Dirt bike for a 12 yr old? Everyone loves a which bike to buy thread!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Cuttlefish, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    The more I read your posts... the more I really do believe that the RM85L or YZ85 bigwheel equivalent, is going to fit the bill... addressing a few key points you made; :deal

    I agree with you on the Freeride... maybe that is an option in a couple years (@ 14 maybe) when he has grown a bit more... still perhaps not looking for a full sized bike... or maybe swaying towards the trailbike/fun bike aspect, if not want to pursue the mx/bike park theme.

    Realistically, the AG bike idea is for the farm... spot on. :thumb

    Soumds as though he has some skills... inline skates and skatepark bowls... he obviously has an eye for lines and jumps... that stuff requires timing and balance... and practice.

    Use that theme to your (both) advantage in future, when you take the new bike to the mx park then... Instead of just pointing him out to the track and let him cut laps endlessly... break the track down into some specific sections. Focus on some riding drills... eg. braking, cornering... specific jumps etc. Just like he does at a skate park - work on the individual components of a line or a turn or jump... then when he has the individual components worked out... link them up (like a skate sequence) and THEN let him cut some laps. You will see the difference - improvements immediately.

    I really admire what you are doing Cuttlefish... and regards his shyness etc. I am certain these type of activities (together) will benefit you both... He will make friends, develop life skills and you will strengthen that father/son bond that already exists. :bow

    Good luck with the new bike hunt. :thumbup

    Keep us updated when the young bloke gets his new pride and joy. :thumb

    Thanks. :clap
    #21
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  2. Simosez

    Simosez go ride your bike.

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    Steer clear of the previous generation YZ85. It's a peaky, hard to ride son of a bitch because it hasn't got a powervalve. The new one should be good though. It's got a powervalve.
    The RM is a great bike as Troy has said.
    I bought a 2014 Husky 85 big wheel for my young bloke when he was 12. Very impressive bike. Decent bottom end. He doesn't rev a bike very hard but the Husky pulled him along just fine. Great bush bike. Nice suspension and brakes and has been very reliable. He's on a YZ125 now. Another very good bike and the transition was easy. He's 15 now and knows how to wring its neck. I take him everywhere in all sorts of snot. Nothing wrong with MX bikes in the bush. (Private property of course!)
    #22
  3. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    Going to look at this 2014 KX85 early next week (owner not available until then) and if it runs fine should be ours. . $3.5K Ridden by 14 yr old daughter and a first owner 14 yr old boy. Well maintained and starts first kick says the ad. Plus is my boy is keen.
    KX852.jpg KX851.jpg
    #23
  4. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Perfect ! :clap

    A 2014 KX85 19"/16" big wheel in stock trim and well maintained (looks in great nick in the photos)... a sharp looking ride he should be pleased as punch with. :thumbup and right in your budget ballpark - awesome!

    The "slotting front forks through/backing off the rear spring pre-load" trick like I suggested for the RM, should work on the KX as well...

    By increasing the the static sag (rear) and lowering the forks in the triple clamps... you shoud be able to drop the stock saddle height about 35mm. You might have to soften the front spring pre-load a tad as well - to "balance" the front/rear bias... and if it feels too spongy as a result - you can even compensate to an extent with one or two klicks harder on the compression damping (from the stock setting for his weight).

    These are relatively simple set up measures - in order to get him up and running on the new rig and avoids having to shell out for expensive shock/linkage replacement etc. Which will be money binned in six to twelve months, when he is ready to set it back up to full height. To begin with he is going to take time to acclimatize to the new (power) engine, chassis ergo's and handling anyway... so better he has a solid footing/can reach the ground - than it has the ultimate Ryan Villopoto supercross suspension set up.

    Another thing you can look at - possibly - if he finds it too tall, is to get another block of seat foam and do a "low saddle" - like enookway did on the KaTooM 400 for his boy. (But the Kawasaki is pretty slim line as is - so maybe not much to gain there in the seat height stakes). If you do so, keep the standard foam (again) for when his legs get longer.

    Re: slotting the forks through. The KX85 has USD front fork - so make sure you don't sink the tubes further than the conical surfaces (usually about 25 to 30 mm's of adjustment). And make sure to NOT over tighten the clamp bolts when you re-install (the torque spec will be in the manual). Contrary to popular ham fisted bike shed practice, these bolts don't need to be tightened with a lot of force.

    Rip it up. ! :1drink
    #24
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  5. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    What can I say but a big thanks very much (Tack sa mycket) for all your input Troy. :beer
    :thumb
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  6. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Varsågod... :thumb

    It gladens me to see parents who share their interest for this great outdoor activity together with their kids... hope the K'waka serves you well. :thumbup
    #26
  7. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Rear preload and front triple clamp adjust (in principle).



    KX 85 bigwheel USD front fork lowering (@ 25mm) DIY bumpstop mod.



    KX85 rear suspension drag link (25mm lower) DIY mod.

