SiteLock
KLX 351- review, updates - KLR650.NET Forums - Your Kawasaki KLR650 Forums Resource! - The Original KLR650 Forum!
KLR650.NET Forums - Your Kawasaki KLR650 Forums Resource! - The Original KLR650 Forum!
Go Back   KLR650.NET Forums - Your Kawasaki KLR650 Forums Resource! - The Original KLR650 Forum! > Other Kawasaki Motorcycles > KLX Main Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read
KLX Main Discussion KLX650, KLX400, KLX300, KLX250S, KLX125


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-04-2017, 03:42 PM   #1
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default KLX 351- review, updates

I bought a 2009 KLX250s about 2 months ago from my brother-in-law. I needed a trail bike for a trip to hatfield/mccoy in WV. This was quick, cheap, and fun enough.

My background is MX, enduro, and fast singletrack riding. CRF450R and RM250 were my 2 previous bikes, but I've been without an offroad bike in 3 years. I moved, there's less riding where I live now, and I sold them.

But I've been itching to find a plated, reasonably priced, bike that I can ride around town and then take on offroad trips. Reliability was a big factor after owning the CRF and becoming exhausted with the valve-adjustment intervals. KTM was out, based on price, and somewhat reliability. A plated 2-stroke would have been ideal, but price again made these a rarity. The ideal bike would have been an updated, lighter weight, better handling DRZ400, but that doesn't exist. After riding a friends DRZ400E I was not interested in the current format of the DRZ at all. The only redeeming factor of the DRZ was the power.

So I rode the KLX and was happy enough with it and it was cheap enough ($2500) and had 2900 miles, so I pulled the trigger. It now has many trail worthy mods and really held it's own for a full weekend with a DRZ400 and a WR250R. My main gripe was fall-on-your-face power under 6k. There was no getting around this. To really rocket out of a corner or attack a short steep hill you had to down shift, pin it, and drop the clutch on her. It brought back some memories of my old KX125 2-stroke. I'm just not content riding like that anymore, I don't want to hunt for power, I want it to be there when I need it (within reason, this is no 500exc, and I'll never expect it to be)

Upon returning home from the trip, I purchased the 351 big bore kit from Bill Blue. It was here within 5 business days. It was packaged professionally and had the custom piston cut sheet from JE pistons included in the box. The kit also included a nice AIS block-off plate, base gasket, and head gasket. I pulled my engine apart, took my time, installed the big bore kit, swapped some jets, and installed a set of barnett clutch springs.

The bike fired right up, idled perfect, and I put it through two full heat cycles before taking it out for a ride. I'll have to keep it under 1/2 throttle for the next 100 miles. Even at 1/2 throttle and lower RPM it is like having a different bike. There is absolutely no comparison at all to a modified stock bore KLX250. Front end will lift with just the crack of the throttle in 2nd gear, I'd have to imagine 3rd gear will not be a problem for it either, more on this when I can really open it up. You can putz around in 6th gear and then roll-on the throttle like it's nothing.

Very early on, but very happy. From what I've read on these 351's is that reliability is not compromised at all, there is a round-the-world rider with something like 70k on a 351 kit.

My jetting:
Main: DJ132
Pilot: 38
Needle: DJ
Clip: 3rd.
UniFilter
Air box lid off.
FMF Q4
FMF Powerbomb header.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions anyone might have on the big bore or the bike in general. I will update this thread as I see fit and after my next offroad trip to Trevorton, PA in 3 weeks.

In the mean time, I need to go put 100 easy miles on this fresh engine.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2017, 07:50 PM   #2
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Pics as she sits right now.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170604_191150.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	123.3 KB
ID:	64319  Click image for larger version

Name:	20170604_191209.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	141.2 KB
ID:	64320  
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
Old 06-04-2017, 10:57 PM   #3
DanBarwick
 
DanBarwick's Avatar
 
Super Cool Since: Jun 2014
Locale: Independence, Kansas
Postings: 1,010
DanBarwick is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

I'll bet you can feel my jealousy from there.
__________________
Fast, good, cheap - choose two.

