Hey all, so I just turned 18 and for some reason have this burning desire to get back onto dirt bikes. I'm sure you guys can relate haha. Owned an RM80 and Blaster 200 in my early teens however ended up selling them.
To keep this short, I live in Dubai where older bikes are hard to come by and everyone feels the need to hyper-inflate their prices.
I've come across two bikes, after an eternity of window shopping online, that fit the bill for me.
A 1993 Honda Cr125 with low hours (imported from Japan). Runs and drives good. Used bike lot asking for $1225. Maintenance history unknown. Plastics slightly worn.
And a 2002 Honda xr200r that has a single owner, impeccable service record and basic maintenance done recently (engine oil, filter, plug, chain lube). asking for $1225 as well.
I'd ride mostly in the deserts here with pretty steep sand dunes and descents. Occasional gravel trails.
I have some experience with dirt bikes as I had the rm80 for a year but I wouldn't say I'm highly skilled.
Looking for advice on what would be the way to go as I'm currently torn between the power of the cr125 and the reliability of the xr. What would be a better weapon in the desert and something that I can handle?
The practical side of me wants to go for the xr200 for it's bullet proof mechanicals and it's comprehensive service history, however the sheer power of the cr125 is persuading me to bite the bullet on the older bike. And I should mention that I've got about $200 only for repairs and maintenance work.
Looking for opinions on either bike and which you think is better. Thanks
Tough question to answer, particularly given where you live. I had an XR200 back in the early 90s, and that bike was an absolute blast to ride! But I live in North Georgia, USA....all woods and single track trails. The bike was light, maneuverable, and as you note, indestructible! But the suspension is limited, compared to the CR...meaning you won't be as easily able to maintain speed across rough terrain. The CR has the better suspension setup for fast riding.
But you live in a desert. Totally different terrain, and engine requirements. On sand, it's important to keep your speed up, so as to skim across the sand, rather than dig into it and sink. At that, the CR would probably be a better choice. Liquid cooling will help with the temps you're likely to encounter, and allow you to keep your speeds up without overheating the engine. BUT, the CR is a very peaky engine....it has comparatively little power at lower RPMs, making it more difficult to ride should you end up on some single track trails. That same peakiness makes the bike harder to ride, IMHO.
So, as you already know, the decision comes down to where will you be doing the majority of your riding? If, as you say, you'll be mostly in the desert, I'd have to say go with the CR, even though it's not as well documented as the XR is. I just kinda think the XR is the wrong tool for the job you're going to ask of it.