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Problems with my son's TTR 125L.

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OK, so I bought my first motorcycle this March (love it - KLX 400) and soon thereafter I bought my son a '00 TTR 125L. Not knowing much, I got a bike that was beat more than it initially appeared. Now I'm looking at repairing some of it's issues and I'm a little overwhelmed. Here goes:

1: Front wheel is dinged and bent, as is the front rotor. I have quite a bit of bicycling experience including lacing wheels, so I thought I'd buy a new front rim and spoke set and lace it myself (I'm not made of money). Question is, is lacing a motorcycle wheel similar to lacing a bike wheel? By that I mean am I going to need a truing stand? From what I've read buying a complete wheel is out of my price range.

2: The front wheel is misaligned and I can't seem to get it to align. A friend who is experienced (and who told me about ThumperTalk) told me to loosen the top and bottom bolts on the tripleclamp on both sides and loosen the axle bolt, brace the wheel between your kneees, twist it into place and re-tighten everything. No dice. What could be going on here?

3: The clutch is messed up. The full action of the clutch is in the first 1/8 of the lever action - meaning if I pull it in just 1/8 it fully disengages the clutch. I've tried adjusting it at the handlebars, but the little "helper spring" that is on the clutch shaft (sticking out of the top of the transmission) doesn't pull the slop out of the cable, so the first 1/4 of the lever action is just loose. I'm not doing a great job of describing this, but I hope you get the picture. Do you think this is a worn/exhausted clutch pack? Bad cable? Bad "helper spring"?

4: The bike idles poorly. It's inconsistent. Sometimes (once it's warmed up) it idles high, sometimes low to the point of killing, sometimes just right. What's up?

5: My son has a hell of a time getting the bike into neutral (and so do I). The problem is it's really picky about shifting from 2nd down to 1st. Is this related to the clutch problems?

6: I don't know how much power this bike is supposed to have, so I don't have a benchmark, but compared to his cousin's KLX140 this bike seems to be a bit gutless. Is the KLX140 just a quicker/faster bike or is there problems with my 125?

Shockingly, the choke works just fine. From what I've read in the TTR forums, it seems to be a weak link with the bike, but not mine.

Whew! That's a lot of stuff, but any help with any/all of these issues would be appreciated. I don't have a ton of cash to sink into this thing, but I do have time. I'm quite mechanically inclined, but the majority of my mechanical experience was as a diesel mechanic in the Army, so carbs are not my forte'. I've never worked on motorcycles but I'm excited to learn.

Thanks in advance.

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Here is an article I did on lacing TTR rims. Be sure to read the Part Duex section. http://www.socalxrs.com/TTRwheels_how_to.htm

The clutch has two adjustments: on the perch and on the cable. There is a ton of room for adjustment in there.

Read the sticky's about rejetting the carb. A lot of people opt for a different carb, a CRF150 or 200x Kehien carb or a VM24/26. It will also add power along with a BBR filter kit.

Also, get a BBR cradle and a BBR chain guide. If you have more time than money, you can make both.

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What is the symptom from the misaligned front wheel? When installing the front wheel there should zero play beween the fork legs and the hub. Be sure that all spacers are in there, with a damaged front wheel the previuos owner may have installed it incorrectly. Find an exploded view from the manual (pdf versions located here on TT somewhere, do a search) and check the wheel for all necessary spacers and dust covers. Also be sure the axle is true.

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