2009 KLR, EM 685 kit, full Cogent treatment, goes anywhere
2005 Yamaha TW200, actually this is the one that REALLY goes anywhere
1999 BMW r1100rt, a true continent crusher
DanBarwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2017, 08:16 AM   #4
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Its a sweet ride.

And just to clarify, the KLX was already modded to it's full potential before the 351 kit. So I am well aware of what this bike performed like at all levels of modifications.

-I was able to ride the bike for a while in near stock form. Boring, but a reliable tractor.
-Then I rode the bike for a while with the FMF full system, Dynojet kit, UniFilter, removed snorkel, and removed AIS. This was tolerable, if this was going to be a 50/50 or even a 70/30, offroad/onroad, bike then I probably would have left it in this form. Improvements were throttle response and mid-range power.
-But really this is going to be 80/20 or even 90/10, being ridden only on-road for short trips or to hop from trail-to-trail. I have the KLR650 for any substantial road miles. That is what prompted the 351 kit, this is going to be a trail machine.

In conclusion: The stock 250 was so tame that it was not fun for me to ride. The modded 250 was fun to ride and all the mods combined added up to some noticeable gains and improved ride-ability. The 351 kit blows the modded 250cc out of the water.

The gains from stock to modded were an improvement, but the 351 is in a different league.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2017, 12:15 AM   #5
Haldor
LEVEL 3 STAFF
 
Haldor's Avatar
 
Super Cool Since: Apr 2014
Locale: Central Arizona
Postings: 2,821
Haldor will become famous soon enough
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Nice review. I am very attracted to your bike.
__________________
The sweet goat has gone on to gentler hands. Replaced in my garage, but not in my heart. Soar like an Eagle, Land like a Grand Piano
Haldor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2017, 09:20 AM   #6
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Thanks.

I just changed the oil/filter last night. Very minimal fine metal on my magnetic drain plug, about what I expected since the cylinder and rings were the only "new" points of break in.

I am going to get on the throttle a little harder this weekend, still not wide open, but I need this thing broken in and ready to rip by the 22nd.

I am having some intermittent flame-out upon slamming the throttle shut. This is something I'm pretty familiar with as my CRF450 had the same issue. I tried everything to get rid of it on that bike, ended up making it better, but it never fully went away and I just learned to ride around it. I played with my air-screw a little and it seemed to make it less prevalent, I could also be aware of it now and am learning to ride around it again. I'll give the bike another 20 miles to loosen up a little before I really start tinkering with the jetting again, but it should be spot on compared to all other 351's I've come across.

Anyone with some input on eliminating flame-out entirely would be appreciated.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2018, 07:41 PM   #7
Rgvwheeler
Member
 
Super Cool Since: Sep 2015
Locale: South texas
Postings: 18
Rgvwheeler is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Just wondering if you had any updates on your bike. I'm considering doing this to mine. Thanks.
Rgvwheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 08:22 AM   #8
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgvwheeler View Post
Just wondering if you had any updates on your bike. I'm considering doing this to mine. Thanks.
My KLX is doing great.
-Changed the oil again, no fine metal, nothing out of the ordinary. I think it's broken in nice now.
-I put a Racetech spring on the rear now as well. The back end feels much more confident, less mushy, but still plush enough that it's not an MX bike. This was a really easy swap done in the garage with no spring compressors.
-Figured out my flame-out issues. I put my airbox lid back on, but with the snorkel removed. Throttle response is better and no flame-outs. I do have a UniFilter. I think under certain conditions it was just getting too much air.

I put 2 full days on the bike in July in PA. Lots of singletrack and hillclimbs. The 351 put a grin on my face the entire time. It has so much low/mid power that it did not have at 250cc. It makes everything more fun. It's easier to get out of situations you maybe shouldn't have gotten yourself in. This trip is also where the rear suspension was clearly being over ridden, all due to the low spring rate. I already had Racetech springs in the forks, but tried to get away without doing the back. The rear shock itself is actually really good after you get the proper spring on there. By comparison I have only ever ridden my CRF450R and RM250 on the terrain/trails that we covered in PA. I was able to clean every line and every climb that I was on those 2 bikes.

