First dirt bike/KLX Questions

geo

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#1
I'm pushing 40 and interested in purchasing my first dirt bike. Roadrace experience only (many years ago). 5'7" 170#. Just got my 6 yr old son an XR50 and I'm ready to start spending some time with him in the dirt. Thought about XR250 and KLX300, leaning toward KLX. Any thoughts? What should I be looking for in a late model KLX? What do I watch out for in purchasing a used KLX?
All comments, thoughts appreciated!
 
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#2
Hello,
Both nice bikes. I'm not aware of anything special to watch out for. Either bike will last you a good long time. If you are 180+ you might consider an XR400 also. Check out cycletrader.com, that's where I found my 400. Good luck.
 

penguin

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#3
Having owned 3 KLX's I guess I could give you a little help. The KLX is the bike of choice for vertically challenged folks. Both the XR's sit a little higher and that can be a problem in some situations. Things to watch out for are: hard starting(valves out of adjusment), bent footpegs, leaking fork seals, or generally poor condition. I would steer clear of a bike that has been heavily modified, stay with a stocker and modify it to suit you and your skills as they increase. The first thing to do on a KLX, in my opinion, is to replace the kickstart idler gear, You can get this part at Stroker racing(http://www.strokerspeed.com/), it is the one really glaring weak spot in an otherwise fine machine. The gear can break and do serious internal damge to the engine. If the gear has not been replace and it is over a year old , it needs to be done immediately. The next thing I would do is toss the restrictor plate on the end of the muffler, if it is still there. Second you can remove the top cover on the airbox. This will give you some free horseppower. before going nuts with oversize headers, mufflers or pumper carburetors, the next modifcation would be to beef up the suspension. Since you are just starting out the stock suspension should be fine.. As your skill increases and you start tackling rougher terrain at faster speeds, you will want stiffer fork and shock springs and perhaps a revave on both ends. The bikes are pretty bulletproof, except for the idler gear, if they get even minimal maintenance.
 
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#4
Geo,

I'm within an inch and a few pounds of you, and turn 40 this Wednesday. I've owned my KLX for a few months now, and can safely say that the Penguin knows of what he speaks. Emphasis on suspension revalving. The height (or lack of) is really nice when things get out of balance (often). Factor in that you'll be jumping on and off quite a bit chasing after your son, that low ride height will come in handy.

Question for you Geo; how did you get the xr50 approved for your son. My wife won't consider it til my son hits 8, and he just turned 7. He's putting around on a friends pw50 for now, but I want him on something more substantial. It is a daily "discussion" topic, but I'm making very little ground.

Mark
 

geo

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#5
XR250 v. KLX300

So what are the advantages/disadvantages of each. If I buy new, I'm still torn between the two bikes. I can't find a used XR250. KLX seem easier to find used.
The XR seems to be more bulletproof and require less maintanence, but the KLX seems to be the better handling/performer of the two. KLX easier for shorter riders?
Any pro XR opinions?
 

DougRoost

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#7
I agree with Mark and Penguin. I'm 5'8" and 170lb and really enjoy my KLX. Thought about an XR250 and am glad I went with the KLX. A riding buddy who is similar in height/weight has an XR250 and he's ready to move to something more aggressive since my KLX has it in both performance and suspension stock. He frequently bottoms his suspension while I don't. His choices are move up to a bigger, faster bike or spend some serious dollars to make his a 280 with major suspension rework.

I also thought about one of the Yamaha 4 strokes but the combination of seat height and top heavy feel, not to mention starting one, makes me steer clear. The only thing I'd take over my KLX is a KTM 400 E/XC, but that's a major step in both initial cost as well as ongoing maintenance, so next bike.
 

scar tissue

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#8
Geo

I hear you.
KLX vs XR. It's a tough call and it depends on what you want. I recently went with the klx because it's got more power the the xr250, wieghs alot less than the xr400. I am 6'3" 220lbs. and have the 340 kit with the pumper carb and all the other expensive goodies done by stroker racing. However I bought the bike used for only $2250.00. It was the price tag and performance after the mods that hooked me in to the klx. Xr400 are all in the 3K+ range and up for even stock ones. You can find a few 2000 model klx 300 for 3K.

By the way they also changed the susp., seat hieght, and used bar risers. it sits 1" taller than my XR600 did. ,wieghs about 230lbs, and makes an advertised 42HP ( with the stroker mods). Basically I couldn't be happier. There are lots of mods for both bikes and both are good in stock trim. (depending on what you want and how you ride) Good luck.
 
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#9
I went through your exact predicament a few months back, mid 30's fairly novice. I found a used XR 250 after much searching. It's a great trailbike, easy to learn with and very reliable. On the contrary, I'm already looking for a new bike as it is heavy, underpowered and one dimensional. A buddy has a '99 KLX 300 which I have ridden. I can honestly say between the two, the KLX feels much better, not like a two wheel tank as the XR does. Needless to say, I would consider the WR250f. It's a four store, easy to ride and maintain yet is a much higher performance bike should you wish to do anything but easy trailriding. It's what I would get but California=sticker laws=sucks for me. If your sold on the KLX though, you'll do well as it's maintainable, affordable, upgradable, lighter and all together more modern than the XR 250. I hope this helps.
 

tlm

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#10
As forty something rider that just started riding again after 15 years I would suggest the KLX. I personally have done all the free mods, upgraded the suspension, header pipe, FMF power Core and a baja kit. I am at the price of the YZ250F in total cost.

The benefits are that I now have a bike that is tailored to me and can be riden anywhere, anytime in California. The only thing left for me is the carb mod but I am waiting for my skills to need the extra umph or my wife to approve the capital expenditure.

I really enjoy this bike, it is easy to start, tossable, fun, fast enough and can get me out of trouble when I need it. I have done all the work myself and it has been very easy, time consuming but easy to work on.

I have ridden WR-250F, YZ-426F, DRZ-400E and XR 400. All have their strengths but I feel the most comfortable on my KLX. More power is not always the answer.

In the end what ever you buy you will be happy with your choice. The one important thing all bikes have in common is the big grin you get when you ride.

Tim
 

geo

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#11
Thanks!!

Thanks to everyone who took time to respond.

Now...Does anyone have a late model KLX for sale?

geo.
 

penguin

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#12
How much you willing to spend? I have 2001 in cherry condition. $3500 obo, not including shipping
 

geo

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#13
Mr. Penquin,
If you weren't so far away, I'd be very interested! Why would you sell? What mods have been done on your present bike? Are you thinking of vacationing in the Carolinas anytime soon?
geo
 

penguin

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#14
I was laid off last week and need the money. I have put a oversize headpipe, skidplate, aluminum handlebars, handguards, have removed the airbox lid and backfire screen, uncorked the muffler, put on Devol adjustable shock linkage rods, frame guards, heavier shock and fork springs and added a hotstart valve, a crankcase breather kit, and installed tee vents on the carburetor. I have several spare oil and air filters, brake pads, the stock shock and fork springs and a factory service manual. I can't think of any way to get the bike to you except delivering it myself, and it would be a long drive. I would consider that option, but the price would be firm in that case to cover cost of delivery. Think about it. and I will do the same
 
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