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  1. #1
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    KX500 Kick Start Lever

    Has anyone experienced KX500 kick-start lever breakage? (2000 and earlier models?)

    Iíve been told they are prone to breakage. When compared with the newer models its obvious the 2002 models are beefier around the hole that slips over the boss/swivel stud than on my 2000 model.

    Just curious before I spend $70+ on a new replacement. I would hate to get caught in the woods with a broke lever. My luck there would not be a good downhill anywhere around!





    Thanks
    :scream:




  2. #2
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    Yup.. They are junk. The best thing you can do is buy a new one, take it to a good fabricator and get one made from a touger material (mine was steel).. Make sure it's bent/curved the same or it will not tuck in away from your leg when you're riding.

    I went through 3 of the OEM levers, the third one started wearing out after one ride. The lever would fold out past 90deg. getting worse each time it was used, until your foot would just slip off of the end of it.

    After a while, the bottom piece of the lever that fits over the post would break in half.:mad:

    Junk junk junk junk junk..

    One more thing, if you're new to the KX500s.. The chain will rub on the inner side of the subframe. The secret is to put a spacer in where the subframe fits into the frame, get a longer bolt, and bolt the subframe to the outside of the tab and through the spacer, into the threads on the frame.

    Two other common parts of failure are the rear brake lever tab on the frame, I'd get a reputable welder to put some extra beef on there.. And the upper pipe bracket mount on the frame, under the tank.

    Use locktite on everything, the bolts fly out of these bikes no matter how well you've tightened them.

    Get some TAG or Pro Taper type bars, and fill them with silicon. Your hands will thank you for this.

    If you go with an aftermarket pipe, put some heat wrap on it in the area where it meets the silencer. My FMF pipe/silencer melted my side panel.

    A '92 - 93 style KX250 rear fender can be mounted, with minor modification, it looks much better than the OEM shovel.

    Steel sprockets, o-ring chain, get a full season of wear.

    Buy cheap rear tires ie Vee-Rubber or Kenda, nothing lasts long on a 500.

    A tall seat foam works great on these bikes, the stock seat has a huge dip that's hard to get out of sometimes.

    Buy a barrel of footpeg springs, pipe springs, bolts/washers/nuts and pipe o-rings/gaskets. You'll go through a lot of them.

    You can cut the stock silencer about 4" shorter, it sticks way out there and a loop out will destroy it, taking the subframe with it.

    Ride it like you stole it.




  3. #3
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    I couldn't agree more about your observations. One more area that could use a gussett on the frame is where the subframe conects to the frame. You can see how mine was welded on my web site. One area I've not had a problem with yet is the kickstarter. Mine has cuts from hitting the IMS pegs, but has yet to break. I'm lucky from what others say about the kicker.




  4. #4
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    It helps if you take up the free play before jumping on the kicker. If your in a
    hurry and take a quick hard kick at it without taking up the play, That's usually
    when they brake.




  5. #5
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    Appreciate the info guys. Definitely more than I expected! Iíll be sure to follow up on the areas of concern. So far my kicker has been holding up. Still flips to the correct angle anyway. Sounds like itís prone to breakage anytime. Iíve always rested my weight on it until it was just passed the compression stroke then kicked the heck out of it. This takes the slack out instead of slamming it with all my weight as stated. Maybe it has helped, I donít know. I will add it to my list of needs, fer sure!

    Thanks again.




  6. #6
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    Cam, I meant to ask, the three OEM levers you went through, what year model were they for?

    Just wondering if the new (2001-2002?) version is plagued with the same or other problems. If I order a OEM replacement for my Ď00 KX I plan on ordering a Ď02 version since it appears to have been improved. The steel version may be the way to go, just hate to add the extra weight.

    Also, you said the stock silencer can be shortened. Are you talking about cutting the exhaust outlet end (welded) and then re-welding? Looking at mine, if I modify the inlet end (bolted cap) the mounting tabs will be way off. Just curious, it does "hang" out there. I love to wheelie the monster and figure its just a matter of time before I loop it! :P

    I like the idea of the 250 fender. Never have been crazy about the "shovel" look as you put it. Iíve looked at the newer style 125/250 aftermarket fenders but it appeared the mounting would require major mods to make it fit.

    Thanks a bunch!
    Dennis




  7. #7
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    Hi.. My KX500 was a '94. As far as I know, they used the same kickstarter from '88 or earlier until now. Maybe they did improve them at some point along the line.




  8. #8
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    Kawi has added some ďmeatĒ to the newer model kick-starters. Maybe someone with a new model 500 will jump in there and give an assessmentÖ

    Nephron, ghunter, anyone with a í01 or í02 KX500 out there who can give a report on their kick-starter health?



    Cam, did you have any more info on the silencer mod you mentioned? (see middle comment in my last post)

    Also, how do you like your KX250? That's what I was looking for when I came across a deal on the 500 I have now.

    Thanks
    Dennis




  9. #9
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    Re the silencer, I didn't try it until it was too late and it had crash damage. It was too messed up, so I bought a replacement Pro Circuit silencer. It should be pretty easy to cut, just cut it off of the end and make a custom rear hanger for it, or just use the front one. Lots of bikes only have one bracket for the silencer, so it shouldn't hurt.

    As for the KX250, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. I had a LOT of problems with this bike and to do it over again, I definitely would not buy one, but performance wise I love it. It's the best bike I've ever ridden.

    If you've got the time/money to keep it running, I say go for it. Again, it's the best bike I've ever ridden, and I've ridden most of the popular competition.. I just really wish it were built better.




  10. #10
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    I haven't really looked at the older model kick starters, but my '02 starter looks plenty beefy. I've had no failures to date, but I ALWAYS find TDC before kicking...left over from my 'Berg starting routine I guess.




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