I put 2 full days on the bike in November in NC. This was a combination of track, trail, adventure, and a 2nd day of brutal mud. Besides that I have been laying low this winter, it has been out for the occasional adventure ride or dirt road burn. I spun a few mild laps at the track. The bike has the power and the suspension works well enough to play around at the track with some MX bikes. I wouldn't count on this being my go-to track bike, but it can hang for a fun ride day every once in a while.

I would have sold the bike already if I didn't take the leap for the 351 kit. I was envious of a friends 2016 WR250R. It had considerably more power than the KLX in stock form, better suspension, and still had easy maintenance intervals. I also envied the power of a friends DRZ400 (but not the weight).

By direct comparison from riding all 3 bikes before and after the 351, it is now the perfect bike in my opinion. It has near equal power/weight ratio of the DRZ, but the KLX is about 35lbs lighter, making it much easier to handle in the tight stuff. It has loads more low end than the WR, about equal up top, but I prefer to run low/mid RPM range 90% of the time. With the Racetech front and rear springs on the KLX I also feel that the suspension is on par with the WR. You can also get away with running a smaller countershaft sprocket than the DRZ, because I have a 6th gear, I find that really makes the most out of the extra power.

The reason I went for the 351 kit was because I put everything down on paper $$$. I bought the bike for $2500 and at this point, after every add-on, I have under $3400 total into the bike. I couldn't get a WR that I would be happy with for under $5k.

Overall I would recommend the 351 kit to anyone that already likes their KLX250, but doesn't LOVE it. The 351 kit, Racetech fork springs, and Racetech shock spring have transformed this bike. Total cost on those 3 upgrades should be right under $800 if you do the work yourself.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 08:33 PM   #9
Rgvwheeler
Member
 
Super Cool Since: Sep 2015
Locale: South texas
Postings: 18
Rgvwheeler is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Good stuff. What jetting setup did you end up with.
Rgvwheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 10:03 PM   #10
donA
donA AKA Bad Rash
 
Super Cool Since: Nov 2010
Locale: Placerville calif.
Postings: 2,076
donA will become famous soon enough
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBX650 View Post
My KLX is doing great.
-Changed the oil again, no fine metal, nothing out of the ordinary. I think it's broken in nice now.
-I put a Racetech spring on the rear now as well. The back end feels much more confident, less mushy, but still plush enough that it's not an MX bike. This was a really easy swap done in the garage with no spring compressors.
-Figured out my flame-out issues. I put my airbox lid back on, but with the snorkel removed. Throttle response is better and no flame-outs. I do have a UniFilter. I think under certain conditions it was just getting too much air.

I put 2 full days on the bike in July in PA. Lots of singletrack and hillclimbs. The 351 put a grin on my face the entire time. It has so much low/mid power that it did not have at 250cc. It makes everything more fun. It's easier to get out of situations you maybe shouldn't have gotten yourself in. This trip is also where the rear suspension was clearly being over ridden, all due to the low spring rate. I already had Racetech springs in the forks, but tried to get away without doing the back. The rear shock itself is actually really good after you get the proper spring on there. By comparison I have only ever ridden my CRF450R and RM250 on the terrain/trails that we covered in PA. I was able to clean every line and every climb that I was on those 2 bikes.

I put 2 full days on the bike in November in NC. This was a combination of track, trail, adventure, and a 2nd day of brutal mud. Besides that I have been laying low this winter, it has been out for the occasional adventure ride or dirt road burn. I spun a few mild laps at the track. The bike has the power and the suspension works well enough to play around at the track with some MX bikes. I wouldn't count on this being my go-to track bike, but it can hang for a fun ride day every once in a while.

I would have sold the bike already if I didn't take the leap for the 351 kit. I was envious of a friends 2016 WR250R. It had considerably more power than the KLX in stock form, better suspension, and still had easy maintenance intervals. I also envied the power of a friends DRZ400 (but not the weight).

