Help! 1989 KDX200 vs 1991 YZ250

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2/6/2020 9:18 PM

Both bikes are around $1500.

I'm used to driving 2 strokes but not a ton of experience on dirt bikes.

It would be mostly used for trail riding, logging roads and back country roads.

Both bikes have very positive reviews but not sure which to go for.

Any help?

Thanks

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2/6/2020 9:20 PM

Post pics of each. Condition trumps everything in this case.

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2/6/2020 9:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/6/2020 9:27 PM

Both appear to be pretty clean. No major issues with either. I guess my main concern is how much more difficult to ride is the YZ vs the beginner friendly KDX?


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2/6/2020 9:41 PM

KDX has a super beginner friendly power delivery. Lots of torque down low and smooth into the mid range. The suspension is very plush as is the seat.

The YZ's engine will feel abrupt and almost uncontrollable at times, to a new rider. Also, the YZ will be taller with stiffer suspension.

Both bikes are water cooled two strokes with front and rear disc brakes.

Parts will be a little easier to come by on the KDX as more were sold of that generation. Used parts that is... because neither Yamaha nor Kawasaki make OEM replacements for 20-year old bikes. There will be some aftermarket support for each, but things like cases, cylinders, powervalves those are usually only obtained through part-outs on ebay, ect.

I'd def take the KDX and not think twice about it.

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2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
I NEED A PIPE FOR 1987 KX250 - thread
Future project: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1

2/6/2020 9:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/6/2020 9:48 PM

queen of spodes wrote:

KDX has a super beginner friendly power delivery. Lots of torque down low and smooth into the mid range. The suspension is very plush as is the seat.

The YZ's engine will feel abrupt and almost uncontrollable at times, to a new rider. Also, the YZ will be taller with stiffer suspension.

Both bikes are water cooled two strokes with front and rear disc brakes.

Parts will be a little easier to come by on the KDX as more were sold of that generation. Used parts that is... because neither Yamaha nor Kawasaki make OEM replacements for 20-year old bikes. There will be some aftermarket support for each, but things like cases, cylinders, powervalves those are usually only obtained through part-outs on ebay, ect.

I'd def take the KDX and not think twice about it.

I think you are probably right, I just love the look of that YZ.
Would you say both are just as reliable?
Thanks

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2/6/2020 10:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/6/2020 10:04 PM

get the yz, that kdx was a turd

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2/6/2020 10:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/6/2020 10:12 PM

You can do better for 1500. Get a 125.

2000+ yz

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2/6/2020 10:48 PM

That yz is pretty damn clean for the year .

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when in doubt, pin it out

2/7/2020 6:05 AM

ATC250R_666 wrote:

I think you are probably right, I just love the look of that YZ.
Would you say both are just as reliable?
Thanks

The KDX would be more reliable assuming both bikes were rolled off the showroom floor. It has a mellower engine for one, and the suspension is designed for trail riding. They were bulletproof back in the day.

The YZ has a much harder hitting engine and was designed for motocross. It could have been raced for many, many years, and racing takes a toll on engines and suspension components. I know everyone loves the black rims and white plastic of the YZ, but think with your head if you are serious about getting a great entry level dirt bike.

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2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
I NEED A PIPE FOR 1987 KX250 - thread
Future project: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1

2/7/2020 6:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 6:22 AM

I would KDX for the type trail riding you are looking to do. One of the best trail bikes ever. It will require so much less energy to ride over a full day than a motocross bike. It also is geared properly for the logging road portions of your ride.

I would try to look for a '95 or later KDX. Should be some available in your price range. Though great bikes, the '89-94 have some discontinued parts that wear out (KIPS sub valves and water pump impeller shaft) that now make long-term ownership more difficult. The '95 - '06 KDX had a very long unchanged run with good sales, and still have pretty good support, both OEM and aftermarket, despite being out of production for quite a while.

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2/7/2020 6:20 AM

KDX forks are pogo sticks.

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2/7/2020 6:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 6:37 AM

WowWowWubzy wrote:

KDX forks are pogo sticks.

IMO, most MX forks as well as the KDX forks are equally badly configured (in opposite directions) for the type of trail riding he is looking to do.

KDX forks are significantly undersprung and underdamped. Most motocross forks are WAY overdamped, and far too progressive. But for an inexperienced rider looking to trail ride, the KDX forks are probably a little closer to the right setup mark.

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2/7/2020 6:26 AM

Kdx for you all the way. Yz not even an option.

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2/7/2020 6:34 AM

Id look for a newer latest gen KDX if you want to trail ride. I had a 99 and that bike was awesome. Good usable power, and surprisingly decent on moto tracks that arent too crazy.

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2/7/2020 6:36 AM

K....D....X all day and twice on Sunday. Not even a close call for what you want to do. Those bikes are so easy to ride. The KDX has more flywheel weight and are super fun to ride. Like previously said, the suspension is soft. But for trail riding, you'd like that better anyway.

