Shinyribs' Gen1 Confabulation - We can make it better - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 275 Old 09-05-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Shinyribs' Gen1 Confabulation - We can make it better

About 20 years ago I was not old enough to obtain a drivers license, but I was already in love with motorcycles. I was on my 2nd KTM 2 stroke dirtbike when my sister's new boyfriend showed up at the farm for the first time. He was on a KLR 650 and I remember laughing to myself about it.

"Who would ever ride a bloated pig like that?!"

We went riding together and I can remember watching him bottom out the rear shock and almost wipe out several times. I laughed then, but looking back now....he was taking a brand new bike off road and putting it through it's paces! At the end of the day he didn't have to fool with ramps and straps and trudge back home hauling a bike in the back of a truck...he simply thumbed the magic button and rode away with ease....man, now there's a good idea...I need a street legal dirt bike. My old man didn't like the idea of me riding on the street. He never said no, but he talked out of it. It was probably for the best. Actually, I know it was.

I eventually got that drivers license, fell in love with American V8 power and spent the next decade and a half drag racing cars. I missed riding dirt, though. Then I got in to street bikes. But I still missed riding dirt. It's time to finally get that dual sport...

Karma has a great sense of irony. She landed me in the saddle of that bloated pig that I once laughed at. And I love it!

I ended up buying an '03 off of Craigslist. (How did we survive before Craigslist? ) It was a good running bike, but it was neglected and the current owner was afraid of the needed repairs ( primarily a stripped oil drain plug). I almost felt bad buying his "mechanics special", but hey...to the victor the spoils and all that. So for $900 I brought this 40k mile old girl home with me.




The guy I bought the bike from told me " the doohickey got replaced by the guy I bought it from". Um. I had no idea what he was talking about and just shrugged it off. The trunk was a wobbly, dry-rotten thing and got promtly removed ( by a tree limb lol) The chain was TOAST and the tires absymal off road, but it didn't keep me from putting around the farm daily while she got whipped back in to shape.

A pic from my front yard.



All that was about 2 months ago. The bike looks different now and there is plenty I want to do to see if I can improve things. I knew of the KLR's reputation, but I wasn't aware of the cult following they had until I got home and googled "KLR 650 doohickey"....wow...it's a whole other world. I can see that every nook and cranny of the bike has been "modded" all over the internet, so this won't be anything special that I'm doing. But I'll post this thread to keep track of things done and things I need advice on doing.

I'll update to current day soon, and I promise not to write any more novels.
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post #2 of 275 Old 09-05-2016, 01:45 PM
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A) The view from your front yard ain't none too shabby there, shinyribs.

B) Novels are good, especially when they detail out bringing a KLR back from the brink. You write well, so do tell.

C) Look at Dave Pelletier's bike(s) for inspiration.

Tom

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post #3 of 275 Old 09-05-2016, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Tom. And yeah, I did notice Dave's bikes since I've been here. He's right down my alley

After getting the bike home it didn't take long to appreciate "the left side drop" comments I was seeing. At first I thought I got away with just a little damaged pride, but then I started noticing the temp gauge reading hotter and hotter....yup. I pooched my fan. Melted the fan hub, which I'm sure you are all familiar with. I was shocked at the price of a replacement, so it was off to the barn to turn up a new hub.








^^^ Back in business!


Some previous PO went to town on the air box door. Not exactly my style, especially considering the air box's new-found ability to suck hot air off the muffler it shares a side cover with! I patched that up, but something went wonky with my camera flash, I think. It looks like I just smeared common duct tape on there, but I swear that's actually carbon fiber!



All the typical things that you always inspect on a new bike got looked over: loose/missing fasteners, forks flushed ( one was nearly dry ), brakes flushed, bearing inspected, spokes,etc...but I mentioned earlier that I bought this as a "mechanics special". The oil drain plug hole was stripped and the plug was wrapped with teflon tape to keep it from falling out. I figured if Ford and Chevy have kept gear oil contained inside axles and gearboxes with pipe plugs since...well, forever...then it should work for me, too. A few minutes with a 1/4" NPT tap under a steady flush of used oil did the trick!

Another issue was a random no-start issue. I wasn't aware the bike even had a side stand switch when I went to look at it, but I've seen my share of bad clutch switches. Jiggling the lever brought the bike to life, so I was confident that's all that was wrong. You guys here helped me to defeat all those nanny switches, so all that is fixed. And so far I hadn't spent a dime!

Well, other than a oil filter, but I discovered the bypass pipe is missing, so that'll wait until parts arrive.

I have to give a shout out to Tom for his youtube video on the 22 cent mod. I found that early in my interweb digging and I am confident that video has saved my enrichener fittings life! Thank you. I wanted to give the carb a quick cleaning and I know I would have never thought to check for something like that. Rather than hunting down a few washers to do a proper "22 cent mod", I just nipped the tip off one of these....hey, you use what ya got on hand...and it worked!