By direct comparison from riding all 3 bikes before and after the 351, it is now the perfect bike in my opinion. It has near equal power/weight ratio of the DRZ, but the KLX is about 35lbs lighter, making it much easier to handle in the tight stuff. It has loads more low end than the WR, about equal up top, but I prefer to run low/mid RPM range 90% of the time. With the Racetech front and rear springs on the KLX I also feel that the suspension is on par with the WR. You can also get away with running a smaller countershaft sprocket than the DRZ, because I have a 6th gear, I find that really makes the most out of the extra power.

The reason I went for the 351 kit was because I put everything down on paper $$$. I bought the bike for $2500 and at this point, after every add-on, I have under $3400 total into the bike. I couldn't get a WR that I would be happy with for under $5k.

Overall I would recommend the 351 kit to anyone that already likes their KLX250, but doesn't LOVE it. The 351 kit, Racetech fork springs, and Racetech shock spring have transformed this bike. Total cost on those 3 upgrades should be right under $800 if you do the work yourself.
Hey Thanks for the update, Your post inspire's me , What Kit did you go with ? Thanks
__________________
donA. aka Bad Rash
donA is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
Old 02-01-2018, 02:24 PM   #11
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

I pulled the carb apart and installed the Dynojet kit. This was a needle, spring, and main jet. Not sure of the jet size off hand. It has been perfect. Pilot jet was left stock, most agree that it's not needed once you adjust the air screw and run the Dynojet needle. Seat of the pants and plug readings now are spot on.

For the 351 kit I went with Bill Blue. His kits get good reviews across the board. Fit and finish were perfect.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 10:32 PM   #12
donA
donA AKA Bad Rash
 
Super Cool Since: Nov 2010
Locale: Placerville calif.
Postings: 2,076
donA will become famous soon enough
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBX650 View Post
I pulled the carb apart and installed the Dynojet kit. This was a needle, spring, and main jet. Not sure of the jet size off hand. It has been perfect. Pilot jet was left stock, most agree that it's not needed once you adjust the air screw and run the Dynojet needle. Seat of the pants and plug readings now are spot on.

For the 351 kit I went with Bill Blue. His kits get good reviews across the board. Fit and finish were perfect.
Thanks , Figured as much I'm inspired to do it but I barely have 2k on the bike , Although the extra performance is very tempting , I've done pretty much all I can do to this stock machine besides the big bore kit....
__________________
donA. aka Bad Rash
donA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #13
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by donA View Post
Thanks , Figured as much I'm inspired to do it but I barely have 2k on the bike , Although the extra performance is very tempting , I've done pretty much all I can do to this stock machine besides the big bore kit....
I only had 2900 on the bike when I went 351. I simply could not tolerate the lack of low/mid power any longer. It really spoiled me to ride my buddies DRZ and another friends WR. The WR is at about +6hp and the DRZ was close to +20hp when the KLX was in stock form, mind you the DRZ does weigh considerably more. For a little over $500 and 1 day of my labor in the garage I would do it again tomorrow.

I read and researched that 351 kit and even the 300 kits for weeks. Most guys that went to the 300 were ecstatic with the how much that changed the bike. My only concern with going to the 351 was that the stock cylinder/plating was completely removed to accommodate a cast iron sleeve to support the 351. But reliability on that seemed to be a non-issue as well. After a few emails back and forth with Bill I was sold.

Sleeving seems to be more of a problem with 2-strokes that have the ports machined in to the cylinder walls. After days of research on the pros/cons of cast iron sleeves in a 4 stroke, I was ready to take the plunge.

This is just my opinion, based on my own feelings and my own reasoning. You either need to go with the 300 or jump up to the 351. There are 331 kits offered, but I feel that the aluminum cylinder wall becomes too thin and too close to the cooling jacket. The 300 is actually the stock size cylinder that the KLX250 was designed for (before it was shrunk down to make the EPA happy to make it street legal, think KLX300R). Jumping up to the 351 gets you the cast iron sleeve, which is the right way to go when you're going that big.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 08:03 PM   #14
donA
donA AKA Bad Rash
 
Super Cool Since: Nov 2010
Locale: Placerville calif.
Postings: 2,076
donA will become famous soon enough
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBX650 View Post
I only had 2900 on the bike when I went 351. I simply could not tolerate the lack of low/mid power any longer. It really spoiled me to ride my buddies DRZ and another friends WR. The WR is at about +6hp and the DRZ was close to +20hp when the KLX was in stock form, mind you the DRZ does weigh considerably more. For a little over $500 and 1 day of my labor in the garage I would do it again tomorrow.

