Do you want to protect your expensive dirt bike radiators? Then you need to get some radiator braces now!!!! Okay but seriously, if you don’t want to spend money on a new radiator or two then radiator braces/guards are the way to go.
I have a pair a Works Connection radiator braces for a YZ250F that I use. They are as simple to install as putting on your plastics, and they are hidden behind the radiator shrouds so it won’t look ugly. If you expect to crash often then these are great insurance. Instead of replacing just one radiator for $200+, and double if you replace both (go figure), you could have bought a pair of braces that are a fraction of the cost to protect them.
I’m not going to promise that these will withstand every wipe-out your radiators encounter, but either way you look at it, it’s still cheaper to replace a pair of rad guards than a pair of radiators themselves.
I will use my Works Connection Radiator braces on my next YZ250F again and again until something happens to them. For the cost, it’s really not worth to not have some guards (a.k.a. it’s worth it to have them). If you’re worried about adding weight to your bike, don’t worry. These aluminum braces won’t be noticeable while riding. The added weight is like drinking a bottle of Gatorade before a race.
There’s not much else to say about getting radiator braces, so if you want to spend less in the long run this is your ticket.
Does your dirt bike look like its been thrown in a pit of bushes and thorns, while being flipped on it’s backside, then scraped up by a cheese-grater? While none of that may or may not have happened to yours, you may be disgusted at the look of a scratched-up and worn out bike. An excellent and easy way to refresh the look of a beat up dirt bike is with some new cosmetics.
UFO Plastics makes kits for almost every dirt bike that include everything you need to give your dirt bike a much needed face-lift. Whether you just want to make your bike look new again, or you simply need them because yours broke, a plastic kit is an easy and relatively cheap way to do it. And while you’re at it, why not slap on some New Graphics to complete the look of an all new bike! Not only will you look cooler on a shiny bike, but if you are trying to sell your dirt bike, it will be more appealing to possible buyers.
This is not a joke; people are more likely to buy a dirt bike based on the “Looks” of it. If it is nice and shiny, and the plastics and seat aren’t all scratched up, people will often overlook the mechanical aspect of the bike. I’ve had this happen before (not that I sold bikes that had mechanical issues without informing them), and when I have new plastics on the bike, it almost always sells to the first person. It is not unethical to do when selling a used dirt bike because you are selling/buying “as-is”. It is the buyers responsibility to look the bike over for failures and/or ask the owner. Unfortunately, that is where honesty flies out the door. This is where buying a used bike is a risk, but that’s for another article…
Every time I’ve used UFO plastics, the fit has been perfect with no hole-drilling required. It looks just like stock, and the color matches as well. Below are pics of before and after putting some new UFO fenders on my bike (I installed new graphics too).
Has your engine overheated before? Or a more uncommon question, has your suspension overheated? They are the two most important areas of your bike and get very hot, and if they aren’t maintained or check every so often they will get too hot. This will result in them not working properly or in a worst case scenario, burn down and seize.
Don’t worry, Pro Circuit has this problem figured out! Their nifty Temperature Heat Strips record the temp of certain areas on your bike. You can stick it on the side of the cylinder, radiator, or the rear shock.
There’s not a whole lot to say, because if you’re worried about something on your dirt bike getting too hot then you need these. They’re cheap, they come in packs of three, and can save you hundreds of hard-earned dollars in the long run. The strips are like stickers, so they’re a piece-of-cake to install and easy to read; just make sure you have a clean surface and that you get the entire strip to stick.
I have the Pro Circuit Temp Sticker on my KX125, and am wondering why I didn’t get them on my previous bikes. There’s no more guessing whether the bike is warm yet, which means I don’t have an excuse if it cold-seizes! Also, if the radiators aren’t getting warm then you know there is little to no fluid in them. This would have saved my butt last year when I overheated my other bike because there wasn’t enough coolant in the radiators.
Sick of the boring look of a stock pipe? Want some extra power out of your 2-stroke? Pro Circuit’s trick Works Pipe is the pipe that was used on the factory Pro Circuit Teams, so it’s the best of the best.
I put it on my 2004 KX125 because the stock power-curve is not aggressive enough for my liking. It has a strong bottom-end hit for a 125, with a punchy mid-range, but compared to other 125’s it falls short on top. Simply put, it needs more on top, including a more over-rev.
The Pro Circuit Works Pipe slips on the bike fairly easy and the fit is snug. It is hand-welded and has a bare metal finish, which gives it that awesome “factory” look and sound. The brackets and stingers are reinforced, and the flanges are CNC-machined, preventing cracking and leaking.