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2/7/2020 6:47 AM

I am a die hard Kawi fan and I would hands down get the YZ. I don't recall riding a 91 YZ but I did spend some time on a 94. It was in no means a fire breather compared to a KX. It was smooth controllable power all the way but it was a very capable bike. The KDX, any KDX, I have never ridden one that didn't feel like a beginners bike bad suspension, bad ergo's and weird handling because of the steep fork rakes. Any MX 125 will wipe the floor with it. If it was me I would get the YZ. If it is like the 94 it is one of the more friendly mx power deliveries that I've ever rode and you'll have way better suspension. You'll also have a bike that is more capable while your skills improve.

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2/7/2020 7:05 AM

I’m a motocrosser and not a trail rider myself, so I have no personal experience, but I know there is a real cult following for old KDXs. The people that own them absolutely love them.

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2/7/2020 7:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 7:16 AM

quadzrulebro wrote:

I’m a motocrosser and not a trail rider myself, so I have no personal experience, but I know there is a real cult following for old KDXs. The people that own them absolutely love them.

Yup. I LOVE mine. It was a true barn-find that still had its original tires. I had the shock serviced, changed the fork oil, put on some new rubber and seat cover (they were all age cracked), installed some modern footpegs, installed a CR front-brake lever/master cylinder, installed an FMF silencer (dropped about 3 pounds with that!), installed a Tusk lighting/turn-signal/horn kit; and most importantly, installed a license plate. Yup, I can start it in my driveway and buzz up the road to the thousands of acres of BLM land near my home.


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2/7/2020 7:17 AM

Trail riding logging roads KDX ... just don't ever take it to a track. Well you can I guess ...
I rode one just like that back in '92 for part of a day and was totally not ready for how slow and soft it was... yes I was at a track. And hated it completely, now put it in the woods and I could easily see it being in its element. Still slow though.

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2/7/2020 7:19 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. I will most likely pick up one of these 2 bikes after work today.

The smart money is probably on the KDX but my heart kinda says YZ.

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2/7/2020 7:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 7:22 AM

KMC440 wrote:

Trail riding logging roads KDX ... just don't ever take it to a track. Well you can I guess ...
I rode one just like that back in '92 for part of a day and was totally not ready for how slow and soft it was... yes I was at a track. And hated it completely, now put it in the woods and I could easily see it being in its element. Still slow though.

Fast is situational... I am way faster over a whole day in the woods on a "slower" bike than my motocrossers.

Also, how fast is a YZ when you are ringing its neck off on a logging road? Not particularly fast compared to a wide-ratio bike.

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2/7/2020 7:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 8:11 AM

A couple other things to consider:

If your trail/back country rides are more than a couple hours, you will need to get a desert tank for that YZ.

If they haven't been touched, the KDX KIPS valves are likely hosed. This design had some issues that were not carried to the next generation model. There is a shop in the UK making improved replacements that address the issue.

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2/7/2020 7:35 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 7:38 AM

Get both.

One last thing ... the YZ can be mellowed into a good woods weapon it'll take a bit of work and $$, while the KDX can't be made into a good MX'er

and yeah someone will come along and say I'm wrong ... bla bla bla 😛

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2/7/2020 7:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/7/2020 7:44 AM

KMC440 wrote:

Get both.

One last thing ... the YZ can be mellowed into a good woods weapon it'll take a bit of work and $$, while the KDX can't be made into a good MX'er

and yeah someone will come along and say I'm wrong ... bla bla bla 😛

This. Get both.

But I would argue against dumping a bunch of money into a '91 yz to make it woods ready when there will be so many easier, ultimately cheaper options. If you get that bike, maybe add a flywheel weight and just enjoy it for what it is.

BTW, there was a WR version of this generation of YZ.

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2/7/2020 9:33 AM

I had 2 KDXs in my time and all I can say was they were the most reliable bikes I've owned and super fun and easy to ride.

Here's my '96.


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2/7/2020 10:22 AM

I loved my 2000 model. Fantastic motor for the woods, and super easy and comfy to ride all day. The YZ will wear you out much faster than the KDX, and besides that, you have no idea what it looks like while you're riding it, so take the look factor out of it.

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2/7/2020 10:25 AM

YZ's are a dime a dozen...actually like a penny a dozen. And that's being generous. Finding really nice KDX at a good price???...now that's awesome.

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2/7/2020 11:16 AM

MOTO1313 wrote:

YZ's are a dime a dozen...actually like a penny a dozen. And that's being generous. Finding really nice KDX at a good price???...now that's awesome.

Good point, this pretty much clears it up for me. If I decide to get a YZ later on there is a ton of them out there anyways.

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2/7/2020 12:37 PM

Where in Canada?

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2/7/2020 1:23 PM

KDX is a wicked weapon when used for its designed purpose. Maybe the best ever.

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