Kawasaki KLs Only

Phil Litte Kawasaki KL motorcycle
Phil Little - KawasakiKLsOnly.com
15612 Hwy 7, #238
Minnetonka, MN 55345

KL Brake Shoes with Grooves

You can search all over the web for shoes but darn few are these off-road style shoes with water grooves which generally sell for more. This was something figured out ages ago and proven by enduro competitors. The idea is when you go through water and apply the brakes, the sludge collects in the groves and is sluffed off and the brakes maintain efficiency. I know most KLs are not used off road but some of you may be dual sport* riders and these shoes will help on a downhill after a water crossing. Try these-you’ll never go back to smooth shoes again.

KL brake shoes

KL250A Front grooved brake shoes $18.95 pair
KL250A Rear grooved brake shoes $17.95 pair

(These shoes do not come from communist China.)

* A KL is an ideal dual-sport bike. They sip gas and they don’t weigh a ton like those Trans-Alp monsters. Try picking up one of those on a hard day of riding. If the trails are semi-tight, you’ll keep up with the DRs etc. KLs are perfect for vintage rides too.

KL-KX Aluminum Alloy Handlebars

You are going to like these KX Kawasaki Motocross bars. They are made from 7075-T6 aerospace grade aluminum, which is tough and lighter than steel. It only weighs 1 ¾ pounds. The ergos are peachy-31” wide, 3½ rise, 4½” pullback. They have a massive wall thickness of 3/16”. The nice thing about these bars is they have a bolt-on cross bar with a 10” impact absorbing pad. This strengthens the bars in crashes and protects your precious parts when you fly over the bars. Anti-slip grooving under the bar clamps prevent handlebars from rotating in the clamps. Shop around, I think you’ll find these a good value. When it comes to bars, avoid those made in China-cheap but weak, as you’ll find after your first crash.

KL handlebar

KL-KX Bars $46.95

KL Stainless Hex Cap Screw Cover Kit

Your engine is 42 years old. Your Phillips side cover 6mm screws are beat up, rusty and the slots are so bad you can hardly get them loosened. Be smart and toss them all. Hex cap screws last an age and look very professional. This brand new stainless steel hex cap screw kit has 29 screws to secure: right cover, valve inspection covers, timing cover, ignition cover, left cover and chain guard. If you went to a hardware store, the same quantity of hex case screws would cost you a whopping $35.00. I know, I checked. KL owners who care about a professional looking engine use hex cap screws because they look great and will last through many uses--especially the cover over the oil filter. Note: Case screws are not included. Comes with illustrated installation guide.

KL screw kit

KL screw kit

New 1978-79 KL Stainless Steel Case Screw Kit, 29 pieces

1978/79 KL 250 Forward Chain Guard

Kaw P/N 550201063
May also fit 1970 to 1975 KX125/250 MXers with round tube swing arms. I’m not absolutely certain of this so check yourself.

I searched the web for this chain guard and found squat. Not surprising, the bikes are so old that companies just don’t bother to stock slow moving parts. I suspect you, like me, don’t want a dirt coated chain wearing through your swing arm like a chain saw. I’m sure your guard is worn and needs replacement after 42 years if it’s still attached.

I am now making this chain guard and offering them to my KL friends. It is made of ABS plastic, which is tough stuff. I found what is called Click-Lock black nylon rivets that fit into the 6mm holes above and below the swing arm to keep the guard in place. You simply insert the rivet into the holes and push the top and an internal pin spreads the plastic inside the swing arm. I will also include two 6mm button bolts if you have a 6mm tap-this offers more holding power. Remember to keep your chain tight to factory specs.

KL chain guard

KL chain guard


54005-1005 Front Brake cable

OEM front brake cables for the KL250 are completely unavailable anywhere in the US or Europe. Very, very soon I will have three sets coming in (one I'm taking for myself) but I’ll have two left for you and one more KL owner. Once those are gone, I’ll order more.

I haven’t found some secret source, I simply commissioned a company to replicate them from my ratty old sample. If you want one call, text or email me and I'll put you on the waiting list. Hurray! (No, they won’t be cheap but will be around 89 bucks).

