Honda CRF110 Dirt Bike: An owner’s review

 

A few months ago I bought a Honda CR F110 dirt bike for my son Ruger. I had already purchased another dirt bike for his brother, and he was ready for a dirt bike of his own.

Overall, my review is that the CRF110 dirt bike is probably the best overall dirtbike out there for a kid who is between 7 and 12 years old.  This dirt bike is not a racing dirt bike, but it is very powerful and is capable of climbing steep hills powering over rocks and trees and pretty much anything most kids will want to do on a dirt bike.  It’s really a great dirt bike for anyone who just wants a reliable, relatively inexpensive bike they can use for off-roading on or even use it on the track.

So here is my full review of the Honda CRF 110 dirt bike.

Sizing for This Bike

The seat height of this dirt bike is 26.4 inches, so it is a good option for any kids between seven and 12 years old. I bought this bike for my eight-year-old son and at first, it felt a little big to him. He preferred the 50cc dirt bike for his first few rides. But after the first two or three trips out, he was ready to take on the 110.

For my son, who is slightly tall for his age, the bike fits him just right at eight years old.  I could see my son continuing to ride this bike until he is 12 or 13 years old.At that point, he would probably be better off with a 150 mL dirt bike.As long as the seat height is right for your son or daughter will be writing this bike, I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

I wrote a full post with a great sizing chart for dirt bikes, and also a complete description on how to know if the dirt bike is properly sized for your kid.

Aside from the height, the weight is another significant concern when purchasing a dirtbike for a kid. This dirt bike weighs 159 pounds which is right in line with the Yamaha and Kawasaki dirt bikes that it competes against.  The Yamaha weighs 8 pounds more and the Kawasaki weighs 4 pounds more.  While 159 pounds is very heavy, it is manageable for the kids after some time. My son is able to pick up the bike when it falls over but it does take him quite a bit of effort.  The other problem with a heavy dirt bike is that as the kids turn, they can sometimes be tipped over as the weight of the dirtbike gets ahead of them.

Long-Term Durability of the CRF110

We have had no reliability issues with this dirtbike.It is actually very well-built.I bought this dirt bike when it was two years old so that I could buy it at a cheaper price.We bought our bike for $1400.The bike had been used pretty regularly biopharming family who owned it before us.

The only things we have done to this dirtbike are to change the oil and air filters and put gas in it.  We have not had any issues at all with starting my bike. It starts this very first try every single time.  The family that owned it before us did not take the battery out and put it on the smart charger in the winter, so when I purchased this bike the internal battery was dead. I simply replaced the internal battery and now the electric start works really great.

There is nothing that I despise more than spending an entire Saturday trying and trying to get a dirt bike started. I am not very handy so I really needed a dirt bike that would be reliable.   This has proven to be exactly that.

I also really like that in addition to the bike starting very easily, the bike idles very well.  Unlike a 50cc dirt bike that is typically air-cooled, this bike will idle well for a long time even if it’s just sitting there. Last week we were up in the mountains and it was very cold outside and we had no problems getting this bike started the very first try and running all morning without any issues even in the very cold air.

I have not yet tested how long the bike will run on a single tank of gas but even though it has a small 1.1-gallon gas tank.  It runs all day long.  In fact, we usually only put gas in it every two or three trips.  This bike has a gas tank that is 1/10th of a gallon larger than the Yamaha and Kawasaki 110 bikes. I know it’s just a small thing, but I’ll take the 1/10 of a gallon.

Honda CRF110 vs the Kawasaki KLX110 and the Yamaha TTR110

While I do believe the Honda CRF110 is the very best 110 dirt bike on the market at a reasonable price, I would be remiss if I did not mention the Yamaha and Kawasaki dirt bikes.  The reasons that I choose the Honda over the Yamaha are the 1/10 tenth gallon larger gas tank, it weighs between 4and 8 pounds lighter, and it has a kick starter as well as electric start.  On top of that, it costs $50 less than the Yamaha or the Kawasaki if you buy it off the showroom floor.

However, the Honda CRF110 is very very similar to the Yamaha and Kawasaki.  All three bikes are priced within $50 of each other. All three bikes are within .4 inches in seat height. All the bikes have the same CC ratings all of the bikes are within 8 pounds of each other. They all have 14-inch front end 12 inch rear wheels. They all have drum brakes on the front and rear.  They all have this similar fuel capacity.  And they’ll have automatic transmissions. You really have to squint to find any differences between these bikes.

So while I would prefer a Honda 110 over the Yamaha or the Kawasaki, the differences are so slight that I wouldn’t say that you need to get the Honda. If you find a Yamaha or a Kawasaki at a better price then go with whatever one you can find lightly used in your market.

Automatic vs Clutch

The Honda CRF110 is clutchless.  The bike is fully automatic.

Another choice you’ll need to make is whether to get this dirt bike at this price point or if you should step up to a more expensive bike that has a clutch.  In my opinion, most kids at this age will prefer to have the automatic transmission. The clutch is a lot for a kid to be thinking about while they are trying to ride safely. However if your kid is really into racing or is extremely advanced, they may be ready to start with a model with a clutch like that KTM models.

Speed

You may be wondering how fast of this dirt bike will go.  Unfortunately I haven’t tested this bike with a GPS speedometer; however, I can say that when I am riding my dirt bike along dirt roads out in the Forest, my son often flies past me on is 110 dirtbike.  It’s fast. As fast as I dare to let my kids go.  Usually, my son only arrives in second gear on the Stern bike. It’s rare that he wants to kick it up into third gear because it got so fast.

Second gear is a great spot for kids on this bike because they can go up hills they could even make jumps and go plenty fast without ever even going to into third gear.  This bike does have a throttle stop which you could use to slow them down if they go too fast for your liking, but I think most kids won’t dare go faster than this bike can take them anyway.

Pricing

If you can possibly find this dirt bike used, then definitely go for it.I am not a very handy person with small engines, so want win a dirt bike breaks down on me, I often have to take it into the shop and pay someone to fix it. To me, reliability is very important.For those reasons, I decided not to buy a very old dirt bike that is 10 years old.  Instead, I chose to buy this bike very lightly used.  I bought this bike used for $1,400 and it was two years old at the time we purchased it.

If you buy this bike from the dealership brand-new you will pay $2,299 dollars plus tax title and fees.  Honestly, that’s not a horrible deal.  This is an impressive bike even at that price.  However if you don’t mind going slightly used, you’ll save several hundred dollars.  You may need that money to pay for quality safety and protective gear for your son or daughter.

Generally, dirt bikes don’t start having significant durability issues for many years after they are purchased if they are taking care of properly.  If you properly take care of your dirtbike and you don’t push it to the extreme, you may very well go 10 or more years before anything significant breaks on the bike requiring costly repairs.

Get Good Protective Gear for Your Kid

Purchasing quality protective gear will also be an important choice for your son or daughter.I made a lot of mistakes in purchasing the safety gear for my kids. I spent $500 per kid to purchase their gear. And soon after purchasing the gear, I found that some of it was very poor quality.  You replaced some of the items that we have paid a lot of money for.  I wrote an article that will be really useful to you if you’re purchasing gear.  Click right here to read my article about the very best safety protective gear for kids dirt biking.

In the article, I share some of the really inexpensive pieces of gear and we bought for our kids that have turned out to be great.  For exam, le we got elbow and knee pads for $15 that we’re better than the Fox ones that we spent $70 dollars on.   At the same time, there may be times when you should spend a little bit more to prevent you from making up or purchasing decision and buying the item twice.  Such was the case with helmets for us.

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