stuck between a crf 70 and ktm 65, and debating on the rekluse

my 8 year old has been riding for a few years, not a lot, but somewhat consistently, about 3 months ago i got him a crf 70. kinda beat but we cleaned it up, put on a pipe and 13T front sprocket, his pick of graphics and he loves the bike, loves to ride it, we couldn't be happier, until he started launching that thing about 18'. he was bottoming that thing out every time and i finally had to tell him to ease off until i could beef up the suspension. i wanted more travel for him so i ordered the chinese upside down front end and a charged rear shock, and it totally f'd up the geometry. i've lowered the triple clamp as far as it will go and it's better but still a little too heavy in the corners, at least for my taste, he says he's willing to keep riding it but i'm just leery, the front end is out there just a little more than i'd like it. my kid had been on a roll with this bike and i wanted to keep the momentum going so when i found a green stickered ktm 65 on craigslist i thought it would be a perfect next bike, but he's not really strong enough to pull in the clutch with ease, and i'm afraid if he stalls that thing out a few times he's gonna lose interest. so a couple of questions...

one of his jumps -

can that clutch be softened up?

is the rekluse clutch worth $500, or after he's a little bigger will i be able to sell that part for any reasonable cash?

any ideas how i can make that front end ride a little lighter?

if i put the original front end (after having it redone) back on the crf, is 3" of travel really enough? he only weighs 59 lbs. but was smashing the heck outta that suspension.

or anything else i should have asked? let me know, i got about 2 weeks before we go riding again...


May want to think about an mx bike like the ktm 50 senior, cobra 50 king or a polini. Those bikes are set up for bike jumps. The suspension on them are awesome. They are better set up for jumping. Good luck.

I bet at 59# he'd have a blast on one of the little racing 50's.... I have a KTM senior adv. in my garage right now next to my daughters TTr90 and the difference is insane. That little bike is so light and the suspension is so sweet compared to that TTr... Not sure how long it would last him, but no clutch and would have plenty of zing for him for a while for sure! (unfortunately, I cant get this one running, so I cant tell ya a lot more!)

Since he's comfortable on a bike and knows/understands all teh controls of a semi auto bike, go to a clutched bike like the KX65 and spend a little time teaching him how to use the clutch (basics) to get moving, my kid only required about 2 minutes of training before I never saw him again.

If you want to smooth out and lighten the clutch, every ASV clutch lever i've ever seen is incredibly light, match that with a new cable and it should be feather light, plus, you can adjust them to bring them closer to the bars so his small hands can reach it easier.

Besides - if you "sell" it to him as a full blown race bike that'll take the punishment he now gives his rides, he may be VERY receptive towards learning that clutch....

dudes, thanks for all the responses. i ended getting a rekluse for the ktm at half price, got lucky when i called i guess. anyhow, i'm guessing it'll be the best of both worlds, we'll see...

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