2002 Suzuki JR80
Brianna outgrew her XR50 pretty quickly and was getting to be a better rider, so we started looking around for a bigger bike for her. She's not very aggressive and I thought a KX65 or KX80 would be too much for her. I considered a Honda XR80 but thought it would be too heavy (nearly 150 lbs) and they're a little non-exciting, plus we ride in sand and mud sometimes and XR's are awful there. Then I found the Suzuki JR80. It's a 2-stroke, so we'd be getting good performance. It's light weight at 125 lbs. It's old-school and mildly tuned. I looked around and found one on ebay very close to a good friend of mine in OK. I won the bid and John picked it up for me. We met in Amarillo and I came home with a JR80!
In this shot, you can see the FMF exhaust pipe. I consider this almost a "must-have" for this bike. Stock, the bike is very slow to rev with no low end power and, as a result, it's hard to ride. You have to really get the revs up to get it going from a stand-still. The stock exhaust is full of baffles and such. Opening up the stock spark arrestor, I found that it was totally burned out. I'm amazed that exhaust gas was even getting out! After making sure that Brianna was going to stick with the bike and actually ride it, I finally bit the bullet and bought the FMF exhaust package.
Here's the FMR Turbine Core 2 spark arrestor silencer. The exhaust made a big difference in the bike's performance. It runs a lot snappier, pulls better (still not good enough, though), and sounds like a real bike now. Lost a few pounds, as well.
The JR80 is a good looking little bike. The seat is plush and comfortable, the suspension is not bad given its limited range. The biggest problem I have with the bike is the jetting- even though I've dropped the main jet several sizes, it still runs too rich for our high altitude. Never fouls plugs, but it puts too much smoke out the exhaust. The engine is air-cooled and simple to work on.
All in all, the bike has a purpose and fits it well. This thing totally blows away the XR75 that I started on, that's for sure! And it's a great intermediate bike from the XR50 to a larger bike.
Close-up of Brianna riding. It was a little cool this day and she's got a sweatshirt underneath the jersey and looks a little "puffy".
Brianna going down a small hill. She's really getting too big for this bike! However, I don't know if she's ready for a KX100 yet.
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