1st Bike for a 6-year old? (XR50 or JR50 or PW50)

Discussion in 'Pit Bikes & Mini's' started by Biglmbass, Oct 7, 2002.



  1. Biglmbass

    Biglmbass Rookie DRN Member

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    Hello all. I promised my 6-year old son that Santa might get him a dirt bike this Christmas if he did well in school (1st grade). So far, so good on his end. Therefore, I'm in the early stages of shopping for a beginner bike. We don't have any intentions of racing, but do intend on lots of trail riding on logging roads and wooded trails, etc. He's 42.5# and 46 3/4" tall and will be 7 years old in March 2003. He fits perfect (approximately flat footed) on both a Yamaha PW50 and a Suzuki JR50. I'm sure either bike would tickle him to no end, however I'm hoping to get something that would last him 'till he's at least 8 years old. (I realize this might be a stretch, since they grow so fast). I heard the PW50 is a great bike and I'm leaning heavily towards it simply b/c it's a shaft drive, however I've heard the JR50's are good also and that their height can be adjusted somewhat. These two models are in my mind the top picks so far just b/c they are single speeed bikes and should be easy to learn on. The Honda I'm sure would be great as well, but since this will be his first bike, I'm thinking the 3-speed and auto clucth would be difficult for him. I'm hoping you good folks could shed some light here and lend some useful advice. Since I ride a KDX200, I've also considered the new KDX50 just b/c he'd get a kick out of having a green bike like his Dad. Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. tcarp

    tcarp Lifetime Sponsor

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    You may have or may not have read about my delima with my old PW50. The PW50 is an awesome bike and I think I might just have a bad seed but after all it IS 21 years old. To that end, I went out and bought a new PW80 for my 5 year old son. He can hold the bike up just barley but once he is off he rides like a champ. The three speed thing has not been hard for him to adjust to at all (although I must admit he has only gotten to 2nd). He only had about three weeks on the 50 before it broke down. I was amazed yesterday as he zoomed around on the 80 like it was nothing at all. So , that being said I would recomend the 80 and leave the restrictor plate in for a while.
  3. jcrawford1

    jcrawford1 Rookie DRN Member

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    If you want to just trail ride buy the XR50. just add gas and ride. The 4 stroke has more torque, and a 3 speed automatic clutch tranmission.
    I had a Suzuki good little bike but not enough power for any real hills.
  4. ktmdad

    ktmdad Rookie DRN Member

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    IF you want something that will give you a couple of years use, then go with one of the 80cc 4 stks. At 4' tall, he's really too tall for both the PW & JR.

    With the autoclutches on the 80's, he can simply leave it in 1st while he gets use to throttle and learns to control it. Then he has room to grow.

    From past experience, these kids will advance quicker and faster than most parents will want. Probably after a month or two of riding, he'll be pushing the suspension to the limit on the 80's.

    Either the XR by Honda or the TTR by Yamaha would be good choices.
  5. rickyd

    rickyd Hot Sauce

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    I would seriously take a look at the xr50, just don't tell him about the gears until you feel he's ready.. Plus they have good resale value and Honda makes a Great bike.. My freinds kids have a older honda50 that runs all day w/no problems..
    Hope this helps you some,
    RIck
    PS.. Santa gonna get him all the safety gear??
  6. Biglmbass

    Biglmbass Rookie DRN Member

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    Of course Santa plans to get the safety gear as well as the bike. Santa's no bonehead, you know. LOL. Actually we've been in the local cycle shops a couple times each month kicking tires and trying on gear to get Santa educated on what size gear to buy. As for which bike, I'd be afraid to get anything bigger than a 50 at this point. Just for kicks and grins, I had him throw a leg over a Kawasaki KLX110 to see how well it fit him. That bike is TOO big for him IMHO w/ it's 25.6" seat height. (The XR70 and Yamaha PW80 and TTR90 have almost identical seat heights around 25") He was nowhere near able to reach the ground on the bike. I'd think he would get discouraged quickly if the bike is too big and or hard to control. Keep the information coming... I could be convinced to go w/ the Honda.
  7. Senior KX Rider

