Japanese pit bike?

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5/24/2018 8:35 PM

My first two dirt bikes were Pitster Pros. They seem to have a negative reputation, but I abused the heck out of them for years (I'm 6'2, 235 lbs.) and while there was some down time (I don't like wrenching, and finding a shops to service Chinese bikes is tough), I easily have 100 hours on the two.

That being said, after getting a '17 YZ250F, the Pitsters feel a bit lacking. They don't shift as smooth, the levers have always had way more play, ergonomics feel goofy, etc. It has me wondering about getting a Japanese pit bike—they should be a bit more refined, and more importantly getting them worked on should be much easier.

I'm not interested in a 110 because they're too small for me, but wondering about a new KLX140L or maybe a CRF150R. The latter is more than I want to spend, but I'd do it.

Anyone have experience with these models? Want something that rides a bit taller, and that I get get much stiffer suspension on.

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5/24/2018 8:42 PM

My advice would be a KLX140L. They are pretty good bikes to start with, and there’s quite a few parts for them readily available. You can throw HD springs in the forks and on the shock, get a BBR bore kit, pipe, and be set. I’ve been riding 140s for awhile now, and it’s my favorite pitbike. I’ve owned my fair share of KLX110s and I’ll never go back to one after riding 140s.

Also, look at the CRF150F instead of the R model. The F is the trail bike like the KLX140.

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5/24/2018 8:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2018 8:51 PM

Chinese pit bike lacking in comparison to a YZ250F. Geez, you don't say.

KLX140.

Should have started a poll.

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

5/24/2018 8:51 PM

KLX140G has 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel



At 6' 2", it might be worth a look.
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5/24/2018 8:51 PM

Thanks! What advantage do you see in the F over the R?

Just realized the 110s are a bit bigger than I thought. didn't realize they were 14/12, and also didn't realize the KLX140L was 19/16…was hoping it was 17/14 like the regular KLX140.

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5/24/2018 8:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2018 8:53 PM

-MAVERICK- wrote:

Chinese pit bike lacking in comparison to a YZ250F. Geez, you don't say.

KLX140.

Should have started a poll.

And yet today both the Pitsters got several laps today while the YZ stayed inside. They're fun.

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5/24/2018 8:54 PM

KDXGarage wrote:

KLX140G has 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel



At 6' 2", it might be worth a look.

Interesting, but I feel like that's well out of pit bike territory. I want this smaller and nimble…and ideally it'll fit in my super crew cab.

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5/24/2018 8:56 PM

CRF150F with BBR mods (if you can find), you'll love it.

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5/24/2018 8:59 PM

Cokeham23 wrote:

My advice would be a KLX140L. They are pretty good bikes to start with, and there’s quite a few parts for them readily available. You can throw HD springs in the forks and on the shock, get a BBR bore kit, pipe, and be set. I’ve been riding 140s for awhile now, and it’s my favorite pitbike. I’ve owned my fair share of KLX110s and I’ll never go back to one after riding 140s.

Also, look at the CRF150F instead of the R model. The F is the trail bike like the KLX140.

Just checked out your thread on your 150F—didn't end up liking it as much as the 140? It looks so good!

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5/25/2018 6:14 AM

KDXGarage wrote:

KLX140G has 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel



At 6' 2", it might be worth a look.

That would make a pretty fun dual sport.

https://www.dirtrider.com/2017-kawasaki-klx140g-review#page-14

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Ride like a girl!!!
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5/25/2018 6:43 AM

I have a KLX140L and I really like it. I've done the basic engine mods (remove exhaust baffle, open up the airbox and rejet the carb), installed bar risers and added a set of forks from a KX100. Kawasaki makes three KLX140's. The standard one has 17/14" wheels like an 85 mx bike. The L model has 19/16" wheels like a supermini and an adjustable rear shock. The new G model has fullsize wheels, which I think kinda defeats the pitbike use.


Photoklx140 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr


Photoklx1404 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr

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5/25/2018 7:56 AM

abomination wrote:

Just checked out your thread on your 150F—didn't end up liking it as much as the 140? It looks so good!

I rode it once before I had an engine issue. It’s getting fixed now and then I’ll be able to compare the 2. Right now, the 140 is my favorite bike. Thank you though!

I know you said you wanted something more nimble, but get the L model. The shock alone is worth it. You can respring it and it will work just fine. Even if you end up getting KX85 suspension, you’ll need the clevis from the L shock to put on the 85. The KX clevis is shorter than the L one. It’ll lower the rear and give it more of a choppered feel if you don’t swap them.

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5/25/2018 8:14 AM

if you don't like working on bikes, a TTR-125 or 125L is a pretty fun and super dependable pit bike. My wife has one, and I race my friend's Pitsters with it, and it holds its own. With taller bars it's reasonably comfortable for me at 6'2", and you'll even be able to get graphics for it to match your 250F

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5/25/2018 9:03 AM

CRF150R is fun and super durable bike and you can go really fast on it if you want.

