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2005 Xtreme Pit Pro CR2

Friday, February 4, 2005
The CR2 frame looks like an expensive BBR aftermarket frame.
The Xtreme CR2 is available in five different colors. You can choose from the red version you see here, green, purple, orange or yellow.
Since its inception, the mini moto revolution has flourished on the coattails of aftermarket parts. Without the necessary hop-up components, we'd still be riding clapped out XR50s and replacing them every two or three races.

But there's a dark side to improving the performance of a pitbike and it is comprised solely of two of the most scare resources on the planet (at least for me, anyway): time and money. If you don't have an abundance of either, you're realistically not going to be able to hang with your buddies when you hit the track. Sure, you'll have fun riding around on a slower, less stable bike that was intended for children. But if you're like me, losing is unacceptable and having an inferior machine is pure blasphemy.

Luckily, for those of us with less time and money than others, the mini revolution has become profitable enough that companies are now offering performance-based minis that are ready to ride out-of-the-box. While some of the newer minis cost as much as the sum of its parts, a new player has emerged on the scene that is remarkably inexpensive yet boasts nearly all the components of its more expensive competitors, the Xtreme Motor Co Pit Pro Cooper Replica 2.

At first glance, it's obvious the CR2's components are based on some of the industry's leading aftermarket parts. It has all the necessary hop-up components as well as a few goodies our $5K BBR and Sano project bikes don't; namely 12-inch wheels, a 125cc powerplant, and a sick oil-cooler.

It doesn't say Honda on the side of the case, but it sure looks the part. However, aesthetics and performance are two different characteristics, and the latter is really the only one we're concerned with. What better way to test the Pit Pro Cooper machine than by putting it through the ringer at MCUSA's secret mini test location just outside of Jacksonville, OR? It's a phenomenal mini riding location boasting a small, mellow motocross track complete with deep ruts, sharp turns, decent hits, and a lengthy whoop section. If the Cooper could hold its own here, then it would almost certainly be worthy. Just for kicks we thought we'd compare the Xtreme machine to a couple of tried and true mini vets for reference, the fully built Sano and BBR competitors that duked it out in our last MCUSA Mini Moto Shootout.

At roughly $5000 each, our XR50-based bikes have just about every top-of-the-line chassis and suspension component available on the market. The Cooper was up against two veritable heavyweights so the question is, how would it perform?

There are a few ergonomic characteristics that we feel play an integral role in the development of a successful mini: ground clearance, bar height, and seat height. A few measurements prove that the CR2 is not giving away any advantages to its more expensive counterparts. The seat height on the Cooper Rep measures in at an impressive 29.5 inches, which is two inches taller than the Sano and BBR bikes that are fitted with 10-inch wheels. Bar height was equally impressive with a 38-inch drop from the bars to ground. Compare that to the 37 inches of space that exists on the BBR and Sano machines.
The CR2 is just one of a few recent turn-key mini-moto machines to hit the market. Look for a comparo in the near future.
The CR2 is just one of a few recent turn-key mini-moto machines to hit the market. Look for a comparo in the near future.

Wheelbase measures out at 41 inches, nearly identical to the Sano and BBR, while the 11.5 inches of ground clearance is the most generous of any mini we've tested to date. One of our usual testers, Brian Chamberlain, reveled in the ample space provided by the Pit Pro Cooper.

"Sitting on the bike, the extra seat height is very noticeable and much needed for my six-foot skeleton," said Chamberlain. "The bars are roomy, but for me to be totally comfortable I would like the rise to be about an inch taller. The pegs feel like they are in the usual place in relation to everything else and the fact that the PPC2 uses oversized pegs is a big plus in my book."

Nestled in the heavy-duty backbone-styled frame is a 125cc four-stroke powerplant, which boasts a bore and stroke of 52.4mm x 56 mm and a compression ratio of 10:1; all of which runs smooth with the aid of an oil cooler, something we've never had the privilege of running on our minis. The air/fuel mixture is sent to the single cylinder via a 22mm slide-piston carb. Xtreme claims their stock engine will pump out 8.5 horsepower at 8500 rpm, while churning out 7.0 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. 

As if the 125ccs of muscle weren't enough to collect holeshots by the fistful, the PPC2 comes with a buttery-smooth clutch, which complements a 4-speed transmission (four up) with a four-plate clutch mounted on the main shaft.

The initial reaction of all of our testers was essentially a mile-wide grin that was accented with bits of dirt smattered across their chicklets. The PPC2 has ample power, especially for a pitbike, and nearly all of our riders felt there was more than enough giddiyup to stay competitive on the track.

"One problem with the Honda-based minis that we didn't experience with the PPC2 is the need to wait until just the right time to switch from second to third gear and vice versa," said Don Becklin. "With the Xtreme you can shift whenever you like because you have closer ratios, a stronger motor and a clutch you can fan if needed."

While most of testers praised the gearing, not all was perfect with the Pit Pro Cooper.

The overall feeling you get when first looking at the CR2 is that this bike has to cost more than it does.
"The bike seems very balanced in the air and on the ground. Going through rutted sections is easier on the bigger Xtreme bike because of the 12-inch wheels and the stable footprint." - Test Pilot, Joe Wallace.
"The 4-speed tranny provided a wide range of speeds from too slow to way too fast for a mini, but changing gears provoked some problems," said Chamberlain. "It felt like the clutch wasn't fully disengaging, making it difficult to smoothly up-shift during load situations. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact problem, but possibly it could also use more break-in time than we gave it."

When we were done picking nits on the Pit Pro Cooper, the general consensus was that the 4-speed transmission and clutch were indeed a vast improvement over the wide-ratio three speed of a XR/CRF50.

