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My 2013 KLX250s Build


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I was looking for a light weight dual sport bike as I was tired of pretending my XB12X Buell could even do dirt roads proficiently. I also was thinking about getting into doing some trail rides and more serious off road riding, when I was younger I raced in the 80cc division and continued to ride for years for fun after that. I have had an offroad hiatus until late last summer when I decided to purchase a dual sport.

 

I shopped around and decided I didn't want the big old air cooled honda 650, and the Kawasaki 650 has gotten even bigger and more street oriented, I quickly settled on the three 250's (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki). I later thought a DRZ might fit but am happy with my choice though in hindsight if I had given them more consideration I would probably have one now.

 

Between the three it seems the WR was obviously the one to get, I just couldn't justify the $1500 extra price tag, between the Kawa and Honda the Honda looked nice but the Kawa got a little better review and I like the brand so I went with one of those. I've owned many dirt bikes, quads, and street bikes in my short time so was fairly open to brand though I didn't consider KTM because new they were out of my price range and the dealers are few and far between.

 

After deciding on the Kawasaki I ordered one and was immediately underwhelmed as to the power it put out. It was barely enough for the street, and fine for trail riding though not much 'fun' factor. I immediately purchased a Two-Brothers exhaust and Dyno Jet Kit for it and installed them within the first 50 miles. This made a significant improvement but still underwhelming so I started looking for options.

 

While considering options I had deemed the stock bars wouldn't cut it (after dropping it they bent very easily) so I changed them out for some Pro-Taper 1-1/8" with the adapters, because I needed the adapters I went with the Charmichael bend because it is lower to compensate for the 'riser' adapters. Some Acerbis heavy duty bark busters, kill the stock mirrors and make my own, and lop off the balls on the levers and the controls were pretty much set.

 

IMG_20131221_130602678_HDR.jpg

 

Back to the power, it seems there are two routes to go, carburetor or big-bore, or obviously both. I figured either would add needed thump but couldn't spring for both, the carb would probably help but I wasn't sure it would be enough so I decided to go with the big-bore and re-jet the carb (again). I contacted Bill Blue from B & B Cycle Restorations and ordered the kit and took it back to the dealership for the install.

 

IMG_20131221_130555661_HDR.jpg

 

I am really happy with the result and can say that the bike is really coming around. I do feel there probably needs to be a carb install in the future to really get everything out of the new 'KLX351S' but my birthday is in March so here's to hoping 🙂. I don't have many 'miles' on the bike, just a few trips around the block to heat-cycle it a few times and only ragged on it once or twice but it feels smooth and I am really looking forward to putting it through it's paces as it warms up in the future.

 

All in all, great bike.

 

The Tally:

$5k For the Bike

$900 for Big-Bore/Install

$200 for Bars and Barkbusters

$400 for Exhaust and Jet Kit

 

So there I'm at the $6500 of the Yamaha but think I have a bit more bike than if I went with one of those to begin with, not to mention the exhaust and bars and 'accessories' that would have gone onto it.

 

All around this thing may be no KDX but it sure does well and I'm loving it.

 

Pictures of the bike as she sits:

 

IMG_20131221_130542205_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20131221_130618054_HDR.jpg

 

And finally some proof she gets used and isn't just a garage queen.

 

IMG_20131215_153133736_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20131215_153204754_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20131215_153141197_HDR.jpg

 

IMG_20131215_153156072_HDR.jpg

 

 

And sorry if you've heard this story before or seen these pictures before on local websites or ADVrider.com I'm just finding out all of these new communities and getting going. ThumperTalk looks like a great platform!

 

-Mike

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My buddy has a bike just like this and hes constantly complaining about how he should get another bike thats got more power. From the experience I had driving his bike compared to my yz250 or rmz450 you can really see how much power diffrence their is 😛 Even though he wants a diffrent bike hes use to hoping on this and going, it reliable compared to race bikes and he can drive it on the road. I was just wondering after you added the big bore was it a real noticable power gain? I was gonna tell him he should spend a little on his bike and give it a little more juice, I dont wanna tell him to put a big bore in his and then he not be happy with what it did. Anyway your bike looks pretty good, nice to see youre getting er dirty 😛

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Yeah, like I said I was underwhelmed my first ride.

