Kawasaki KLs Only

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

1978-79 KL250A Carb Holder 16065-1003

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


54005-1005 Front Brake Cable

New front brake cables for 1978/79 KL250s are completely unavailable anywhere in the US or Europe. If you don’t believe me just search "54005-1005 cable". You’ll be met with “page not found” or “out of stock” or “unavailable.” Yes you might find an NOS floater on eBay--if it's less than mine, buy it. I found one site that offered the 54005-1005 but when I looked at the product, it was a mislabeled rear.

Look, I know my price is totally nuts but to get something for my bike I had to have a custom cable made. I’m sorry but at least I can offer you a new cable. You can try to save your old cable (and I encourage you to do that if it will work), but if you want new replacement call, text or email me at 952-607-6063 or phil@phillittleracing.com

KL front brake cable

54005-1005 KL250 Front Brake Cable $89

Kawasaki 1978/79 Side Covers

Right side 36001-1044-00
Left side 36001-1043-00

Some time ago, I gave myself a mission to make KL side covers because they are impossible to find. Selfishly I wanted them for my KL build. Once the molds were done, I could solve other KLers with their missing covers. I am pleased to say the cover molds are done and the first sets of parts came out fine.

The bugger was the mounting side. I made a long bar to which I will attach the pins or mounting darts. I will make left and right side mount bars and bond them to the backside of the covers. Recently I discovered molding parts in silicone molds. And, also discovered I could make the parts with polyester resin in silicone molds, which I’ve not seen anyone else do. To make the back mount bars, I will pour fiberglass re-enforced resin into the mold. Right now I only have just a bar and the darts/pins.

Once all molds are done I will begin making them and intend to have some in stock. For now, the covers will come in white so you’ll have to paint them to match. Later, I’ll make them in red and blue. The nice thing about fiberglass covers is that they won’t melt like the right side plastic cover next to the exhaust.

If you would like to be on my progress report list, just email me.

KL side cover

KL side cover mount bar
Cover back side with bar and mound for pins/darts.

KL side cover mount pins
Bar and pins/darts will look like this. They’ll be bonded to cover backs.

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 1¾ 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 $66.95

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

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 suggest others because they make 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.

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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

Two-Stage air filter made expressly for 1978/79 KL250s (#11013-1003)

KL two-stage air filter UNI logo
Red is coarse foam. Yellow is fine foam. Rubber gaskets seal against air box.

When I searched the web for a 1978/79 KL air filter & cage I found K&N. Their price is $54.99. No other company in the country sells a KL replacement. I am now offering you a cheaper alternative.

Uni Filter’s outside foam barrier is coarse to trap larger particulates. The inside filter barrier is denser and traps the fine grit which could greatly shorten engine life. Any foreign particles in the engine act like sandpaper, decreasing compression/engine life over time. The two levels of open cell polyurethane foam are ‘wetted’ with sticky filter oil. Use a dedicated foam filter oil for motorcycles. You only need a concentrated detergent like Ivory soap to clean my filter element when it becomes coated with crud.

Uni Filter says their foam increases airflow and produces more horsepower and more torque than other air filters. That's probably a claim relative to paper filters.

2-stage foam filter & cage $32.00
Aluminum mesh basket $18.00
2-stage foam only $14.00

KL250 Fork Seals

New. Specific fit for KL250 78-79 (& KE250 77-79.) They measure 35 x 48 x 10.5. Compare those measurements with other seals on the market so you don’t buy a pair with differing specs. Double check the year & model of other offerings-if it says 1980+ or KLR stay away.

I must say these are quality molded with no seams on the OD. I’ve run into seals with exterior mold lines and they instantly leak--a bummer. At my price, don’t hesitate to replace your seals. Don’t try to reinstall your old ones--that’s inviting trouble and a redo. [PS: These are not Chinese.]

KL250 fork seals

Pair for $12.95

KL250 1978-79 Gear Shift Change Lever

New KL250A/B shift lever. These are extremely rare. Search online and you’ll find new levers priced from $49.95 to 79.95. I think that’s too much. Mine is priced at $22.95. That the price of used levers. When/if you search, make sure you search for KL 78/79 not later KLs, Sherpas or KLRs. My advice is to stay away from levers made in China because their metallurgy sucks. Includes rubber shoe saver.

KL250 gear shift change lever


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

KL Seat
I finished the MX styled seat base mold and made one part. The bottom of the foam has complex shapes. That will require molded foam. I’m not sure if there will be enough demand to justify the cost of molded foam. I’ll wait until my bike is finished and get your reaction. If enough of you want a seat, I’ll go ahead

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

If interested, 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

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


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.

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.

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 slide 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 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 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 $19.00 for four
Mini Deco signals, satin black, $12.95 pr

KL250 Rear Fenders

When you search eBay for rear KL250 fenders you are presented with 44 year old fenders that look awful. How do you deal with cracks and sun faded plastic? I saw two for around 30 bucks and they were toast.

I now make replica rear fenders. They are made from fiberglass which normally would be a bad idea but Kawasaki has a metal under-fender which completely protects my glass fender. My fenders aren’t cheap because molding costs and resin are high post-COVID. I’ve kept my margins as low as possible as a result. If you want a really nice looking fender for you KL, these may enhance your bike. As time goes by, I will have them in stock. I won’t be making fronts because there a huge source of plastic fenders from which to choose.

I will sell my rears in KL red and KL blue and white if you want to paint yours a non-standard color. Thanks to one of my KL friends, Jeff Beneduci in Bloomingburg, NY, I now have a blue KL color sample so I can order gelcoat and start making them in blue. I sell them in two configurations: one with the original holes or just plain with no holes.

KL rear fender

Fender, white plain $110
Fender, white holes $120
Fender, color plain $130
Fender, color holes $140

(I have a red with holes in stock which I will discount because it’s the first out of the mold and it isn’t perfect. The minor flaws are where you can’t see them.)

If these can be a help to you, do call my cell: 952-607-6063

KL rear fender

KL rear fender

KL250 Community

These fellows are my 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

Robert Witherspoon

Mike Landes
Mike just picked up two KLs. Guess he’s gonna be busy for a while.

Stu Kilmister
Kirsten Kilmister

New Zealand
“Just discovered your website. What a fantastic offer of parts for sale for the A1/A2 models.”

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