Purveyors of all things mini will be the first to tell you that a bike with increased displacement and true suspension modifications are an absolute necessity if you want to be competitive on the track. Playbike racing is no different than any other powersport; if you want a chance at the checkers, you have to have competitive equipment.

The most noticeable characteristic of the Cooper replica is it's stability through rutted sections of any terrain. Cradling the 125cc engine is a beefy steel backbone frame that comes complete with a thick, extended swingarm. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to the more expensive components we had bolted on to our competition minis; dare I say knockoff?

As most mini-enthusiasts know, strong chassis components are an absolute must for full grown adults. Stock swingarms and frames turn to Silly Puddy under the heft of a full-sized adult. We're happy to report we weren't able to find the breaking point of the Cooper Replica 2 and the chassis components held up to the rigors and abuse of our typical break-neck crashes and jumps.

Our testers found that the increased ride height of the Pit Pro Cooper was an advantage at times, but a disadvantage in certain situations: "The tall seat height and loads of ground clearance are ideal for taller riders who want a little more leg room," commented B.C. "But I found the taller center of gravity somewhat of a disadvantage when railing through the tight corners. The cornering stability is definitely not as good as on our lower slung minis. As with most things, you can't have the best of both worlds."

The flip side of that instability through corners was phenomenal steadiness in the air and when landing big jumps, as Joe Wallace found out during his time on the Xtreme.

"The bike seems very balanced in the air and on the ground," said Wallace. "Going through rutted sections is easier on the bigger Xtreme bike because of the 12-inch wheels and the stable footprint." 

A kickstand is standard equipment on the CCR2. You may want to remove before flight.
A kickstand is standard equipment on the CCR2. You may want to remove before flight.
Of course, the suspension also plays an integral role in the Cooper's ability to rail through ruts and soak up big hits. Up front a 33mm telescopic fork suspends the front end while a monoshock handles bump absorption out back. To the mini moto connoisseur, the suspension on the Xtreme machine may feel a bit rudimentary compared to the plushness of the industry's leading aftermarket manufacturers like BBR and Sano. However, considering the price tag on the Cooper replica, the suspension package does a remarkably adequate job of relieving the kidneys of stock mini abuse thanks to 4.5 inches of travel up front and 5 inches of cushion out back.

"Suspension can make or break a mini, and I'm very impressed with the suspenders offered on the PPC2," said Chamberlain. "The rear shock easily soaks up the big hits and plows through the small chatter with the best of them. Unfortunately the fork proved almost too stiff, at least in the riding area we were testing at. The stiffness is ideal when landing the big hits but feels almost rigid when riding across the choppy and rutted terrain of our test location. The fork lacks the high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping adjustability found on full-sized machines, but possibly playing with the oil, springs and shims could solve some of the harshness."

Bringing the 120cc machine to a stop is accomplished with a 198mm hydraulic disc up front and a drum brake out back. The discs offered by aftermarket manufacturers are often mountain bike replicas and tend to be a bit grabby. Not the case on the Xtreme. To date, it's the best performance disc brake we've tested on a mini.

"The standard drum type brake on the rear feels as good as any," said Becklin. "But up front, the disc brake outperforms every other mini binders I've tested by offering up smooth feel and plenty of stopping power."

Remarkably, almost all the modifications that take place on a modded pitbike have been completed on the Cooper Replica. A set of high-rise bars with a tall triple clamp graces the front end. A set of wide, oversized pegs give a stable platform for the feet and the seat is wide enough to accommodate reasonably sized adults (read no super-sized adults).

At the conclusion of our test, it was clear that the Xtreme Pit Pro Cooper Stage II surprised the chit out of us. There were certainly a few things we'd love to see cleaned up on the bike, namely workmanship, improved front suspension, and smoother tranny, but overall it is a phenomenal value, one we don't think can be beat at the moment.

"If you took off the Xtreme stickers and emblems off this bike, it would easily pass for a completely hopped up XR50," said Chamberlain. "Every part that you would beef up in an aftermarket conversion has been taken care of and they have done it with some pretty quality parts. The bike held up extremely well to its initial abuse, but I would be interested in seeing the results of a long term test to see just how durable the bike really is. For the bottom line though, I thought the bike worked as well as our $5,000 conversions and comes ready to ride for less than half the cost. If I were in the market for a mini and on a conservative budget, I would strongly recommend the PPC2."
According to the test crews notes  the CR2 seat is a bit on the hard side. On the lighter side  it features a 428 chain.
The 33mm front forks are touted as the same components on Guy Cooper's '03-'04 championship winning bikes.

Wallace agreed with the sentiments of Chamberlain. As a guy that loves to tinker and modify, even he was taken aback with the performance of the Pit Pro Cooper.

"Would I buy one? Yes," said Wallace. "For what you get for the $2,100 price tag it would be hard to beat. It's a lot cheaper than trying to build your own racer from a stock CRF50; it's a good way to get into a mini playbike with out breaking the bank."

The only lasting question left unanswered for us was long-term durability. Like any dirt bike, the Pit Pro Cooper Replica 2 will require maintenance, but we're unsure just how much it will necessitate over time. The other question left unanswered is whether you can bolt mini parts onto the Pit Pro Cooper if something should happen to break off.

Whether the Xtreme Motor Co. Cooper Replica 2 is right for you depends on a few variables, mostly your available cash and time. If you have ample resources, then using the most reputable components on a Honda might be the way to go. However, if you're like the rest of us and want a solid machine that boasts many of the necessary competition components, purchasing an Xtreme Pit Pro Cooper Replica 2 is a no-brainer.

Still, there will be naysayers that swear by their XR50-based machines, and to that I simply say.

Wanna race?


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