The PC Works pipe gives the bike a good increase in power almost everywhere. Bottom-end might not have as much hit, but the mid-range is nasty. Pro 125 riders needed top-end power, but mid-range is also a must to get out of corners and tough situations. The 2-stroke Works Pipe gives my KX 125 just that. The power-band is now like it should be. Comes on strong and just keeps going. You can rev it to the moon and it will still pull.
The one downside to having a “Works” pipe is that you have to maintain it after every ride. You have to clean it after every ride, so it’s not very difficult. But if you forget, it will get rusty over time and look awful. Other than that, the Pro Circuit Works Pipe was a great addition to my KX125. I would definitely consider buying another one for my future 2-stroke motocross bikes.
Are you looking for that little extra power to get over a certain jump? Or is it because you want to prove to your four-stroke friends that two-stroke dirt bikes still have what it takes? Either way, a big bore kit can help you do that.
YZ125’s are the most common 125’s in U.S., and for a good reason. Yamaha is the only Japanese manufacturer that imports two-strokes to America. They are fast, light, reliable, and fun. But, for some of us that just want a little more out of a small-bore two-stroke, an upgrade in displacement is probably on top of the modifications list.
Just Because It’s 144cc, Doesn’t Mean It’s A 144…
You can get a bored out cylinder that’s 144cc’s, but to actually perform like a 144 it will need some tuning. This is why you will hear positive and negative comments from people who modify their 125 to a 144. Most of the time, it’s the people who buy just a cylinder kit that give bad feedback. This is because the cylinder, carburetor, and exhaust are not properly tuned for the extra “cc’s”. When I say a cylinder kit, I’m talking about one you can buy from a company like Athena and just bolt it on.
You Can’t Go Faster Without More Gas
Too many people think they can make their dirt bike faster by bolting on parts and not do anything else. Motocross bikes are high-tech racing machines, so it’s critical that they are finely tuned. If you don’t tune a bike after putting on a “hop-up” part, it’s probably going to run worse, and possibly break shortly down the road. More power requires more gas, so if the carb isn’t feeding enough fuel to the cylinder, it’s not going to run like it should. Although it may need more gas to make more power, some mods require different things as far as jetting goes. A bigger engine is going to suck in more air/gas, thus requiring leaner jetting to make it burn properly. You will have to go down on the main jet at the minimum. A change in pilot jet and clip position on the needle may also be required for optimum performance.
Bigger Engine Needs Bigger Pipe
Take a look at the size and shape differences from a 125 to 250 two-stroke pipe if you haven’t before. Bigger engines need bigger pipes to take advantage of the higher displacement. Yes, that means if you’re using a stock pipe on a 144, then you probably aren’t making the most out of the engine. Some companies make special pipes for big-bores, but may cost a little more (still cheaper than four-stroke exhaust by a long shot). If you want to stick with FMF or Pro Circuit, do some research on which pipe works well for your dirt bike, because not every pipe and bike combination will give you the same result.
Build The Ultimate 250F Killer
Now if you get your 125 two-stroke bored and built by a reputable bike builder, it can be out of this world. In addition to boring and plating the cylinder, most builders will port the intake and exhaust ports to your liking (either low to mid-range or mid to top-end power for most builders), change the port timing, possibly do some case mods if you send your entire engine in, and cylinder head mods if you want higher compression (will require race gas). In result, this will make a screaming-fast small-bore two-stroke that will outrun 250F’s and keep up with 450’s with an experienced rider. Oh yeah, did I mention most shops can do this for relatively cheap too!? That’s right, who needs a high-buck four-stroke when you can eat them up with a finely-tuned 125/144…
Athena Didn’t Know What They Were Doing…
While I admit that I’ve never owned a 125 with an Athena 144cc kit, I’ve done plenty of research to find up what’s up. In fact, I didn’t have to go very far to find out if it’s worth it or not. Review after review showed that the Athena top-end kit did not improve the stock YZ125 by much. They basically took the stock cylinder, increased the power-valve size and ports, and called it good…… You can see a slight increase on the dyno, but to really feel the effect of the extra cubic-centimeters you have to port it like you would a stock cylinder. The port sizes, shapes, and durations will not be the same as a 125cc if tuned correctly. This is when the reputable two-stroke engine builder comes in. There are builders that really know how to open a 144 up to its potential, so don’t settle for less. Here’s a great example of a YZ144 Athena Kit Test done by Motocross Action Magazine. They do an in-depth review of it, and in the end their YZ barely makes an extra two ponies, and that’s with a GYTR pipe and silencer made for the 144!! If it’s properly tuned, I honestly think you should be able to crank out 5-7hp more than a stock 125.