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Old 12-02-2005, 12:28 PM   #1
bmwhd OP
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Long term KLX250S review

I've no hope of this generating the interest of Eeyore's great ULY thread but since a number of folks have expressed interest in the new (to the US market ) '06 KLX250S, I'll post my ownership experiences here.

I took delivery of the first one my dealer received at lunch today. What a sweet little bike! My prior dual sport riding has been almost entirely on KLR650s so my impressions will be tainted accordingly. Also, just let me say thanks to everyone that shared their limited first hand information on this new bike and their speculation on what this bike would be like compared to my old KLR and my other choice, the DRZ-400S.

I only have 25 miles on the bike so far but it's love at first ride! It's so light and agile compared to the 650 and of course, the suspension is worlds better.

The Dunlop 603s seem to work very well on the street and the short hop I took down a loose gravel road felt just like knobbies should.

The most pleasant surprise is the over-drive 6th gear (0.904 according to the owners manual). It will have no problem on the highway even with my fat butt loading it down. What will be a problem is keeping under 4K RPM for the 500 mile breakin period. That's just not going to be possible. This bike begs to be revved.

Now, can anyone help a suspension noob with some basic setup info? This thing has more adjustments than all my previous bikes put together ;-)
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:07 PM   #2
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How fast will it go, do you think? How high does it rev? At what revs do you have to shift it? Congratulations on your new bike.
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:44 PM   #3
bmwhd OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtgrain
How fast will it go, do you think? How high does it rev? At what revs do you have to shift it? Congratulations on your new bike.
Not sure yet.

Here's the gearing according to the owners manual:

1st 3.000 (30/10)
2nd 2.000 (30/15)
3rd 1.500 (27/18)
4th 1.250 (25/20)
5th 1.050 (20/20)
6th 0.904 (19/21)

The tach has redline at 10,500 RPM

Final drive gearing is 42/14 or 3.000

Assume a tire circumference of around 82 inches which yields a very theoretical top speed of about 100 mph.
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhd
Assume a tire circumference of around 82 inches which yields a very theoretical top speed of about 100 mph.
It will very definitely run out of torque before it runs out of revs. A DRZ-S does also, and does not normally reach 100 mph actual, with far more power availble. But say yea for the 6 speed so that one can have a decent 1st for the woods without the bike revving out on pavement segments!
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:02 PM   #5
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I can't wait to hear more about these bikes. I think this bike is a great addition to the DS market for states like Wisconsin that make converting a dirtbike nearly impossible.

Lets see some pics!
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:36 PM   #6
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interesting to see the mods develop too...

god knows they really have to wring out the KLX300 to get it to hop...

oh, found this on klxzone...

POWER SURGE
Measured at the rear whell the Team Kawasaki KLX's crank out 34 horsepower. To put that figure in perspective, out of the box a KLX250 produces and uninspiring 18hp. Take a look at the devlopment that nearly doubled the KLX's power output.

