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My Girly TTR 125

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When I was searching for inspiration and help with my TTR, I couldn't really find a whole lot, so I'm posting a build for mine to hopefully help other enthusiasts out!

I started out with a bone stock 2002 TTR125 (small wheel) that I dubbed "the Titter" in February of 2009. Bought it for $800 with all of 25 hours on it. This was my first bike that I could call my own, and I loooved it from the start. This is the earliest pic I have of it (I added the fender stickers and numbers immediately, haha)


The first thing I did was peel off the stained and faded factory graphics and add some Factory Effex Evo 6 graphics. Shortly after that I installed black Moose Competition series handlebars (mini bend) with some Sunline grips to replace the bent factory bars. I also installed the FMF Powercore 4 full exhaust, just for fun. These were the beginning of the slippery slope for me! For anyone who is wondering, the FMF pipe sounds great. It's louder and raspier, as you would expect, and added a tiny bit of power. I mean, not overly noticeable, but you can tell.


I rode it around like that for a while, then decided I needed some new tires since it still had the (now bald) factory HTs on it... I decided on Maxxis Maxxcross ITs, and haven't regretted them one bit. In fact, they may be my next set of tires as well. I installed new Moose sprockets and a DID chain at the same time.

After that, the Titter got relocated from a pole barn to a shed ๐Ÿ‘ But we made do.

The next thing to go were the stock shock and fork springs. I bought BBR's stiffer fork and shock springs, as well as their frame cradle and chain guide. Before installing them, I decided that I wanted to paint the frame black. Now, I've never really messed with dirtbikes a whole lot before - everything I listed here previously was about the extent of my mechanical knowledge on bikes... so I kinda just dove in head first and tore it completely apart. I figured it could use a good cleaning / greasing anyways! Here it is coming apart...


And here it is going back together after sanding and painting the frame with PJ1 Epoxy Frame Paint. I'm happy with how it turned out.


Here is the BBR shock spring vs. the oem shock spring if anyone is interested:


Anyways, here is the best close up I have of the frame.


BBR chain guide and frame cradle




I don't have pictures at the moment, but I also bought and installed a Mikuni VM24 carb. It fits well with no mods to the carb or bike. The intake boot doesn't quite sit perfect, so we just cranked down on the clamp, and I'll keep an eye on it. For jetting, I used the 105 main from the stock carb and the 17.5 pilot that came in the new one. I also removed the air box snorkel and drilled out the air box. I didn't touch anything else yet, and it starts up first kick and idles awesome. During the test ride, it ran flawlessly up to 4th gear. I haven't had the space to get to 5th / full throttle yet, but I'll update when I do. I'll have Kyle adjust the carb as needed (I don't know much about this part yet) and post the results.

I rode it once like this and wasn't really happy with the front suspension... It just didn't feel right. So I began the search for YZ80/85 forks. I wound up getting really lucky on Craigslist and getting the entire front end off of a '98 YZ80 with a practically new Starcross MS2 for $80! Everything was in good shape, just dirty. This also saved me the trouble of retro-fitting disk brakes and wheels and forks and what not from different bikes, since the 80's front wheel is the same size as my stock TTR wheel. After a little elbow grease, the paint came off and they looked like new. The brake pads will probably need to be replaced relatively soon, though. Here is the front end when I first unloaded it:


Everything pretty much bolted right up without issue, with the exception of needing an extra lock ring when installing the upper triple clamp. Without it, the forks had some play. With the extra one from the stock clamps, there is about 1mm of play. Not noticeable, to me anyway. I used the YZ80 brakes and brake line obviously, which fit perfect. The throttle cable is on the verge of being tight, but works just fine. I originally had the forks shoved all the way up to the handlebars thinking it would be too tall, but I didn't like this. They currently sit about 1/2" up from the top clamp. I also kept the TTR's front fender / number plate, as the YZ80 ones were trashed. This involved re-drilling the mounting holes for the fender. However, when the time comes for a new one, I'll probably just get a YZ80 one.