 

My last bike was a YZ250F, before that a CR125 so I was really hoping it would be on par with those bikes but it isn't. They dumb down the engine quite a bit from the race bikes to the street version. I would say if I put the new carb on there it would probably be equivalent to a race bike power wise but it's been a while since I've ridden one.

 

You can go a couple ways, dump a couple grand and make this thing sweet like I am doing, or dump it and buy used and maybe break even, maybe lose money. It all depends on what you want. I've considered dumping it for a 450 but really the bike is more than my skills are at this point. If I get where I am out riding the bike or if I start riding only trail rides and not so much on the street I may down the road get something else and leave this for the wifey.

 

The ability to jump on the streets and cruise around is quite nice I will admit.

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Yea their is a lot of times when I want to head down the street on my bike (not sayimg I dont) but with his bike he can do it legally, and really the bike doest look to bad. I sure he would be really impressed by putting in the big bore. Thanls for the info man, happy trails

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Just got back from a little over 30 miles of mostly singletrack and she tore it up. My tires are horrible for that riding but that's an easy fix, I bent my shifter all the way around my foot peg, was able to bend it back but it was really soft after that and would bend in where it would hit the case on up shifts so that sucked. Ordered a new one, also looking into the star shift fix for it as I was getting tons of false neutral shifts with my boots on. Not a problem with shoes for some reason.

 

Dealership didn't tighten down anything on the bars so bark busters came loose real fast, spun on a fall and bent my lever, straightened them and cut them down a little further, then tightened and loc-tited the bark busters.

 

Ordered the fender eliminator kit and flush mount signals to tighten up the rear end. Going to remove the passenger pegs and just any 'extra' stuff that is on there, she is a bit heavy compared to most trail bikes but not horrible.

 

Power wise it was great, a lot more get up and go, this was the first time I really whomped on it with traction and she was very speedy in the dirt. I'm sure I can get more top end with the flatslide carb but the low end grunt is definitely there and pleasing. All in all it is turning out to be a great bike, just need to solve the shifting issue.

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Installed the Fender Eliminator and shift lever, removed the turn signals.

 

Last couple mods I can think of are...

 

Install eBay 'Shift Kit' http://www.ebay.com/itm/290963793101?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

Try a 13t sprocket up front

New Tires

Beadlocks

 

After those things, if she isn't the right bike for what I'm using it for I'll just have to take my losses and try something else!

 

Notice the new rear fender and shifter:

 

IMG_20140115_155757202_HDR.jpg

Edited by terrible1one3
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Well, I went riding. 40+ miles of tight singletrack. I had almost zero shifting issues with the new shift lever. Seems like just having the shift peg in the right position and not under the case has solved the issue. I am still going to install the 'shift kit' when it comes in but other than that, great ride and the bike is really coming around. New to me tires, ultra HD tubes and bead locks go on this week and I'll be done modding it for a while.

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  • 1 month later...

Thks for the write up! Im basically going through the same issue's you were dealing with. Already rejetted, fmf header, and fmf exhaust. Def helped but not what I'm wanting. Looking at upgrading the bars now and ran. How do you like yours? The stock ones are pathetic and have to hunch over when standing. Gonna ride this for a yr probably and get the ktm350

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Thks for the write up! Im basically going through the same issue's you were dealing with. Already rejetted, fmf header, and fmf exhaust. Def helped but not what I'm wanting. Looking at upgrading the bars now and ran. How do you like yours? The stock ones are pathetic and have to hunch over when standing. Gonna ride this for a yr probably and get the ktm350

 

Well the Charmichael bend which is what I got, is a fairly low cut, I thought with the adapters they would be higher but in all honesty the adapters don't make a big difference, If I did it over again I would probably go with the Woods bend high to raise them up a little.

