sleeve vs. plating

So I got an extra cylinder for my kx 250 from that auction site... just recieved it today and it's sleeved! I still need to make sure it is in spec, but I was always under the assumption that plated was much better, so I was a bit disappointed. I did some searching and found this in a transworld motocross article (quote from LA Sleeve):,13190,598355,00.html

Mark let us in on some of the advantages of a sleeved cylinder vs. Nikasil-plated cylinders. "What's important about sleeves, is that they hold more compression than a Nikasil cylinder, because of the cross-hatches and the way the sleeve dissipates heat faster. The dirt trackers and flat trackers have been buying sleeves from us for the last 15-25 years—it's their secret. A lot of the Supermoto guys are starting to buy sleeves from us, because they're realizing they're getting 3-4 more horsepower with a sleeve than Nikasil."

"The only reason the factories are running Nikasil is because it's more cost-effective in production. They don't have to have it put in, The cylinder can go in and boom, it's ready. A sleeve has to be dropped in, and matched. The Nikasil was just another way to cut cost with the factories, and it is lighter than the sleeves."

What are some of the other benefits? According to Mark, "When a customer's engine seizes, there may be a scratch that requires them to get a whole new Nikasil plating, which may cost about $300. If they have it sleeved, the next time it scratches or scores the cylinder, they may only need to hone it, or get a bore job…which runs more in the range of $30 to $60. It's way cheaper, and you can bore it up to four times. It's more cost-effective for the rider."

Interresting.... Never heard the whole horsepower bit before and it seems really excessive so I'm not sure I believe that one... Assuming it's in good shape, will the sleeve work well (I'm mostly concerned with reliablility)? Anything I have to do different besides the honing (I don't hone my plated cylinders, just deglaze)? Also, the last set of rings I got from wiseco said they were not to be used in a chromed cylinder, are the correct rings easy to get a hold of?

If anyone is wondering, I got the cylinder so I could have a stock replacement for my 310, as it is becoming hard (and expensive) to find pistons.

Sleeved and Nikasil, nether are chrome so the Wiseco rings work fine in both. I have two 250 cylinders for mine and one is stock and one is sleeved, to ride the bike they feel the same. I have used both quite alot. My 91 Kx250 has a sleeved cylinder on it and more trail miles on it than any other bike I know of. You could have it overboard 1'st over and it would be like new again. I saw that cylinder on egay and didn't realize it was sleeved. You should be fine. I just got back from my first real ride on my egay 250, ran great but have to change fork seals. Headed to Idaho Monday for a week, going to take both bikes. Talk to you later. Good luck Ed

I suppose it depends on climate as well. I read that the Sleeves do not dissipate heat as well as the plated cylinders. I hear that alot but I am not sure that translates to overheating. Then again in the AZ desert, every bit off cooling aid helps and anything that impedes that is considered bad.

Again not sure it is a real issue but I read ALOT about the cooling "issues" associated with sleeves.

That's correct, ebeck. Sleeves do not dissipate heat as well as plating, but they are physically stronger so you can run more compression as long as other engine components can handle it.

I wouldn't worry about the sleeve. It should work trouble-free for a good long time.

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