Getting junior started early can ensure that your offspring has foundational skills in place before moving up to bikes with serious power. That’s why small-bore 50cc to 80cc dirt bikes are so popular; they’re light and generally have auto clutches, kill switches, and power limiters.
Honda has long been in the game with its XR50 (now CRF50F) trailbike. Honda is also one of the most frequently imitated brands, so there’s no shortage of machines that claim to be just as good as the original. The SSR SR70C is a fine example of the latter.
The CRF50F is a proven machine and comes with the backing of Honda’s record for reliability and longevity. You get a six-month warranty at purchase and can opt for longer coverage under Honda’s Protection Plan. These considerations are important because they have a lot to do with the price disparity between the two machines. A brand-new CRF50F will run around $1,500.
Against the $800 MSRP of the SR70C, all this reliability stuff may not make a convincing argument. And while specs between the two are quite similar, the SSR sports tiny disc brakes instead of the CRF50F’s drums. The frame, geometry, and suspension are all similar, while the SSR boasts a larger 72cc Honda-plan lay-down single-cylinder engine.
The SSR SR70C may be a smart move if you’re not sure whether junior will take to riding or if you’re looking for a little more performance. The Honda, on the other hand, is a legend for a reason. If reliability, serviceability, and having a dealer network handy are your thing, the original is still tough to beat.