Finally! One sorted Karizma :)

Sanket Sarkar

Active Member
How did this happen? Well.. this is what happens when you think KTM390 ADV will hit the road but never does :p

So.. around 5 years back I picked up this ZMA 09 and the plan was to get her back to stock setup with some upgrades for occasional off-road and touring but again! KTM 390 rumors had me thinking that do I really need to work on another bike or just restore it and ride it?

Well.. 2 years later I realized that neither of my plans were going to work... me riding it as a daily commuter nor the KTM 390 ADV and that's when I started working on a custom build which was going to help me tour/off road and stay peppy in city traffic. A lot of home work was then a part of day to day life, figuring out ways to score big bore kits, cams and what not! Approximately around a year back I started working on it and thought that it would JUST take few months and i'll be done!

We started off with weight shaving, managed to get rid of a lot of junk worth 9 kgs + some plastic parts. Shelled out quite a bit on tinkering and getting the sub frame straightened up! Then came reboring and honing the barrel which was then complimented with a 67mm after market piston (Infact 2 of them, one to play around with and another.. in case the first one dies out on me). Once we were done with basic engine rebuild, I started sourcing carb and a real wide range of jets :D

Initial ride was very sloppy because the stock PWK copy came with a 48 pilot and 145 main jet (Round) which was later swapped. Currently running on 32 pilot and 125 main jet (Round).
As per CRF 230 PWK jetting spec, they run on 38 pilot, 135 main jet (Hex type) and needle on notch 1 but again.. here I am dealing with a Chinese replica :(

So the whole process of getting my jetting spec right took me 6 months. I had to try different jetting specs and some times it would run good off idle and through mid range but the highs will start suffering. So after weeks of playing around with jets, I figured the right setup for my carb and the bike together but then.. Mid range was suffering so bad that it would end up restricting you from hitting higher revs! So I had to open up the carb again and see what went wrong and bingo! Needle was at 5th notch which was way too rich... so I called up my mech to check and turns out.. he started counting the needle notches from the bottom (Not a pro, not at all!)! so we had to clear things out and educate people around a bit and then back went the needle into the carb and voila! No flat spots, off from idle till 9k rpm or so without any hiccups. A lot faster than the stock setup would have ever gone, in fact it's fast enough to keep up with my Enfield right now.

Build details:

  1. Loads of weight shaving - Had to get rid of speedo console, Fairing, useless side panels and a bunch of other things!
  2. 67mm After Market piston from Ebay - Needed something that works with CRF and ther's plenty!
  3. High Lift cam shaft / Heavy duty springs - NMW Performance
  4. Flat Slide PWK 32 replica - Thanks to Aliexpress, I just wanted to see how good their replicas were and turns out... they're pretty good! Jetting spec won't be bang on correct when compared with PWK but if you know how to tune flat slide or round slide carbs then eventually you'll get there!
  5. Fabrication - Custom Seat, Sub Frame, Front and Rear Mudguards
  6. Suspension - Front Himalayan along with complete front brake setup! Didn't plan to swap the rear ones yet, probably some more research!
  7. Instrument cluster - Custom Analog tacho and GPS speedometer
  8. Front 19" and Rear 17"
  9. Compression bumped by shaving the barrel by few mm
  10. Custom bracket to hide all the electricals
  11. Uni Air filter
And special thanks to people who always felt and advised me saying that these mods would never work on any Karizma :)



The Ghost Who Walks
Looks neat and purposeful and ready to ruel the beaten road.

Sent from my Lenovo K8 Note using Tapatalk
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Sanket Sarkar

Active Member
Thank you people!

Recently I changed the oil as my clutch was slipping real bad and I actually thought that something went wrong with the plates. Switched to Mobil 1 Delvac 15W40 Diesel Engine oil (JASO, MA) and dayum! A lot better than what it was before. Looks like I will be sticking to Car Engine oils for a while!

Sanket Sarkar

Active Member
Here's a list of Engine Oil that I have tried in the last 1yr

  • Motul Synthetic (Not sure which variant. It was 10w40 I think)
  • Valvoline - Non synth
  • Liqui Moly
  • Amsoil 10W40
Motul Synthetic - Everything worked fine except for the clutch. Few thousand kms later I started facing issues with the Gearbox. Bike would jump out of 2nd or 3rd at times when I am trying to shift up. Gear shifts were getting stickier, wasn't really happy with all that hype. Not sure if it's because of Motul Synthetic? This is the only bike where I used Motul Oil so I am not 100% sure. (Also heard that some synth oils have friction modifiers which sort of messes up the clutch)

Valvoline - Nothing so great about this oil.

Amsoil 10w40 - I picked up Amsoil going by good reviews from Thumpertalk. Loads of CRF folks swear by Amsoil so I was like "Why not?". Must say that it's one good oil, had no issues with Clutch Slippage, gear shifts etc etc.

Liqui Moly - Great reviews! So I fell for it and it turned out to be utter junk! Well.. it was worse than the Valvoline. Once again I was back to Sticky shift, clutch slippage so I completed my first run in after overhaul and swapped Moly for Mobil 1 Delvac 15W40

So here's why I went for Diesel Oil - Looks like these are extensively used all over by motorcycle enthusiasts.. ranging from CRFs to BMW GS so I sort of started reading up about them. Looks like Diesel Oils have a lot of detergent and ZDDP content which is good for the engine so the idea was to try something on those lines but clutch slippage was something I was concerned about and after some more research it turns out that Diesel oils with JASO MA rating would do just fine. The Indian version of Mobil 1 Delvac had no Jaso MA rating posted so I checked specifically for the same oil and looks like the same set of people who used Rotella in their classic/adventure bikes.. were also using the same Delvac. So.. for me it was pretty clear, since my bike was making more horses the clutch was slipping on some specific oil and the Delvac reviews just narrowed down my choice of oils.

What happened when I used Delvac for the first time? 1) Quicker shifts 2) No more engine noise due to high lift cam and modified rocker arm 3) No more clutch slippage. Accelerated the living daylights out of the motor and even then.. no sign of clutch slippage. 4) For some reason I don't see the engine over heat anymore like it used to. I guess I will give it some more time and see what pops up next!


Yogesh Sarkar

Your bike’s engine is likely running hotter than it was designed to. This is why I mentioned 15w50 instead of 10w30 or 10w40 that Karizma are normally run on.

Having said that, if it is running well with the current oil, then stick with it.