More than a seller's website

A forum without passwords.
I will provide your email to share with others (with your approval.) That way you can do a gang email with searches and stuff to sell.

A technical resource.
I will share with you what I’ve learned and you can share your knowledge.

And I will sell hard-to-find parts.

Send me your email address. I want to build a network of KL owners around the world. In time, it will be an easy way to buy, sell and share information with other KLers.

Thanks, Phil.
Email at phil@phillittleracing.com.

KKLO was founded for a simple reason

In the process of building a 1978 KL250, I found parts difficult to find. I’m pretty good at sourcing parts from various suppliers--and think I can save other KL builders a lot of search time by providing a website with just KL stuff. And I think I can save you money. Let’s see. I attempting to find and sell parts at the lowest possible price but some parts are more expensive like carb manifolds. It is imprudent to spend a gob of money on a classic KL because they aren’t worth much on the resale market. The highest price I’ve seen was a pristine KL in Europe that sold for $2,500. I will avoid ordering parts from mainland Chinese because I don’t like their quality or politics. Products from Taiwan are fine-they’re capitalists and care about quality.

NADA price guide for 1978 KL250A1 (as of 5/2020)

Excellent $2,065, [super low miles, pristine condition]
Very good $1,350
Good $820
Fair $405
Poor Don’t buy unless you want a rat rider, the rebuild cost would exceed $2000

Contact & Shipping

No online ordering. My rule is to talk with each customer. I have learned that talking with customers eliminates problems. I often suggest not buying a product for good reasons or suggesting others because it makes sense.

Phil Little
15612 Hwy 7, #238
Minnetonka, MN 55345

Hours: 7 days a week - call anytime

Cell: 952-607-6063
Email: phil@phillittleracing.com

map of the globe

I ship anywhere in the world.

Visa card logo MasterCard card logo Discover card logo

KL Levers

Like any 40 year old bike your levers (if they’re still whole) are bent or broken with sharp ends just waiting to lay you open or puncture your hand in a crash. If you search eBay, you’ll go crazy trying to figure out which of the zillions will fit your KL. I made sure these will-I searched these out for you and they are not made in China. These will fit and you’ll notice the price is comfortable.

KL clutch/brake levers

KL12 Clutch lever $7.95
KL11 Front brake lever $7.95
Both levers $14.95

KL Mirror

I do not recommend OEM style replacement mirrors. For starters, they look geeky sticking up in the air. They are susceptible in trees, crashes and close-in garage situations. I will concede however, that they are practical.

I try to push clamp-on mirrors and not bar-end mirrors. Garages don’t like Bar-ends. Clamp this mirror under the left bar where it is more protected. Position it so you look down and past your hip. I just use one mirror on the left side and always drive to the right of the road. I don’t need to look to my right because I own that part of the road and I hate big cars. Bar-end mirrors are okay but generally cost more than mine. After you find the right position for your mirror, cut off the extra stem. Adjustability is abundant. If your mirror has a tendency to move out of position from vibration-mount a square bit of inner tube under it. That will cushion it and allow great clamping power.

KL mirror

One KL43 Mirror 7/8" clamp-on $12.50
Two KL43 Mirrors 7/8" clamp-on $23.50

To hide the original mirror mount holes, go to the hardware store and buy those little 3/8” computer plugs. Cost ya maybe 90 cents. Drill out the mirror threads with a 3/8" drill and shove the little buggers in like the one on the right.

plugs in original KL mirror holes

KL 250 Swing Arm for 1980 to 1983

I rebuilt up this box style swing arm to fit my 1978/79 KL. Bad move. 1980-83 frames are too different. So, this is yours if you want it. Buy a similar s-arm for $120 or so on eBay and when it comes out of the box you are looking at a project because it will be rough.

Here’s one that is ready to bolt on. It was sand blasted, primed and painted with silver PPG Acrylic Urethane. (There is one run but chain guard will hide it.) It includes front chain guard (with wear), axle, dust covers and brake stay arm. I only have this one.

