Are you looking for the best mods for your KLX110 or DRZ110? These dirt bikes have been around for years, so there are plenty of aftermarket parts available. The problem is, what upgrades will actually help make the biggest difference?
Whether you’re an adult that wants to make the best 110cc pit bike around, or your kid wants a faster bike, this list of modifications is sure to help you reach that result.
In this article you’ll learn:
- The best KLX110 mods, whether it’s suspension, power, or overall comfort
- Why each mod or upgrade may or may not be worth their price
- How to choose the best upgrades based on your specific needs & budget
Where Does The KLX110 Need Improvement?
A stock KLX or DRZ 110 (they are the same bike made by Kawasaki and Suzuki with different color plastics) is built for little kids that want to learn how to ride a dirt bike. There is nothing high-tech on it, but they’re still fun to ride. Before you make it faster, you’ll want to beef up the suspension and chassis.
The most important upgrades to make your KLX110 better are:
Best Suspension Upgrades – based on your budget
The stock suspension is set up for kids that weigh around 100 lbs (45kg) or less. Depending on how much you can spend, there are a number of options to stiffen up your KLX110.
Why do you need stiffer suspension? If you leave the stock suspension on your bike and ride it hard, it will bottom out easily. Bottoming out the suspension puts a lot more stress on the rest of the bike chassis.
Consistent bottoming will eventually crack and break parts, which can be dangerous. The frame or swing arm will usually break at the welds.
Stiffer stock forks
The stock KLX110 forks are made for an 80-100 lb boy or girl, which means they’re way too soft if you’re an adult or aggressive rider. If you weigh over 120 lbs, you’ll not only have better control by making the front forks stiffer, but you’ll be less likely to crash and break the forks or frame because they’re not fully compressing all the time (bottoming out).
Simply adding some heavy duty fork springs (Amazon) in the stock forks will greatly reduce bottoming from hard impacts. It’s an affordable mod and will make your KLX 110 ride higher and feel more comfortable if you’re an adult rider.
Pro-tip for heavy-duty fork springs
Swapping both springs out may actually be too stiff, causing a harsh ride, especially if you’re not a big rider. If that’s the case, then put one stock fork spring back in one fork leg. This way the spring rate will be in between stock and what the heavy-duty springs are.
For example, 2 BBR fork springs = 30% stiffer.
Or, 1 stock and 1 BBR fork spring = 15% stiffer.
You can now get an upgraded set of BBR damper rods (Amazon) that offer better performance in a couple of ways. You get better compression and rebound damping control – especially if you also have stiffer fork springs and triple clamps installed.
You also get about 1-1/2 inches more suspension/wheel travel. That may not seem like much, but when stock is only 4.3 inches, that’s around 30% more suspension travel performance!
Do these damper rods work on a KLX 110L model?
Yes, these BBR damper rods will work on the 110L (large wheel) model and give you better compression and rebound damping control. However, they won’t give you any noticeable increase in suspension travel because the stock 110L forks already have longer damper rods.
Additional cheap fork mods
You can also use heavier-weight fork oil (Amazon) to slow down how fast the forks compress. This is a “cheap mans” suspension re-valve because the heavier oil is slower to be pushed through the damping holes on the damper rods.
Increasing the fork oil height also increases the damping – mostly reducing the chance of bottoming out. Think about it, oil is harder to compress – so when you have more oil and less air in the forks, they’re harder to compress.
Caution: Please refer to your OEM service manual for the min/max fork oil level height (air gap). If you have too much oil, this will blow your fork seals and cause them to leak.
Fork conversion – is there a kit?
Going to a different set of forks is a good way to get suspension that performs much better than the stock forks. KX65 forks can be swapped onto a KLX 110 with the right parts, so it takes a little bit more work than buying an aftermarket front fork kit.
Or complete aftermarket USD forks (Amazon) can be bolted on for motocross and aggressive pit bike riding. Aftermarket triple clamps (Amazon) are needed to convert these forks though. This front-end will be able to take a lot more abuse without breaking as easily.
