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Old 10-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
moontower OP
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Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Bastrop, TX
Oddometer: 66
New rider on old KLX300r and could some suggestions.

Hi guys, Im new to the forum (and off-road riding) and had a couple questions about my current project bike. My wife and I have decided to begin exploring the dirt roads and trails in our area (Bastrop TX)on dual-sports with the goal of throwing the bikes in the truck for trips. We are planning a 9 day trip to big bend in January and a three week trip to Colorado in June so I need to make sure our bikes are ready for extended use away from home.

My goal was to find an lightweight, durable and reliable 4 stroke dirtbike that I could convert to street legal (TX). No highway riding, just dirt roads goat trails and fm roads for connecting. I eventually settled on a nice used 2000 KLX300r and am currently sourcing a second one for my wife. I have already ordered the 2 drop dog bones for her bike and am planning on shaving the seat as well. I am new to dirt-bikes (street-bikes for last 10yrs) and have always done my own maintenance but have a couple questions that I couldnt find on here or klxplanet.

As far as I know, the major failure point of the klx300 is the idler gear. From what I have read, stroker use to make a replacement, but it was actually the spacer that would loosen over time and cause the gear to wobble and sheer its teeth. Do I need the aftermarket gear, or will replacing the washers permanently fix the problem. I also plan on doing the ACR mod which I believe helps alleviate stress on the gear.

Other planned mods include:
Larger tank
Denali LED driving lights
Led tail light
Happy trails rear rack
Hot start mod
Bash plate
Re-spring front end per rider
Big bore 331cc kit
Shifter mod
Pumper carb
Aftermarket head pipe

Anything else I am missing? Any suggestions? I plan on updating this thread as the project advances. We are stoked on exploring some off-road areas and cant wait to start riding together. Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-17-2013, 04:40 PM   #2
hadfield4wd
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There are thousands of these out there without the idlergear mod etc. Including mine. It's on the list but not a priority. These are pretty bullet proof bikes.


I'll do the big bore kit when the top end wears out, but not before and definately don't do it unless you have time to tune the carb. Do the free airbox mods on planetklx.org.

Other than that you have all the mod for these things. Ride on.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
TNC
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Location: Tejas
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ght=ironbrewer

In addition to the KLX300 thread, the "Long Term KLX250S" thread has tons of info that directly relates to the 300.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
TNC
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Location: Tejas
Oddometer: 4,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by tirebiter View Post
If your from Texas I'd give this site a holler- Lots of Texas DS riders ..
http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/
Yeah, I've seen that one...and Two-Wheeled Texans. Good sites. I should be headed to Big Bend...NP, SP, and Terlingua Ranch...for my annual trip to ride the KLX there for about 10 days at the end of next month.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:44 PM   #5
jgas
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I just bought one of these. Here's my insight so far. So far I've done nothing but ride it, but insight anyway: It is light, and feels even lighter. Has fantastic gear spacing. Extremely low first, tall sixth with good spacing. It has a set of small frame tubes supporting the back fender, strong and ready for a rack or tool bag on the rear fender. The lights suck, needs a stator rewind and HID or LED head light.

Mine came with the air intake screen removed, butt plug insert gone, and airbox lid removed. It feels like it needs richer jetting. I'm pretty sure the fork springs are heavier, done by previous owner. It desperately needs a heavier shock spring. On hot days in technical riding, the carb overheats, seemingly from the exhaust. I wrapped the header with heat tape, helped somewhat. Could use a small cooling fan, the S model has one. Will it fit the 300? probably. A KX 500 radiator cap will help it to not steam in low speed/technical riding. A "water wetter" coolant helped mine a little.

Suspension needs help, but I think proper springs would fix most of that. Brakes are good, almost great. It shifts far too easily, and jumps into neutral far too easily. www.klxplanet.com can help with that.

THIS BIKE IS FUN AND EASY TO RIDE! It needs a few things to be truly versatile, but everything needed can be had easily and cheaply. It seems so far to be a fun and versatile bike that could handle an enduro, hare scramble, and still be capable of daily commuting or dual sport. A long pavement trip would not be fun, but possible.

