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KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:58 am
by garrison
Hello all,

I've had my KT250 since about '82 and haven't ridden it for well over 20 years, or ridden in a trial for that matter. It was started and ridden briefly a few times in the early '90s but that's about it. I've had plans to restore it to as good as I could and probably just sit it on a stand. It wasn't competitive against the early '80s bikes so I figured I may as well buy a recent one if and when I drifted back to trials. I knew there was a VMX movement but wasn't aware of the whole twinshock trials thing until recently. Wow! seeing all these pics and youtube footage of KTs being used is unreal! =D>

I think I've only ever seen 1 other KT in the flesh and that was at a trial out near Picton I think...waaaaay back. :lol:

So anyway I recently bought a mini bike for the kids ('70s Puch 8) pit bikes for my kids) to learn to ride on and it's spurred me on to get the KT running again.

To the business at hand:

Here's the bike


I'd like to keep it as original as possible, so the after market bars are going.

Known knowns...

Parts and work needed: Throttle cable, throttle grip assembly and lhs grip. Clutch and front brake cables. Front forks pitted and leaking, rear shock springs rusty and shocks leaking. Tank is full of crud but doesn't seem to leak, paint is flakey and rusty in spots. Air filter element. Side covers are there but rhs has only 1 lug left. Chain is smothered in oil but I'll get a new one anyway. Various screws and bolts.

Known unknowns....

carb kit, wheel bearings, brake shoes, steering head bearings, engine (ran OK when last shutdown, slight resistance initially but turned over), clutch, gearbox, front and rear sprocket, swingarm bushings, ignition and elecs.

The frame has copped the odd whack under the engine. I guess when I strip it down I'll be able to tell if it's straight. Can these normally be returned to straight by a repairer?

I'll do the work myself wherever possible. Not the $$ factor, but the zen of it all. Also I'm the twit who neglected it while I was off chasing various...err...things, so it's the right thing to do. :lol:

Any hints on where to get parts and work done like the shocks and forks would be much appreciated. I'm on the north side of Sydney, but get around to the other capitals for work a fair bit.

I've found Fred and Deb's page and I guess they are good for things like the repro bars and gaskets. Are the air filter elements, gaskets, carb kits still available here? Bearings from the local bearing supplier or Kawasaki?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance,

Dino :mrgreen:

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:25 pm
by Scorps
Howdy Y'all,

And especially Dino! Congrats on having a go at getting the KT going. I have just finished restoring 2 myself, so here is a few tips!

1. You have found - that will get you a long way!

2. Cables - original try Ebay USA, aftermarket try I have one bike setup with each option - Venhill won't do a throttle/oil pump cable though

3. Original throttle - again try Ebay USA - I got one but don't expect to pay less than $250.00. I have dibs on the first LH grip that surfaces on the planet!!!

4. Fork sliders - I got mine rechromed at About $300 plus shipping and does COD.

5. Shocks - originals are non-existant, and if available are worth over $1000 per set. I used these - shipped from UK about $300.

6. Carb kit - good luck. Disassemble and take to local Mikuni dealer to try match jets/needles.

7. Wheel, headset, and engine bearings - got these all from local bearing shop - I used NSK but pick any good brand - is less painful than trying to get original.

8. Sprockets - originals are hard to find and rear is dished. they do come up on occasion. I recommend finding board member "I Russ" and buying a sprocket adapter/spacer from him. Once you have this you can use KX250 sprockets and 520 chain!

9. Swingarm bushes - a got some machining done so I could use roller bearings, but others have made brass bushes. Original rubber bushes are rare.

10. Electrics - again try Ebay USA - they come up but are super expensive.

11. Engine - I have a 1973 Honda CR250 piston and rings in one of mine (Wiseco), and you can use a KX250 conrod kit if you buy Fred's cylinder spacer. I think I bought the last NOS KT rod on the planet.

12. Frame rails - I had mine replaced due to damage - just make sure the fabricator puts the engine in when he puts the new rails in because they are very tight to the engine.

