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New to me KDX where to start?

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May 7, 2007
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#1
As mentioned before here, I have a new-to-me '99 KDX 220R, it's been a few years since I've been on a dirt bike so I'm a bit lost. The bike seems to be in GREAT shape and the only mods that I can see are an FMF pipe and silencer. Before I ride, I want to go through it a bit.

I'll buy a new air filter and slap it in. The one in there is foam, but is not oiled (?!?!). Back when I had a dirt bike "No Toil oil and filters just hit the market. Are they still around? Do they work as good as they seemed at the time? I're read that I should pitch the airbox lid and re-locate the electronic widget that is attached to it. Any downside to this over removing the rubber snorkel only?

The coolant looks very fresh, so I'll leave that.

The oil in the transmission looks pretty black, what should I use to replace what's there....and where the heck is the drain plug?

Assuming the suspenders are stock, where should a 200 pound guy set things for woods riding?

Sheesh! I can't even remember how much air to put in the tires! 14 lbs?

Any thing else that I am missing?

Thanks guys!
 
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Mar 12, 2007
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#2
Okay...since the bike is essentially unchanged from my 1998, lemme give youa few tips.

The back spring on the shock is decent for a 200lb guy. <sarcasm>The springs in the front fork are specifically designed for a 7 year old who weighs about 83lbs </sarcasm>

Seriously...respring the front forks using the spring generator at www.mx-tech.com

No Toil is okay, but oiling your filter isn't that much of a chore so I personally use the PJ1 filter oil, and it does a great job.

As far as the air box is concerned, I did not toss the lid. I removed the snorkel and drilled six 1/2" holes in the lid behind the snorkel. That really improves air flow and WILL require you to rejet.

I use BelRay Gearsaver 85w oil in my KDX. Do not confuse that oil with normal 85w gear oil. The BelRay stuff has the same consistancy as 10w40 and does a great job. Cheap price for it too!

The drain plug os under the engine.

14-15psi is fine for your tires.

There are a TON of aftermarket parts for the KDX and you can check out www.frpoffroad.com for a list of all the cool stuff you can get for your bike. Also check out the sticky at the top of the KDX forum to visit the just KDX forum because that place is a gold mine of knowledge for us KDX'rs.

A nice mod to the KDX is to replace the 33mm carb your bike has with a 35 or 36mm unit. That mod really wakes up the bike.

KDX's are nearly bullet-proof.

They're also a blast to ride if the front suspension problems are ironed out.

Re-springing the bike's forks may cost a total of about $250 if you let someone like Jeremy Wilkey at www.mx-tech.com do it, or might costs as little as $100 if you find the correct weight springs at a decent price and do the work yourself.
 
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#3
Keep an eye on the compression, too. I ran mine too long, knowing it was low on compression and ended up breaking the piston skirt. Common problem, but I could have easily prevented it with new rings on the stock piston. Some will tell you to dump the stock piston asap, I would determine that by individual riding style. Trail rider, not so important. Racer, more important.
 
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#4
Thanks for the input guys, the bike is ready to go! I'm pretty stoked about it, I haven't been off-road for 4 years and have missed it greatly!
 
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#6
In the trans I just use ATF changed frequently. Yamaha 2 stroke oil, 40/1, I ditch the airbox lid, rejetted, PC pipe. I also put gold valves and new springs up front, and a new spring in the rear and raised the ride height. Great machine. I have thrashed mine for 6 years and nothing has broken yet. Still original top end. I did regear, tops out near 60 with better slower speed go.
 
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#7
I've read a couple of theories on the airbox lid, toss the whole thing and pull out the snorkle only. Is there any downside to removing the entire lid? Also, I just found the part number on the FMF pipe, it's a "35" which I understand is the torque pipe. Pretty much everything I've read says this is not the right pipe for the 220. Should I worry about that at all? Most of the riding around here is tight, rocky and rooty.
 
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#8
D_Moen said:
I've read a couple of theories on the airbox lid, toss the whole thing and pull out the snorkle only. Is there any downside to removing the entire lid? Also, I just found the part number on the FMF pipe, it's a "35" which I understand is the torque pipe. Pretty much everything I've read says this is not the right pipe for the 220. Should I worry about that at all? Most of the riding around here is tight, rocky and rooty.
The only downside I can think of to the airbox toss is you need to be careful crossing deeper water.(slight bit of common sense needed) it's way better than holes or snorkel removal. I have the woods pipe(I believe is same as torque) on now and I prefer it because of the tight trees,roots, logs and steep hills where I ride, It keeps the power low and predictable which is nice when your hand guards are taking a pounding. It will fall off a little quicker on the top but still lugging like a 4t and spooling like a 2t, gotta love that motor.
 
