Simple, cheap and easy - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 33 Old 11-03-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
4th Gear
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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Simple, cheap and easy

While the title may suggest that this thread is about my ex-wife, I thought it might be useful to share some of the inexpensive and easy to do modifications which we have discovered.

Most of these will be done on KLR#2, thanks to planalp's mention of not positioning the slot in the clutch adjustment srew upward. Thanks very much for the mention as it got my mind working on simple mods to am making a list for KLR#2. I owe you lunch for gently getting me off my butt.

Here are a few of the ones I have either originated or learned about. Unfortunately, I have not documented the source so if have stolen one of your ideas, apologies offered.

1) Replace stop-tail bulb with #2357 which makes for a brighter brake light.

2) Silicone RTV used to glue a steel horsehoe shaped plate into the LH case inside shift lever travel. The suggestion was to reduce the chance of having the shifter head driven through the case in a fall/impact. Will look for a photo if someone wishes.

3) Replaced clutch cable by a Yamaha ATV cable. This required modification of the attached cable mounting or adjustment (it's been almost 10 years since did that one). The cable is much stronger and never did need replacing. Show me where to add "I'm an idiot!" to my signature as don't seem to have recorded the number.

4) Install switch to turn off high beam to save power when doing long slow trail riding. Since I ride with high beam on most of the time, experience has been that my high beam burns out first so low beam should be more reliable as back-up. I wanted to be able to instinctively switch the headlight on when meeting another machine on a trail so believe that hitting dimmer to low will be more instinctive.

5) Gut automatic garage door remote and solder push button to controller. Guts into sealed container and button out of sight in dash area. Nice to be able to roll up and open door rather than dig out keys.

6) Notch seat bolt hole and install spacer tubes onto bolts to allow seat to be removed and installed without doing bolts.

7) RTV siliconed alumimum plate to left side of radiator to increase resistance to side crushing. KLR#2 has HT guards so many not do.

8) Made pedal saver cables from salvaged bicycle cables.

Lots more but likely others have better ones...


HIH

Norm
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post #2 of 33 Old 11-04-2013, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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to #4 Try out the afrika cluster which I have on my KLR.

http://www.klr650.com/lightswitchassembly.htm


Crash
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post #3 of 33 Old 11-04-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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KLR#2 has that same switch pod! Thanks for the identification.

The price is very decent too. When I was doing the mods on my previous KLR, the only switch pod I could find was OEM Honda and the price went against my Welsh ancestry. (VBG)

I really like the simplicity of the Africa set-up and will suggest that to a couple of friends. When ever one throws out a modification thought, someone seems to have an improvement which was 1/2 of why I posted those mods.

Appreciated, Crashoveride!

Norm


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Originally Posted by Crashoverride View Post
to #4 Try out the afrika cluster which I have on my KLR.



Crash
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post #4 of 33 Old 11-05-2013, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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On the Gen one the pod can control the spare aux wires at the front because they are tired into the lights.

Or turn off all the lights while running to avoid zombies.


Crash
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-18-2013, 06:30 PM
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On Gen 2 bikes, at the very least, Re-route the Pink carburetor air vent hose.
Off the Top of the air box.
Better to go over the big frame tube and Down to the top of the shock.
Keeps wash water from possibly entering the carb.

Better yet, just do the "tee mod", one Longer hose up to the front fuel tank 'donut' bracket and T the existing hose down behind the engine.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-18-2013, 06:47 PM
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On ALL bikes and your cars and trucks. Hid a spare key.

I like to use a blob of RTV silicone to attach the HEAD of the spare key in a location accessible with few or Zero tools. Use masking tape to hold in-place while silicon cures. Check it occasionally.
I see Mine every time I service the air filter. Oops, don't borrow my bike!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 33 Old 11-18-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Did I mention an old friend mounted a spare key in a similar manner? Nice, secure hidden location. Only problem was that he couldn't get to the key without removing the seat, couldn't remove the seat without his tools and couldn't get to his tools because the other key for his pannier locks was on the ring he couldn't find. Of course, we only remind him of this periodically. Oh look! It's been almost 24 hours. He sulks when we ask him about the keys so assume that he has both keys in a new location.

Reminds me, no spare key hidden on KLR#2. Thanks for the reminder, pd!

I'd never live long enough to escape the reminders.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
On ALL bikes and your cars and trucks. Hid a spare key.

I like to use a blob of RTV silicone to attach the HEAD of the spare key in a location accessible with few or Zero tools. Use masking tape to hold in-place while silicon cures. Check it occasionally.
I see Mine every time I service the air filter. Oops, don't borrow my bike!
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post #8 of 33 Old 11-18-2013, 09:59 PM
OverDrive
 
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Location: Lander, Wyoming
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On a stock KLR any year, Quick chain slack check. NO lowering links.
Lift the bottom run of chain, If IT almost touches the rubber slider, perfect.
If it bends around the RH end of the rubber slider and almost touches metal, time to adjust, tighter, 1/2 turn of bolts or so.

If your chain is MORE than 1/8", from touching the rubber slider, IT IS TOO TIGHT!
This works for NO LOWERING Links.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #9 of 33 Old 11-19-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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As expected, some great additions such as the pink hose modification. One of my first rides on my new 2004 KLR was in the rain and the discovery of the mod. spared chasing what seemed to be a wet ignition gremlin. It's one of those no-brainer modifications, IMO.

Must mention the exhaust camshaft modification as this one is also cheap. The simple & easy part depend on context although this is certainly both simpler and easier than a valve adjustment. I'm very pleased with the improvement to my 1997. The torque is improved in the lower and mid-range as well as making for a quieter running engine. I notice less of the "knocking" sound from lugging in the 2,000 RPM range such as when using mild acceleration in 5th gear around town. (Yes, I know but was testing)

The engine runs smoother and has over 100 RPM higher idle speed. I guess the best way to describe the difference is to say that it used to run like it had a jumped timing chain. (VBG) We used to advance cam timing on 1970's and early 1980's V8's as a matter of course so forehead smacking that never bothered to try this out on a KLR just for interest. Oh, well it's easy to infer after the facts are known and this should never, ever reduce the laurels to the discoverer.
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post #10 of 33 Old 11-19-2013, 09:07 PM
OverDrive
 
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When checking the Torque of the Lower Rear engine mount, DO NOT ALLOW the head of the BOLT, on the LEFT hand side to TURN!

If the bolt head turns (counter-clockwise), IT usually DRAGS the Lower chain slider UP, out of place, off of the frame cross pipe.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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