1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Questions and comments about converting to beefier forks..
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treelimb
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1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by treelimb » 08:20 am Apr 07 2019

Long time no post. I have lurked extensively however and have learned much.

Over a lengthy 3 years, my KDX has been completely rebuilt-top to bottom/side to side/front to back. Whew. way more in my bike than it will ever be worth BUT I know what I have. I will get some pictures up.

Regarding my forks, I had a well known southern guy rebuild and gold valve them,installing a set of race-tech .46 springs. i weigh 170ish in shorts so that translates into around 185ish suited up/and with water pack and etc. this set up beat me to death and gave me arm pump that wore me out after 25 miles of single track/woods riding.

A great friend of mine that knows KDX's well told me that particular setup would be too stiff for me( he was correct) but the springs were all that I could get my hands on at the time.race-tech doesn't carry older bike items it seems and my very helpful and knowledgeable kawasaki dealer could not locate anything softer spring wise. Above mentioned friend suggested that we go with the stock KLX springs which should be .38, too soft for my riding weight yet softer than the .46. So we changed springs out and my old bike tracks and soaks junk up and has me smiling like never before ! :supz:

I used the KLX front brake and tucked the brake line in really well at caliper.It works very well. Front/rear brake systems were rebuilt so stopping isn't an issue.New front brake setup actually seems to work better than original KDX system but keep in mind it has been 3 years since I rode it.I have 14 hours on the whole bike as of this post.

My rear shock was revalved but not gold valved so it works well and keeps me planted. I've owned this KDX for 12 years maybe. MANY,MANY hours and miles on it (above mentioned friend knows) and my bike seems to be dialed in as never before. Still soft up front but wow,it soaks it up man.

Quick mod list-
boysen rad valve,Pro Circuit pipe/304 silencer(sometimes FMF 2), no toil filter/air box mod, probably every piece of armor made for KDXs excluding front/rear brake guards,cleaned up new cylinder at the ports,and all the woods oriented pipe guards,hand guards,full skid plate,etc.

IMHO I feel the KLX front end was a worthwhile endeavor. Simple swap, everything matched up,and what little turning radius I lost I regained by shaving a little off of my Devol radiator guards at the point that attached to the frame. NO compromising of the integrity of the guard so I am okay with it.

I appreciate all the info learned as I lurked over the years.I will attempt to get some pictures up with my new plastics and etc. as soon as i figure out the way to do so. I wound up with 2 sets of Race-tech .46 form springs(for KLX300) so I have a new in the box set to trade for a set of .40 or .42 or maybe a .44 if anyone is interested.

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 07:43 pm Apr 07 2019

Hey. You finally posted.

Don't forget the new OEM crankshaft.

It rides really well with the KLX forks. I am glad to have helped out on this one!
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:01 pm Apr 08 2019

Good to hear about the forks. Definitely post up some photos when you get a chance! I am about to do the KLX swap on my 04. I have the forks and items to do the rebuild, but need to decide on springs. I know RaceTech has .44 springs but now that I read your post I may just stay with the OEM springs as I weigh 180 dry. My forks are from a 98 KLX and it looks like the stock rate is .36. I ride slower more technical stuff but certainly not an expert by any means, but .36 might be too soft. More confused now hahaha, might just go with the .44.
1997 KDX 220
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 12:31 am Apr 09 2019

VTMTcowboy, your post got me to looking.

I had always read KLX300 was 0.38. I looked on partzilla, and sure enough, the same OEM part number shows for 1997 - 2007 and only 0.36.

Race Tech shows 0.37 for 1997 - 1999 and 0.38 for 2000 - 2007.

This is news to me!

You might want to call this company to see if they have any stiffer, but not too stiff springs.

https://www.moto-pro.com/

I read elsewhere of a guy calling Race Tech 11 years ago and being told they no longer sell .40 or .42. ELEVEN YEARS!! :?
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by treelimb » 08:41 am Apr 09 2019

I attempted many times to post up my pictures but when I finally got a response from this site(YES I AM COMPOOTER ILLITERATE,thank you very much) I was advised that my pictures were too large. something was too large. I'll get with G(kdxgarage) and hopefully he can guide me.

cowboy- if and when you find springs,please advise me. as i ride more and get in better shape and interpret feedback from my KDX, I am thinking they are soft. It is still a responsive ride and the forks stay planted very well with the .36 or .37 or .38,whatever is in there.I am sure the gold valve set up is doing it to it for me. NO arm pump and I rode 17 miles yesterday.

I do have 2 sets of .46 KLX race tech fork springs with one set brand new in box that I would love to trade for a set of .40 ,.42, .44 perhaps but I'm wondering if .44 is too stiff.

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 03:28 pm Apr 09 2019

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:28 pm Apr 09 2019

KDXGarage wrote:
12:31 am Apr 09 2019
VTMTcowboy, your post got me to looking.

