Keefer Kuestions 10-31-17
Kris Keefer

I am here for you!

Hello my name is Cameren I just have a question regarding the ktm 450 reliability in the long run? I currently ride a 2014 Yz450f and it has been super reliable I love the Yamaha motor, but I am thinking of switching it up to ktm or should I just stick the 18 Yamaha. Thanks again keefer love what you are doing! 



Hey Cameren, 

I haven't had any reliability issues with the KTM (besides fuel filter issues) and I think its a great bike, that being said, I know how much time Yamaha puts into the reliability of their bikes because I was in house with them for five years. If you love the power of your 2014 Yamaha, I can promise you, you'll love the 18 that much more. The engine and chassis are much better than the 2014 and is an all around great bike.I don't think you can go wrong with either bike, but if it was my money I would choose a Yamaha. Thanks for listening to the pod. I appreciate it!




Since your the man behind the “best dressed/lit kit debate” I figured who better to ask..I’m looking to purchase a new pair of EKS brand goggles and I wear an black and white Thor Phase gear setup with a HJC CL-X7 El Lobo “Black Edition” Helmet..currently I have a black and white checker board goggle by Thor and I’m looking to upgrade to a pair of EKS brand goggles as they support PulpMx so here’s my question I’m looking at the GOX Scatter line do I go with the Orange frame/band with orange lense or the white and black with orange lense?? I have converted my KTM250sx over to a white plastic theme (with custom Roost Graphics) as apposed to orange so I have a shit ton of white and black going one so I figured you would be the guy to point me in the right direction prior to ordering!

Love your pod casts and all the info you put up on the web or previously in mags!

Live on Best Dressed,

Matthew Small






WHITE/BLACK with ORANGE frame lens bro! That is not even a question. If you choose to go this route you will for sure win the most epic gear set up at the track. 


Thanks for the support..






Hello Kris, which 2018 450 would you recommend for someone my size? I currently ride a 2015 yz250 two stroke and love it but feel cramped and I'm getting to old and out of shape for it. I think I need to go back to a 450 but the past few that I bought I felt really cramped and uncomfortable on. 2009 crf450 and 2012 rmz450. I'm thinking yz450 after sitting on them all but unsure and don't want to be disappointed after spending$9000! Any help would be appreciated, thanks and keep up the good work.
Chris Rose from Newcastle Va




I would say you're on the right track and this is a very common question. The 2018 YZ450F is a great bike for bigger guys. The engine is powerful and cockpit suits a guy a like you. Not to mention reliable. 


The only other bike that I would recommend that fits a larger man out of the box would be a KTM 450 SX-F, as it has a larger cockpit as well for you to move around on. Both are great bikes and you can’t go wrong with either brand. 




Keefer! What’s up? I listened to your 2018 kx450f review and I have a 2016 Kx. I changed my forks to what you recommended not knowing if it would work for the 2016 but I went out and rode and they felt awesome just wanted to tell you thanks a ton for all you do. I love what you are doing! I wanted to ask though, I have a 2015 CRF250R. Very clean very low hours, I want to set it up for trail riding. I don’t have a lot of knowledge on this bike as far as proper set up and the forks are horrible. Way worse than anything I’ve ever felt on the air forks on my kawi. I was just curious if you had a good setting for a 170 pound x desert A rider. I prefer my bikes to run a little softer on the suspension side than most. I don’t plan on keeping this bike long though so I don’t really care to send off suspension or buy conversion kit. I just need it to get me through to when the new yz250f comes out next year. Thanks Kris! Your a stud. Any help would be greatly appreciated! -Brennan.



This fork was pretty bad and there is no MAGIC setting unfortunately. Sorry. 


However you can go UP in air pressure on the balance chamber (8-12 psi) from stock and keep the inner chamber near stock recommendations (172-174psi). This was the plushest setting we could find on the track, so that should correlate for you. 


Hope this helps and thanks for supporting Keefer Inc. Have a great weekend! 




