Heavy Rider, Fairly Aggresive Looking Inexpensive Suspension Upgrade - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:03 PM
ltrmc02 ltrmc02 is offline
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Default Heavy Rider, Fairly Aggresive Looking Inexpensive Suspension Upgrade

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.
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:02 PM
theotherbigjoe theotherbigjoe is offline
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Run Progressives and put in 4-5 inch preload tubes.
Eaglemikes Raising links and the stock shock on #5 preload.

Cheap and dirty.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:31 AM
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masterlink masterlink is offline
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Put what ever you decide on,keep the OEM stuff and just switch it back before selling bike.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:46 AM
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vatrader vatrader is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltrmc02 View Post
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.

http://www.topgunmotorcycles.com/Pro.../klrprod2.html

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.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:47 AM
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Vatrader is 100% on the ball here. I am 308lbs. The stock rear spring was like a marshmallow. I selected the heaviest spring Top Gun has to offer. Even with my weight, the thing now settles and rides better when I have my 90lb daughter on the back. Get the middle option spring. I certainly do not regret mine.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:58 AM
ltrmc02 ltrmc02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theotherbigjoe View Post
Run Progressives and put in 4-5 inch preload tubes.
Eaglemikes Raising links and the stock shock on #5 preload.

Cheap and dirty.
Haven't heard of the preload tubes yet, is this what "vatrader" is talking about doing with the PVC pipe under the springs?

I've thought about buying a nice shock and removing it if I sell the bike but if I sold the bike I may go with something different that it doesn't fit and not sure how much $ I'd get back out of a used shock.

I'll probably check into the Topgun option for the rear and progressives with better oil and air pressure for the front.

Can the front springs and pre load tubes be removed from the top of the shock and without having to disassemble it or will they need to be taken apart and new fork seals put in?
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltrmc02 View Post
Haven't heard of the preload tubes yet, is this what "vatrader" is talking about doing with the PVC pipe under the springs?

I've thought about buying a nice shock and removing it if I sell the bike but if I sold the bike I may go with something different that it doesn't fit and not sure how much $ I'd get back out of a used shock.

I'll probably check into the Topgun option for the rear and progressives with better oil and air pressure for the front.

Can the front springs and pre load tubes be removed from the top of the shock and without having to disassemble it or will they need to be taken apart and new fork seals put in?
The better fork fluid and air pressure are alternatives to buying the progressive springs. The preload tubes [PVC pipe] length affects the amount the bike settles once you are on it. Other than provide clearance, it plays little in the handling and ride.

The fork springs can be removed by getting the front end off of the ground and taking off the fork caps. Be careful, they are spring loaded, and can send the cap flying. There are fork drain screws at the bottom of the forks. You can drain the fluid, adjust the length of your spacers, add fresh fluid, put it together, add a few pounds of air and ride by using the fork drain screws and the fork caps. No new fork seals required. I wouldn't even fool with the preload until you upgraded the fluid and experimented with a little air in the forks. That will help you clarify the difference between fork dive issues when you brake and shift and what is a clearance issue. You might be surprised at the outcome.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:11 AM
ltrmc02 ltrmc02 is offline
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Are there different weight options for the progressive fork springs or are they all the same? I haven't seen any different weight as I have for the rear shock springs.

I keep hearing the complaint with the front end dive on these bikes but that hasn't bothered me so much as just being easy to bottom out. Maybe if I was riding road mostly the dive may bother me more.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:12 PM
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I have a Progressive 465 yours For $285plus shipping.(maybe 50mi. On it at most)
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:29 PM
ltrmc02 ltrmc02 is offline
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Quote:
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I have a Progressive 465 yours For $285plus shipping.(maybe 50mi. On it at most)
Is it set up for my weight range? Dressed and luggage I would be in the 280lbs range.
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