I read and researched that 351 kit and even the 300 kits for weeks. Most guys that went to the 300 were ecstatic with the how much that changed the bike. My only concern with going to the 351 was that the stock cylinder/plating was completely removed to accommodate a cast iron sleeve to support the 351. But reliability on that seemed to be a non-issue as well. After a few emails back and forth with Bill I was sold.

Sleeving seems to be more of a problem with 2-strokes that have the ports machined in to the cylinder walls. After days of research on the pros/cons of cast iron sleeves in a 4 stroke, I was ready to take the plunge.

This is just my opinion, based on my own feelings and my own reasoning. You either need to go with the 300 or jump up to the 351. There are 331 kits offered, but I feel that the aluminum cylinder wall becomes too thin and too close to the cooling jacket. The 300 is actually the stock size cylinder that the KLX250 was designed for (before it was shrunk down to make the EPA happy to make it street legal, think KLX300R). Jumping up to the 351 gets you the cast iron sleeve, which is the right way to go when you're going that big.
Thanks for all the thought full info . I use to have a DRZ it was an awesome trail bike the only thing I did to it was re jet , re gear, air box mod. It would climb up anything I had the hair to. Your right about the weight ,But I do miss the power , some day I'll do the 351 Bill Blue Kit but for now I need to address the suspension may I ask how much you spent on the cartridges and spring? Thanks
__________________
donA. aka Bad Rash
donA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 08:34 PM   #15
OBX650
 
Super Cool Since: Oct 2016
Locale: Beaufort, NC
Postings: 106
OBX650 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by donA View Post
some day I'll do the 351 Bill Blue Kit but for now I need to address the suspension may I ask how much you spent on the cartridges and spring? Thanks
The valving is the same front and rear. I am 186lbs without gear. I would estimate 200-205 with gear and camelback.

For the fronts I installed Racetech springs and added a few cc's fork oil, went up to 7.5wt as well.

Fork Springs- FRSP 394646, find them on flee-bay. They are about 1" longer than stock. I installed them without the preload spacer and they are perfect. The front end has proper sag, but resists diving very well. Night and day over stock.

For the rear I installed a Racetech spring.

Rear Spring- SRSP 622860, also on flee-bay. Direct fit. easy install in the garage, unscrew both preload rings completely, pop collar off bottom of shock. No compressors needed on this shock.

Fork springs should be about $130 and rear spring was $105. The bike feels like a true woods machine now.
__________________
2009 KLX 351
OBX650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 08:57 PM   #16
donA
donA AKA Bad Rash
 
Super Cool Since: Nov 2010
Locale: Placerville calif.
Postings: 2,076
donA will become famous soon enough
Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBX650 View Post
The valving is the same front and rear. I am 186lbs without gear. I would estimate 200-205 with gear and camelback.

For the fronts I installed Racetech springs and added a few cc's fork oil, went up to 7.5wt as well.

Fork Springs- FRSP 394646, find them on flee-bay. They are about 1" longer than stock. I installed them without the preload spacer and they are perfect. The front end has proper sag, but resists diving very well. Night and day over stock.

For the rear I installed a Racetech spring.

Rear Spring- SRSP 622860, also on flee-bay. Direct fit. easy install in the garage, unscrew both preload rings completely, pop collar off bottom of shock. No compressors needed on this shock.

Fork springs should be about $130 and rear spring was $105. The bike feels like a true woods machine now.
Thanks , I'll have to contact them ,My bike is the Super Moto not sure if the forks are the same , I'm sure they can help me out
__________________
donA. aka Bad Rash
donA is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
Reply

Tags
351, klx, review, updates

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© Copyright KLR650.NETAd Management by RedTyger