If not already done, it needs a manual cam chain tensioner. (Krieger Racing has one for 36.00).
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
Kawidad
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Central Coast, Cal
Oddometer: 4,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by moontower View Post
Hi guys, Im new to the forum (and off-road riding) and had a couple questions about my current project bike. My wife and I have decided to begin exploring the dirt roads and trails in our area (Bastrop TX)on dual-sports with the goal of throwing the bikes in the truck for trips. We are planning a 9 day trip to big bend in January and a three week trip to Colorado in June so I need to make sure our bikes are ready for extended use away from home.

My goal was to find an lightweight, durable and reliable 4 stroke dirtbike that I could convert to street legal (TX). No highway riding, just dirt roads goat trails and fm roads for connecting. I eventually settled on a nice used 2000 KLX300r and am currently sourcing a second one for my wife. I have already ordered the 2 drop dog bones for her bike and am planning on shaving the seat as well. I am new to dirt-bikes (street-bikes for last 10yrs) and have always done my own maintenance but have a couple questions that I couldnt find on here or klxplanet.

As far as I know, the major failure point of the klx300 is the idler gear. From what I have read, stroker use to make a replacement, but it was actually the spacer that would loosen over time and cause the gear to wobble and sheer its teeth. Do I need the aftermarket gear, or will replacing the washers permanently fix the problem. I also plan on doing the ACR mod which I believe helps alleviate stress on the gear.

Other planned mods include:
Larger tank
Denali LED driving lights
Led tail light
Happy trails rear rack
Hot start mod
Bash plate
Re-spring front end per rider
Big bore 331cc kit
Shifter mod
Pumper carb
Aftermarket head pipe

Anything else I am missing? Any suggestions? I plan on updating this thread as the project advances. We are stoked on exploring some off-road areas and cant wait to start riding together. Thanks in advance!

A long time KLX owner here (2 of them in fact):

A lot of your proposed mods are okay, but what are you trying to achieve? IE: Meaning, the bike stock is a fine trail bike that will last a long time. Doing performance modifications is fine, but it can lead to other issues that may be unintended for a travel bike. For example, the stock carb is not bad at all once dialed, and self adjusts quite nicely. However a pumper will improve performance, but you lose the self adjusting feature of the CV carb.

To my way of thinking, unless your wife is an HP junky, I'd go with certain rideability/reliability mods. The shifter star mod is a MUST DO. It's okay stock for street riding, but if taken off road it will cause her a lot of trouble popping out of gear and other things.

The idler gear and cam chain tensioner IMO is a lot of internet hooey that only affected certain bikes.

Modifying the KACR is a good idea to make it easier to start, but isn't really all that necessary if you get the drill down. Hot start is another nice, but not necessary mod.

The stock headpipe will give you better bottom end, which is where this motor is lacking. I did it both ways and for me the stock headpipe was fine. Just like cutting out the backfire screen, not a good idea. It does nothing to improve the performance, despite the internet babble to the contrary, and you risk burning your air filter. DAMHIK

Also, the bike will not support much lighting without a stator rewind and/or a BD kit. (No battery and runs on AC not DC) So without a regulator/rectifier you can not have turn signals and a horn either.

Suspension is the real weak link of this bike. It is total rubbish, but with some care and $$ can be made to be good.

In summary, the KLX is a fine motorcycle that really has few vices and a lot of virtues. Your wife should be well served by it.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:31 AM   #7
markk53
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
A long time KLX owner here (2 of them in fact):

A lot of your proposed mods are okay, but what are you trying to achieve? IE: Meaning, the bike stock is a fine trail bike that will last a long time. Doing performance modifications is fine, but it can lead to other issues that may be unintended for a travel bike. For example, the stock carb is not bad at all once dialed, and self adjusts quite nicely. However a pumper will improve performance, but you lose the self adjusting feature of the CV carb.

To my way of thinking, unless your wife is an HP junky, I'd go with certain rideability/reliability mods. The shifter star mod is a MUST DO. It's okay stock for street riding, but if taken off road it will cause her a lot of trouble popping out of gear and other things.

The idler gear and cam chain tensioner IMO is a lot of internet hooey that only affected certain bikes.

Modifying the KACR is a good idea to make it easier to start, but isn't really all that necessary if you get the drill down. Hot start is another nice, but not necessary mod.

The stock headpipe will give you better bottom end, which is where this motor is lacking. I did it both ways and for me the stock headpipe was fine. Just like cutting out the backfire screen, not a good idea. It does nothing to improve the performance, despite the internet babble to the contrary, and you risk burning your air filter. DAMHIK

Also, the bike will not support much lighting without a stator rewind and/or a BD kit. (No battery and runs on AC not DC) So without a regulator/rectifier you can not have turn signals and a horn either.

