Question About What The Mechanic Said.. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-25-2006, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Question About What The Mechanic Said..

Hey, guys...I have a 2008 KLR on order and I was told by the Kaw wrench at my dealership (my first KLR) that we should leave the front forks alone when the bike comes in and not raise it to it's specified height. He said it wouldn't affect the handling, performance, etc. and that I could put my feet flat on the ground.

I know it sounds dumb, but they are a reputable dealership, everyone's super friendly and I don't know doodly about that.

Any reputable discussion is appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-25-2006, 07:10 PM
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I don't know what he's be smoking but it will affect the handling if he's talking about leaving the forks in the shipping position. It would handle okay for trail riding but would tend to feel a little squirelly at highway speeds.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-25-2006, 07:53 PM
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The bike is designed for the forks to be raised.

The bike is also designed for the stock dog bones, but many have changed them to lower the bike. Sometimes when the links,"dog bones" are changed to lower the seat height, people will raise the forks to lower the front of the bike as much as they have lowered the back of the bike.

I wouldn't consider lowering the front of the bike without lowering the back. On the other hand I lhave the back of mine lowered, but the front is in the "correct" (stock) position.

BUT.........the 08 has a diffrent suspension than the 07 or below, so without knowing what changes Kawasaki has made to it no one would know how it would effect the handeling.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-27-2006, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks muchos, guys. I'm going to have the bike set up per factory specs...if it's too tall, too bad.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-01-2007, 12:50 AM
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Agree with almost everything except...lowering forks.

Start out with the fork tubess set to stock specs. If you are riding off-road don't do anything different other than upgrading the fork springs to a progressive fork spring and changing the fork oil to what your needs are and what you are willing to risk. If you are riding mostly road and want to add more weight on the front wheel then you can raise the fork tube in the triple clamps. Again make the change to what you are willing to risk. The more your raise the fork tubes in the triple clamps the less frame clearance you have. Make sure the tire does not rub any part of your KLR when it is fully compressed. This can be accomplished by draining the fork oil and compressing the forks. Now you can add new fresh clean fork oil.

I raised the fork tubes in the triple clamps by .8" and definitely felt a difference. The KLR felt more stable. The frontend was a bit sluggish (not much) though entered corners better and held a better line while in a corner. I changed it to .3" and could tell the handling was returning toward stock. I changed it to stock specs and it feels like a KLR. Now I am ready to chnage the fork oil and return the forks tubes to being raised .8". I have heard of the fork tubes being raised much more than .8" but I am not suggesting any amount or any changes. This should be your experiement.


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2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-06-2007, 03:12 PM
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Location: East Bay, CA
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This is a confusing topic, but the way I see it is that by letting the tubes up through the clamps you are effectively decreasing the rake angle / trail. This will lead to less straight-line stability and more "responsiveness" (some would call it "twitchiness"). To what extent? I'm not sure. Tim notices it w/o any equivocation.

I'd say go with factory specs and then change it later if you feel like it. I'm also inclined to not adjust the front or rear independently of one another, but then again I don't have nearly the experience most people here have.

And there are always seats to lower the reach to the ground!
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-28-2007, 10:35 PM
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Klr is low enough with the forks flush.
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