Jun 7, 2001
I jsut moved up from a vintage ride to a kdx200(85). The kawasaki website says that my my bike is a 1985(using the vin). My bike has a front disk brake that wasnt offered until 86. Is the internet source wrong or do i most likely have a late 85 with some 86 components? Also, i am trying to dial in my suspension for the first time. since i never could do this on my precious bike i am a bit clueless. i know i need to adjust my race sag, but i am not sure the easiest/correct way to do this. Do i have my shop ad nitrogen, or do i take the shock off and increase the preload of the spring? If both will work what are the tradeoffs?
any info would help thanks.

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
There were many changes between the '85 and '86 models. Besides the front brake, other changes include the introdution of a KIPS exhaust valve. You should be able to find some photos on the Just KDX page or diagrams on www.buykawasaki.com - the '83-'85 are all basically the same bike, and the '86-88 are the next generation.

Adjust your sag by moving the preload on the spring. On most bikes, you can move the spring pre-load adjustment collars without removing the shock. The nitrogen pressure should have very little if any effect on the sag, but does effect shock performance.
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David Trustrum

Jan 25, 2001
I think it would be fair to say that the chances are it's time for a re oil/re nitrogen charge anyway. Many bike shops will perform this task cheaply. The oil breaks downafter a while & should be changed every year if you are that keen. Bet it's never happened. Same way the forks could be cleaned out & new oil tipped in. Will be like water & grease in there.

Change your disc brake fluid whiile you're at it & obviously tranny oil.
2nd hand bikes... brrr. 2nd hand dirt bikes --eeek.
Why do I keep buying them?
oh yeah, that's right.


Oct 14, 1999
Check out jeremy's site for some in depth suspension setting info:


As far as race sag..it's the difference in height of the bike (measure from the rear axle to the fender..straight up) between completely unloaded (shock topped out) and the height with you sitting on it with all your gear.

Generally around 100mm.

Change it by loosening the lock ring on the shock, and then turning the SPRING (suspension unloaded..unless your godzilla). The lock ring can be loosened/tightened with a drift and a hammer if you don't have the correct spanner.

Yeah..bet the whole thing would do well with a service..front AND back! Considering that I've read recommendations saying, 'change fork oil once a month', I'll bet your scoot is due!!
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