Beginner racer looking for an upgrade...

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Apr 30, 2007
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#1
Heya all! This is the end of my first summer race season, and I learned an incredible amount while improving my riding by at least 500%.

Now I'm more competitive, and am considering an upgrade in machine. Everyone said that my little CR 80 expert was slowing me down in my last few races.

Here's my info:

1) your physical size (both height and weight are important)
I'm 5'2" and 3/4", 110

2) How physical / aggressive are you ?
I would put myself at a 7 or 8 if I've ridden the track a couple times.

3) what do you plan to ride- MX/SX tracks, woods, fields with friends or ?????
Mostly MX - but a harescramble or trail ride here with the boyfriend, friends, or family.

4) Do you have any riding experience?
Been riding for 7 years.

5) Do you think you will race ?
Definitely!

6) Are you mechanically inclined and will you be doing your own bike work?
I can do the little maintanience work (fluids, chain, sparkplugs etc). Anything major I need a book and my very mechanically inclined dad.

7) Do YOU have a preferance to a brand/ motor choice (2 or 4 stroke)?
I'm open to 4 strokes, but really like the 2 stroke.

8) Do you have a dealer close by your home that you might use and what brand(s) does he carry?
We have Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, and KTM (Harley too, but I don't want to try that over a set of doubles).

9) How much ($) do you plan to spend on a bike?
Roughly 1,500, but no more than 2,000.

10) Do you live in California?
Nope.

11) Your age?
I'm 19.

12) anything else that you think would help form an opinion.
I'm small? Does that help? Actually, I have to be able to handle and manuver this bike by myself. I rarely have any reliable help at the races. I'd like (and have ridden) a CRF 450, but there is no way that I could handle the bike by myself.

I've had the chance to ride a CRF 250R and liked the way it felt, but I can't touch the ground (about three inches gap from boot tip to dirt surface). I was thinking of upgrading to a 2 stroke 125, but the KTM 105 caught my eye. I've considered the CRF 150R...but I haven't seen anyone doing well on them around here, as if they might be a little less powerful than everyone has been saying.

So, now that you've read the story of my life, what are my options? I think I'd be able to sit on the KTM, but know very little about it other than the fact that one of the local riders really whooped up on some 125s with it.
 
Joined
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#2
Are you wanting to stay in the 80 Open class? The CR80 expert is a good bike. If you want to stay in the class I would assume go with the CRF150r. If you want to save money get faster. Are you really pushing the bike to it's limits?
 
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#3
Ohps..I should have added that I am a girl! I ride in the open women's class, and have the CR pretty well wound out when I race. Perhaps not using it to it's fullest potential, but I'd have to admit that I am riding pretty hard.

My "main" issue is that the other ladies are riding 125s and 4stroke 250s, and although I can get into and through the first corner or two with them, I am getting left behind in the straight sections.
 
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#4
A 2-stroke 125 isn't too much taller than your 80 expert. You are competing well now on a 9 year old bike, and can definately find a nice, used, late model, 125 within your price range. I would reccomend you stay on the Hondas for now. When I raced 80's i was on the EXACT same bike as you (Mine was a 97) and then upgraded to a CR125. The transition was very smooth.
 

Chili

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#5
Likely the best bet would be to modify a newer 125 for your height. Another good option would be to spend the money you plan to spend on a newer bike on your current bike and make it a big bore kit, likely a CR112 as well as freshen everything else on the bike up (suspension, tires, sprockets chain etc). We have a local guy here that races the B classes on a couple of CR85 Experts, he races one made into a CR112 in the 125 B class and he races another one that they have jammed a CR125 engine into and made it into a CR167 in the 250 B class.
 
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#6
Alrighty - definitely thanks for the input. I will keep looking around - someone may have a 125 that I could try out before I make up my mind for sure.

The CR right now is pretty tall for me. Sitting, I almost have to tip the bike from side to side to keep my toes on the ground.

I checked seat heights on the 125s, and almost all are 36-37" seat heights, which is about 2 inches taller than the CR. I'd have to find a way to lower the bike that two inches. Would a correct sag setting make up for it?
 
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#7
Chili said:
We have a local guy here that races the B classes on a couple of CR85 Experts, he races one made into a CR112 in the 125 B class and he races another one that they have jammed a CR125 engine into and made it into a CR167 in the 250 B class.
Wow. That's talent!

I'll do some research on this too - thanks for the advice!
 

Chili

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#9
Lowering the bike can consist of several different approaches, the easiest and most effective also happens to be the most expensive option and that is to remove the suspension and send it Jeremy Willkey at MX-Tech to be lowered properly.

Other less expensive options would involve a combination of shaving the seat, modifying the subframe, a lowering link and raising the forks in the triple clamps.

As far as making yours a big bore, talk to Eric Gorr as he'll be the most reasonably priced for top notch work you are going to find out there.