82-83 KX 125

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5/5/2022 6:53 AM

A couple years back I drove by the house of an acquaintance of mine. His garage door was up and I noticed in the shadow a bright green dirt bike with the rear number fender number plate. Next time I saw him a told him I saw it and would be interested if he ever wanted to sell. Turns out he co-owns it with his brother, and he said his brother didn't want to part with it.

Fast forward a couple years, and I got a call the other day to ask if I was still interested.

I think I am, but I'm told that parts for these are very hard to come by, and a rebuild, if needed, is difficult. I'm not even sure what sort of shape it's in, but it's been in the back of that garage for a decade or more. He said come take a look and make an offer.

What do you guys think? Not much meaningful price reference info on the web. Saw one race ready in MA for 3800. Seems a bit high even for a race ready machine.

Any legit input will be welcomed.

H

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5/5/2022 9:27 AM

Offer him like $500 don't mention anything about vintage mx collectable this or that. It's a 40 year old dirt bike. It will be hard to get some stuff for it especially certain engine bits like sought after cylinders engine cases etc. Basically don't spend more than it might be worth in parts if parted out.
Overall condition is really the deciding factor.

You can be upside down and 3k deep into a restore you couldn't recoupe before you know it.

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5/6/2022 11:58 AM

This is a bit of an orphan bike for a couple of reasons. One is that AHRMA rules put you in with more modern bikes b/c of the front disc. The other is that, as someone mentioned, the frames were made out of balsa wood. If you're serious about the bike, check the frame very carefully, including under the tank and by the steering head.

I've been racing vintage MX for 20 years, and I'm not sure I've ever seen an 82-83 KX125 at a race. As mentioned above, there's not a lot of aftermarket support for these bikes.

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5/9/2022 5:59 PM

Thanks all. I hear ya about the frames- I had a 1980 kdx 175 that got buckled at the seat/tank juncture. The disc brake issue is, well, and issue, because if I keep it I'd want to AHRMA race it. So I'm looking at at least $500 for a used set of forks and a different front wheel/hub.

Thanks again for the input. I'll post an update when I go to look at it. Too bad it's such an odd fish- I just love the way those models looked with the one sided radiator, cool front and rear number plates, gold anodized hard bits, etc.

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5/10/2022 2:09 PM

I restored one of these two years ago, If I remember correctly, I used main bearings out of a KX100. other than that, hard things to source were a complete engine gasket set, a carb rebuild kit. Most of my bike was there but buried under years of spray paint, it was A LOT of elbow grease and time.
I recommend Nightmare Racing for the plastic, they sell complete replacement kits online, WAY nicer than the DC shit offered and has the OEM shine vs. DC matte look. There are replica graphics all over ebay as well as number plate backgrounds.
shoot me your email and I can send you pics of mine finished, I'll tell you what I sold it for afterwards.

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Disregard females, acquire currency.

5/19/2022 4:10 AM

Got a look at it last night. Most of the pieces are there, and the bones are good. Missing side plastic on both sides, air filter, and front number plater. Front brake system had no fluid in it- looks like the master has a leak. Clutch is stuck. Gearbox oil is low, as is coolant level. Going back with a couple tools to see if the gearbox has coolant in it, and if the bike has spark. Hasn’t been run in 10 years. Photo

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5/19/2022 8:39 AM

Buy it. The footpegs don't sag.The original shifter isn't all mangled from rowing the gear box. Its not beat to death.It just needs someone to love it and throw some money at it.

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5/19/2022 9:13 AM

Those are sooooo hard to find! The frames were very fragile leaving minimal survivors still out there. Cool to see one all there just needing $$ and many hours in the garage. I hope you pull the trigger and bring it back to life!!!

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5/19/2022 9:48 AM


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Disregard females, acquire currency.

5/19/2022 9:51 AM

Parks65 wrote:
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Awesome💪

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5/19/2022 9:52 AM

Hman144 wrote:

Got a look at it last night. Most of the pieces are there, and the bones are good. Missing side plastic on both sides, air ...more

Scoop that up bro… flip it.. make sure you state : barn find.. needs carb clean….

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5/19/2022 8:10 PM

nightmare racing for your plastic. I got some from them and was very happy with the stuff..

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5/20/2022 11:51 AM

^^ Mark is a good guy. Knows a lot about the old Kaws and will definitely set you up with some good plastic.