KL swingarm left side

KL swingarm right side

KL250 Swing Arm $85.00

1978/79 Kawasaki KL250 Heat Shields

These 43 year old used heat guards are in terrific shape. No dents. Minor skuff marks will be hidden by high temp exhaust paint. I removed all the layers of paint so you could see the real condition of the parts. If yours are smashed or broken, here's your solution.

KL heat shields outside

KL heat shields inside

KL Exhaust Heat Shields $30.00

KL250 Exhaust Gasket

If you have occasion to remove your exhaust, you may find your gasket all squished out of shape. Maybe when you pull the pipe, the gasket rolls away under the bench. If you notice black carbon around the port, it’s time to get sealing from a new gasket. I see eBay sellers offering these gaskets for about my price but then they add $5.95 for shipping.

KL exhaust gasket

KL250 Exhaust Gasket $4.50 + $1.00 shipping

Sneak Peek: New KL Body Parts

sketch of KL body in green

It is my intension to offer MX style; seats, side covers and rear fenders. KLs are good looking on/off road bikes but in an MX style they will be eye popping especially for a 43 year old motorcycle.

Slimline MX-styled Seat
I know some of you will be happy to throw away the traditional dual-purpose tractor saddle in favor of a new bolt-on seat--with modern styling. Especially true if your old seat is a total loss. Instead of trying to find a non-rusted seat base and new foam--which is a bear--you can buy the whole seat from me. My standard seat cover will be all black. If you are doing a KX paint job then I can do a lime green top for you. Mounts just like stock.

Side Panel covers
I will be making reproduction side covers from plastic just like the originals and they’ll mount like originals. These are needed items because the old ones either melted from the exhaust, cracked or faded from UV light. Mine will be made in an ABS like plastic but I’ll be sure to insulate the right side panel so it won’t melt away. In time, I will make them in red, blue and lime green. If I missed another stock color, scream at me. (Have you seen eBay prices for really bad survivors? Those sellers are bat s_ _t crazy.)

Rear Fender
I’ve started making a replica fender. Good originals are hard to find, and when they are nice, the price is nose bleedy. They will be in fiberglass which is no big deal since the fender is supported by the OEM steel inner fender. I’ll attempt to color match to KL colors.

Progress on the seat, side covers and fender
Take a look at my build below to see progress on these parts.

If you want to get on my waiting list for this seat, email me at phil@phillittleracing.com.

Builder Hints

Mounting aftermarket front fender
After mangling the job on my bike, get the correct lower tree mounting pattern. Here’s a sample of a 1978 fender. Make a template on the new fender and drill away. Across 68mm. Front/back 42mm.

KL fender with markings for hole location

About Phil

Phil Little racing on a frozen lake
On the ice in 2018 at Cook’s Bay, Lake Minnetonka

As of June 2020 I am 78 years old. I live in Mound, Minnesota. My background is advertising. I started flat track racing when I was 29 in 1971. I race very infrequently now. I ride dirt and ice. Eight years I was a race promoter. My head is full of information after 50 years. Since 1980 I’ve been offering race style kits for 650 Yamahas and Sportsters, plus dirt track and café stuff--mostly fiberglass parts. My companies were/are Omar’s Dirt Track Racing and Phil Little Racing. I am a total bike builder like you. Take a peek at some of my builds.

1978-79 KL250A Carb Boot/Manifold

These new 29mm holders are a bitch to find. If you are bringing back a 42 year old KL 250, I guarantee you’ll need a new carb mount. Old rubber usually cracks which is not good at all. Air entering the engine from behind of the carb will lean your engine. At least your carb tuning goes out the window and at worst you burn down your engine. A new piston and a bore job will cost you north of $250 not including a mechanics time. Be safe now while you are renewing your KL.

