Hello, and greetings from King Moon Racer (also known as DingerJunkie). It has been far too long since my last update on the second official KMR Blog Project. Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way. I hope the info makes up for the delay…my apologies.
Joining My Daughter’s Ride
My first “ride” on the RXB-250 ended up being a break-in/shakedown session during one of my daughter’s club rides with Little Speedsters (littlespeedsters.com). The owner, Christophe, gives occasional permission for a dad or two to bring a bike along to check setup or casually ride the training course with the kids. This was big for my daughter, who hadn’t been riding “with me” before…either I was on the bike with the adults, or she was with the kids.
Fortunately, there was ample opportunity in the off-track areas to open the bike up a bit, play in some mud, try a minor water crossing from the last storm…just the kind of thing that would give me a solid general feel for what my latest steed was all about.
My daughter loved me being out there with her, and she tried to ride faster because of it. Curiously, she said I was still going really fast on KMR02…more on this tidbit later…
Plight of the 450-Dad
For those who have read my other posts, you might recall me saying you can know more of what a bike is by identifying what it isn’t. You’re also probably familiar with why I sold KMR01. Another dad who showed up at club-day showed me I had made the right decision.
The other dad in question had a son on a KLX110. The dad had just purchased a divorce-sale KXF450 at a ridiculously low price, and he was there to try riding with his son on the thing for the first time. Jeans, sneakers, no gloves, cheap helmet, something resembling goggles…short dude who could just one-toe on the bike…with a 450 MXer. He fired this thing up with enough “blipping” to ensure everyone’s ears were hurting, then tore up and down the main thru-way “to warm it up.” Basically did everything you don’t want your kids doing…in front of all the club kids.
After bragging about his “deal,” he saw KMR02 and was intrigued. I wanted to hear my bike ridden by someone else just to see if the exhaust was as loud as I feared. He threw a leg over and loved that he could touch the ground. He loved the seat/peg/bar triangle. He loved the E-start. Once again, he blasted up and down the main path, but went further towards the mud and water than before. That gave me the data I needed off the bike (too loud). He came back with nothing but positive to say, then had to mention again what a deal he got on his.
One of the teachers and I watched him tiptoe on his bike to kick it to life. We then watched him head out on the trainer track with his son. He could never get out of first, and he was still having to nurse the clutch to not leave his kid behind. Every corner was either an unsafe blast out or a stall. The teacher next to me, eyes shielded with sunglasses simply leaned towards me a bit and, without turning, said “that man will either kill himself or turn off his son.”
…exactly why KMR01 is gone…
Post-ride Inspection & Thoughts
I’m not going to be poetic on this part of the article…this bullet-list was posted by me in a forum thread, but it belongs here as well:
- Initial "Wheel Squeak" was brake pads bedding, not bearings. Use in a dirty/wet environment for a day ended it
- Suspension came from factory with clickers at full-firm. Backed everything off to full-soft and I love it. Spring rate is “dad-bod” good and the forks respond well.
- Tires were better than I'd hoped, with a gummy compound that works well in hard terrain. deflate to around 15 PSI and they improve greatly. I’ll use them until they wear out.
- Power was great for trail riding and non-competition pace. Still fast enough for adults when goaded, and was comfy with my kids in the first two gears
- Tire clearance issues to the rear swingarm mud guard. Plenty of space on swingarm adjusters, so I’ll add a link to the chain and open things up.
- Chain already has significant lateral play...that is the first planned replacement.
- The entire exhaust is blued...tons of off-idle and low-mid hesistation...running terribly lean. Rejet in order.
- Need to roll the bars back...had a funny angle for my wrists with initial setup. Bend should be fine.
- Differences from the GPX FS-E frame in the cradle area...square tubing and separate motor-mount plates all the way around, rather than GPX's welded-on mounts. Likely a more generic frame for more motor-support options...still well built and solid.
- Various 2014 KTM plastics and support pieces (brake pedal, etc.) on order to test compatibility. I hope to provide a cross-reference chart on that for other buyers. Think swingarm protectors, rear disc/caliper protectors and swingarm chain sliders/guides.
- Odering minor CRF-230F motor accessories to check compatibility (starting with stainless case/cover bolt set)
- Will measure rear hub...thinking I'll need KTM-spec driven sprocket and Honda-spec drive sprocket
- Other "hybrid points" will be levers...thinking a Honda-spec clutch lever and a KTM-spec brake lever.
- I'm not really into night-riding with the kids, but I'd consider a project to install an LED light bar...reply there if there is anything you'd like me to prioritize.
- A few times when rolling the trail with my daughter, I heard a very strange rattling sound, like cards in bike spokes. I’m assuming it was the tire on the rear mud guard or that laterally-loose chain missing the mis-aligned/incorrect slider…expect an update on what I find if anything.
Other concerns regarding support from Orion Powersports are diminishing. They sent me an Xmotos owner’s guide to replace what was missing as soon as I let them know one didn’t make it. It does a good job of covering suspension settings, and includes complete wiring diagrams (as this bike is street legal in other countries). No maintenance specs (valve clearances, etc.) included, but it is decent. My contacts at Orion are keeping me updated regularly on efforts to get something more in-depth on this motor from Xmotos. They are also making efforts to get me an exploded diagram of the forks from FastAce. Parts support is improving by the day.
What Is This Bike (hear me out…)
This Orion RXB was a great time. It was light, flickable and well suspended. It was comfortable outside of the exhaust volume. It sipped gas. I was less tired after three hours on that bike than I was after 30 minutes with the CR250. I happily rode in first and second gear, staying at “kid-speed” while still grinning and without the bike begging to do something else.
Here is the curious thing, though. My daughter watched me ride it during a water break. When I returned to get her ready to go back out, she said I looked way faster on this new bike. As mentioned earlier, she had to tell me to slow down a few times, even though I wasn’t working hard at all. Her comments, my inspection and my thoughts on the riding experience have led me to a conclusion that some of you will scoff at, but that I believe is entirely valid (comment flaming and monkey-poo-flinging is expected for this).
For all effective purposes, this bike is an equivalent to an early-years BBR.
In the 90’s, we all drooled at XR100 motors shoe-horned into CR85 chassis and XR200 motors wedged into steel-frame CR125 rollers. They were absolutely fantastic; “fun” motors put into a legitimate chassis that could handle and brake with the best of them. Unfortunately, that “fun” turned into pit-bike racing, where things ultimately got far too serious, and everyone decided to try and make those “fun” motors into fragile fire-breathers.
I believe the Orion RXB-250 captures the essence of what the first BBR projects were trying to deliver, but far below the “custom build” price envelope. It is effectively an CRF230 wedged into a KTM125 chassis, and I love it.
My next series of updates will be bling (graphics, extras) and an attempt to lower the exhaust volume a bit, followed by reports on how the bike survives the real world. Also, get ready for a KMR03-Junior, as my daughter is out-growing her current TTR50, and I can’t help but give her something “unique”…