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Kawasaki KLX250S 2016


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What model was it?

Kawasaki KLX250S.

20160302_115549.jpg.5c597f38a07069fd43938f52155dd4af.jpgUsually just gets billed as the KLX250, but without the "S" on the end Google has trouble distinguishing between the newer FI model and the older carbed version that's still sold (and insanely popular) in the States. Also gets sold as the D-Tracker 250 is certain Asian markets. It's the bike of choice for the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force, and replaced the old KLR250 which was popular with the US military for recon and messenger duty. Hard as nails! :lol:


When did you buy it and how much did it cost?

Bought it from Colchester Kawasaki in March 2016. Very helpful lot, I recommend them. Far friendlier than Wheels in Peatboghorror (they lost my business when the salesman kept addressing me as "young man", condescending twat), and more keen to do a deal, too! List price is £4200, we agreed on £3800 with a nice new pair of summer gloves and a few hours labour fitting some aftermarket bits thrown in to sweeten the deal :mrgreen:

Can't complain about that - I'd also been considering the Honda CRF250L, which doesn't have quite such a nice setup but only comes in at £4000. They certainly made the choice easy for me!


Good points?

On the engine front:

Loads of pull right from the bottom of the range (no surprises there), but the engine really comes to life after 5000rpm. And it loves being pushed hard. And it makes riding in the city an absolute pleasure - tall and thin enough to fit through almost any gap, and all that low down torque to get you in or out of trouble as you see fit. Fuel economy is great, too - so far I'm averaging £5 a week, commuting an average of 2 days out of five and going for a spirited ride each weekend. 6000 mile service intervals are generous enough, And any work on it should be pretty easy because they've designed it to be easy to work on.

Build:

This thing is built to be tough as nails! Straight out of the factory you've got a small sump guard to protect it from bottoming out, a sturdy chain guide (unlike the cheap plastic effort on the Honda), a guard across the rear calliper, and a set of radiator guards. Master cylinder is tucked away inside the bodywork, so little danger of that taking a knock. Heard it on good authority that the only weak point is the bars, which bend a bit too easily - budget for spending £40 on a set of Renthals. And convince the dealer to fit them as part of the deal, because it's a beast of a job (they regretted agreeing to that :lol: )! Frame has a couple of little lugs to stop the engine smacking on the ground if it goes over, and give a bit of shielding to the water pump too. On the note of the water pump, the cooling system is known for being the best in class; two radiators instead of just the one like the competitors, with the coolant reservoir tucked away in the tail of the bike instead. Stock tyres are a decent compromise, they'll handle dirt with ease and loose surfaces quite happily without sacrificing too much on the road. Takes a little getting used to, but it's steadier than running knobblies on a bike twice the weight would be. The low weight also means they aren't getting shredded by the on-road use as quickly as they would on a bigger bike. They'll even get pretty decent grip in mud, to a limited extent... but the tread isn't aggressive enough to go really nuts, it'll fill up with mud eventually and then you're basically running slicks. Suspension set up is one of the best in class, fully adjustable front and rear and with loads of travel. Finally, weight is great. I binned it in a sea of mud and had no trouble getting the bike back up on its wheels again, despite the less-than-steady footing :lol:


Bad points?

I can probably sum up all the bad point in a single word: Motorways! :lol:

The seat is basically made of pure agony, I can ride it for about an hour before I start to need a bum break. The fuel tank is tiny, so you don't get much choice in taking that break! At absolute most you'll get 120 miles out of it. And of course, it's very light and not very aerodynamic (mudguard catches wind like a bugger), so on a motorway you tend to wobble around a bit. Even more so when there's a strong wind. And even more so because you're on knobblies. Perhaps not the best bike if you get spooked easily :lol: And finally, it just isn't that fast! With stock gearing it tops out at 70, running out of torque long before it runs out of revs. Getting to 60 is easy, 68 not much worse, but those last 2 take a bit of a wind up. If you want extra power, the Yamaha WR250 spits out nearly 50% more ponies... but also costs a little over 50% more. Dropping a tooth on the front sprocket is a popular mod, I'll probably give this a go soon. The pillion seat is basically a bad joke (I keep meaning to take the pegs off). Oh, and obviously it has a high level exhaust, so throw over panniers aren't gonna do well. On a final note, the subframe is a weak point on just about every bike in this class - takes a drop just fine, but doesn't like carrying too much weight over bumps. Planning to brace it when I have the plastics off to fit a new exhaust. It's too ruddy quiet! :lol:


Would you get another?