I had always read KLX300 was 0.38. I looked on partzilla, and sure enough, the same OEM part number shows for 1997 - 2007 and only 0.36.

Race Tech shows 0.37 for 1997 - 1999 and 0.38 for 2000 - 2007.

This is news to me!

You might want to call this company to see if they have any stiffer, but not too stiff springs.

https://www.moto-pro.com/

I read elsewhere of a guy calling Race Tech 11 years ago and being told they no longer sell .40 or .42. ELEVEN YEARS!! :?
I kept reading amongst all the back logged posts that the KLX fork springs were .38. When I looked at the parts fiche it said the standard KLX springs were .36 with optional .35 and .37 rates. My 04 KDX spring rate is a .35 so there probably wouldn't be much of a difference if I mounted up the stock KLX forks, maybe a little better tracking due to the thicker diameter of the forks. I could always get the .37 KLX option, but not sure if it is worth it. I wonder if RaceTech just has a surplus of the .44 and .46 and once they sell out than that is it... I'll keep looking but I may just keep the stock springs in, rebuild the forks and ride the bike and see. I'll see if Moto Pro has any options. I really just think .44 might be a tad aggressive.
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:29 pm Apr 09 2019

KDXGarage wrote:
03:28 pm Apr 09 2019
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Great looking KDX! Digging the green side panels.
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 12:25 am Apr 10 2019

VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:28 pm Apr 09 2019


I kept reading amongst all the back logged posts that the KLX fork springs were .38. When I looked at the parts fiche it said the standard KLX springs were .36 with optional .35 and .37 rates. My 04 KDX spring rate is a .35 so there probably wouldn't be much of a difference if I mounted up the stock KLX forks, maybe a little better tracking due to the thicker diameter of the forks. I could always get the .37 KLX option, but not sure if it is worth it. I wonder if RaceTech just has a surplus of the .44 and .46 and once they sell out than that is it... I'll keep looking but I may just keep the stock springs in, rebuild the forks and ride the bike and see. I'll see if Moto Pro has any options. I really just think .44 might be a tad aggressive.
I did see the 0.35 and 0.37 options. I don't think those would be enough of a difference to be worth fooling with.

I helped him with the KLX fork spring swap, then rode on a little rocky patch here. I thought they were really nice.

Cannon Racecraft makes springs and can make whatever you need.

Beyond that, getting a longer spring and cutting it down is an option. treelimb did not want to go that route. It is a bit complicated, but does work. Shortening a spring makes it stiffer. Some of the early to mid 90's KYB MX fork springs are a bit longer than the KLX300 springs. I have done it once for a guy who had a KDX250. It took a while, but it worked out well.
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by treelimb » 05:26 am Apr 10 2019

VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:29 pm Apr 09 2019
KDXGarage wrote:
03:28 pm Apr 09 2019
treelimb.png
Great looking KDX! Digging the green side panels.
Thank you sir! I am quite proud of her. Maybe G can get a picture to work of the right side. I will have Kris at Kawasaki of Rome look into the springs again. He has truly been great on finding lots of OEM parts for me when Kawasaki says it is no longer produced and others when they can't be located by me and my computer illiteracy. I have high hopes of finding stiffer springs.
I have an OEM crank(rod and all obviously),clutch basket,clutch,cylinder,etc.,all brand new put into my rebuild. the wheel bearings and swing arm bearings are after market as are the plastics and seat cover. I'll go out on a (tree)limb and declare that 93% of my rebuild is Kawasaki parts.Might be a high number but the number of Kaw oem bags and boxes allow me to make that claim. After market brake pads,chain and sprockets and levers.
As worn out but still running as My KDX was,there was not a reason for me to NOT go back with original as much as I could. My KIPS valve has sheered off a piece but still ran. Unreal durability is a KDX. I had not realized how far gone she was until break down during rebuild. Kris at Kaw told me stories of riders using rags as air filters.
Anyway,no more rambling.thanks for the compliment. Let's find some springs man :supz:

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 09:16 am Apr 10 2019

KDXGarage wrote:
12:25 am Apr 10 2019
VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:28 pm Apr 09 2019


I kept reading amongst all the back logged posts that the KLX fork springs were .38. When I looked at the parts fiche it said the standard KLX springs were .36 with optional .35 and .37 rates. My 04 KDX spring rate is a .35 so there probably wouldn't be much of a difference if I mounted up the stock KLX forks, maybe a little better tracking due to the thicker diameter of the forks. I could always get the .37 KLX option, but not sure if it is worth it. I wonder if RaceTech just has a surplus of the .44 and .46 and once they sell out than that is it... I'll keep looking but I may just keep the stock springs in, rebuild the forks and ride the bike and see. I'll see if Moto Pro has any options. I really just think .44 might be a tad aggressive.
I did see the 0.35 and 0.37 options. I don't think those would be enough of a difference to be worth fooling with.

I helped him with the KLX fork spring swap, then rode on a little rocky patch here. I thought they were really nice.

