Hi Kris, first off I want to say I love the podcasts you put out and always smile when I see you are the Co-Host on Pulp. Your podcast actually influenced me to get back into riding.
Little about me, my name is Zach Smith, I am 27 from Illinois and own an engine-building/machine shop business for small and big block Ford racing engines. I raced mx from roughly age 12 to 24 and only stopped because of my business. I really didn’t want to get hurt and it affect my business. So after listening to your podcasts, I thought about what bike would be less likely to slam me into the ground as brutally as a 450 or 250 and decided on going the 125 route. I know you aren’t a huge two-stroke guy, but I wanted to see if you have any insight on setting up this 2005 KX125. I just bought it this weekend. It is all stock and in pretty good shape. Stock handlebars, grips, and beautiful bent and broken levers.
I am 6’1″ and 175lbs, local B-rider. I don’t plan to get crazy with it, just a bike to toy around on.
Do you have anything in your bible about this bike? I am going to run on 93 pump fuel if possible.
Here is my simple plan so far:
-Pro Taper bars and perch/lever
-Renthal chain and sprockets (considering one tooth up on the rear…you know the classic fix)
-Michelin Star Cross 5 rear tire, Medium is what I was thinking but open to suggestions for Illinois motocross tracks
-Pro Circuit pipe and R304 shorty silencer
Everything from my list are parts that need replaced on the bike.
I attached a picture of the $1500 bike too with the awesome busted up levers and stock bars.
Thanks again, look forward to your podcasts and anytime we get “After Dark” on Pulp. BIG BORE
Nice work on the getting a bike again!
Slide the forks down into the triple clamps until they are at 2mm up in clamp. Set the front fork compression on 12 clicks out, put the sag at 105mm.
You can get a linkage that will help it squat in the back some more and that will help straight line stability.
The jetting was pretty good stock and all we did was raise the clip up one position (leaner).
Go ride this sucker, she was a fun bike. If you want more bottom, go get a PC pipe/Silencer. They were the best for this year machine!
So happy you’re back riding again! Have fun with it and enjoy.
Good evening Mr Keefer.! Loving all the content you have been putting out. Great stuff man. I remember on Pulp or your show you talked about race gas. I have been running VP U4.4 in my 2016 kx450f. I belive you said to run VP T4E.. is that correct? I have been blending with 93 octane. Your reply would bee greatly appreciated. -James
DO NOT RUN U4.4. It’s dirty fuel and will gum up your valves over time.
T4E is not available right now (don’t ask), so go with T4 or just VP110 fuel.
There is nothing wrong with pump, if you’re out of California, but stay away from U4.4.
I reached out IG about getting myself my first bike for my birthday next week, as I said on IG I have zero bike experience. I’ve never been on one either. I’m wondering if its to late for a 34 year old to learn how to ride? Is this a dumb idea? Anything you can advise me on would be amazing! Also After dark is amazing we need more of that! Tell Steve lol!
Thank you so much,
Congrats on getting the itch to ride! If I remember correctly from the IG message you’re over 200 pounds correct? For a first timer I would steer clear from 450’s however and look into a 250F four-stroke. A Yamaha YZ250F is a great bike, but doesn’t have an electric start like I think you would like. If you’re riding off-road and motocross the YZ250FX is a great bike and comes with electric start! Maybe look into one of those machines?
The key thing to remember is it might take you a while to learn how to ride properly so don’t get frustrated. Go to open spaces with not a lot of people so you have room to make mistakes. You don’t want to get whiskey throttle near a fence or other vehicles ya know?
I don’t know if you’re looking to buy new or used, but I would recommend something like a FX would be perfect for you. It can pull you around decent, but doesn’t have the power to get you in trouble like a 450.
Oh and PS, it’s never too late to start riding! Riding is a great thing and you will love it! Thanks for listening to the show and let me know how it goes! leave Steve a voicemail and tell him you need more AFTER DARK in your life! LOL!
After listening to your pod cast on second hand bikes, I decided to go trawling gumtree (Aussie craigslist) for a low hour 2012 rmz450.
A short search turned up a few options but the pick of the bunch is a 22 hour bike with a few small mods.
It’s got a stainless yosh rs4 system, bazzaz injection unit, and a k&n filter
What are some recommendations of other mods I can do?
I was looking at Hinson clutches and they seem expensive for a full set up ($1400au) can I get away with just the basket or is the complete setup the way to go?
Another area you mentioned that needs attention is the gearbox. Is it worthwhile stripping it and getting it sent over to cryoheat for processing?
Any other worthwhile mods?
Man this bike is clean. I think it will be an awesome stepping stone after 12 months off the bike after an ACL reco.
I was riding a 15 yz250f, how will the Rmz stack up against that?
22 hours is a low hour unit! Sounds like you found gold.
Yes, you can get a Hinson basket only and run OEM clutch plates. The Yosh system is good and the only other thing that I would look into would be a Vortex ignition.
I wouldn’t worry about doing the transmission as it should be fine with only 22 hours on her. Make sure she is clean and ride her first!
I just listened to your podcast about the right bike for you.
I am a vet rider, 34 years old, and 165 pounds. I have not really ridden hard in about 10 years. Last year I got my boy his first CRF70 and now I am getting back to it again.
