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Can you truely be happy on a KLX 250?

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Got the 100% go ahead from the boss last night to get a new bike. I have been off of dirt bikes for almost 20 years and want to get back in by way of a dual sport. (Doesn't seem to be a whole lot of options out there)

I have been reading all the write ups I can find on the KLX 250 but just seem a little scared that I will quickly be wanting more.

Quick back ground on myself, mid 30s, 150 lbs, last bike was a KDX 200 (I love two strokes), I snowmobile heavily and love the rush of hill climbing in deep powder and feeling the gobs of horse power that modern sleds produce. Just getting off of ATVs, Predator 500 and Sportsman 700, both pretty fast machines.

Trails are getting harder to find so I think riding on the street is the next move. I would use the bike for 80% paved road and 20% single track/gravel road. Commute to work is 20 miles one one on two lane roads averaging between 45-65 mph. I do love to rev engines and the perma grin that comes with recreational riding. With this in mind, would I be happy with the KLX 250? I would do all the free mods and exhaust system but would it leave me wanting more? I absolutely love the price. Other options I am looking at which are alot more money are the Suzuki DRZ400SM and KTM 625 SMC. The KTM EXCs seem to be to labor intensive for what I want. In all reality it would probably be less than 1,500 miles a year I ride.

Those that have the KLX 250, does still have a fun factor after riding on the streets? How does it compare power wise to a KDX 200 or DRZ 400?

Thanks

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sp700twin,

Interesting question . . . . will you be happy with a KLX250 as an 80% road bike and an occasional trail ride? Probably not!

I have a KLX250 and a KLR650 in my stable - along with other bikes that we won't go into right now - the KLR is mostly for on road use probably 80 / 20 and the KLX is mostly for trail riding probably 20 / 80.

The KLX will get to 85 mph indicated, but the bike is really turning some rpms to do that. At 72 mph the KLR is revving about 5500 rpm. 400 cc does make a huge difference.

My KLX is mostly used for riding trails in the Ocala National Forest and it does a great job at that. It's easy to handle in deep stuff and makes life a whole lot easier when the inevitable happens and you have to pick it back up.

The KLR will go just about anywhere and is probably a much better choice as an 80 / 20 motorcycle. Lots of aftermarket support and you can make the bike "light up" with about $5.00 in parts and mods, if you know where to do them.

The DRZ400 is a dirt bike that you can ride on the road. The KLR is a road bike that you can ride off the road.

I hope that explains the differences.

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For what you are going to use the bike for, you will not like the KLX250 after a week or so. Get a bigger bike. 20% of 1500 miles is not a lot of dirt riding. Personally I wouldn't take a SM model out on the dirt though. Maybe you need an old beater 2stroke and a street bike. ???

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DUDE get over here and read up, I had mine jetted and a full Muzzy, and the bike is so fast now I wonder why they don't make these bikes like this from the factory.....oh yea enviros might be sad. Any way the bike is awesome now, just a little tweaking and your golden.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c195/deej1914/100_5366.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c195/deej1914/100_5365.jpg

http://www.kawasakiforums.com/forumid_69/tt.htm

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Deej,

What do mean by fast? What are you comparing it to? The looks and price of the bike really appeal to me. How long have you had your 250? What is your experience to compare it to? Does it still have a 'grin factor' when playing around on it?

Thanks for all the replies.

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Ok let's see if I can explain this in a way that doesn't sound stupid. When I bought my bike I didn't really care about speed or power, but as time went on I decided to first change the front sprocket from a 14 to a 13 to give it a little more low end pull, since I like to go slower on trails. Then I added the 45 back gear from the 42 and that helped as well, actually I had that put on at the shop when I had the bike jetted and piped. I'm also running with the air box cover off. Anyway the difference? it's like night and day. With all of the changes it actually feels like I have nitrous now. And keep in mind I'm 6-1 and weigh in at 240. All I can say if you are even considering this bike you need to read all of the posts on the Kawasaki site in the link above. In the 5,000 to 8,000 range you really have to hang on. I hope this helps.

