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Need advice on bike for son.

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Before you tell me to do a search, let me say that I have been reading all the posts on this topic that I could find, but I still need help from those of you that have experience with these two bikes. I have somewhat narrowed it down to the CRF150 or the TT-R 125LE. My son is 13 years old, 5'4" and 135 lbs. Never been on a motorcycle in his life, although he has been riding a quad for a couple of years. We'll be doing mostly trail riding, no racing or big jumps. I like the TT-R for it's light weight and electric start. My concern with it is the frame not being "full", possibly being underpowered in it's stock form, and being made in Brazil (which maybe isn't a bad thing?). The only thing I can see as a disadvantage with the Honda is being heavier. Is the reliability the same for both of these bikes? I'd really like to hear from those of you that can give a comparison and unbiased opinion. Thank you for your time!

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i dunno, i was thinking a CRF230 or TTr230 but those might be bit tall for him. At 13 he still has some growing to do and he will not regret getting a bigger bike. The tt-r is fun for a while but when he really starts to get riding and get taller it isn't much fun. As far as reliabilty, the ttr's will be really good. i had one and the only thing i had a problem with is the rear wheel. the honda's are really tough and should hold up to a beating.

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My wife is the same size as your son. She wanted the TTR125LE because it felt small to her. It was going to be her first dirt bike. I decided to buy the TTR230E because I thought the 125 would be too small as soon as she felt comfortable riding. I absolutely made the right decision! All I did was lower the forks in the tripple clamps about an inch and back the shock preload off. This squated the bike a bit. After about two outings on the bike, she felt comfortable and I put the suspension back to normal height. She loves the bike. First gear is a granny gear. I couldn't imagine how slow the TTR125 must be. My wife has been riding a few months now. She's quite comfortable on the 230. I'm getting her on my KTM125SX now. It's too tall for her but... once she felt how light, plush and powerful it was compared to the TTR230, she keeps saying her TTR is "sooooo heavy." Anyway... just my $.02.

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I've had a TTR125 since '02. My 13 year old boy started on it 4 years ago. He moved on to 85's the following year. He is on 125's now. My 12 year old daughter rode the TTR125 for a whole MX season. Then she moved on to the 85's the following year. We keep the bike around for mom and for beginners, I use it for a pit bike mostly.

The bike still runs strong. It has been claw hammer reliable, even when maintenance got somewhat lacking. Our only issue has been the choke mechanism corroding and locking itself inside the carburator. I have found out this is a common problem with these bikes. A preventative lubrication of the choke slide will keep this from happening.

I highly reccommend the Yamaha. It is much lighter than the CRF150 (216 lbs vs. 170lbs for the Yamaha). Your relationship with your local dealer should probably be the most important factor in your decision though.

Myself, I've yet to meet a bad Yamaha dealer, though my experiences with Honda dealers across the nation haven't been so great. :applause:

Be fully prepared to use the bike to get him comfortable riding only to see him quickly be ready to move on. It is a great beginner bike and gives a rider alot of confidence. Once they move on to jumping, it is time to get something more substantial.

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As soon as he grows, he will want a bigger bike. Get an XR250

That what i started at 13, and it worked great. Awsome learners bike, and he wouldnt get bored with the power :applause:

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go with a Cr 85 .once he grows out of it sell it for a Cr 125. Cr 125 will get him thru high school down the road and the 85 will last until he starts casing it like my son did.

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I bought my now 13yo son a TTR-125 two years ago because it was his first bike. After probably a couple months of once a weekend riding he was ready to move to an 85. He is now 13 and probably about 5'6 and he is still riding the TTR-125, only because I couldn't spend the two to three thousand on an 85. When I get back from this hole called Afghanistan I'm going to get him a YZ 85 and I know it'll be my luck he'll be ready for a 125 by summers end, though he won't get it. The short answer however is to get him a bigger bike than the TTR-125, he won't have a problem with it. As for maintenance and reliability the TTRs are bullet proof. All I do to them (my daughter has a TTR-90) is change the oil every ten hours and clean the air filter every other ride or so.

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I think all the Honda and Yamaha bikes in that cc range are dependable.

My son rode a CRF80 at 10 yrs old and now is 12 and likes his TTR125LE. He'll be 13 in a few months. Compared to the CRF150 I don't think the extra 25cc makes a big deal. I think the electric start and lighter weight of the TTR is more worth it.

I'm sort of against getting a bike for a kid that "he'll grow into". For clothes sure, but not for something as lethal as a dirt bike.

BBR makes a skid plate (frame cradle) for the TTR that makes the frame full. It's a very nice product. I saw some teenagers with a TTR125 out on the MX track last weekend. The TTR had a BR1 suspension and was doing just fine ripping around the track. It had the BBR skid plate too. A must have.

www.bbrmotorsports.com

Just my opinion though.

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I recommend that you purchase a used CRF150 ... great play bike and at his size he can handle it. There are couple of cheap mods you can do to get a little more HP out of it as he progresses ... but, if you get one used (for around 1200 to 1500) then you won't have much tied up in it if you need to move up in a year or so.

TOG :applause:

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Thanks for the replies guys! From the comments I've read both the CRF150 and the TT-R125 would be safe bets. As I had written, one of my concerns about the Yamaha was that it is made in Brazil and not Japan, but evidently that doesn't seem to be a problem. One more question...Does the extra weight of the CRF150 offset the extra power? Just wondering which bike would be better on hills, not necessarily top speed.

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The CRF150 has lots of power for the cc's ... especially since it is a trail bike. Drop one tooth on the front for more low end ... he will be satisfied until he outgrows it!

TOG :applause:

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i no u sed u want either a ttr 125 or crf 150, but...u sed hes 5'4....im 12 5 feet and weigh 110 and I ride an rm 85, ive also seen 16 year olds on 85's...i say get him an 85 big wheel or a 250 .....thats my opinionxxx

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I would say the CRF or TT-R230. i got an XR100 for my first bike when i was 13. It is about the same as the 125 and 150 and i grew out of that in a couple months and switched to a 230 and that bike fits me just fine right now and im 15

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Get him a Yamaha TW200. I just got my 13yr old one--he loves it. It has extra wide tires that make it stable in loose stuff, it's mellow and forgiving, it has a low center of gravity, and he won't outgrow it in a single season. They're also very low maintenance, so they're easy on the pocketbook. It's a great starter bike. My son is 5' 6" and about 125. I got him a used 2000 and it cost me around $2K. :applause:

swerve3964

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I also bought my 13 yr old son an 05 TTR-125LE. My biggest decision was the suspension. The TTR LE has damping, preload and rebound for the rear shock and damping for the front. I ride a CRF230 and wish the suspension had the adjustments that the TTR has.

As far as upgrades I think they are both have jets, pipes, springs etc.

The TTR has been dropped, overreved, jumped, crashed and has not missed a beat (with the exception of a lever and side cover)

You can't go wrong with either.

P.S. If I did it again I would have gone with the TTR230. He has had the bike 6 months and is ready for the next one.

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