Stage 1: Bikes That Are Great For Beginners

Everyone has to start somewhere, and these are some of the bikes that are awesome for new riders to get started on...

Stage 1: Bikes That Are Great For Beginners

Everyone has to start somewhere, and these are some of the bikes that are awesome for new riders to get started on. Sure, they're not the fire-breathing machines you'll see on the starting line of a Supercross or National, but for the most part, they're great for learning the basics, while having tons of fun. Getting the hang of balance, throttle control, braking, learning to read terrain, these are all building blocks that these kind of bikes provide. Many of these models have automatic clutches, to keep things simple, and they generally smooth-revving 125cc and smaller powerplants. Sound output is also low, so they can be ridden lots of places. While they may share some of the same graphics and look of their bigger brothers, they're designed for fun.

While it may be early in the season, one of these sure would make a pretty memorable Christmas gift (hint, hint)...

Suzuki DR-Z70 ($1849 MSRP)

The Suzuki 2018 DR-Z70 has an automatic clutch, a three-speed transmission, and to make it really simple, it also has an electric starter. (Yep, there's a backup kickstarter.) The 67cc engine delivers a smooth, controllable power; and the throttle can be adjusted to limit power output. Small ten-inch wheels keep the bike low for shorter riders. The ignition is keyed, so parents control when and where the budding moto star can ride the bike.

There's also an adjustable front brake lever that can be tuned to fit various sized hands, and you'll find drum brakes front and rear. Weight limit on this one is one 88-pound rider. 

Specifications

Engine: 67cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder, OHC
Bore x Stroke: 48.0 mm (1.89 in) x 37.0 mm (1.45 in)
Compression Ratio: 9.5: 1
Fuel System: Mikuni VM13 carburetor
Starter: Electric starter with back-up primary kick
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: Three-speed constant mesh, automatic clutch
Drive Chain: Chain, D.I.D. 428DS, 78 links
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic, coil spring
Rear Suspension: Swingarm type, coil spring, oil damped
Front Brake: Drum brake
Rear Brake: Drum brake
Front Tire: 2.50-10 33J, tube type
Rear Tire: 2.50-10 33J, tube type
Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.0 L (0.8 US gallons)
Color: Champion Yellow No.2 / Solid Black
Ignition: Electronic ignition (CDI)
Spark Plug: NGK CR7HSA or DENSO U22FSR-U
Overall Length: 1,320 mm (52.0 in)
Overall Width: 580 mm (22.8 in)
Overall Height: 790 mm (31.1 in)
Wheelbase: 935 mm (36.8 in)
Ground Clearance: 135 mm (5.3 in)
Seat Height: 560 mm (22.0 in)
Curb Weight: 55 kg (121 lbs)
Warranty: 6-month unlimited mileage limited warranty*
Extensions:    *Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP)

Suzuki DR-Z125L ($3,249 MSRP)


The bigger brother to the Suzuki DR-Z70 is the DR-Z125L. You step up to a mellow 124cc four-stroke powerplant, as well as a manual clutch and five-speed transmission. It also has larger 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels, a longer wheelbase and the associated ten-inch taller seat height. Braking also takes a step up, with a front disc brake.

The wheels feature lightweight aluminum rims, and there are telescopic front forks and link-type rear suspension to smooth out the bumps.

Specifications

Engine: 124cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled, single cylinder, OHC
Bore x Stroke: 57.0 mm (2.244 in) x 48.8 mm (1.921 in)
Compression Ratio: 9.5: 1
Fuel System: MIKUNI VM20SS, single carburetor
Starter: Primary Kick
Lubrication: Wet sump
Clutch: Wet multi-plate
Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: DID 428HG, 130 links
Front Suspension: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Front Brakes: Disc brake, single rotor
Rear Brakes: Drum brake
Front Tire: 70/100-19 42M, tube type
Rear Tire: 90/100-16 52M, tube type
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.8 L (1.3 US gallons)
Color: Champion Yellow No.2 / Solid Black
Ignition: Electronic ignition (CDI)
Spark Plug: NGK DR8EA or DENSO X24ESU
Overall Length: 1885 mm (74.2 in)
Overall Width: 770 mm (30.3 in)
Overall Height: 1110 mm (43.7 in)
Wheelbase: 1270 mm (50.0 in)
Seat Height: 805 mm (32.0 in)
Curb Weight: 89 kg (196 lbs)
Warranty: 6-month limited warranty
Extensions: Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP)

2018 Honda CRF50F ($1,499 MSRP)

Honda 50s are fairly legendary, both for being the platform that plenty of riders have learned on, as well as being one of the pit bikes that adults can't resist. They are also known to be extremely durable, with the ability to take a ridiculous amount of abuse. This one also has an automatic clutch, and a three-speed transmission. If you want to get crazy and start upgrading it, there are also a ton of hop-up parts for the littlest Honda.