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5/20/2022 12:48 PM

Doing some digging around- looks like the '84 cylinder and head will bolt up and give a significant increase in performance. Haven't looked into carb differences yet. I'll need to get a drum brake set-up for AHRMA racing. Maybe I can adapt a drum to the existing forks with an adapter plate. Air filters are available through Uni, and I'm sure I'll be able to find plastic, I just have no idea where (Sarcasm alert, no need to comment).

I really don't have the time or space for this project, but I feel like I can't let it slide by if he'll take a decent price for it.

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5/20/2022 2:04 PM

All I know is Guy Cooper was amazing on that era of kawis on the local okc scene!! I was 11-12 at the time never seen anything like it before or since

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5/20/2022 7:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/20/2022 7:42 PM

Those pics of the 82-83 KX bring back racing memories for me.. I had a Rm125 82-83... the 82 RM was super and my Dad tuned it with some special parts.It was a super cool bike. So wish I kept it!
I always wondered about the Kawis of the sametime- were only a few of them.
I know they (KX) got better in '84 and '85. Think the KX 125 '84 was THE bike to have... the best?

How was the 82-83 KX exactly compared to the RM or YZ of that time?

My 82 RM 'Z' was great- the 83 RM 'D' slow... not sure how my 82 was so superior to the 83 RM?!

Damn cool bike, the KX and time- guess very rare now?

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

5/21/2022 8:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/21/2022 8:29 AM

I installed a 84 cylinder and head on mine and worked on by Tom Morgan. I won't say the stock 84 cylinder was a huge improvement over the 83 before he ported it but it was an improvement. The only modification you need to make is shorten the hose leading to the head.
It's a great bike.
The cdi from the 84 is different but i havent tried it yet .I wish I had chose the RM to build because of the bullshit Ahrma rule where a 83 bike that came with a disc can't compete against a 83 bike with a drum brake.
And the Suzuki was a much better built bike. It's not the bike to choose if you are going to be racing alot.
I don't understand why Nightmare plastic is raved about. Yes it looks like factory but it doesn't fit like factory. I had to make 3/8 thick spacers for the air scoop and rear fender to fit correctly.
The DC seat cover looks like a cartoon.The Pit Replica looks factory
I also had to get a Noleen shock. Something was wrong with my stock shock and rebuilt it 2x in a few hours . The new shock makes it feel like modern suspension
Whether or not you change the front end, you'll want a top triple from the 88 KX. The bar mounts are way too far back. The 88 clamp puts the bars over the top of the forks
In the end all these mods don't matter
I'm a old man racing old man mx lining up against 3 to 5 other bikes on the gate

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5/21/2022 8:38 AM

Photo

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5/21/2022 8:40 AM

a22 wrote:

Those pics of the 82-83 KX bring back racing memories for me.. I had a Rm125 82-83... the 82 RM was super and my Dad tuned it ...more

Your bike probably had a beat stator. My 82 was a dog. I raced all year until it stopped sparking. I put a new stator in and it ran like a rocket.

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5/21/2022 5:22 PM

MaxPower wrote:

Your bike probably had a beat stator. My 82 was a dog. I raced all year until it stopped sparking. I put a new stator in and ...more

Yes not sure- the 83 (RM) was new and it just did not seem to have much guts, unlike my '82. It went alright I guess but did not seem very powerful. Got crap starts on it. Think others who had '83s think were faster than mine. Just did not seem as good as the '82. Maybe it was just a slow one, I guess when you buy a bike new, some of them maybe better performing than others off the production line, have heard this before. It seemed underpowered for some reason and just did not feel as good as the 82, also sort of felt smaller and more low sitting which I did not like.

Anyway- back on topic for the KX of the same period- your bike looks superb MaxPower! She is a beauty! I think the 82-85 KX125 was the best looking 125 bike of the time. I personally loved the rear mudguard/ plate setup! Other people seem they did not like it.
Also the gold swing arm and rims- were lovely looking bikes.
What a rare and cool bike to have! Great thread.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

5/21/2022 5:30 PM

That disc brake rule is rubbish- it should have nothing to do with vintage racing today- it was a standard item and should be allowed to compete against other bikes of the same period- it was stock! Crazy and unfair to not allow it.

Who thinks these rules up?! Its like they never banned it in 82-83!?! So how is it not allowed now? Absolutely stupid ruling. As long as the bike is period correct, it should be allowed to race other period correct bikes of the time of like 1981-1984 thereabouts.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

5/22/2022 6:31 AM

a22 wrote:

That disc brake rule is rubbish- it should have nothing to do with vintage racing today- it was a standard item and should be ...more

I would think if there were more than 5 raceable 82-83 KXs left to compete in the US the Ahrma might take notice. In a few more years us old men will be too old to ride and vintage mx will be gone anyway like WW2 Vets and I can complain while eating my rice pudding in the retirement home

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5/23/2022 9:49 AM

It’s funny- in the AHRMA rule book, this bike is specifically called out by name as not allowed under post vintage grouping.