Stiffer stock shock
The stock rear shock only has one adjustment, and that’s the preload. It’s necessary for getting the proper ride height so that the front and rear suspension on your KLX is balanced, but you must have the proper shock spring for your weight to begin with.
Balanced suspension is crucial to having your bike handle well. If you’re upgrading the forks then you’ll want to upgrade the rear shock as well. A stiffer shock spring (Amazon) will greatly help if you’re a heavier rider so that the rear wheel doesn’t fully compress and feel harsh or eventually break.
Upgrading to an aftermarket rear shock will provide even more performance. A better rear shock will have a stiffer, yet more controlled ride because it’s purpose-built to be an add-on to a pit bike.
An aftermarket shock is usually more adjustable than a stock shock. Depending on which shock you go with, it may have compression and rebound damping. These are adjustable via “clickers”.
These are the best budget KLX110 shock options on Amazon:
- DNM 270mm w/ 250 lb spring – (best for 125-150 lb rider)
- DNM 275mm w/ 350 lb spring – (best for 150+ lb rider)
The DNM shock has adjustable preload rebound damping and will absorb bumps much better than a stock shock, giving you more control and confidence. The 270mm length shock will give you a slightly lower seat height than the 275mm, but will still be taller than the stock KLX110 rear shock that’s 255mm long.
Or if you want to spend almost 5X as much, you can get a higher performance Elka racing shock (BBR). It’s great if you’re an expert rider that’s “not sparing any expense” on your KLX110 mods build.
Chassis Parts To Beef It Up
Do you have a hole burning in your wallet? You can go all out for a custom aluminum frame and swingarm. They actually aren’t meant to reduce much, if any weight, but rather to strengthen your 110 pit bike.
You can spend thousands of dollars on chassis parts to build the ultimate mini moto bike. But this article is to help you find the most effective modifications for a reasonable price.
Adding a frame cradle to your KLX110 will greatly reduce the chances of breaking stuff – especially if you’re an aggressive rider. The footpegs start sagging with a heavier rider without a frame cradle.
The engine cases and motor mounts are susceptible to cracking if you ride fast and hard. A frame cradle (Amazon) strengthens both of these, making your 110 more durable and reliable.
Upgrading the swingarm – is it worth it?
While the stock swing arm is pretty good and durable on the KLX110, it has some limitations. You’re limited on total suspension travel and it flexes and isn’t the most reliable if you’re jumping and racing.
So, upgrading to an aftermarket swing arm, such as one from BBR will give you more seat height, suspension travel, increased wheelbase for stability, and better durability.
If you’re just a casual trail rider or you’re not jumping and want to stay on a budget, the stock swingarm will be just fine.
Taller bars for adults
One of the most popular pit bike mods is taller handlebars because the stock bars on most small dirt bikes are too small or weak if you’re an adult. Upgrading to a Pro Taper Handlebar kit (Amazon) is a reliable way to make your KLX110 more comfortable with taller and stronger bars, as well as a stronger top triple clamp.
If you have a KLX 110L (or longer forks), you’ll need to move your brake line and throttle cable around or get some extended cables if you want extra slack.
If you can’t afford the full handlebar kit but still want the taller bars you can get the Pro Taper 7/8 Mini High bars (Amazon). You won’t get the upgraded top triple clamp, but these bars work on your stock clamps.
The stock KLX 110 footpegs are okay, but they’re small and don’t give your feet much control, causing you to slide off them. That’s not only frustrating, but it can be dangerous because you lose control when your feet aren’t on the pegs.
Upgrading to some IMS Pro footpegs (Amazon) is a good way to give you more stability, control, and durability because they won’t bend easily like the stock pegs if you fall over.
Taller seat for better comfort
If you’re a teen or adult, then you know how cramped the KLX 110 mini bike is when you’re sitting on the seat, making it harder and less enjoyable to ride – especially if you have long legs because your knees will bang on the handlebars.
That’s why a BBR tall seat (Amazon) is just way more way to make your bike feel bigger so that you can relax and ride a little better. It’s a complete seat that fits all model years and is also a little softer compared to the stock seat.