Yep, no doubt about it. Tons of fun. But I'd also get a second bike for doing the more boring long hauls, two up with camping gear on motorways.


Any other comments?

Of course! I haven't even gone into detail on the farkles yet :lol:

Bars:

As mentioned earlier, stock ones are known to be bendy and poop, get some Renthals and you're good. Also the stock bars have bits welded in the end that prevent the fitting of any bar-end accessories. The controls have a little pin that connects into the stock bars, so you'll have to do some drilling to fit the Renthals. Better if you can convince someone else to do it :P

Levers:

I also recommend getting some adjustable stubby levers, as the stock ones are huge and the angle didn't suit my big hands. With two fingers on the levers and two on the bars, I was crushing my fingers before I was pulling the clutch in far enough. I got a set of Chinese specials for £14 on fleabay, anodised green ones that supposedly fold back instead of breaking if you bin it. But the main thing I like about them is that they're two-finger length and I can adjust them. Oh, and they actually fit with the next item, which the stock ones don't!

Knuckle Guards:

You'll want the two above before you get these, or you'll have a rotten time fitting them. Stock levers stick out too far, and stock bars have those wretched welded-in bungs. I've gone for Acerbis Rally Pro, because I wanted something that had some reinforcement so it wouldn't just break the first time I dropped it. Haven't tested the impact resistance yet, but they seem solid. And my hands are a lot warmer since fitting them. At £70 they're normally a little expensive, but I got a deal on them and only paid £40. Polisport do a rip-off version for £40.

Sump Guard:

Wanted a bigger one that would protect from rocks kicked up by the wheel, not just against bottoming out. Also I wanted one that gave some shielding to the water pump as it' looks a bit vulnerable to me. Pleasant surprise here: aftermarket ones start at £100, but the OEM large bash plate is only £65! Thank you very much!

Tank Bag:

Needed to be small, cheap, and tie-on. Gave up trying to find one that ticked all those boxes and made my own out of parts from a waterproof washbag and two bum bags :lol: Not bad for £12 all in!

20160522_172558.thumb.jpg.0fdf5079e86cd2e07bf71aa77cab094d.jpgScreen:

Obviously I'm going to have to go on big roads from time to time, and I was catching one hell of a lot of wind in my chest. Wanted something to help with that, so I looked at screens... it's not really designed to take one, so most of the aftermarket stuff includes a mounting system and prices pick up around £80. Nuts to that! Bought a £30 Chinese windscreen (mounting kit included), same model I had on my Lexmoto, then trimmed it down to a shape that worked well with the bike. Very happy with the fit, nice and sturdy and it certainly helps a great deal. None of that wind catching my chest any more, still get a little bit in the face but less than before. And to be honest, I think my height will always make that an issue unless I invest in bikes with mahoosive touring screens.

20160514_215620.thumb.jpg.52b67ead2aae28a3d124b90151c9a1ad.jpgNot much left to do now, it's pretty much exactly how I want it. New exhaust (looking at a Delkevic stainless steel stubby oval silencer, shaves about 5kg off the total weight and liberates an extra half a pony and a fair few decibels, all for only £120), 13 tooth front sprocket, and bodge some sort of brace for the subframe and a simple frame to keep the panniers off the exhaust. Should all be done in time for the rally :thumb:

20160524_071735.jpg.3253ca6ef6c121ea972f1d49e875cedb.jpg20160524_071745.thumb.jpg.aaff33aada9ae438ef18c2bdc8a4e912.jpg

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Very nice review. I now want to go greenlaning now however!

