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When to go to an 85?

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My son is riding really well on tis TTR 110. He is wanting more bike and better suspension. I was planning on a 65 in the near future. I was at the track this weekend talking to some dads. They have a good point. My son is 8 years old, 92 lbs and 55" tall. I don't think a 65 would do him much good. Maybe we should keep the 110 and ease him into an 85? I dont think he will have much problem with it. Am I nuts? Thanks for any input.

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Your kid is bigger than mine, and I've slowly been letting him go on the 85. He tears it up. I don't let him ride it to much though. We have a month left of racing 65's, and I don't want him getting confused. In the fall we will be racing both 65 and 85, so everywhere we go dragging his 2 bikes for practice and racing. he is 54" and 70lbs. I shaved the seat and put lowering links on it. But I already had Powerband linkage on the Kawi from his big brother racing it.

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Man you guys have alot of guts. My 7yr old is 54" tall and 70# and there is no way I would let him get close to an 85. Now the difference is that he has only been riding for about a year ..and just a couple times a month during that year. Your boys are taking to riding/racing faster than mine for sure.

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Wow my son is 13, 57" and 75#. Raced KLX110 mod, CRF150F and now on a CRF150RB with the seat cut down. 4t will be easier for them to ride but offer only a couple of classes to race. Put him on the 85 with a stock motor and he will be fine.

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85 better suspension and tamer powerband than a 65.

My kid started on 85's at 9 years old and 70lbs.

He might have just turned 10 in this pic, note the shaved down seat.

j4.jpg

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Mike,

that TTR110 is an automatic clutch, right? Is it also automatic shifting or does the rider do that? That would be my big concern about going directly to an 85. I feel like he should be confident and good with a clutch and shifting BEFORE getting on the 85. I don't know if the best way to accomplish this is a 65cc two stroke or something else.

You might need to guess on how fast your boy will grow....take a look at his previous growth records. My kid just turned 13, is now 5' 0" and about 90 lbs and he is nearly on this tiptoes with a YZ85. So....I would say physically your boy will be ready for an 85 size bike (non big wheel) when he is about 5' (i.e. needs to grow 5 more inches). How long will that be....I don't know...is that one year's growth....2 years growth? Seems to me it would be at least another year if not more.

My 13 year old is moving from a CRF80F to the YZ85 and I can tell you he is intimidated (and we are just doing trail riding) because it is 3 times more powerful than his previous motorcycle.

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tough call, you should be able to gauge his skill level and comfort on that bike, the 65 is a good start, and once mastered they usually jump right on the 85 with little to no transition time.

from a 110 to a 85, you are talking about apples and oranges when comparing the two.

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That is my thought exactly. I am not any more worried about him learning the clutch on the 85 than the 65. I just have a hard time justifying the 65 as he will out grow it so soon. I was thinking of picking up an 85 as it would be a step up from the 110. He is looking to big for the 110 already! The 65 is just better suspension and not really much faster. I dont have him racing yet. He may go this weekend for the first time. he does really well. I have no worries about him on that bike. Maybe I will just let him ride it and get him to ride an 85 and see how he likes it. The skill is there I am more worried about the his height. He is growing like a weed! last spring he was on a KTM 50!

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Larger the 2t motor the smoother the powerband. Some 85 have access to Rekluse auto clutches which adds traction, confidenance and faster lap times. You know your son and size wise he would fit. Personality and "want" skill is a concern because too much bike and he will not ride.

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I appreciate your feedback. My son just hasn't shown the huge want to win/compete that I think he would need to be on the 85. I do acknowledge that if he keeps growing at this rate an 85 is only a year away if the racing "clicks" in his mind this year.

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Man you guys have alot of guts. My 7yr old is 54" tall and 70# and there is no way I would let him get close to an 85. Now the difference is that he has only been riding for about a year ..and just a couple times a month during that year. Your boys are taking to riding/racing faster than mine for sure.