I have ridden several 250’s and one ’16 FC 350. I would prefer, just as you said in the podcast, the FC 350 or 350 SX-F. The problem is I am not buying new and there are so few out there. I have been looking for a year and the ones that are used are either just below the cost of a new bike, are ’12 or ’11, and there essentially are no FC’s. My thought was to buy a ’13 CRF 450R. Looking at the specs it appears as though I would be as close to a 350 as I can get without buying one. The HP is actually less and it is heavier. From all the reviews I read the ’13 CRF 450R was the most user friendly of the 450’s as far as power delivery and easy to ride when fatigued. I believe, when included, the KTM 350 actually beat the CRF450R in the ’13 shootouts.
What is your opinion for buying a ’13 CRF450R in lieu of a KTM or FC 350?
You are correct the 14 Honda did beat the KTM 350 in shootouts. The 13 350 was very bad and I wouldn’t recommend that at all.
If you can find a 2012 Honda 450 that would be even better. The 12 Honda’s frame was more compliant and flexed more. The 13 was ok, but if you can find a 12, you would be happy with that more I think. I had a 13 as well and it was good, but a little stiffer in chassis and had that terrible air fork on it. 2012 has spring fork.
Let me know how you do and what you get.
Hey Kris! First off you’re the man and the lyrical genius of our generation. Any way I got a great deal on an 09 CRF450R I know people talk trash about that bike but I love it. Any advice on a link or settings for this bike? It always feels a little chopper to me. Thanks for your time man I think your awesome! -Matt
Thanks for the email, I have never been called a lyrical genius! HAHA. Wow. Try this baseline set up first, to start off with!
Spring rate: 0.48 kg/mm (0.46 stock) Important to get a stiffer front fork spring. Helps the front end hold up and get rid of that stinkbug feel.
Oil height: 350cc
Compression: 6 clicks out
Rebound: 7 clicks out
Fork leg height: FLUSH.
Spring rate: 5.4 kg/mm
Race sag: 110mm
High-compression: 2 turns out
Low-compression: 11 clicks out
Rebound: 13 clicks out
My name is Tucker Saye. I’m based in Colorado and am going to be racing a local shops demo mxr in a handful of local moto events this summer. I spent some time on the new bike for the first time today and wanted to see if you had any good base settings for suspension. I did ride last years model with the 4cs set up, so this is substantially better out of the box.
A little background, I raced ama outdoor events in from 2010 to 2014 in the 450 class. In 2014 I earned a few points and was typically somewhere between 20th and 30th overall each weekend. Currently I’m about 165lbs without gear.
I played with air and clickers all day but never really got to a setting I was super stoked with. I’ve always been on spring forks so any advice you can give me about getting a good base setting would be appreciated!
Also I heard you mention on pulp a few weeks ago that you have some good jetting specs for later model RM250s. I have a 2006, and am always looking for better jetting settings.
Thanks for all the content!
What’s up Tucker,
I am very familiar with who you are. Glad you’re back ripping around and if you see Bryan from Novik please tell him hello for me. Bryan is a quality human!
Stoked you got an Alta, they are a blast to ride!
Yes, the MXR is a much better version and the although I still wasn’t happy with the AER in our final test, it’s much better than that POS 4CS.
There are two way to go with the fork:
Air: 10.6 bars
Comp 20-22 out
Rebound 16 out
Air: 10.4 bars
Comp 10 out
Rebond 18 out
I have tested and thought these were decent at a few different tracks. Option 1 is a little more hold up with a better mid stroke feel and Option 2 is a little softer (more compliance on square edge) with more front wheel traction in corners. Give yourself some time to adapt to the nature of the MXR. The sounds you will hear will make you think the fork is harsh, but throw a zip tie around the fork leg to see how much travel you’re using for reference.
And…..If all else fails…Do what I do. Get spring forks on her!! 🙂
Run your sag at between 103-105mm..
I have some jetting specs in my bible at home, but I am not at home at the moment. I will round some specs up soon for you. If I don’t get back to you in a week or so, hit me back and remind me. I get so many emails that I get lost sometimes.
Enjoy the ride and have fun in Colorado. My wife and I have a place in Greeley and will be coming out in June for a couple weeks. My son and I will be ripping some local areas!
I listen to your test podcast and usually Steve Matthes Pulp show. You do a good job as the the co-host! Seems challenging to say the least! I heard you say you would like to hear about the people that ask for advice to here you go. I’m 56 and have been a long time MC District 14 MX club member. I love to train and put 6000 miles/ year on my Litespeed bicycle. My question is what helmet is longer front to back? I have used the old Arai helmet with the removable chin bar if you can remember them and I loved the fit. Currently I use a Shoei VFX (4 years old) and its ok too but its so plush I almost feel like it moves around some. Usually, on most helmets I will actually get a red spot on my forehead due to their shape.
I heard Matthes tell you to quit racing. Listen, I have shattered my right hip and last year broke two vertebrae and my clavicle so bad I had to have a trauma surgeon repair it. Guess what? On my Lightspeed training! Keep doing the things that make you happy ok? Life is short! Also, I started using Strava last year if you want to follow me. I trail ride with my adult daughter and am going to race some local D-14 tracks again this year. I ride a KTM 250 sx and my daughter loves her Honda 125. Here are some pics. Thank you Kris!
Right on Ray, good to hear from you!
It sounds like you would like a 6D. They are long in the front and have a great feel inside the helmet. I too am a fan of the old and current Arai helmet, but they are shaped from more round heads and I am afraid that hot spot you get on the front of your noggin would get worse with the new Arai.
The new Shoei EVO is great, but again not the longest front to back. 6D’s are expensive, but I believe in their safety program and will even re-build your helmet when it gets older. They are great guys over there and take care of the customer. The ATR-2 is what you should look into!
Heal up and keep ripping! I don’t listen to Steve, so it’s cool! Good luck!