I may have to try your windscreen mod for my bike. £30 would be worth it if I could get something to shield me a bit from the wind.

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Very nice review. I now want to go greenlaning now however!

I may have to try your windscreen mod for my bike. £30 would be worth it if I could get something to shield me a bit from the wind.

This is the one I used:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Motorcycle-Windscreen-Yamaha-YBR125/dp/B00ZQ3GZ3W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1464259424&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+windscreen+motorcycle

This is the best price I found it for - oddly it's much cheaper on Amazon than on the supplier's own website. Mounting it is very straightforward and lots of flexibility for different bikes - as demonstrated by fitting it to an enduro. Could be even more flexible if you made some bits up yourself; I plan to make mine a bit sturdier at some point.


For customising it:


1. Fit the mounts to the screen and work out where it will fit on your bike, and how.

2. Mark up ONE side with electrical tape, to show the outline you want to aim for.

3. Stick newspaper over the whole screen, go for a snug fit.

4. Hold it up to a window and trace the curve of your tape outline.

5. Remove paper, cut along traced line.

6. Flip paper and stick back onto screen, then mark outline with electrical tape. You now have symmetrical tape guide lines.

7. VERY gently and carefully go once along the edge of the tape with a craft knife or stanley knife, just enough to mark your line

8. Remove tape.

9. Go over your cut line several times, slowly and carefully.

10. Once it's deep enough that the knife follows the line easily, start applying more force. Don't rush or press too hard or else you'll slip and scratch it.

11. Once deep enough, hold knife at ~20 degree angle to cut so that you're gouging a channel in it rather than just slicing feebly.

12. Cut all the way through, or snap once thin enough (CAREFULLY)

13. Sand or file down edges

14. If you need to make new mounting holes (which you probably will), DON'T drill it as this will crack it easily. Use your knife again, spin it on the spot to create a little rut then do the same on the other side so they meet in the middle, then use a very narrow circular file to make it larger.


Done! Took me an afternoon. Would've been quicker if I'd chosen a less ambitious curve. You could also use a hacksaw, but you'll need a thin blade if you're doing dramatic curves. And a big saw or the body of it will end up smacking the screen! A fretsaw would be perfect, if you have access to one. Stanley knife worked for me. Got a few scratches because I was watching a movie while I did it, but nothing too bad.

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Thanks very much for the guide! :thumb: I'll possibly pick one up next month and give it a go. Probably wont be something I'll keep on the bike all the time, but will be good to have when I'm going out of the city.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Aftermarket update!


Some of the crowd over on ADVrider and Thumpertalk recommended a Coleman ATV Seat Cover as a very cheap but very effective way of improving the seat on the KLX (and other dirt bikes with similarly harsh seating arrangements). At $20, surely it's worth a go? Sadly getting one in the UK is more like £60 on eBay or Amazon, and Walmart don't ship to the UK :crybaby:


Oh, wait! Didn't I just spend two weeks in the US? Thank you very much, Walmart Kansas City 8-)

 

20160615_183620.jpg.a5d1ca4eaee0765e4c9f88d9e5184a2f.jpg20160615_183652.jpg.bb55737f4b0aeb73a1e403ce7998ad89.jpg

Bit of a pain to fit, had to make some minor modifications (ie. remove the buckles from one of the straps and cable tie it together at the front end instead so that it still fit flush against the fuel tank), and the side panels are a very tight fit now. If it makes as big an improvement as people have said it will, I might just make it a more permanent fixture in such a way as the seat can be removed with less hassle in the future. It certainly feels more comfy on first impressions, but Saturday will be the telling thing - It usually takes 30 minutes for the pain to kick in :lol: Meant to rain on Saturday... good thing it's waterproof! I'll be testing that claim too. On the down side, the seat is now EVEN HIGHER. Before fitting it I could just about stand over the bike without putting any weight on the seat... I still can, but now I feel... much more supported, if you know what I mean :shock: So maybe this wouldn't be the best mod for people with shorter legs who want to be able to flat foot the bike. But then, nobody buys a dirt bike expecting to flat foot it, right? :lol:

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  • 1 year later...