Tuning The Intake & Carb
To take full advantage of any power mods on your KLX110, you need to tune the carburetor accordingly. Tuning the carb on a stock KLX or DRZ will generally yield better power and throttle response because the standard jetting is not always optimum.
When your carb jetting is off, your KLX 110 will be: harder to start, have poor throttle response, have less power, and won’t be as reliable. That’s why it’s so important to spend a few minutes learning how.
Best KLX 110 jetting specs
There are no “perfect jetting” specs for every bike because there are so many variables, such as weather, climate, and specific mods that affect the air-fuel ratio. That’s why you can use a jetting setup that someone else is using on their bike, but it may not give you the best performance because you live in a different climate or have a slightly different KLX110 build.
Stock KLX110 Jetting:
- Pilot jet: 38
- Main jet: 80
Recommended KLX110 jetting with upgraded intake & exhaust:
- Pilot jet: 38
- Main jet: 100
Or, if you just want an aftermarket kit that comes with pre-selected jets, you can get the 6 Sigma jet kit (Amazon) for your KLX110.
Upgraded Air Filter
An aftermarket air filter (Amazon) is an easy and cheap mod to make your pit bike breathe better. More air getting to the carburetor means more potential power when other engine KLX110 mods are made.
The BBR U-Flow kit (Amazon) is the next best upgrade because it completely removes the stock intake setup without having the typical pod filter that’s more likely to get dirty quickly. You’ll get better throttle response and power after jetting (going up to a 95-100 main jet is recommended on a stock engine)
A carb swap can really boost the power if there are other supporting mods. The stock carb is a pretty good size if the engine is still 110cc. Going to a larger carb (Amazon) may increase top-end power, but you will lose a little bit of low-end torque when nothing else is changed.
A big bore or high-compression piston and a better flowing exhaust can help make up the difference. These can add low-end torque, so a bigger carb will work well to keep a smooth power curve.
You really just have to choose what you want out of your little KLX or DRZ. Is it going to be a screaming race bike, or do you just want more overall power?
Deciding this will help you figure out what upgrades you should go after. More on this later.
Best KLX110 Exhaust Based On Your Budget
Bolting on an exhaust system is one of the easiest ways to “un-cork” a dirt bike. The stock KLX110 pipe and muffler are economical and underwhelming when it comes to performance and sound.
Best cheap KLX110 exhaust system
For a better sounding and looking exhaust, the TUNERBITS Stainless Exhaust (Amazon) is the most affordable complete system you can get for your KLX 110. It may not have the same quality as PC or FMF when it comes to fit and finish, but it’s definitely an upgrade over stock.
When you properly jet the carb, you should feel a noticeable improvement in throttle response and power, which is a nice benefit, although it will be quite a bit louder than stock – something to keep in mind if you ride in a noise-conscience area.
FMF Powercore 4 Exhaust
It’s hard to go wrong with an FMF exhaust system, and it’s no different when it comes to their KLX110 exhaust. The Powercore 4 (Amazon) most noticeably makes more noise, but it sounds good for a little pit bike. I wouldn’t recommend this if you ride in a noise-conscious area.
That’s about the only negative, as this pipe offers quite a bit for how cheap it is. It’s super easy to install, so the quality of workmanship is great. You may notice a nice gain in power, but the most power can be had when it’s properly re-jetted.
The FMF Powercore 4 for the KLX110 is about the same price as its PC competitor, so it may come down to your preference of sound and looks.
KLX110 Yoshimura RS-2 Mini Exhaust
The Yoshimura RS-2 Mini exhaust (Amazon) for the KLX110 is another quality, yet affordable exhaust system. Its fit and finish are about as good as the FMF. The exhaust tone is much throatier than stock without being too obnoxious because of the larger volume of packing.
The added bonus is that the Yoshimura Carbon muffler comes with a spark arrestor screen that is USFS-approved. This means you can ride on state trails in the U.S. that require a legal spark arrestor.
