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Some CR125 Q's

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Hi guys,

I'm pretty new to the dirt scene (background is mainly street riding with a handful of trackdays), and am looking for feedack on a first dirt bike. I'm looking for cheap fun, which will be mostly trail riding and some hare scrambles. Generally, I'm more interested in seat time than being outright competitive if I do end up racing.

Anyway.... I'm trying to keep my budget in the $1000-1200 range, give or take a few hundred. So from what I've gathered, that puts me in the market for an older 2t. Hondas have always treated me well (and seem to be easy to get parts for), so i've looked mainly at CR125's so far (though not opposed to other brands). Looking at CR125's on craigslist, I see everything from 97's to '03's in my price range, depending on condition. So are there any major differences in that date range that make one model year more desirable than another? Any known issues (or model years) to look out for or avoid? Anything else I should consider?

Thanks in advance for the help,

Andrew

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Well 97 was the last year of the steel frame (not sure if that is desirable to you or not) but they were known to have the strongest motors of any CR125 and they also had the 6 speed. I have owned both a 97 and an 02. I can day the 97 was faster because of the 6 speed and the powerband hit a lot harder. The 02 is still fast and the suspension is way better, the bike feels very tight compared to the 97 which felt big because of the suspension. I have not needed a 6th gear in my 02 because I do not do much top speed riding, mainly track and occasional trail. I got my 97 for $850, it needed a top end and plastics which pushed the total to about $1100 then tires which were another $160-190 can't remember. Just make sure whatever bike you buy, it does not need a lot of work. But I would go as new as possible. Good luck

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Well 97 was the last year of the steel frame (not sure if that is desirable to you or not) but they were known to have the strongest motors of any CR125 and they also had the 6 speed. I have owned both a 97 and an 02. I can day the 97 was faster because of the 6 speed and the powerband hit a lot harder. The 02 is still fast and the suspension is way better, the bike feels very tight compared to the 97 which felt big because of the suspension. I have not needed a 6th gear in my 02 because I do not do much top speed riding, mainly track and occasional trail. I got my 97 for $850, it needed a top end and plastics which pushed the total to about $1100 then tires which were another $160-190 can't remember. Just make sure whatever bike you buy, it does not need a lot of work. But I would go as new as possible. Good luck

Thanks for the input. Are there any downsides to the steel frame? I'm assuming it'll be heavier, but aside from that, I don't see it being a major factor for me.

And good info on the motor. From the little reasearch I've done it sounds like the 97's have a reputation for being pretty strong. As far as the gearbox, I think I'm in the same camp as you as far as not really needing a 6th gear, but good to know.

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Well I bought my 02 for $1000 and I put new plastics and amsoil graphics and now I'm at $1200 and I have a complete running bike. I would look for as new as possible unless you are set on a 97 which is a great bike.

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don't the 01-04s have powervalve problems? I feel like my buddies is always broken. Steel frame bikes are fast and reliable, but they do lack bottom end.

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The 04's had the electronic powervalve...read up on it and make your own opinion. I had an 01 I got and fixed up for about 1100 total, which was a lot of fun when I was done with it, and I currently have an 02 that I put decent money into. The stock motors from 2000-04 aren't great, and the intake tract is worse. Read the magazine reviews and you'll see what I mean, but there are a few things to open up the intake and make it breathe.

I cut the airbox, installed an 05-07 airboot, installed a PWK38 AS carb, and then did some motor work...

I sent my cylinder to Derek Harris, he punched it to a 134, epoxied the transfer tunnels, port/polish, powervalve mod that works with the porting, and it works quite well.

It's set up to scream, and it does just that. The stock carb is ok, but a bit difficult to jet.

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If you're looking for a 125, also consider the Yamahas. They don't turn or brake as well, but the motors are freaking awesome for a 125 and they have decent stock suspension.

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Anyway.... I'm trying to keep my budget in the $1000-1200 range, give or take a few hundred.

I'd look for an '02 or '03 for the later gen aluminum frame. You should be able to find one of that vintage fairly easily in your price range. Negotiate hard - there isn't much of a market for these things...

Ex: http://nh.craigslist.org/mcy/2712506868.html

JayC

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The 04's had the electronic powervalve...read up on it and make your own opinion.

Saw this mentioned in another thread where they said it was a PITA to get the bike to run nicely. This is exactly the type of thing I'm trying to avoid if at all possible. Is '04 the olny year with that power valve?

If you're looking for a 125, also consider the Yamahas. They don't turn or brake as well, but the motors are freaking awesome for a 125 and they have decent stock suspension.

I definitely wouldn't be opposed to a Yamaha if I find a good deal on one. So are there any really good or bad years as far as YZ's are concerned?

I'd look for an '02 or '03 for the later gen aluminum frame. You should be able to find one of that vintage fairly easily in your price range. Negotiate hard - there isn't much of a market for these things... Ex: http://nh.craigslist.org/mcy/2712506868.html

Damn. If that were a bit closer it'd already be in my garage. Definitely have to keep my eyes open - I honestly figured I was relegated to something in the late nineties, but it sound like '02 or '03 is within reach.

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The 99 and up YZ's are all great bikes, I've owned a few of them. Watch for crack frames though, that's their big issue.

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Just try to get the newest YZ you can find for your price range.

Yeah, was looking at them last night. looks like an '02 or '03 (maybe even an '04) could be doable with some searching. Is the performance difference between the YZ and CR motors really as noticeable as it's being made out to be?

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the YZ's have much better bottom end without losing top end, they run very good for a 125. So, yes the YZ engine is better.

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Sled, is there a particular weld or location that tends to crack on the YZ's?

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It's been awhile but I believe mine had cracked by the neck up under the tank. I had it fixed, then it cracked by the foot pegs. I believe they fixed this problem in 02. I think the 02 and ups didnt have this problem.

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So I saw a listing for a 2005 CR125 on craigslist for $1500. From what I can see in the pics, it looks good, and is local to me, so it would be easy to check out. Seems like way too good a price. Little more than I had anticipated spending, but looks like a tough one to pass up. Thoughts?

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So I saw a listing for a 2005 CR125 on craigslist for $1500. From what I can see in the pics, it looks good, and is local to me, so it would be easy to check out. Seems like way too good a price. Little more than I had anticipated spending, but looks like a tough one to pass up. Thoughts?

Check it out and buy it if it looks good! Even if it's a little worn out, they're cheap to fix up. JFTR, I paid $3000 for my '06 CR125 brand new at the dealer.

JayC

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Quick bump - I picked up a 2004 YZ125 this afternoon. Decided to go with the YZ over the CR based on the input in this thread, so thanks for the help!

Took it out for a quick spin and it's a hoot. Pretty much my first time on a smoker and I love the way it feels when it gets on the pipe. I can tell I'm going to have some fun with it in the spring!

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