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Old 03-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
gearheadE30 OP
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TL125 thoughts?

I've been looking at getting a trials bike to play around with and also use as something of a trail bike as I am on the SAE Baja team at my college and it would be nice to have something at the trails other than just waiting around.

The midwest trials scene, from what I can tell, is pretty much nonexistent. I've looked around for modern bikes, in my price range and not, and can't find anything that could even remotely be considered local. Except, of course, for a pair of old 1974 Honda TL125s.

First, some about the bikes, and then my rationale. The seller wants $760 for both. One is about 70% complete and non running, though based on the spares pile, I bet he's got enough to get it going. This bike would either be parted or rebuilt and sold as a cheap runner depending on what, exactly, it needs. The other bike was a barn find and was "rebuilt" whatever that means. The important thing is that it is complete minus side covers and starts and runs great.

Now onto the rationale- I can't afford a newer bike at this point, plain and simple. I'm a mountain biker, so the idea of (relative) light weight and small size, even with modest power, sounds fun. A friend has an old 50cc moped with dirt tires that can go anywhere and is just as fun to ride as the KTM or Honda CRs I've ridden, so it isn't just a passing thing really. Also, and this is a big deal, I can fit a TL in the back of my station wagon. I don't want to have to use a trailer every time I want to go somewhere. Should I feel the need, I could also make it road legal with creative use of SL parts.

So, thoughts? Am I crazy? I honestly can't find any real price reference for these, so I don't have much to go on. I'll be going to look at them this weekend, unless someone convinces me it just isn't worth it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
Twin-shocker
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TL will suit your purpose, but a TY175 would probably be better. Avoid poor condition, or non running bikes, as these will invariably end up costing much more than a bike which is up and running ready to ride.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:02 AM   #3
dmay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadE30 View Post
I've been looking at getting a trials bike to play around with and also use as something of a trail bike as I am on the SAE Baja team at my college and it would be nice to have something at the trails other than just waiting around.

The midwest trials scene, from what I can tell, is pretty much nonexistent. I've looked around for modern bikes, in my price range and not, and can't find anything that could even remotely be considered local. Except, of course, for a pair of old 1974 Honda TL125s.

First, some about the bikes, and then my rationale. The seller wants $760 for both. One is about 70% complete and non running, though based on the spares pile, I bet he's got enough to get it going. This bike would either be parted or rebuilt and sold as a cheap runner depending on what, exactly, it needs. The other bike was a barn find and was "rebuilt" whatever that means. The important thing is that it is complete minus side covers and starts and runs great.

Now onto the rationale- I can't afford a newer bike at this point, plain and simple. I'm a mountain biker, so the idea of (relative) light weight and small size, even with modest power, sounds fun. A friend has an old 50cc moped with dirt tires that can go anywhere and is just as fun to ride as the KTM or Honda CRs I've ridden, so it isn't just a passing thing really. Also, and this is a big deal, I can fit a TL in the back of my station wagon. I don't want to have to use a trailer every time I want to go somewhere. Should I feel the need, I could also make it road legal with creative use of SL parts.

So, thoughts? Am I crazy? I honestly can't find any real price reference for these, so I don't have much to go on. I'll be going to look at them this weekend, unless someone convinces me it just isn't worth it.

I'd bet I know which TL125's you are talking about,I think they're worth$100 tops for the pair...plus I don't think a TL125 will be anything like riding a real trials bike. If you truly need a street legal trialler then a Reflex will at least simulate a proper one,but you'll have it stripped down after you take one ride on the real thing.

Where in Indiana are you? We do have a event at ligoneer in april and one At Stoney Lonesome in september. That's more than most states have! If you're in the southern half of the state message me and I can get you a ride on a variety of bikes,I have four different trials bikes and will have five very soon(hopefully!),only the oldest is down for a rehash.I can get you a ride on a Reflex too if you'd like.

We also have the best trials importer/ambassador in the U.S. just south of us in Kentucky,Ryan Young,his enthusiasm for trials is incredible,he rides all the regional events(Trials Inc.)

Get a rack for the back of your wagon,the harbor freight one needs a bit of modifying to fit a trials bike though easily done.
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2011 Sherco 250 trials,83 Fantic 240 trials,1992 Fantic 309 trials,09 Kawasaki KLX250s,1984 SWM 320TL,03 KTM 640 Adv
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:00 AM   #4
2whlrcr
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I had a TL125 back in the late eighties. It was my first "real" trials bike. It was suitable for easy trail riding and got me through the first two classifications of our area trials competitions.

