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KLX250/300/351 Stories


Well-known member
Feb 7, 2022
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Monaro Oz


I ordered myself a new 2007 Husaberg FE650 for Christmas 2006 and figured I need to get her something too. So a 2006 KLX250 was my 2006 Christmas present to my wife, she got the KLX250 and I got my 2007 Husaberg FE650.


This is my FE650 not long before it moved on. 63 Dynojet Hp at the knobs, exciting.......


The KLX replaced her XT250. This is the only pic I have of it. It was passed on to #1 daughter, hence the 50/50 tyres and top box for commuting about town on.


When I first met her she had a DT175, and this is the only pic I have of it. She had no car or car licence, just the DT to commute on.


To convince me to propose to her, she bought us a new GPZ1100B2 which we rode to Queensland on our honeymoon. We're now coming up for our 39th anniversary.

So back in 2006 when I needed a new enduro bike, the FE650, it was a toss up between the DRZ250, TTR250 and KLX250 for her, lower maintenance, easy to ride, and with a magic button. The KLX won on the day because it was the cheapest and KHA were also doing deals on the 300 kit which was an extra $300, and it was all still the cheapest. All 3 have pros and cons, and the availability of the 300 factory kit may have been a deciding factor even if not the cheapest. We'd had a mate's DRZ250 stored here for a year or more at the time too, so I/we were pretty familiar with them, good bikes too.

The new KLX was a big surprise for her on the day, I scored some good brownie points!

She's not hard on a bike, and now more or less retired from riding. I sold my FE650 18 months ago, the arthritis/old age thing was telling me its time. The FE650 is not a bike to cruise on, it keeps telling you to have a go and is wonderful when you do, but my body not so much anymore.

The KLX only has 10k kms on it, so lots of life left in it. Back in the day, before YZ250Fs they were the bike to beat in the ThumperNats. OTTOMH the only failure to date was the neutral light switch, everything else has been the usual wear items, its even still on the original chain.

Anyway, that's some background, this thread is about the KLX and what has happened to it, mainly over the last year or two. And upon reflection, it may now be the bike we've owned longer than any other, and there's no plans to move it on.
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Early on, we made some basic changes to improve its crashability.


We live in the bush on 120 ac and have a short MX track just outside the shed and 9 kms of at times snotty single track before we go out the gate and access 1000s of kms of tracks and trails.

I added a pair of barkbusters, a bash plate and folding mirrors, and swapped out the expensive speedo/tach assembly for a Vapor with dash, along with a plastic headlight and shroud to replace the heavy glass and steel stock item, and swapped out the large blinkers for some more compact items. I also added a tool bag to the rear guard after removing the factory rack.


I swapped out the rear spring for a slightly stiffer one. There was enough damping adjustment to suit, so it was left stock. I think at that time I also opened up the top of the airbox and lifted the carb needle.

With the basics sorted, she rode it and was very happy. The button and more forgiving suspension compared to the XT were winners.
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I had a 99 300 that I rode for years. It was the most dependable bike I have ever owned. I beat the crap out of it, neglected maintenance and it just kept on ticking.
Yep, good things.

About mid 2007 I fitted the factory 300 kit and bypassed the carb heating. I don't recall much of the detail, but it was pretty straightforward. The kit came with a couple of jets and a new needle along with some carb settings and instructions to block off one of the holes in the carb slide, which I did with some epoxy.

Internet research at the time suggested that the header was the limitation in the exhaust, not the muffler, so I/we decided to keep the stock muffler and I acquired a Staintune big bore header to go with the 300 piston. I had also acquired a Kouba T extended fuel screw to simplify fine tuning.

The jetting with the new hardware was:
125 main
needle middle clip
35 pilot
2.125 FS

We ran it like this for a while and she was happy. The extra torque made it heaps easier for her, throttling on to deal with an obstacle meant it responded and didn't bog.

I still thought the jetting could be better and acquired a Dynojet kit for it. Fine tuning with my bum dyno resulted in the following:
120 DJ main <> 128 Keihin
35 pilot
1.5 FS

My records don't identify a needle clip position, so not sure about that all these years later. Anyway, the DJ kit was another step in the right direction and she was happy, and therefore so was I.


I also bypassed the neutral switch and maybe a couple of other small details.

And I'd fitted fat bars real early on too. As I/we discovered adventure riding after I retired in 2009 I acquired a DR650 and then an XT1200Z. To enable her adventuring on the road in a limited way, I fitted some better mirrors, ones that work better than offering a blurred vision on one's shoulders.

These folding enduro mirrors are actually very stable and mounted further out on the barkbusters offer a view behind that's pretty good. Mirrors mounted on perches means the possibility of a broken perch in an off too.

Latterly I've used 6 mm aluminium angle instead of the solid bar used on the KLX for this mod, recommended.
In 2019 I headed off to the US to meet some like minded DR650 enthusiasts and attend the DR650 Rally at LaSal; https://www.advrider.com/f/threads/bergdonks-dr650s.646076/page-113#post-38441872


My mount happened to end up being a KLX351, fitted with a pumper carb which did the job. I was one of the few non DR650 riders but at least I had a bike. Although the forks hammered my dicky arm and it was cramped, I had a great time and was reminded of the KLX and its further potential.