• The stock piston was discarded in favour of a high compression Wiseco piston. The piston used is actually made for Honda 1100cc road bikes and requires machining to suit the Kawie.
• The 2001 thumpers are slightly down on performance compared to McFarlane's 2000 thumper because of this year's strict fuel restrictions. A higher compression piston was used in Andrew's bike because it drank hi-octane fuel.
• It has taken two to three seasons to develop a camshaft that Kevin's satisfied with.
• For durability reasons a forged steel Carillo conrod replaces the standard rod. Kavin had the conrod purposely built 2mm longer than the stock rod. As well as raising the compression slightly, the longer conrod also makes the KLX pull stronger.
• Plans are afoot to alter the combustion chamber to allow higher compression without detonation on pump fuel.
• The cylinder head on the factory four-stroke is very similar to the head on a production KLX. The port shape remains the same and the valves are stock standard. The only improvement is a clean-up with a porting tool.
• Staintune Australia and Kevin Doyle worked together to develop and exhaust system that suited the KLX. Modifications were made to the system to fit the KX subframe.
• The standard black box has a rev limiter that puts a cap on the revs at 9500rpm. A vortex ignition replaces the stock unit and has been programmed to rev to 11,900 rpm during dyno tests, the horsepower of the KLX is still climbing when it hits the 11,900 mark.
• A 37mm FCR carburettor replaces the standard carby. This modification alone makes a massive improvement to the KLX's low to mid-range performance.
• Heavier than standard Barnett clutch springs are the only non-genuine components inside the clutch.
• To enable the engine to reach maximum revs quicker a modified KX250 flywheel replaces the KLX flywheel. The KX flywheel is nearly 1.5kg lighter than the KLX equivalent.
• Kevin makes up a modified kickstart gear because standard KLX's have been known to break kickstart gears. The problem can also be solved by changing the decompression timing. According to Doyle the timeing is too far advanced which gives the bike too much compression when starting. Retarding the timing lowers the compression which reduces the strain on the kickstart gear and also makes the bike easier to start, because the engine turns over faster.
• The KLX's run Maxima 100% synthetic oil, which is replaced after each race meeting. Apart form that the engines don't receive any extra maintenace throughout the season. Last year, Andrew's thumper was pulled down a couple of times to check for wear but each time it was nailed back together without any replacement parts. The same piston and rings were used for the entire season.


http://www.klxzone.co.uk/klx_dirt_action_article.html
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:39 PM   #7
charleshmosesii
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I'm going to the dealer tomorrow to check it out, yay for me!
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleshmosesii
I'm going to the dealer tomorrow to check it out, yay for me!
Stock bike vs stock bike, for a noob the KLX is gonna be easier to ride off-road, and to pick up multiple times a day, and to pull out of mud holes. Stock vs stock the DRZ would be better on the pavement. It can be geared down for the woods but then it won't be as good on the pavement. All around, the DRZ is "better" but the KLX is "easier" on the woods end.

I just sold my DRZ and have briefly ridden a buddy's dualsport converted KLX300. That guy also had a DRZ. FWIW, when I told him I was considering the KLX-250S, he told me that a DRZ-S was better in every way except weight. And a DRZ-E (if you can dualsport it in your state) is much closer in weight to the KLX-S than the DRZ-S is.

Is there stability now in the claimed weight of a KLX-S? Early on, I saw claims of 240 lbs but then saw a Kawi website that said 250 plus....
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:25 PM   #9
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The owners manual claims 262lbs dry for the KLX250S. All I know is it feels at least 100 real pounds lighter than my heavly laden KLR650.

I had it up to 65 on the highway briefly today but still tried to keep RPMs reasonable for breakin purposes (might have topped 6K a few times ) This bike is not going to be anyone's idea of fast in 5th and 6th gear but it will do just fine for getting me out to the fun stuff which for me is anywhere from 30 to 50 miles from the house.

I intentionally wanted a bike that I would have no desire to farkle up into a dirt capable street bike like my old KLR650. Rather, I want a barely street capable dirt bike and this fits the bill brilliantly.
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Old 12-02-2005, 05:07 PM   #10
viverrid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhd
The owners manual claims 262lbs dry for the KLX250S.....I want a barely street capable dirt bike and this fits the bill brilliantly.
It is indeed a barely street capable dirt bike.

But 262 is what a DRZ-E weighs (book weight and yeah they lie). In my state converting a DRZ-E is a questionable proposition, but in an "easy" state for "dualsport conversions", I dunno if that KLX-S is gonna look so good...
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Old 12-02-2005, 06:36 PM   #11
dirtypumpkin
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Congrats on the bike, and not to open up another can of worms
for you, but dont worry about a soft break in, ride that sucker.
I really wish the 400 had a 6 speed, must be nice to have it.