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Oh sorry I bought mine on November 23 and have 2850 miles on it. Not a single problem with the bike either. In comparing it to other bikes, since I have been out of the dual sport bikes for 20 years, the only thing I can compare it to is the 2006 Yamaha XT 225 I just bought my wife. As far as power goes, the Yamaha has about 30% less power than the KLX when it was stock, now it feels like it has twice the power as the Yamaha, but my wife only weight 120 lbs so the power is and always be perfect for her. The grin factor, if it wasn't for the full face MX helmet I wear, my teeth would be full of bugs. LOL

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Ok let's see if I can explain this in a way that doesn't sound stupid. When I bought my bike I didn't really care about speed or power, but as time went on I decided to first change the front sprocket from a 14 to a 13 to give it a little more low end pull, since I like to go slower on trails. Then I added the 45 back gear from the 42 and that helped as well, actually I had that put on at the shop when I had the bike jetted and piped. I'm also running with the air box cover off. Anyway the difference? it's like night and day. With all of the changes it actually feels like I have nitrous now. And keep in mind I'm 6-1 and weigh in at 240. All I can say if you are even considering this bike you need to read all of the posts on the Kawasaki site in the link above. In the 5,000 to 8,000 range you really have to hang on. I hope this helps.

deej, please keep in mind that sp700 is going to be doing 80% of his riding on the highway at highway speeds. While I'm sure your gearing helped out tremendously on the trails, at 65mph it's going to kill the fun factor and probably the valvetrain.

There is no doubt that adding a pipe and pulling the airbox lid helps tremendously. Perhaps the biggest gain short of a carb swap or big bore, but to compare it to nitrous? :thumbsup::ride:

You want to feel acceleration? Here's an experiment for you. Find someone that had an uncorked WR450 and idle up to about 3000 rpm in 3rd gear (10mph) and whack the throttle wide open and hold it there til you reach about 60+mph. Should take less than 1.2 seconds. If you "really have to hang on" to the KLX, then you'd better duct tape your hands to the bars and use carabiners and rope to hold you on to the WR. After you've done that, then let's talk about the amazing "nitrous acceleration" of a klx250. No offense, but a kdx200 will out accelerate any klx250 or 300 no matter the gearing. Honestly, I'm trying not to laugh or be offensive, but the KLX can't be compared in any way shape or form to any 2stroke or high performance 4stroke big bore and I feel like you're sending sp700 a mixed message about how "powerful" the klx250 is. (Keep in mind his experience with dirt machines is a kdx200 and he is riding very high HP sleds.) The KLX250 is what it is - a small bore kind of slightly overweight trail bike with lights on it that can definately be uncorked, but will never be a fire breathing adrenaline machine. Hope you're not pissed at me, but that's how I see it and the more I ride other bikes, the more firmly my opinion stands.

sp700's got to decide ultimately what's most important to him, but from what I'm hearing, he needs primarily a street oriented machine that can keep the fun factor up at highway speeds - and occationally see some dirt.

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Bill P, thanks for the reply. You were reading my mind, no offense to anyone. The hard part is that there are really very few bikes that meet my criteria, road legal, dirt capable, low maintenance, affordable, and a high pucker factor. Every 10 minutes my mind changes. The DRZ400SM is looking good since the closest dirt trails to me are two hours away. No Husky dealers with in 70 miles. The KTM EXCs sure look nice and being street legal in 2007 is a plus, but they sure are high on maintenance. Well I have to stop my ranting now, the other Boss is walking towards the office. Any more insight would be helpful.

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sp700twin - are you saying that you will have to ride 2 hours to the trails, then ride the trails, then 2 hours back home? If so, I'd suggest a 650. XR650 might be the ticket. Pucker Factor and KLX250S do not belong in the same sentence, unless you're talking about pushing the stock suspension thru the whoops at 50mph. THEN you'll have a pucker factor.

The Husky's are too unproven. The KLX is too small. The EXC's will be too much maintainence for you and in reality - 80% street and you should NOT be buying a dirt bike that has lights hung off of it. You should be buying a street bike that can hit the dirt sometimes.

Personally, out of evey bike you've mentioned, and as much as it really, really pains me to say this cause I HATE the bike in the dirt, the DRZ400 sounds like your best bet. I'd still suggest you check out a 650 though. The KLR 650 is a tank, but is very road worthy. Personally I'd prefer an XR650 if I was doing what you suggested, but YMMV. Good luck in your search. You have figured it out though. There is no perfect bike for what you suggest. Anything is going to be a compromise and you will not like various aspects of the bike. Just pick one that aggrivates you the least!

Bill

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Sorry guys I'll shut up now, it just depends on what you like. Later. :thumbsup:

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i can gaurantee that you will not be happy on a klx250 because it is a smaller engine and you will be adding more stuff by howyou explained to us that you love gobs of horse power. you might want to look at xr650 or something. kust something bigger. but it is true there is not alot of options out there. good luck.