    Senior KX Rider Super Power AssClown

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    My little one is 7 and is 50 inches tall. The XR 70 is a great fit for him and he should be able to ride it next year. I would go with the Honda 4 stroke....It is hard to beat their reliaibility and resale. :thumb:
  8. Jasle

    Jasle Sponsoring Member

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    My son raced the PW50 and its a great beginner track bike with the appropriate mods. If your going to trail ride it you won't have much fun. No bottom end torque. The JR50 actually has 2 speeds the lower gear is hiddend and with grinding off a tab inside you unleash the extra gear. Without the lower gear you will never make it up an decent sized hill.
    We also owned an xr50. I put my 200+ pound butt on it and it will pull me anywhere. It goes good with the kids. You can start off by just throwing it in 2nd and pretty much you can go anywhere. My daughter rode the xR for a short time on the track and in 2nd it would take here anywhere. On the PW there were several hills we had to push her up.
    On anything but fairly flat ground the bike was a pig until we put the QT50 gears on it.
    Plus the Xr50 basically only needs air filter clean, oil changes and valve adjustments every once in a while. PW's kinda eat topends if you run them hard.
  9. stu182

    stu182 Subscriber

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    We went through 2 jugs, 7 pistons and countless rings this year.
    I would go with the xr if your not planning on doing any racing and just trail riding. Don't go with the pw or jr if you live by any hills. Xr would last a long time. Also alot of mods you can do to them. chck out fast50's.com i think it is.
  10. minifig-phil

    minifig-phil Spammer

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    I just bought a XR50 for my nephew, Yeah my nephew (thats my story and I'm sticking to it) and it's his first bike, it took about an hour to learn the brakes and gears. He had a blast on it.
    I hope he doesn't mind the stiffer suspension big bore kit and Pro Circuit pipe I just got for it.
  11. Jasle

    Jasle Sponsoring Member

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    One thing that was at Loretta in the pw stock class was a guy running a cylinder bored to .010over...ama legal overbore size. He had a stock piston and rings setup in it. He did this to prevent siezing. During the teardown the AMA ruled him legal. He was a top7 contender so it must work althought I don't know how often he had to do topend work. At that level I'm sure hed swap rings every moto?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2002
  12. LaRider20

    LaRider20 Rookie DRN Member

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    I can't speak about the JR50 because I've never seen one. On the other hand, I have had experiences with the PW50 and the XR50. The PW is a great beginners bike, but after a short amount of time even with the restrictor removed it began to hold my son back. Also it will not pull in the mud period. It just sits there with the throttle wide open and goes wwaaaaaaaaahhh with no wheel spin. On the other hand, the XR has a good amount of torque and if it gets stuck in the mud, you can bet the wheel will be spinning. The XR gets my vote!
  13. Vytas

    Vytas Lifetime Sponsor

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    Don't waste your money on a JR50. I bought one back in 1999 for my four year old. It is a great bike to learn how to ride on flat ground, like your back yard. The suspension is poor and it has no power. After two months of riding in the back yard my four year old was fmoving pretty fast. At seven years old I think you should buy him something bigger than a 50cc. Unless you wanted to buy a KTM or similar bike. If you really have no intention of racing then go buy a four stroke more mellow power delivery and easier to learn to ride. Bottom line don't buy something so small that he will outgrow or master to quickly.
  14. Lorin

    Lorin Lifetime Sponsor

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    One family that I ran across while riding had two, Suzuki Jr 50's and an 80. The dad complained that one of the 50's frames had been bent in a small crash and that he was able to bend it back by hand. He didnt seem real happy about the lack of strength of the frames on the 50's. This was on a 2000 model bike.
  15. RanMan

    RanMan Rookie DRN Member

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    My vote also goes to the XR. Can't go wrong.
  16. Galeener

