KLX 250 on the Highway

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Skid, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I woulda posted this under the Kawa section, but since Pikey gave advice under the 'Need bike buying advice' thread here and recommended the KLX250 as the right bike to buy for a three month SEAsia tour, I figure this is the best place for answers to a little question I have.

    I'm set on the KLX250 (offroad) for obvious reasons covered over and over here. I was seriously considering the tracker, but it seems to be the tool of choice for Chang Mai residents who want to do a day tripper round the tight, twisty roads up there. Not really as suitable for a three monther on questionable tarmac around T-land, Laos and Cambodia.

    However, I just have one last niggling doubt about whether the KLX250 with it's knobby tires, squishy shocks and higher chassis best suited for dirt trails, is really a good option for the ton of highway riding that it will take to ride the highways in between the mud tracks. Like clearly I will need the offroad capabilities when it comes to the back roads of Modulkiri. But if I'm riding between Chang Mai and Pattaya, will the KLX250 actually be a decent (and safe?) ride?

    I'm not one for supermotards, especially the d-tracker which seems a little small and wrong for me. I'm feeling the KLX more, but I dont' want to get out on the highway and find that I'm riding a dirt bike on straight open tarmac. I've been there, and it's not comfortable. Or safe.

    Just looking for any opinions. Seems in the last three months more guys have bought this little Kawa dual option, and there must be clear opinions on the subject.

  2. Had the opportunity to ride two different KLX’s in the last few months, one from Pop rentals and a friends whom was happy to let me take his for a 15 min spin. On the second with suspension adjusted; compression damping, rebound damping, and shock loads all tweaked the ride was nicely firm and well controlled. And noticeably more controlled riding up Doi Suthep. With plans to change to the Pirelli dual sport tires his ride would be a perfect little expo vehicle.
  3. Thanks for the rental suggestion. I didn't realize they were renting these already. Down south here it's either a scooter or an overpriced, underpowered crotch rocket. It's hard to even find a decent Phantom for rent.

    4500/week isn't all that bad of a price for a brand new bike. i'll give that a go and try out both the KLX and d-tracker before I buy. Could save me a lot of time and money and heartache in the end.

    On another note, when I do buy I'm looking at leaving my bike either in CM or Patts when I'm away working. Anyone have any good bike storage location advice in either CM or Pattaya?

  4. Renting out bikes sure is a good business - if Pops rents out a KLX for 3 weeks he's got 10% of his investment back! Would be interesting to konow if he has any worthwile insurance on the bikes, or only the 650 THB minimum required by law...
  5. I wouldn't tour SE Asia on a klx or the tracker.

    it can be done if you don't mind a little pain, but for me I would need at least a 650 trail bike.
  6. The achilles heel of all dual-sport bikes is the narrow seat. Unbearable for long stretches on the highway. The bikes are fine otherwise; why can't the manufacturers put a wide saddle on the bike blah blah blah.
    I bought a 125 wave to tour the triangle. It has a nice wide seat and reasonable ground clearance. I preloaded the suspension a bit. The only issue is vibration. I think they just bored out the 100 and used the same crankshaft.
    Tires, chains, rebuilds etc are available from any shack on the side of the road.
  7. This is for SKID. the Bira race track do monthly storage. i think 1,500 a month but not sure. they do have security etc.
  8. irv - sometimes less is more! I did a 450km trip in two days with my 9 year old daughter and a couple of daypacks on my VTR250. The seat was a pain, we had to wear the packs on our backs, and the seating position was forward with little room to move. I didn't go faster than 100km/h. The next time we did the same trip with a Honda Wave 125, nice wide seat, the bags went in the front basket and between my shins, we were sitting upright and had room to move around. We went mostly 70-80km and it took only half an hour longer.
    The KLX250 is a great bike for lots of purposes, long hiway trips not among them. Can't have everything in 150K THB bike!
  9. I've done over 20,000 KM's on my KLX through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Its a small displacement single so you wont be covering the boring slabs as well as a big bike but it can be done. Key modification is to have the rear of the seat widened by about 3 inches. This is easily done over here for under 500 baht at most scooter seat places that litter our cities. The extra width provides andded surface area to cushion the pressure poinjt of your arse on the seat and making the ride that much more tolerable.

