Big bore thumper to 125 ring-a-ding

Ok, I'v always owned 4 strokes and want to get a 125 2 stroke for my next bike.

I am 6' tall 190 lbs. I don't want one with a smooth power band, but would rather one that has a real boot and needs a lot of on the pipe riding, i intend for keep it for about a year before going to a 250 2t, or better still 300exc and will not be riding competitively, just trail rides.

Basically I want it to teach me how to feather the clutch, keep it on the pipe and learn the ins and outs of 2 stroke riding, and also the mechanics of 2 strokes, so it would also need to be reasonably cheap for parts. At the moment I'm leaning to KTM but anything would suit me. Any advice?

By the way, will NOT be selling the XR

YZ125 05 and up, because thats when it got aluminum frame and 6 gear transmission.

YZ125 05 and up, because thats when it got aluminum frame and 6 gear transmission.

I've always heard good things about the YZ, but from what I read they have a smooth power curve, is that true? Because I kind of want to stay away from an easy to ride bike and get one that MAKES me stay in the power-band.

Thanks

The yz make nice power for a 125, but still is a 125. I think Honda's 125 has the most "light switch" of a power band from what I've heard.

I am about your size.

I would say any of the 5 makes would suit you. Whatever you can find at the right price.

As far as a 5 gear or 6 gear transmission....My opinion , you might not ever put it in 6th unless you are an expert and you weigh #120lbs.

I was wringing out my rm 125 at a HS race saturday.....and had it wrung out in 4th.....most of the time..and in a few sections got it into 5th. I am a professional C rider.

The 125 will teach you how to clutch in berms and stuff....but on technical stuff (ups/downs)....the clutch is smaller ( diameter wise) and smaller flywheel...than your xr...so it is more limited in what it can do.......It will do stuff ...but it won't do it as easily, or for as long ( without fading ) as your xr.

have fun.

From the look of your avatar... you are the one of the red devil 'honda' so here is what...the blue beast YZ125 is your best bet!

From the look of your avatar... you are the one of the red devil 'honda' so here is what...the blue beast YZ125 is your best bet!

I actually have no bias to any brand, but out of the 6 bikes that I have owned 5 are honda's purely by accident, 3 of those being XR's! and 1 XL which is pretty much the old XR anyway, the last 2 being an FXR 150, and VFR 400.

Anyway, that aside, so a YZ does have a smoother power curve but is more powerful throughout?

And CR the steepest power curve, light-switch power-band?

What are the pumpkins like?

Thanks all for answering, big help! I actually don't know anyone who does know a lot on 125's through experience (plenty of armchair experts!), so your input is much appreciated!

if you want an abrupt power band get a cr125

That 125 is going to make you the best berm-seeking high rpm momentum carrying machine!

Form my experience with 125's, they don't work very well on the trails.

See, on the trails you want something with some mid range because you never know what you're going to encounter. Mostly all 125's don't have any mid range, just top end and that means you've gotta be more precise on your riding, you can't lug it around either.

My suggestion for the trails is a 250 2t for many reasons.

- You're 6 foot tall and heavy for a japanese 125. They have smaller chassis then 250's, making your size quite an issue. The KTM 125 is a bigger framed bike, but they're in no way setup for the trails. Very punchy power band and not much top end.

- 250's you can lug around, don't need to be on the pipe to generate power.

- 250 trail bikes are designed to be just that; trail bikes. They have kick stands, they have the proper large size fuel tank for long distances, they even have the proper gear ratio's and suspension.

Anyhow, I'd buy a 250 2t trail bike and be done with it, you won't have any problems taming the top end, unlike a 125... you don't have to use the 250's top end for it to go anywhere.

Form my experience with 125's, they don't work very well on the trails.

See, on the trails you want something with some mid range because you never know what you're going to encounter. Mostly all 125's don't have any mid range, just top end and that means you've gotta be more precise on your riding, you can't lug it around either.

My suggestion for the trails is a 250 2t for many reasons.

- You're 6 foot tall and heavy for a japanese 125. They have smaller chassis then 250's, making your size quite an issue. The KTM 125 is a bigger framed bike, but they're in no way setup for the trails. Very punchy power band and not much top end.

- 250's you can lug around, don't need to be on the pipe to generate power.

- 250 trail bikes are designed to be just that; trail bikes. They have kick stands, they have the proper large size fuel tank for long distances, they even have the proper gear ratio's and suspension. .

No, 125s have the same frame as the 250s.

Back to the point, go for the 125. They work decent on the trails and they are a blast to ride. Maybe keep an eye out for a 150sx too.

I have a hard time understanding why anyone, especially an experienced adult, would choose to ride a 125 MX bike on the trails. A 125 MX bike has almost non existent low end power, gearing that is too high in first and too closely spaced, no kickstand, no headlight, small gas tanks limit range, etc. What is good about that? I disagree with the statement that it makes you a better rider. 125 2t's are excellent for what they are designed for, which is zipping around tracks. For the record, Ive trail ridden a RM125 and know about 20+ people that trail ride....not one 125 MX bike in the group.

I have a hard time understanding why anyone, especially an experienced adult, would choose to ride a 125 MX bike on the trails. A 125 MX bike has almost non existent low end power, gearing that is too high in first and too closely spaced, no kickstand, no headlight, small gas tanks limit range, etc. What is good about that? I disagree with the statement that it makes you a better rider. 125 2t's are excellent for what they are designed for, which is zipping around tracks. For the record, Ive trail ridden a RM125 and know about 20+ people that trail ride....not one 125 MX bike in the group.

He said he wanted something to make himself better with the clutch which is why the 125s work well. I rode a stock kx125 on the trails for a good amount of time and it helped me a lot. Also, who needs a kickstand and a headlight? There is plenty of trees and daylight. There is also after market gas tanks...

No, 125s have the same frame as the 250s.

Yes, KTM's all have the same frame, but the japanese 125's (which is the bulk of them) have a smaller framed 125. That is the reason WHY so many people like 125's, because they are a smaller frame, which makes them a different feeling. The KTM 125's feel just like the 250's, just with a bit less torque and top end. Yes, the 125's are lighter sprung out of the factory, but thats easy to change.

I have a hard time understanding why anyone, especially an experienced adult, would choose to ride a 125 MX bike on the trails. 125 2t's are excellent for what they are designed for, which is zipping around tracks. For the record, Ive trail ridden a RM125 and know about 20+ people that trail ride....not one 125 MX bike in the group.

An experienced adult who has already ridden a much bigger bike, wouldn't be coming on here asking if a 125 is a good idea, because they'd already have the experience. So obviously, there is some experience missing from the OP, which is why he wants a 125 so badly.

125's are designed for one purpose in my point of view; learning how to ride on the track. The Japanese 125's are where its at, they're amazing little bikes, lots of work to ride quick and very rewarding. When you take a 125 and put it on the trails, it feels like a fish out of water. The suspension is too dam stiff, the motor doesn't have enough power and the gear ratio's are silly. Plus, REAL trail bikes have fuel tanks that are large enough to do extended rides, which is a VERY nice thing. Sure, you can turn a 125 into a trail bike, but its a lot of work and what's the point? The KTM 125's arn't really typical 125's, they're a hybrid with a full-sized frame and a bitchin' little motor.

I agree that a 125 is a good beginners bike, they're great fun and all, but thats all they are. Serious riders choice are 250/450F's or 250 2t's because those are the bikes that are easier to ride over longer periods of time.

Edited by tye1138

Just to clarify, the sort of trails I ride on, bikes seldom get out of 3rd. I live in the southern King Country New Zealand and trails over here are tight, rough rides going uphill, down hill (STEEP!), through bush tracks, dry river beds, not so dry riverbeds,(see a lot of bike's drown) across rocks and logs, so I also want to try a 125 for its lightweight.

And no, I am not going to race, I only want a fun bike, often on trails we pull off at a good spot for maybe a half hour and just mess round doing jumps and stuff, also fuel capacity is not a big issue, trails provide multiple fuel points, will not be riding at night, kickstand nice to have but not necessary.

I should also mention, I see a lot of guys on high performance 450 4t's get eaten alive by guys (and at least 1 girl) who stick with 125 2t's. The grunty modern 4t's seem to be too much for the trails from what I've seen.

I understand a 125 needs a lot more work to get it to GO and it will be tiring on trails but I can live with that.

But still, keep the opinions coming

Also, who needs a kickstand and a headlight? There is plenty of trees and daylight. There is also after market gas tanks...

We can ride almost all Winter down here in the South...we arent covered in snow. Daylight ends as early as 5:30 during the shortest days of the year. A light is a very nice feature to have. As far as the kickstand, I cant imagine having to find a tree everytime I wanted to get off of the bike, again, a nice feature to have. Its sort of like a properly trail geared transmission is a nice feature to have...same concept.

