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Author Topic: Kids Dirt Bikes  (Read 425 times)
AZRedhawk44
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« on: October 13, 2020, 07:38:48 AM »

Who here has any experience with child sized dirt bikes?

The market for small 50cc dirt bikes seems to be awfully polluted with "pit bike" style rigs that have extremely high seat heights for the original intended consumers.

My boy is 7 years old in a month, and on the shorter side of things.  He has an 18" inseam and is 44" tall.  He really enjoys going out for little motorcycle rides with me (just around the neighborhood, never above 30mph so far, and he's wearing a motorcycle helmet).  I'm thinking he'd really get a kick out of his own dirt bike.  But I want it to be a surprise.  His birthday is coming up in November and I think it'd be a great opportunity to get him a bike. 

He's too big for the Yamaha PW50 (aka the "peewee").  That's aimed at the 3-5 year old market.

The Honda CRF50 is the next size up, and this seems to be the dream platform that all the pit bike community loves to mod.  Used CRF50's are unobtanium around here.  The Chinese pit bike industry produces clones of the CRF50, but where the actual Honda has a seat height of 21", the Chinese bikes range from 22 to 26 inches for their smallest clones.  New CRF50's run about $1600, which certainly is some extreme sticker shock for me... the Chinese bikes are usually around $600-$800.  Resale of Chinese bikes is garbage, resale of a well kept Honda is pretty good.

Since the CRF50 has such a rich mod community, raising or lowering the seat height is a matter of changing out rear suspension for longer or shorter assemblies.  But the documentation on the minor variances of the Chinese bikes is pretty poor, and trial and error shopping of spring assemblies at $50 a piece can add up quick to where buyer's remorse of the cheap route can set in, making the real CRF50 look more appealing.
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Brad Johnson
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 08:32:25 AM »

As you've already found, getting into "real motorcycle" territory comes with sticker shock.

Don't rule out something gently used. Couple years ago my neighbor scored a near-mint XR80 for $500 but that's a much bigger bike than your son can use right now. That being said, the CRF50 is pretty much the go-to Beginner Bike. Prob worth the few extra bucks on a new one for Honda reliability and general third-party support. Decently-kept ones also tend to keep value so you can recover a fair bit of it when he's ready to trade up.

Brad
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 08:45:18 AM »


Don't rule out something gently used.

Wish I could find one.  There are no used 50cc bikes in my area on Craigslist or Cycletrader or Facebook Market.  Not sure where else to look for a used one.  Which comes back to the question of a $1600 Honda, or a $700 Tao Tao.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 08:55:05 AM »

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-Honda-50-Mini-Trail-Minibike-Z50A-Running-Strong-w-Clear-Title/353232260510?hash=item523e488d9e:g:LGIAAOSwANhfgPlq
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 10:02:04 AM »

Yeah, Michigan, $860 + $275 shipping, for a 50 year old Dumb and Dumber camp bike.  Hard Pass.  I'd rather get a new CRF50.  Much sportier ride position and greater capabilities, he'd have way more fun on it than that Mini Trail.
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 11:16:12 AM »

Have you thought about a mini bike to start as training tool. No shifting but can learn some of the foundations of rising?

Old school non suspension Briggs and Stratton centrifugal clutch.

Like this one, but one from the 70s. I used to have one with a 6hp motor, it was a lot of fun.

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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 12:43:13 PM »

That's why I'm looking at the CRF50, DRZ50, and the Chinese CRF clones.  They have clutchless semiautomatic shifting, and throttle governor set screws.  At first he won't even know what to do with the pedal on the left, so hopefully he won't touch it and if he does, even in 3rd it'll be limited to probably 15mph when I set it.

Not really keen on the Coleman camp bikes.  I get that they can be fun, but they look too fragile to me for what AZ is.  Most of the places I have that I can take him riding are rocky and turbulent in texture (not insane, just a bit craggly).  I ride a Husky FE250 when I'm out on singletrack or recreational MX areas around here, but I'm really not very good on dirt and I can see enrolling him in a motocross class once he sucks up the little I have to teach him and he shows he enjoys it, and I wouldn't want to send him on something like the Coleman camp bike.
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2020, 12:50:47 PM »


I get that they can be fun, but they look too fragile to me for what AZ is.


They also have no suspension and will beat you half to death on anything but relatively smooth surfaces. Not so bad with low tire pressure and a bigger rider. For a kid? Gonna be a rough ride. On the upside, upgrading to a bigger engine is a breeze if you have a torch and welder.

Brad
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2020, 01:07:52 PM »

On the upside, upgrading to a bigger engine is a breeze if you have a torch and welder.

