In part II of the KX250 rebuild, we mentioned these builds have a tendency to snowball into much more than simply getting an engine to run. When a motor looks and runs amazing, wheels and tires look amazing, the plastic should look amazing right? And when you get new plastic you need to add graphics and a new handle bar, and you might as well add new levers and grips… Right? Here we go again! These are just the immediate visual things. There’s also hidden things to upgrade or improve, like the suspension! We did mention the snowball effect right?
Replacing the plastic on your bike is the about the cheapest and simplest way to improve the way it looks. Nothing says tattered and tired like dull scratched fenders and shrouds. A quick search on eBay will find a complete kit from UFO that replaces everything except the mud flap and fork guards for about $130 and you can find a graphic kit for anywhere from $40 to $150. Presto, new bike! We typically order a custom kit for our project bikes but wanted something that more closely resembled the OEM graphic. We found shroud cover graphics from Factory Effex that will protect our new plastic and look great for $40.00. Go eBay!
For the handle bar we turned to Renthal and got a black Fatbar to go with our black and green color scheme. We also swapped out the bunk clutch and brake levers for some tasty units from Works Connection, WC levers are works of art and are more fitting to this level of restoration, Renthal Dual Compound grips finished things off.
Once the bike was assembled we took a brief test ride in the parking lot that left us wondering about the KX fork. These forks are fitted with and internal bladder and valving that transmits everything to the riders’ hands which doesn’t inspire confidence. A day at our local test track confirmed our suspicions. These forks absolutely suck! Nothing about them was good and we were riding single-track trails with small jumps sprinkled here and there. Something had to be done. The rear shock felt good so we focused our attention on the fork.
The first thing we did was give our pal Chad Watts at Watts Perfections a call. He has countless hours working on these forks while tuning for Ricky C, so we were confident he could get us headed in the right direction. We told him we wanted to have a plusher initial stroke as well as a plusher mid stroke. The kind of riding we would be doing on the KX was primarily trails with a small amount of MX track riding. He told us we needed to keep the bladder inside but make some extreme changes to the valve shim stack to allow more oil to pass with less effort so we could have a fork that would feel good in the conditions we anticipated. If you have one of these forks on your KX and would like these settings, send us an email and we’ll get them to you.
The next time out testing on the KX showed massive improvement up front. Thanks Chad, you’re the best! But, we still wanted a slightly plusher ride and didn’t want the hassle of revalving so we opted for lighter weight fork oil. The oil we were running was 7.5wt so we opted for a lighter weight oil from Redline Oils. Their Lightweight 5wt oil gave us the viscosity we needed to get the KX’’s fork just where we wanted it. We were able to run the compression damping and rebound damping very close to the middle of their setting range which gave us the ability to tune the KX’s fork for a variety of riding types. Redline Oils also make 2.5wt that might be very interesting to try in a stock fork to see if revalving is even necessary. Check back with us for that one!
In the end we have a really fun and amazing Off Road bike that we can take a great deal of pride in owning. It has a fantastic motor, looks super sweet, rides like a champ, and will give us hours of fun riding. We highly recommend taking on a project build like this, you’ll be glad you did.
Just remember to be patient and enjoy the process!
2000 KX250 photo gallery