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Old 01-07-2011, 12:56 AM   #16
Tenured Prof - Leghump U.
Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 870

I sssoooooo wanted one of these when cruising around on my Honda Mini-Trail.

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Old 01-08-2011, 11:53 AM   #17
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Sparta TN
Oddometer: 112
If you get one stick to light offroading, the later ones have a real problem with the wheels coming apart. A buddy of mine had a new '97 model when we were in high school, and I had a KLR 250. Well we went riding on some horse trails one Saturday, and by the end of the day his rear tire was flat because the wheel disintegrated and punctured the tube.

When he took it to the shop to have it fixed, they told him it was a common problem with those.

'79 xs650 Special
'80 kz440 B1
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #18
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Cin City, OH
Oddometer: 6,936
Bought one of those new in '73 (G5 model then), $379. For my wife, but as is not unusual, she didn't ride it, so I did.

Fun, light little bike for gentle off road riding.

Stolen twice, returned once. Missed it when it was gone.

Replaced with a Kaw. F7 (175cc). Lots more power.
Oh I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused-E.Costello
'01 Kawasaki W650, '05 Yamaha XT225

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Old 02-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #19
Museum Piece
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Hill of Nichols
Oddometer: 1,303
Just bought one 98 for 550 bux. Started on the second kick after sitting for a month.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:04 AM   #20
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: North of Tampa, Fl., in Land O Lakes
Oddometer: 92

Back home in the great state of ALABAMA! I rode one of those in motorcycle safety class while @ Whitesburg Middle School. Maybe 1976?
As a 13 year old kid, I loved it.
Land O Lakes, Florida
2007 Honda CRF450X Dual Sported
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:10 AM   #21
I'm alive.
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Calgary, AB, Can
Oddometer: 2,774
My GF has now bought herself one of these. A 2001 with 1000 miles on it for $900. She is about 5'2 - the bike fits her great. This is her first bike. I am stoked that she is not scared of it at all. She is happy just standing beside it and being able to push it out of a parking stall.

I am already thinking about which bike could possibly be her next step up. I can't think of any bigger cc bikes with such a small chassis. Is there one? Anybody know how much a CRF230 can be lowered? (Or XT225/Sherpa/etc. She is partial to red though. )

On another note, I found that these little things had some cool big brothers in the 70's. They were called "Bighorn." 250 and 350 cc 2 strokes.

Now I have 'new bike fever' too. And I lack a Husky in my garage...
990SMT, 640A, TXC450, TE510, ATC350X, ATC200ES, 550MXC, BW200. Need more space in garage.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:10 AM   #22
Booze Merchant
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Joined: Sep 2010
Location: I see Drunk People.
Oddometer: 730
Myself and two friends went splits on one when we were 14 - in 1997. Cost 500 Irish Pounds. Pretty much learned how to ride properly on that thing.

Great, simple, little bike. We seriously abused that thing
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #23
laramie LC4
crash test dummy!
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Tucson, Az
Oddometer: 2,447
i have one that was given to me sitting in the corner, collecting ebay parts, waiting to be brought back to life. cant wait to get it running. all my other bikes need to be good for awhile so i can devote a little more time and money. big thing i need is a tank. mine is shot, too much rust...


'12 LC8 990R, '02 LC4 640, '05 WR 450f (part-out), '98 XR400R, '76 KE100, '05 525 (Step-Child)
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:37 PM   #24
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Helena,MT
Oddometer: 13,869
Ugly duckling...

Just bought a 1995 KE 100 today, $200.

Needs all sorts of plastic, and the purple seat is cracked all over.

No keys or title

Had it running after 15min of tinkering.

Looks to be a really fun little thing

Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:42 PM   #25
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Beaver Falls, PA
Oddometer: 76
I just got an 81 KE100 for free! Decided to make it into a dirt bike for my 13 year old nephiew. I got it running after it sat in a barn for 25 years and I'm tempted to plate it and put it on the road. It's a lot of fun!!

Here is what it looked like when I picked it up, and when i was almost done with it.

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Old 11-09-2011, 09:50 AM   #26
I'm alive.
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Calgary, AB, Can
Oddometer: 2,774
It works

OK, so I had some time off and made a trip to AZ to do a trip with my GF. I rode my KTM and she on her KE100.

The bike went where it needed to go, took some abuse and carried its own weight rather well.

Here is a photo of the set up:

I'm not trying to do a RR, but merely show the capability of the little bike. (Maybe I'll head over to RR to do that...)

Here is a couple of the KE.

The distance covered - about 300 miles, off pavement over 5 days.

990SMT, 640A, TXC450, TE510, ATC350X, ATC200ES, 550MXC, BW200. Need more space in garage.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:28 PM   #27
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Annapolis, MD
Oddometer: 12,511
Looks like fun. Keep an eye on the right side engine case and rubber boots if she drops it on that side or smacks a rock. Air leaks there while riding in sand and dust will kill the top end pretty quickly.