My kid is turning 10 in May. He is a little guy. I have 2 boys. One who is above average height and weight, and the youngest who is below average. The oldest has just started to really be competitive at racing and he just turned 13. He has been racing since he was 8. He used to have the best time coming in last. Now if he has a bad race he gets mad. The youngest has always been fast and competitive. He tries real hard to win every race, but doesn't get mad if he doesn't unless he screws up, or another bike messes him up. Both were on MC at 4-5, but had been riding bikes no training wheels since they were 3. The youngest started racing at 5. He just gets it.

85's with power valves are easier to control than older ktm 65's and all Kawi/Suz 65's. The biggest problem with putting them on a bike that is to big is if and when they go down. Getting it up, and then kicking it. I do agree with the comment of a 4t being easier to ride. I also preach that get fast on a 2t and you will be really fast on a 4t. They are heavier, brake slower and can't pull as many lines through the corners as a 2t. I watch this with my oldest racing a 125 against mostly 250fs. He has to win braking and through the corner. The others accelerate faster, but when in their line they are behind you. Neither of my kids will see a 4t until they are 15-16yrs old. That will be the last bike I buy them before I kick them out. The other point is parts are cheap and 2t's are easy to work on. My 450 doesn't need much, but when it does. I spend a whole day or a weekend. I've done a top end on a 2t in the morning and rode in the afternoon.

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Have you considered a DR-Z125? 30" seat height and unless you're doing strictly MX, it'll probably do everything you need for a while. Then start looking for a KX/RM 85/100 parts bike. When he gets taller, swap the forks (easy) and swing arm (medium difficulty after machine shop work).

My kid went from an XR50 to the DR-Z with a little more than 15 minutes of playing in the back yard after we dropped the crap out of the forks and sag. He's really short.

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I went the same route as you my son had crf 50 then klx 110 then kx 65 now kx 85. The 65 only lasted a year but im glad we got it the switch from 4t to 2t is drastic for a kid the power is tottaly different. My son is growing fast but going from a 65 to an 85 has been the easiest change yet he looks alot better on the 85 better than any bike yet. The power valve seems to smooth the power out. My only true great advice is dont buy a new bike 2t are too easy to work on so dont waste your money. Get a used 65 keep it a year and sell it then get an 85. I also put a manuel clutch on his 110 so he already had shifting down before he got on the 65.

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That is my thought exactly. I am not any more worried about him learning the clutch on the 85 than the 65. I just have a hard time justifying the 65 as he will out grow it so soon. I was thinking of picking up an 85 as it would be a step up from the 110. He is looking to big for the 110 already! The 65 is just better suspension and not really much faster. I dont have him racing yet. He may go this weekend for the first time. he does really well. I have no worries about him on that bike. Maybe I will just let him ride it and get him to ride an 85 and see how he likes it. The skill is there I am more worried about the his height. He is growing like a weed! last spring he was on a KTM 50!

the clutch is usually mastered in a day on the 65 or 85 bike. these young kids only use the clutch to start and stop. they usually bang through the gears without clutching. once they grow and their hands can manipulate the clutch better, you can teach them more clutch technique.

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Most people around these parts start on 85's at 10y/o. I have seen a few 9 y/o's but they are rare.

You will love the 85's. Best bike and cheapest yet. Well, atleast until they learn how to abuse their clutch $$$

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From a 110, IMHO, I would go to the 65. For one it will be a ton lighter than the 110 and feel really easy for the young man to learn to flick it around. Second, learning the clutch for starts and stops is pretty easy (uausally), but learning proper shifting and clutching is a little bit longer of a process and I think it would be more benficial to do it on a bike, even if it is just the right size or a little small as opposed to a much larger bike. Our ktm65 has been rock solid and the powerband is just fine (2010) no gnarly hit. My son is 53" tall and skinny at 60#.

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A good thing to note. Is you can pick up a 65 for about 1k. Use it and take care of it. You can sell it for 1k. These bikes drop in price to this point, and hold their value.

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Very good points. I want to get him on an 85 and see how he fits. He is just starting racing hare scrambles this year. He will either ride the 110 or switch to a 65 later in the year. 92 lbs on a 65 is pushing it I think. Maybe its time to send the 110 down the road.

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