http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm



Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhd

The most pleasant surprise is the over-drive 6th gear (0.904 according to the owners manual). It will have no problem on the highway even with my fat butt loading it down. What will be a problem is keeping under 4K RPM for the 500 mile breakin period. That's just not going to be possible. This bike begs to be revved.
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Old 12-02-2005, 07:05 PM   #12
mewerj
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yah but if you are in an easy to plate state you have all kinds of options in addition to the drz400e i.e. a klx300, wr250f, wr450f, xr400r, xr250r, drz250.
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Old 12-02-2005, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhd
The owners manual claims 262lbs dry for the KLX250S. All I know is it feels at least 100 real pounds lighter than my heavly laden KLR650.
Well, isn't the KLR like 364 dry? Looks like your feeling is correct!
If this bike was available when I bought my DRZ-S I definitely would have considered it. I wanted a street legal dirt bike, not too worried about road performance. No way to dual sport a dirt bike in this state anymore.
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Old 12-03-2005, 02:36 PM   #14
bmwhd OP
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No doubt about it, this bike is SWEET! Just put about 40 miles on some very technical single track (lots of very rocky ground too). So confidence inspiring! Did everything I hoped it would do and more. Sure, it's down on power vs. a number of other offerings but for what I want to do, it's great. Once it's got a few miles on it, I might look at a pipe and jet kit but it really doesn't need it unless you want to ride silly fast.

Lot's of folks have correctly pointed out that a DRZ-E plated here in Texas would be a nice option. No doubt about it. I went with the KLX after having a number of same tell me they'd give just about anything for a 6th gear.
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'78 R80/7
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"Gentlemen, gentlemen, be of good cheer, for they are out there and we are in here!" - Robert Culp, attributed by Hugh Hefner as the official slogan of the Playboy Mansion
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:19 PM   #15
bmwhd OP
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Time for some details.

I picked the bike up Friday from my local dealer, Grapevine Kawasaki near DFW airport. Very nice folks there with a decent service department. There wasn't much room to work on price but they did come of MSRP. I opted for a 24 month extended warranty but didn't accept the offer to pre-pay the first four services since I do my own work for the most part.

I was only able to put 30 miles or so on the first day. Ergos on the bike are just about perfect for me. I'm 6' even and about 210 lbs. with a 32" inseam. I can flat foot the bike easily. It doesn't feel any taller than my KLR did. The handle bars will need to come up an 1" or so for standing but are fine while seated.

The seat is not bad for what it is - a dirt bike seat. I was able to compare it back to back with my neighbor's '05 CRF230F seat and the KLX seat is much more comfortable than that but far less so than the Corbin I had on the KLR.

We went to the local dirt bike park today (Rocky Ridge for you N. Texicans) and I was able to add another 30 miles of single track and open range riding as well as spend some time on the jumps. The foot pegs are just OK. They grip fine but they're a bit small for my dogs and I'll be looking to replace them soon with something larger. Does Fastways make peg that will fit the KLX300R?

The bike really worked well in the woods, on the open range, and on the jumps at the park. 1st gear is extremely low. I found myself using 2nd most of the day on the tight stuff. The bike doesn't wheelie as easy as some but has no problem lofting the front end when needed.

Suspension - Great! Everything came from the dealer set up per the owner’s manual as a starting point. Rear shock spring compression seemed a bit harsh at first but proved to be fine. 11+ inches of travel and ground clearance are a wonderful thing!

I need to check the sag tomorrow and then start tweaking damping settings to see how they impact things. I'm no suspension expert but I know a couple of guys that are so I'll be to them.

The tires (Dunlop 603s) worked very, very well at Rocky Ridge (It's named appropriately, rocks, rocks, and more rocks as well as lots of sand and silt). They hook up very well in the sand and ate the large rocks and fist sized deep gravel for lunch.

One minor nit so far is the seat bolts. Two bolts at the rear of the side panels hold the seat on too. Easy to remove but they're difficult to re-insert after removal because they're so short and the side panel includes two plastic inserts that tend to fall out while you're trying to thread the bolts. Also, they're standard 8mm bolt heads and I prefer to carry just hex keys on the road so I'll be switching some of these key fasteners out with hex cap head bolts.

I'll get some pictures going tomorrow.
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