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KLX Main Discussion KLX650, KLX400, KLX300, KLX250S, KLX125


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Old 06-04-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
OBX650
 
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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.
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Old 06-04-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Pics as she sits right now.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

I'll bet you can feel my jealousy from there.
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:16 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: KLX 351- review, updates

Nice review. I am very attracted to your bike.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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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.
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