Help me pick a bike for my son. (long)

19 replies to this topic
  • Bill

Posted February 10, 2001 - 04:17 PM


I come to you guys, because you will only look at the facts posted. Unlike the dad (me) who has other information cluttering up my ability to figure this out.

My sons stats:
age 14, 5'8", 120, fairly co-ordinated, not very strong or aggresive. He has been riding for about a year on a 86 TTR225. He has ridden mostly MX, on a very easy practice track. He brought a friend (XR200) to the track one time who has ridden only trails, but has ridden for several years. They raced for four laps and he pulled away from my son the whole race. My son blamed it on the bike, so he tried again, this time riding a 98 CR80R. The CR80 belongs to my other son and the 14 yr old has experience on this bike (edited to include this info)The results were the same, his friend pulled away for all four laps. My sons buddy tried the "double" (small)and cleared it the first time on his XR. My son has yet to try it.

Well he wants a new bike and I would have to agree. That for him to advance and get into more challenging terrain, he needs more bike.

His first choice would be a 125 2-stroke MX'er.

My first choice, would be a KDX200. I have also considered a MX 250 2-stroke. Why you ask, for the simple reason that it is not as pipey (we do ride trails). Plus 125 MX bikes have usually been rode very hard (read: revved hard)

He vision is to race MX. I think he has to conquer bike control and trails prior to this endeavor.

What we ride. We do ride MX and will join a local riding area that has 12,000 acres of riding land.

I have had him reveiw this and we agree that it is accurate. Please give us your honest opinions.


86TT225, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA.

[This message has been edited by Bill (edited 02-10-2001).]

  • bonez34

Posted February 10, 2001 - 05:02 PM


Personally, i don't think going straight from a 86 4 stroke to a 98 2 stroke is exactly fair. if he has never ridden a two stroke 80 on a track before and you just throw him on it and expect him to go supersonic, that's not gonna happen. he was probably scared s@@tless due to a bike that is about 100 pounds less and over a decade newer. i know i would be if it were me. but if i had to give him a bike it would probably be a 125. the kdx is a very good choice if it is for trails but it isn't exactly "state of the art". but it is cheap! if you do get a 125, try to find one with no aftermarket parts on it, i have found those to be less abused. just my 2 cents.

Confucious say: Man with hand in pocket feel cocky.

  • Bill

Posted February 10, 2001 - 05:11 PM



Thanks! I did edit the post to show more complete info on his riding ability on the CR80. He had riden it previously, enough to become comfortable. Just trying to show that the bike was not the limitation.


  • bonez34

Posted February 10, 2001 - 05:33 PM


bill, o.k., so he is not fast. do you think he can handle a 250 two stroke better than an 80? a 125 2 stroke is a very fast bike, especially at first. a kdx 200 is a little bit faster but a lot more friendly. i don't know him but maybe he just wants the look of a factory racer bike than the look of a woods bike. believe it or not, most kids will go for the look of something rather than function or economy. i've been there and so have you! i still find myself looking at magazines wanting to make my bike a full works bike-rims, hubs,Ti parts, carbon parts, etc., but then i slap myself and realize that 99% of those parts won't do a dang thing for my speed or pocket! you probably can't go wrong with either bike but a 250? i'm still scared of those and i beat them all the time!

Confucious say: Man with hand in pocket feel cocky.

  • marty_mosley

Posted February 10, 2001 - 05:39 PM


How about a yzf-250 ? As small as a 125 but much more easier to ride on mx or trails. My son has a yz-80 and has been riding my wr-400 just fine I think he's about ready for 250-f.


  • marty_mosley

Posted February 10, 2001 - 05:41 PM


I forgot the most important part, you can ride it also.


  • Bill

Posted February 10, 2001 - 06:58 PM



How old is your son? How long has he been riding? Your absolutely right I also think the 250f would be a great choice, for him and I :) However, he does have quite a bit of learning to do and I can't afford for it to be on a $5500 bike.

I felt the 250 2-stroke would be something to consider, since it does make some power at lower RPM. Unlike the 80 or 125's, that have an on/off switch for power. He's also at that age where he will be "filling out" soon. This is one of my reasons for posting this here.