Among many other great people, I got to hang out a bit with Rick, aka Mr Cogent, and his wife Joyce. Among other things, we talked about suspension, and Joyce, prior to her acquiring a WR250R had had a KLX300 that Rick had spent some time setting up the suspension on..... Hmmmm, a plan was starting to formulate.
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Moving on to 2020 and my wife has decided that its definitely time to stop riding. Having sold my FE650, I decided to keep the KLX and make it more me suitable, opening up the ergos a bit and tidying up a few things.

The RHS fork shroud had started to come apart. I'd repaired it a couple of times, but the fragile nylony material isn't great in this application.


I got a pair of eBay shrouds from China for <> $20 which are made of much better plastic. Apart from the mounting holes not fully lining up, which was easily sorted, they fit good. Then with the brake pads contaminated with fork oil, I cleaned and serviced the brakes, along with fresh pads. While I was at it, I fitted a left over braided line I had in the shed from some other project where it went unused. It eliminates the under leg routing of the stock setup, although it is no doubt more vulnerable as is, it's been fine.





Considering the possibility of some ADV riding, I decided that the enduro light I'd fitted years ago needed upgrading. Its purpose to date was about being legal, not about riding at night, and is/was pretty feeble.

I picked up an LED assembly from eBay, sold for 60 series Landcruisers; https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/80-60-Series-LED-Headlight-4x6-Inch-LED-Replacement-HI-LO-Sealed-Beam-Square-x1/264707053775?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

I measured its amps and it uses <> 1 A on low and 3 A on high, and has parking/DRL LEDS in the edges. I resurrected the original light bracket and shroud, and made up a couple of brackets to adapt it. Still stock wiring, sort of, as I added a headlight switch years ago, which I bypassed for the DRL.

I still don't plan to be riding it at night, but....
With the ADV idea in mind, I acquired a new 14l Acerbis tank via eBay from Italy.




The tank didn't quite just bolt on, the RHS mount didn't line up with the hole in the frame so I had to make up a new thinner spacer and elongate the frame hole to get it attached. Then the choke/CSE knob fouled the fuel tap and/or hose depending how the tap is fitted. So I ground the bottom of the knob off and it sits on top of the fuel line when fully out for cold starts. I'm not a fan of internal fuel filters on taps in tanks, so I removed it and fitted a serviceable one in the fuel line.


I also decided an ADV bike needs a rack. I'd previously repurposed the original rack onto my DR years ago and replaced it with a Kelly leather tool bag for trail essentials on the KLX. With ADV in mind, I picked up a stock rack, albeit a bit bent, straightened it out and added some width and length.




I got the rack powder coated. Then I fitted up an expandable Aldi tailbag I picked up year or more before when on sale. It takes the Kelly tool bag with tube and tools that used to lived on the rear guard, with room for lunch and spare undies and socks. For even more space I mounted up a pair of Wolfman mini panniers I've had for years which fitted up nice and tight.
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Next up was a bigger tail bag for bigger rides.


I'd picked up an Andy Strapz soft bag on spec some time back on the ADV flea market and decided to set it up for the KLX. I acquired a large Kawasaki green cutting board to make a firm base for it, and added some lightness.



Added a couple of cam lock straps and pinned them in place.


Cut some strips from another cutting board, counterbored some holes to countersink some self tappers, and then attached them into place temporarily.


Then used a pin punch to mark the holes in the bag which I then created with a small wad punch. Figured this'd be better than the self tappers grabbing and spinning up the bag as they made their own hole.


Bag secured to the base


attached to the rack, and ready for filling.
To deviate from the thread just a bit. Sir you found yourself a true gem in that lady. A rare find indeed. Now, back to the thread. Always liked those KLXs.
If I'm going to ride it more, I need the ergos more to my liking, but I also wonder whether she might still want to ride it again one day. Anyway, I decided I wanted the bars a bit further forward, and maybe up a bit, but mainly forward.


Its had decent fat bars on from pretty much day 1, using the basic adaptors in the above pic. Rummaging on eBay, I found the black rotating ones cheap enough. They fitted OK, but had too much rise.


So I got a set of these; https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Offset-...983158?hash=item420e03f9f6:g:6HQAAOSwuQNd5hnB Although sold specifically for a 1290, they're universal, with the mounting holes well slotted and the lump on the bottom fitting into the stock KLX 7/8" bar mount without modification.

They wouldn't fit as was though, as they fouled the Vapor dash I had fitted ages ago. Bars felt good though, so



I'd picked up an Acewell dash on the ADV flea market a while back for stock. Not used much prior, if at all, and although a bit longer, its quite a bit narrower and fitted nicely between the new bar mounts. After some bracketry adaption, moving the ignition switch and a bit of wiring it all worked. Its without the temp gauge and warning that the Vapor has, but no biggy, the fan is still fitted, as is the stock over heating warning light, just to the left of the Acewell.