Specifications

Engine Type: 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore And Stroke: 39.0mm x 41.4mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: 13mm piston-valve carburetor
Ignition: CD
Transmission: Three-speed with automatic clutch
Final Drive: #420 chain; 14T/37T
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic fork; 3.5-inch travel
Rear Suspension: Single-shock; 2.8-inch travel
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 2.50-10
Rear Tire: 2.50-10
Rake: 25.0° (Caster Angle)
Trail: 32.0mm (1.3 inches)
Wheelbase: 36.0 inches
Seat Height: 21.6 inches
Ground Clearance: 5.8 inches
Curb Weight: 110 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and a full tank of fuel—ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 0.7 gallons, including 0.2-gallon reserve
Available Colors: Red
Factory Warranty Duration: six months transferable limited warranty; extended warranty available with a Honda Protection Plan.

2018 Honda CRF110F ($2,249 MSRP)

Jump from the 50 up to the CRF110, and you'll add more than double the engine size, and add a gear to the transmission, but you'll still find an automatic clutch for easy operation. This will allow longer excursions, and the ability to tackle bigger terrain, while still being a pretty friendly (and durable) powerplant.

Specifications

Engine Type: 109cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore And Stroke: 50.0mm x 55.6mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: 13mm piston-valve carburetor
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Four-speed with automatic clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 31.0mm telescopic fork; 3.9 inches of travel
Rear Suspension: Single-shock; 3.4 inches of travel
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 70/100-14
Rear Tire: 80/100-12
Rake: 24°25' (Caster Angle)
Trail: 52.5mm (2.0 inches)
Wheelbase: 41.9 inches
Seat Height: 26.3 inches
Curb Weight: 163 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel-ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 1.1 gallons, including 0.3-gallon reserve
Ground Clearance: 6.9 Inches
Available Colors: Red
Factory Warranty Duration: Six Months transferable limited warranty; extended warranty available with a Honda Protection Plan.

2018 Honda CRF125F ($2,999 MRSRP) and 2018 Honda CRF125FB ($3,399 MSRP)

Are you looking for something closer to full-size? That might be the domain of the CRF125s...though they come in two different versions, with smaller or larger wheels. The F has a 17-inch front and 14-inch rear, while the FB sports a 19-inch front, and 16-inch rear...and corresponding longer suspension travel. These are also manual clutch, with a four-speed tranny.

Specifications (125F)

Engine Type: 124.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore And Stroke: 52.4mm x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: 20mm piston-valve carburetor
Ignition: DC-CDI
Transmission: Four-speed
Final Drive: 13T/46T
Front Suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 5.5 inches of travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single-shock; 4.5 inches of travel
Front Brake: 220mm hydraulic disc
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 70/100-17
Rear Tire: 90/100-14
Rake: 25°30' (Caster Angle)
Trail: 81mm (3.2 inches)
Wheelbase: 48.0 inches
Seat Height: 28.9 inches
Curb Weight: 192 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel-ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 1.1 gallons, including 0.2-gallon reserve
Ground Clearance: 8.5 Inches
Available Colors: Red
Factory Warranty Duration: Six Months transferable limited warranty; extended warranty available with a Honda Protection Plan.

Specifications (125F Big Wheel)

Engine Type: 124.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore And Stroke: 52.4mm x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: 20mm piston-valve carburetor
Ignition: DC-CDI
Transmission: Four-speed
Final Drive: 13T/49T
Front Suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 5.9 inches of travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single-shock; 5.9 inches of travel
Front Brake: 220mm hydraulic disc
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 70/100-19
Rear Tire: 90/100-16
Rake: 27°30' (Caster Angle)
Trail: 94mm (3.7 inches)
Wheelbase: 49.4 inches
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Curb Weight: 194 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel-ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity: 1.1 gallons, including 0.2-gallon reserve
Ground Clearance: 10.4 Inches
Factory Warranty Duration: Six Months transferable limited warranty; extended warranty available with a Honda Protection Plan.

2018 Kawasaki KLX110 ($2,299 MSRP)

An auto clutch, four-speed transmission, and a low seat height make this one of a favorite of the small-wheel crowd. Back in the minimoto heyday, this one was a popular option, and it's just as good now. Want a solid performer that you can get tons of time on? This is a good bet.

