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Old 03-26-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
zontar OP
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125 for lighter amateur rider?

general thoughts: is a nice 2T 125 enough power for a 145lb amateur? inquiring minds want to know! I'm having a blast on my 270, but am curious as to the upsides/downsides of a smaller displacement bike. and while we're at it, how about the ups and downs of 2 vs 4 stroke bikes. I generally enjoy whatever I am riding and try not to overthink it, but I appreciate others' opinions......
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
Sting32
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I have to make a crapload of assumptions, so bare with me as you read this, I know you weigh 140 or so, and ride amature class?

Amature riders, like my son, who is now 17 and 190ish, out grew the 125 back when he was 13. But you will find the ever vigilent new comers to trials, and even some crafty veterans that say 125 is more than enough... I think 125's are mostly anemic. But with skills that are nice to have by the time you move on up from amature, 125's were and are ridden by High school championship caliber riders you know, until 18 and cant ride in that class anymore. They are usable, Freind of mine was on one, until he left for college, rides master at that time, rides better than me, he's football scollarship, so you know he's a healthy hunk of a kid, fit and would take most of us out, lol.

Laymans terms, average rider, amature or just starting next class up, I believe you cannot forgo the torque and the one more tickover at idle, and sometimes when re-gaining balance on a hil or what ever, that the bigger bores give you. Yet, without skills, like cllutch pull if in trouble, you know... that killing the the underpowered bike is better for some, than a runaway (any CC sized) motorcycle. But, Im old school, since 74 the bikes were no smaller than 250, that most competitve adults rode, at nationals or better... at least in usa, couple exceptions I surely will see someone post up for us soon.

and sorry I aspire to the notion that best golfer or best bowler, or best of the trials riders, seem to have some things in common... Skils of course, but the equipment as well. You wont see Toni Bou (not saying he couldnt) taking some other "dirtbike" or streetbake, and trying to convert that sonofabeech to compete in trials. Granted, he'd probably outride most of us, on a friggin sherco 50 or Oset, hell maybe the trail 70 I have. But he's not on 125...

Again, Im old school-ish... I.ve had a 350 Bultaco or bigger, most of my adult life, then in 02 I kind of restarted my career with a 321 txt. There are tunings you can do to "soften" bigger bikes. But I find that the 125 revs to the moon quickly, and when it does this just after barely getting the wheel up over the log I was barely into position to get over, it squirts out from under me IMHO... THE 125's rev to the moon, and quck, but, it is like an indy car engine (based os games/simulators on the computer) or turbocharged 4cylinder auto, vs a powerfull V8, and IMHO have a NAROW (relatively) sweet spot of torque that is at much higer in revs than I am comfortable in.

But the downside to havin the lazy powered 300 ish bike is, I dont involve in learning to "rev and dump a clutch- squirt up a 10 ft wall. But, a teen that learns to be masters of that technique, then also gets the skills by master class, or pro level of trials competition, on a 125, have even more skills than you and I might ever attain, and when given a 300 pro watch them wring even more out of that bike...

(sorry, not kidding, gasgas I all I know or ride myself so that is what I talk about most... so toss in your favorite trials bike brand, of near same displacement, I guess if your ofended by that).

Lastly, without some skills, any bike is tricky, but a 300 compared to a 125, is NOTHING even close to comparing a 125 to a 500cc race bike, no comparison. But in the incapable hands of a non rider, and it being thier first bike, I cannot say which one will get them hurt the fastest. careful ridersthat the engine dies at semi critcal spot on an off caber hill or turn, or a 300 that gets WFO as you half fall off the same hill just farther in the failure of the turns.

I was 13 when I moved from an old 123 montessa to a 175, there is not one thing in common, the 175 cc was a better bike 10 fold. I believe same could be said about the 250 for a man even a woman at 140'ish?. I think the 200 beta made one helluva difference for a 90-100 lb woman at our club, from the 125 she had before that she sturggled on, for gettin gover logs and such. bigger displacements, well, the bike has enough "uumph" to actually lift the front wheel over things. now any bike including my 74 trail 70 can lift the front wheel with enough "neutral drop" reving involved (in trials you use the clutch)...

This is MY opinion... your mileage will vary, depending on how you percieve what I percieved. I suggest you try before you buy, if possible, on that 125.

Good luck... --T.E. (trials evangelist.)