To level it out, my boyfriend was kind enough to re-drill the shock mount 1 inch lower for me and adjust the shock accordingly. The added height makes the chain rub on the slider towards the front of the swing arm a little more, but I don't think it will be an issue. I will eventually install a 125L swing arm that I won for $11 on eBay, but my chain is brand new and I don't want to replace it yet๐Ÿคฃ


Here is how it sat before and after suspension updates:





Everything feels awesome, and the new height fits me way better (I'm 5'3"). I couldn't be happier with the result. Now I'm just waiting to heal up (minor surgery) and I'll be out on the trails for a test run.

Next on my list:

-TTR 225 kick stand (nice to have on trails)

-BBR free flow air filter

-BBR 150 kit

-Black gripper seat cover

-Powdercoating wheels

-Potentially swapping to '08+ plastics

Anyways, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

Edited by Chelsea Vong
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I haven't gotten to ride it yet (we have neighbors temporarily... not used to that!) , but I am taking it out this weekend. Just from sitting on it though, it feels a lot better than even the BBR fork springs haha. I'll post more about them this weekend.

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Thanks DaleK! I learned a lot of what I know now just by taking it apart, but I had my (motorcycle mechanic) boyfriend to answer questions along the way. It was definitely a learning experience.

Lucahemi - The bars fit just fine in the stock YZ80 bar clamps, so I didn't have to buy new ones. The handlebars themselves only cost about $60.

Meandmydrz - I bought BBR's frame cradle. It fits and looks great, definitely worth the money.

Edited by Chelsea Vong
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Well, I took the bike out yesterday and it's running awesome! However, our ride was paused about a mile in when an ice patch jumped out in front of me. I went down and slid 20 feet, and the clutch lever dug into the ice and snapped off at the base. Other than that the bike was unscathed (phew!). Luckily, Kyle had some electrical tape in his backpack, so he MacGuyver'ed it for me well enough to get back to the house so we could go pick up a new lever. Lesson learned: if it looks like ice, treat it like its ice, just in case! Your left side will thank you. Oh, and carry spare levers in the pack.


Anyway, it's running good. All the way up to 5th gear, full throttle, no bogging. It starts up literally first kick, which is awesome considering it used to take 5-7 kicks on average. It idles great as well. I didn't expect much of a gain from the new carb, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a little extra kick when I was ripping around. It definitely made a difference. I might just be crazy, but it sounds a little different as well. Louder/deeper? I'm not sure. I think the combination of the carb, drilling out the airbox, and the pipe really opened it up. I wasn't finding it to be underpowered as much on the trails. This makes me all the more excited for the big bore kit ๐Ÿ‘

As for the forks - they made a world of difference as well! Before the BBR fork springs, the bike would get squirrelly on washboard roads/trails, and after them it was even worse since they were so stiff (for my sized rider). The YZ80 forks just soaked up the bumps and kept me going straight. Easily worth twice as much what I paid for them.

Edited by Chelsea Vong
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A habit that has been around for awhile concerning clutch and brake perches: Two wraps of teflon (plumbers) tape around the bar under the clamp.

This will allow the clamp to rotate on the bar and hopefully provide you some leniency if you drop the bike.

You don't want the clamp too loose and easily rotate on your bar.

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Hmm, I never would have thought of that. It just so happens I have a roll floating around, I might have to put it to use. It makes sense, since many aftermarket perches come with the teflon inside them like that. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Chelsea, nice write up! I did pretty much the same with my TTR125L a couple years ago. I'm now on a KTM200EXC. The TTR made for a great bike to get my feet wet on and learn all the mechanical bits and pieces of a bike as well as how to dial in jetting starting out totally fresh with a new carb, bbk and pipe all at the same time. ๐Ÿ‘ Where abouts in MI are you? We are in the thumb area and will probably start hauling up north to ride after Easter (waiting for bike parts for hubby's bike).

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I haven't ridden any UP trails yet (though I have dual sported around the Keweenaw peninsula area quite a bit). It's quite a haul for us. Last fall we rode Hunt Creek, Tin Cup, Evart, Long Lake, Missaukee North, Lincold Hills, Gladwin (*puke*) and Geels. It was the most trails I've ever ridden to date, all in the fall of last year. The right bike, and reawakening hubby's passion got us out and about a LOT... and we plan to do even more this year. ๐Ÿ‘

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