A good TL125 is now approaching $1K. Unless you find one that someone really doesn't know what it is, but it's hard to imagine getting a good running bike with fresh tires, chain, sprockets, cables, etc for less than $500. Unless you're into the vintage scene, I'd look for a '90's Beta or GG. You can still get parts for them and they are much more competent trials bike. Expect to pay $1-1.5K.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
gearheadE30 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmay View Post
I'd bet I know which TL125's you are talking about,I think they're worth$100 tops for the pair...plus I don't think a TL125 will be anything like riding a real trials bike. If you truly need a street legal trialler then a Reflex will at least simulate a proper one,but you'll have it stripped down after you take one ride on the real thing.

Where in Indiana are you? We do have a event at ligoneer in april and one At Stoney Lonesome in september. That's more than most states have! If you're in the southern half of the state message me and I can get you a ride on a variety of bikes,I have four different trials bikes and will have five very soon(hopefully!),only the oldest is down for a rehash.I can get you a ride on a Reflex too if you'd like.

We also have the best trials importer/ambassador in the U.S. just south of us in Kentucky,Ryan Young,his enthusiasm for trials is incredible,he rides all the regional events(Trials Inc.)

Get a rack for the back of your wagon,the harbor freight one needs a bit of modifying to fit a trials bike though easily done.
They're the ones on the indianapolis Craigslist. They've been there awhile, which doesn't really happen if something is a great deal. I hear a lot of good things about the old TLs, so it surprises me a little to hear that they are worth so little after reading elsewhere that they are actually going up in value. I don't need it to be street legal; I just don't want to have to rent a trailer every time I want to ride. That just gets to be a huge hassle and I don't have a place to keep a trailer.

I go to school at Purdue up in West Lafayette right now, and I'm from the Fishers area on the northeast side of Indy. It's not too much for me to take a trip down south though, haha. It might be worth noting that I have zero trials experience, though I'm very interested in getting into it. Also, Badlands offroad park is a half hour from me, so I have a pretty good place to ride. A rack for the wagon is a good idea, and I'm pretty sure it's got a 600 lb tongue weight so I'd be fine there (yes, it is a big wagon).

The Trials, Inc website looks pretty cool. Seems like trials is something of an underground sport in the US; it's really hard to find info and used bits.

Also, you wouldn't happen to know anyone who is looking to sell a more modern trials bike, would you? I'm looking to keep it to less than $1000, what with being a college student and all.
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2005.5 KTM 950 Adventure and 2012 KTM 200 XC-W
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #6
dmay
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Those particular TL125 aren't worth it, I looked at them awhile back,coulda had the non runner for $160,passed,I tink $750 buys a pretty good looking TL or a usable Reflex.
$1000 could buy you a TY350,you can actually learn to ride trials on one of those,and I wouldn't hesitate to compete on one.(I plan on doing just that with mine later this year)
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2011 Sherco 250 trials,83 Fantic 240 trials,1992 Fantic 309 trials,09 Kawasaki KLX250s,1984 SWM 320TL,03 KTM 640 Adv
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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Okay, so it sounds like something made after around 1980ish with a monoshock rear and a bit more power is what I'm after. There is a ty250 over in ohio for sale in need of a head gasket, but almost everything else in my price range I've seen for the last few months has pretty much been old ts bikes in bad shape. Maybe that just means I need to drive farther, hah. Is there a better place to look than Craigslist? A GG/Montesa still runs $2500+, and I can't find any used Reflexes or Fantics, really. And then there is parts availability for anything that isn't a Honda/Suzuki/Yamaha/Kawasaki.

EDIT: where are you finding those prices? TY350s are rather rare so it doesn't surprise me that I can't find one of those, but TY250s seem to be about $1700 except for the ty250 mono I think I mentioned earlier ($1000). Reflexes/every modern bike I can find all seem to be $2k+...
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1992 Subaru SVX daily
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gearheadE30 screwed with this post 03-29-2012 at 09:03 AM
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #8
2whlrcr
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I wouldn't buy a Reflex, unless you need it to be street legal. The TL is a better trials machine. And you CAN ride a TL in real trials at the beginner levels. There is nothing wrong with it, but one ride on a modern bike will hook you.

You may be able to find something air cooled from the 80's cheap, but I would be wary about parts.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
dmay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadE30 View Post
...EDIT: where are you finding those prices? TY350s are rather rare so it doesn't surprise me that I can't find one of those, but TY250s seem to be about $1700 except for the ty250 mono I think I mentioned earlier ($1000). Reflexes/every modern bike I can find all seem to be $2k+...
Bought my TY350 for $650,a bit of cosmetic work and hand down the tires from my newer bikes was all it needed,plus a good going over,lubing linages,tuning cables.have seen other local ones advertised for $800 or so.Reflexe prices are all over the place,from a super expensive one a guy down in Bedford has been trying to sell that's in real nice shape to $200 ones left outside without a spark plug in it...which ran fine after a plug was installed,was leaned just right against a building to keep the water from running in I guess.