Of course a new top end is about a 15 minute job on that bike. But my KE125 had the rings ruined a couple of times from sucking beach sand through the boots and from cracking that engine case over the carb.
525EXC, 640 Enduro, XT200
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:35 PM   #28
I'm alive.
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Calgary, AB, Can
Oddometer: 2,774
Originally Posted by Grreatdog View Post
Looks like fun. Keep an eye on the right side engine case and rubber boots if she drops it on that side or smacks a rock. Air leaks there while riding in sand and dust will kill the top end pretty quickly.

Of course a new top end is about a 15 minute job on that bike. But my KE125 had the rings ruined a couple of times from sucking beach sand through the boots and from cracking that engine case over the carb.

Noted. Thanks.

The base gasket is leaking. Just ordered one (and head gasket) yesterday. I was thinking it would take an 1.5 hrs. You must drink faster than me.
990SMT, 640A, TXC450, TE510, ATC350X, ATC200ES, 550MXC, BW200. Need more space in garage.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #29
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Annapolis, MD
Oddometer: 12,511
Well, now that you mention it, there is a beer in my hand and a broken KE125 under skinny 18 year old butt circa 1978.

The green cable on the back was what we were using to pull start it because the points got wet on the left and the carb got wet on the right. KE's aren't real good swimmers. As for the mobile home, it wasn't mine. Mine was on the next island. This was South Carolina afterall.
525EXC, 640 Enduro, XT200

Grreatdog screwed with this post 11-09-2011 at 06:04 PM
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #30
Stuck in the Eighties
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: St. Louis, Mo, USA
Oddometer: 240
KE -100 Touring

We bought a clean 1999 KE100 with only 900 original miles about a year ago. I've used it all summer as my errand bike--quick trips to the gym and such. One fine spring morning with perfect weather I got the nutty idea to see what it was like to travel on the little smokey. The KE100 is remarkably comfortable for such a small motorycle so this is not as crazy as it seems. I'm over 6 feet tall btw.

I left my home in the countryside south of St. Louis, MO, USA and headed southwest staying entirely on secondary roads. On the KE one cannot even think of riding on the interstate and even two lane state highways are best avoided. I cruise sedately on roads that I have been down many times on faster bikes and see things that I never noticed before. I have had the KE up to 60 mph once, but I think there must have been a tailwind. Typical cruise speed is about 40 mph on level ground. Going up hills I downshift and slow to 30 mph at times and zoom up to 50 mph going down. I'm thinking that this is more like driving a truck as I go past a little church on Glade Chapel road.

I've traveled almost all of old route 66 a few times, but for this trip I intended to explore an old road that predates hwy 66 by about 40 years. Angling southwest from St. Louis to Springfield, MO much of the old wire road that was created when the telegraph came about still exists and best of all it is mostly gravel and deserted. I'm using my trusty old Magellan Meridian GPS which works just fine with the KE100's 6 volt electrical system. I look for roads labled "Springfield road", or "Wire road" and take them when I find them. I discover an abandoned one lane bridge and take a photo of the KE on the bridge--sorry the photo is gone. I had to negotiate some rutted terrain to get to the bridge and little KE did fairly well. As others have mentioned the KE has minimal suspension travel. The good thing is that the bike is featherlight and this makes uneven terrain a lot less intimidating. I've jacked the pre-load on the rear shocks all the way up and my mechanic replaced the stock fork fluid with 30W when he fixed a leaky fork seal.

Back on the road I stop at a cafe in St. Clair, MO for an early lunch. A bunch of us left St. Clair earlier in the year and rode to the famous swinging bridges of central Missouri constucted by Joseph Dice. I wimped out and never saw the bridges, so I decide that today will be the day. Leaving St. Clair I find old Springfield Rd. and putter along first on pavement and then on dirt and gravel as the road parallels the Frisco railroad through little towns. The KE100 works very well on loose gravel as it kind of drifts about but with a very controllable feel. I keep an eye out for heavy washboard sections and slow for them as my primitive suspension makes them rather jarring.

I get lost in Cuba, MO for about 40 miutes. I can see the old Springfield road on my GPS, but cannot find a way across the freeway to get to it. After going down several dead end streets and waving to a buch of kids I'm finally on my way. I continue to see things differently becasuse of the slow pace and the mood I am in. The ruins of a stone barn would have escaped my notice had I been sailing by on my 900SS. I stop at a little one room schoolhouse for a swig of water and another picture. I've discovered a neat little KE100 trick--you don't need to kickstart. Just put the bike in second gear as if you were going to bump start the bike, but don't pull in the clutch and take off running as if you are starting a Norton Manx. Just sit on the seat and push the bike in second and it fires right up. Off you go! This becomes my favored method of starting on level ground or if there is a slight downhill. I still kickstart rather than try to push uphill.

After passing through St. James I leave the old wire road and begin heading west and north as I adjust my route toward Lake of the Ozarks. The sun is getting lower and I will be going home in the dark. For the first time in the trip I use a state highway-- hwy 42 to save a little time. The road is lightly traveled, but it has no shoulders in most places so every once in a while I need to signal and pull over into a driveway to get out of the way of faster traffic. I read a ride report here on ADV by a young man who traveled the USA by scooter. His method involved traveling a fair bit on the shoulder of non-interstate highways, but this caused him a few flat tires due to debris on the shoulder. I stop for gas in Tuscumbia, MO and discover that the graceful steel bridge near here has been replaced by an ugly concrete one. At one time one of Mr. Dice's swinging suspension bridges stood near here, but I cannot find the site or the remains of the stone towers. There are a lot of beautiful stone buildings here including an old school that is still used.