 

Can't go wrong with the ktm350, just rode with someone on a brand spankin' new 350exc and it did great. I didn't get a chance to ride it but would have been the right purchase and if I started with that, I wouldn't have got the Sherco.

 

How does the power compare to your Sherco?

 

Very different power. The Kawasaki is a tractor with that 351 kit in it. It pulls hard to 8 grand then falls off to the red-line. I could let the thing idle and it would make it up most climbs. The Sherco is a much more aggressive powerband, think of it hitting more like a 2T. It has respectable low end, strong mid, then it just rips up to the red-line. More of an advanced rider powerband but once you get used to it, it is realllllly fun. I couldn't be happier with the Sherco. If I could get my money out of it I would probably dump the KLX but I'm too deep into it, she'll be in the garage making any rides that require plated bikes (but not many).

 

Nice write up and good to see you actually use the thing.

Any info on that mirror? Is that a custom job or store bought? How's the visibility?

 

Custom job, I wrote about it over in ADV rider, here is the link: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=935921

 

The visibility is bad, have to hunch to see behind you but you can (have to look under your arm). I have since taken this thing on a couple hard woods rides and banged it around and it hasn't so much as scratched, very protective location.

 

Should have got the yamaha, it realty is 1500 more of bike,

 

You very well could be right. Fact of the matter is even if I went with the Yamaha I might not have liked it.

 

I am way past the $1500 delta between the two and honestly the KLX is a great bike as it sits.

 

My only issue with it now is it is over 290 lbs. Fine for dual sport, not great at all for woods riding/singletrack. The Yamaha is a couple pounds lighter but the fact is, buying the Sherco I dropped over 50lbs. You just can't drop that much weight on either of these bikes.

 

The Sherco I weighed myself is in the 240's KTM is in the 240's without fuel both of these bikes are in the 290's with fuel. That is a lot of weight, the Kawi rides like a Cadillac on the trails but you have to really work to ride it aggressively. When you lose 50lbs you don't.

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The visibility is bad, have to hunch to see behind you but you can (have to look under your arm). I have since taken this thing on a couple hard woods rides and banged it around and it hasn't so much as scratched, very protective location.

 

 

Very nice I think I will try the same thing. I have been looking around for an option and really like the dual-star mirror but I believe they no longer make them. I saw the mirrors you got but wasn't sure if I could make them work? I guess I'm glad you had the fortitude to give it a go! 

Thanks again!

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Very nice I think I will try the same thing. I have been looking around for an option and really like the dual-star mirror but I believe they no longer make them. I saw the mirrors you got but wasn't sure if I could make them work? I guess I'm glad you had the fortitude to give it a go! 

Thanks again!

 

I tried to contact dual-star but couldn't get a hold of them. It really wasn't too bad, you shouldn't have an issue with it.

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I agree that the klx is a great bike! I have one in the shed, i was looking for a duel sport and it came up really cheap, i think that i would have liked the wr better But i did not have the money at the time. I just refuse to put the 1500 into it chasing the extra 5hp the wr has. So for me so far its reed bend bars, free mods (some of them) and jet kit. Iv got a oil burning problem so it may end up with a 300 cylinder, people over here are paying close to what i can get the 300 for new on ebay for use 250 ones. After selling of the 250 gear i should be out of pocket $120 if i get lucky.

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The klx is a great bike but puting all that money and a big bore kit you should just have went with a drz. The bike isnt made to be a powerhorse but it will take you anywhere you want to go. Those bottom pics are what the kawi should look like.

 

I thought about the DRZ, but it was more money ($1600), more weight (about 20lbs), less gears (5-speed), Old forks and old styling all for more power didn't do it for me at the time... looking back, maybe it would have been a better choice.

 

All that said it does seem like an awesome bike.

 

I think at the core of it I thought I was going to do a different type of riding. Ending up doing tight woods riding/singletrack and more enduro stuff just doesn't suit many DS bikes (minus some of the before mentioned KTM's).

 

That said, for what it is, the KLX is a great bike. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't buy it, but that isn't because of the bike so much as it is because of what I ride now.

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