Kiwi

I cant imagine riding the trails you describe on a 125 2t, but if that is the bike you want, go for it. They are a dime a dozen around here.

trails over here are tight, rough rides going uphill, down hill (STEEP!), through bush tracks, dry river beds, not so dry riverbeds,(see a lot of bike's drown) across rocks and logs, so I also want to try a 125 for its lightweight.

See, thats the problem... 125's don't go up hill very well, you really gotta be abusing the clutch on the up hill stuff, I know I do it all the time.

250 2t's weigh almost the same as the 125's in KTM land, where most of the parts are interchangeable. So you won't be saving any noticeable weight on a KTM 125 vs 250, its just not an issue.

I should also mention, I see a lot of guys on high performance 450 4t's get eaten alive by guys (and at least 1 girl) who stick with 125 2t's.

Kids and small/lightweight people do well on 125's because they don't weigh anything. But regular sized adults will have issues dealing with the 125's. Trust me, I know a LOT of riders who ride in different situations on trails and NOBODY absolutely NOBODY would even think about riding a 125.

First time you go up a hill and the thing stalls on you and you fall down the hill, that will be the last time you ride it. I tell ya, cuz it happened to me when I first started and a clutch pack later (from slipping the clutch everywhere) I realized that 125's on the trail was a complete waste of my time so I gave up trying. Yea, our trails are faster out here, 6th gear pinned sorta stuff, but I tell ya from experience in dealing with up and down hills, 250's are the way to roll. :thumbsup:

My vote is still a KTM 250 2t trail bike.

Hes not asking for your vote on what size bike to get his asking for a brand opinion.

Here it is short and sweet..

CR , good hit , feels nice , light weight , VERY COMMON (parts are easy to find)

Yami, Depends on the year, but i believe this to be the hardest hitting of the bunch, I do not like the way they feel as far as handling goes.

Kawi. All around solid. Great mid range power and has a very solid tight feel to it.

Zuki. My all around favorite 125. 6 gears , Very good mid and high rpm power. The best handling bike of the bunch. I feel very comfortable while riding it.

Pumpkin (never rode one)

Thats my opinions on the bikes. Hope it helps!

I think you guys are forgetting that he already has an XR. He has a kickstand, headlight, etc., everything he would need for longer rides. If your just looking for a bike to have a different riding experience, then Yes definently get a 125. There so much fun to ride and they fit my 6 ft, 180lbs frame just right. The lack of low-end makes them tricky on technical up hill stuff, but that will just make you hit them faster to keep the bike in the powerband. I have an 04 cr125, which is probibaly the most bashed 125 out there, because of it's case reed design. But the chassis is great, its got good top-end, and it will make you a better rider, espeacaily in clutching and hitting berms. I can't imagine where I would be if I still had my 250x, probibaly rolling through berms instead of carving them out on the 125. :thumbsup:

See, thats the problem... 125's don't go up hill very well, you really gotta be abusing the clutch on the up hill stuff, I know I do it all the time.

250 2t's weigh almost the same as the 125's in KTM land, where most of the parts are interchangeable. So you won't be saving any noticeable weight on a KTM 125 vs 250, its just not an issue.

Kids and small/lightweight people do well on 125's because they don't weigh anything. But regular sized adults will have issues dealing with the 125's. Trust me, I know a LOT of riders who ride in different situations on trails and NOBODY absolutely NOBODY would even think about riding a 125.

First time you go up a hill and the thing stalls on you and you fall down the hill, that will be the last time you ride it. I tell ya, cuz it happened to me when I first started and a clutch pack later (from slipping the clutch everywhere) I realized that 125's on the trail was a complete waste of my time so I gave up trying. Yea, our trails are faster out here, 6th gear pinned sorta stuff, but I tell ya from experience in dealing with up and down hills, 250's are the way to roll. :thumbsup:

My vote is still a KTM 250 2t trail bike.

One of the reasons for me getting a 125 was for learning the mechanics of 2t's, I intend to pick up a cheap one that's a bit old and own it for maybe a year or so, and spend that time basically thrashing the arse off it, if I break it, or mess up some repairs and totally fudge it, meh, just shrug it off as a learning curve.

Then after a year of getting good skills (like bow hunting skills, or 2t rebuilding skills) flick it off in whatever condition and spend some decent cash on a mint 250, or 300exc (those things look gooood!) and by that stage I should have the skills to properly maintain a more valuable machine.

But don't get me wrong, your post is still appreciated, its good to get opinions from both sides of the fence, Thanks.

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