UPDATE TIME


Many more miles have been done, more modifications have been made, old ones have been improved, tyres have been experimented with, and general dickery has been plentiful. KLX is angry that no updates have been posted in the meanwhile.

Angry.thumb.jpg.4d016edc7d69bc8fa6f98a566ca5c5a9.jpg

Or maybe it's just pissed because I parked it beside Glorian's bike.

Glorian.thumb.jpg.2d2f1d687371989a50c067d5aaf29dcf.jpg

 


New Mods

After getting back from 'Murrica in January I fitted the bike with a little flag bracket for shits and giggles. Bodged it together from some bits in my toolbox:

1563161895_FlagHolder.thumb.jpg.a88a67212639d586e8ea53643bd0da00.jpg

Surprisingly sturdy, hasn't come off on motorways or on green lanes. Or even when I repeatedly kick it when swinging my leg over the bike! :lol:


And as planned, I replaced the silencer (back in October/November of last year). The new one is a Delkevic 350mm Stubby (the only road legal option they have for the KLX), the styling is exactly what I was after and the sound is absolutely great - significantly louder than stock, but not so obscene that you'll piss off the hikers or startle the horses. Keep it north of 6,000rpm and you get a lovely aggressive rasping sound from it, with a great bark when you blip the throttle and a decent pop/burble when you use some engine braking. EXACTLY how this sort of bike should sound, to my mind. And it was only £115 at the time when I bought it, which is awesome. All parts provided including link pipe and gasket, fitting was pretty easy (gasket wasn't a perfect fit but worked out fine with a bit of elbow grease). Can't say I've noticed any real performance change, but then I wouldn't really expect to on a 250 with no fuelling/airflow mods. The weight reduction is good though, a whole 3kg. Strongly recommended!!

1794614514_Silencer1.thumb.jpg.3928f927604fe2ee9caabd2340cb63b2.jpg318254677_Silencer2.thumb.jpg.101bd2234c867803652dce2f98dc073e.jpg

 


Old Mods

Finally got round to making up some new supports for the screen, so it's now sitting at a much steeper angle. Obviously the aerodynamics aren't so good, but let's be honest that was never a strong suit for this bike. But it makes one hell of a difference to the buffeting when you take it on a motorway! Also it puts the whole thing a bit further forwards, meaning you have a better view of the clocks when you're sat right at the front of the seat, and more importantly I don't smack my face on it when I'm ducking branches :lol:

1271541347_ScreenMod1.thumb.jpg.2697df2ffd48889a6f8f2476de180098.jpg186038585_ScreenMod2.thumb.jpg.4025f1270770f1af66ca7c0ff8acadfe.jpg

 

I've also added a plastic sleeve to the lower supports, because they were vibrating against the headlight cowl and making an overwhelmingly irritating buzzing noise at higher RPMs.

1155949286_ScreenMod3.thumb.jpg.42c109b0b862b53f1be383731b6b9c19.jpg

Aaaaaand while I was at it, I also added a similar (more flexible) sleeve to the section of the brake line where it runs under the bracket for the knuckle guards. It tends to rub a bit when you go through any particularly nasty ruts and the line shoves upwards as the forks dive, so I wanted to help protect it a bit.

