2009 KLR-650 Fork Brace, Raising Links, and Progressive Fork Spring Installation Testing:
Today I took her for a road test after finishing up putting new progressive fork springs in, an Eagle Mike fork brace on, and some of Mike's R1 raising links on - as well.
The improvement during my road test today was very noticeable. WOW - a higher, stronger and more stable feeling bike. Very nice. I weigh about 220, and with riding gear and a backpack on that takes it up to about 250.
1) NEW SEAT HEIGHT:
The overall new seat height of the bike with the R1 raising links installed is now 36" from the concrete floor to he lowest part of the stock seat. I forgot to measure it before I put them on - so I don't know what it was before the raising links went on. I'm 6 foot with a 32" inseam, and with my boots on did not notice any severe change when putting my feet down - but the bike is definitely higher. I liked it.
2) NO MORE MUSH DOWN:
When I mount the bike, it's not as mushy as it was before - the rear shock is still too weak and is gonna get redone or replaced - - but with the new raising links, the overall drop when I get on the bike is less now. It's stiffer. It does still load down when you climb on, but not as bad as it was doing. I set the pre-load to 3 and the screw at the bottom of the shock adjusted to about half way. It's definitely better in town, and on the highway too now. As noted above, it starts at 36" and probably sags when mounted about 2 or 3 inches total.
3) STIFFER STRONGER FEELING FRONT END:
The front end seems to be much improved as well. I believe it's stiffer, and stronger than before. It feels more solid and planted, more like the last bike - a V-Strom - did. I liked it on the highway today better than before. The 70 MPH wobble it had before still showed up a hair, but that could be wheel balance or the front fender too. I've read a lot of posts that describe it as a feature maybe, not an anomaly? I don't know for sure. I did have it up to 95 on the stock speedo, and it was solid. I like it!
4) FRONT FENDER:
I have not replaced my stock front fender yet. I have one on hand, but need to get it fitted up. I think it's gonna help too with front end stability. I'll update again when I get that installed.
Some pics of the Eagle Mike Fork Brace
and Raising Link
installs on the 2009 KLR-650:
Some pics of the Progressive Fork Springs
install on the 2009 KLR-650:
Images of the progressive spring install.
2009 KLR-650 front forks Progressive Spring mod / change out- install image set:
Overall, these three mods, the fork springs, the fork brace, and the raising links, were all worth the money from the way the bike felt on the road today. What it's gonna feel like in the dirt and on trails and in sand and gravel may be a different story. It's definitely higher, stiffer, less "mushy" on mount, and more solid at speed now.
FENDER INSTALL UPDATE
- Installed the new front fender today from Cyrca - then road tested it today out on the superslab: Opinion; Significantly improves the stability of the front end of the bike (the steering). I believe it is due to the new fender having less surface area, and less "beak" angle, working together to reduce the destabilizing impact the oncoming air has that's moving on the bikes steerable parts (forks - fender - bars), allowing it to stay more planted, remain more stable at speed, and move more easily through the oncoming air stream when going straight and when turning.
Here's a comparison of the two fenders: