What bike to buy for my 12 year old nephew?

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1/6/2020 8:04 PM

He is 12 years old 5'6 and skinny never rode a dirt bike before. I think 2 stroke 125 maybe like a 2000 or so. Lower the suspension till he gets used to it?

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1/6/2020 8:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/6/2020 8:26 PM

I Think something even mellower personally.
I personally started on a 1987 Kawasaki KD80 which is a pretty tame bike , much tamer than. KX80. I only road it one year and then moved up to a CR80. Personally I Started a little late, 13 but I was also very into BMX , Riding half pipe and dirt jumps on Bicycle. But the mellower bike made it really good for learning a clutch, shifting. Throttle Control etc before having a race bike.

But a big part of my Thoughts on this come from Friends rather than myself. And why I say that is I got Three freinds into Racing Moto that had never ridden dirt bikes, (all at different times) they all though it (motocross) was cool and they all 3 started on 125's
And they all three Quit. 2 out of 3 got hurt. And then quit and 1 just quit. But when they were riding watching them circulate the track was scary you could tell they never got used to the powerband. And every jump was either an endo or an air wheelie. Not shitting you All three.
Personally I was not like that and I can only guess that it was because I was completely comfortable jumping a Bicycle. And I spent a year learning to shift brake get used to throttle.
So in my opinion any beginner regardless of age should spend some time on a non race bike and a turn track.

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1/6/2020 8:24 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/6/2020 8:28 PM

Dude, I hope you’re joking!

12 years old and never ridden a dirt bike before and you want to slap him on a 125? I would say at most get him an 85, or pick up a cheap trail bike, like a 125 4-stroke to see if he likes it.

My first bike was a KX65 at age 11. Learning how to use a clutch on that was scary enough. Couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened learning to ride on a full sized MX bike. Have him learn the ropes on a smaller bike.

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1/6/2020 8:30 PM

Ok all that's why I am asking. I appreciate all your input. I went from a yz 80 to a cr 500 at 14. I rode my 80 for years though. What about a kx100?

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1/6/2020 8:31 PM

kborr wrote:

Ok all that's why I am asking. I appreciate all your input. I went from a yz 80 to a cr 500 at 14. I rode my 80 for years though. What about a kx100?

What year was your YZ 80?

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1/6/2020 8:35 PM

kborr wrote:

Ok all that's why I am asking. I appreciate all your input. I went from a yz 80 to a cr 500 at 14. I rode my 80 for years though. What about a kx100?

In my opinion it's not the Size. It's The power delivery of the racing two stroke. But it could work if they had time riding trails or a turn track I guess.
But going straight to a track with jumps on a race bike
With no experience isn't good. In the case of the guys I knew they went right to the track pretty much. And they weren't totally sending it, but still had no business on a track with jumps to be honest.

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1/6/2020 8:40 PM

Crap get him a CRF150... all bottom end and you could teach him the basics.... KX 100 would be good too. The way the power hits on a 125 would be like a 250f.

Plus mixing gas... Sure you want him doing that ? Not saying he can't with a Ratio right but its one more step.

smile

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1/6/2020 8:40 PM

I like the CRF450, tons of power, should rip his arms off the first few laps!

J/K......actually, the PW80, old XR80s, things like that are great for beginners and cheap to find. After a couple / three years, you can jump them up to a 125, but stay small and safe to begin with.

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1/6/2020 8:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2020 2:58 PM

My nephew was at the same 5’6” (13 years old) when my sister asked me (2 years ago) what to get him to start out on. Found a used TTR 125L 4-stroke. He loves it and is looking to step up to a 125 2-stroke soon.

Forgot his boots in this pic, but that didn’t stop him!
Photo

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1/6/2020 8:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/7/2020 6:14 AM

I started my son when he was twelve on an XR 100
Picked it up pretty cheap. After two summers (8 months) of riding and getting comfortable I sold the XR and got him a CR 125. It’s more about getting comfortable with the controls than anything. Unexpectedly popping the clutch on a 125 might scare him and make him not be interested.

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1/6/2020 8:46 PM

We have plenty of flat fields to teach him how to ride. He is a city boy who moved to the country now. We will teach him how 2 ride a bike in the fields. Then the track with us. I'm not trying to toss him on the tracks right away that would be crazy I think a 125 would be ok really?

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1/6/2020 8:49 PM

KLX140G would be a good choice. I bought one as a backup to my KX250F and I ride it almost as much. Loads of fun and it will teach him the basics of corner speed, jumping etc.

Plus they're bullet proof. The oil, air/oil filter super easy to change so he can learn maintenance as well.

Suspension is soft for me at 170 lbs but if he's a skinny 12 year old it should be fine. Put a pipe on it and it's good to go.

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1/6/2020 9:05 PM

TTR 125 would be good as already suggested. When I was that age I had a KX80 (I think?) and I really struggled to get to grips with it and it put me off riding again until I was 22!