    Choice of tires will also help you deal with the boring slab duties. A non knobbie like tire like the one i have here:

    helps smooth the vibes of the single on the asphalt.

    Best of luck.
  10. Just what are the non-knobby tires you've got there? They look about right to me.
  11. Check out Metzeler Tourance, Enduro 3 Sahara or Pirelli MT60 - don't know if they're available in Thailand, though. They're pricey, but well worth the money. Lots of riders like to spend money on aftermarket parts like mufflers or handlebars or accessories like GPS and such but run average tires. They connect you to the road, affect the entire ride, so go for the best!
  12. Thanks for the advice KZ.
  13. The ones in the picture look like Bridgestone Trailwings to me.
  14. FWIW...
    They look like the older Dunlop D604's that I've on my Suzuki 250, although they may be the newer D607's which have the same tread design. I've gotten good wear with the 604's and they've been okay for the limited times I've taken them off-road.

    http://www.dunlopmotorcycle.com/tirecat ... y.asp?id=5
  15. Big'n'tall is right. You can easily and cheaply modify the 250 trail bikes to be bearable to tour S.E.A. Take the seat off and take it to one of the shops that has scooter seats hanging outside it. They can put more foam and widen it for you, after that you can even cover it with a sheepskin if you want real plush.

    Dunlop D605's are a good 80% off, 20% on road tyre, but a tread like Big'n'tall has would be much nicer for the highway, and lessen the hands tingling after a couple of hours in the saddle.

    Finally you may want to drop a couple of teeth in the rear sprocket, not sure how many teeth standard they have on the front sprocket, but you could also go up one tooth there also.
  16. The knobbly tyres keep me awake
  17. Just read your post again, safe, don't really know how to answer that, if you're looking for safe, a car is a better bet. But a KLX250 at 90kmh is fine. Decent? Remember dirt bikes are light, tall and skinny, and not designed with aerodynamics in mind. They catch side winds really well, and trucks suck you into their slipstream also. Pattaya to Chiang Mai? There are better tools for the job (worse also). I think the KLX250 is better as a tourer for SEA if you're not in a rush, and if you're going to be riding a fair amount of dirt or bad roads. Then again you didn't say what route you would take from Pattaya to Chiang Mai, try to find a route that has little paving, use the back (dirt) roads and pass all the little villages, should be a blast. Probably be double the highway distance also.
  18. The Dunlop 605's are an OK all around tire but they do suffer in the mud (don"t clear so well) and on the dry season hardpack farm roads (mine feel prone to getting loose above 60kmh). They have handled really well on the paved surfaces up to 110kmh reported (100 on gps), only the seat as noted would really bug me at greater than 200km trips, my limit so far.

    I like my KLX so far and hope to do more with it soon.
  19. yep absolutely horrible in deep mud, and in deep sand you have to be carrying some speed otherwise they just spin. I think the D605 are actually standard tyres on the US model KLX250, not sure what comes standard on the one sold here though.
  20. Guys, where could i find a motard style rear fender since mines hold by tie wraps.... my friend is currently in Thailand now.. and what other model bike fender will fit our KLX 250... thanks

    Mobs from manila



    Thanks in advance Guys Mobs..... Safe riding.....
  21. Sorry not checked back on the web site in awhile. The tire in the above picture is a Bridgestone Trailwing from a few years ago. I traded in Knobbies for a long pavement section I had on the way to Cambodia. The Trailwings were a lot smoother on pavement than the normal knobbies I run and were decent on the hardpack dirt, and rocks up to Bokor Mountain. The don't do as well in the slop where their grip is compromised due to the lack of tall knobs


    A good compromise for pavement and dirt is the D605 by Dunlop pictured here:


    Long wearing and more grip than the Trail wings off road and smoother on road than Knobbies. I think the new version is called the D606.

    Best of luck with your choices.

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