KTA

Member
Jul 14, 2000
288
0
i have recently been looking around at KLX's... in most bike's historys there are years where drastic changes were made in the bikes performance.... engine mods, suspention, better brakes, etc... and i was hoping someone could tell me when the KLX had some good improvements so i can buy and older bike without worrying too much..... thanks
 

sparkymarky

Member
Feb 21, 2001
34
0
well, how bout the year they went to 300 cc?

otherwise, about 6 months after purchasing most bikes start to get much faster, due to the installation of oversize header pipes, pumper carbs, etc...

seriously, they're all pretty much the same. i'm unaware of any significant changes.
mw
 

Marklx

Member
May 24, 2001
278
0
KTA,

This is actually pretty easy. Having just purchased a KLX new, it seems that they haven't changed other than paint and graphics since '97. I believe that before that it was a 250. Check out this site and the various links to get a great quick education on the bike. Also, the mailing list link on the site has some members who have been around klx's longer than I, so they might also give some good input. PlanetKLX

I looked at the spec's on the Kawi website (it gives all years), and didn't see anything different '97 forward.

Good luck,
Mark
 

DualSportr

Member
Aug 22, 2000
527
0
Yup, this engine had ABSOLUTELY no changes during its life as a 250, and even the change to 300cc was just a displacement change, nothing else.

The engine has actually been in the Kawasaki lineup since the early 80's as the KL, then the KLR (which is also their Mojave quad engine). When they went to the KLX designation, they did their new frame design, better suspension, and went to a nikasil bore and did some cam changes. A better bike than the KLR, but not by much!

They're decent bikes. Work well for a lightweight non-aggressive trail rider. For a waterpumper dual-cam engine, you expect much better power though!
 

penguin

~SPONSOR~
N. Texas SP
Feb 19, 2000
390
0
The KLX is a fine bike for just about anybody. I would not buy any older than the 97 model, the 250 was pretty anemic, the extra 50cc of the 300 makes the bike a pretty decent mount. With a few inexpensive mods the performance is surprisingly good and the frame and suspension are ok and the brakes and handling are good. the only expensive mods I have done to all of my 3 KLX's are a pumper carb, oversized headpipe, aftermarket silencer and stiffer springs front and rear. the Bike has been raced by my son in the Texas cross country series in the 4stroke expert class and has made top 10 finishes against YZ426's and KTM 520's, this is with no internal engine mods, just bolt on parts. A lot of people slam the little green bike but it is a good bargain and a decent performer. :cool:
 

sparkymarky

Member
Feb 21, 2001
34
0
i would also point out that even tho it can be tuned for high performance, the klx is still exceptionally easy to ride. i've only been riding less than a year in the dirt (but with lots of mountain bike experience), and in my first enduro i was scooting right up stuff that was giving alot of other novices plenty of trouble. i tended to see lots of the same people over and over because me and my easy to ride klx would pass them on the sketchy uphills, but then since i'm a slow, spodely novice, they'd pass me on the high-speed sections.

great bike for a novice to intermediate rider, easy to work on, and now that the ktm 4-strokes are out, there are starting to be good deals on well-cared for, well-sorted out klx's, with all the cool mods.
-mw
 

SFO

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Feb 16, 2001
2,001
1
With the advent of the new generation four strokes I have seen alot of these bikes in the tricked out state selling very reasonably.
My buddy is selling his stroker 300 with all the trick
(Email me Seirra Flash, and I'll give you his cell#, he doesn't do computers)
and I just saw one sell that had the kx subframe handmade aluminum tank get up.
You could find a real sleeper that someone has done all the work to already.
 
Last edited:

Sierra Flash

Member
Dec 29, 2000
59
0
KLX

With the advent of the new generation four strokes I have seen alot of these bikes in the tricked out state selling very reasonably.
My buddy is selling his stroker 300 with all the tricks, and I just saw one sell that had the kx subframe handmade aluminum tank get up.
You could find a real sleeper that someone has done all the work to already.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please have your buddy send me an email about his KLX that is up for sale.
 

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
5,349
3
From DualSportr: "even the change to 300cc was just a displacement change, nothing else."

I believe the 300 has a slightly more radical camshaft than the 250. My buddy that had a Stroker KLX331 also informed me that the 300 cylinder makes a better candidate for an overbore than the 250, but not sure what the differences are in that department.

A well set up KLX is lots of fun in the woods - it is a sweet handling bike. The stocker's power shortage and suspension are easily fixed. Could use another 1" of ground clearance, but the light weight and low cost are worth making some sacrifices for. :)
 

WR 250

Member
Mar 17, 2000
220
0
DualSportr,
Are you sure the engine is the same as that in the KL and the Mojave fourwheeler. I know the Mojave and the KLR 250 use the same engine but just the other night I was looking at my Mojave engine and comparing it to my brother's KLX 300. The bottom ends look somewhat similar but not identical on the clutch side and the cylinder and head look a lot different from one another. I also thought the KLX used a shim and bucket valve adjustment system while my Mojave uses rocker arms and set screws. Just wondering.

KTA,
I've got a KDX 200 and my brother has the KLX 300, both '00 models. The bikes are very similar in power, acelleration and top speed. I've ridden his KLX and think it is a nice bike. It is a very underrated bike and you don't hear much about them since Kawasaki hasn't done any changes since '97. Now it has been eclipsed by the new Yamaha's. Still, for the price and the features, it is the best bike in it's catagory.
 

DougRoost

~SPONSOR~
May 3, 2001
720
0
The KLX definitely uses shim and buckets for valve adjustments, both 250 and 300 (I just did mine; same shop manual, the 300 supplement just has differences in torque settings). Also, I believe the 250's had conventional forks while the 300s definitely have the upside down cartridge fork, as well as a better bushed rear swingarm. And one of the magazine reviewers (read the review links on PlanetKLX) noted the 300 suspension was set up much better from the factory as far as ride height and such. So as was said earlier, get a 300 to start with, which means 1997 or newer.

Unfortunately the bikes haven't changed at all since then (one reason they don't get any ink in the press), so other than color and graphics, they're all the same from '97 on. Definitely a good bike for the money, all the mroe so if you get one with a pumper carb and the Stroker idler gear and shift kit fixes.:cool:
 

SFO

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Feb 16, 2001
2,001
1
While these bikes have a good cylinder head design, the OE valves are crap.
If you notice your lash needs to be constantly reset you need valves.
I made alot of Stainless valves for Stroker racing just because Kawasaki thought it could pinch some pennies with their valves.
I would of thought they learned their lesson with the valve eating ninja 600...
All the people I knew with these bikes had to replace their valves and after they did, no more weekly shimmings.
 

sneelie

Member
Jul 5, 2001
3
0
Whats up with Kawasaki's four stroke program?

I don't understand why Kawi doesn't have a reply to the YZF wave. If I'm not mistaken, the KLX came out before the YZF, and has a moto frame! Are they a. sleeping at the wheel, b. developing somthing secretly, or c. out of r&d money?
 

JasonJ

Member
Jun 15, 2001
1,150
1
I had an 86 KLR 250, it was a DOG! It ate the valves and blew the motor! I went to the junk yard and got a 80 KL 250 motor and bolted it in. It was air cooled and single overhead cam. the Mojave and KLR top ends are the same, the KLR had a 6 sp tranny, the quad had 5 spd and reverse and the kicker went forward. As far as team greens R and D, they look like a company that is making the best of what it has on the shelf and getting ready to throw the towel in. I can not recall when they had a top of the line anything! Poor fit and finish, and overall quality has keept me away form the green stuff. I agree the KDXs are the best woods bike buy on the floor unless there is a used WR or DRZ in the back! But, why,,,, why why why offer the same bike in 200 and 220 cc!!! whats wrong with those guys! The only one that seems to be busy there is the plastic and sticker department.
 

JimmyD2

~SPONSOR~
Nov 10, 2000
379
0
Originally posted by JasonJ
whats wrong with those guys! The only one that seems to be busy there is the plastic and sticker department.

I hate to have to agree with that. Although these things seem to work in cycles. A few years from now it will be Kawasaki's turn to be on top again - I'm hoping.
 

zio

Mr. Atlas
Jul 28, 2000
2,291
0
Originally posted by JimmyD2


I hate to have to agree with that. Although these things seem to work in cycles. A few years from now it will be Kawasaki's turn to be on top again - I'm hoping.

I'd love to hear more about this. After reading the article in, I dunno, Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider, not sure, about LR & his hopped up KLX, I was a bit curious. For some reason, I've always been a smidge interested in the green bikes. I'd love to see Kawasaki come out with a revised KLX. I'll probably never own one (based mostly on the reliability cliche's) but you what they say about competition- makes for better products.

Actually, if I rode one and found it to my liking, I'd go searching for a barely used one with all the goodies from that article. I'm one of those people who really like having something no one else does. And with the KLX, I'd hit the mark pretty darn well.

