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My friend is selling me his 2004 TTR 225 that has been in a minor accident. it runs and drives well but has some bolts missing in places and such.

My goal is to make it a street legal bike and i was wondering what should be checked when i tear it down. Ill be replacing tires and doing performance mods so it'll be well apart i just want to make sure its all good before it take it to the street.

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Is it together now? Take it for a short ride on pavement.

Bars should be straight when the bike is going straight, if it's not, you've got a steering head problem (could just be bushings/bearings), bent forks, bent axle or bent swing arm/swing arm bearings are bad.

Look up and down the bike for cracks, especially at the welds.

Pull both axles, lay them on glass (leave the head of the bolt off the glass) and roll it, look for bends. I mention this because we had one bike with a bent front axle, looked like a Z shape, but we didn't find out until we pulled it, or I should say hammered the piss out of it to get the wheel off.

Make doubly sure the brakes/wheels are good, at 20-30 mph, pull in the clutch, kill the engine, coast for 20 or so feet, feel and listen for vibration or anything else that might indicate there's a problem in the wheel or wheel bearings. Then gently apply the brake, so you'll stop over say 100 feet or longer if possible, listen and feel for vibration/pulsation.

Even if you don't think it needs it, true the wheels. Spoked wheels are notorious for causing tank slappers and head shake. So much so that I would pay extra for a bike with alloy or solid wheels over spoke ones. The problem of course with those is truing them is super expensive if it can be done at all. That's why they use spoked wheels on dirt bikes.

Check every fastener you can find for looseness or being stuck. It's much easier to fix them when the bike is apart than when you've got it assembled.

Good luck.

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Is it together now? Take it for a short ride on pavement.

Bars should be straight when the bike is going straight, if it's not, you've got a steering head problem (could just be bushings/bearings), bent forks, bent axle or bent swing arm/swing arm bearings are bad.

Look up and down the bike for cracks, especially at the welds.

Pull both axles, lay them on glass (leave the head of the bolt off the glass) and roll it, look for bends. I mention this because we had one bike with a bent front axle, looked like a Z shape, but we didn't find out until we pulled it, or I should say hammered the piss out of it to get the wheel off.

Make doubly sure the brakes/wheels are good, at 20-30 mph, pull in the clutch, kill the engine, coast for 20 or so feet, feel and listen for vibration or anything else that might indicate there's a problem in the wheel or wheel bearings. Then gently apply the brake, so you'll stop over say 100 feet or longer if possible, listen and feel for vibration/pulsation.

Even if you don't think it needs it, true the wheels. Spoked wheels are notorious for causing tank slappers and head shake. So much so that I would pay extra for a bike with alloy or solid wheels over spoke ones. The problem of course with those is truing them is super expensive if it can be done at all. That's why they use spoked wheels on dirt bikes.

Check every fastener you can find for looseness or being stuck. It's much easier to fix them when the bike is apart than when you've got it assembled.

Good luck.

Thanks for that info ill keep it in mind, but i have another question. I ride a raptor 250 for a quad and i love it. I'm 5' 11" and weigh about 160 as well. I get made fun of for such a small quad and yes i drive my friends TRX 450 as well but nothing i have ridden has come close to the handling of the 250 on trails. I may get beat in a straight line but i come out ahead about 2-3 mins on the trails we ride when i go head to head with my friends trx and this has me thinking about the ttr 125. as far as i can see the 125 is lighter and seems like i could through it around a lot better than a 225 and both can be made street legal in my state so ill have no problems there but how do these compare? 30.5" seat height seems small but i should measure my 250 because i sit fine on that. Or maybe a YZ 125 is more what im looking for?

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I frequently say "some people think they NEED the BIGGEST thing they can afford, which is in fact, the LAST thing they need." That sounds like your buddies. They only see the value of the machine based on the number at the end of the model and most likely are only remotely fast because of having boatloads of power in the straights, but couldn't do jack in the twisties.

A few things to factor into your comparison. The TT-R125 is a youth bike. It's also a good bike for women who tend to be shorter and significantly lighter than men. All in all, it's not a bad bike and if that's what you had, I'd say ride it.

The TT-R225 is an adult bike, although taller teens and women can ride it as well as shorter people who want more than the TT-R125 can provide. This is in no way a bash on women or the bike, the simple facts are that smaller lighter riders will get more out of smaller displacement.

Both are decent bikes. Instead of the TT-R125, I would say the DR-Z is a better choice, but that's just my opinion, some people like the electric start and are willing to sacrifice the extra weight for a starter and battery that the TT-R provides.

But I digress. The 225 should be able to handle 70-75 mph, the 125 is going to pull around 50-55 mph. Because of this, I would select the 225 for street riding simply because the extra power to get out of a bad situation is there, where that option is non-existent on the 125, it's already low on "juice" at 45 mph.

