Cleaning Up My KLX250S – From Trailer Park Bike To…?


When I picked up my KLX250S, the first thing I noticed was, it was bloody dirty. The poor thing looked like it was just not being ridden and had been sitting in a garage collecting dust. The chain and sprockets were filthy and the engine wasn’t much better. Hell, it even had cobwebs on it! Through all the grime though, I could see the potential for a clean, well looked after bike…hopefully. Nothing a bit of soap, water and elbow grease can’t fix I reckon.

I ducked down to the shops and picked up some cheap car wash, a sponge and degreaser. The degreaser was to try clean up the chain and get rid of all the crud on the engine and swing arm. A bit of water and detergent got rid of all the dust and dirt, but all the road grime and grease still remained. I gave the chain, sprockets and engine a good coat of degreaser and let it soak. The result? It did nothing! America degreaser, you failed to impress me. I tried it again, same result.

Back to the shops I went to get some chain cleaner this time. And voila! It worked perfectly. The chain and front sprocket were so dirty, I actually thought the gear shaft seal might be leaking, turns out it was all just crap from the chain. Stoked!

Next, I took off the plastics and seat and gave them a good bath on both sides. No surprise the undersides were all filthy. Now onto the air box and filter.

I took the air filter out to check its condition and give it a clean. The filter was starting to deteriorate in certain areas and had split at one of the seams, time to order a new one. There was also no oil on the filter either, eek. Something surprising though, there are two air filters! The previous owner had inserted a further filter inside the other. I used to put a dish cloth over my air filter when I knew I was doing dusty riding, but this is taking it to the next level!

Yeah, time for a new air filter.

I was going to use the inner filter (it looked in pretty good nick); however a further inspection revealed the previous owner had accidently put a hole in it with the air filter bolt, duh. So what I did was give them both a good wash, oiled them up and put them back in how they were. There didn’t appear to be anywhere dirt could get in and that would do me till my new filters arrived.  

The air box definitely needed a big clean.

The air box itself had dirt and muck in it so I cleaned that out. I also took out the air filter cage as I saw some water and dirt there, definitely not ideal. Man, getting out the filter cage is a bloody mission, only do that if you REALLY have too. There are four screws and they are all in the most awkward spots possible, it felt like I was trying to lick my elbows for thirty minutes. Here’s hoping I never have to do that again.

With everything cleaned up, I put it all back together. And I’m bloody happy with how it’s come up! I thought there was a tidy bike underneath all the dust and oil, but I’m genuinely shocked with how good it looks now. I mean, my KLR650 was cool in a ‘’I’m so ugly I’m attractive’’ kind of way, but at the end of the day it was a 19 year old bike with 50000 miles on it. This is like a new bike to me now. I can’t wait to get out on it and give it a good run.

I’m pretty stoked with how neat and tidy the bike is now!

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