race sag wrong for her weight. Removed those as well now it's perfect.

I did not think she'd be able to race at a beginner level in a hare scramble on this bike but after riding it, I have no doubts. She could definitely run a hare scramble on this bike. She's not gonna win (no bike is going to do it for you) but she's going to have a lot of fun.

Sweet bike!

 

 

IMG_2521.jpg

IMG_2528.jpg

Edited by Florida Gliderpilot
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1 hour ago, jumper12 said:

Thanks. You are right of course ... but no worries, she always wears gear when riding ... this was literally a one run up and down the road at jogging pace just to judge the fit of the bike before we had to run off to a Dr. appt. She rides her bicycle faster than that. Yes helmet would have been smart but we are all human and we have all ridden our bikes a slow speed at some point without a helmet... common sense goes a long way.

EEC0BF5F-8AFE-4DFC-83EA-0A315BA4D553.png

Edited by Florida Gliderpilot
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They are great bikes. I bought my 75yr old mother one. It was E start and had every farkle you could imagine. She enjoyed it for a couple years and now it is off to a new owner as she no longer rides.

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12 hours ago, hondaxr650rrrr said:

They are great bikes. I bought my 75yr old mother one. It was E start and had every farkle you could imagine. She enjoyed it for a couple years and now it is off to a new owner as she no longer rides.

 

Edited by Florida Gliderpilot
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1 hour ago, Florida Gliderpilot said:

Than you. You are right... but no worries, she always wears gear when riding ... this was literally a one run up and down the road at jogging pace just to judge the fit of the bike before we had to run off to a Dr. appt. She rides her bicycle faster than that. Yes helmet would have been smart but we are all human and we have all ridden our bikes a slow speed at some point without a helmet... common sense goes a long way.

EEC0BF5F-8AFE-4DFC-83EA-0A315BA4D553.png

Great pic! Looks like an exotic beach, but a stream

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Just be careful kick starting it. If one starts rapidly jabbing away on the kicker, the starter gears are known to break, they are not available anymore unless you can find “NOS” and the cases have to be split to replace them if you do find some gears. (There are three that could brake, only two shown)

 

Just take your time to engage the kicker and gears completely then press the start lever down sharply.

 

IMG_1638.thumb.JPG.85382286afe476785642bceacea8b773.JPG

 

 

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Congratulations! looks like a fine choice of machine for your daughter, and its a bonus that she likes it too.

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On 10/19/2018 at 10:51 AM, Florida Gliderpilot said:

I was shopping for a new bike for my 17yr old daughter.. she's a "young" 17... in my mind she is about 15.  She's about 5'3" and 120lbs.. she has owned and ridden a TTR50, and a KD80, but I still classify her as a beginner. Her KD80 (actually my KD80.. the one I learned to ride on as a kid in 1980) died over the weekend and we decided it's time to get her a "real" bike... one correct for her size.

Options:

KX80

KX100

TTR125

CRF150F

CRF150R

After a week of long late night google hunts.. and many review videos... many long TT threads... I came to the conclusion that a KX80 was too small, a KX100 was too fast and "peaky" for her level of riding (slow) especially since we only ride woods.. also a bit too tall.    I initially had decided on a TTR125... but man you know the TTR is sort of "cheap" feeling.. small, tiny bars, steel rims, flimsy plastic, super heavy, strange frame using the engine as a brace ... I know they are reliable and popular bikes, but they feel like walmart motorcycles... made to be cheap and not for serious riding.  I keep thinking of the TTR-50 which was so heavy it felt like it was made from bits of a neutron star.

I decided the CRF150R was too much power ... and it was out of my price range anyway so it got cut early...  

2 strokes in my price range were very old... late 90's and you know thats a bit of a risk.. and not the best bike anyway for a beginner.  I needed something that would go slow without fouling, climb easily, start easily, low seat height but not too heavy to pick up.  Low maintenance... a low compression ratio 4 stroke is a plus since it's cheap to maintain and feed (no premix, little maintenance). 

I did some more searching and finally found a 2005 CRF150F near me. Man I admit I had serious doubts... I expected crappy suspension, low seat height, extreme weight, and generally just a total junky "toy" bike like the TTR50 was.  I was wondering if a kick start bike was the right choice ... e-start would be easier for her... expected this thing to take many many kicks to get started.

I was so wrong!  The suspension is basic... by TODAY's standards.  By 1970's standards it's full out top of the line racing suspension lol.   Alloy rims, decent brakes, solid frame and pegs. It's actually pretty good! It's no motocross bike, but screwing around on the bike jumping random stuff around the neighborhood I wasn't able to bottom it at my fat 210lbs... and it still feels quite plush.  I am impressed.

The bike handles well, is not THAT heavy (she can lift it up from the ground)... it starts easily after a few "priming" kicks (it's been re-jetted).. suspension feels amazingly good for a budget "trail" bike... I have to say the bike is perfect for her.  I love that she has to "dig in" and kick start it instead of using a button.  She struggles a little because of her light weight but when it finally starts she has a huge grin of "YEAH I'm a bad ass" on her face... which is what we all feel when we kick over a bike.   I love it! No battery to die it's all on her to start it.

I'm so glad I didn't go with a full hard hitting motocross bike, and I'm also glad I didn't settle for a TTR125. 

I have absolutely no doubt I made the right choice.  I'm 5'4" and 210lbs and I find the bike extremely fun to ride so that says something.

I surprised her and had the bike on the trailer when I picked her up from school... man you would have loved the grin on her face she was so freaking excited when I told her it was her bike.  Her grin was ear to ear... all of her friends watching.  Good times.

After she did a quick test ride, I went thru the bike adjusting the bars (they were back too far as you see in the first photo), levers, brakes, clutch, cable routing, wired the grips, etc.  Previous owner installed 1.5" spacers in front forks which made race sag wrong for her weight. Removed those as well now it's perfect.

I did not think she'd be able to race at a beginner level in a hare scramble on this bike but after riding it, I have no doubts. She could definitely run a hare scramble on this bike. She's not gonna win (no bike is going to do it for you) but she's going to have a lot of fun.

Sweet bike!

 

 

IMG_2521.jpg

IMG_2528.jpg

Good choice and buy :) but now teach her to wear a helmet every time she rides it only takes one simple crash to end up a vegy for the rest of her life :( nice straight bike

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I liked the 150 for my grandsons but they didn't! We now own a fleet of CRF80f's and have pit bike races in the field behind my house after school! LOL

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