Sting32 screwed with this post 03-26-2012 at 10:03 PM Reason: edit suck when you cut n past the wrong sentence, then notic ater save...
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:10 AM   #3
Twin-shocker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zontar View Post
general thoughts: is a nice 2T 125 enough power for a 145lb amateur? inquiring minds want to know! I'm having a blast on my 270, but am curious as to the upsides/downsides of a smaller displacement bike. and while we're at it, how about the ups and downs of 2 vs 4 stroke bikes. I generally enjoy whatever I am riding and try not to overthink it, but I appreciate others' opinions......
You will find a 125 an awful lot easier to ride than a 270, and this will allow you to concentrate on getting to grips with the basic skills needed to ride any capacity bike properly. A lot of people are certainly overbiked, and end up needing to fit flywheel weights, head spacers, slow throttles in attempts to tame bikes that are simply too much for them. At the end of the day though its up to you, but sadly a lot of people buy bigger capacity bikes after a short ride round a car park, and have no real idea of the fact they are going to be quite a handful in the sections, particularly so for beginners!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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thanks for the both of the replies, as they both make a lot of sense in their own way.

I've had my M endorsement for 29 years, so I've ridden a ton of bikes. some crazy torquey (Ducati), some just crazy (Yamaha RD), and a lot of lovely and not so lovely as well (70's Hondas, GT550, Bonneville). The Beta doesn't FEEL like too much bike for me, but I don't really know any better, as it's the first trials bike I've actually OWNED and not just borrowed. I'm kinda wiry strong (think jockey), so I don't mind a little attitude beneath me. So there is a little more perspective about me.

I was just kind of curious, because I'm not huge guy, if a small bike might benefit me. I'm not so sure it would. I DO believe in the idea of "using it all up" and moving on to something bigger, but I'm not too stressed with my current steed right now. I appreciate the perspectives from both of you, as it's sort of a new game for me.

As for 2-stroke vs 4-stroke, your two cents?????
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by zontar View Post
I was just kind of curious, because I'm not huge guy, if a small bike might benefit me. I'm not so sure it would.
Someone with your general motorcycle experience is probably well past the steep part of the learning curve in regards to coordinating throttle, clutch, and brake. If you were a rank beginner I'd say there's benefit to the tiddler -- easier to start, easier to pick up, less likely to run away with you, etc. But you sound like you are already in a comfort zone on the 270, so unless you have someone to pass the 125 onto later to accelerate their learning curve, or unless you just really want to play around on the 125, why look back?
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Riding a 125 as an adult is about as much fun as driving a `68 Vw bug coast to coast. Now onto reality. You do not need a 270. A 200 Beta would of been your smartest choice in a beta. You could not go wrong with almost any 250. If you buy a 125, make it a GAS GAS and buck up for the 225 kit. Maybe just keep the 270 and get a flywheel weight for it. For some reason the US. riders all think we are so good that we do not need the traction benefits of the old days as in a heavier flywheel.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:46 AM   #7
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Contrary to popular belief road bike experience counts for very little if you are a newcomer to trials, and while a larger capacity bike will certainly be more fun for a beginner to ride round a car park, a 125 will work an awful lot better in the sections, and will mean basic skills can be mastered far quicker.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:47 AM   #8
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Riding a 125 as an adult is about as much fun as driving a `68 Vw bug coast to coast.
Clearly there's something wrong with me. I spent a little time playing in a section on a Sherco 125 last season and had a ball. I'd also enjoy driving a VW Bug coast to coast.

In all seriousness - if the power of the current bike isn't putting you off and you're otherwise happy with the bike, I don't think I'd go hunting for a 125. At the same time, I think there is a lot to be learned and a lot of fun to be had with a modern 125.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
zontar OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
Contrary to popular belief road bike experience counts for very little if you are a newcomer to trials, and while a larger capacity bike will certainly be more fun for a beginner to ride round a car park, a 125 will work an awful lot better in the sections, and will mean basic skills can be mastered far quicker.
should have said I grew up on dirt bikes to start with. loose surfaces are fine by me. appreciate all the perspectives.

anyone want to touch the 2-stroke/4-stroke question???
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:23 AM   #10
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Trials isnt much like any other form of dirt riding, and while previous off road riding experience will help, you will still have a lot to learn.

Honda 4RT is the most reliable bike out there, but the 4T v 2T thing is really something you will need to decide by yourself, by riding both back to back, but my view would be that a modern 125 2T would be a good choice for someone new to trials.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #11
Sting32
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Originally Posted by motojunky View Post
Clearly there's something wrong with me. I spent a little time playing in a section on a Sherco 125 last season and had a ball. I'd also enjoy driving a VW Bug coast to coast.

