2008 Kawasaki KLX450 - Long Haul Testing

We're so impressed with the KLX, we've done hardly anything but ride it. And race it, too, just to make sure we really like it as much as we thought. All said and done, 60 hours into this Long Haul, we're still stoked on this bike.Right after the test, we kept the bike rolling out of the pure curiosity of our test riders and friends. Then it was put through its paces on a Baja Bound ride in Mexico by my wife, Heather (Hooters on Scooters, don't ask!), and all of the guides, since they wanted to see how the KLX worked. When the bike got back stateside, we swapped the Acerbis brush guards for some wraparound units from Enduro Engineering, then loaned the Kawi to Kyle Redmond, who raced the fifth round of the AMA National Enduro Series and placed 16th. And the bike was still box stock.What did it take to keep it running? Other than quite a few gallons of Texaco gasoline and four oil changes with Bel-Ray Thumper motor oil every 15 running hours or so, the KLX has an appetite for chain guides. We sawed through two of them for a total of $64.40 before making the call to T.M. Designworks for one of its beefier units, which has stood up as long as the first two and still looks new. We threw in a clutch before the National Enduro as a precautionary measure, and that has been about it. Redmond likes to hillclimb around the desert and has been getting the bike to boil over regularly, putting the coolant catch tank to the test. We think the motor is loosening up a bit, and due to the restrictive and hot muffler, plus the lean jetting combination, it is running hot (the summer heat also isn't helping). We are going to try a slight jetting change really soon. And strangely, our battery has grown weak. It hasn't died; it just seems to have lost its cranking amps, not starting the bike when it is cold. Once running, it charges up and fires the bike fine. Maybe it is cooking in that battery compartment?And through all of this, the valves are still right in the middle of the recommended clearances, a job that took about 30 minutes to check with wide-open access to the cams. The only thing we've broken is a front brake lever in a tip-over. The radiators have bent a little, but it's mostly the tabs holding the shrouds.Running Tally
Hours on Bike: 60
Modifications: $152.85
T.M. Designworks chain guide: $67.95
Enduro Engineering hand guards: $59.95
Enduro Engineering hand guard deflector: $24.95
Maintenance and Repairs: $264.61 (not including tires)
Chain guides, metal: $26.85; rubber: $37.55
Sunline Flex front brake lever: $89.95
4 oil changes and 1 filterOil filter: $6.70
Bel-Ray Thumper 10W-40 oil: $9.79 per quart
Bridgestone M401 80/100-21 front: $91.65
Bridgestone M402 110/100-18 rear: $95.40
Maxxis MaxxCross IT 80/100 front: $71.95
Maxxis MaxxCross IT 120/100 rear: $85.95