Making a KLR an Urban street bike - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2009, 08:43 PM
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Markk9 Markk9 is offline
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Default Making a KLR an Urban street bike

I read lots and lots of stuff on getting the KLR to run off road in the dirt. What about setting up the KLR as a secondary and less, including packed dirt roads machine? On the look back over my riding this year, I find that I donít take my bike off road. I would like to set my bike as an urban runner. Iím not looking to make the KLR a super slab bike, but a bike that runs on the smaller black top and packed dirt roads. I figure that a bike to set up to run this way would also to very well as an urban street bike. Iím looking for a bike that can cruise nicely at speeds of 45mph to 65mph. How is the stock suspension for this? What would you change on the stock suspension? What would some good tire selections be? I have been looking at the Avon Gripster, Pirelle Scorpion, and Michelin Anakee. What do think of as the best brake pads? Long life is not big priority, I want stopping power and heat resistance. I would like the style of pads that you would put a road racing car. There is a lot of debate on the stock 15T vs 16T. What about splitting the difference and going to a smaller rear sprocket.

Any other tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default KLR urban street bike

marrkk9, what you describe is kinda the way my '08 is set-up.
I have a dirtbike, it is spelled KTM. MY KLR is a gravel road worthy commuter, that gets 55mpg.
I have 3" narrower h-bars (off a GS500 suz) to get my arms and hands in closer. I run a medium hgt Parabellum windscreen. very good wind and rain protection
The gearing; I went to a 40t rear, kept the oem c/s 15t. I like this gearing.
Oxford Heated handgrips keep the hand digits toasty.
I have a skid plate extension that supplements the oem plastic one.
And my Avon Distanzia tires are definitly pavement biased.
Alpinestar magnetic tankbag.
Oh yeah, a set of Hyper-lites LED tail/flasing brake lites. Wow! you can't ignore them.
For my suspension, I installed Racetech GoldValve Cartridge Emulators in the forks. Stock springs so far as I weigh 170#. The rear end got a Penske 8900e which I have developed with Penske (whom I have a 12 year long working relationship with) a specific KLR application, special priced (subject to change without notice) at $515. normal retail is $615. My suspension rocks.
I think that is all I have done to it so far. I do enjoy riding it.
I have the hyperlites, handlebars, sprockets, suspension mods, parabellum windscreens, skid plate extenders, all for sale.
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'08 KLR650,
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)

"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"

All the best
Kent Soignier
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2009, 03:39 PM
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hardyreels,
Parabellum Windscreens by Charlie Perethian. Located in Dahlonega, GA.
www.parabellum.com I think is their website.
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'08 KLR650,
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)

"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"

All the best
Kent Soignier
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2009, 04:14 PM
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The 16T/43 or 15T/40 is a good fit if you have a 685 or 705. The wide powerband compensates for lack of lowend power. I have a 42 that I will be trying sometime this year. I will test it with both the 15T and 16T.

The Avon Distanzia is an excellent choice for a street like tire.

I am still considering a windshield and might approach CalSci to see if he will build a '07 earlier model.

Currently I do not have the crashbars and highway bars installed and like the looks, lack of additional weight, and road wind noise.

I occasionally use a tank bag and have a selection of rear bags and Pelican top cases. They all have their purposes and does not take much to change them. Oh and the Glovebox and handlebar bags are nice.

OSR racks spaced out 30mm, GPS, 12 VDC outlet, upgraded fuses and wiring, centerstand, lowered foot pegs, 2003 KTM front fender, relocated rear turnsignals, ProGrips 714, aftermarket light switch, Acerbis handguards, Corbin seat, tool tube sometimes, all are a plus for a streeter.
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2005 KLR 685
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2009, 05:26 PM
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Urban street bike/grocery getter and budget touring bike all rolled into one


Mine's an '06
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2009, 06:53 PM
TheWanderer TheWanderer is offline
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My KLR goes from urban assault to singletrack thrasher and it's stock except for Mefo tires.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:14 AM
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Default making an urban street bike.

actually my stock 08 engine pulls the 15/40 gearing just fine without 35 extra cc. In a drag race, the stock gearing might be quicker, but who cares? I am not drag racing. So when I take off in first gear, my first gear ratio to leave with is between stock first and second, no sweat since I could take off in second with the stock ratio. Ya, I use the clutch a little more to get going and in the tight stuff.
I think around town in the big city, stock gearing might not be too bad, but I live and ride in the country. With stock gear ratio as I get up to about 35mph, I would already be in high gear (5th) then it's buzz, buzz, buzz. I like to short shift when I'm not in a hurry. Let the engine loaf along at happy rpm.

