2008 Kawasaki KLX450 - Dirt Rider Magazine

If you remember from the first update (September '07) we had some issues with the charging and battery components on our "new" KLX. So we never got the battery issue sorted out. One of the problems was we'd stuck a higher-wattage bulb in the headlight and that prevented the bike from putting the necessary charge to the battery. Yet even back to the stock bulb and a second and third battery later, plus a new voltage regulator, just to be sure, it has needed a kickstart most of the time. What we learned: Make sure you start with a fully charged battery when the battery is new.The bike became really hot doing repeated hillclimbs, losing all of its coolant on more than one occasion, then all of a sudden, the bike was literally drinking coolant. We thought this might have been due to the lean jetting and super-restrictive but nice and quiet muffler, so we swapped to the Two Brothers slip-on muffler and the jetting setup we had on our Moto KLX project (November '07). Then Kameron Burger rode the KLX in the 12-Hour GP at Glen Helen in the Ironman class. By adding some coolant at each gas stop, he got the bike to finish, but we needed to see where the coolant was going. Not surprisingly, the cylinder and head had become warped, leaking between the gasket. We surfaced the two and put in a new piston and rings since the bike was apart.Our next plan was for Ryan Hanna to race the Vegas to Reno on the KLX. For this we fi tted a larger-capacity IMS tank (ours was actually for a KX-F since the KLX one wasn't finished yet), had Pro Circuit get the suspension set up for faster desert speeds and mounted some Dunlops, a 80/100-21 D745 front and a 130/90- 18 D606 rear with heavy tubes. We also put on a Fasst Company bar with the yellow elastomers installed and also used a Fasst brake clevis and rim lock spacers. Of course, we put a Scotts steering damper on the bike and dressed it up with some RidePG.com custom graphics and numbers.The PC suspenders were perfect for BITD, super plush and supple with surprisingly good bottoming resistance. Hanna was very impressed with the way they would take all of Nevada's sharp, buried rocks and braking bumps. The bike worked fl awlessly for the 150 miles that Hanna rode. Every rock, rut and silt bed was almost attacked without concern. They were navigated with ease and the Kawi was super easy for him to ride fast. With the PC suspension, Scotts damper and Fasst Company bar, there was hardly any negative feedback through the whole bike. But a low-speed crash in a silt bed put a hole in the radiator-from the petcock! This bike can't get a break from us! So the bike proceeded to heat up. Hot enough to dump all of the new coolant we put in back out into the bike straight onto the ground. Race over!Upon teardown, we found that the motor was in pretty good shape even though the piston looked a little crispy and the rings were cooked. Everything else was in specification, thus engine oil is doing its job and then some. So we put it all back together for the Glen Helen 24-Hour where Hanna redeemed himself by finishing in the Ironman class! Other than the chain sawing into the centercase and causing an oil leak, it was a flawless day. Hanna later discovered the larger Renthal chain and his 14-tooth countershaft sprocket were a little too close to the case. We'll fix that next and keep the bike running!

Running Tally
Hours on Bike: 118
Modifi cations: $2551.07
Two Brothers V.A.L.E. stainless steel slip-on system/M-7 aluminum canister with P4 insert:$362.98/$29.98
Jetting upgrades (160 main, 42 pilot,NCVR needle, third position)
ODI half-waffl e grips: $7.95
ODI grip doughnuts: $2.75
Pro Moto Billet kickstand: $149.99
Scotts steering stabilizer kit: $449.95
Pro Circut suspension modifications (PC link arm,$184.95; fork, $179.95; shock, 149.95): $514.85
Fasst Co. bar: $299.95
Fasst Co. brake clevis: $53.99
Fasst Co. rim lock spacers: $14.99
Renthal chain: $136.95
Renthal 14/46 sprockets: $25.99/64.95
RidePG.com GripZ graphics set/preprinted backgrounds:$223/$59.95Maintenance and Repairs: $1365.15 (not including tires)
4 oil changes and 2 filters
Oil filter: $6.70
Bel-Ray Thumper oil, 10w40: $9.79 per qt
Headlight bulb: $35.76
2 top ends (piston, $95.96; pin, $18.94; rings, $32;clips, $0.17; gaskets base, $8.52; head, $25.84):$363.20
Head resurfacing
Spark plug: $5.70
2 batteries (YTZ7S): $83.99
Voltage regulator: $46.15
Dunlop tires, D745 80/100-21 front: $105.18
D606 130/90-18 rear: $118.66
D739 Desert AT 120/100-18: $130.16