KL carb boot


The 1978-79 KL 250 Carb

Keihn P75A 0024, 32mm carb, Main 140, Pilot 40

KL carb

The 32mm Keihn carb used on KLs is a rare animal. I spent a day in a salvage yard looking for just one and came out only with dirty hands. Absolutely keep your carb. If you are having carb problems, your options are limited. If your carb is non-functional do the steps below. If it’s really toast, buy a used one and do these steps:

  1. Have a local shop put them in a sonic cleaner. They’ll come out clean, inside and out. Really this is a basic first step.
  2. Order rebuild kits offered on-line if your internal parts are beyond help (save them if you can).
  3. If you are having real issues, send the carb off to Spyder Cycle Works, Salem, UT. A fellow named LE Wright runs a vintage carb rebuilding service. Contact him at 801-609-1198, or iwspyder@gmail.com, or m.me/spidercyclewerks

I contacted Sudco to see if they had a round slid Mikuni replacement. Basically no. You’d have to buy a different throttle assembly and Mikunis have a wider mouth and probably would not fit the KL air box. You do want to keep the air box for max engine performance and as a dirt/dust block.

KL carb spigot
KL carb spigot

The L-shaped fuel intake spigot on your Keihn was plastic and may be cracked or broken off after all these years. Do not buy an original Kawasaki/Keihin part (92005-1023)--they sell on eBay for over $50. I can have a straight spigot machined for you, like the one sticking out the left side of my carb in the top photo, for about $29 bucks.

KL carb throttle

A little note: The flapper throttle valve also has a little flapper valve for low speed tuning. The whole throttle valve was not on my bike when I bought it. That dual-valve you can find in a junk yard because a few other Keihns used them.

KL carb
KL carb

KL Anti-vibration Grips

I’ve never liked the look of these grips. However, with a vibrating KL these are almost a must. The protruding ribs keep your (hopefully gloved) hands from directly contacting the handle bar. This acts like a cushion and isolates vibration. I’ve also selected these in an open-end style. If you are going to use bar-end mirrors, you won’t muck up cutting the ends out with a Stanley blade.

KL grips

KL10 Waffle Grips $12.95/pair, 7/8" bars

KL Kick Start Lever

This is a replacement for your original lever, which by now is rusty, has flaked chrome and worn splines. These are dedicated to KLs and are chrome plated and in two pieces. As you search for these levers skip Chinese products because their metallurgy is as poor as their quality control.

I want you to know something I discovered. Most of the start levers on eBay will have bad 8mm threads in the mounting holes. I guarantee you these will bugger the threads on your bolt the first time you screw it in. They will look like this:

KL kick start lever

Buy my lever and avoid this problem.

KL kick start lever

KL Kick Start Lever $19.95

KL Oil Filter

A necessary evil, to preserve the life of your engine. I bought my bike and the former owner ran it low on oil. That was about $275.00 for an engine rebuild. Don’t be dumb like me (I should have passed on the bike). It’s a darn shame Kawasaki makes us pull a foot peg and a side cover to change the filter but they do. My experienced mechanic says Kawasaki engines are about bullet proof, so let’s forgive them this one design glitch. I’m offering two, one for now and the other sits on your shelf and you grab it after 500 miles without the hassle of a reorder. Fits 1977-1983 KLs.

KL oil filter

KL Oil Filter $12.50/2 filters

KL Mini Signals

I have to tell you these aren’t legal in many states because they don’t provide enough surface area. If your KL is an around town grocery getter or a getaway on country trials/roads-these will be great. Since they tuck into the frame, they are less likely to get whacked off by branches. The threaded shaft is 8mm so they make perfect mounts to hold the headlight in place as they do their signaling job. I have two types-all chrome and all black. I sell the chrome one for less because I have a great box full of them.

KL signals in chrome

KL signals in black

Mini Deco signals, chrome/amber $11.95 pr
Mini Deco signals, satin black, $12.95 pr

KL250A 13” Shocks

13.1” eye-to-eye length. Chrome body with black springs. Five position spring preload adjuster. These shocks will be quite comfortable on the road and mild trails. Start riding in the lowest tension position and add tension if you weigh more than 200lbs--just crank the adjustor for more spring tension. If you are doing off road bashing, set spring tension to heavy position. As you scan through eBay looking for KL shocks you will see glorious looking piggyback shocks. Stay far away! These are Chinese mainland communist products. Chinese metallurgy is just terrible and often their production quality lead to broken parts and/or early wear. You are warned.