I will try a 16/40 ratio soon, that will provide a final drive ratio of 2.5:1, just have not gotten around to it.
I agree, more displacement would make more power to pull any gearing. But my stocker is doing just fine.
For that matter my exhaust and jetting is all stock too.
Whoosh
__________________
'08 KLR650,
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)

"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"

All the best
Kent Soignier
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2009, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent soignier View Post
actually my stock 08 engine pulls the 15/40 gearing just fine without 35 extra cc. In a drag race, the stock gearing might be quicker, but who cares? I am not drag racing. So when I take off in first gear, my first gear ratio to leave with is between stock first and second, no sweat since I could take off in second with the stock ratio. Ya, I use the clutch a little more to get going and in the tight stuff.
I think around town in the big city, stock gearing might not be too bad, but I live and ride in the country. With stock gear ratio as I get up to about 35mph, I would already be in high gear (5th) then it's buzz, buzz, buzz. I like to short shift when I'm not in a hurry. Let the engine loaf along at happy rpm.

I will try a 16/40 ratio soon, that will provide a final drive ratio of 2.5:1, just have not gotten around to it.
I agree, more displacement would make more power to pull any gearing. But my stocker is doing just fine.
For that matter my exhaust and jetting is all stock too.
Whoosh
Kent it is not the 35cc's that makes the 685 but it helps. The piston is lighter and the rings seal better. The powerband is much wider and useful. The 685 makes riding the KLR easier and more fun.

We will always have the persons that say there is no need to upgrade the piston or doohickey and that is alright with me. These same riders probably use 10w40. It is not a problem for me since it is not my motorcycle.

Dual sport and versatile is the motorcycle and riders. This is whats great about the KLR and the people that ride them.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2009, 07:00 AM
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kent soignier kent soignier is offline
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Default making a klr an urban street bike

Having built countless big bore engines, using a variety of aftermarket pistons, I completely understand the concept of bigger is better. Lighter reciprocating mass is good too.
I have heard there is concern among klr riders about ring seal too, so improvements in all three areas, well, how can one loose? More power is always more fun. No argument from me, I agree that a bigger piston is a good thing.
My point was that one does not have to have a big bore to pull a little taller gearing.


We un corked an '02 the other day for a customer with a pipe (actually a slip-on) and a Moose/dynojet jet kit. He already had a k&n filter in it but had not removed the noise suppressor from the airbox. So we did.
We also mounted a pair of acerbis rally pro barkbusters and a renthal pro-taper handlebar. And we changed out his doo, (found another broken spring) checked valves clearances, (found all within spec) changed oil (rotella), rerouted some cable routing. Gave it a good going over, check up.
We measured his bike with Computrack and found the only mis-alignment to be in his triple clamps, which we straightened and trued for him.

The Pro-taper handlebars give a bike a solid feel and beefy look.
He was very pleasantly suprised at the improvement in power, "gave it some snap" he said.
He says we are doing suspension next, we are going to tighten up his ride with an upgrade. He rode my bike, instantly felt the difference in our rides.
In keeping with the thread here, his bike is probably a good urban street bike.
I think the KLR makes a very good base for an urban street bike in near stock form.
Probably the biggest areas for improvements are in the suspension and some more power.
whoosh
__________________
'08 KLR650,
'72 BMW R75/5 (Col. Klink),
'02 KTM 400 E/XC,
'05 ktm 125 sx (for sale)

"Hey, are you okay? Can you get up?
I thought you said you could ride"

All the best
Kent Soignier
www.gmdatl.com
the str8ner
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2009, 04:39 PM
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tomatocity tomatocity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent soignier View Post
Having built countless big bore engines, using a variety of aftermarket pistons, I completely understand the concept of bigger is better. Lighter reciprocating mass is good too.
I have heard there is concern among klr riders about ring seal too, so improvements in all three areas, well, how can one loose? More power is always more fun. No argument from me, I agree that a bigger piston is a good thing.
My point was that one does not have to have a big bore to pull a little taller gearing.


We un corked an '02 the other day for a customer with a pipe (actually a slip-on) and a Moose/dynojet jet kit. He already had a k&n filter in it but had not removed the noise suppressor from the airbox. So we did.
We also mounted a pair of acerbis rally pro barkbusters and a renthal pro-taper handlebar. And we changed out his doo, (found another broken spring) checked valves clearances, (found all within spec) changed oil (rotella), rerouted some cable routing. Gave it a good going over, check up.
We measured his bike with Computrack and found the only mis-alignment to be in his triple clamps, which we straightened and trued for him.

The Pro-taper handlebars give a bike a solid feel and beefy look.
He was very pleasantly suprised at the improvement in power, "gave it some snap" he said.
He says we are doing suspension next, we are going to tighten up his ride with an upgrade. He rode my bike, instantly felt the difference in our rides.
In keeping with the thread here, his bike is probably a good urban street bike.
I think the KLR makes a very good base for an urban street bike in near stock form.
Probably the biggest areas for improvements are in the suspension and some more power.
whoosh
Kent what is an average cost to have the suspension setup for a KLR? What is the steps you take to make the corrections?
Since I ride 99% road I am interested in doing this to my KLR and I am sure there are others in the same situation. You are a few miles to far for me but there is a GMD COMPUTRACK shop close to Sacramento.
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