    #27
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  8. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    Glen from Moto rehab who I ride with has made a few different sized dogbones for his NC750X as he has been adjusting his rear stock shock and also a longer custom shock for ride height to match his fork mods so I am sure he will be able to whip me up some dogbones for the KX. Knowing the size required from that last video is a big plus.
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  9. Frapple

    Frapple Been here awhile

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    I went the same route as Paul . Husky wr125 . light as . easy to start . you can lower them a little if they are not hard chargers . go like the clappers if when the young one is ready but until then they are happy to potter around off the pipe.
    Handle great . Cheap . Easy mantainance .
    Down side . got to mix fuel . that's it .
    My boy came off a klx125 . Never had a problem . purfect .
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  10. Frapple

    Frapple Been here awhile

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    If said young person is not using the bike to Its fullest . Back off the reat spring and push the forks through the clamps a little . Cut out the seat . Once riding well enough he won't need to be in constant contact with the ground . Put things back to the right setting . Not the best but my young fellow was having to much fun to complain about sag Heights and rebound settings.
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  11. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    At the moment the tricky thing is availability of used bikes. The bike shops normally have reasonable stock of bikes for the youngsters in stock but of course Covid has stuffed the supply chain up so there are virtually no floor stock. I went to 4 local bike shops and only one had 2 x YZ85s to see. The used bikes on Gumtree/Facebook marketplace have been getting swooped on like the proverbial seagull on a chip and some rude prices being asked for bikes. Waiting to hear from owner from the KX85 to go and check it out but because my boy is such a lightweight at the moment getting the lightest prospective ride will help his acclimation a lot I reckon.
    If he was taller or more solid I could have got him onto a lower cc full sized bike and lowered it until he was ready as you fellas have done.
    #31
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  12. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    Went and took a look at the KX85 yesterday afternoon. The pics made it look better than it was. Wasn't happy with the condition of the bike for the money. Starts first kick said the ad. Yeah, nah! Owner unfortunately no idea about maintenance. Passed on it. Came home and had another look on the interweb. Found a Honda CRF150R that was almost same money as the KX. As is the case sellers market and first there with cash. Got up super early and took Jasper down to Brisbane to see it. Yes it's a small wheel but Jasper is such a lightweight, squirt that I reckon he will be fine with it for a few years at least. All good and home it came. Yes, the grips need to go. Stoked.
    20201123_142217.jpg 20201123_142324.jpg
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  13. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    That is a shame... unfortunately it happens quite often (over here as well) that the phot in the ads can sometimes be a couple of years old... so not really indicative of a bikes (current) state of condition. I usually ask some fairly pointed questions - as to just that aspect - when I contact a seller about a used mx or enduro bike.

    Great result... the CRF150R was mentioned earlier... A nice bonus being that it is a fourstroke - and 150cc - it is a little more torquey/broader power curve than the 85cc two stroke mx'ers... which will be a plus for the bush work... not as intimidating at first perhaps as the harder hitting two strokers.

    Even though it is a little wheel version (17"/14")... the good news with the CRF150R is - that to convert it to a CRF150RB (big wheel 19"/16") is a pretty simple fix... if he should happen to hit a growth spurt earlier than expected.

    A set of black grips is on the menu... :wink:

    [​IMG]

    The only mechanical difference between the R model and the RB is the wheel size... and the swing arm on the RB is about 20mm longer (to accommodate the larger diameter rear wheel). Other than that - they are identical - it is just a matter of slotting the front forks through the triple clamps (same on both models standard), a new chain with extra couple of links... and possibly a taller aftermarket seat foam/saddle cover, and a wider/taller profile handlebar - if he really shoots off.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    CRF150R

    [​IMG]
    CRF150RB

    So if you keep an eye out for a 19"/16" wheel set and the longer swing arm*... that could be an option in a year or so...?

    *I understand that the 16" rear wheel even fits in the short R model swing arm - IF - you run the axle all the way back in the chain stay drop outs... That mean the rims are really the only difference... So maybe you can look at the cost of having a 19"/16" wheel set laced up on your hubs by a wheel builder in future... ?

    Good luck with the red rocket... I bet that you are both stoked...! :clap :ricky:ricky :thumb
    #33
  14. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    Hi Troy, He's just been fanging laps around in the yard. Spins it up every time he takes off...clutch work required but he loves it and shocked him how quick it goes. Same weight as his old klx110l so happy about that he didn't end up with a weighty 125. Great to know about the larger wheel options. Going to back off the pre-load and drop the forks through the triples a tad until he gets more used to it. Taking it to Glen at Moto rehab to give it an expert check over tomorrow.
    #34
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  15. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Fuggin' awesome... :clap:clap I hope that you pair create lots of great experiences and memories on the bikes together. :thumb:wave
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  16. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

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    #36
  17. Cuttlefish

    Cuttlefish Riding to disappear.

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    Got plenty more yard to ride around which has lots of trees to dodge through and a creek bed you can see to his right as he comes towards me to cross later but he's just doing a loop to get the hang of it.
    #37
  18. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    Those are both just cheap shitbox Chinese pit bikes with tiny wheels and chintzy quality... backyard toys at best.

    ... you definitely went the right way with the CFR150R for your boy cuttlefish... 4 sure. :thumbup
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  19. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    That little 150cc 4 t has a really nice - not too offensive note to it as well... another plus. :clap :thumb
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  20. darmst6829

    darmst6829 Been here awhile

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    Dear Sir:


    It’s delightful to have such insightful input about the little known world of Chinese motorcycles, obviously you have done a great deal of research.


    Thanks,


    darmst6829
    #40