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Hello Looking for KL250 Help and Info

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Hello to the forum....

Let me start by saying I do not know how to ride a motorcycle.  I have always wanted to learn.  I hope Im about to.  Any information I get here will help expedite my cause.

I will say thank you up front for any information anyone might be able to provide.  I basically  know nothing now, but I am a good listener and learner.  I understand basic combustion engine operation and I am reasonably good mechanically. Well, enough to be dangerous.

I have a cabin on a small pond in Maine.  We have snowmobiles, quads, etc, and a few dirt bikes the kids have.  I participate in all the area offers except on bike trips I have to follow on my quad.  We are fortunate to have right next to our cabin, a right of way that leads snowmobiles onto and off the pond in winter, and also connects us to the literally 1000's of miles of trails, logging roads, and literally an entire interstate system of off road paths that could take you right into Canada. 

I have an old, not running well at all, 1983 Kawasaki KL250 C1 Dual Sport  bike I would like to get running and learn how to navigate reasonably enough I don't feel Im taking chances with my own life.  Im not a guy that, at my age, is looking to push the envelope, Just want to cruise around the local towns and trails and expand my experience.

I am hoping her I can fond a few people who know or are somewhat familiar with this bike.  It is in reasonable, sort of discarded and left to sit for many years condition, but I think it has good potential, and a serviceable life left in it.  It is i believe all original and  only has a few miles over 3000 on the speedometer.

I believe most of my problems are carb related.  Is there anyone here who may be familiar with this bike.

I will attach a picture and will be ready to answer any questions.

I have found so far that the carb's choke link had snapped off and the choke butterfly would not open.  The previous owner has been tinkering with it trying to get it to run not knowing it could never come out of the full choke condition.  I have replaced that with a new one. and inspected the carb and verified with a service manual that the carb is now completely original again and all parts are present.  It is a keihin CV36 carb.  I can get it to start.  It idles, tho badly now with the choke off after warm up. It will not rev at all. It doesn't have the guts for any forward motion.  I have inspected all interior parts   cleaned them  soaked the carb body.  To my eyes all is in pretty undamaged and good condition.   Its a PITA to make adjustments to the idle mixture directly under the tank so I was thinking of getting a new style that has an extended thumb screw the protrudes above for easier adjustment.. If thats even part of my issues.

Anyway, with all this being said is there anyone that could educate, and guide me forward to getting this to go.  I know you guys will probably laugh at this "POS" but people my age always think things of this age still have some good service left to give.....

Thanks again in advance for any help and safe riding to all...



Edited by Geoff10

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Did you clean the jets? I would take the carb back off and either order a rebuild kit for it (after all those parts are now over 30 years old) or at least make sure that you've sprayed carb and choke cleaner through all the small holes and passages in the carb and run a wire through them if possible (same with the jets though using a wire cleaner is more imperative with them).

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Thank You for the reply !!  I greatly appreciate the help. I was wondering if all others do is read only.

This carb has been cleaned about 5 times, just in case I missed anything.  All the parts are there from exploded diagrams in the service manual for this C1 model.

I have soaked the carb minus o rings, gaskets, and float bowl and slide boot in MEK for 2 days, then cleaned all openings with a fine wire spray gun cleaning kit, being careful not to force my way into anything.

Followed up with carb and choke cleaning and compressed air blown anywhere and everywhere. Its all looking great.  Not Brand New, but good considering there have only been 3000 miles on it.

The plug over the top of the pilot screw had been removed.  Specs for setting this are vague at best and I believe its right here that I fall flat on my face.

By the way, If anyone con has ever considered buying one of the adjustment screws for sale on ebay for a keihin CV36, don't, as I did, and it doesn't work.  The needle portion is completely different to the original, and you can't seat it to back it out initially because the thumb screw part interferes with the top of the carb before it bottoms. Luckily I was refunded.

I have a parts bike   a 1981 KL250 but it has a mikuni carb. a BS34 style.   This carb has only been cleaned and its cap over the pilot screw is still intact.

I am looking into what other parts I would have to get off this to possibly swap carbs.  

Anyway, I can get it to idle now well with the choke completely off.   My son rides well and is the main reason I want to get this going, and he isn't afraid to immediately get it on to the main jet and he says it runs good at WOT.  It just can not make the transition from idle to more than 1/4 throttle.  I am assuming its the pilot circuit but maybe Im wrong.

It has the original baffle, muffler, and pips that it was mfg with.  A small hole in the baffle ( not even an eighth of an inch )  would that make a difference?

I have put a new foam pad in the air box.   I have gone over the whole thing with propane while idling to see if I could get the idle to change looking for free air and nothing at either boot, or the open pilot screw on top.

I don't have enough experience with this stuff to think my way through it. I am stuck on the air, spark, fuel merry go round.

Could the slide rubber be old enough its not opening fast, or smooth enough?  I just don't know. It seems to move freely enough.  

Finding a kit to rebuild this carb is not easy for me either.   Who would supply one specifically for this carb, or the spare Mikuni?

Anyway, THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH for confirming there is at least someone else out there willing to give their 2 cents.

You know, I have a 2012 Polaris Sportsman 850 XP Limited Edition Touring quad that I usually follow the kids with, and it would stay right where its parked now all year, if I could get this dump running.  

Thanks Again,


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Well. I'm glad I could bring you some encouragement. While I know my way around an engine I'm no master mechanic. I'll do some head scratching and internet combing to see what I can come up with to help you out. But just curious have you adjusted the valves on it? If not it couldn't hurt. Also if there is an advance mechanism for the ignition on your bike (I'm not too familiar with your model bike to know if it does or not), pull it out dissasemble it, give it a thorough cleaning and a little lube at the moving parts etc. (white lithium grease is what I use). I add this last bit because if it has an advance mech. on an old bike like that the grease will have gotten hard and may be contaminated with dirt which would keep it from opening up all the way and advancing the spark/ignition timing until WOT. A stuch advance mech would cause the problems you're experiencing, in other words. Keep your hopes up and hopefully more will chime in with more advice. I just joined this forum and had a few questions about my KLR and got help right away so I'm guessing most the people who browse this part of the forum just didn't know what to tell you. Good luck with the wee kawi.

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