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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Automotive Chat > The John Norwich Riders Corner

The John Norwich Riders Corner In honour of our fellow moderator: John Norwich R.I.P. September 17th, 2014
Buy, sell, trade bikes and gear, set up bike rallies, meet discussions. #revscenebikes

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #1
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My newest bike is also my... smallest?

So I got my license a number of years ago on a Ninja 500R and since then I've had an SV650S (bionicle edition), a carb'd R6 with a hair trigger throttle, an F4i that was comfortable and my favourite all-around, and most recently a CBR954RR which was not comfortable and a bit of a handful.

Well, I got tired of dodging minivans and a lot of my friends have gotten into off-road riding, so I sold my 954RR (and experienced just how painful it can be to sell a litre bike) and picked up a Kawasaki KLX250SF which is basically the motard version of the KLX250S off-road bike. Not my bike but looks exactly the same:


I have to say, I miss being "cool" and doing the odd 14,000RPM burn down the road hoping no radar guns are watching or nearing 300km/h on undisclosed roads on a litre bike... but this is the most fun I've *ever* had on a motorcycle bar none. Taking it into mud near SilverCity powersliding everywhere... riding along pretty much anywhere and just deciding to go up a grassy hill for no reason... and it doesn't even have knobbies on it (yet)! It also feels like a BMW and the insurance of course is laughably cheap. Brilliant! I also think the styling is spot on for this type of bike and the blue backlit LCD dash with bar graph rev counter looks pretty sweet at night. Biggest con so far is the tiny gas tank, but I've got a solution coming for that.

First thing I did do though (after riding it back 2-hrs from Marysville on the I-5 in the rain as I purchased it in the USA with only 1,000kms on it for a song -- and yes it will do 130km/h but not that much more) was get rid of the ball-buster stock dirtbike seat with a new one courtesy of Seat Concepts. Great to deal with and super easy install:

Removing staples from the OEM seat:


Comparison of OEM seat (yellowed one) and the new Seat Concepts foam pad:


Installing the new seat cover after spraying 3M vinyl adhesive over the foam:


Ta-da! If you ever do something liek this make sure it's a sunny day and you put the vinyl out in the sun for an hour first so it's nice and pliable:
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:50 AM   #2
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Yesterday for BC Day I also installed a new rack I bought... funny enough also purchased from Seat Concepts... what a great company with super nicely put together products. Couldn't have been easier to install.

Did I mention on this bike you literally only need 1 tool to take it apart? A 9mm socket... not sure why they picked 9mm, but gone are the days of my CBR's where I needed 5 different sizes of sockets and wrenches and allan keys to take anything apart.

Partially naked bike:


Rack installed!


Next up: Fuel tank upgrade!
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #3
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Nice! Looks like you are going to enjoy this one.

Care to explain this a little more? Just curious is all.

so I sold my 954RR (and experienced just how painful it can be to sell a litre bike)
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:47 PM   #4
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litrebikes have a lot of tire kickers and not a lot of real interest i would think.. and a lot of people that want to test ride it but not buy it lol
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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It's a much less popular market than 600's, people are scared/intimidated by them and the insurance costs are high(er) so you audience is very limited and personally I refused to sell a bike like that to n00bs and there were definitely a few of those too.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #6
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Very nice purchase!

I've always been curious about motards but was kind of driven away by the prospect of having a limited amount of hours on the engine. I know this was a major drawback for the old 2-strokes, and even some of the more modern 4-strokes. Is it still the case, or has technology changed this much in the past few years?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:03 AM   #7
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i think generally the newer japanese 4 stroke motors are quite reliable. it's usually the competition variants that require more maintenance. with that said i ended up buying a ktm racing supermoto that was converted to street trim - and thus not very reliable. i'll most likely have to rebuild the motor once a season or two (i already feel the valves going but that's an easy fix) but the fun factor on this thing blows my BMW HP4 out of the water. it's hands down the most fun ive ever had on a motorcycle and i don't plan on ever getting rid of this thing
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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Hmm I hear of more and more people converting to the dark side... I may need to investigate further. :P
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:36 PM   #9
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Very nice purchase!

I've always been curious about motards but was kind of driven away by the prospect of having a limited amount of hours on the engine. I know this was a major drawback for the old 2-strokes, and even some of the more modern 4-strokes. Is it still the case, or has technology changed this much in the past few years?
This particular engine is stone axe reliable... the main thing you gotta keep on top of with the big-3 (Kawasaki KLX, Honda CRF, Yamaha XT) on these really small dual-sport type of bikes is making sure to keep up on the valve adjustments and change the oil on schedule. Not much else to break. On the bigger ones like hte KLR or the DR they're like 1980 design and just as reliable if not even moreso... but also pretty heavy and can be unwieldy. BMW is good too but just really expensive.

The KTM's, Husa's, etc. are a lot more tempermental with more engine rebuilds... but on the flip side they absolutely RIP... crazy fast depending what engine.
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