Off-road mods - 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 6 Old 01-30-2014, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Off-road mods

Anyone got suggestions of must have mods for taking KLR off the beaten track? If any of you go green laning, off road, on sand etc, what mods would you consider essential? Thanks again.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-30-2014, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by foofoo7777 View Post
Anyone got suggestions of must have mods for taking KLR off the beaten track? If any of you go green laning, off road, on sand etc, what mods would you consider essential? Thanks again.

Skid plate.

Low profile oil drain plug. Even with a skid plate the OEM plug hangs down below it. If it gets wacked hard the case will crack.

Hand guards. Not the wimpy plastic OEM ones. Ones that wrap around and attach at the grips. Ones with a solid metal bar are more sturdy. Not only will hand guards protect your hands when you smack into stuff but they protect the levers when you drop the bike.

If you're lowering the tire pressure quite a bit say <15lbs rim locks are a good idea. They will keep the tire from spinning on the rim and tearing the valve stem.

Uh... gear for you! Real off-road motorcycle boots, body protection i.e., shin guards/knee braces, elbow guards, etc. basically protect any area that would hurt when you hit the ground!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-30-2014, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that. Was thinking of ordering the Happy Trail Nerf bars and skid plate, seems like good all round protection. Was hoping the skid plate would go far enough back to cover drain plug ok.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-30-2014, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Skid plate.

Low profile oil drain plug. Even with a skid plate the OEM plug hangs down below it. If it gets wacked hard the case will crack.

Hand guards. Not the wimpy plastic OEM ones. Ones that wrap around and attach at the grips. Ones with a solid metal bar are more sturdy. Not only will hand guards protect your hands when you smack into stuff but they protect the levers when you drop the bike.

If you're lowering the tire pressure quite a bit say <15lbs rim locks are a good idea. They will keep the tire from spinning on the rim and tearing the valve stem.

Uh... gear for you! Real off-road motorcycle boots, body protection i.e., shin guards/knee braces, elbow guards, etc. basically protect any area that would hurt when you hit the ground!





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post #5 of 6 Old 01-31-2014, 03:12 AM
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Agree with Spec's recommendations above. An alternative to nerfs is an IMS plastic fuel tank; costs about the same as nerfs and engine guard, offers similar protection and increased fuel capacity/range.

I would highly recommend an aftermarket rear view mirror/choke lever perch; this accessory protects left-hand handlebar switchgear from mirror stem collateral damage in a fall, and relocates the choke lever to a more protected place. Ken Sean folding mirrors have a greater survivability quotient in a fall than the OEM products; also, these mirrors can be folded out of the way when riding off road.

Off-road or not, upgraded subframe bolts are worthwhile; either the four-bolt set, or the drill-through three-bolt kit.

If you ride a Generation 1 (and I think you do), and if any water crossings deeper than 10" are in your future, the Tee mod (redundant carb vent hose with opening high (e.g., under seat) on the bike), is essential. Otherwise, plan on a flame-out in the middle of the stream. (Please do not ask me how I know this prediction is valid!)

So, where are we? Proper aluminum bash plate (and Spec's low-profile oil drain plug sounds like a good idea), nerfs/engine guards or IMS plastic fuel tank, handguards (Tusk guards, with spoilers, are affordable and reasonably compatible with the KLR650; Rocky Mountain ATV/MC), Ken Sean mirrors tend to fold, not break), Tee mod, left rear view mirror/choke lever relocation bracket, upgraded subframe bolts . . . you're ready for the Dakar Rally, foofoo!

Oh, yes; extreme suspension flexing often results in the rear tire trying to eat the license plate; might want to consider relocating the tag out of harm's way.

AND, if you ride at night, I'd recommend upgrading the headlight lamp with the TPI product; ideally, with the TPI relay harness; or, other lighting upgrade.

Obviously, tires (or, "tyres," if you prefer!) are critical for off-road riding. Depending upon the severity of the terrain you plan to cover, you might want go from 50/50 dualsport tires (like Kenda K270s) to "DOT" knobbies (like Kenda TrakMaster IIs). Many treads available, many varieties of riding surfaces (e.g., rocky/sandy/muddy/etc.).

Last edited by Damocles; 01-31-2014 at 03:20 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-31-2014, 11:36 AM
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foo foo777

Great list of suggestions from everyone. Safety is #1, get all the safety gear you can and wear it.

Now for the mods

1. Suspension: the KLR 650 is heavy and will dump you because the front suspension will collapse as soon as you ask it to do anything, like turning.

Larry Roesler progressive front end springs work well and are designed for the KLR 650. $79.00

The rear suspension is up to you. Cogent Dynamics is the top choice in my book. The rear shock will save your butt many times off road. I rode many years with just a bigger spring on the stock shock.

2. Gear ratio is one of the best mods for off road. For real you need a 14T front sprocket to go on single track. A 14T will allow you to go "slow" enough to tackle the tight trails. 15T mild off road, 16t fire roads.

3. Tires: For real off road Dunlop D606's front and rear. I get 4000 miles out of a set. I also keep my road speed under 65 mph, mostly 50 mph

Good luck
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