Specifications

Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled
Displacement: 112cc
Bore x Stroke: 53.0 x 50.6mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel System: Keihin PB18
Ignition: DC-CDI
Transmission: 4-speed, return shift
Final Drive: Chain
Performance
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 30mm hydraulic telescopic fork/4.3 in
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Swingarm w/single hydraulic shock/4.3 in
Front Tire: 2.50x14
Rear Tire: 3.00x12
Front Brakes: Mechanical Drum
Rear Brakes: Mechanical Drum
Frame Type: Backbone frame, high-tensile steel
Rake/Trail: 24.8°/2.0 in
Overall Length: 61.4 in
Overall Width: 25.6 in
Overall Height: 37.6 in
Ground Clearance: 8.5 in
Seat Height: 26.8 in
Curb Weight: 167.5 lb**
Fuel Capacity: 1.0 gal
Wheelbase: 42.3 in
Color Choices: Lime Green
Warranty: 6 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional)

2018 Kawasaki KLX110L ($2,499 MSRP)

Take the same platform as the KLX100, but give it a manual clutch, longer legs, and the resulting taller seat height. That's the KLX110L.

Specifications

Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled
Displacement: 112cc
Bore x Stroke: 53.0 x 50.6mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel System: Keihin PB18
Ignition: DC-CDI
Transmission: 4-speed, return shift
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 30mm hydraulic telescopic fork with 5.5 inches of travel
Rear Suspension: Swingarm w/single hydraulic shock and 5.2 inches of travel
Front Tire: 2.50x14
Rear Tire: 3.00x12
Front Brakes: Mechanical Drum
Rear Brakes: Mechanical Drum
Frame Type: Backbone frame, high-tensile steel
Rake/Trail: 24.2°/1.9 in
Overall Length: 61.4 in
Overall Width: 25.6 in
Overall Height: 39.0 in
Ground Clearance: 10.4 in
Seat Height: 28.7 in
Curb Weight: 167.5 lb**
Fuel Capacity: 1.0 gal
Wheelbase: 42.3 in
Color Choices: Lime Green
Warranty: 6 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional) 12, 24, or 36 months

2018 Yamaha PW50 ($1,499 MSRP)

Why has Yamaha's PW50 been around forever? It's got an extremely low standover height (only 18.7 inches) for even the smallest riders. It also has a mellow two-stroke powerplant with an automatic transmission, and can be raced in its own class at Loretta's...if you want to push it that far. All the while, you'll never adjust a chain (it's shaft drive), or have to mix gas and oil (there's an automatic oil injection system). You can even adjust the throttle stop, to prevent your budding moto star from getting too frisky.

Specifications

Engine Type: 49cc air-cooled two-stroke; reed valve induction
Bore x Stroke: 40.0mm x 39.2mm
Compression Ratio: 6.0:1
Fuel Delivery: VM12 carburetor
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Wet centrifugal automatic
Final Drive: Shaft
Front Suspension: 26mm telescopic fork; 2.4-inch travel
Rear Suspension: Unit swingarm; 2.0-inch travel
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 2.50-10-4PR
Rear Tire: 2.50-10-4PR
L x W x H: 49.0 in x 24.0 in x 27.8 in
Seat Height: 18.7 in
Wheelbase: 33.7 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 2.0 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 3.7 in
Fuel Capacity: 0.5 gal
Wet Weight: 90 lb
Warranty: 90 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Team Yamaha Blue

2018 Yamaha TT‑R50E ($1,549 MSRP)

While there is the more race-inspired PW in the Yamaha lineup, there's also the TT-R50E, which is a little taller, and more styled in the playbike range. It's got an electric start and three‑speed automatic transmission that make things easier for new riders, and also a large chain cover to keep body parts out, and provide some protection from the elements.

Specifications

Engine Type: 49cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke; two valves
Bore x Stroke: 36.0mm x 48.6mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Mikuni VM11 carburetor
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Constant-mesh three-speed; automatic clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic fork; 3.8-inch travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock; 2.8-inch travel
Front Brake: Drum, 80mm
Rear Brake: Drum, 80mm
Front Tire: 2.50-10-4PR
Rear Tire: 2.50-10-4PR
L x W x H: 51.4 in x 23.4 in x 31.3 in
Seat Height: 21.9 in
Wheelbase: 36.4 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.5°
Trail: 1.3 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 5.3 in
Fuel Capacity: 0.8 gal
Fuel Economy**: n/a
Wet Weight***: 126 lb
Warranty: 90 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Team Yamaha Blue

2018 Yamaha TT‑R110E ($2,299 MSRP)

How about a 110-sized bike, but with an automatic clutch, and an electric starter to make things less complicated for riders learning how to ride. That also makes it easier when they're wrestling with balance, and boots and gear for the first time. It still has a low 26.4 seat height, but also has enough suspension to accomodate reasonably rough terrain.

