1997 KX250 Restoration - UPDATED

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11/16/2013 4:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/16/2013 4:42 PM

After seeing all the restoration builds on here, I've decided to start my own.

I picked up a 1997 KX250 3 days ago off Ebay. The guy had it at a staring price of $300 and a description saying that it had sat in a shed for the last 12 years. The guy said there was a lot of interest on it, but since i got in first he would sell it to me prior to auction. So I was able to pick it up for $850 which was pretty cheap considering i bought a 94 KX250 six months ago for $1500 and had to ship it to me for another $500.

I should have taken a photo of how it was stored, which was pretty crappy. There was a pile of junk in his garage with some of it stored on top of the bike. It wasnt on a stand either and looked like it had never been washed. This guy was the second owner. There was even chunks of grass stuck in it. The radiators were damaged, repaired and never put back on the bike. The receipt for the repair was still there, it was dated 6th Dec 2002. So it was legit, the bike had been sitting for 11 years!

In light of this i had to take a punt and buy it. here's how it looked before i washed 11 years of crap off it.


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There's a few things to repair:
Kick starter shaft is broken off, but i found a new shaft still in the packet in the airbox.
Rims are badly buckled.
There's some electrical fault which explains why all the wires are pulled out.
Pipe has been cracked and welded up, will try to tweak it back into shape and clean up.

I think its still on its original front tyre and rear sprocket though, so thats good.

Now here's how it looks after being washed thoroughly.

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Now let the rebuilding begin!

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11/16/2013 6:10 PM

Good luck man! Cant wait to see progress. Loving all the green in your shop!

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

11/16/2013 7:18 PM

Wow, that looks good. Man I just love the 90's Kawasaki's. Everything looks so bland now. 1997 was the last good looking year. They got very generic after 1998

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11/17/2013 3:29 AM

Ok, tore down the bike and here's what i found. thats not the engine for this bike, its for a 89 KX125 i got to sell.

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Mechanically, its all in very good condition. Swingarm is tight as are the wheels. The front floating brake disc has hardly any slop on the rivets and the disc themselves are dead flat. Forks are great with no sideways movement as is the shock. However i have a suspicion that the fork springs have sagged after having sat for so long since the bike was not kept on a stand. Brakes seem in great nick too. Frame is straight, but needs a paint. Footpegs arent too sloppy, but i might change them anyway.

And now to the engine.

check out how sweet this clutch is for a 17 year old bike.

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The piston and barrel are the same, sweet as. I think its the original Kawasaki piston and theres hardly any wear. Do you guys think i need to change the piston? It looks pretty good to me, so I was thinking of just putting new rings in it.

The crank is also sweet as theres no vertical slop at all.

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The cylinder is also in great condition, again minimal wear. the only thing i found is that the flapper power valve is hanging down in the exhaust stream even when fully opened. I'll fix that up when i trim the side valves to the right size.

So far, im very pleased that my gamble has paid off. There was an almost new bike hiding under all that dirt.


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11/17/2013 3:41 AM

Does anyone have the 97 Factory KX graphics and seat cover as below that they are willing to sell to me? I'll even take a look at a good condition used seat cover, as im going to race this bike but new is prefered.

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11/17/2013 8:34 AM

Man, it looked good just washing it. If you going to do a rebuild, I would replace the piston and put it together if the crank is still okay. That clutch basket hardly looks used - no grooves at all. That bike has been babied.

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11/22/2013 6:02 PM

Ebay 181266916191

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

11/23/2013 10:04 PM

Wow this was a hell of a find! Looks damn tidy well done.

I am after a nice factory original seat if you are going down the aftermarket path. Happy to even just buy the cover.

Keep the updates coming.

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11/25/2013 11:19 AM

Thanks guys. Seems I missed out on the oem shrouds. Bugger.

Sorry kawasaki1996 im keeping the seat but I did see a good one on eBay so keep a look out.

Frame is ready for sand blasting and the bolts will get sent out for plating this week.

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11/25/2013 11:55 AM

Kawasaki_1996 wrote:

Wow this was a hell of a find! Looks damn tidy well done.

I am after a nice factory original seat if you are going down the aftermarket path. Happy to even just buy the cover.

Keep the updates coming.

Ceet makes purple covers with just Kawasaki on the sides, but they have the Ceet logo on the back. You might be able to carefully remove it.

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

11/25/2013 2:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/25/2013 2:21 PM

theres a guy called doc wob in england who has some pro circuit seat covers for sale in his ebay shop,he also has pc clutch covers.i just bought a 1997 kx 250 from him that came from hollywood and was used in a film for about an hour ,its pretty much as new except for a few scuffs on the swingarm.i am going to race it in our super evo class, that is for bikes from 1990 to 1999. had to replace the original bridgestone tyres as they were perished, also replacing grips and fitting braided steel brake lines and new fluid and may be a honda front master cylinder to improve the brakes.got some heavier fork springs to fit too.will put some pics.

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11/26/2013 11:54 AM

You should talk to this guy. He's got old factory forks off Emig's KX http://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Old-School-Moto,22/Factory-KX250-Build,1243918

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11/26/2013 5:39 PM

I tried emailing him a while ago, but i haven't got a response yet.

That hollywood bike was an amazing find, virtually brand new. Definitely put some pics up, will be great to see.

Im after some advice, should i paint or powdercoat the frame? What are the pros and cons?

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11/27/2013 1:14 AM

I would paint.

