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Old 06-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #7936
TNC
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I'll paste these two responses from two other posts the OP has been looking at.

While a Briggs & Stratton engine is pretty darned reliable, reliability wouldn't cause me to choose the Yamaha XT. It's a dinosaur and maybe worse if you really start pushing the envelope on some rougher trails and such. The WR250R and the KLX250 are probably the only two DS bikes that make a decent effort at addressing off road and pavement with bombproof reliability, durability, and lower maintenance. Many of us are looking for that "magic" bike that would be something like installing the WR250R engine into a WR250F chassis...the KLX engine into a KX250 chassis...the CRF250L engine in a CRF250X chassis...well, you get my drift. About the best we can do at the moment is to take one of the better DS bikes like the WRR and KLX and mod the suspension up to a more decent level.

On the carb vs. fuel injection issue, I don't have a problem with either technology. I have a heavily modded '06 KLX250 with a 300 cylinder and a 36mm Mikuni pumper carb...along with numerous suspension upgrades. When carbs are set up correctly, they are awesome. Having a WR250R with an FI programmer wouldn't bother me a bit either.

Well, it may actually be a bit logical to want/expect more out of a lot of these different DS bikes and then be disappointed with the outcome. Whether it's reasonable is a whole other issue. A DS bike is trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, and that's almost always unattainable. However, a lot of DS bike riders want something along the lines of the CRF250L engine in a CRF250X frame. They want the lighter weight, quality suspension, but with an engine that has bulletproof reliability and durability. For the most part this just doesn't exist. To get anything approaching that, you have to go outside the box with lots of suspension mods and maybe even a few engine mods to up the ante. This starts costing money at the production level on a new bike or out of the wallet of the owner of a more normal DS bike who will do the mods.

The concept of the new KTM Freeride 350 might be the most realistic approach to a true DS bike capable of harder core dirt riding, but even it will have its limitations...and price is steep. The concept of "trying to make a bike something it's not" is fine as long as you're not hitting up gnarlier trails. While it's not reasonable to try and turn most of these DS machines into enduro competition bikes, you'll appreciate and in some cases "need" better, modded suspension when bombing up or down trails and 2-track in Moab, Colorado, and many other places. Sure...I've seen people riding...or at least trying to ride in some case...very large bikes like BMW GS and KTM900 series bikes in some pretty gnarly places, but I don't think that's what most riders truly want.

It's fine that many, maybe most, riders are perfectly fine with stock CRF250L's, WR250R's, and KLX250's. However, it's very reasonable for many others to want something more in the vein of the bike that has a good DS motor stuffed into a more competition oriented chassis. Until something like that gets built by a major manufacturer, the dissatisfaction and disappointment will continue with just about all the DS bikes that are currently out there. You have to admit that most of the manufacturers try to tout their DS bikes in the light of being quite capable of off roading by the flashy add pics of their particular bike sitting atop a 13,000' off road mountain pass or bombing through gnarly terrain at what appears to be warp speed. Many of us know better, but disappointment will still be common among many.

These are just my observations on the whole dual sport bike fiasco that we all deal with when trying to make decisions.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #7937
Lutz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjs91882 View Post
Im looking into buying a 250 and am intrested in the Kawasaki KLX 250. Hows this handle off road and also on the streets. So many people say go with the Honda crf250l, but i really think the KLX is the way to go. Any insight would be great thanks
Regarding the KLX as a real do it all motorcycle, this is my input: Yes, it works absolutely fine on the road. Yes, it works pretty darn well off road. And yes, it is very reliable.

I'll admit, I am solidly in the camp looking for a 'magic' bike that has a long lasting engine and an off road pedigree. I don't think the KLX is that magic bike, but as TNC points out, I do think it is one of the better factory efforts toward that goal. All modifications I've made to my bike have been intended to make it a better dirt bike. However, I'm probably in the minority in that I also make my daily 105+ mile-round-trip highway commute on my "dirt bike." I don't change sprockets or tires depending on what I'm going to ride...I just ride it. To me, the biggest compromise is the gearing - you can't have both great single track gearing and great highway gearing without changing sprockets - but you can have a decent compromise.

I've got a few ticks under 12,000 miles on my KLX in total, and it has been totally reliable (other than the $30 dollar repair 2009 shift star problem...but that's another story).

The KLX is an old design that shares parts or has compatibility with parts from many other dirt models dating back to the early to mid '90s. To me, this is good. It also has been modified over all those years, and there are well trodden paths from mild to wild.

I bought my KLX before the CRF250L existed...but I never would have considered the CRF250L even if it had. I considered a WR250R at the time, but it was too expensive compared to the KLX...and a little heavier than I'd like. For me the CRF250L is way too heavy and has way too basic front and rear suspension (limiting potential).

