At Dirt Rider we love riding and testing new products, and when we get a long-term bike, AKA, our “Longhauls” picked out, it’s game on for the rider and their bike. The goal is to push the bike to its limits and take good care of it at the same time so we can see what it does well, what it does bad and what wear items need replaced when. Fitted with an hour meter from day one, here is a bit about what went on in the life of the 2011 Kawasaki KX250F:
One of the first days out on the bike after the 2011 Dirt Rider shootout. We put on some new mods to improve performance and durability. So far a TM Designworks chain slider, chain guide, rear brake guard, rear disk guard, Moto Tassinari AIR4ORCE tunable intake and a Leo Vince full titanium/carbon exhaust system.
The directions to installing the Leo Vince pipe must have been thrown out. As you can see there are no mounts on the muffler as this is a hangar-mounting pipe. When bolted up, the hangar was slightly rotated allowing it to wiggle loose. We couldn’t find hangar mount out on the track so safety wire allowed for a few more motos at the mx track.
A small over tightening mishap to the right number plate cracked the plastic where you bolt up the seat. Zip-ties are a dirt biker’s lifesaver.
It was a fitting name to have on my radiator louvers. Family Guy character “Chris” plays the air guitar. It was actually me photo shopped into a cartoon. The customization is courtesy of Decal Works.
The AIR4ORCE is a mod that you can’t go wrong with. It opens up the response, gives you more hit and lets the bike rev higher. I played with both of the velocity stacks and I ended up sticking with the short stack. It made the bottom end hit harder and pull evenly throughout the rpms. The long stack is like having a longer muffler and smoothes out the power, which would be an easy change for slick track conditions. Tunable power is great power.
At a Loretta Lynn’s local qualifier at Hangtown (the same weekend as the Hangtown season opener) some bumping and banging went down on the track. Getting slammed on the start pushed the pipe in and made for some good rub marks from the tire. We let it get this bad because we didn’t have an immediate fix that weekend at the track. This picture was taken after 6 long motos. We’re lucky it didn’t do more damage.
Charging through one of my many motos at Hangtown. Some new mods for the weekend race included some black bling from Works Connection; the Elite clutch perch with a blue on the fly clutch tension adjuster, engine plugs, axle blocks, oil filler plug, rotating bar clamp and front and rear brake master cylinder caps. Black accents on the Kawi added to its already stealthy look.
A close up of the black anodized Works Connection clutch perch and blue adjuster. You can look but you can’t touch…
Overall the 2011 Kawasaki KX250F has been a great bike for the year and we barely pushed 35 on the hour meter. She required very little maintenance to stay up and running at such a high level of performance. Scheduled oil changes and air filter cleanings, a clutch around 25 hours and one leaky fork seal that was saved by a seal saver pretty much sums up the year. Oh yeah, tons of power and tons of fun, too.
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for more updates on our long-term test bikes and check out an upcoming issue of Dirt Rider for tests on the new 2012s. In the mean time, get out there and do some riding!