1987 KX250 Project Bike

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Phantom347

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Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Greer, SC USA

8/14/2009 7:34 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:31 AM

I ran across my first real race bike, a 1987 KX250, a couple years ago. It had been brought in for service at a local shop.

Long story short, I contacted the owner and bought it. Whenever you have the opportunity to buy a piece of your own history, take it.

Most of my trick parts from back in the day were still on it: cartridge fork kit, Kehein 39mm D-slide carburetor and DMC pull rods. Other parts were not: DMC pipe and silencer. The widened foot pegs were there, but had seen better days.

I have decided to make it the “best it could have been” and am looking for parts and suggestions to achieve this goal.

Phantom

project racer

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8/14/2009 8:14 AM

I bought one new in '87. I wish I had never rode my neighbors '87 Honda CR250 after my purchase of the KX.

MPM64

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8/14/2009 9:31 AM

Personally loved that bike. Pic in my avatar and below is on one.

If I remember correctly I also had the pull rod and carb mods. Most importantly was the complete top end Pro-Circuit cylinder and head mods with pipe and silencer. Made a huge difference. Wonder if PC would have the specs and parts to do this 20 years later?

Pretty sure I traded a guy from Ohio straight up mid summer for a KX500 to ride outdoor nationals.

Cool to find the actual bike you owned 20 plus years later and good luck restoring it. Wish I could do the same someday.

Phantom347

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Location: Greer, SC USA

8/14/2009 9:32 AM

The 1987 Honda CR250 was cutting edge and beautiful from every angle. It won all the shootouts and has become legendary.

The 1987 Kawasaki KX250 was on equal footing after adding the cartridge fork kit and DMC pull rods.

I would love to ride both now properly set up and compare them to each other and even to modern bikes. I hope to get that chance at a vintage event with Evo 4 classes.

Phantom

anniebertmojo

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8/14/2009 9:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/14/2009 9:45 AM

It's funny that this topic is going on. I've always kept my 1981 PC Husky 250 from back in the day when I was getting support from Mitch as a 16 year old racing Saddleback and Carslbad. Many times I've considered selling it since it was just taking up garage space and I had no use for it.



But it's the best decision I've ever made... keeping the thing.



Good luck on the project



anniebertmojo

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8/14/2009 9:43 AM

MPM64

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8/14/2009 10:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:32 AM

Phantom347 wrote:

The 1987 Honda CR250 was cutting edge and beautiful from every angle. It won all the shootouts and has become legendary.

The 1987 Kawasaki KX250 was on equal footing after adding the cartridge fork kit and DMC pull rods.

I would love to ride both now properly set up and compare them to each other and even to modern bikes. I hope to get that chance at a vintage event with Evo 4 classes.

Phantom

Speaking of legendary....Bet this guy has a soft spot for the 1987 Honda. Wonder if he still has that bike?

TGR

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8/14/2009 10:55 AM

bd

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8/14/2009 2:57 PM

Post some pictures

bd

Phantom347

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8/14/2009 3:23 PM

I will try to take and post some pictures of the bike in its current state as well as some of the parts I’ve collected for it.

I hope to find some pictures from back in the day too.

I wish I still had my old riding gear. Never believe it when the paramedic says he will cut at the seam.

Phantom

ThePipe

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8/15/2009 7:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:33 AM

jmc2

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8/15/2009 3:46 PM

True great year, but still partial to '83 and my CR250 from that year...nice pics.

Nice deal finding the same KX250...

Phantom347

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Location: Greer, SC USA

8/15/2009 5:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/15/2009 5:07 PM

Phantom347

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Location: Greer, SC USA

8/15/2009 5:06 PM

She runs!

Spark plug cap was missing, now replaced. That’s all it took.

Kick starter won’t retract on its own. Carb leaks like a sieve. Pipe and silencer mounts broken.
Many bolts missing or replaced with hardware store items. Plastic cracked and discolored.

But she runs!

Three kicks!

She just needs some TLC. I always loved this bike.

Phantom

andymoto

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Location: Carmichael, CA USA

8/17/2009 10:33 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:35 AM

I owned new KXs from '84 thru '89 and that '87 motor was real good. Handled good as well.

Are parts hard to find for the later 80s KXs compared to the old KXs?

Good luck.



Phantom347

Vital MX member Phantom347
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Location: Greer, SC USA

8/17/2009 3:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:36 AM

The issue with the 1987 KX is many parts were one year only; so many OEM parts are out of stock.

For example, I imported 3 sets of UFO radiator shrouds and will have the old graphics scanned, cleaned up and sub-surface printed. I can’t get them here from
UFO or Kawasaki.

I have a clean example. Tom Morgan gave me the right radiator shroud from Wardy’s bike at the 1987 Pro National at Secession MX in Anderson, SC, and Jeff
autographed it on the white stripe.

My other OEM shrouds are rough, but clean enough to get the stripe and layout correct for the left shroud.

Phantom

bd

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8/17/2009 10:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:36 AM

bd

Phantom347

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Location: Greer, SC USA

8/18/2009 6:21 AM

Thanks for the UFO link!

