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Old 04-06-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
KyleKelso OP
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KLX250s... modify or trade?

Hi,
I have a 2012 KLX250s which was my first motorcycle and a great dualsport to learn on. I bought it new as I had no clue about motorcycles so warranty and dealer service were key! I then bought a 2008 KLR650 for longer rides, specifically an Alaska trip last summer with my dad (we both bought KLRs for it) and learned LOTS! LOL
Having the KLR set up for touring, the KLX has pretty much become the camping/off-road only bike and the KLR sees road duty. The KLR is set up well and will get me and a ton of stuff anywhere I want to go, albeit slowly and clumsily :)
The KLX is much funner to rip around in the dirt but now that I've got a few miles under my belt I just want more power! I still want a street legal bike for getting to some nearby zones and linking trails, but don't need it to be quite so pavement functional since I have the KLR. I'm all for modifying my 250 for the trail, but I'm wondering if I'd just be better off getting something like a used KTM ___EXC, or other dirtbike with a street legal conversion? For the record, I'm 6'2" and 200lbs. I think I should be able to buy an older bike for little to no more money than I could sell my KLX (meaning cheaper than upgrading it) and now I am comfortable with used bikes and my own maintenance.
Or, after saying all that, without any long, multiday pavement rides in the near future would I be better off selling both the KLX and KLR and getting something along the lines of a DRZ400 or Husky or similar dirt biased 650 as a true do-it-all?? Oh boy why do I do this to myself??
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:49 PM   #2
UtahGuido
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Here's what a heavily modified KLX250S looks like, though this is a 2007:



351 big bore upgrade with header - brings the engine up to an acceptable power level. Mine was walked by a KTM 350 but short of racing it has plenty of poser (er power) for gnarly offroading and 75 mph freeway blasts. Gearing dependent.

Ergonomics - I'm 6'2" and 190#, so approximately your size. My most significant upgrades?
- Moving the footpegs back a couple inches
- reworking the seat to get a bit more width in the back (8 inches) and flatten it out to remove the "dip" in front of the tank.
- Raise the handlebars with 2" Rox Risers
- the biggie: lengthen the swingarm 1.25 inches and run a 110 chain. Moves the wheelbase around 58" and makes he bike feel full sized. Better stability and no loss of nimbleness.

Mine is pretty comfy for 200+ mile days.

All those you could do with your bike though a swingarm extension may be tricky with the 2012's D section swingarm.

You could get a KTM. They are nice. And I know they go like stink but weirdly, every time I ride with KTMs one of them has an issue. Granted that's only been three rides but three out of three is thought provoking. My KLX soldiers on through everything. It's sort of like the KLR650 (I had a 2008 too) in that respect but way more competent in the dirt. I actually like riding sand on my KLX.

Maybe look at something like a WR450R dual sported? Or a big Husky? But this humble KLX250, discretely of indiscreetly modded, does quite well.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:38 AM   #3
Bultaco206
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What he said. ^

Do you really want something else, or are your buddies telling you that's what you want? I have a KLX because I want one. I've had a slew of KTMs. But what I lose in power I more than make up for in comfort and durability.

Get your suspension reworked for your weight and riding style. Add a 351 kit, Seat Concepts seat, and setup your controls for your size and riding style. Granted my '06 is a little different bike than yours, but I'm 6'/220 lbs and I stand more than I sit offroad. My bike fits me perfectly, both size and power wise. I can do many hundreds of miles a day. The only negative I can see is that there are times the 275 lbs is a bit much in the gnarly stuff. But I can't do 300-mile days on a trials bike anyway.

I could have anything I want. This is what I want. I'd throw some money at what you have and set it up for YOU.





I'm thinking that within about two or three posts the Orange crew will be here posting about how their bikes rule and everything else sucks. It's what they do. It's part of the secret handshake and nylon-bound owners kit.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:37 AM   #4
Kawidad
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Personally, I am not part of the Orange Koolaid crew and am a big fan of the KLX, having owned 3 of each at different times of my life, I must admit that no matter how much $$$ you dump into the KLX it will never equal a stock KTM in terms of performance.

The KLX is a nice casual play bike, but it is not and never will be a hardcore off road go-fast machine. My advice to the OP is sell it and move on and broaden your horizons.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:53 AM   #5
bryantjt
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I had an 06 KLX250S and now have an 06 KTM450EXC. Before I bought the EXC I was looking for another KLX to supplement my WeeStrom. The KLX fit me very well and the modest power actually made it fun to ride everywhere. Just before I traded the KLX for the Wee I had a used 300 jug I was going to have bored to a 351 and had been on the lookout for a pumper carb as well to spice it up a bit.

For my riding style which is casual dirt 2 track with some spirited on and offroad riding I would be equally happy with the KLX or the KTM. The KTM having 2.5xs the power of the KLX just means that things happen faster and it sucks more fuel too.

I don't find the maintenance requirements to be any different between the 2 except the KTM is MUCH easier to work on and you don't need pencil thin fingers to get into weird nooks and crannies.

Point of reference, when I traded my 2 year old KLX with 9,000 miles I was given max NADA trade in value of $2,400. When I was looking in 2013 for another DS, used KLX's, regardless of year or mileage were all north of $3,000.

I found the KTM for $3,500 with 200 hours and 7,000 miles on it. So I gained a big bore, properly setup suspension (it was already sprung for someone my size), a backup kickstart, and a pumper carb, for less than a used KLX + big bore conversion.

