I own an '02 Cr80. Its a great bike. A lot of good top end power but has absolutely no bottom end. The power band hits very hard, which can be both good and bad. If you go trail riding with it or even light moto I suggest a hotter spark plug. I run BR9's for fast trails and light moto, and BR8's for slower trail riding. Get a Boysen Ignition cover otherwise your alternator will start to rust before long. It has a great clutch, wonderful suspension, great quality, its never broken down before. I will post more when I think of some other things. Your son will love it! Just make sure he takes it easy until he gets the bike "figured out". You can have a lot of fun on one, but you can also get hurt very bad on one, voice of experience.
The 02 has been sold so now I'm thinking of going with a new 03 or 04. He is still a little too small for the 80/85s, yet too big for the 60/65. He's growing like a weed, so I figure the 80/85s will fit him by the time spring gets here.
I'm also considering the XR 80. It fits him perfect and I think he would enjoy riding the XR more than a hard hitting 2-stroke?
Rob, I watched my friend go through the same thing with his kid. He played it conservative and bought his 10 year old a TTR 90. Great bike, but by day two the kid wanted to jump and go fast!
The shock went out on the 90 almost instantly. They rode the bike another few months before selling it at quite a loss.
If your son rides really easy, the TTR/XR's are great. If he jumps or rides hard, skip it.
I know as adults we try to find the logical answers. The CR 80 has no low end and it tough to ride. There is also the matter of a clutch to deal with. BUT...the bike rips. I weigh 200 with gear. The bike will easily wheelie with me on it. I thought the bike was a riot and enjoyed my short ride on it.
The kid that got the CR 80 had the clutch and powerband figured out before we had a chance to explain it to him. We made more of a deal about it than the kid did! The CR is slightly high, but you can let some of the preload of the rear spring to help this. I know this is not the ideal thing to do, but it helps to learn the bike.
I think you would be making a huge mistake by buying an XR. He will be bored with that in a couple months. It might take a couple of rides to get used to the CR but once figured out he'll have a ball on it!
Sounds like a lot of good feedback here. I'm in the same boat with my son starting to outgrow his KX65. I'm starting to research getting him an 80/85cc transition bike (KX, YZ, CR or RM). Along the same lines of this thread, I'd like to ask a few questions.
Are the 80's shorter than the 85's? Would they make a better transition bike in terms of size/ergos?
Which of these bikes have powervalves? I was thinking that a powervalved 80/85 may be a better transition bike. I think I remember reading that RM's and YZ's have powervalves and thus made friendlier power.
Are there any issues to watch out for here? I had heard that the earlier RM80's had pretty cheesy shocks.
What do you folks recommend for a transition bike in this category? My son is 7.5 years and rides the wheels off his KX65. He weighs 91.5lbs and is 4'8" tall. (no, he isn't skipping any meals)
Tex, if your son can ride the KX 65 he can ride the CR 80/85. The bike is not that much taller.
PLUS...the 80 engine will be huge for him. It might even feel like it has more low end power. After dealing with my best friends kids and the CR 80 I would have a difficult time in recommending anything else. It is a very good bike.