Kawasaki KX250 1980s

The KX250 Frustrations not having the right gear/dependability/tools/stuff- not having the right stuff

This bike must have been possessed. It was the most unreliable, radical and unpredictable motorcycle I have ever owned. When it got its shit together it was quite a rush, problem was that rarely happened.

I came upon this bike as another hand me down, only this time it came from a cousin, not a brother. I was excited! The problem was that my cousin was not known for taking care of his stuff and this was no different. The KX came to me in what dad called “a basket.” This meant that it was all there just not together and assembled. This also meant that I was now going to learn first-hand how to do motorcycle mechanics. And that meant close supervision and working with the master himself; my dad.

I spent an entire winter going over every nut and bolt, rebuilding the engine, and painting it. Now that I look back, it seems that I have an obsession with the final product and how it looks, even more so than how it performs. I learned a great deal that winter and come summer I was chomping at the bit to get out and ride.

The first time I had it out I had carburetor problems, go figure. The damn thing wanted to run full throttle at an idle and it never seemed to overcome this problem. And so the possession had begun. After field disassembly of the carburetor, one of the internal rods was straightened and reassembled and I was off and tearing up the dirt. I remember that the KX seemed to have an uncontrollable amount of power. It was always there no matter whether I was lugging it or open throttle; it was a little scary. I had never experienced this on any motorcycle before. Then it broke down again. This seemed to be the pattern I would endure until the day it rolled up into someone else’s truck bed. If it wasn’t the engine, it was the suspension. If that wasn’t the problem it was a flat tire or a problem with the brakes. This was a love/hate relationship. When it was running it was amazing but that was so little that I ended up hating it; dependable, this bike was not. Well, that’s not true; I could depend on it to break down in some fashion or another.

The things I missed were the incredible power and the sleek beauty of this machine, but that was it. I was glad that it was gone and replaced with the 360.


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