Any 250lbs riders just running progressive fork springs and heavier rear spring on stock shock? Looking for feed back on this setup for a Gen 1.
I would like to do the cartridge emulators and Moab rear shock but as of now I'm not sure if I'll keep this bike for a long period of time. Just bought it to get my feet wet in the dual-sport side of riding and see what I'll typically be doing with the bike. As of now I really think I want more of a dirt bike but if I find I'll be hitting the road more than expected then I may want to get a Gen 2 KLR, just don't know yet.
There are a few things you can do to the stock Gen I suspension to improve handling. I use Mobil 1 synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid in the forks. Rumor has it that the Mobil 1 is supposed to be about 10W. The factory used cod liver oil cut with rice paddy water in the forks I think. The manual calls for the fork fluid level to be 190mm below the top of the forks with the springs removed and the forks collapsed. I've gone to 170mm below the top of the forks. When re-assembled, I add about 8 pounds of air to the schrader valves [look like tire valve stem ends] on top of each fork. This cuts out a whole lot of the fork dive you get when you brake and shift. You can adjust the ride with the air pressure.
Increasing the length of the spring spacers will affect the sag of the bike, but won't offer much in the handling department. If you are loosing more than about three inches of travel on the front forks when you mount up, you might consider a chunk of 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe to replace the stock spacers. I go up in length in 1/2 inch increments.
There is a rear suspension upgrade available that is a fraction of the cost of a custom designer boutique shock, and I've yet to talk to anyone that regretted buying the setup once they had it.
You get your shock rebuilt, much better suspension fluid added, and a shock spring matched to your loaded weight, all for about $150.00. If you contact Top Gun, they'll take your information and recommend which spring to install. They seem to have a lot of experience setting up rally and round the world bikes, and the price seems pretty reasonable for what you are getting. I don't ride Dakar, so I don't need that technology and the price tag that goes with it. I have yet to read of a regret or complaint about the shock rebuild or the quality of the shock springs, and KLR riders are a tough crowd to play to.