Ridin’ For Harambe, Part 17


What could be better than being seventeen years old and finding yourself in possession of a proper enduro racer? Ryan tells the story like so:


This is my 1992 KDX 200. Purchased new by my uncle, it has participated in a few dozen AMA D14 Enduros and Hare Scrambles, as well as competed at the Silverdome for three years with the Motocross Racing Association (MRA).

I picked up the bike from him when I turned 17, having moved up from a XR100. I put over 2000 miles on it, spending my summers navigating the labyrinth of trails that cross Northern Michigan. It is hands-down the best woods bike I have owned, only my friends on their newer KTMs could keep pace through technical sections.

For a few summers time, I had transferred over the majority of my XL200s switchgear onto the KDX and plated it for street use. Thanks to Michigan’s very lax laws regarding street legality, it took nothing more than turn signals, a brake light switch, and bicycle computer/horn to receive its plate.

As I fell deeper into the car hobby, the bike sat. I parted out the remnants of the “dual-sport” kit and it went relatively unused for the past 4 years. Last month, I relocated to our vacation home north of Grand Rapids. Over Labor Day Weekend, I pulled the bike out and replaced all fluids. I then proceeded to put another 100 miles on it around our property’s .5-mile motocross loop.

Plans are to give it a thorough cleaning, new tires, and come up with a better way to once again make it street legal come springtime. It should make for a fun commuter for the 10-mile trip back and forth to school.

Try to keep the front wheel down, brother. Or don’t!

14 Replies to “Ridin’ For Harambe, Part 17”

    • AvatarRyan

      That’s the goal. I’m not too worried about mixing fuel at the pump with the short commute. I used to keep a small bottle of oil in the tool bag in case of emergencies.

      There aren’t too many guys up here running smokers anymore.

  1. AvatarYamahog

    Plated two-smokes – God Bless ’em all. Nice bike! Do you have to pre-mix it or is it oil injected/

    Is this the first Kawasaki we’ve seen in bikes out for Harambe?

    • AvatarRyan

      Thanks! I “restored” it for my grandfather two years ago. We kept it at the cabin as a spare car, there’s a lot of nice roads up this way.

      Pretty much bone stock, sans hood (wanted the room to fit a 351 later on) and wheels (won’t be replaced until it goes 5-lug).


      It shares the garage with the Z06 now, my roommate/best friend’s GTI and my truck live outside with the Haulmark for now. Going to be putting some of the things in storage this fall so our yard doesn’t look like the set of Sanford & Son.

  2. Avatarjdh

    Looks clean and well maintained for an older dirt bike. KDXs had a solid reputation as enduro bikes. I had a 250 for a while.

    Be careful riding it at night, the stock headlight is pretty weak. Also car drivers won’t see you, so be take care on the street. You probably already know this.

    Have fun!

  3. AvatarThe F0nz

    I love me an old enduro. The family had a 1973 Yamaha 125 way back when. Beautiful bike in blue, but the lack of power made me nervous when getting into traffic.

    OK… Now for my side question: What they hell is with the Harambe references? I hadn’t been visiting your site much, but it pretty much has overwhelmed it. I was pretty sure this was a running gag for high school and college students…

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        The more you drive it into the ground, the funnier it becomes. But it also gives us some pause to think. Whose life mattered more — Haramabe’s or that of the child? Which one is easier to replace? Which one has more of a soul?

        • AvatarThe F0nz

          Pause taken.

          If it were my child I would have shot that animal myself. I hope that parent takes care of that zookeeper for the rest of their life.


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