KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Questions and comments about converting to beefier forks..
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VTMTcowboy
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KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 05:47 pm Oct 15 2019

Well it is finally done! I purchased the forks and triples over a year ago and have been looking for the right time to do it. I got a lot of help from many of the members here, so thank you to all who chimed in on my questions, even though they probably had been answered in the past.

Originally I was going to get the suspension done by a professional (to the extent you can on the KLX forks), but I also wanted to learn how to change fork seals/oil and learn the whole swap solo. I am not a super mechanic, but I enjoy the tinkering and problem solving of it. The major turning point was when we moved a month ago into a buddies house, which allows me to work on my bikes either inside a garage or in the driveway instead of the craziness that was when I lived in our old apartment complex.

I had a few questions as well. How far down should I slide the fork tubes into the triples? I currently have them probably 1/4-1/8". Also, what is a good starting point for clickers? I have them turned all the way in. I know riding it will help dial them in, but what have others started with? I also know that I should probably get heavier springs, being 180 dry, but I'll go down that road later if I find them overly soft. With with all that being said, thank you again and here she is:
KDX20025.JPG
KDX20025.JPG (147 KiB) Viewed 2756 times
KDX20026.JPG
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1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by KDXGarage » 09:50 pm Oct 15 2019

Looking good!

12 clicks out

5 mm gap at top would allow 5 mm adjustment either way if you did not like it.
Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo:
To post pictures from a device: viewtopic.php?f=88&t=24128

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:00 pm Oct 15 2019

KDXGarage wrote:
09:50 pm Oct 15 2019
Looking good!

12 clicks out

5 mm gap at top would allow 5 mm adjustment either way if you did not like it.
Thank you sir! I'll start there.
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by TwistedRoot » 04:38 pm Oct 18 2019

Congrats on the conversion. Bike looks sweet!
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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by Molly's 70 » 08:54 pm Oct 18 2019

Looks fantastic!
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 02:38 am Oct 20 2019

Thanks fellas! Definitely worth it solely for the looks alone.
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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by Owyhee1 » 10:42 pm Jan 02 2020

Your bike looks great! I’m doing the same swap, klx forks on my kdx220. My question is, did you use the stock klx upper triple clamp. I would like to use my rubber mounted, oversized bars, but would need to change at least the upper clamp to do that. Also, did you use the klx, or kdx brake line? Thanks!

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by doakley » 11:10 am Jan 03 2020

Sorry, I can't speak for the KLX forks. I started with my '01 KX250 forks set at 12mm from the top but recently raised them another 5mm for 17mm overall. With std bars this requires a bar lift but since I run FASST FLEX bars, they were already lifted by the adapter needed to run larger diameter bars.

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by Pressingonward » 05:26 pm Mar 17 2020

To the OP:

When you get a chance, would you mind measuring the fork length from the axle center to the top of the fork? Curious how the length of the KLX forks compare to my 1988 kdx200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:38 pm Mar 17 2020

Owyhee1 wrote:
10:42 pm Jan 02 2020
Your bike looks great! I’m doing the same swap, klx forks on my kdx220. My question is, did you use the stock klx upper triple clamp. I would like to use my rubber mounted, oversized bars, but would need to change at least the upper clamp to do that. Also, did you use the klx, or kdx brake line? Thanks!
Hey Owyhee1, I used the KLX forks and triples all the way. I used a pair of tusk oversized bar adapters to mount up the Fat Bars. I used the KDX brake line. Good luck and enjoy!
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:40 pm Mar 17 2020

Pressingonward wrote:
05:26 pm Mar 17 2020
To the OP:

When you get a chance, would you mind measuring the fork length from the axle center to the top of the fork? Curious how the length of the KLX forks compare to my 1988 kdx200
Sorry haven't checked this post in a while, but I'll try to do this tomorrow.
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by qbury » 10:25 am Jun 28 2020

I know it's been awhile since there was any positing here. What year and model KLX forks did you use? Did you have to modify the brake line mounting? Did you use the KDX wheel and caliper?

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:20 pm Jul 01 2020

I used 98 KLX forks and triples. I did not have to modify the break line or mounting. The KDX wheel and caliper fit perfectly. That was the reason I went the KLX swap vs. the KX for my first go round. I just got the suspension tuned, so hopefully it'll make the bike even better! At some point down the line I will do a KX swap on my 220 and that will be really telling to see what option is better, but for now I am happy with the KLX forks.
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by treelimb » 07:30 am Jul 02 2020

Hey cowboy. I'm 180 lbs in underwear or dry as you put it,which puts me at approximately 210 lbs in gear. I used Cannon racecraft springs,.42, in my forks. (mine are 2001 KLX300 but i used the 300's front brake) and I gold valved mine. Did you? Any real ride time yet? Results? HAPPY?