KL signals in black

$59.00 pair

KL250 Community

These fellows I know as customer friends. I am sharing their contact information so we can build a circle of KL friends. You could use it as source to sell parts, buy parts and to seek information to help your build or seek maintenance info. In time, I will have enough guys so I can do a gang emailing with your needs, or you can do it yourself by snatching the e-addresses from this box. Phil

Morgan Austin
Neebing, ONT

Kevin DeMera
Ash Grove, MO

Clive Colman

Robert Swift
Tonasket, WA

My KL Build

This is my KL250A from 1978. I will send reports when I have newsworthy progress to share. This one’s gonna be a far out MX style custom which may give you ideas.

Phil's KL, right side Phil's KL, left side

11/22/21 Report

Finally after months, I have finished the molds for the seat base and the KL rear fender. I will begin making parts very soon. I will make fenders in white, KL red and KL blue.

KL seat base KL seat base

If one of you has a sample of the KL blue color I’d like it. If for example, you have an old blue fender, I could scan its color and return it to you on my dime. Call 952-607-6063, my cell. Thanks.

7/26/21 Report

KL rear fender

This is my new pattern for the KL fender. I’m going to produce an MX style fender just like this. If you want a stock fender or will use a rack, I will cut out all the holes for taillight, etc. If you want a MX style rear fender, I will supply a taillight/brake light like this...

KL tail light

Eventually I’ll offer a side mount license plate holder so your rear will have a cleaner look. If I can engineer it to fold-in whilst on the trail, I will.

7/13/21 Report

This is the latest on the KL seat base for an KX MX style seat. This is the finished seat base pattern. Next I’ll make a mold from it and then begin making bases. From the base, I’ll form the foam then it’s off to the upholsterer.

KL seat base

2/9/21 Report

I am now working on building a new KL seat base for an MX style seat that I’ll offer owners instead of the wide stock KL saddles. I am also building patterns for both side covers. I will have them molded in a tough ABS-like plastic. The right cover will come with insulation so it won’t melt like the stock covers did. I’m not sure what colors to make them. Maybe you can suggest a color or colors. I will make them in Kawasaki lime green for sure.

Also in the works are rear fenders. One like stock, the other a smooth MX-like version. That one will come with a small taillight and I’ll offer a side license plate mount, too.

KL seat base progress, right side KL seat base progress closeup

I blundered

I inadvertently purchased a Chinese chain for my KL - a really bad decision from the get-go. The links kinked out of the box. The tolerances were imprecise and the master link was hard to install. Stupidly I just ordered 520 chain. I had to shorten it to 96 links. I spent two hours futzing and cut it too short. Go buy a good Japanese DID 520 x 96 link chain or other recognized brand. I am stupid so you can be smart.

KL chain kinks

KL Owner Builds & Rides

On this page I want to show customer KLs and photos my site readers have sent me.

Clive Colman from the UK has a spec ’78 KL

He said, "I have a long history with this bike. First bought one for $334 (£250) around 1983. Sold it in 2001 for $867 (£650), it only had 3500 miles on it. It came up for sale at an auction in February this year. I had to pay $2536 (£1,900) to get it back. Now has 7000 miles on it. Still on original exhaust! The shocks are horrible aftermarket ones and I don't think they are the right length. Could you tell me what length the original shocks are from top mount to bottom mount centers?"

I told Clive 13". I hope I'm right because that's what my supplier sold me as a replacement. Clive also asks if you (my site viewers) might have metal sump bash guard to sell him. If you do, contact Clive Colman at clive.colman@hotmail.co.uk.

KL rear quarter view KL front quarter view
Clive’s bike. I love the color.

Robert Swift from Tonasket, WA

Rob said, "I’ve had this bike for about 5 years but plan to keep it as long as I can keep riding it."

Rob’s bike looks like it's unmolested and in almost original condition--look, the right side cover and exhaust system are intact. The only "add" I see are the fork gators--smart idea, it prolongs the life of fork seals. By the Washington terrain in the background, it looks like a perfect KL riding area. Thanks for contacting me Rob and connecting with other KLers. (Rob when you say "long as I can keep riding it" it sounds you are getting on like the rest of us. Good on ya.)

KL rear quarter view