The YZ vs. TT-R debate is a completely different subject. I think the MX suspension on a trail bike is great. Everything else though is not so great. It runs a 19" rear tire, this cuts down on the available options for dirt riding and severely limits the tire choices for dual sport. The likelihood of pinch flats on a 19" wheel (with the same outer diameter as the 18" wheel) is greater because there's less rubber to absorb the impact. The engine characteristics of a MX bike are not the best for trail riding, IMHO. Some people seem to enjoy it. Basically, you either ride in the powerband all the time OR you lug it one gear high all the time on the 125+. The 80/85s, you gotta have 'em screaming all the time. I wouldn't take your average YZ on the street.

Now, if you want to do MX courses? Don't get any TT-R. They aren't made for jumping, they aren't meant to handle that type of stress, the suspension will feel all wrong.

Edited by Smacaroni

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I frequently say "some people think they NEED the BIGGEST thing they can afford, which is in fact, the LAST thing they need." That sounds like your buddies. They only see the value of the machine based on the number at the end of the model and most likely are only remotely fast because of having boatloads of power in the straights, but couldn't do jack in the twisties.

A few things to factor into your comparison. The TT-R125 is a youth bike. It's also a good bike for women who tend to be shorter and significantly lighter than men. All in all, it's not a bad bike and if that's what you had, I'd say ride it.

The TT-R225 is an adult bike, although taller teens and women can ride it as well as shorter people who want more than the TT-R125 can provide. This is in no way a bash on women or the bike, the simple facts are that smaller lighter riders will get more out of smaller displacement.

Both are decent bikes. Instead of the TT-R125, I would say the DR-Z is a better choice, but that's just my opinion, some people like the electric start and are willing to sacrifice the extra weight for a starter and battery that the TT-R provides.

But I digress. The 225 should be able to handle 70-75 mph, the 125 is going to pull around 50-55 mph. Because of this, I would select the 225 for street riding simply because the extra power to get out of a bad situation is there, where that option is non-existent on the 125, it's already low on "juice" at 45 mph.

The YZ vs. TT-R debate is a completely different subject. I think the MX suspension on a trail bike is great. Everything else though is not so great. It runs a 19" rear tire, this cuts down on the available options for dirt riding and severely limits the tire choices for dual sport. The likelihood of pinch flats on a 19" wheel (with the same outer diameter as the 18" wheel) is greater because there's less rubber to absorb the impact. The engine characteristics of a MX bike are not the best for trail riding. Some guys see this as a badge of honor "it takes a real rider to ride a YZ on the trails", "you gotta learn to work the clutch", "it makes you a better rider". That may inflate their ego, but it makes for some really rough times, at least on some of the trails we ride, and I bet you have similar ones because PA and OH geography and geology is similar. I've ridden bikes up a long steep inclined rocky path with half the clutch, WOT, screaming engine, tire loses traction for a split second and spits rocks all over, now you gotta put one or both feet down so you don't go backwards... that's not fun to me. The other part is, IMHO, you really should stay in the narrow power band of the MX bike all the time, which means much more frequent shifts and greater potential to screw up.

Now, if you want to do MX courses? Don't get any TT-R. They aren't made for jumping, they aren't meant to handle that type of stress, the suspension will feel all wrong.

do those MX engine characteristics for bikes apply for quads as well? if so then i would guess im used to that already. YZ's are two stroke making them faster than the drz and it could keep up with the 225 but i guess it needs rebuilt a lot more than usual and it has no battery for lights. As for MX tracks, i do do decent jumps but no racing. I jumped the 225 and i almost crashed, he also has a drz 125 and it took the same jump much better.

its a hard decision i guess... would a 2 stroke yz 125 keep up with a ttr 225? for me its about weight. the ttr is about 280 pounds, thats 20 pounds lighter than my raptor! were the YZ 125 is roughly 190. For me handling is everything, i can take hard bumps from stiff suspension but that weight makes the 225 feel like a 450 compared to his drz 125.

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The YZ125 should smoke a TT-R with equal riders. That's the whole thing though, equal riders on the same track. What works for one person is not gonna work for another.

Also, a lousy rider on the absolute best bike in the world will get passed repeatedly by the best rider in the world on the lousiest bike.

I personally don't like the MX characterstics of the engine on trails. I love my XT550, it's a stump puller. It's also well over 300lbs, way too damn tall for me, brakes suck. It's attempted to kill me on more than one occasion and wouldn't have cared one bit if it too died in the process.

I've only had a brief while on the TT-R225, but I think I would like that too, given time to get used to it. I also like the KE100, I can't explain why. It's just fun. The best I can describe it is riding a 60 mph chain saw.

I've only ridden quads a few times, I don't like anything about them, except perhaps it's hard to keep a beer keg, deer carcass or couple gallons of gas on a bike. And yes, I've managed to haul two gallons of gas strapped to the seat about 20 miles. It didn't work out so great, the strap let go at least twice from what I remember. Then I had to turn around an go back a half mile each time to recover the strap. How the gas can stayed on the seat loose is beyond me.

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