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Old 11-08-2005, 01:25 PM   #1
Milhaus OP
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Best bike for 10 year old?

I am looking to get my son his first bike. I would like to get him something that he can ride while we tour the national forests here in Colorado. I think that a CR, YZ80 would be too powerful for him and not the right bike for forest riding. I looked at the Yamaha TT-R125E, but to be honest I am not sure what would work best. I am going to publicly display my ignorance on the subject and plead for the forums assistance!

I grew riding various bikes as a kid, starting when I was 7. By the time I was 10, a YZ-80 wasn't too powerful, but I am afraid when starting at 10 it might be. Help!
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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My son starting riding two years ago at age 10 and I had the same feelings. He had been riding mountain bikes since the age of 6 but had never been on a motorcycle. The most important thing for me was finding a bike that fit well with power that was adequate but not overwhelming.

I decided on a Suzuki DRZ 125 for him and it has been a great choice. It's forgiving, fun and low maintenance. Truthfully, the DRZ, KLX (same in green) and Yamaha TTR are all a 'push' in my opinion. They are all great, solid bikes with ultra reliable old-school air-cooled motors. Their specs are ironically very similar. Honda makes two great CRFs that are both smaller and larger than the 125s which were physically not a good fit for him at the time.

As I have recently been ramping-up to replace his bike which is now a little small, here are some of the things I've found:

  • These bikes see depreciation off the floor but seem to keep their value after. Most of these of '02-'04 bikes are $2K new and $1000-$1200 used.
  • The bikes often are lightly used. Kids seem to outgrow them before they wear them out.
  • Yamaha's are very popular.... lots of 'em. Honda next, Suzuki, then Kawi.
I would try to find one that hasn't been abused / raced and has been well cared for. Buy used and find one that fits and you can sell it a couple years later for not much less than you paid for it. I bought my son's DRZ as NOS '03 in '04 at a blow out price but would have considered a used one.

We have had a great time the last two years and are ready for a bigger bike for him for next year for more riding !!

Have fun !!

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Old 11-08-2005, 03:25 PM   #3
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buy the one that physically fits him. As funkydrum pointed out, the specs are all extremely similar, plus most have throttle limiters so you can easily detune the bike to start out.

Start and keep looking, as just AFTER Christmas may be the time to pick up a used bike from a kid that just traded up a size.

Or if you just want cheap, the Chinese trail 90 knockoffs are $600. Who cares if it only lasts a couple seasons, you lose less than the depreciation on a new one.
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:47 PM   #4
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Hey guys...great advice as usual. I need to go around and kick some tires and let him climb aboard a bunch of these bikes to see what fits, but I am glad to see that my inclination to stay away from the YZ and CR bikes was good. I looked at the CRF100 and it seemed pretty sweet, but again it is a bit pricey right off the showroom floor.

Interestingly enough, we have one of those Chinese knock-off motorcycle shops not more than 2 miles from the house.
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:47 PM   #5
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I think the bikes with throttle limiters are generally <100cc.

The Honda stuff is great. Yeah the price is a little saltier but they hold their value good too.

If you are looking at the CRF 100, check the 90 or 110s from the other Jap manufacturers too.

As for the chinese stuff... I don't know how the reliability is but I know my chance of getting stranded deep in the woods is slim to none with a Suzuki, et. al. If they are throw-away bikes, I know we didn't loose $500 in depreciation on our Jap stuff in resale.
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:03 PM   #6
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The responses above are dead right. For slightly less money you might also consider an XR 100 - its a great bike, requires little or no maintenance, doesn't depreciate, is docile and most importantly its really a fun bike for kids of all ages.

As pointed out above the most important aspect is to buy the right size bike.. Then be prepared to change it pretty soon for a CR/YZ/RM/KX 80
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:07 PM   #7
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my son was 11 when we added a XR70 XR100 to the stable. He did great on the 5spd XR100 as well as the XR70. We traded the 100 because the 70 was just more fun to ride for BOTH of us. I'm pretty big at 6'2" 220# and I ride it easily. It has a nice low torquey thump thump and it pulled us up some steep hills at our prev location.
Funny thing was, one of the guys in my old neighborhood who has a Hayabusa, HD Softail classic , has the same XR70...we saw each other out in the 'hood..it was a blast!


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Old 11-08-2005, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdtrpl
As pointed out above the most important aspect is to buy the right size bike.. Then be prepared to change it pretty soon for a CR/YZ/RM/KX 80
It's not only the size, but the weight. Make sure he is comfortable with it, maybe lay it down and let him (try to) pick it up. It it's too heavy, he will tire quickly and lose interest. For example, the KLX125/DRZ125/TTR-125 are all about 180 lbs. (The XR/CRF100 is about 160, I think). My daughter could physically fit on a CRF150, but it weighs 40 lbs. more than the others. That's enough weight that she could not lift it or feel comfortable on it. So no CRF150 for her now.

The first bike you get him won't be his last, so get something that he likes and can ride comfortably now. My $0.02.
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:52 PM   #9
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For a starter bike that is going to get crashed alot and grown out of in a year or two, I would look for a used XR100. I think they went to electronic ignition in about 1986 and are basicaly the same with the exception of looks/plastic/graphics for the next 15 years. $500-750 ought to pick one up and you can probaly sell it for the same in a year or two.
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:56 PM   #10
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I bought my son a new '02 XR80 as a first bike. It's simple and reliable and has a manual clutch and 5 speed transmission just like a big bike. My thinking was it would be better for him to learn that stuff on a small bike now instead of a big bike later. They need to be comfortable with the seat height also. It's not powerful enough to hurt himself but enough to carry me around. He's gotten out of riding now so it's for sale. Email me if you're interested.
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SScratch
I bought my son a new '02 XR80 as a first bike... He's gotten out of riding now so it's for sale. Email me if you're interested.
SScratch and all above. Sounds like there is a real consensus with the 100cc class bike. I will definately do the bike sizing in person and see how this plays out.

SScratch, sounds like the perfect bike for my boy, but it looks like we are about 1,500 miles too far apart to make something work.
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:13 PM   #12
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Alot depends how physically big your son is. Mine just turned ten, brought home a most excellent report card so he just moved up from his XR50 to a KLX110.

I took him and his older sister around to sit on different bikes, She already has a 110 and loves it. I thought about bumping her up to a 125, but she wanted nothing to do with a manual clutch, and his hands are still too small. He fit on the XR70, the Yamaha 80 and the DRZ/KLX110's. For the money, we couldnt beat the deal on the KLX.

The Yamaha's all have the magic button. My kids think kicking it is cool, and frankly it's one less maintenance item for me to deal with. Two of the same bikes makes maintenance simpler as well.

With the craze for adults racing these small bikes, there is a ton of aftermarket seats and handlebars, I'm thinking we may just upsize with those products as they grow.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:37 PM   #13
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g-pup's nine. KLX110 for his first ride. Great bike to learn on.




But I don't think the relationship's gonna last.



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Old 11-09-2005, 05:36 AM   #14
funkydrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murgatroid42
It's not only the size, but the weight. Make sure he is comfortable with it, maybe lay it down and let him (try to) pick it up. It it's too heavy, he will tire quickly and lose interest.
Agree !!

My son physically fits the TTR 230 but it is 250# vs the 175# of his current DRZ 125. With the 40 mile singletrack rides we do, he is tired by by the end and can only imagine what another 75# would do...
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:54 AM   #15
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It's called a pedal bike, mountain bike.. have the 10 year old get some excersise while he still can, while he's at it, ride himself to school every morning.

Maybe that'll cut down in child obesety in the US and get people to be more aware of two-wheeled vehicle traffic.
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