Keefer Kuestions 9-28-17
Kris Keefer

He's like Dear Abby but with dirt bikes instead of relationships... and he's a dude.


First, I just want to say the pods have been awesome, the 450 shootout day 1 I listened to all 3 hours. This is by far the sickest format anyone could ever do. Looking forward to part 2!

Hate to bug you, but I am beside myself on a personal bike choice.

I currently own a 16 yz250f, race local B class mx (love this bike). I am in market for 450 now. I rode my friends 17 crf (which he did ALL your recommended mods from your 17 crf450 pod). I loved it. Rider triangle in standing position seems like I am leaning forward though?

Long story short, I am in between the 18 yz450 and 18 crf450. The Yamaha’s just seem to have a comfort feel to me, always have. But listening to the pods and reading all the tests, this "hunting and pecking" front end worries me. I enjoy the stable Yamaha feel. Have you found any fixes for the wandering front end?

Also if I would get CRF, what is a higher bar mount brand you would recommend? In your "living with 17 crf pod" you said about keeping a low bend but raising bar mounts. All the brand bar mounts do not show any rise that I can find?


Sorry for the long email! Hope you can help me out.

Thank You!



For me personally I gel with the 2018 Yamaha more than the 2018 Honda. The hunting and pecking can be helped with raising the fork up 4-5mm and dropping the sag to 103-104mm. This helps lower the bike and keeps it from hunting and pecking. The Honda is great, but for me the chassis may be a little too stiff for my liking when the track gets rough and dry. However, it did win the shootout and we had a couple days of dry, square edge conditions.  

Hope this helps you buddy. 






2017.5 KTM 450 Sx-f FE

Bleeding the fork?? Do you do it on both sides every moto? I just watched a how to video with Dave O'Connor and he said to bleed both sides each time....I have not done the right side (compression/dampening) at all...

Would you recommend a particular bleeder valve? Or do you just pull out the tools? 

Also does it matter when to do it? After I set my pressure for the moto or after when its hot?

Thanks again for all the content!! Just listened to your 450 final day this morning!! Really appreciate all your content....I started the pulp show for this week but put a hard pause on it to listen to your shootout...Damn that honda!!! lol…..



Yes, bleed both sides after every moto! 

I don't like bleeder valves for the simple fact that it may leak or let air in while I ride. This is just a preference however. I just take the time to bleed them every moto to make sure there is absolutely no air inside the fork. You can trade the torx head for a Phillips head however. Thanks for listening and don't forget to get a shirt or three from my store on my site! Thanks! 





Hi Kris, So I have I have a pair of Crossfire 2 SRS boots. I have had them for about a year and a half, and have had two different ankle injuries with them. Not sure if its just me being a fairly new rider, unfortunate circumstances, or a combination of the two. Last year I crashed and got a high ankle sprain. My toe drug across the ground and then the toe grabbed and hyperextended my foot/ankle. Then just five weeks ago when I crashed the bike landed on my calf/leg/ankle area and it broke my ankle. So the point; Which boot do feel provides the best ankle protection/support? I really like the Sidi's, and have thought about getting a pair of the new Crossfire 3 SRS, but I just want to make sure I am spending my money wisely.





The Crossfire 3's are good and protect well. I didn't care much for the 2's, but the 3's are much for better for me. They are snug in the ankle area and toe box, but perform better than the 2's.. 

But for my ankle protection I think the Alpinestars Tech 10 may be a little more secure for me. I feel locked in these boots (in a good way) and with the inner bootie design I feel more protection wrapped around my foot. They are a little fatter feeling the the Sidi's, but you get used to this.. 






Hey man how is the reliability of the kawi 450? its the only bike i can get a deal on so i think i have to go that route. just curious on how it holds up.


Your shootout was great honestly the best one that I have followed. 




I have had no real trouble with the Kawasaki KX 450F the last couple years. If you change your oil regularly and check your valve clearances you should be good! I would get a spring fork conversion for this bike as the TAC fork is not that great on the track. It is harsh and tough to set up at different styles of tracks. Also, get a better chain guide and slider because the Kawasaki pieces get ate up really quickly by the chain. Thanks for listening to the podcast and hope you continue to be a listener. 






Hey Keef,

How do I get my '16 yz250x to want to lay over in berms/ruts like a Honda?
I ask because now matter what I think I've tried over any Yamaha I've owned (Coming from a 14 yz450f and '15 250f), it always wants to stand up in ruts. And anytime I've ridden a friends Honda (09 450f, 07 250 2st), those things lay over so easy and are so much fun to ride, regardless of their suspension/power quirks that might come with reviews of a Honda.

Is it just the way a Honda feels comfortable, and that I should turn to the darkside and purchase something with red fork guards? Or is there something other than sag that i'm missing with any other bike that's not a Honda?