Hi Kris,


Firstly well done on the progress at Keefer inc testing, I’ve always used mxa for a base line for my settings and info on bikes but I listen to everything you do on the podcasts and love it. 

I’ve cancelled my subscription to dirtrider because it’s bullshit without your input and I have no interest in anything they have to say anymore. 


My favourite pulp shows are when your on them and keefer after dark is always pure gold, I’ve taken your advise and used it in my own after dark life and it’s always gone down smooth haha. 

But that’s enough of the gargling.  


As I said I’ve always been a orange helmet guy but I’ve set the clickers and sag etc to what they say is a decent setting for my 2017 Rmz450 and it’s fucken awful! 

I previously had a 2013 Rmz450 with Sff on it and I wasn’t a huge fan as it was too harsh in the mid stroke even after a revalve but I learnt to live with it. I got offered a really good deal which was way to sharp to pass up on a new 2017 so I jumped at the chance and I love the bike except for the terrible sff tac air front end. I’m a Suzuki guy through and through but these forks have me questioning many things about my love for the brand and contemplating a early trade in. 


My bikes only got 2.5 hours on it so I know the suspension needs a bit more time on it before it’s broken in properly but if you have time Could you please give me a few settings to try and make this bike rideable? 


It’s very hard to get decent info on this sort of thing down in New Zealand so I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on things to try even if that’s to go and change these forks to spring. This is the first set of air forks I’ve ever ridden on and I regret making the move to the 17 but I’m stuck with it now I guess. 


Thanks for your time, Dan.




Thanks for ditching Dirt Rider and the orange helmet gang. Sometimes MXA has some good stuff though and I can't completely talk crap on them. Just Jody! :) Dirt Rider has a couple good people over there still, but thanks for the support.


The RM-Z450 is tough my friend. Very hard to set up as the frame is slightly rigid and that fork is terrible. Try these settings to see if this may help you. 


Inner and Balance chamber 188-190 psi. 

Fork Height Drop fork to 4-5mm (stock is 8mm)

Compression minus 1 or 2 clicks (softer) than stock

Shock sag 106-107mm


Try this and see if it helps. It should feel slightly better and less harsh, but will not completely take the mid stroke harshness away up front. Let me know how it works! 






Hello Kris,


I have two rides on my new Honda, and I think the bars and grips are super rigid and are stinging my arms and hands on impacts.  I think I want to go with a Pro Taper Evo bar, and I personally like Spider Grips.  My question is, do bar mounts make a huge difference?  I am looking at both Pro Taper bar mounts, as well as the Ride Engineering bar mounts.  Does the rigidity come through bar mounts, or should the rubber mounts compensate for that?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.








Yes bar mounts make a difference. However, either one of those bar mounts you mentioned are good mounts. The Renthal mounts are a little rigid, but the Ride and PT are good mounts. 


That being said I don't think those two mounts you mentioned are less rigid than stock. So just know that. 


Pro Taper’s EVO bar a is a great bar and the "SX Race" bend is a good bend to stick to in my opinion. If you want to try another crossbar-less bar you can try a FatBar as they are not as rigid as the Twinwall. 




Kris, I need help man. Love this motor but I'm struggling with the suspension and arm pump! My old bike was a 13 kx250f with full racetech set up and I LOVED it! I never pumped up with that bike... I've had the forks revalved twice,(pr2), but I'm still not in love with the aer48.... they have me running 135, 14 on comp and reb. 5 mil up in the clamps... right now I'm at around 105 in sag... I'm debating on going with the RT spring conversion to try and make it feel like my kawi did.... or do you know of something I could try like bar bend or clamps that might help with the arm pump?? Do you have any settings for this bike? I do feel like it's harder to grip the ktm with my legs than the kawi so I'm using my arms a lot more than I should.... any advice buddy???? Also have you tested any pipes on this bike??
45 yr old c-rider. Moto only. 180lbs w/out gear.
Ps.... absolutely love what you're doing now man!!! Keep it up! -Dean




Some guys can adapt to the AER some can't. It's the best air fork there is, but it's not a spring fork right? 