Suspension is the real weak link of this bike. It is total rubbish, but with some care and $$ can be made to be good.

In summary, the KLX is a fine motorcycle that really has few vices and a lot of virtues. Your wife should be well served by it.

You are right, it only affects certain bikes and some of those are KLX250s and 300s. After two OEMs going out in my KLX650 I went to a manual tensioner. I know what a bad tensioner does, as well as what a good one does. I also saw how they fail and figured out why. Not all will fail, but some will fail soon and others over time. It all has to do with the dynamic nature of cam drive seating and wear relative to the indexing design of the OEM ratcheting tensioner along with the tolerance stacking of the machined parts.

If all works out well the cam drive will wear and seat to a point where the OEM unit will click in properly and hold. If the machined parts are at a certain point relative to the wear and seating of the cam drive the ratchet doesn't seat properly and will snap back, then ratchet forward over the teeth over and over as the engine accelerates and decelerates... think how often that is under normal riding. This will cause the teeth to chip and wear, rounding off like shifter dogs do after too many missed shifts. The evidence of the tensioner failing will be polished tooth peaks and a wear pattern as it slips back then ratchets back forward - over and over and over.

Here's a couple shots of the problem:

From a GSX1250 the rack:


Now the back side of the rack:



How long you think that's been sliding back and forth and how do you think it is affecting the cam chain wear, much less the cam timing and performance.

Here's one from a ZX6, pretty much what I saw on my KLX's second one trashed in less than 8000 miles:



Just saying, if there is clatter from the cam drive there is a reason and there is an effect on parts and performance. So fix it. It isn't about the noise, it's about the mechanical workings of the parts.

Of course if there is no noise there is no worry. I have told riders before - "don't fix what ain't broke." But if there is clatter, and from what I understand on the 250s it will come around 4000-6000 rpm, possibly the 300 will be the same, it should be taken care of. The manual tensioners are just less cost and minimal maintenance. I've done a total of 4 adjustments in 30,000 miles on my 650 after starting with new cam chains that needed to seat in. The first few adjustments were for that reason. It's been over 10,000 miles since that adjustment. You also know when adjustment is needed - the cam drive will tick lightly and audibly when hot. A manual tensioner moves .050" in one rotation and can easily be adjusted within less than 1/4 rotation (aka .012") of perfect adjustment to take the play out of the cam chain without putting tension on it - since chains are actually made to run without actual tension, but rather little to no play.

One last note, don't try to do some cheap fix like backing out bolts to let the tensioner click in. When you do things like that you are overtightening the cam drive - not good. The tooth pitch is probably around 1-2mm and that's .040-.080" preloading on a chain. Remember those cams ride in machined plain bearing surfaces of your head. You break that few thousandths of oil film for any length of time you are looking at metal to metal contact - again not good. You don't overtighten your chain when you adjust it do you? If you want to fix the cam drive do it right so the adjustment is right.

If you want to believe it is a lot of hooey and ignore the noise if ever present in your bike, have at it. But don't lead other riders into thinking "all Kaw engines are noisey". My believeing the guys who said that about the 650 cost me a top end rebuild to do the cam chains (2 in the 650). I also will say there are multiple riders with a wealth of knowledge who will back up what I am saying. One of those riders instigated and worked with me on the one I make for the KLX250/300 because he knew what was going on. Up to that point I didn't consider it. I only did the KLX650 and the KZ models due to my being a member of the Zephyr Zone and those bikes having similar problems. I don't find the problem bikes... they find me. Seems some riders with KLR250s and DRz400s are experiencing similar failures. Not all do it, but some do. Should they ignore it?
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markk53 screwed with this post 11-29-2013 at 07:42 AM
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #8
Kawidad
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Central Coast, Cal
Oddometer: 4,470
What I meant when I wrote "internet hooey" I was referring only to the KLX300. The KLX 650 or the DRZ (which had a known problem early in their run) or insert the bike, is a different matter all together.

For example, IIRC, the early KLX250's of the same era as your 650 did have some kind of problem with the tensioners and there was a superseded part number for them. I had one, but that was almost 20 years ago now.
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