Kid’s Bike

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The kid has been asking about a bike for a couple years now.  I hadn’t really found anything that fit the bill, she’s short so she’d need something smallish but it would still have to have enough get up and go.  Yesterday on bisman I found a 81 yamaha DT125 that had been converted to a 175.  Kc had a 175 back in the day and I remember that thing had lots of get up and go…even for heavier boys.  It was tall though, neither him nor I could touch on both sides with the bike upright.  He was probably 13 when he bought it, probably too much bike for him at the time but perfect when he hit 16.  No reason to buy 2 bikes then…

It happened to work out yesterday as well that I suddenly found myself completely out of toner for a specific printer model (the vendor had brought the wrong type of toner, very similar so I didn’t completely inspect it).  I have 5 of that model printer deployed.  The vendor that supplies me comes around after work on Tuesdays.  I might make it till then without someone running out, but at this point in the semester it’s likely that someone is running out of black somewhere.  So I now had a business reason to go to Minot, might as well call about the bike and take a look.

It’s an older bike, a bit beat up.  The tank has some dents, but when I test drove it the clutch worked fine, brakes (front and back) were good with no squeak, started well, sounded good and the tires were good with no cracks.  Sam sat on it, and since it was the smaller 125 frame she is able to touch both her feet while straddling it.  This seems pretty important given this is the first bike she’s been on.  Another nice feature of this bike is that it’s street legal.  It has a current license, blinker lights…etc.  Given it’s an old used bike, I figured we would just run it around on the gravel, fields and pasture.  Since it is able to be licensed she will be able to ride it to work…after she is more experienced.  Also, it has oil injection so we won’t need to completely mix the fuel for it.  We’ll still dump just a little bit of oil in each tank of fuel, but we won’t have to dump fuel in a 5 gal jug, measure oil, shake it up then dump it in.  We can just fill the bike right off the service tank, then dump a touch of oil in the gas tank and let the ride mix it through a little.

The clutch lever will need to be replaced.  It’s cut off about 1/3 of the length.  I assume the guy did this on purpose, it would be easier to clutch with 2 fingers and still keep your other 2 fingers wrapped around the grip.  Gives you a little more control.  We’ll go with a full length clutch for her because she’s not going to be a motor cross star, so she can get use to how a normally setup bike works.  The shift lever will need to be straightened as well.  Coming away with these 2 minor fixes, compared to the top end rebuilds and other problems I was looking at for other bikes in this price range.

Overall I’m satisfied with the value of this bike.  It ran us $500, sam and I split the cost of it.  With any luck the kid will not break her arm or worse and this doesn’t prove to be a stupid decision…



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