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5/23/2022 10:56 PM

Hman144 wrote:

It’s funny- in the AHRMA rule book, this bike is specifically called out by name as not allowed under post vintage grouping.

Its not funny, its .ridiculous. Countries with hardcore vintage racers like the UK with thier Pre 83 class must think be grateful that they have a governing body that isnt run by old men in adult diapers sitting around talking about thier 68 BSAs.The 82 YZ 125 and 250 can race with a power valve. And no one questions V Force Reeds. What of the guys running cartridge forks in thier 83 Hondas? That doesnt get a mention. The Floater suspension was so much better than any other bike at the time. Maybe they should be illegal to run against 83 bikes. I'm better with rules when they are enforced equally. What about a water cooled mugen kit on a 1980 CR? Are they illegal? All other bikes in that class are air cooled. And this is all so I can sign up to a class that has 3 bikes on a gate for a 4 lap moto that last less than 10 minutes
. I think Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are on the ruling body of the Ahrma. The only reason I'd show up at on of thier events is because I like the track like Unadilla.

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6/2/2022 6:09 AM

Finally got in touch with the owner, offered him $700. He was insulted. That's all it's worth to me given the work it will need to get raceable. Hate to see this mule languishing, but it's not going to be for me.

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6/2/2022 6:16 AM

Hman144 wrote:

Finally got in touch with the owner, offered him $700. He was insulted. That's all it's worth to me given the work it will ...more

I hate the “make me an offer” scenarios… I always try to get a number out of them first, then you can decide if you want to continue the negotiations… as cool as it is, he probably did you a favor 😂

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6/2/2022 10:55 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/2/2022 1:15 PM

Hman144 wrote:

Finally got in touch with the owner, offered him $700. He was insulted. That's all it's worth to me given the work it will ...more

sandman768 wrote:

I hate the “make me an offer” scenarios… I always try to get a number out of them first, then you can decide if you want to ...more

I have a 83 KX125 too. That is definitely 83 if you don't know. I paid 800-900 14 years ago for one similar in condition. Don't get caught up in small stuff like oil level or rad level or clutch stuck.A bike sits a month and the clutch will stick. This does not have Honda magnesium issues with water pump cover leaking into tranny. If it leaks its a seal.The things I look at are its a nice original seat ,,fork tube looks clean of rust, Whole bike looks clean of rust from inside storage! The stock plastics tell me it hasn't been apart...a major good thing.
It looks like a good core to redo. I wouldn’t expect a race bike unless I totallyrebuilt engine, including replate, suspension , bearings bushings ..everything that moves. The plastic and stickers are the end cream on top. It’ll cost some $$. I’m small at 5’5” and the bike , power and handling fits me well

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6/2/2022 5:48 PM

So I texted the cat and asked if I could pass his number along to you RIV. Turns out he's decided to keep the old girl and piddle with it. We'll see. Maybe I rekindled some spark in him. Sorry, I tried.

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6/9/2022 1:09 PM

Hman144 wrote:

So I texted the cat and asked if I could pass his number along to you RIV. Turns out he's decided to keep the old girl and ...more

I appreciate it.
The key I have found to buying a few in my collection is polite perseverance. I once spotted a 79 RM125 leaned up against a house, muddy as it was being ridden. It was obvious bone stock original.I like those kind when buying. Stopped said hello,was told it was bought new by son in 79,,now grandson was riding it,not for sale. I left my number, but made sure was polite and left on good note. I stopped by again 6 months later to say HI remember me?! Was again shot down,,,I made small talk and left with smile...2 years of this each 6 months and I got a call it no longer ran and was interested now. Obviously the kid had run the original piston till she wouldn't run no more and pushed it home covered in mud. $400 and she was mine. I freshened top end and changed the original tires,,and raced it steady for 3-4 seasons winning countless motos. Still have her. It's all about timing...the spark he got now may where off and he may need money 6 months from now...just be ready and follow up. This model is worth it since it is so rare to find intact.

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6/12/2022 7:13 PM

Ya I’m friends with the brother who is storing it. Was very polite to the other brother that owns it, even though he was very stereotypically NYC with me. I was just telling the story to a buddy at my AHRMA event this weekend and ended with, “I bet a year from now it’s still sitting in that garage”. We’ll see.

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