I imagine your ridiculously busy so thanks for your time.



First off try running 102mm of sag and possibly try running your fork leg up 5mm in clamp. This will help the Yamaha corner a little better and turn sharper. You will get a less stable feeling on fast straights though. 

However, the Honda cornering is something that Yamaha will never quite get to. This is due to frame character. You can make the Yamaha turn better, but it will never be as good as the Honda! Hope this helps you.. 





Hello Kris,

I wanted to ask if your opinion of the TM 125 and 144. I bought my son a KTM 125 but we could never get the forks to work after revalving etc. On top of that we had friends loosing tranny's etc, so I sold it. We bought a YZ 125 and had Terry Varner work his magic and he loves it but I was curious how the TM's run? I was told the stock TM 125 would outrun a modded YZ. Opinion?

Also any word on the new 18 CRF 250 release or test?
Thank you! -Todd 



Stick with the Yamaha YZ125. The TM is fast, but parts are expensive, scarce and reliability is not what the YZ is. The YZ is a proven machine on the track that has a super fun engine and is just an all around great bike for your son, especially if he is a light guy. 

The new Honda CRF250R intro is October 22nd, so I would assume the new Honda will be here in early November! Have fun on that Yamaha and let me know how it goes.





Hi Kris,

First up, just want to say thank you for all the cool content you are putting out. I am really enjoying your 450 shootout pods, great insight and really interesting to hear the different opinions. It's good to see RED back on top haha. Just quick question on tyres. I was wondering about front tyres sizes for different terrain. I currently have a 07 Honda cr250r (best bike ever) and putting some new michelin starcross soft tyres on. I have been generally running the 100/90 for a more forgiving ride on hard terrain but recently moved and now ride sandy/soft conditions. Is there a much of a difference going to a smaller sidewall with the 100/80 as i really don't need the sidewall flex? 

Thanks for your time mate, keep up the good work


    Lauren Mau from South Australia



Stick with the size you are currently running which should be the 100/90-19. This is the overall best tire size for that model. There is a reason the factory put that size tire on there. You can try a 110/90-19, but I would only recommend that if you have some engine work done to that beast. Some 250F's come with that size stock, but usually their engines are much better in stock condition. Thanks for listening to the podcast! 





Hey Kris,

Forgive me for bugging you with this banal question....350xcf or 450xcf?
Terrain: Mostly Norcal, some SoCal....a bit of MX and a good bit of technical off-road (rocky and tight with a sprinkling of big hillclimbs)
Rider: early 40s, 220lbs, locally a vet intermediate MXer, +40 A level Enduro rider (but getting slower all the time now - ha ha!)
My off-road buddies all say 350....claiming the 450 is too much to handle when the trail gets tight and technical.
But I'm concerned that my 220lbs is too much for a 350. I'm also worried about engine durability (I assume the 350 needs to be revved out a lot).
One last question....did the 2016 KTMs have ignition maps that you could choose on the fly? If I go 2016 450xcf, can I adjust the ignition curve for technical stuff and then back for moto? Is that easy to do?
You're the best Kris! Keep up the great work and once again...sorry for soliciting free advice.
Chris Lubas



Its ok, I am willing to give advice.. But maybe buy a Keefer Tested shirt? :) 

I would say if you are doing both (moto and trails) get the 450. The 350 and 450 are almost identical in weight and the 450 has a very smooth power delivery, with tons of torque. The 350 doesn't have as much torque, but still is exciting and peppy down. You will not have to rev the 350 at all times, but for lugability the 450 is just so much easier to ride at low rpm’s. I feel like you can work less on the 450 than the 350. 

Maintenance shouldn't be a problem on either unless you are a Justin Barcia type revver. The 350 is fun, but for me I want to work smarter not harder on a machine. If I need to get in shape a little to ride the 450, so be it. I would rather do that than want more HP later down the road. It's cheaper to get in shape than it is to spend money on HP. :) 






Appreciate the content. I've been an avid pulp fan since the start but you are filling a void on the technical bike testing side for sure.
Question for ya. I am 6' and am using the stock bars with a 10mm riser. I like the flat bend of the stock bars but feel a harshness I haven't on other bikes. It could be the AER, lock on grips like you've mentioned, but what about switching to renthal or pro taper for more flex? Is it worth the cash? You've mentioned on the last podcast the husky's bars didn't feel as harsh. Any advice is appreciated.



This is a common problem and I mentioned this on the 450 shootout podcast. 

Get a pair of Pro Taper's and some normal soft half waffle grips. This will help some of the sting that you are feeling. It will not completely remove this, but will help. Try the SX bend or YZ high bend EVO PT bars.