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I love the question. Makes me want to get philosphical. The only way to true dual-sport happiness is multiple bikes. One will NOT do everything most dual-sporters want. I've tried a KLR650, which is a great bike, but only good for cruising tame trails. Next was a DRZ400S, wayyyy better off-road, but no good on the highway. Too hard to gear it for both. For me, gotta have a good dirt bike AND a decent street bike, not two in one. :thumbsup:

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If you "really have to hang on" to the KLX, then you'd better duct tape your hands to the bars and use carabiners and rope to hold you on to the WR.

This is hilarious and true. I love the KLX for singletrack and billy goat trails, but when I am just playriding and want to scare myself a little, the YZ never disappoints. There is something special about being able to lean over the handlebars and still lift the front wheel. :ride:

But seriously, no offense Deej, just ride a 250 2 stroke for a little while and you will know the type of power that he is looking for, and its not in the awesome low end of the KLX, its in a different bike. Anyways, I second an XR650, either R or L. Personally, I would get a R and a dual sport kit. :applause:

EDIT: I just noticed you are from Oregon. From my understanding, it is VERY easy to register a bike over there. Definitely go for the XR650R. :thumbsup:

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Sorry guys I'll shut up now, it just depends on what you like. Later. :thumbsup:

deej - no reason to shup up now. Everybody's got their opinions and voicing them is what TT is all about. Like you said, it's all about what you like, and obviously there's a bunch of us that like our KLX's. Your opinion is just as viable as mine or any one elses.

Ultimately, sp700 makes the final judgement on what's best for him. I was tracking with you completely right up to the "nitrous" comment. Come on, you have to admit that the CVK carb, rejetted or not, is not exactly a barn burner. I don't see any high performance 4 strokes with CVK's on them. Only trail/street bikes. Almost every other bike is running FCR's.

What's your background? What other bikes have you owned? Just curious. It's all good. I'm excited that you love your KLX, cause I do too. But I know it's limitations and am quite vocal about it's good and bad points without pulling any punches. Take care! Bill

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My wife rides a 06 KLX250s, & I have a 03 KLX400SR. Both bikes are alot of fun, but if power is an issue then you ought to get the 400SM. The 400 motor revs more like a 2-stroke than any other 4-stroke I've ever ridden. There's people who put DOT knobbies on there SM, & some people ride an SM off road with street tires. Just food for thougt. KLX250 hp=18? KLX400 hp=38? :thumbsup:

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Since 2001, I have owned a KLR650, a DR-Z400S, a DR-Z250, an XR250R and a WR250F. I still have the XR and WR. Most of my riding is off-road with my son, so the power of the bigger bikes just wasn't needed. I did convert my WR to be street legal, but only to do dirt backroads.

Best all around bike was the DR-Z400S. I put the FCR carb off the DR-Z400E on it, and an FMF exhaust, and it had much more power than stock. The 650 was the best on the road. The 250's were the best offroad. The 400 was a compromise on both.

You sound like you want some power. No 250 fourstroke is going to give you what you want. I like the WR250F, I am sure it has much more power than a KLX250, but there is no way it could be confused with a 400, 450 or 650.

If I were looking for an 80/20 bike, I would be looking seriously at the Honda XR650, either R or L. I would get an R and make it street legal, but someone else may prefer to let the manufacturer do that for them. Here is a link to an article comparing an XR650L and a BMW F650GS.

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I don't know where you get the idea that the KTM EXC's are labor intensive. They are one of the easiest bikes to work on. Air filter access is with Deutz fasteners, no tools required just twist and release. There is no shock linkage to deal with and keep lubricated. The valves are a snap to adjust, no shims required. If you can change the oil in your car, you can change the oil in a KTM. You do have two filters to replace, but its only 4 screws, how tough is that? When I hear people say a bike like this is difficult to maintain, it is really just an admission that they're either ham-fisted mechanics or just plain lazy.

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I don't recall anyone saying that the EXC's were "difficult" to maintain. Just that they were more maintanence intensive than a KLX. I've got a buddy with a 525EXC and I know. The EXC is a race bike and needs to be maintined like one. The KLX250S is a trail/dual sport bike.

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I don't recall anyone saying that the EXC's were "difficult" to maintain. Just that they were more maintanence intensive than a KLX. I've got a buddy with a 525EXC and I know. The EXC is a race bike and needs to be maintined like one. The KLX250S is a trail/dual sport bike.

The EXC is a race bike ? I thought the XC's, or whatever that other designation is, was the race bike. Is the EXC the one they use for supermoto?

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