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Old 04-29-2013, 12:19 PM   #1
Pablo83 OP
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Help me find the right dirt bike for my next project

I'm looking for a very light dirt bike rolling chassis for a future project. Here's what I need:

Steel frame.
USD forks.
Aluminum rear subframe.
Very light weight (like 125cc-two-stroke light)

The '97 CR125 is almost perfect, but it has a steel rear subframe. The KX500 is right, but that's a little big for what I want. What other models fit these specs?

Suggested bikes so far (more for my reference than yours):
Small bikes (preferred):
92-97 KTM EXC 125/200 (pro-link, 18" rear)
98+ KTM EXC 125/200 (linkless shock)
2003+ sx125 (19" rear)
2002-2004 YZ 125/250

Larger bikes:
KX500
98-04 YZ 400/426/450

Pablo83 screwed with this post 05-02-2013 at 03:27 PM
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
dentvet
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KTM 125/200 chassis is a little smaller than the 250/300/380 chassis but all have your needs. PDS linkless swingarm started in 98, before that was linkage suspension.

2003+ sx125 would give you access to all ktm wheels and forks from the most modern models.

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Old 04-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
Pablo83 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
KTM 125/200 chassis is a little smaller than the 250/300/380 chassis but all have your needs. PDS linkless swingarm started in 98, before that was linkage suspension.

2003+ sx125 would give you access to all ktm wheels and forks from the most modern models.

Thanks for the input. So you're saying the Pre-98 KTM (EXC I'm guessing?) 125, and 200 have what I want, as well as 2003+ sx125.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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The yz450 frame is steel in the 04 vintage. Aluminum subframe. Usd forks. Linkage rear
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sailah View Post
The yz450 frame is steel in the 04 vintage. Aluminum subframe. Usd forks. Linkage rear
So that would have been 98-04 for the YZ?
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo83 View Post
Thanks for the input. So you're saying the Pre-98 KTM (EXC I'm guessing?) 125, and 200 have what I want, as well as 2003+ sx125.
I think all the 92+ ktm 2 stroke stuff have what you want. If you want linkage swingarm, you have to go earlier than 98. 98 and later have the PDS swingarm.

All of them use the same rear axles 1992-2012. 19" wheels on SX and 18 on the rest.

Pre 2000 have 17mm front axles, 00-02 have 20mm axles, 03-2012 have 26mm. 98+ all use the same triple clamps and brakes.

Pre 2008, the 125/200 frames were smaller than the 250/300 so maybe they are lighter as well.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Why does the Al subframe matter. I have seen enough builds to see poeple make their own bolt on subframes. ANd I have seen enough of your work to know that it would not be a big deal for you to accomplish.

Regardless intersested to see this new project.

How do you find the time.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Why does the Al subframe matter.
Weight. This bike will be designed with technical singletrack in mind:



Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
I have seen enough builds to see poeple make their own bolt on subframes. ANd I have seen enough of your work to know that it would not be a big deal for you to accomplish.
Some subframes (like my street tracker) are pretty simple and easy to build, but when you attach an airbox and plastics and a rear rack and such, they get a lot more complicated and time consuming.

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How do you find the time.
Well to start with, I'm going to try and find a bike that comes with an aluminum subframe so I don't have to build it myself.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
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If that truely the case, why a steel frame? Why not Al

Neighbor of mine has CRF's. I have always thought those would be a hoot to trail ride.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Are you sure the '97 CR 125 has a steel subframe? I call BS on that. My '91 had an aluminum subframe.

Either way, watching your thread with interest.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
If that truely the case, why a steel frame? Why not Al
Guessing he wants to slot in a cool motor and will need to weld motor mounts to the steel frame?
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #12
Pablo83 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
If that truely the case, why a steel frame? Why not Al
Alu parameter frames block access to the carb requiring the rear shock to be removed to pull the carb. It's stupid, I hate it, and I spend most of the summer pulling CRF carbs for friends and clients so I don't need any more of that in my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
Neighbor of mine has CRF's. I have always thought those would be a hoot to trail ride.
I love the CRF250/450X suspension. I think it is the best technical trail suspension available. If only they had a 6-spd gearbox, and a tranny that could stand up to highway use, and were air cooled, and had valves that lasted more than one season, and a carb that didn't take 3 hours to R&R... if only.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cedric View Post
Are you sure the '97 CR 125 has a steel subframe? I call BS on that. My '91 had an aluminum subframe.

Either way, watching your thread with interest.
Well, I just had a '97 CR125 in the shop couple weeks ago. I thought it felt like a great chassis for this project so I put a magnet to the subframe and it stuck. So I'm led to believe it has a steel subframe.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
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Well that's hard to argue with. I would think a YZ 125/250 from 2002-2004 would be a good starting point, they are still making the same bike but with AL frame.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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Cool2 Suzuki is the answer

Hi Pablo,
I wonder if you are thinking along the same lines I am?
Like both of us building street trackers

I bought a Suzuki RM250 (05) with a blown engine.
Steel frame, aluminum subframe, USD forks, etc.
I haven't checked, but have read it has Ti foot pegs even.
I do know it is amazingly light without the engine in it.
Rolling it around in the garage it is like my mountain bike.

Here is a rolling chassis shot:



I want to put a Honda XR200 engine in it, if (when) I can find one.
I believe the RM 125 uses the same frame, suspension, etc. but I don't know for sure.
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