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Old 11-14-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
brucifer OP
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1986 IT200 or 1989 KDX200

Okay guys, gonna go look at these bikes this weekend. All things being equal (condition, price etc.) which one of these bikes would you choose for tight, rutted, muddy and rooty conditions and why?
The weather is very mild here so liquid cooling over air isn't really any advantage. Rarely, if ever are there any overheating problems.

Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #2
AST236
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KDX. Light, decent power, still some aftermarket support and lots of used parts are still available.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
fastdadio
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My 89 KDX was hammer proof. The IT, I have no experience with but never heard anyone cussing them. Air or water, pick your poison.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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I really liked my old 91 KDX, but the power valve cylinder thingys on the side of the exhaust port have a tendency to shear the gears of the top of them.

I don't believe it goes on to cause any other damage, but I know I bought the second last right side one in Australia, the left side was no longer available.

As far as I know this will make the power valve less effective and lose a bit of bottom end.

No idea if there is a fix out there for it, and it is the only thing that stopped me getting another pre 94 KDX.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #5
Edmond Dantès
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I know this doesn't help your weekend decision making, but neither.
Save your money and put it towards an extra 20cc in the form of a KDX220.

When you ride it, you will know where the extra money went.



But if the KDX200 looked like this:







Then that would be a different matter all together!
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
Canuman
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Plenty of support for the KDX still available, in either 200 or 220 form. Not to disrespect The Man in the Iron Mask, but many, including the moto press gave a nod to the 200 in terms of being an all-around rider.

You may find IT a little harder to source stuff for.

I just went through a 200 making it street-legal and upgrading the suspension. The bike had been inmate-owned by a trusted friend, and was in very good mechanical shape with all the desirable engine mods, so my effort was related to upgrading the suspension to fit my not-inconsiderable bulk, and adapting the electrics to make them legal on the street in 2-smoke friendly VT.

Parts are very easy to obtain, either aftermarket or OEM. Jeff Fredette is your friend over at Fredette Racing Products -- the winningest KDX driver in history, I think. It's a hoot of a bike to ride -- mellow enough so you're not afraid of death or dismemberment, but spunky enough to remind you why the smell of castor oil is so much fun.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:25 AM   #7
Edmond Dantès
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
Plenty of support for the KDX still available, in either 200 or 220 form. Not to disrespect The Man in the Iron Mask, but many, including the moto press gave a nod to the 200 in terms of being an all-around rider.

You may find IT a little harder to source stuff for.

I just went through a 200 making it street-legal and upgrading the suspension. The bike had been inmate-owned by a trusted friend, and was in very good mechanical shape with all the desirable engine mods, so my effort was related to upgrading the suspension to fit my not-inconsiderable bulk, and adapting the electrics to make them legal on the street in 2-smoke friendly VT.

Parts are very easy to obtain, either aftermarket or OEM. Jeff Fredette is your friend over at Fredette Racing Products -- the winningest KDX driver in history, I think. It's a hoot of a bike to ride -- mellow enough so you're not afraid of death or dismemberment, but spunky enough to remind you why the smell of castor oil is so much fun.
Nice post Canuman.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
Canuman
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Another thing to note in the IT vs KDX choice: The IT has much bigger front forks (43mm), which are a good thing. One of the common complaints about the KDX is that the forks are barely adequate (39 mm for that year), and usually need some work if you're much over 150 lbs.

However, the KDX sports dual disc brakes, while the IT has drums front and rear. We all know that brakes only slow you down, but sometimes that's a good thing in the woods. After a few sloppy mud holes, I'd far rather be on discs.

It's a lot easier to beef up the forks than to make drums work like discs.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
brucifer OP
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Canuman, good info except the '86 model IT did have a front disc brake.

The KDX went to 43 mm forks in '89.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:52 AM   #10
Canuman
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I stand corrected. For some reason, I had in mind that the IT was an '84, which had dual drums. I just gave an '81 XT 250 to another inmate which had the dual drum set-up. Not too bad when they're dry. . .

Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucifer View Post
Canuman, good info except the '86 model IT did have a front disc brake.

The KDX went to 43 mm forks in '89.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:32 PM   #11
The Flyin Hawaiian
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KDX went to 43s in 86. I raced a 91 and 92 in enduros, same as a 89, all had 43s. I would go with the KDX. As most said parts avalability is better. The 95-06 200/220 would be even better. Though I have seen some great deals on the earlier 89-94 KDX200s. 93 and 94 had a very basic upside down fork. Only compression adjustments.The early 200s, 83-85, had 38mm forks I also raced a 84 200 and a 84 250 KDX.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
brucifer OP
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Hmmm....'86? Okay, I was just going by this: http://www.cyclepedia.com/kawasaki-kdx200/
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:50 PM   #13
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That article shows a pic of Jeff Fredette at a national enduro in NJ. I was at that enduro on my 84 200. It was the 86 Pine Barons Nat Enduro. I ended up breaking the frame and dnf'd! Sorry for the walk down memory lane.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flyin Hawaiian View Post
That article shows a pic of Jeff Fredette at a national enduro in NJ. I was at that enduro on my 84 200. It was the 86 Pine Barons Nat Enduro. I ended up breaking the frame and dnf'd! Sorry for the walk down memory lane.
I like traveling down other peoples memory lane as much as my own. I find it very interesting what others were doing in the past compared to what I was doing at the same time. Neat stuff.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
brucifer OP
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The 1989 KDX200

Well, here it is. Seems to run well. Definitely needs some TLC but mainly cosmetic.
Has an FMF pipe and Pro Circuit did the suspension in 1990. The PO owned it since '93.
Got a factory Kawasaki service manual, the stock pipe (dented up pretty good) and some paperwork on suspension set-up from Fredette Racing.
The receipt from Pro Circuit is there too.
Clean paperwork on non-op status.
I'm pretty happy. I think I did okay for $600.


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