Why, you ask, would anyone spend the time and effort to convert a motocross bike into
a woods racer, when so many other bikes can be had perfectly set up for woods
riding? The answer is simple: I don't know, but it sure is fun. Don't get me wrong, you
have to love tinkering with bikes and have a healthy amount of experience in the
saddle to know exactly what is needed to do a MX conversion. I did it twice. It's not easy
and certainly not something you want to do in a hurry. Fortunately for me, I found
outstanding deals on new 2003 and 2004 KX250's. Trust me, if you want to be first in
line and pay at or near retail price for the latest, greatest MX bike, it won't be
economical to turn it into a woods racer.

Here's what I did to both bikes, in order of priority:
Click on pictures for larger image
Forks revalve                $145
Shock revalve                 150
Shims                               50
Shipping to and from        45
Gun case (Walmart)         18
Fork Springs                     80
Shock Spring                
    80
Total Cost*                  $568

*2003/04 dollars, roughly
A Perfect Match
MX suspension and a cheap plastic gun case
from Walmart.
After
Before
Too Close for Comfort
Notice the grind job on the pinch
clamp bolt. Enduro Engineering
hand guard bolts work even better.
No, it's not supposed to
look like that. This
happened to the '03 KX on
the very first ride.
Not supposed to look like this,
either. IMS put a pair of pegs for
a late-'90's CR250 in a
package labeled for my '03
KX250 (IMS was kind enough
to exchange them for the
correct pegs). The correct pegs
fit just fine.
One of the annoying things
about the right footpeg is
that the pin can't be
removed without taking off
the clutch cover.
There you have it. This is why you need to get a really good deal on an
MX bike in order for the woods conversion to make economical sense.
Step 1: Revalve the
suspension
Trust me, motocross valving
in the woods is bad. Very bad.
Sometimes you wonder if the
suspension is even there at
all. I sent mine to Drew Smith
at
W.E.R. Racing. I wanted a
specialist in woods
suspension tuning, and Drew
is the guy. For springs, I went
with .42's up front (.44 is
stock) and a 4.8 in the rear
(5.2 is stock).
Step 2: Add flywheel weight
To keep from stalling and to
smooth out the power delivery
a bit, I added a Steahly
Products 11 ounce flywheel
weight. Installation is simple -
it actually replaces the
original flywheel bolt.
Step 3: Get a larger gas
tank
Two gallons just won't cut it
for a 2-hour hare scramble,
unless you like stopping for
gas (I don't). When I bought
the 2003 KX250,
IMS was the
only larger-capacity option
(Clarke's tank later became
available - both tanks are just
a bit more than 3 gallons).
The good news is that the
IMS tank fits very nicely. The
bad news is that if you use an
upper triple clamp that has
pinch bolts angled inward
toward the steering head
(think KTM circa 2000-02),
the bolts may make contact
with the IMS tank when the
handlebars are turned in all
the way. No good solution
except to get out the heat
gun and mold the tank to fit
the clamp. To increase
clearance, I used allen head
bolts like those that come
with
Enduro Engineering
hand guards. They're a
flatter, "pan head" style.
Step 5: O-ring Chain
Most MX bikes come with
standard chains, which won't
last very long in the nasty
conditions often experienced
in hare scrambles and
enduros. I like the RK X-ring
chain.
Step 4: Get stronger
footpegs.
The KX250 isn't designed for
crashing in rock gardens,
which is one of my specialties.
I bought a pair of
IMS Pro
series pegs, which are much
stronger.
Total Cost Summary*

Suspension                   $568
Flywheel Weight              100
Tank                                   200
O-ring Chain                       50
Footpegs                     
        90
Total                   $1,108


*in 2003 dollars
But wait, there's more! Click <here> to see the other mods
KX250 Woods Conversion