Electric Starters Make All The Difference
by Eric Phillips
I started on a 1990 KDX 200, a great 2 stroke bike. Top end was rebuilt once, before I got it and is still running great to this day. Sure it takes some clutch work sometimes to make it up hills, but if it stalls I can easily start it in any position, I can even start it with my hand.
About six months ago I traded my old XZ9 street bike for a 05 CRF 450r 4 stroke. When I got it I couldn't even start it with the kickstart but I could pop start it. I took it in and had the valves adjusted, carb cleaned, a jet kit installed, and a set of tires put on. This set me back $1000 bucks. And the guy said the valves were adjusted all the way, and would need new valves and seats next time - $2500. The bike starts now BUT I've already gone through a pair of boots in 4 months and it's impossible to start the bike on a hill, or if the bike is hot I have to let it cool down sometimes before it wants to start. Don't get me wrong the bike hauls ass and is a great track bike, but I would give anything to have an electric starter on it. I'm planning on getting rid of the 450 before it craps out on me. It's a frickn 05.
I also have a KLR 250 (4stroke) as my daily driver. It's a 99 with 14k on it and runs like a champ, but I would never even think about taking it off the jumps I do on my 450. It maxes out at 70mph but it will pull up any hill with no clutch. I would really like to trade all three bikes for one that can do it all. And the more I research it's looking like it's going to be a two stroke. Most likely a KTM 300, it looks like a good all round bike with enough power for the highway.
I'm 29 years old and have only been riding dirt bikes for 3 or 4 years now and I'm addicted for sure.