    Galeener Rookie DRN Member

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    Hello
    We have had a JR50 and now a PW80. I weigh 235 and the PW will get me around. Tthe JR50 would not even pull me up a rise. My son is 8 now and is on the 80 the 50 lasted him about 2 months and he was done with it and we moved to a PW80. In my opinion: I agree about the xr50 being the best choice and I would buy a used one that way when he is used to riding and knows the basics the resale value will be almost the same as what you paid. It will also last him longer than the JR50 The height increase you spoke about on the JR is about 1/2" and involves repositioning the shocks and the seat.
    This did not even phase my son he told me he was ready to move from the baby bike to a real one. Not that the Pw 80 is a big bike My son can touch the ground on tip toes with it(he is on the short side.) My friend has a pw50 and it does not have close to the power of the xr50. That is my 2 cents for what it is worth. The reason we did not get an XR first is because of the deal we got on the JR50 it was a 96 and I paid $450 for it. I then resold it for the same money to the guy I bought it from because his youger daughter was just getting tall enough and wanted to start riding.
    Good luck
    Rhett
  17. ZOOK250

    ZOOK250 Rookie DRN Member

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    i just got a jr50 for little zook50, he's 3 years old and loves to bang the wrenches on it. he wont ride until he is 4. along with all the gear , i bought the training wheels from wheels for tots, they fit pretty good. my opinion is that you have to start them out on the bike that is the mellowisst, less intimidating bike. no sense scaring them right away. if you lose a little cash in resale , after only having it for a short time ,no problem. at least your kid will not be scared for life because you tried to get him on a bike that was to big. if little zook only rides this bike for 1 month , it will be worth it because he will know that he can handle the next step up. my jr50 is slower than a pw50. its a brand new 2001,and i dont think the depreciation will be that much. maybe a couple hundred bucks. p.s if dad has a green bike, get jr the green one too.
  18. XR100rRida

    XR100rRida Rookie DRN Member

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    I'd go for the xr50. Plus if he out grows it you can put mods on it to make it higher and bigger bore for only a quarter of a new bike. Plus if he wants a new one you can alwas pimp it out an dget into backyaard racing;). But i go with the xr cuz you can buy a riser kit to raise the seat hight and you can bore it out to like 88cc for when he outgrows it.
  19. xr400xr50r

    xr400xr50r Rookie DRN Member

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    in June of '01 we bought our 4 year old an XR50.....he rode the p!ss outta that bike till August of '02. Now he's 5 and we bought a '00 KX60...bone stock. The bike is too big (he's learned about finding a hill to stop and get a leg down). He's still keeping in the bottom 3 gears unless on a long straight away...then he'll hit 6th.
    Anyhow, the XR50 is by far the best for any type of trail riding (gobs of low end torque), is almost maint. free (only changing the oil and checking chain tension), teaches the principles of shifting, cost only slightly more than the PW or JR (buy an almost new '02 XR50 for the same price as a new '03 JR or PW), and there are buttloads of mods for the XR...pro MX'ers and BMX'ers race these bikes and they haul.
    Is it a racing bike? Nope, but i will say that at the local track, a kid on a stock '01 XR is hitting a small 12 foot double like nothin'!

    All of the above is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions..... but, to do it over again, if your kid isn't gonna be racing, i'd get the XR....if racing, I would get Cobra, Polini, KTM, LEM or other ...not a PW or JR....you just don't get enough bang for yer buck (again, imo)

    here's my kid's XR and KX sites:
    http://www.81x.com/xr400xr50r/MX
    http://www.81x.com/xr400xr50r/kx60
  20. Biglmbass

    Biglmbass Rookie DRN Member

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    Just a quick note to say thanks for the information and advice. Last week I was able to find a dealership w/ both an XR50 and an XR70. I've narrowed my choices down to these two bikes, and am currently favoring the 70 just b/c he'll be able to ride it for longer before he outgrows it. Thanks again for the advice.
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