Hope the black outs haven't affected you. My best friend lives in Hughson and I'm originally from SLO. Wished I was there now. The snow here in PA is making tough to ride.


  • motoman393

Posted February 10, 2001 - 07:38 PM



I am 15 yrs old and am about 160lbs and around 5' 11" and I ride a 01' YZ426F...I have been riding about 6 yrs and have had many bikes (PW80, RT100, two XR200's, XR400, and now YZ426) The bike I would recommend your son is a YZ 250F this bike right now is "the bike to beat" it is just as light as a has much more usable power, and is more beginner friendly!
My Dad always stresses to me about "mental maturity" since I ride a big bike for my age! Sometimes I get to thinking im better than I am and wreck at the mx track...but now I have started to get used to the beast of a bike, and am riding it a lot better! I think your son would be happy with a 125 2 stroke but is he mechanically inclined? If not tell him that top ends are not fun to do every month or so (all my friends with 125's pay me to do their top ends and it gets old VERY does mixing your gas and adjusting power valves)! The reason you must put top ends in 125's is because you have to rev them to get power! But the 2 stroke 250's are FAST and are not anything like the 125's! The 250 would be a big step for your son and might scare him and discourage him from riding!

My Dad also rides too, he bought me bikes that were not "mx bikes" and that weren't made for MX. Thinking that they were safer, because they supposedly were not "race bikes"! Well about 2 yrs ago I broke both of my forearms on a jump that was too big for an XR200 and he finally realized that I was exceeding the limits of my bike (and didnt want me to get hurt again)! Well now my Dad that used to only ride trails is hooked on MX!

Whichever bike you and your son decide on I'm sure he will have fun! But be careful riding the TTR225 on the MX track, your son could get hurt very badly, not because he is a bad rider, but because the bike was simply not designed for it! Well sorry for the long post, I hope this helps in your decision!


I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!
Friendswood, TX

  • darbsitton

Posted February 10, 2001 - 10:35 PM


Often times an inexperiened rider will be afraid to push a bike to it's limits, especially on a high horsepower bike. On a milder bike they will develop skills to make the bike go faster, rather than rely on horsepower. They will not be intimidated to open it up and go for it. Once these skills have been developed they will be ready to tap the full performance of any bike.

Both my brother and I had KDX200s as our first full sized bikes. They were controllable and unintimidating to start with, but performed strongly when pushed.

In our case we were nearly "A" class enduro riders before we switched to more powerful bikes. At the time, we were probably both around 5'8/120.

We ride trails/enduros only, no motocross.

Finally, a KDX200 will be a big step up from the XR200. It will have more power than a 125, especially on the bottom end, but not be as intimidating as a 250.

  • Guest_Guest_*

Posted February 11, 2001 - 03:58 AM


Bill... You got it right with a KDX200.

From your description we know your son is not an ace rider. (yet)...and if you know about bikes, you know that a rider goes as fast as HE is.... not the bike (in other words... a faster bike almost never makes you faster).

And a KDX is an excellent all around bike.
At your son's weight, even the suspension will be stiff enough for rough fast stuff.

And it is user friendly and he can learn on it nicely.
And it is versatile and can even be made street legal (if you wanted to).

If he gets a full on MX bike and still gets beat by the XR200 (and he probably will) he's going to be embarrassed.

I know of A enduro riders who ride KDX200's, and consider that Shane Watts (one of the fastest riders in the world, considers that 250's have too much power (his favorite bikes are the KTM200 and 125...and he beats all the bigger bikes all the time.


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  • MN_Kevin

Posted February 11, 2001 - 06:09 AM


I am a dedicated 2 stroke rider. I do love my WR, but the power to weight of a 250 mx'r is great. I agree to stay away from a 125. Too pipey, no bottom. When the bike starts pulling at mid to upper, that can be intimidating. If ginger throttle is used, a 250 can make a great bike. But then again, when they start pulling real hard in the middle, it's wheelie city and nothing short of skill will keep you from looping out.
I would put ALL of my money on the KDX as well. It doesn't sound as if your son is ready for the mx track. I have had my fair share of trophies. I have also been lapped, and have come in dead last. It is quite sobering and with the right (wrong?) person, can really be demoralizing. He can get air time on the KDX. It doesn't have the severe pull of an mx'r, it has bottom end, and has a user friendly powerband.
Plus, up here in New England, I see lots of used ones for sale.
Going to Bud's National this year? I thought so. Count me and Mike68 in!

