Help me decide my first project?

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9/26/2017 2:13 PM

Hey everybody

These bike build threads are amazing and have inspired me to start a project of my own. So far I know I want a Japanese two stroke from around 93-2001.(The bikes I always drooled over growing up.) I'm leaning more towards a YZ or CR but open to the KX and RM, either 125 or 250, preferably steel frame.

What are the parts availability like on 90s two strokes? (used and aftermarket.)

Is there a certain bike I should avoid altogether? (Bad years, known problems from the factory etc)

Time isn't really a factor and I know I'll end up spending more than I think I will.

Since you guys have been there/done that can you help steer me in the right direction?


9/26/2017 4:55 PM

Do you want to rebuild an old pro bike, create a replica, restore one back to stock or just rebuild one on a budget?

I'd recommend going with whatever bike from that era that means the most to you and consider what budget you have to work with. If you want to rebuild an old pro bike or make an accurate replica then plan on maybe spending $10,000 once it's all said and done with. That number might sound shocking and it isn't necessary if you just want a cool bike but some of the parts you'll chase to get an old pro bike or replica of one "right" will cost a lot more money than you'd probably ever think. All of those parts start to add up in a hurry. OEM parts availability shouldn't be too much of an issue but period correct aftermarket parts can sometimes be difficult to find if you're looking for specific stuff which drives the price up.

I have a 2003 KX250 that I bought for $1,650, put another 1,200 into it and have had a lot of fun with it. On the other hand I have a Splitfire Pro Circuit 125 and a Plano Honda 125 that I have put in... more money than I'd like to think about.

Another thing to consider is the year if and your local vintage classes if you ever want to race it. Bikes from the 90s are getting quite popular for vintage racing.


9/26/2017 5:38 PM

I would say my plan is to restore the bike to atleast stock. Definitely some upgraded parts but I'm not looking to do a 100% factory replica or anything like that.

I can see myself wanting to race it but damn when I think of vintage races I think of bikes from the 70s or 80s. I must be getting old...


9/29/2017 11:18 AM

Goodluck with whatever you vote but I would say 99' Yz250's have the biggest parts availability in my opinion.


9/29/2017 1:42 PM

I suggest yz125, yz250, kx125, kx250 and cr125 since they tend to have interchangeable parts throughout their respective years.

I live in Orangevale. I see you are in Elk Grove. I am in your same boat except I've built a few bikes by now. I just scroll Craigslist and buy whatever pops up first- and peaks my interest of course. Let me know if you buy a 94-98 kx. I have plastics and triple clamps and maybe other parts to help you out if needed.


10/1/2017 3:11 PM

98+ yz's are my first choice. Followed by mid nineties CRs before the aluminum frame.

I've been checking CL everyday. I'm still a couple weeks away from making an offer on anything.

Could this have anything to do with my first baby being due in December?

So far I've built a deck in my yard, fixed up my DR, fixed up my wife's TTR, remodeled the babies room, remodeled my office.

I just have this urge to build...Maybey it's some biological thing with my wife making a baby that makes me want to create but she gave the A-ok for my project.

I'll keep everybody updated on what I go with...


10/16/2017 7:03 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2017 7:06 PM

Update: I was able to get a 98 YZ250 off of Craigslist for a cool $500. Needs a new top end and a few other things. The guy included a piston kit with it. My first purchase will be a clymer manual and a proper stand tho.

Can't wait to tear into this thing!



10/16/2017 8:12 PM

Good choice. I paid about the same for my yz125. I had an 01 yz250 that was a beast. The factory bikes in 98 were nice looking and would be easy to replicate.



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