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If talk is cheap, silence must be expensive because nobody can afford it!

1/6/2020 9:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/6/2020 9:11 PM

kborr wrote:

We have plenty of flat fields to teach him how to ride. He is a city boy who moved to the country now. We will teach him how 2 ride a bike in the fields. Then the track with us. I'm not trying to toss him on the tracks right away that would be crazy I think a 125 would be ok really?

Agree about the track thing. My nephew spent many hours at the local M/C park (in open fields or mellow dirt roads) just getting comfortable with riding a motorcycle. Confidence is super important to start out.

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1/6/2020 9:21 PM

If you put him on a 125 2stroke, film it

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1/6/2020 9:54 PM

A perfect bike to learn on would be a TTR 125 4-stroke or something similar.

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Ed Johnson

1/6/2020 10:00 PM

ttr or drz125 , crf150f or klx140 would all be good choices. , even a klx110l which has a manual clutch would be a good choice

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1/6/2020 10:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/6/2020 10:16 PM

kborr wrote:

We have plenty of flat fields to teach him how to ride. He is a city boy who moved to the country now. We will teach him how 2 ride a bike in the fields. Then the track with us. I'm not trying to toss him on the tracks right away that would be crazy I think a 125 would be ok really?

No I don’t think it’s crazy you’re thinking 2 stroke 125 - he will figure it out - but you can kiss your alfalfa field goodbye. Wait the kid is 12? Get him an 85 he won’t outgrow it for a year or two.

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1/6/2020 10:33 PM

+1 TTR 125 and then a CRF 150. And I am a KTM loyalist 🥴

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1/7/2020 3:14 AM

Race classes for 80cc start at 10 years old and go up to 16. While yes 125cc classes start at 12 that doesn’t mean all kids are ready for that size of bike. Some of the best amateur riders in the world are still on 85’s or super minis, are 12-15 years old, and been riding since they were 4. He’s a little behind best not to scare him out of the sport IMO and get klx or something tamed down for a summer before a 125 race bike. Like others have stated it’s not about cc’s it’s about the power delivery.

In pretty much everything I do I’m into stepping stones and building confidence each step of the way. A 125 will be intimidating.

Also note I’m 5’6” and can’t flat foot a 125 or 250f.

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1/7/2020 3:37 AM

Start out with something non-intimidating, preferably a 4-stroke with an auto-clutch so he can learn when to upshift/downshift. He’s got enough to learn with throttle control, braking, shifting, and just general riding technique to have to deal with the frustration of stalling the bike while learning how to use a clutch. Introduce the clutch later. Buy something used/cheap, so that if he turns out to not be interested OR he’s ready to upgrade, you can resell and get most of your money back.

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1/7/2020 4:59 AM

TTR 125.

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1/7/2020 5:17 AM

TTR125, CRF125. A KX100 could be a good choice as well, but the lack of a button can be frustrating. My SO got one last year for christmas, and she's grown into really well, but the short kicker has been the source of some relationship friction when we do ride whistling

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1/7/2020 5:26 AM

TTR-125

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1/7/2020 6:09 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/7/2020 6:21 AM

Whichever color he likes or good deal you find in the big wheel (19/16) trailbike, 32-33" seat height range: TTR, KLX or CRF-F

IMO, KX100 is the next step up, and he may or may not be ready. If he is not, it will turn him away from dirt biking right at the start.

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1/7/2020 6:20 AM

mirramaxx wrote:

Crap get him a CRF150... all bottom end and you could teach him the basics.... KX 100 would be good too. The way the power hits on a 125 would be like a 250f.

Plus mixing gas... Sure you want him doing that ? Not saying he can't with a Ratio right but its one more step.

smile

If you can't mix gas you aren't allowed to spank ass.

Those are the rules. I vote for 80/85 ccm bike.

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1/7/2020 6:22 AM

A 110 or 125 4 stroke till hes a pro on those and then get a 125 or 250.

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1/7/2020 6:24 AM

Ok all thanks for all your input! We are gonna get him into a ttr crf or klx to start and see what happens from there. Thanks again!

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1/7/2020 8:44 AM

kborr wrote:

Ok all thanks for all your input! We are gonna get him into a ttr crf or klx to start and see what happens from there. Thanks again!

Cool part is that you will be able to ride it too and have a good time. wink

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Ed Johnson

1/7/2020 8:50 AM

kborr wrote:

Ok all that's why I am asking. I appreciate all your input. I went from a yz 80 to a cr 500 at 14. I rode my 80 for years though. What about a kx100?

A KX100 would be a good choice. They are fairly mellow until they're not. It will provide a good lesson in throttle and clutch control. Keep in mind my nephew (13 yrs old) outgrew his KX100 real quick. In less than a year. It's a good bike to introduce someone to riding fundamentals. There are definite benefits to learning on a 2 stroke.

I definitely wouldn't put someone that young with no experience or strength on a 125. He can get a solid year out of a KX100, sell it, then up to a 125.

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