SUZUKI RM85 (TWO-STROKE): $4099
The RM85 motor has always been a favorite among
engine tuners trying to dig up extreme power for the
Supermini class—or just for fun. The Suzuki has a lower
seat height than most 85s and comparatively good low-end power, making it a great beginner’s bike. Today, the
RM85 is the last surviving two-stroke in Suzuki’s lineup.
TM RACING MX85 JUNIOR (TWO-STROKE):
There are no less than five bikes based on this platform.
All have aluminum frames and electronic power valves,
making them the most sophisticated in their classes. The
Junior has a 14–17-inch wheel combo, and there’s also a
big-wheel version for the same price. You can get either one
with a 100cc motor for $6500. There’s even an adult-sized
85 in a 125 chassis for $8150.
KAWASAKI KX85 (TWO-STROKE): $4349
Kawasaki gave its 85 and 100 more power, better
suspension and a new look two years ago and was
rewarded with a renaissance in green, including a National
Championship at Loretta Lynn’s. It still has a power
disadvantage compared to the KTMs, but the gap has
shrunk. The big-wheel KX100 sells for $4599.
HONDA CRF150R: $4990
The four-stroke revolution only got a toehold in the
mini class with the Honda CRF150R. It’s competitive
with the fastest of the 85cc two-strokes, but rules aren’t
uniform yet, and in many venues the Honda is forced to
run with Superminis or Mini Seniors. It remains a good,
if unconventional, mini. The big-wheel Honda CRF150R
Expert is $5140.
HUSQVARNA TC85: (TWO-STROKE): $5599
Of all the bikes in Husqvarna’s line, the TC85 is the most
like its counterpart in the KTM line, the 85SX. Together
they rule mini racing in America. Even so, the Husky has its
own bodywork and its own look. It has a hydraulic clutch,
a six-speed gearbox and WP suspension that uses no
linkage in the rear.
KTM 85SX (TWO-STROKE): $5599
If you look at the results from any amateur youth race,
it’s wall-to-wall KTMs in the 85 class, with rare exceptions.
The KTM 85SX has some features that are still rare on big
bikes, like a hydraulic clutch and adjustable suspension.
The KTM is fast, light and well-suspended. It also costs
about 25 percent more than Japanese 85s.