Specifications

Engine Type: 110cc air-cooled SOHC four-stroke; two valves
Bore x Stroke: 51.0mm x 54.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
Fuel Delivery: Mikuni VM16 carburetor
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Constant-mesh four-speed; multiple wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 4.5-in travel
Rear Suspension: Monocross shock; 4.3-in travel
Front Brake: Drum, 95mm
Rear Brake: Drum, 110mm
Front Tire: 2.50-14-4PR
Rear Tire: 3.00-12-4PR
L x W x H: 61.6 in x 26.8 in x 36.3 in
Seat Height: 26.4 in
Wheelbase: 42.5 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 26.0°
Trail: 2.4 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 7.1 in
Fuel Capacity: 1.0 gal
Wet Weight: 159 lb
Warranty: 90 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Team Yamaha Blue

2018 Yamaha TT‑R125LE ($3,299 MSRP)

The TT-R125LE will work for everyone from kids to adults, and it has plenty of the family-friendly attributes you'd expect, like a smooth four-stroke powerplant, low seat height, and longer suspension travel. But it also has push-button electric start, bigger 19 and 16-inch wheels, and a 220mm front disc brake.

Specifications

Engine Type: 124cc air-cooled SOHC Four-stroke; 2 valves
Bore x Stroke: 54.0mm x 54.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel Delivery: Mikuni VM20 carburetor
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: Constant-mesh five-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 31mm telescopic fork, adjustable preload; 7.1-inches travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable compression and rebound; 6.6-inches travel
Front Brake: Hydraulic single disc, 220mm
Rear Brake: Drum, 110mm
Front Tire: 70/100-19
Rear Tire: 90/100-16
L x W x H: 74.2 in x 31.3 in x 42.7 in
Seat Height: 31.7 in
Wheelbase: 50.0 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 28.7°
Trail: 3.7 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 10.4 in
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal
Fuel Economy**: n/a
Wet Weight***: 198 pounds
Warranty: 90 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Team Yamaha Blue

2018 KTM 50SX Mini ($3599 MSRP)

Do you want something a little less pedestrian, a lot pricier, and a whole lot more like dad's bike? The KTM 50 SX Mini incorporates a bunch of the technology you'd find on KTM's 50 SX (the bike used for the KJSC program), but with a more friendly power delivery, smaller wheels, and a lower seat height. It has a two-stroke engine that delivers controllable power, and with an automatic clutch that allows the rider to concentrate on the terrain ahead, not starting, shifting, or stopping. This one also has front and rear disc brakes, aluminum rims, and Maxxis tires.

Specifications

Engine type: Single cylinder, two-stroke
Displacement: 49 cc
Bore/stroke: 39.5/40 cc
Starter: Kickstarter
Carburetor: Dell'Orto PHVA 12 XS
Transmission: Single Gear Automatic
Gear ratios: 14:31
Primary ratio: 33:61
Final drive: 10:42
Cooling: Liquid cooling
Clutch: Centrifugal multi disc clutch (adjustable)
Ignition: Selettra 2p D36
Frame: Chrome-Moly Steel, powder-coated
Subframe: Steel
Handlebar: Aluminum, Ø 22 mm
Front suspension: WP USD, Ø 35 mm
Rear suspension: WP-Monoshock 3614 BAEM
Suspension travel front/rear: 100/171 mm
Front brake: Disc brake Ø 160 mm
Rear brake: Disc brake Ø 160 mm
Front/rear rims: 1.60 x 10"; 1.60 x 10"
Front/rear tires: 2.50 x 10"; 2.75 x 10"
Chain: 1/2 x 3/16"
Muffler: Aluminum
Steering head angle: 22.6°
Triple clamp offset: 22mm
Wheelbase: 914 mm ± 10 mm / 35.98 ± 0.4 in
Ground clearance: 184 mm / 7.24 in
Seat height: 558 mm / 21.97
Tank capacity: 2.1 L / 0.5 gal
Weight without fuel, approx.: 40 kg / 88.1 lb

Want a closer look at any of these bikes? Check with your local dealer, or visit:

www.suzukicycles.com
www.yamaha-motor.com
www.kawasaki.com
www.suzukicycles.com
www.powersports.honda.com
www.ktm.com

We'll check back soon with a Stage 2 roundup of bikes that are ready to hit the track for more advanced riders.

Create New Tag

C50_110811guyb_redbud_1449985751 GuyB 9/25/2017 5:58 PM

0 comments newest first