Keefer Kuestions
By:
Kris Keefer

Back with the answer to your perplexing Kuestions!

I'm going to be buying a 2018 350 real soon. I also was wondering if you've tested any exhaust systems on the newer 350's? And if so, in your opinion, which were the best?

Thanks,
Derrick

 

Derrick, 

 

Stock is pretty damn good! I know any muffler manufacturer will tell you this. If you are going to buy a muffler try a FMF slip on only first (no headpipe). This will keep the bike's good bottom end power. The headpipe will add top end, but kills a little of the bottom. I have only tried a Yoshimura, Pro Circuit and FMF with this machine. The FMF seemed to work the best. -KK

 

Have you ever seen the chain guide block get hit and break its mounting off of the swing arm on a KTM150?Parts guy at local dealer was telling me that I should change factory block to a plastic one so we don't break the swing arm bracket. The factory one is metal covered in plastic. Looks pretty tough. Thoughts? Dealer just trying to upsell? -Billy

 

I have seen the chain block get hit and brake the mounting point off on a lot of bikes, not just the KTM, so it can happen. Will it happen? It could, if you hit it hard enough. Personally I have not broken one off and I ride a shit ton. I have ran TM Designworks chain guides and although they last, they also are loud. -KK 

 

 

Hey Kris, my name is Cole Puckett. I recently picked up a 2018 Kawi 450 and wanted some of your advice on these air forks. I race most of the major AMA amateur races in the 450 B class and just made the switch to this kawi from 17 Yamaha 450's. I'm 18 years old, 6'5” and about 180 lbs. Before purchasing this Kawi, I was almost 100% sure I was going to drive up to RaceTech and get a spring conversation kit. I rode it for the first time at Pala on Tuesday and noticed the forks being very, very stiff initially on some parts of the track. I set the air pressure in the forks to what the owners manuel recommended. Tyler Bowers did help me out with some clicker adjustments to the fork and shock, which helped out big time. I will be sending my suspension off to get done soon, but I'm curious to see how good I can get the bike to handle with the stock stuff. What do you recommend for pressure in the 3 chambers up front and sag in the rear? Also, is there any other small things I can do to fine tune this thing? Thank you for the help! Big fan of yours! 

 

Hey Cole,

 

Congrats on your new steed. Yes, for sure go with a spring fork as it will help the cornering character of this machine. A spring fork will get you more front end bite and help the Kawi lean better through corners. Here is a setting that I came up with that will get you by until you get some coil springs in that sucker! You left ol’ blue to go green eh? The frame absorption on the kiwi is great, but you will miss that engine of the Yamaha! :) Have fun ripping around and good luck to you! -KK

 

Fork: 

Comp- 5-6 out

Rebound- 10

Inner Chamber- 154 psi

Outer- 15.2-15.4 psi

Balance- 175 psi

 

Shock:

L/S Comp 11

H/S Comp 1.5 

Rebound 11-12

Sag 105-106mm 

 

Kris, first off just want to say I'm digging your Keefer Inc site and appreciate your commitment and time you put into this stuff. I'll try to keep this short, but I'm having some trouble deciding on what new bike to get. I'm a diehard Yamaha guy and have been riding and racing YZ250 2 strokes for the past several years, however I just moved up to the expert class here in New York this year and under certain conditions I can't compete with the 450s anymore on the 2 stroke. I need to get a 4 stroke, but I'm only 145 pounds (5'10" and 25 yrs old) and whenever I ride 450s I feel like its too much of a handful and i cant charge as hard and ride aggressive as I do on my 2 stroke. I'm wondering if you think a Husky or KTM 350 would maybe be right for me and my 2 stroke habits? I like to out-brake people and take creative lines. I'm a really good starter and pretty light so I think I can still get starts against 450s on one, but I've never ridden one and was wondering if you had some tips and advice for 350s? and if theres anything I should be worried about reliability wise? being a Yamaha guy I love the durability and I'm hesitant to switch but I just think the Yamaha 450s are too much for me to ride how I like to ride. I like a light small feeling bike with front end feel, and it seems from what I read the KTM/ Husky's are just that. I've heard the Husky 450 is really easy to ride for a 450 also so I haven't ruled that out either, I'm just having trouble making up my mind and new bikes are not cheap so any advice from you would be totally killer! 

 

Sam,

 

First of the 350 and 450 almost weigh the same so don't worry about weight.

 

Second, going from a two-stroke and being as light as you are I think you will really like the 350. You have to ride it similar to a 250 two-stroke and you will have more than enough power to rip holeshots in New York trust me. Reliability is a lot better than in past years with KTM so I am pretty confident in the 350's ability to get you through a season of racing with zero trouble. 350/450 both corner excellent and like I said feel light on the track. the fork is not the bet fork (compared to spring), but the AER isn't horrible neither. 

 

Hope this helps.. -KK

 

 

Hey Kris Keefer, my name is Christian Chamorro, I have a 2017 CRF450R with full Yoshimura exhaust, but saw the FMF system you tested, I want to know if you recommend me to switch to FMF for a better throttle response and more aggressive power. Thanks!

Christian,

 

The FMF does have more bottom end snap than the Yosh does. The FMF and Yosh system almost mimic each other through the mid-to end range. Both are great systems, but if you're looking for more bottom than FMF would be a good choice. Be on the lookout though as Yoshimura will sometimes do running changes to their current systems. 

-KK

 

 

I recently Picked up a 18 CRF450R and wondering what your thoughts on gearing is and removing the clutch switch so i can run my works connection perch setup? What do the pros do in that situation.

Fairly fast intermediate vet rider 170lbs.

Thank you, 

John

 

 

John, 

 

I run a WC perch and lever and don't really care about the clutch switch. It is more of a legal issue if anything. The new Yamaha starts without puling the clutch in so I don't think it is a big deal. You can learn how to do it by clicking this link here: http://www.dirtbikes.com/video-jay-clark-honda-crf450rx-tech-tip/

 

I run the stock gearing at most tracks, but you can go a tooth or two up on the rear sprocket if you want to use third gear more in corners... 

 

-KK 

 

Keefer,

Sorry this is my second question of the day. I am curious on your thoughts on pump gas for your average rider? I am in the military and do not get to ride nearly as much as I would hope to. I am not burning through massive amounts of gas, is it worth the extra money for the VP T4 gas? Just curious if it's worth the extra money?

Thanks,

Clyde

 

 

Clyde,

 

To answer your two questions you must first order a t-shirt over on my website!! Just kidding. 

 

This isn’t a problem. Yes, pump gas is just fine and works very well. Try to stay with a Chevron, 76 or Texaco station though. I've had bad luck with BP fuel for whatever reason. Running T4E is a little better for throttle response and bottom end, but it’s a minimal gain and only recommended if you're serious racer. If you’re a weekend warrior pump fuel is just fine.  

Hope this helps! 

-KK

 

 

I have a question about you testing the Ride Engineering link product. Did you happen to try in with the KYB kit suspension or just stock stuff? If so how well did it work?

Thank you, Layne

 

 

Layne,

 

I tried it with stock, KYB and Showa A-kit. I preferred it with all three sets of suspension. The Ride Engineering link helps settles the rear end coming into corners and gives me a little less twitchy feeling up front. When running the link you can run a sag setting between 103-105mm and also make sure to run your fork legs up in the clamp at 2.5mm.    

 

KK