I'd left the Vapor magnetic pickup on the front wheel and it seemed to work just fine. Then out on the road, at 70-80 kph the speed displayed doubled. Hmmm, a bit of googling and repositioning the pickup further away from the magnet on the disc fixed it.
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To deviate from the thread just a bit. Sir you found yourself a true gem in that lady. A rare find indeed. Now, back to the thread. Always liked those KLXs.

She is special for sure. We do our own things and we do things together, no regrets, I love my bikes, but she is the love of my life.
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In between, I built her up a DR650. She said she'd come on some of our big trips if she had a DR, so well before she retired in 2018, I started to make her one, the build story is here; https://drriders.com/bergdonk-builds-a-dr650-for-his-lady-t17901.html


As DRs go, its a bit special with most things attended to, like a strengthened frame, full Nova gearbox, new suspension, big brake etc etc. And it scared her, with an off on what's proved to be her last ride. Because it was for her, and not your average DR, I christened it HE650RS and had some stickers made up accordingly. Then I got some HI790S stickers made up for my big bore DR650.


Which led me to christening the KLX HE300RS. And its forever hers, even if she never rides it again, as is her DR.

I said above that the only fail I recalled was neutral switch. Well I forgot that I to get a pink slip for the KLX back in 2021. A pink slip is a vehicle inspection that ensures vehicles are roadworthy and necessary before the annual registration renewal. All good, except the front brake light switch was on the fritz when I checked everything prior to the inspection. A DR650 one bolted right on, which I had spare, and sorted. Nissin parts compatibility, who'd a thought?



For my MX size #48 boots the gear lever really needed to be between splines, so sorted that too. And the pic reminds me that way way back I'd widened the stock pegs.
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So if its going to be a lightweight ADV bike its gotta have heated grips. Here where we live in Oz winters can be cold, and we get snow a few times a year. I discovered heated grips back in the '80s and other than my enduro bikes, they've all had them since.

I'm a fan of the Garmin Montana with a 600 and 610 and mounts on the bikes and one for the window in the ute. Might as well fit up one on the KLX too, and I had one spare in the shed which I'd taken to Moab and used on the KLX there.

With the extra power consumption, I decided a voltmeter was in order too.


Blew off the old grips with some compressed air.


Added some heat shrink tube to the LHS for insulation.


Added the heat pads.


Put the grips back on.




Said 'abbracadabra' a few times to the wiring, waved the magic soldering iron, and the new heated grips, GPS mount and a voltmeter/clock all came alive


Then it was time for a test ride.
Just on a year or so ago I decided WTH, its time to go full on with the KLX suspension. I'm a fan of good to great suspension and have been fortunate to get to know one of Oz's best suspension blokes who I now consider a good mate. Knowing Frank Pons, and leveraging his expertise over the years has meant my bikes have great suspension, set up and tuned just for me and making me appear to be a better rider than I am. Frank as a rider has NSW enduro and road racing championships to his name and has been responsible for many many bikes that have enabled their riders to become local and national champions here in Oz from to 1970s to date. He even took Mat Mladin to Europe to crew for him in his 500 GP year and got to ride Mat's 500 once too, an exciting experience he reckons.

Through our common interest in DRs I'd got to know Rick Tannenbaum too, the bloke who is responsible for Cogent suspension in the US, and as mentioned above, got to meet him in person and spend a few great days on the trail together. I'd not experienced any of his suspension though, and Frank was sort of curious, so I decided to go with a full on Cogent package for the KLX, as I was sure the boss would like it if she ever rode the KLX again.....


Back in May 2021 I unwrapped the new suspension for HE300RS. The shock is their top of the range unit and includes hydraulic preload adjustment, the idea being that full preload for me, and none for her, and easy to set accordingly, allied with a few clicks.

There's a bit more to the forks, leveraging what Rick had learnt modifying his wife's KLX forks, Rick supplied most of the bits to convert the forks to externally adjustable rebound, with a shim stack cartridge to go with its existing external compression clickers

Just got to add some lathe work and setup and it'll be smooooth.....
To set the forks up, I needed to modify the fork caps for the rebound clickers, although there is no actual 'clicking', just turns. I'd managed to acquire a complete set of forks for parts on Gumtree, our version of Craig's List. For $90 I figured it 'd useful to have some extra bits in case I stuffed something up, and I could keep the bike operational while playing with the machining.




To fit the non clicking external rebound adjusters I had to add some thread to the inside of the fork caps, drilled with a 9 mm drill and then tapped with a 10 x 1 tap to match, which also happens to be the thread on the supplied adjusters.


I was hoping I had suitable drills and reamers, but alas not, so off to one of my neighbours who does, and borrowed his sets, drills in 0.1 mm increments and reamers in 1/64" increments. Might have to buy more tools......




Bit o lathe work, some silicone grease, and just so
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