Cannon Racecraft makes springs and can make whatever you need.

Beyond that, getting a longer spring and cutting it down is an option. treelimb did not want to go that route. It is a bit complicated, but does work. Shortening a spring makes it stiffer. Some of the early to mid 90's KYB MX fork springs are a bit longer than the KLX300 springs. I have done it once for a guy who had a KDX250. It took a while, but it worked out well.
Sounds like a .44 might work alright but I am going to call Moto Pro and see what options they have and mainly see what prices they quote me. I do not want to go down that path, but if there is one thing everyone always says, suspension should be the number one mod to any bike... Despite the potential frustrations, I was hoping to do the rebuild myself that way I will understand and learn how to do it. Might have to ship them off instead as it seems that re-valving would need to be done, not simply just heavier springs.

Now that I think of it, how much and what oil weight are you using for the KLX swap?

Thanks, I know this is a beat up subject, but to me there are always new and more conservations to be had.
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 09:24 am Apr 10 2019

treelimb wrote:
05:26 am Apr 10 2019
VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:29 pm Apr 09 2019
KDXGarage wrote:
03:28 pm Apr 09 2019
treelimb.png
Great looking KDX! Digging the green side panels.
Thank you sir! I am quite proud of her. Maybe G can get a picture to work of the right side. I will have Kris at Kawasaki of Rome look into the springs again. He has truly been great on finding lots of OEM parts for me when Kawasaki says it is no longer produced and others when they can't be located by me and my computer illiteracy. I have high hopes of finding stiffer springs.
I have an OEM crank(rod and all obviously),clutch basket,clutch,cylinder,etc.,all brand new put into my rebuild. the wheel bearings and swing arm bearings are after market as are the plastics and seat cover. I'll go out on a (tree)limb and declare that 93% of my rebuild is Kawasaki parts.Might be a high number but the number of Kaw oem bags and boxes allow me to make that claim. After market brake pads,chain and sprockets and levers.
As worn out but still running as My KDX was,there was not a reason for me to NOT go back with original as much as I could. My KIPS valve has sheered off a piece but still ran. Unreal durability is a KDX. I had not realized how far gone she was until break down during rebuild. Kris at Kaw told me stories of riders using rags as air filters.
Anyway,no more rambling.thanks for the compliment. Let's find some springs man :supz:
I hear you on buying extra OEM parts. I do the same. I have a lot purple plastics that I have bought for my 97' and currently don't even use them, but I know someday they won't be available and I'll need them, so I might as well scoop them up now.

The KDX to me is the gold standard; reliable, easy to ride, fun to ride, rips when you need it to, lugs when you want it to, light enough, and overall just a blast to ride in a variety of conditions. It is has the nostalgia of my youth. The green and purple of the 90's, it was the bike that was pinned to my bedroom wall. Some people pinned up girls or cars, I pinned up dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Anyhow, enough rambling for me too haha. I'll keep updating on my KLX swap.
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 11:06 am Apr 11 2019

Here's the oil he had:

https://www.kawasaki.com/accessories/it ... /440910020

96 mm oil level
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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:54 pm Apr 11 2019

KDXGarage wrote:
11:06 am Apr 11 2019
Here's the oil he had:

https://www.kawasaki.com/accessories/it ... /440910020

96 mm oil level
Thank you sir!
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by treelimb » 09:04 pm May 31 2019

UPDATE:
with much highly appreciated help from a certain well known entity here,I have my KDX just about where I need it . Finally got correct fork springs from cannon racecraft,.42, and the entity and I installed them a couple weeks ago. Between finally setting the sag(wife helped on that one) for my 196.5lbs in gear, The suspension is unlike anything I have ever ridden especially on my KDX. It sticks and it plants and it is not prone to deflect weirdly nor does it wear me out after 41 miles on 4 and 5 diamond trails at highland park in cedartown ga.,riding with 4 very hard core riders with youngest being 15,a 28 yo,a 46 yo, and maybe anothe 46yo. They can ride and do so most every weekend. 2 2018 yz250x's, 1 2019 yz250f that has some **** that allows the owner to set parameters with his cell phone. The stock pipe on it sounds like some high performance KTM only better.UNREAL 250.The there is the 15 year old young man on a kx125 that does a greta job considering that bike on tight and tortuous trails.

Anyway,I have more to say so I"ll post it later regarding some other mods/issues rectified,and where we've ridden.

Thank you G,KDX for your time and expertise.

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by doakley » 10:38 pm May 31 2019

Great looking bike. Bring it to Greensboro, GA on 6/9 and ride the Cherokee Enduro with us!

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Re: 1997 KDX200 with 2001 KLX300 forks

Post by KDXGarage » 01:03 am Jun 01 2019

Apparently what treelimb sees when I help him work on his KDX: ("entity")

Image

With that said, I do encourage you to:

Boldly go where no KDX has gone before.
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