So pipe up if your last name is Kawasaki and your dad has a big mouth at the dinner table.
 

sneelie

Member
Jul 5, 2001
3
0
The Magic Number

Another burning question comes to mind: Who else has a 300 cc four stroke? I'ts obvious that the magic number for a decent power to weight ratio is right around 400 cc. I like my KLX, but it is a 250, and you can't just blip the throttle to get the front wheel over a log. You gotta pull! I'm sure the 300 is better, but I can't imagine that much. I think they need to get into the 400 range like everyone else. Zio, I'm also one who likes to own something different than everyone else - the YZFs for example. When people see my bike from a distance they assume its a KX, then they say, "Wow, is that a four stroke?" My two fiddy ain't bad with the minor mods I've done. I don't like loud bikes at all, so I kept the exhaust stock except for a ss headpipe and thumper insert. I understand its hard to beat stock exhausts for power is you want to stay quiet. I'm sorry, what were we talking about?
 

DougRoost

~SPONSOR~
May 3, 2001
720
0
The key to getting the KLX to pull it's front wheel on demand is a pumper carb. I just put a Mikuni 33mm on my 300 and it really woke the bike up, stock exhaust and all. And regarding 400cc being the magic number, I suggest you read one of the articles on PlanetKLX that compared the XR400 to the KLX300. The conclusion was the power to weight ratio is about the same and the KLX handles much better. Unfortunately the KLX also had some nagging quality issues which you have to go to Stroker to fix to this day (they're cheap, but why didn't Kawi do it themselves since Stroker has made them aware?!!).

Then again, the YZF/WRF and KTM's are also light bikes and have 400-520cc, so they have raised the bar. Frankly, the bikes the most behind right now are the Honda XRs, with their air cooling, heavy weight, conventional forks, and SOHC motors. But they are extremely reliable. And we'll see what happens with CRF technology through Honda's line up.

I got a good deal on my bike used with a rebuilt motor since the previous rider had drown the bike trying to cross a river. I do know the 300 is a far better bike than the 250 but a pumper carb is a great thing on either one, as are the free mods such as uncorking the exhaust and removing the intake obstructions (again, see PlanetKLX).
 

sneelie

Member
Jul 5, 2001
3
0
Thanks, Doug for your input. I've read about the pumper carb as well as other mods through Thumper and others, and I may try that also. I must admit, I'm not exactly an avid rider, but I know when I could use a little more power. I guess what bugs me is the fact that the KLX has been modified successfully by aftermarket companies instead of Kawasaki. Even Thumper themselves in their own literature eluded to this fact years ago, saying something like, "Why hasn't Kawi taking the hint?" Which brings me back to my original question, as rhetorical as it may seem: Whats ups with Kawasaki's four stroke program? I'm more curious than angry, really.
 

bnt5

Member
May 23, 2001
13
0
I have actually been looking around for a later model KLX and after reading these posts I am beginning to question that choice. So are you guys talking about a reliability issue or a bad part issue (same thing:think ) I have seen a number of KLX's with stroker mods and I was thinking it was just a power issue...but from what I gather that is not so. Can I trust a stock Kawi? or should I head to honda

man, i really liked that green plastic and grey seat...:(
 

JimmyD2

~SPONSOR~
Nov 10, 2000
379
0
I wouldn't shy away from the KLX. (Obviously, I just recently bought one) The only quality issue that I am aware of specific to the KLX is the idler gear. Apparently it is weaker than it should be and Stroker makes a superior replacement for $85.00. It's hard to beat the overall KLX package for the price...

However, I have to agree with sneelie - what's up with the Kawasaki four-stroke program? or any of their offroad bikes for that matter - KX/KDX/KLX Where are the updates? Mr. Kawasaki?
 

DougRoost

~SPONSOR~
May 3, 2001
720
0
The other fix, and not everyone encounters this, is Stroker's shift kit. This is only $75 if you need it and is an easy install (some bikes tend to jump into neutral rather than shifting to 2nd). Crazy, but the shift kit is just making the shift star look like the KX one, and why they deviated from it in the first place I haven't a clue.

So worst case you're looking at adding $160 for both of these to your price and you don't need either of these for awhile with a new bike. It's just an annoyance that Kawi has known about this for so long and hasn't incorporated them to date. I guess jet skis, heavy construction equipment, and those kinds of corporate priorities are currently taking the company's resources. But it is this diversification that gives us so much technology for such a great price, even if it doesn't get frequent updates.
 

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