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1990 KDX200 touch-up/facelift

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'Bout a year ago I was looking for a new bike for the lady. She was riding an RT100 at the time, but needed something more powerful. She's only 5'2", but she rides aggressively, so finding a bike her size with the power she likes was challenging. Stumbled across this 1990 KDX200 for only $700, couldn't pass it up (even in terrible condition, you never see these bikes for less than 1500 in our area of SoCal). It's a bit tall for her, but it has tons of power, and is insanely comfy. Feels like a Cadillac compared to my RM. Anyway, mechanically the bike is sound, but cosmetically it's... less than ideal. Fast forward to today, she's out of town for the next week, so figured I'd try and restore some of the old Kawi's color while she's gone. Threw a last gen KX front fender on it, and attempted to restore the rest of the plastics as best I could (new ones are shockingly pricey, trying to spend as little as possible). Only about halfway done so far, but I think it's coming along nicely.

When we first bought it:

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When we first brought it home.

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You can see a test strip here on the rear fender, before removing it to finish the whole thing.

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New KX250 fender.

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Here are the shrouds finished with initial cleanup, before sanding, next to old fender for comparison.

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One of the worst spots, on left side panel, shown in steps for comparison.

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Here are the shrouds after sanding, first with 400 grit, then 1000, then 2000.

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Side panels cleaned up, not yet sanded.

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Anyway I'm sure this is a little boring, but figured I'd share in case anyone wants to do something similar. I'll keep ya posted as I progress with it, hopefully it comes out looking 20 years younger =P.

Edited by criggs88
typo

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Looking like some good work there. I usually don't suggest robbing banks, but if you could do whatever is necessary, by any means necessary, to get that KTM silencer off the back of it, that would be great. :)

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Haha, your post made my day. Good eye, surprised you caught that silencer on there, I feel the same way. P/O mentioned something about an exhaust leak, so he replaced the silencer with that one... I remember being kinda baffled by his explanation, but didn't really care much. Think I should try and find an original, or a good aftermarket one? I run FMF on both my RM's, but haven't found many good options for this bike, probably because of the age and model.

Did do some more work on the bike, finished the sanding on the side panels (really surprised how well they came out, especially the left side), and got started on the worst part of the whole bike, the rear fender. Man that thing's a lot of work.

Here are the side panels. Even with the shitty camera and light, you can tell a difference between the initial clean up and final sanding.

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Here is the rear fender, with just the test spot.

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Did it in small sections for comparison purposes.

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From start all the way to the tip of the fender here took me about 10 minutes.

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This side alone took almost an hour.

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Here's the other side that I didn't finish yet. Fingers were shot after that previous side.

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It's really tedious work, and the end result will be far from perfect, but it makes the bike feel a lot more personal, and also saves me money, haha.

Edited by criggs88
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Dang! That does look a lot better.

 

Have you seen the video on Youtube of the guy with the Honda tank? That is a great video for sanding.

Pro Circuit spark arrestor

https://www.procircuit.com/nature-friendly-kdx200-89-94-kx250-88-89.html

Pro Circuit silencer

 

https://www.procircuit.com/304-kdx200-89-94-kx250-88-89.html

FMF silencer (they made spark arrestors for years, but don't show it on the site, maybe call and ask or look around?)

I have an FMF pipe and spark arrestor on my '94, and it worked well.

 

http://www.fmfracing.com/Product/ProductDetail?CategoryID=64&BikeType=MX%2FOFFROAD&BikeMake=KAWASAKI&BikeModel=KDX200&BikeYear=1992&ItemID=020222&ParentCategoryID=52&Priority=7

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Awesome, thanks for the info. I hope FMF has a Turbinecore in that style, I love the way that powercore looks.

Finished all the plastics and got them installed onto the bike. Took it to the desert this past weekend and snapped a few pics. Like I said, it's definitely not perfect, but so much better than before.

Here's a few before pics

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And now with touched up plastic and new front fender.

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The crappy cell phone pics really don't do it justice, looks much better in person. Soon to come is a new black seat cover, and most likely some simple graphics. Feels kinda lame putting graphics on it after all the hard work on the plastic, but it was always the original intent, and I couldn't slap graphics on such horribly oxidized plastic. When money permits, I'll be re-wiring the lighting, and probably doing a fork swap as well.

Edited by criggs88

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Thanks! The bike runs and rides great, it's got tons of usable power. Definitely tame compared to my RM250, but it's just so easy to ride. We haven't found anything that the KDX can't crawl right over/through yet, and we've taken it on some gnarly stuff, haha. Plus, so far the only money we've had to spend on it was for levers and grips. Cheers to Kawi for building such a bulletproof bike.

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Great work!  Not all about looks.  KDX's are all business.  Way ahead of their time.

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Yeah, that's a very good way to describe the KDX, haha. I actually really dig the enduro look, just not a fan of the old traditional forks. The KDX 250 usd forks are a direct swap, and they can usually be found pretty cheap. Really looking forward to getting a set on this bike. 

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Check out KDXrider.net.  All things KDX and lots of info on the fork swaps. Tons of info and helpful members all specific to the KDX.

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The blue anodized 250 forks are constantly on eBay and reasonably priced as well.  Good luck and enjoy!

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So I ended up running into a huge mess with the seat. Ordered a new cover, figured I'd shave the seat down while I had it off so that I don't have to have the suspension set so soft for the girlfriend. Welp, that turned out to be a problem because the seat was now so curved nothing would fit tight. Ended up having to pay $140 to have a cover custom made for it. Looks great, at least. Also pulled the trigger on some new forks. Can't wait to get them set up =D.

 

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Nope, not yet, just jumped on these when I saw them, haven't gotten any other parts for it yet. I did mount the front wheel and it bolts up nice and center, but haven't tried the caliper yet. The new forks are from a '92 KDX250, so It's definitely different, I'm just hoping I can find a KDX250 caliper that will line up with my original wheel and brake disc.

Edited by criggs88

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So here's what I've discovered about this swap so far. The E caliper will mount on the 250 forks, but the piston sits further forward than needed and won't allow the wheel to slide all the way in.

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I ended up finding a used KDX250 caliper on eBay, got it in yesterday and mounted it up to see how the wheel looked. Everything bolted in fine, the caliper now lined up with the wheel, but it sits slightly too far inward for the original E wheel, causing the brake rotor bolts to just barely rub on the inside of the caliper bracket (different offset on the rotor? Different wheel spacers? Hard to tell, the wheel seems to be perfectly centered).

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  Apparently a common solution for this is to grind the bracket mounting surface down to move the caliper out slightly thus clearing the rotor and bolts (saw this a few times on other peoples KLX fork swaps). So I took the bracket to work this morning and performed the necessary mods. Didn't get a chance to mount it up, but will be doing that tomorrow, so I'll let ya know how it goes.

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Edited by criggs88

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I have two complete front ends with calipers / wheels / forks/ clamps from 2001 kx250's I'll sell cheap. Send me a PM if interested. 

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The first attempt was not successful, the bolt still slightly rubbed on the inside of the bracket. Took it back to work and removed probably another 2mm or so from the bracket, and that seems to have done the trick. Mounted the wheel and caliper with new pads tonight, and everything seems to fit. The pads seem kinda loud, but they're just lightly dragging along at the moment, haven't mounted the rest of the brake system yet. If everything goes as planned will be swapping everything this weekend, so we'll see how it goes.

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It is a complete caliper and bracket from a '92 KDX250. Everything is lining up perfect now, just have to attach the brake line and master to make sure the brakes work fine under pressure. Going to clean, grease, and swap everything this weekend.

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