WP offers a spring conversion that is really good. Maybe try the WP conversion or the Race Tech conversion and that will help with harshness and give you more front end feel. 


As far as a muffler, the slip on FMF muffler works really good. I would try the slip on first then the headpipe if you want more mid to top-end. Don't worry about the HP right away though. Keep that bottom end and stick with slip on. 


Sag measurements that you are running are good, but the bike will change with the spring conversion. Look into that and I think the arm pump will subside a little. 


Thanks for listening and the support. Good luck!




Hi Kris,


Long-time fan of you on Pulp and glad to see you doing your own thing. I’ve listened to all your pods and learned heaps especially when it comes to setting up my daughters RM 85 and trying to get her to test and give feedback.


Anyway I live in Western Australia the home of Steve’s beloved Manjimup 15000 race and my 12 year old daughter has a RM 85 and she would be the only kid running a Suzuki, everyone else has a KTM SX 85. I have heard over in the states RM’s & KX’s are just as popular and just as competitive. Whereas here it is considered child abuse to have anything other than a KTM. Given I have just read your article on Aden’s KX85 would it be possible for you to do a shoot out of the mini bikes at all. Phoebe my daughter loves her RM and is the fastest girl in this state for her age and the bike is stock. We plan on doing mods and go to Nationals (similar to your Loretta’s) but I am concerned I am just wasting my money and we should invest in a KTM like everyone else. We have a good shop who knows the RM inside out but would like some un-biased advice to move forward with. Even if you can’t do a shootout your opinion would mean a lot to me.


Thankyou in advance appreciate all the content you put out, love it.


Kind Regards, Nigel




Thanks for listening and reading my site. 


The Suzuki is not as good in stock trim as the KTM, but the Suzuki is plenty capable of winning races. With just some small mods the Suzuki is able to beat the orange machine. There is a guy here in the states (R&D) Dean Dickinson that really knows the RM85’s. He has been doing them for years. Way back when Buddy Antunez rode them and was dominated World Mini’s, Ponca, etc. 


To answer your next question, yes I will be doing more 85 stuff after 250 Shootouts. This will include the Suzuki. I am going to do a little shootout with the Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and hopefully the KTM. 


Hope this helps you and tell your daughter to keep ripping. We need more women in the sport. Kudos to you both! 






Hey Man. Have a question for you regarding helmets. I recently broke my Fox V2 in a crash. Have been eying up the 6D carbon electric, but at $795 Its a little pricy. Have always worn a bell mtb helmet. But never a Moto. And have never tried the new fly racing helmets. What you opinion? Moto 9 flex? 6D? Just a weekend warrior, usually chasing my kid around the track. Thanks for the help! -Anthony




The Bell is a great lid but pinches my forehead a little too much. 


The 6D is a great helmet with a superb platform for protection. To me it’s worth the money. 


The Fly is also a great helmet and if you are a weekend warrior this might be the Best Buy. The carbon F2 is comfortable and has MIPS which is great technology and is built for some of the top racers, so it’s trustworthy. 


Hope this helps. 




I have a 2017 KTM 250sx which has the aer 48 forks on it. They are really harsh basically everywhere in the stroke. Would I be better off getting my forks and shock revalved or getting the spring conversion and having it valved and the shock revalved? Also, what is a good bar bend you recommend from Mika, I am currently running a renthal fatbar with the 603 Reed/Windham bend and it feels too tall, I like the sweep the bar has but I'm looking for a flatter bend, thank you, Trevor




The AER fork is a great AIR FORK, but you will never get the plushness (with the AER) that you will get out of a spring fork. That being said I feel like you should try WP's spring fork conversion kit. They make one that will turn your AER fork into a spring fork that is pretty good. You will get more front end traction and get some more mid stroke comfort. 


As far as bars I am going to have to recommend a PRO TAPER bar. I have not had the best feeling with MIKA bars as they feel too rigid to me. The Pro Taper SX RACE bend is a great bend and flexes adequately. That would be my go to handlebar.