269996207_BrakeLine.thumb.jpg.fce488990a49c5d521aa3d3178c4420a.jpg

 


Tyres

Right, so the bike comes with Dunlop D605's, which were really solid. I would've liked to have them again, but apparently they're only available as OEM equipment and Dunlop don't import them to the UK! Add into the mix the tyre I got from my amazing forum Secret Santa, and an unexpected puncture, and I've had the chance to try out a few things in the past few months :P


Dunlop D605

REALLY nice all rounders. Once they were worn in you could get pretty damn aggressive both on and off road, but need to be mindful of a little bit of a death wobble on motorways. As they started to wear down more this went away, but obviously they didn't handle gravel and dirt quite so well either. Also the tread pattern wasn't so good for mud, but to be fair they're a gravel/dirt tyre so that's to be expected. The rear squared off a fair bit thanks to my commuting, but not too bad all things considered. The rear was worn away by ~4500 miles, the front lasted a little longer to ~6000 miles.


Pros:

Really solid all rounders

Handle dirt and gravel with ease

Lasted pretty well for a 90/10 tyre!


Cons:

Death wobble on motorways

Not so great for mud (still better than a road tyre obvs)

Still don't last long compared to a dualsport tyre :lol:


I Forget What Brand MX Tyre (rear only)

(If I still have the label at home I'll update this)

Great fun! Wasn't road legal so OBVIOUSLY only used it on the lanes. Would've been able to do more with it if I'd bothered getting a matching one for the front :oops:

Way better than the D605 for mud, scary as hell on some sealed sections, and really not very good at broken glass. Thus endeth the MX tyre, thanks very much fly tippers.


Pros:

Really good at mud, dirt, gravel, you name it


Cons:

Wore really fast

Downright scary on sealed roads when the knobbles at the edge of the tyre BEND underneath you :shock:

Not road legal


Continental TKC80 (front only)

This is what replaced the worn out D605 once I found out I couldn't get another one of the same. I was torn between this and the Heidenau K60 Scout, but in the end swung this way on account of the slightly more mud biased tread pattern. The lanes around here can get pretty grim. Haven't had it for that long yet, but it's doing well so far - very similar to the D605 when I first got it. Occasional death wobble on the motorway, but a good all rounder. Seems to handle the loose stuff just as well as the Dunlops, and lasts a little longer in the mud before getting completely clogged up with it. To be honest, I'm struggling to see why the D605 gets sold as a 90/10 and the TKC gets pushed as a 50/50! I guess it's because the TKC is primarily marketed to people on god awful overweight adventure bikes where it'll never perform to the full extent of its ability, and (like the K60) the wider version of the tyre has a very different tread pattern with much bigger knobbles and much narrower troughs. The only trade of against the D605s is that it doesn't feel quite as sturdy in the corners on sealed roads, but to be honest with only a few hundred miles on them so far that could just be because I haven't gotten completely used to them yet.


Pros:

Spectacular versatility, I really struggle to imagine getting a better balance between mud and sealed roads

Supposedly last just as long as the D605s


Cons:

Little bit vague in the corners

Death wobble on motorways

Still wears faster than a dualsport tyre and to be honest I don't expect it to last as well as the D605! Seems much softer.


Continental Conti Escape (rear only)

This is my current back tyre. Certainly not what I would've chosen (I was planning on a TKC or a K60), but it was the only thing my local shop had in stock at short notice after the previous tyre was sliced open! And you know what, it's actually turned out incredibly well. The tread is just aggressive enough to get some decent bite on even the roughest stuff, so long as you know what you're doing and manage your power delivery well. I've taken it across every kind of surface and had no issues so far. The odd slide on mud, but the TKC up front sets a decent line so it's easy enough to kick the tail back in line. And in trade off, it's one hell of a lot more stable on the road. Wears a lot better, too.


Pros:

Wears far slower than the knobblies

More planted on sealed roads

Pairs of impressively well with the TKC front on the rough stuff


Cons:

WOULD NOT want to ride the lanes with one of these on the front :lol:



So all in all, I can corroborate the tyre wisdom that you'll see all over ADVrider, Thumper Talk, The HUBB, etc...

A decent dualsport / adventure tyre at the back paired with something nice and aggressive at the front is absolutely spot on for riding a split of on/off road while pushing your bike as hard as possible on both. Fingers crossed, the rear and front should end up wearing at the same sort of rate and I can replace both at the same time (unless I run into any more nasty crap on the trails). The TKC is sure footed in any terrain and keeps the bike the right way up on slippy stuff, and the rear gets just enough traction on the muck while having bucketloads of confidence on the road. Really solid pairing.



