As noted above, I sold the WR250 in the spring of 2000. I sat bikeless for a year, sold all my gear, and just couldn't stand it. I started thinking about trying to get another bike to use on the ranch and for just general riding, with less "fast" riding like I'd done with the WR. The Kawasaki KLX300 and KDX200 looked promising, providing I could find used ones. I sure liked the light weight and flickability of the 2-stroke and leaned hard toward the KDX, especially after finding the great JustKDX site and reading about the reliability of KDX's. Just as with the WR, one day I was on-line and it occured to me to check the Amarillo classifieds. I did and there were 2 KDX200 for sale! A '97 for $3000 and a "'95" with no price. I called about the '95 and was told it was really a '96 and they'd take $1900 for it. It sounded great- used as a ranch/farm bike and play rode on the Red River. No racing, all original. This, time, though I bought from a Christian perspective and did some praying about it first. When the weekend came around, the bike was still available, I'd consulted with my wife and Christian brothers, and decided to check it out. We met 1/2 way and I came home with my first Kawasaki!
Compare to the similar shot of the XR200 above! SAME BOOTS!!! (I actually have had new ones- Fox Forma- but, like an idiot, sold them). The boots are an interesting story....after getting my Fox Formas (which I stupidly sold...) I put the HiPoints in a box and put them in the garage. My mother had a garage sale the same weekend I bought the KDX and the day after, I was sitting there wondering what to do for boots since I'd stupidly sol...anyway, I remembed my trusty HiPoints! So I called and she had given them to some people who then give things to a ministry. I got on the phone and la-da! got my boots back! They actually were kind enough to retrieve the box from a dumpster for me! I'm looking for some new used boots on Ebay, but in the meantime, these work better than nothing.
The KDX had stock jetting and was RICH, RICH, RICH. I can't believe they rode it that rich! The first thing I did was drop the stock 160 to a 155 main jet and the stock 48 pilot to a 42 as per the recommendations on JustKDX. I think I can go even leaner, but will wait to experiment until I have cleaned the KIPS valve. Right now (Sept 2001) the bike runs good, but still a little rich. (December 2001: I found out that B7ES instead of B8ES plug works a lot better, too). I'm very impressed with the handling and the suspension. Places that used to kick the rear of both the XR and WR don't bother the KDX at all. The power is exactly in between the XR and WR, with plenty of low end grunt and still with the quick revving 2-stroke engine. It turns well, stops well, and runs very smooth down the dirt roads on the ranch. It tracks straight thru the mud and doesn't wheelspin like the WR did, nor push the front tire like the XR. Wheelies are very controllable and I can lift the front end easily with just a little clutch work. I really like it. During the winter I'll check the top-end, including the KIPS valve, put Answer Alumilite bars on with handguards, radiator guards, and probably a rear brake shark fin. I do't want to spend too much money, just looking to increase reliability and crash protection.
It sure feels good to be riding again!
I now have, thanks to a fellow "KDX'er for Christ", a slighly used FMF K-35 exhaust and ISDE silencer, and thanks to Ebay, a set of Devol radiator guards, and thanks to Rocky Mountain MC a Utah Sport Cycles skid plate. Happy with all! The pipe gives the bike a smoother quicker rev with definitely more mid-range hit. It doesn't turn it into a KX250 (that's a good thing), but does make it a little peppier and quite a bit quicker off of idle. I delayed putting the ISDE silencer on because I was afraid it would be too loud, but when I did, I was very pleasantly surprised to find it was quieter than stock! And I really felt a bit more torque and high end rev, too. A great combination- THANKS BOB!!! The radiator guards were a snap to put on and I feel a lot more secure with them in place. The skid plate- well, every now and then I hear it go "twwiiinnnggg" off a rock, and I'm glad it's there! I also have MSR Dominator aluminum bars on, but I'm not sure I'd recommend them as they're a little flexy. I have Maier handguards on now and they'll show up in more recent pictures.
This is what my KDX looked like in December 2005. I'm running a vented UFO plate on the front to replace the stock headlight that I busted at Berthoud. I've also got Pro Taper SE Charmichael bars. Bike has an FMF Desert pipe now instead of the Torque pipe. Gripper seat. '01 KDX200 graphics. I can live with the purple tank although someday I'm going to get a "natural" see-thru color so that I can see how much gas I have left.
Here's the UFO plate, cut for my WER steering damper. I think it looks pretty good, myself.
I also have an ASV brake lever. After running Tusk handguards for awhile, I've removed them and will probably mount some open ended Cycra guards to save weight and because I just rarely ride in thick bark-busting woods. I'm using Gaundo grips with bar ends. I really like running bar ends and they really do keep the grips in good shape.
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