Brad

I don't think you have ever worked on one, pretty much bolt on a larger horizontal shaft single cylinder engine. The frame is really basic.

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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2020, 01:10:52 PM »


I don't think you have ever worked on one


A: Yes, I have.

B: If you think it will accept any old H-shaft engine, you're thinking too small.  Wink

Brad
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2020, 01:14:35 PM »

That's why I'm looking at the CRF50, DRZ50, and the Chinese CRF clones.  They have clutchless semiautomatic shifting, and throttle governor set screws.  At first he won't even know what to do with the pedal on the left, so hopefully he won't touch it and if he does, even in 3rd it'll be limited to probably 15mph when I set it.

Not really keen on the Coleman camp bikes.  I get that they can be fun, but they look too fragile to me for what AZ is.  Most of the places I have that I can take him riding are rocky and turbulent in texture (not insane, just a bit craggly).  I ride a Husky FE250 when I'm out on singletrack or recreational MX areas around here, but I'm really not very good on dirt and I can see enrolling him in a motocross class once he sucks up the little I have to teach him and he shows he enjoys it, and I wouldn't want to send him on something like the Coleman camp bike.

Mini bike is a starter suggestion, upgrade later. I wouldn't buy a new one, I'd go seek out one from the 70s.

I grew up riding up, down and across Mississippi river bluffs and all points in between. Couple of my friends had older Honda Trail 50s and they did just fine. We all ended up riding bigger bikes when we got older, unfortunately I transferred to street bikes when I turned 16, wish I would stayed on the dirt too. I need to find a old single 2 stroke 250-400cc bike.

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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2020, 01:15:22 PM »

A: Yes, I have.

B: If you think it will accept any old H-shaft engine, you're thinking too small.  Wink

Brad

I just went to a real motorcycle after 6 ponies.

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tokugawa
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2020, 03:54:04 PM »

Kids dirt bikes are hard to find now, apparently. Our local Honda/Kawi/Yama/zuki shops are dry, and all the incoming bikes are pre sold-
Outdoor anti virus recreation effect. IMO, If you can actually find the Honda, buy it. Kids grow up fast, time is short.
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 02:16:55 PM »

Yeah, Michigan, $860 + $275 shipping, for a 50 year old Dumb and Dumber camp bike.  Hard Pass.  I'd rather get a new CRF50.  Much sportier ride position and greater capabilities, he'd have way more fun on it than that Mini Trail.

Check it again. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2020, 02:25:47 PM »

I started on a YZ80 in fourth grade but bike were built a little different then.

My best friends grandson, 20's, bought a Chinese Endero kit.

It was easy to put together and he has had no problems with it. Not sure about the smaller bikes.
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2020, 02:53:04 PM »

I would say that if you can swing the $1600 now, just do it. In a couple years when he outgrows it, you'll be able to recoup most of what you spent when you sell it for something bigger. If they're hard to find now, they'll probably still be hard to find in a year or so. Personally, I'd spend decent money on a used Honda bike, I wouldn't give you a nickel for a used Chinese bike. I'm surprised the price is only $1600 these days. I think my parents paid around $1300 for my CR80 back in 1986.
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2020, 04:05:35 PM »

Have you given any thought to a quad?  My family has been into dirt bikes for decades.  All but two of over a dozen kids started on quads, some went on to 2 wheels, some stayed on quads.

I'm thinking of replacing DW's non-running quad with one of the Tao Tao 250's.  There are a ton of how-to videos on YouTube on modding them; forks, shocks, carb, wheel spacers*, electronics, etc.  Those who've done the mod's seem to be satisfied.  From what I've read, even without most of the mod's - from what I hear you really want to replace the carb (~$25 on Amazon) - they're an adequate ride.

*For some reason Tao Tao decided that having the front wheels farther apart from each other than the rear wheels was a good idea....
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2020, 06:20:40 PM »

Check it again. 

Over $2000.  That's asinine.  That's hipster vintage Trail 90 territory right there.
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2020, 07:36:13 PM »

I saw a CRF50 local for $450. Long drive to VA though.
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2020, 08:18:14 PM »

https://www.fastlanecars.com/vehicles/1014/1999-honda-z50r

I had that guy at your boy's age.  Indestructible.  I think one of my second cousins has it now, I'll check if you're interested.
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AZRedhawk44
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2020, 05:44:54 AM »

https://www.fastlanecars.com/vehicles/1014/1999-honda-z50r

I had that guy at your boy's age.  Indestructible.  I think one of my second cousins has it now, I'll check if you're interested.

I'd appreciate it.  Anywhere near AZ?
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I reject your authoritah!
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