EFI is pretty much a non-issue for me...I'll take it or leave it, but I'm more inclined to leave it. Without touching jetting from my baseline settings, my KLX has run fine in everything from 20 degrees at sea level to 80 degrees at 8000+ feet. Cold starts are the only relatively sore spot, but even down to 20 degrees I've been able to start it - and there's a simple modification that will make cold starts a non-issue as well, I just haven't bothered myself to do it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #7938
Rob.G
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Tdc

Yeah stupid question, I know. I've Googled but didn't come up with anything good. How the heck do you find TDC on this motor? I have the valve cover off but haven't removed the cams yet. I did remove the cam chain tensioner though.

I removed the two timing plugs on the left side, but beyond that, I'm not sure. I'd like to do TDC on intake and again on exhaust and measure my valve specs before I remove everything, so I know where I started.

I have to run some errands in town in a bit so I'm not going to dig into it anymore until I figure that part out. :)

Oh, in related news... a financial snafu has canceled my head porting. I will be reassembling the bike with just the 351 kit, either late tonight or tomorrow as time permits. It will be another month or two before I recover and can do the head porting. Grrr.

Thanks!

Rob
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #7939
cjbiker
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Turn the motor until the lobes on both cams are facing out, and the lines on the camshaft sprockets line up with the top of the head. The "T" mark should then be visible in the inspection window.

edit - put the cam chain tensioner back in before turning the crank.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #7940
Rob.G
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Thanks! Found it in IDRIDR's thread. That little "T" is a bitch to see.

Got it set to TDC, checked all the valves. Intakes are in spec, but exhausts are slightly tight. I was able to get a .005 feeler under both but it took some work. Spec is .006 to .009 so I guess I need to find some shims. Never done this before, so this will be very interesting.

Now to go get the rest of the parts off. I've been snapping photos as I go, so I will post some up a little later tonight.

Rob
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:09 PM   #7941
Rob.G
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Correction... I confused the cams again. The rear cam is at .005, so it's right where it belongs. The front cam is at .007, which is right where it belongs too. So nevermind, I'm good. Only about 4000 miles on the bike.

Rob
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #7942
Rob.G
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351 In Progress...

More total Noob questions and stuff... wanna be sure I'm doing this right.

I got the head and cylinder off. I removed the piston, stuffed towels around the rod, and scraped off the gasket. It came off pretty easily. I used the vacuum cleaner to suck up all the little bits before removing the towels. Then I looked down inside by the rod real good to be sure nothing was in there. Replaced the towels. Installed the new gasket, then the new piston. I put a thin coat of oil on the wrist pin, and installed one of the circlips first. Then slid the wrist pin in from the other side, set it over the rod, and slid it into place. Then I fought with the other circlip for about ten minutes before getting it in. Is there any way in particular those things need to be positioned?

So the new piston is on the rod. I put a thin coat of oil in the new cylinder and it's ready to be slid on. Except I don't have a ring compressor so I wonder if I can do it without one. Also, which way does the ring gap face? Or does it matter?

Once that's worked out, I can get the cylinder in place, then the head, and start bolting the stuff back down. Wow, this thing might actually be running tomorrow!

Thanks!

Rob
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:52 PM   #7943
Handy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRIDR View Post
Dyno Jet's recommendations seem to be on the rich side for our bike, FYI. Do you have an aftermarket silencer? The stock can is plugged! If you don't mind some noise, I have an HMF Performance that I'd let go cheap. Only a few hundred miles on repack with a few scratches but otherwise good condition.
I don't have an aftermarket silencer but I don't really care for loud pipes, it grinds on me on long highway stretches. I will likely end up putting a KLX300 pipe on it sometime down the road.
What do you recommend if DJ is too rich?
Nice to see that you aren't scared to load that thing down! That's more stuff than I carried on my F650GS.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:06 PM   #7944
Lutz
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Rob G.,
The gaps on the wrist pin circlips should be as close as possible to 12 o'clock or 6 o'clock position. You don't want them near the 9 or 3 o'clock positions, or there's an increased chance that they could pop out under the forces of reciprocation.

Piston ring gap orientation in the cylinder doesn't matter so much (in a four stroke), but the orientation of each ring to the others does. Exact recommendations may vary, but generally the second ring gap should be 180 degrees from the first ring gap. The three oil ring gaps should each be about 120 degrees apart.

You should not need a ring compressor, just squeeze the rings into the grooves with your fingers as you slide the cylinder down...one ring at a time. Everything should slide together easily with hand pressure...if you need a mallet to pound the cylinder into place, there's a big problem, like rings not in their grooves, and something is getting ruined. I only mention it only because I've read about other newbies making that type of mistake.

Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #7945
Earthscape
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
More total Noob questions and stuff... wanna be sure I'm doing this right.

I got the head and cylinder off. I removed the piston, stuffed towels around the rod, and scraped off the gasket. It came off pretty easily. I used the vacuum cleaner to suck up all the little bits before removing the towels. Then I looked down inside by the rod real good to be sure nothing was in there. Replaced the towels. Installed the new gasket, then the new piston. I put a thin coat of oil on the wrist pin, and installed one of the circlips first. Then slid the wrist pin in from the other side, set it over the rod, and slid it into place. Then I fought with the other circlip for about ten minutes before getting it in. Is there any way in particular those things need to be positioned?

So the new piston is on the rod. I put a thin coat of oil in the new cylinder and it's ready to be slid on. Except I don't have a ring compressor so I wonder if I can do it without one. Also, which way does the ring gap face? Or does it matter?

Once that's worked out, I can get the cylinder in place, then the head, and start bolting the stuff back down. Wow, this thing might actually be running tomorrow!

Thanks!

Rob
Also, you may already know, but make sure you have the rings installed right-side-up. They are not symetrical. I don't remember off the top of my head if the letters face up or down - Bill will be able to tell you if you need.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #7946
Rob.G
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Thanks everybody! Very good info.

So, I aligned the gap in the circlips to 6 O'Clock, then installed the cylinder and head. Torqued the head according to specs, set the motor to TDC and installed the cams. Here are pix of the cam alignment. How do they look?



Or, a close-up:





Seems pretty good to me but wanted a second opinion.


Next... that metal thing that fits on top of the head and holds the cams in place. Each side has four bolts. One of each of those four is longer and idiot me didn't notice until they were all removed. Where does the longer one go?? :)

And... stock carb jetting. When I was planning to do the ported head, Bill Blue told me to go up two main jet sizes and one pilot jet. How about now? I'm guessing I'll still need the new pilot jet but maybe just one main jet size? Not sure.

Lastly (for now at least)... how do you guys burp the cooling system after refilling it? That reminds me... I need to get more antifreeze.

Thanks again.

Rob
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #7947
zippets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
Thanks everybody! Very good info.

So, I aligned the gap in the circlips to 6 O'Clock, then installed the cylinder and head. Torqued the head according to specs, set the motor to TDC and installed the cams. Here are pix of the cam alignment. How do they look?



Or, a close-up:





Seems pretty good to me but wanted a second opinion.


Next... that metal thing that fits on top of the head and holds the cams in place. Each side has four bolts. One of each of those four is longer and idiot me didn't notice until they were all removed. Where does the longer one go?? :)

And... stock carb jetting. When I was planning to do the ported head, Bill Blue told me to go up two main jet sizes and one pilot jet. How about now? I'm guessing I'll still need the new pilot jet but maybe just one main jet size? Not sure.

Lastly (for now at least)... how do you guys burp the cooling system after refilling it? That reminds me... I need to get more antifreeze.

Thanks again.

Rob
here is a nice spread sheet of what people have done in the past
you be the judge of the jets you need i dont really see any one replacing the pilot

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...wOEVTVFE#gid=0
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:57 AM   #7948
IDRIDR
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy View Post
I don't have an aftermarket silencer but I don't really care for loud pipes, it grinds on me on long highway stretches. I will likely end up putting a KLX300 pipe on it sometime down the road.
What do you recommend if DJ is too rich?
Nice to see that you aren't scared to load that thing down! That's more stuff than I carried on my F650GS.
KLX300 pipe would be a good choice. FMFQ4 w/ quiet core is probably the next quietest. Check the spreadsheet above to see what others have done. You could also call DJ and see what they say; some have reported good success with talking to them. I'm using DJ124 w/ 351 kit, FMFQ4, lid off, and it's still on the rich side.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #7949
Rob.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRIDR View Post
KLX300 pipe would be a good choice. FMFQ4 w/ quiet core is probably the next quietest. Check the spreadsheet above to see what others have done. You could also call DJ and see what they say; some have reported good success with talking to them. I'm using DJ124 w/ 351 kit, FMFQ4, lid off, and it's still on the rich side.
Are you jetting yours for your elevation there in Boise, or are you jetted for sea level? I have a DJ124 in mine too, but I'm at sea level. Maybe I should just leave it alone and see. Hmmm. Crap, I hate playing carburetor games. :)

Rob
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:02 AM   #7950
Ranger Ron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob.G View Post
Next... that metal thing that fits on top of the head and holds the cams in place. Each side has four bolts. One of each of those four is longer and idiot me didn't notice until they were all removed. Where does the longer one go?? :)

Rob
Left exhaust cam cap, forward position.
Right intake cam cap, also forward position.

Ron
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