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#9
Cool, thanks for your feed-back. I'm heading out tomorrow for a first ride on it.

I read the suspension tips on the Fredette site, then went out to adjust my suspension as suggested there. The rear is no problem, the pre-load seems pretty close with my bulk using up 1/3 of total travel. Compression and rebound clickers both at 12 clicks out. Things went of the rails when I moved to the front of the bike though. The small screws at the top of the fork are just plugs, not "clickers" as I thought they were, at the bottom of the fork, in the centre there is a recess, but it seems to have some kind of rubber plugging it, is this where the adjusters are?

One final question, the previous owner removed the bike's side-stand and I want to replace it. The swing-arm seems like a silly place to put the stand, are there any decent aftermarket stands that relocate it?

Thanks again for your time!
 
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#10
I got a chance to put some time on the KDX this weekend, I had a blast! A few observations and questions...

The riding around here is all pretty steep terrain, and densly wooded, the KDX should/will be an ideal bike for this type of riding. Many of the popular trails have washed out sections which are covered in rocks in the grapefruit to bowlng-ball size range. As mentioned previously, my last bike (5 years ago) was a big bore thumper, which was very good for the billy-goat trails around here. On the KDX I have some serious challenges learning how to ride this sort of terrain. I stalled the bike a bunch of times trying to lug my way up hills. One of my riding pals saw me struggling with this and told me to keep the revs up by fanning the clutch when the the going got slow. My first tries at this were fairly hilarious, I'd get into a tight spot the revs would drop, I'd remember to clutch it, the revs would shoot to the moon, I'd let the clutch out too fast and I would wheelie off the trail or loop it out (twice). By the end of the day I was getting better at this, but I was also getting rather worn out by this time as well! The upside of this all was that the KDX is at least 50 pounds lighter than my last dirt-bike (XR600) and so was much easier to get upright again!

On the suspension side, I found that on the rocky trails I was getting bounced around more than I like, my sense of things is that the back end is too stiff, and I need to slow down the rebound of the shock. I have both the top and bottom clickers at 12 clicks out. Whick adjustment is rebound? To slow down the rebound, do I turn the adjustment in? On steep down-hills I think I was bottoming out the fork, and the bike didn't seem to want to hold a line very well. Stiffer springs up front would keep the suspension raked out a bit more and increase stability I assume.

Overall, a very good experience with the new bike and only better as I get it sorted out!
 
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#11
As for the hills--try a 12 tooth countershaft sproket--cheap and easy change --stock is 13 tooth Many of us have done this. All you loose is a little top speed and gain much more manageable slow speeds. Next step is a flywheel weight. Steahy makes one (only one I think) for the KDX. Easy installation only cost about $100 delivered and makes a world of difference climbing with he KDX. Oh yes, be sure you are jetted correctly, expecially on the pilot if you are going to be doing a lot of low speed pulling! Cheers John
 
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#12
Thank you for the feedback John, it is much appreciated. Do you have any links to jetting guides? AS I mentioned before this is my first 2 stroke dirt bike - I have plenty of 2 stroke gas RC aircraft engines, but thier carbs are very different. When you say "pilot", is this the same as a low-throttle mixture adjustment? Would that be the black screw that is on the left side of the carb body with a knurled end on it? :whoa:
 
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#13
Pilot jet is the low speed jet. Air to it is adjusted by a screw on the left side of the carb. Mine does not have a knurled head, but comes with a small slotted head. Knurled would be nice and someone may have done this for you. The air adjustment will only work within a narrow range - think of it as fine tuning - and that is when you have the pilot jet close to perfect. Most use the air screw for adjusting for variations of temperature--big ones at that say between winter and summer. Lots of threads about jetting on here - look back. You have a 220 and I have a 200. Not only different cc but different size carbs. I could get you close from my experience on a 200, but not a 220. You do need to know what jets your bike has in it. Main jet can be removed with out tweaking the carb (if you have done it before and are skilled), but the primary or pilot jet (and the main to be easy) requires that the carb be removed or rotated 45 degrees so you can get to the bottom easily--drop the carb bowl to get to the primary. Threads on here to do that easily--but I still don't think it is very easy. Buy some hex head screws at Home Depot or hardware store to replace the phillips head ones on the carb bowl. You will be glad you did. Cheers John
 
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#14
The 220 has gobs of torque but it is still a 2 stroke. I would try to get used to it before you add flyweight because she wont spool up as quick once you do. Pipe, airbox lid toss, power reeds and jetting makes that motor able to tackle anything you throw at it.
 
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#15
I think I'll swap the couter-shaft sprocket, I never got out of 3rd around here on my 600, the 220 won't need the top end either. Beyond that I'll get the jetting checked out at the shop where I got the bike, somethings take me four times as long and cost twice a much to do myself!