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11/28/2013 2:16 PM

powdercoat is tougher looks better and lasts longer,but it all wears off in the end.i am going to put grip tape on the frame to try and stop it wearing so quick.
those works forks are interesting,they used air sub tanks on emigs and tortellis,but they are not on those forks.theres a u.s website called vintage mx or something similar that i saw some pictures of fred bolleys gp bike from 96 with boyeseen link rear suspension and i think it had the same sub tank forks.
your kx has done very little maybe 20 hours tops.it looks to still have stock graphics and chain and sprocket,neither of which lasted more than about 10 hours of hard racing.

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11/28/2013 5:59 PM

Yeah, im leaning towards powder coating too.

What really sparked my interest when i saw the ebay ad was that it had the stock graphics and seat cover (no tears) still. Any bike that still has the stock graphics after so long couldn't be that worn. It hasnt been ridden hard, but there are still a few dings on the fork uppers that i will have to cover up with some stickers and the rims are shot, but everything is still quite tight.

I bought this seat cover to bling it up a bit.


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11/28/2013 6:25 PM

That thing looks pretty damn good to be 16 years old! I wish I could find one like that in my area

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12/2/2013 6:39 AM

I was going to pick up that cover, but I thought I was turning into a hoarder so I changed my mind. lol Can't wait to see it on the bike!

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

12/3/2013 3:00 AM

I picked up the last two of them, im a hoarder too. I almost bought a 98 kx125, so i thought i'd make them twins.

But ive got a bit of a problem. I spent a heap of money on the 95 kx250, but since i found this 97 (which was a great year for the 250) thats the bike i want to keep. I thought of converting the 95 model into a 125, which would be awesome as thats the exact bike i had back in the day. But i cant find an engine to transplant in.

If anyone in Oz wants to swap a 250 engine for a 125, let me know.

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12/11/2013 6:17 PM

Ok, ive decided on replicating this Pro Circuit KX250.

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I just bought this used but good condition works pipe to bring back to life.

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Wiseco piston kit has arrived and all the hardware has been replated.

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12/11/2013 7:29 PM

If you need some help with anything let me know.
Check out the 2000 Pro Circuit KX250 build on here. That was the last one I built.

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12/12/2013 7:42 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/12/2013 7:43 AM

EVO has the 97 kit done, just working out some issues with the seat cover.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

12/12/2013 12:23 PM

EVO FB page.

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04 KX125
94 KX250SM
75 Z1-900

12/12/2013 6:32 PM

Thanks for the offer 718, your last Pro Circuit build is simply a thing of beauty, awesome work.

Hey DJFMXpro, looks like we got in the right boat cause its motoring along now. Kidkawie beat me to it, as he said Evo have the 97 kits done but are trialing a new production process for the seat. Frank (EVO) said they will be ready in a few weeks.

Frank also said that they are well on the way with the 96 & 98 Pro Circuit kits too. So you should be able to sort out a few more of those bike you have planned. And wow, with that list of bikes, you're going to rival Pro Circuit themselves!

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12/12/2013 7:04 PM

>I need those forks for a 1994 splitfire kx125 build.

Well good luck that used to be my bike and the forks were swapped long ago for some other work. So they're gone. Try Emig Racing if you're serious about getting a set, Gary may still have some left over. You've going to have to pay a fortune if he does, though.

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Thanks for the memories and good fellowship guys!

12/12/2013 7:36 PM

hay man check out this in the race Shop forum I may can use your help in something

it is about the forks

check out
( black titanium nitride coating ) by DJFMXpro

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12/12/2013 7:40 PM

in the forum you will find this

it is about the 46mm kayaba works forks.

It says

( there is also the 46mm open cartridge KAYABA factory works forks that is on older KXs 94-97

I don't thank they are twin chamber someone correct me if i'm wrong )

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12/16/2013 5:07 PM

what up Matt.

I finely got my graphics and seat covers in the mail today. check it out.

It is all original MXA 1998 splitfire graphics and seat cover
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1997 splitfire seat cover
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1996 splitfire seat cover
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All original MXA 98/97/96 splitfire seat covers

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12/16/2013 5:45 PM

Wow mate, looks great. You sure spent some moola. Have you seen the rest of the gear he's put up for sale? very nice but a bit pricey for me. Plus i intend to race the bikes i build, so im ok with buying the revamped kits from EVO. If i trash them, i can replace them.

I only had the idea of restoring a bike 6 months ago, but im obsessed now. I just bought a 2002 KX125 for $650 which is quite cheap here. Its not been looked after very well, but it hasn't had too hard a life and will clean up quite good. Mainly cosmetics and the swingarm bearing to replace. Im going to try my hand at porting the barrel (its stock and not been touched) since from what ive read, the 2002 kx125 is a bit of a sleeper which you need to wake up a bit. The bike came with a rusty PC works pipe, so thats good.
cheers.

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12/16/2013 6:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/16/2013 6:52 PM

nice 02 it will look good when you fix it up.

I seen the other stuff he has yes. But I bought most of the splitfire stuff for KX that he has.

What he has on there now I already have.
awesome guy BTW

But I am looking for original 1997 splitfire graphics also.

The new EVO-MX splitfire kit that have come out are cool. but if I find the original graphics kit I prefer them also.

But I will buy the new EVO kit to they are awesome and im ok with them.

soon I will buy the NEW EVO
95/96/97 kits.
and some missing decals for the 98 kit.

But like you say if you plan to race the bike I would not put much in to it.
because if you have rare graphics or parts on it and you crash it
you are screwed.

I do not plan to ride my KX splitfire bikes I build. That's why it is ok to put hard to find graphics and parts on it.
I also im not selling my splitfire replica bikes
( for any price pried. )

But any way like you said
if you trash something make sure you can replace it.

thanks man

good luck on your KX builds

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