Maybe I should drive the crotch rocket down...?? I wonder if Mike would ride on the back of my bike. Would he look like my Bitch :)?

  • John_in_Calgary

Posted February 11, 2001 - 06:18 AM


I agree a KDX would be a excellant choice. Great for improving ones skill level without intimadating the rider .As his skill level increases u can improve the bike with a pipe and reeds.This will make it more like a 125 on steroids!Yet not as powerfull as a 250.Its a great bike to build confidence on. MY .02 CENTS

  • marty_mosley

Posted February 11, 2001 - 08:40 AM


Bill....My son is 14 and has been riding a couple years but has some bmx background. I know what you mean about that 5,500 bucks. We rode in ceres yesterday in a small area that has a sand track it was awsum. the wet weather has the sand perfect. to bad you arn't here. The kdx sounds like a good posibility also.


  • sbohanon

Posted February 12, 2001 - 04:09 AM


i bought a kdx 3-years ago when i decided to get back into riding again after 15-years off. it is a great bike to hone anyones skill. it is modeled after mid '90's kx and handles great. the front fork is its only downfall but with stiffer springs and correct oil level it can be jumped. i did the performance mods, aftermarket pipe is a must to wake it up. a freind of mine bought it when i picked up the 400 and since he is a better rider than i, kicks butt on tight tracks and in the woods. sometimes when i'm racing, i wish i never sold it. check out

btw, if weather cooperates, planning on going to rausch creek on the 17th. keep you informed.


[This message has been edited by sbohanon (edited 02-12-2001).]

  • Brian_in_Long_Beach

Posted February 12, 2001 - 08:01 AM


At 5'8" it sounds like seat height may be an issue for your son. After seeing Kevin in NH & Mike from Silicon Valley on WR400s I now know what the vertically challenged are complaining about :) I have a friend who bought a KDX200 for her first bike - the best choice she could have made - she is 5'8" ~135lbs.

What about a late model XR250R or KLX250/300, if you want to remain a 4stroke family? A couple of friends of mine ride KLX300s and absolutely love them. One guy rides his in Baja with all the XR600/650s & WR400s, the other only rides tight technical trails. Both are extremely pleased with their choice.


  • GNCCYZ400

Posted February 15, 2001 - 02:58 PM



I think he will be very happy on the kdx. It is a very good bike and "woods" oriented too.
The 250F would be a great choice also. The only problem with the 250f is, Willaim would never get to ride it. :) If you want I'll keep my eyes open at the races for one, just let me know what you decide on.
How was the video??



'98 YZ400F
'01 YZ250F
'98 CBR600F3

  • Bill

Posted February 15, 2001 - 03:39 PM



The KDX is what we've decided on. I was trying to push him that way, but you know kids. For some reason they will never believe their parents know anything. Even though I've been around bikes for 3 times the years he's walked the earth :D

The video is awesome. I can't believe the guy on the XR though. He just pitched the bike :) and hammered the handles bars :D. What was up with that. We haven't got through the whole video, but will tonight. We're hoping for some more Kenly video.

I joined a MX track up here, $85/year and they gave me a key so I can ride anytime I want. I'm just waiting on the weather now. Bike is de-octopussed, new rad guards and frame guards.

I guess I should have sent you a email!


86TT225, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA.

  • yamahalic

Posted February 17, 2001 - 05:12 AM


My 14 year old has a 1990 XR200 with a XR250 suspension and disc brake, etc...I took an older XR250 and put these parts on his XR. The aluminum with zerks rear suspension just bolts on, the front suspension takes a little more work by changing bearing races. Also took the lights, speedometer, and tank and just had to add a voltage regulator($10).
He likes his 200 better than the 96 250 I
had. Less weight, and quicker handling is his reasoning.

  • MN_Kevin

Posted February 17, 2001 - 07:08 AM


Listen here Mr. Goliath,(aka Brian Meadows), the bigger they (you) are, the harder they (you) fall :)!

  • Howard_Huge

Posted February 19, 2001 - 05:00 PM


You said it Kevvie, and the more parts you break :)


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