Do you need to adjust carb jetting after an exhaust upgrade?
Any time you make an engine, exhaust, or intake (airbox/filter) change, that will affect the air/fuel ratio, whether big or small. A high compression or big bore piston change will suck in more air, making the jetting richer.
Best KLX 110 Engine Upgrades
The best KLX110 engine mods will make a big difference in power when done right. Just throwing expensive parts at your bike will probably upset you because of the lack of improvement.
High Compression Piston
Adding a high-compression Wiseco piston (Amazon) is an easy way to add a little more power to your KLX or DRZ 110. Higher compression will give a nice boost to low-end and mid-range torque.
This piston kit has an 11:1 compression ratio, so you can still run premium pump gas without problems. When replacing the piston, you’ll want to check the bore size so that there’s no taper and the piston-to-cylinder clearance is correct or else you’ll run into reliability issues.
Big Bore Kit
A big bore kit is the next step up – not only will you get more compression, but your KLX110 will have more displacement. There are multiple options for big bore kits in size.
Athena has an affordable 130cc big bore kit (Amazon). It is complete with a new cylinder, piston kit, and gaskets to rebuild your KLX or DRZ. Upgrading to a big bore is a cheap enough excuse to replace a worn-out top-end because it doesn’t cost much more.
The next step bigger is the BBR 143cc big bore kit (Amazon) if you want a little more power. It’s just as reliable as stock as long as you properly install it and warm your engine up the right way every time.
This BBR kit also comes with a race camshaft, which will give you more midrange & top-end power, but less on the bottom – not great for trail riding.
A hotter camshaft is one of the secret sauces to building a great 4 stroke engine. A Hot Cam in your KLX (Amazon) will improve power from bottom to top because the stock cam is so tame.
A performance cam is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to add real horsepower. Just make sure you don’t go too big without building up the rest of your 110.
A camshaft that is really big is meant for racing or if you have a properly upgraded bored/stroked engine. A large cam in a stock engine will lose bottom-end power and move it towards the top-end for a better peak number. It may run good up top, but it will be very weak at lower RPMs.
Cylinder Head Porting
The cylinder head is the other secret sauce to having the best KLX110 pit bike engine around. The head is where all the air and fuel flow, so if the velocity or max airflow is too low, you won’t be reaching its full potential.
Other engine mods for performance & reliability
The first generation KLX110 only had 3 gears, so you miss out on more top speed compared to the 2010 and newer model with the added 4th gear. Well, you can add a 4th gear, but it does require complete engine disassembly.
These are common KLX110 mods for the ’03-’09 model years:
- BBR 4th gear shift drum (Amazon) – installs like OEM
- BBR Forged output shaft (Amazon) – Better durability, but only helpful on highly modified engines with lots of power
- Namura complete engine gasket kit (Amazon) – affordable kit if you’re adding 4th gear and/or replacing the output shaft
Choosing The Right Mods For Your 110
As you read above in this post, jetting is paramount to having your dirt bike running at its best. However, combining the proper modifications is also just as important if you want to make your KLX110 faster.
Installing a big bore kit and an aftermarket pipe are great mods, but the stock KLX 110 carb is going to be a limiting factor. No matter how many engine mods you throw at it, the top-end horsepower won’t go past a certain limit because the stock-sized carb can only flow so much air.
You can always shove more gas through the carb by going richer on the jetting, but you need the proper air-to-fuel mixture for it to run well. So if you have too small of a carb, you’re never going to get enough air through it to make the most power for your engine mods.
How To Make Your KLX110 Faster
To make your KLX110 faster for the least amount of money, every mod has to be in unison. This means that if you want more low-end torque with a broad powerband that is easy to ride, you must build every part designed to do that.
A small engine will need a small carb, a cam with low duration, an exhaust with a small diameter head pipe that can step up to a slightly larger diameter, and so on. More displacement (bigger engine “CC”) means that every other part can be bigger to create that same power curve.
Want to ride faster with more comfort and confidence? Click here for the top 3 mods for any dirt bike.