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5/25/2018 9:17 AM

These KLX140 Ls and Gs are basically the size of a full size bike. What's the point? It' not really a pit bike when the wheels are an inch smaller than a normal mx bike...

The best pitbike hands down is Service Honda's 250F motor in a CRF150 frame. Holy shitballs...

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5/25/2018 9:22 AM

BroFoSho wrote:

These KLX140 Ls and Gs are basically the size of a full size bike. What's the point? It' not really a pit bike when the wheels are an inch smaller than a normal mx bike...

The best pitbike hands down is Service Honda's 250F motor in a CRF150 frame. Holy shitballs...

140L's are not even close to a full sized bike....

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

5/25/2018 9:38 AM

BroFoSho wrote:

These KLX140 Ls and Gs are basically the size of a full size bike. What's the point? It' not really a pit bike when the wheels are an inch smaller than a normal mx bike...

The best pitbike hands down is Service Honda's 250F motor in a CRF150 frame. Holy shitballs...

BobPA wrote:

140L's are not even close to a full sized bike....

What Bob said... The seat height on a 140L is closer to a 110 than a 250F.

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5/25/2018 9:40 AM

Some other things to consider, and these are all good bikes. The TTR125's have an open cradle frame which isn't nearly as strong as the KLX140's or CRF150's. Also, the CRF150f is about the same weight as a 450. It's freaking heavy. The CRF150r is a race bike, so it's high maintenance compared to the play bikes (even though it is durable). All of these bikes are a blast! I love being about to just hop on my KLX and turn some laps on my backyard pitbike track after work!

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5/25/2018 10:09 AM

I picked up a 16' crf125fb last year and its a great pit bike. Ive had 110's in the past and you basically have all of the stuff you'd do to a 110 already stock - longer travel suspension, they have a lot more power, more ground clearance, 4 gears with a clutch, really just a lot better overall. That being said comparing to a 250F they're never going to feel even close. Shifting being the biggest thing to me. Always feels like you're beating it up if you're trying to ride them hard. Also one thing with the Honda 125 at least is they don't make a ton of aftermarket parts for them but thats been the only downside.

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5/25/2018 12:08 PM

I also had a CRF150rb as a toy. With stiffer springs it was also a blast to ride! It was more like a miniature 250f though than a pitbike.


Photoadd150 by Wandell Asbell, on Flickr

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5/25/2018 4:34 PM

Wandell wrote:

Some other things to consider, and these are all good bikes. The TTR125's have an open cradle frame which isn't nearly as strong as the KLX140's or CRF150's. Also, the CRF150f is about the same weight as a 450. It's freaking heavy. The CRF150r is a race bike, so it's high maintenance compared to the play bikes (even though it is durable). All of these bikes are a blast! I love being about to just hop on my KLX and turn some laps on my backyard pitbike track after work!

I just realized the weight thing as well—233lbs for the F vs 185lbs for the R—that's crazy.

Can you speak to what requires more maintenance with the R?

The KLX140L is in the middle at 210lbs. Don't have great reasoning (just want it further from a full-size bike), but really wish it had 17/14.

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5/25/2018 4:46 PM

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5/25/2018 5:36 PM

How do these pigs weigh so much?

I can't see how its fun. Heavy AND under-powered? Usually you pick one, not both.

Purely utilitarian pit bike I get but spinning laps? Get out of here.

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5/25/2018 5:46 PM

My bigger Pitster is 145lbs…having a very hard time wrapping my head around a similarly-sizes CRF150F that's 90lbs heavier.

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5/26/2018 7:22 AM

kott0n wrote:

How do these pigs weigh so much?

I can't see how its fun. Heavy AND under-powered? Usually you pick one, not both.

Purely utilitarian pit bike I get but spinning laps? Get out of here.


Ride one. They are just fun. Whenever I let someone ride my 140, they always come back saying they can’t believe what fun it was. I recently let a local pro take a spin on my bike at a night practice, he came back grinning from ear to ear, and said “Forget my 450, this thing is way more fun!”.
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5/26/2018 7:37 AM

abomination wrote:

I just realized the weight thing as well—233lbs for the F vs 185lbs for the R—that's crazy.

Can you speak to what requires more maintenance with the R?

The KLX140L is in the middle at 210lbs. Don't have great reasoning (just want it further from a full-size bike), but really wish it had 17/14.

the 150R is a race bike, it’s pretty much like owning a 250F. You’ll need to stay on top of oil changes, cleaning the air filter, checking the valves, and doing top ends. That 150R motor is built for performance. The 140/150f motors are basically bulletproof, and require little maintenance. You’ll maybe need to check the valves once a year, and they probably won’t have moved. I put over 50hrs on my big bore piston before I changed it, and it really didn’t look bad. I go about 10-15hrs between oil changes, but do keep the air filter clean for every ride.