I had my shock revalved but not gold valved so gold valving is next EVEN THOUGH my current set up is oh so fine compared to stock with weight appropriate springs. You will play alot with your clickers but when you get it close or spot on,man,you will know it especially if you can ride a friends KDX that is virtually stock but is in reasonably good shape and compare. Night and day.

I mention Cannon because they are the only place that carried and/or will make weight appropriate springs for such an old set of forks,at least from my exhaustive research. Very helpful guy (Mark i think) there.

Anyhoo,congrats on getting it completed. we will need ride reports and I mean 50 miles in one ride reports through all the terrain. :busted: Thank you sir.

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by treelimb » 07:35 am Jul 02 2020

Also cowboy-PLEASE armor that good looking KDX up man. I think i see a skid plate on it. water pump guard,pipe guard, metal hand guards,etc. you will be riding faster now thus falling or other more.

i've seen water pumps cracked and all that good stuff over the years from actually riding KDX's. One rock is all it takes.

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 11:41 pm Jul 02 2020

Hey treelimb,

I did pretty extensive research and got a lot of great responses from many members here about different swaps and what was done for each swap. I ended going the KLX route simply because the ease of the swap. It was something I could do in the garage in an afternoon. I knew that the suspension was going to be too soft for me because I am pretty close to you, being 175 dry (no gear). I rode it a couple times stock and overall the bike felt like a pogo stick that pushed every corner. It felt skittish and shaky and really it wasn't much fun. After a few close calls and one wash out a few months ago, I finally bit the bullet, called 707 Racing Suspension and made the appointment. I told him that to basically go for it. I know that the tuning is fairly limited because of the technology, but just do everything you can to maximize the forks and shock. They ended up putting in Race Tech springs and gold valves both in the forks and the rear shock. I would look have to look back through my receipts to see the exact spring rates they went with. I also finally ditched the stock tires (since they were basically brand new when I bought the bike 3 years ago) and had them mount up a TUSK hybrid rear and a Bridgestone X30 front. I also replaced the stock drive train with a new 13/48 combo wrapped in an O-ring chain. And finally I added a Lectron. I just got confirmation that I will be riding Forest Hill (CA) on Tuesday. It will be a mix of flowing single track, technical rocky terrain, and plenty of slippery-dusty trails. It should be a good day for testing. This will be the first time out since all the changes have been made, but I am most excited about the tuned suspension. I think it will be the game changer. I am not fast and I am not slow. I don't ride as much as I did when I was in high school, but I still enjoy pushing myself every now and then. I think the suspension is really going to keep me up right and inspire more confidence, thus improving my riding overall. And most importantly, it will be more fun!

You are right about protection on my bike. I am definitely not a hard enduro guy, but I should probably do more than a skid plate. I will eventually get some radiator braces and a rear disc guard, but right now I need to take it easy on the spending haha. Between the suspension tuning, tires, tubes, drive train, labor, and Lectron, I am set for a bit.

I'll post up a review and hopefully some pictures after Tuesday's ride!
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by qbury » 11:06 am Jul 05 2020

VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:20 pm Jul 01 2020
I used 98 KLX forks and triples. I did not have to modify the break line or mounting. The KDX wheel and caliper fit perfectly. That was the reason I went the KLX swap vs. the KX for my first go round. I just got the suspension tuned, so hopefully it'll make the bike even better! At some point down the line I will do a KX swap on my 220 and that will be really telling to see what option is better, but for now I am happy with the KLX forks.
Thank you for the update.

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by VTMTcowboy » 10:44 am Jul 06 2020

qbury wrote:
11:06 am Jul 05 2020
VTMTcowboy wrote:
11:20 pm Jul 01 2020
I used 98 KLX forks and triples. I did not have to modify the break line or mounting. The KDX wheel and caliper fit perfectly. That was the reason I went the KLX swap vs. the KX for my first go round. I just got the suspension tuned, so hopefully it'll make the bike even better! At some point down the line I will do a KX swap on my 220 and that will be really telling to see what option is better, but for now I am happy with the KLX forks.
Thank you for the update.
Looks like you might be in Northern, CA. I am in NorCal as well. Let me know if you ever want to ride. I have odd days off and generally head out to FH.
1997 KDX 220
2004 KDX 200

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Re: KLX Swap Finally Completed!

Post by qbury » 11:40 am Jul 06 2020

That sounds great. I'm about an hour from FH. I'm waiting for my paperwork from the DMV, hopefully sometime this week, but yeah I'd like to get together. I have odd days off as well.

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