When I first got into motorcycling I was lucky. My step-dad was a good racer, a great mechanic and above all else an incredible teacher. I didn’t really understand that last part until a few years later.
I started desert racing on a 250, went to a 360 and even tried my hand on a Triumph 500…all I could say at the end of that race was “Give me my 250 back”.
Michael and I decided we wanted to try Enduro’s. My Matador was perfect his Greeves was…kind of OK, but he made it work. One of the things we noticed was that fast bikes seemed to work in desert quite well, but, in the woods (yes, Southern California does have forests), smaller lighter bikes did better. Enduro’s are not about speed persay but a precise handling, light agile bike gives you just what you need and want.
The first time I rode a smaller Enduro bike was a Yamaha IT 175, It was great. It did everything my Bultaco did but easier and better…and it was smaller! Sad part, I couldn’t afford one and I had switched to road racing…talk about not being able to afford something!!??
In the early ’80’s I was working for a Kawasaki dealership and the Big K came out with the KDX. I got a chance to spend a weekend with a KDX200. I truly believe that this was the bike that instilled in me my love for small motorcycles. Street legal, super fun and if you saw a dirt road you wanted to explore, just go. That bike would do it.
Kawasaki is well known for building incredibly reliable motors and the KDX did not let that reputation down. The other nice thing was the KDX model was built on the KX moto-crosser chassis but Kawasaki gave it a real world motor in a tight chassis. Sweet. Kawasaki did bump it up to 250cc but it just wasn’t the same, the 200 had a personality that the 250 and later the 300 just didn’t have (the 300 was really good though!).
I found a really nice one on ebay today. Check this out, it has less than 100 miles on the odo…no way. How in the world can you buy a bike and put less than 100 miles on it? Anyway, if you want a really good “Vinduro” bike (Vintage Enduro) or just a really fun trail bile to attach to the front bumper of your motorhome, you can’t do better than this.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and more info.