I had checked with several local dealers, who could get all the plastics except the radiator shrouds from Parts Unlimited.

This is exactly the kind of help I was looking for.

I am hoping to benefit from the collective knowledge of this forum for any set up tips, hop up parts, etc.

Phantom

90rm125

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8/18/2009 2:26 PM

You actually have a good selection of oem parts available for your 87 kx250 if you go to the right sites

Phantom347

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8/18/2009 7:01 PM

I can find the part numbers on sites like www.bikebandit .com.
When I check at the dealer, some of those parts are unavailable.

I am referring to the parts unique to the 1987 model, not the dimensional parts.
For instance, I’d like to have a new gas tank and an extra cylinder and head.

I’m planning to keep it forever and race it too, so I know I’ll tear things up.

The other reason I was seeking help was finding trick parts and advice on making it the best it can be.

Phantom

Pat327

Vital MX member Pat327
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8/19/2009 8:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/19/2009 8:49 AM

Buy OEM parts from Service Honda. Cheapest you'll find.

project racer

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8/19/2009 8:49 AM

One of the best improvements you could make to the '87 KX line is to get the cartridge fork kit that was offered through Kawasaki.

90rm125

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8/19/2009 10:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 1:38 AM

procircuit makes a pipe for the 87 kx250 and dg makes a silencer available at dgperf.com You can still get top end cylinders, a head, and a tank through www.yamahapartshouse.com

Phantom347

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8/21/2009 1:05 PM

Will the quick change clutch cover from an ’88 or ’89 KX250 work on the ’87?

I checked the microfiche and the gaskets are NOT the same part number.

There is nothing wrong with the original cover, but the convenience of the quick change
cover would be welcome since I will already have it apart to fix the kick starter spring.

Phantom

mosslander

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8/22/2009 7:46 AM

andymoto wrote:

I owned new KXs from '84 thru '89 and that '87 motor was real good. Handled good as well.

Are parts hard to find for the later 80s KXs compared to the old KXs?

Good luck.



What did you like about the 86 250 KX then

andymoto

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8/23/2009 10:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/23/2009 10:40 PM

andymoto wrote:

I owned new KXs from '84 thru '89 and that '87 motor was real good. Handled good as well.

Are parts hard to find for the later 80s KXs compared to the old KXs?

Good luck.



mosslander wrote:

What did you like about the 86 250 KX then

I remember little of the '86 250 except the frame breaking in several places. I bought another frame, but don't remember if was that same bike....Motor was good; not grunty like later KXs. I found picture of me on my '86 that a friend had taken; never scanned from computer so I'm trying myself; if not, Tues will be posted. Not great quality, but can see bike.

andymoto

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8/23/2009 10:15 PM

project racer wrote:

One of the best improvements you could make to the '87 KX line is to get the cartridge fork kit that was offered through Kawasaki.

Think the stock '88s were cartridge forks stock after offering the kits.

Kawi was always good with those Team Green mod bulletins as well; Yamaha was as well with their tech mods for the avg. Joe..

andymoto

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8/23/2009 10:24 PM

Phantom347 wrote:

I can find the part numbers on sites like www.bikebandit .com.
When I check at the dealer, some of those parts are unavailable.

I am referring to the parts unique to the 1987 model, not the dimensional parts.
For instance, I’d like to have a new gas tank and an extra cylinder and head.

I’m planning to keep it forever and race it too, so I know I’ll tear things up.

The other reason I was seeking help was finding trick parts and advice on making it the best it can be.

Phantom

Haven't read all posts, but check Craigslist for another '87 250 if it looks worthy of a parts bike.

Not that long ago here in NorCal, saw 2 '89 KX250s at same time; one was nice, other not so.

Seems Kawasakis are hardest bikes to find used on Craigslist or specific parts...I know that original '87 gas tank was a one yr deal as you say; was kinda tall and thinner than that big '88 one.

Pat327

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8/23/2009 10:42 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/23/2009 11:03 PM

You can restore a plastic gas tank pretty nicely in most cases. Take some 2500 grit and wet sand it until you get it really smooth. It cuts through the sun damage and creates a new surface. Then, just use some 3M final glaze and some elbow grease. You have to get it nice and warm and the shine and color will come right back.

You can use a buffing wheel if you want to, but you might get it too hot and actually burn the plastic. If you're careful not to spend too much time in one spot, you can get it to look almost like a new fuel tank.

soren346

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8/25/2009 1:46 AM

Wow, I had a 87 KX 125 that Jeff Dirago owned after winning the 86 125 expert title in dist. 34 when I got it it still had the #1 plate on it. This bike was sick, DMC everything, Showa cartridge kit, 86 head, KIPPS spacer, the clutch acc was even lengthened about a half inch, lightest clutch pull I ever felt. I had to put 2 or 3 head gaskets on it when I did the top end, all sorts of wierd stuff. Oh, by the way had to line up with Bruce culkin, kieth trokoli, carter gurnee, chris povoll, and when he was around, Scott Sheik. Lucky me. Believe it or not they ran lap times very close to Carlo Coen, Kurt Mcmillin, and Mike Spear, In schoolboy!!! Went to southwick every year to watch them battle the best.