I finally arrive at the swinging bridges road and hang a left. There is a surprising amount of dust and traffic out here on this little gravel road. I come to the first small bridge and take a pic. When I arrive at the Grand Auglaze bridge, the largest one, there is a crowd there already. An entire family of Asian people including an old woman with a walker are looking the bridge over. A couple of young kids with ATV four wheelers look the KE100 over. They are astonished when I tell them that I rode from St. Louis this morning. I have traveled almost 200 miles so far. The bridge is amazing with suspension cables that were hand wound. I'm delighted to see a crowd out here--maybe there is a chance of saving the bridge. The bridge deck is in good shape so I mount the bike and proceed through the crowd on the wooden planks at a walking pace.

I decide to head for home before it gets dark and save the rest of the swinging bridges for another trip. I stay on paved secondary roads to make better time and arrive in Richland, Mo where I gas up again. I've been averaging about 80 miles per gallon, but the KE100 has a little tank so gas stops are frequent. I had become a bit anxious about finding gas a few times today, but I never had to switch to reserve. Leaving Richland I find a gravel road heading southeast and swing onto it. A hand painted sign advertising "The Cave" restaurant points this way. I find The Cave on the right side of the road a few miles down. The place was an abandonned resort that has been partially restored. Originally called "Ozark Springs Resort" it still has little log cabins that must be close to 100 years old and an old stone tennis court. The main attraction is the restaurant which is inside a cave. I skip a meal on this trip because the hour is late, but I returned later to this lovely spot with my wife and the food was good.

The sun sets as I pass by Ft. Leonard Wood. I'm happy that the KE100 has a decent headlight at least for the speed I am going. I stay on the pavement on old US 66 past Devil's Elbow and as I approach the little town of Jerome I discover that I have a problem. I need to cross the Gasconade river and the interstate bridge seems to be the only way across--the old US 66 bridge is long gone. I attempt heading north along the shore of the river on a gravel road, but it ends at a cemetary. The sky is pitch black and I am getting a little uneasy. My GPS is somewhat primitive and will only route me the most direct way which is that interstate 44 bridge. I can see the little town of Arlinton across the river, but I can't get there. By scrolling the GPS screen I discover another way through. Heading south on a little gravel road I plod along in second and third gear through the darkness. I finally get to hwy P, a paved secondary road and make my way to the old railroad town of Newburg, MO. From Newburg I know the way home and I decide to take my familar friend old US 66 all the way and stay off the gravel tonight. I pick up the pace and begin using ful throttle more as the hour gets later and it starts getting cool out. Gassing up in Rolla, MO I notice that my oil tank is getting a bit low. I look around the gas station for 2 cycle oil and they only have the outboard motor stuff and the little chainsaw bottles--drat. I probably have enough oil to make it home, but it is gonna be close. The oil tank on the KE100 is wider at the top than at the bottom so the farther the level falls the faster it falls.

Leaving Rolla I reduce my speed from the 50 mph that I had been running to a more sedate 40 mph reasoning that this might make the oil go further. I stop at a gas stations in St. James and it is the same sorry tale--no decent 2 cycle oil. I'm pretty picky about using JASO-FD oil in this little bike becasue it runs so hot, but tonight I may need to compromise. I finally find a Mobil station in Bourbon, MO that has Penzoil universal 2 cycle. The oil is not JASO-FD, but it claims to be ok for air cooled engines--good 'nuff. I dump the whole quart in the tank, fill up with gas and head for the barn. I now use full throttle extensively and hope that this will not damage the engine. I'm staying on the pavement, but it is after midnight and I'm getting tired. The air is cool and crisp and that helps me stay alert and hopefully keeps my little engine cool. I take hwy 30 from St. Clair home and ride wide open much of the way. I experiment with tucking in to get a little more speed, but it makes little difference. I get home about 3:00 am and go to bed. The amazing thing is that I am tired, but not fatigued. I hadd been riding all day, but I was not saddle sore and I had none of the muscle fatigue and soreness that I sometimes get when riding a street bike all day.

So the KE100 can be used for touring. I guess I went about 350 miles in one very long day. The pace was very slow, but also enjoyable. The lack of wind drag and noise from traveling slow reduces fatigue, but my ears are ringing a little bit from the day long ring ding in spite of the NR33 earplugs I use. The bike will go at least 300 miles on a tank of oil and over 80 miles between gas stops. If I traveled with this bike all the time I would carry a gas can and an oil can. I would not want a KE100 as my only traveling bike. Even a 250 four stroke is a lot more practical, but there is a strange enjoyment that comes from riding such a tiny bike and staying entirely on tiny back roads. I may take a week long trip with this little smokey and make a ride report--with pictures this time. (Btw. with Mystic JASO-FD oil the bike makes no smoke at all when warm and keeps the plug clean)
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