All that said, I wouldn't want either of the above to be my only bike. Commuting on knobbies gets pretty expensive. I would say keep the KLR for road work and consider outfitting the KLX to your needs for offroad running. Even if you were to trade it toward a more offroad oriented model you will still find that it needs maintenance/repairs as most used machines will need and you would likely have to respring it for your size unless you get lucky. So you could throw ~$1,500 at the KLX for a 351, pumper, and springs or go for a little more and get the suspension revalved as well and you'd have a great play bike. Or you could try a private party sale of the KLX and pony up some cash toward a 400 or 450 and still need ~$500 for springs and maintenance/repairs.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:09 AM   #6
UtahGuido
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You know, since its your first bike you might want to play the field, so to speak, although the field for small to medium sized dual sports is fairly limited. If you're a young guy then you're probably interested in going fast and might like something more racy than a klx (KTM/euro/WR). If you are a techie then you might want something more updated than a KLX (KTM/euro). If you have a good income and some money you might want something more expensive (KTM/euro) than a KLX. Look around and try some other bikes. Have some fun with it.

FYI I'm approaching 60 yrs old and don't go all that fast or engage in some of the gnarly riding others do. My other bike is a trials bike so I lean towards the slower, more technical stuff. I like sandy gravelly washes and rocky (within reason) climbs and fast (40-60 mph is fast for me) dirt roads. And I like riding the road to get there. On our last trip I swapped with the guy on the KTM 350 for bit on the gravelly wash stuff and frankly I was all over the place. The motor felt like a hammer and the stiffer suspension had me bouncing off line, off rocks, into the weeds. I would have probably gotten used to it in time and probably began to appreciate it's capabilities, and it was way lighter. The other guy commented that my KLX felt plush and pillowy but I was happy to get it back. I guess I'm used to it and it works. The suspension could use some work though.

Something a fellow named Hurricane said that makes sense. He said, and he was talking about racing, "Watch out for the guy with just one bike." Reason being that this guy knows his bike really well and likely has it as dialed as it can be. The KLX has a lot of potential for modification but it will never be a KTM or WR450R. But then I wouldn't want to go to the grocery store on either of those on a regular basis.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
dhally
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For riding dirt, there is nothing better than a dirt bike! My street bike is a WR250R and my trail bike is the Sherco 300i 4stroke. The Sherco weighs at least 60 POUNDS LESS than the Yamaha. That fact alone provides tons of confidence in dicey situations. The steering geometry and suspension are in a different class, as well - no deflection, kicking, or washing out.

I totally recommend having 2 bikes if possible - and they should be different from each other, to enjoy various kinds of riding. The KLX and KLR are actually quite similar in capabilities, compared to a true dirt bike or a true street bike.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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It's always better to get the bike that was built for the purpose than spending $$ to make a bike that wasn't, into a half-ass version of the one that was.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
bobnoxious67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bultaco206 View Post

I'm thinking that within about two or three posts the Orange crew will be here posting about how their bikes rule and everything else sucks. It's what they do. It's part of the secret handshake and nylon-bound owners kit.
Is that how you really see anything posted by a Euro owner? Does the flip side of the question and discussion offend you that much, and is it now forbidden for fear of the Japanese faithful being offended and buttsore?

Sad...
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
Rob.G
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I sold my KLX250S recently (all done up with 351 big bore and full suspension). Why? I never rode it anymore. There was too much overlap with my DR650. That and the KLX just didn't get very good gas mileage, and it's comparatively tiny gas tank (3 gal vs 6.6 on my DR) made it impossible to take on trips. So away it went.

What I did end up with, surprisingly, is a little TW200. I got it cheap ($500) as an old beat up bike needing work. So I fixed it up with the intention of flipping it and making some cash, but I ended up liking it enough to at least keep it for a while. I consider it way better than the KLX for an off-road bike. Sure it doesn't have the suspension travel, but I'm not a motocrosser. If you're that kind of rider, then a Husky or KTM is probably a better choice.

Given your size, if price is an issue, consider the DRZ400. Same weight as the KLX and a lot more power. Just build up the suspension for your weight and it should be a fun bike.

Just throwing my opinion out there to add to all the others. :)

Rob
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:56 PM   #11
bobnoxious67
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To the OP and his question, I would say try different bikes out. You've already said the KLX sees very little use now because the KLR is getting it done for you most of the time, so mix it up a bit (as long as you're keeping the KLR), try another flavor, mess around.

You're young, there is no "perfect" yet
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:10 PM   #12
itsatdm
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If you didn't live in Canada, I would buy it. It and a 351 big bore is exactly what I am looking for.
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:22 PM   #13
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A dr650 can be setup nicely to do both, but depends on what kind of off road you want to do...
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Old 04-07-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
zedro
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I have a fully modded klx351 with upgraded suspension, probably a 30hp 25ft-lbs bike.

Do you want a lighter bike?
Do you want a single track or sand machine?
Do you want 35hp+?

Yes to any, time to upgrade to a more dirt-bikey dirt bike. Unfortunately being in Calgary your choices of road legal dirt bikes is very slim.

The DrZ would be a bit redundant, and its said that power to weight of a 351 might edge out the 400s(m), and the KLX is lighter and less top heavy.

I really cut my teeth road and dirt wise on the KLX and will stay as my DS bike. Bought a 2 stroke for pure off road as the weight is just too much the hairier the trails get. Power grunty wise tho, the 351 is an awesome woods motor. If 2 strokes don't work for me, I may have to shoe horn it into a KX
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:41 PM   #15
Bultaco206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnoxious67 View Post
Is that how you really see anything posted by a Euro owner? Does the flip side of the question and discussion offend you that much, and is it now forbidden for fear of the Japanese faithful being offended and buttsore?

Sad...
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