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Last edited by shinyribs; 09-05-2016 at 11:21 PM.
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post #4 of 275 Old 09-05-2016, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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The air filter and final drive were in horrible shape. I can't understand why people will ride things in this type of condition.





But all better now!


I was very happy to find a completely unlmoested electrical system and a few aftermarket bits that I would have wanted to add myself. The skidplate was one of them, and the other was a nice set of wide toothed pegs. I imagine they are Chinese eBay specials, but they are well made.




The vac petcock died on me before I had a chance to beat it to the punch. It really is a pain to drain 3+ gallons of gas out a tank that won't let you open the petcock An old Quadrajet gasket and a couple minutes with punches and scissors put it back like it ought've been.





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post #5 of 275 Old 09-05-2016, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Finally I tossed on a pair of these beauties and have no complaints. On-road, other than a little howling ( which I actually kinda enjoy lol), you forget you are on knobs. I'm sure they wont last, but I'm really happy with the Kenda Trakmasters for now.





With the maintenance items squared away I just went riding. Riding offroad after all these years reminds me just how relaxing and enjoyable riding a motorcycle can be when you aren't constantly having to watch out for cagers. Nothing beats it. I have since put a few personal touches on the bike in the looks department, but I'll get to that later ( this post is already too long!).

As she sits now: all fresh fluids, new Kenda shoes, fresh 14-43 final drive and a KLX needle. She gets better fuel mileage offroad than my CB's got on highway ( seriously!), I'm not seeing any oil consumption issues and the she eats paved twisties better than I could have imagined. I couldn't be happier and kick myself for waiting so long!

More to come later, but thank you guys who have helped me learn about this bike so I could get her all sorted out. It's all much appreciated!
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Last edited by shinyribs; 09-06-2016 at 09:51 AM.
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post #6 of 275 Old 09-06-2016, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, quick update about the new plastic on the bike. I can post more details if anyone is interested, but if I can figure it out, anyone can

First thing to go was the headlight cowl. The windshield threw air right at aya level for me and made riding miserable at speed. I've never ridden with a windshield, or liked frame mounted headlights, so it had to go. A buddy sent me this DR setup for the cost of shipping. $12.



I like the visibility offroad much better,too.




I had no complaints with the stock fender, but I had this old style MX fender that didn't get used on a different project. It was white, and my green fender was barely green, so on it went. Whipped a little brace for looks. The brace has a tab for the lower cowl mount,too.




The same buddy that sent me the DR cowl also sent me a rear fender ($14 ) off the same bike. It went on easily and I stuck the stock KLR tail light back on. Still rocking a 100% un-cut wiring harness I'm super picky about that.



^^^ I reused stock hardware for the mockup, but it;s got proper stainless buttonheads showing now.

I bent up a really crude piece of stainless to give some protection to the rear light.

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post #7 of 275 Old 09-06-2016, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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And whipped up a quick and dirty tag plate/ tag light bracket using the stock tag light/tag mount pieces. I built a hinge for it hoping it would have the option to fold under if I back in to a tree, and the wind can only blow it up so far. So far, seems to work well.



No more worries about the rear tire eating the tag again!




The radiator shrouds were still grungy, and I wanted to buy black replacements, but at $100 a pop I figured I'd give that fancy schmancy Fusion paint a go. I was surprised that it actually gave a decent finish, but I plan to pick up some black number plate to do it up right.

Pretty pleased with the looks now.


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post #8 of 275 Old 09-06-2016, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Up to date now!

Tonights project was a headlight killswitch.

Found this in a buddy's stash. Cost me $20. K&S part #: 12-0051 OEM part number 5NG-83976-50 Originally for came on a bunch of WR's. Anyway, originally I was bummed with the shitty half-clamshell construction.



But then I realized that gave me the option to tuck it in front of the MC, so all is well.





As much stuff as I've moved around on this bike, I'm happy that I haven't had to cut up any original wiring. I wanted to only switch the ground for the headlight so that I'd have a tail light at all times. Just in case I derp and forget to flick the lights on. I was able to pull the ground terminal out of the bulb socket and juggle things around without cutting anything.

It's a bit hard to reach, but I don't mind as it means I probably won't flick it by accident. But what I don't understand is WHY THE HIGH BEAM INDICATOR BURNS CONSTANTLY WHEN I KILL THE LIGHTS NOW. Seriously, how can breaking the ground wire cause that ?! Who knows. Maybe I'll sort that out later....actually, I know I will. That blue indicator glaring at me is gonna worry my OCD to death. Job done for now though....
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post #9 of 275 Old 09-07-2016, 12:28 AM
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I think you've created a high-resistance path to ground through the indicator light. Current is flowing through the low beam filament, the high beam filament, and the indicator lamp filament to ground. Only enough current is flowing to illuminate the indicator light.



I like the plastics and all.

Tom
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post #10 of 275 Old 09-07-2016, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm... you could be right. I wanted to keep things clean and simple, but maybe I should just kill the power going to the switch. I wouldn't mind killing the tail/tag light, too.
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