|Real Rider:||Carson Brown|
OK, I admit it. I have been riding two strokes lately. I think it might be Dirt-Rider/Mini-Rider’s fault. When you have the chance to test ride all of the latest bikes, you really get a feel for what’s out there to choose from. If you are the right size and age for a 65, there isn’t a race ready 4-stroke bike out there that can compete side by side with the 65s.
The problem with the two stroke 65s is that they don’t make very much torque or bottom end power. This makes them hard to ride for beginners and off road riders. In the case of the KX65, it feels like there is almost no bottom end power. When you take off on it the power starts to build slowly and then bang! It just goes wide open and you had better hang on or you are going to be on Funniest Home Videos flying into something you shouldn’t be! It’s great when you are on a big motocross track, but if you ride in the woods or on tight tracks, the little two strokes can be a handful.I decided to play around with the 65, to see if I could get more bottom end power out of it. To start with, I tried some different pipes. They all had the same result, even more top-end power, which was the opposite of what I was looking for. Changing reeds and gearing helped a little, but I was looking for a complete makeover of the power spread.
Finally, I came across the Athena big bore kit and it works! The first thing you will notice when you open the kit is the high quality. The kit comes with everything you need to bolt it right on, except for jets. We ended up switching from the stock 190 main to a 210 and the stock 25 pilot to a 27.5. This is with the stock pipe, at 60 degrees, at sea level, using 32:1 gas and oil. The kit isn’t any harder to install than doing a regular top end job, so as long as you have a Kawasaki service manual in hand, you can get the job done.You wouldn’t think that adding 15cc to a KX 65 would make such a huge difference, but it does! From the moment I started the bike, you could tell it meant business. It had a bark right off the bottom that was amazing. I hardly even have to hit the clutch anymore to keep the RPMs up. The great part is the bike revs up just as high as the stocker, but pulls so hard on the bottom that you can lug the motor around on the tightest trails or tricky sections of the track. Everyone from beginners to pros are going to love the super wide power spread.
If you want to use your 65 for more than MX or you just want to have that extra edge, give Athena a try. You’ll find you get a lot of bang for your buck with this bore kit! Oh yeah, if you have a KTM 65, you are in luck. Athena makes a big bore kit for that too. Check with your local dealer or favorite MX online store to get a hold of an Athena Big Bore Kit.Try it out and I’ll see you at the races!