13. Clutch - you can get original from Kawasaki, or from Ebay USA, but I got a Barnett clutch kit for mine from Ebay. Only new so far but feels OK.

Hope that gives you a start anyway, I have found best results for parts to date is Ebay - US, then AUS, then UK in order of regular sightings.

See attached pic for look at Falcon shocks, I Russ adapter and KX250 sprocket.

Your friendly neighbourhood Scorpa(Kawi)man,

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:44 pm
by garrison
Scorps, thanks very much. That's a whopper of a reply. Much appreciated. :thumb:

I stripped down the carby this afternoon and it's not pretty inside. I'll be surprised if it's salvageable. There is a lot of dried up fuel/oil and corrosion in the bowl section. The corrosion has spread through some of the small journals and by the look they'll be nigh on impossible to clean out. It may be beyond me.

I think I'll send it off to a professional, can they get into tiny 90 deg. bends with a pipe cleaner or something?

Further to this, does anyone know what model of Mikuni it is and what the equivalent today would be?

TIA :mrgreen:

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:21 pm
by David Lahey
Don't give up on the standard carby without a good fight. They are a very good carby and worth the effort. Dried up fuel residue and corrosion is not a problem with the right solvents and ultrasonic cleaning is amazing for cleaning up inside all those little passages. The only stumbling block might be if the corrosion has made holes through the casting somewhere.
I use one of those carbies on my 250 OSSA and it works perfectly with the same jetting as for the KT and find them to be very reliable and long lasting. They are a Mikuni, but being Kawasaki OEM, they are made to a different design to an off-the shelf generic Mikuni.
Yes you can buy brand new Mikuni, OKO and Dell Orto carbies that will fit the KT.

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:37 pm
by David Lahey
Hey Scorps you reminded me I just got the KT fork tubes rechromed by RAD (so my KT looks cool for Brooweena) and a TY175 tube and the finish on the chrome is unbelievable. I reckon they are as good as OEM finish.
Bouquets to RAD Hardchroming

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:52 pm
by garrison
Thanks, David. The metal underneath the corrosion seems to pretty sound, it's the small, gunked up holes that concern me the most. :|

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:34 am
by Warren
I have got exactly the same issue with a TL 250 That I will be starting on this weekend. I was talking to a army guy yearerday & he suggested good old brake cleaner would work a treat. Another guy I know who is the workshop supervisor at one of the councils said to give thinners a go.
Also as David suggested ultrasonic cleaning is amazing.

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:42 am
by Scorps
Howdy Y'all,

Dino - no problems buddy. Send me a PM if you need any more info down the track - I have gone through most of the heart aches associated with the KT and I would be happy to help. If you want to get part numbers etc, try they have a full online parts diagram. They don't ship OS though, but Kawasaki Australia do have the occasional part.

You can buy brand new Mikuni's in Australia - the KT item is a VM26SC, but is OEM to Kawasaki. Try or Neither can supply rebuild kits but I believe they can do jets etc, if you have an original to send in. The standard Mikuni is a VM26.

David - I agree totally on the Radchrome comment, they do a fantastic job, and only a 2.5week turnaround on my tubes. I have the 3rd KT in pre production now, and one of the first things I will do is get the fork tubes done.

Your friendly neighbourhood Scorpa(Kawi)man,

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:50 am
by garrison
Scorps, thanks for those links. The Babbits one is excellent. :thumb:

I had no luck with the local Kawasaki dealer giving them only KT250 as a reference. Did not compute....

However, they should be able to do something with the part numbers I can now supply. =D>

Re: KT250 appreciated

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:02 pm
by garrison
Carby is stripped down and being sent all the way to Qld for an ultrasonic clean. Seems the service is not available here in Syd. :?: :roll: :|

Sounded a bit new fangled and complicated to the carby places I spoke too here...oh well. Lets just move on into the 21st century without them, shall we? :lol:

Inside of the fuel tank is badly rusted and is hooked up to the battery charger for a go at electrolytic rust conversion as I type. I reckon it's 50/50 at this stage whether I'll save it. :-k