If you really want the 17/14 wheel setup, the KX85 wheels are interchangeable with the 140L. You can buy an L, and then pick up a set of wheels for it. 85 wheels are usually pretty easy to come by. If you end up getting a small wheel 140, you can sometimes find an L shock on eBay, but the L swingarm is an inch longer than the non L swingarm. Just something to keep in mind too.

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5/26/2018 7:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/26/2018 7:47 AM

Cokeham knows what he’s talking about. The KLX140 is an incredibly fun bike. It is small so it’s definitely a “pit bike” for an adult but it doesn’t feel like a clown bike when you ride it so you can have more of a normal riding style. Years ago I got the non L and bought the L shock for it. It wasn’t that expensive.

The 140 is rather slow but that’s part of what makes it so fun.

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5/26/2018 12:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/26/2018 12:35 PM

Wandell wrote:

Some other things to consider, and these are all good bikes. The TTR125's have an open cradle frame which isn't nearly as strong as the KLX140's or CRF150's. Also, the CRF150f is about the same weight as a 450. It's freaking heavy. The CRF150r is a race bike, so it's high maintenance compared to the play bikes (even though it is durable). All of these bikes are a blast! I love being about to just hop on my KLX and turn some laps on my backyard pitbike track after work!

abomination wrote:

I just realized the weight thing as well—233lbs for the F vs 185lbs for the R—that's crazy.

Can you speak to what requires more maintenance with the R?

The KLX140L is in the middle at 210lbs. Don't have great reasoning (just want it further from a full-size bike), but really wish it had 17/14.

Cokeham23 wrote:

the 150R is a race bike, it’s pretty much like owning a 250F. You’ll need to stay on top of oil changes, cleaning the air filter, checking the valves, and doing top ends. That 150R motor is built for performance. The 140/150f motors are basically bulletproof, and require little maintenance. You’ll maybe need to check the valves once a year, and they probably won’t have moved. I put over 50hrs on my big bore piston before I changed it, and it really didn’t look bad. I go about 10-15hrs between oil changes, but do keep the air filter clean for every ride.

If you really want the 17/14 wheel setup, the KX85 wheels are interchangeable with the 140L. You can buy an L, and then pick up a set of wheels for it. 85 wheels are usually pretty easy to come by. If you end up getting a small wheel 140, you can sometimes find an L shock on eBay, but the L swingarm is an inch longer than the non L swingarm. Just something to keep in mind too.

Yeah, maybe... but I had a 150R for several years, a big wheel, and although I didn't make a practice of floating the valves I did make a practice of making some local guys on 450s feel pretty foolish about not jumping all the jumps. I'm 6-1, a couple of beers under 200 lbs. Regular rides at the time were a YZ450 and a YZ125.

Could ride it slow, putt around pit bike style, then pin it and clear a 70-foot double. That's pretty good value.

And with regular oil changes and sans running the motor like I was some sort of oversized over-aged Justin Barcia, valve clearance was always in spec when checked.

KLX is a nice little bike too. But it's much smaller and more cramped for a full sized guy, just IMHO.

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5/26/2018 2:16 PM

steveyd wrote:

Yeah, maybe... but I had a 150R for several years, a big wheel, and although I didn't make a practice of floating the valves I did make a practice of making some local guys on 450s feel pretty foolish about not jumping all the jumps. I'm 6-1, a couple of beers under 200 lbs. Regular rides at the time were a YZ450 and a YZ125.

Could ride it slow, putt around pit bike style, then pin it and clear a 70-foot double. That's pretty good value.

And with regular oil changes and sans running the motor like I was some sort of oversized over-aged Justin Barcia, valve clearance was always in spec when checked.

KLX is a nice little bike too. But it's much smaller and more cramped for a full sized guy, just IMHO.

Like Wandell said, even though it may be reliable, it’s still high maintenance compared to the trail bikes. If you want a mini 250F, it’s definitely the perfect bike. If you want an actual pitbike, then it doesn’t fit that category.

Unless you mean a KLX110, the 140L and 150R are actually very close in size. Seat height, wheel base, and ground clearance are all within an inch or so.

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5/26/2018 5:15 PM

Still kind of curious about the maintenance—wouldn't both bikes require oil & air filter changes at similar intervals? As for the valves, is that something I can just take it to a shop when getting other maintenance and have them check and adjust as necessary?

I have no plans of hitting 70 foot doubles…more launching a few natural terrain singles I have around the yard.

Am leaning the KLX140L because of price, but haven't quite gotten the idea of the 150R out of my head.

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