Depends on if you need one "right now" or if you are willing to wait for a deal to come along.
do nationwide searches of craigslist via craiggers,search tempest, or jaxed.


Best advice I can give is to hook up with guys who have ridden trials and get their advice on how to turn the bikes and how to climb over obstacles.

The $2500 level buys a really good 2000 to 2004 model bike you can just get on and begin learning without wrenching and parts buying immediately,it's really the best return on your investment to start there.
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2011 Sherco 250 trials,83 Fantic 240 trials,1992 Fantic 309 trials,09 Kawasaki KLX250s,1984 SWM 320TL,03 KTM 640 Adv
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm not really in a big hurry; it's more that I've been looking for 6 months and haven't seen anything better come along and was starting to lose hope, hah. I know that getting into the $2500 range would get me a long, long way, but being a college student, that time is probably a long way off. I run searchtempest searches weekly for trials bikes, but there just doesn't seem to be much. Realistically, I can go about 250 miles away to pick something up, so that's been the only limiting factor. If you got your TY at that price, I suppose I'll just keep looking and hope something else pops up, or I suddenly come into enough money to buy a $2000+ ride. It's kind of a double edged sword of not being able to get into the sport easily without a bike, but if you aren't in the sport, you don't know who is selling what, heh.

For anyone looking at this thread, if you are in the midwest and selling a trials bike around $1000, feel free to PM me...
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2005.5 KTM 950 Adventure and 2012 KTM 200 XC-W
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #11
2whlrcr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmay View Post
Bought my TY350 for $650,a bit of cosmetic work and hand down the tires from my newer bikes was all it needed,plus a good going over,lubing linages,tuning cables.have seen other local ones advertised for $800 or so.Reflexe prices are all over the place,from a super expensive one a guy down in Bedford has been trying to sell that's in real nice shape to $200 ones left outside without a spark plug in it...which ran fine after a plug was installed,was leaned just right against a building to keep the water from running in I guess.

Depends on if you need one "right now" or if you are willing to wait for a deal to come along.
do nationwide searches of craigslist via craiggers,search tempest, or jaxed.


Best advice I can give is to hook up with guys who have ridden trials and get their advice on how to turn the bikes and how to climb over obstacles.

The $2500 level buys a really good 2000 to 2004 model bike you can just get on and begin learning without wrenching and parts buying immediately,it's really the best return on your investment to start there.

Yes.

But I see he is a broke college student, who just happens to own a BMW track car?
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:38 PM   #12
2whlrcr
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Maybe you could trade that Honda 400 for a trials bike. Might be someone looking for a cheap street bike, who just happens to have a trials bike laying around they don't ride.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:05 PM   #13
dmay
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In the meantime head up to Ligonier on April 21-22 and check out the event,everyone is very friendly,you'll get to see the techniques used(hint:watch the rider more than what the bike is doing!)You never know,someone may hook you up with a bike, there's always some for sale at every trial.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gearheadE30 View Post
Yeah, I'm not really in a big hurry; it's more that I've been looking for 6 months and haven't seen anything better come along and was starting to lose hope, hah. I know that getting into the $2500 range would get me a long, long way, but being a college student, that time is probably a long way off. I run searchtempest searches weekly for trials bikes, but there just doesn't seem to be much. Realistically, I can go about 250 miles away to pick something up, so that's been the only limiting factor. If you got your TY at that price, I suppose I'll just keep looking and hope something else pops up, or I suddenly come into enough money to buy a $2000+ ride. It's kind of a double edged sword of not being able to get into the sport easily without a bike, but if you aren't in the sport, you don't know who is selling what, heh.

For anyone looking at this thread, if you are in the midwest and selling a trials bike around $1000, feel free to PM me...
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #14
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Well...I did sell the Honda (sorry, forgot to update the sig), but that money went towards buying the GS and getting some proper gear. I do have the turbo car, but I'm a mechanic and an ME student, so I design and build it all myself and get parts cheap. It's probably not as fancy as what you're thinking, hah. So even though, yes, I could swing it, the thing that is bothering me and what i really imposing the price cap is that I can't ride a trials bike all the time. Often, yes, but not like the GS or the cages, which serve some form of practical transportation. Even if I was generous with myself, I just can't bring myself to spend more than probably $1500 on something that I can't ride all the time....

EDIT: and yes, I will definitely try to hit up the events as long as exams don't get in the way.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #15
dmay
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Check out this one:
http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/mcy/2920440170.html


looks pretty damn good to me,just a smige beyond your drive range...
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