In all seriousness - if the power of the current bike isn't putting you off and you're otherwise happy with the bike, I don't think I'd go hunting for a 125. At the same time, I think there is a lot to be learned and a lot of fun to be had with a modern 125.
Lets keep this all in perspective, many of us, like you mj, I know I could ride a stock honda trail 70, in the novice class, and know I could beat most all of the beginners. Ive lost track, MJ, maybe you arent that good/experienced, sorry.

But that really isn't a testiment to the bike or it's suitability. The question was asked, by all apearance to me, if a 140lb rider (amtateur). Amateur kind of suggests he knows how to ride TRIALS. If not, then OP needs to rephrase the question.

Now for beginners or those "looking in" at trails with no clue, as I tried to get my threads from previous years Stickied, they ignored me in this forum. In those threads I told you all, to remember, when you ask 'Do you think you are a good rider'?::: the Answer can be the same for 4 riders, yet the obvious skills will vary A HUGE AMOUNT.

I answered the amateur, I didnt say or even imply the beginner or looking in rider should take this advice, but size is a factor IMHO. I have one buddy, forget about size problems, I wouldn't let him ride a "turned down" oset.

Yes, skilled riders of any size "can" ride a 125, IMHO the more you are skilled the better the 125 can do. Not the other way around. Size/weight can change how the bike works for your skillset. IMHO a bike with enough "uuumph" to lift it's own front wheel onto a log "effortlessly" I believe makes it easier to learn things. BUT I can also change the learning/training for a 125 rider, of course.

when I answer the questions, as asked, I think about how it was for "me" what I wish had been, then also use experiences of riding trials all these years, AND watching (being friends with) thousands of TRIALS riders, over those same years. plus the 40 or so I have tried to get (rather quickly I might add) to the Amateur class & capable of winning it (which I feel that is about as HIGH as I really can take people as a "trainer") From there they can usually watch/learn/ask questions, of me or anyone. This is all walks of life here in plains, women and children too.

I hope you all quit acting like "well I think I could ride a 125, as good as my 300" when you post, especially when most of the responders here, have been riding WAAAAY more than a year, and I believe also are waaaaay above NOVICE.

ANOTHER THING: Raga/ Bou/ all those best in the world some-beyotches, have at their disposal, ANY bike - ANY mfg produces, they are in the 140-180 weight ranges, what bike do they FREAKING ride?

IT IS NOT THE 125!

Im never, saying they couldnt kick are asses on one, I am saying why buy kid size golf clubs, if you are 5ft 4in tall or taller?

Trials is about techniques, right? Unlearning bad techniques is harder than starting fresh, but sometimes getting a little help from the bike, while learning, helps you to NOT HAVE TO SAY with that little voice in your head, "I dont think I can do that"... when the bike dies just as you need it not too, becaus you got out of shape, and couldn't do those 4 things you have better do if your big and on a 125, you know keep revs up, slip clutch, blast and slam into things, more importantly dont ever let it just idle with your clutch out... it will plink and die.

That is MY opinion.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #12
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That is MY opinion.
Have you ever considered decaf?
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Had a long chat with a trials bike dealer in the US, and he recounted how the majority of riders always seem to opt for a 290 or a 300, and that very few get even close to being able to ride them properly. Told me about a practice day, where there was one particular rider with a 290 Sherco, that was fitted with just about every after-market part available.

This guy simply couldnt ride the bike, which was always one or two steps ahead of him. After a big struggle the dealer persuaded this guy (who had been riding for several years), to try some sections on a 200cc Gas Gas..............he was cleaning sections he simply couldnt do on the 290 within minutes, and ended up trading the 290 for a 200, which greatly improved his results.

There are plenty of riders here in the UK that are overbiked, but in the US it seems that most opt for the bigger capacity bikes, even though that in most cases a smaller bike, would be an awful lot easier to ride and mean much better results.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
zontar OP
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OK, so I rode expert bicycle trials for MANY years, but I kinda hate to go there as a variable.....
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:32 AM   #15
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contrary to popular belief road bike experience counts for very little if you are a newcomer to trials, and while a larger capacity bike will certainly be more fun for a beginner to ride round a car park, a 125 will work an awful lot better in the sections, and will mean basic skills can be mastered far quicker.
rtfqa
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