General Dickery

Bought myself a power ranger suit with matching armor :lol:

Ranger.thumb.jpg.6a41c587527ee74e7e6bf998b1df11bc.jpg

Again, I'll try to add brand names on later today. That being said I got most of it in the Ghostbikes and Sportsbikeshop Christmas sales, because not many people are daft enough to go green laning in the middle of winter :lol:

The boots have been really great, knee and elbow pads (not pictured) are great too. Sturdy fit, comfortable, reasonable airflow all things considered. Also got a set of SixSixOne knee braces with hyperextension lockouts (also not pictured) because my knee isn't so spectacular since the Lexmoto was written off and I didn't want something silly like being worried about torn ligaments to stop me pushing myself (and the bike) as hard as I can! Again, bought in the sales. Again, awesome. Not so relevant to the KLX though so I'll waffle on elsewhere on the forum when I can be arsed.

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Tyres

Right, so the bike comes with Dunlop D605's, which were really solid. I would've liked to have them again, but apparently they're only available as OEM equipment and Dunlop don't import them to the UK! Add into the mix the tyre I got from my amazing forum Secret Santa, and an unexpected puncture, and I've had the chance to try out a few things in the past few months :P

 

 

You mean these?


https://www.oponeo.co.uk/moto-tyre-details/dunlop-d605-70-100-19-42-p-front-tt?origin=shopping&gclid=CjwKEAjw4vzKBRCt9Zmg8f2blgESJADN5fDg4hJg3Bib6-lMbYgHQtFqdHOyQHJvVZ1uJuHZu8NRORoC-i7w_wcB

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Tyres

Right, so the bike comes with Dunlop D605's, which were really solid. I would've liked to have them again, but apparently they're only available as OEM equipment and Dunlop don't import them to the UK! Add into the mix the tyre I got from my amazing forum Secret Santa, and an unexpected puncture, and I've had the chance to try out a few things in the past few months :P

 

 

You mean these?


https://www.oponeo.co.uk/moto-tyre-details/dunlop-d605-70-100-19-42-p-front-tt?origin=shopping&gclid=CjwKEAjw4vzKBRCt9Zmg8f2blgESJADN5fDg4hJg3Bib6-lMbYgHQtFqdHOyQHJvVZ1uJuHZu8NRORoC-i7w_wcB

Thanks smart arse, I'll say it again: DUNLOP don't import them to the UK. Unsurprisingly my local garage don't buy their stock for Oponeo so it wasn't an option, and to be quite honest I couldn't be bothered with mucking around sourcing a tyre myself when I could just let them deal with it.

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Tyres

Right, so the bike comes with Dunlop D605's, which were really solid. I would've liked to have them again, but apparently they're only available as OEM equipment and Dunlop don't import them to the UK! Add into the mix the tyre I got from my amazing forum Secret Santa, and an unexpected puncture, and I've had the chance to try out a few things in the past few months :P

 

 

You mean these?


https://www.oponeo.co.uk/moto-tyre-details/dunlop-d605-70-100-19-42-p-front-tt?origin=shopping&gclid=CjwKEAjw4vzKBRCt9Zmg8f2blgESJADN5fDg4hJg3Bib6-lMbYgHQtFqdHOyQHJvVZ1uJuHZu8NRORoC-i7w_wcB

Thanks smart arse, I'll say it again: DUNLOP don't import them to the UK. Unsurprisingly my local garage don't buy their stock for Oponeo so it wasn't an option, and to be quite honest I couldn't be bothered with mucking around sourcing a tyre myself when I could just let them deal with it.

 


Wasn't been a smart arse Ollie and I saw that you said they don't import to the UK but that doesn't mean you can't buy them and take them to a shop or even get them delivered to a tyre fitter


Won't help in future :roll:

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