Rear Taillight Mod - 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 37 Old 11-28-2007, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Taillight Mod

Just thought I would pass along some pics of our latest mods on my 07 and my buddies 05. We had deliberated removing and putting a smaller set of lights on the back so that saddle bags or a large Wolfman Alpha bag wouldn't get in the way. What we ended up doing was taking the rear lights and putting them on the front, due to the fact they are roughly an inch to an inch and a half shorter, therefore keeping the front turn signals tucked in a lil closer to the fairing. We took the front lights and cut off the stalk until about an inch was left attached to the signal housing. We then removed the lens and guts from the housing as the wiring gets routed to a different area. The stalk is drilled out enough to accept an 8mm bolt that will go down thru the very back two bolts that hold the rear rack on. We also drilled out the threads in the rack allowing the 'longer' bolts to slide all the way down into the light housing. This holds the housing now up under the rack out of the way. Simply use a washer and nut with some blue loc-tite. On the back of the signal housing is a dimple that looks like could be used to route wiring on a different bike or application. I drilled a hole large enuff to let the light bulb socket wiring slide thru. No wires are cut, all original wiring is used, as well as the original connector ends. The wires simply goes back thru the same hole in the side of the rear fender that they did originally, and you hook them back up the same way. Some may like this, and some may not. It suits us well and we have been quite happy with the results.
Here are some pics I took today before our trip. They're not detailed but you can get a good idea of how it was done.





the shorter front signals now. These were the actual rear units.


My buddies new side bags and his lights moved

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #2 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 07:48 PM
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Very nice!! I've been kicking around hard luggage and would need to do this mod if I go forward with a set of Happy Trails. Problem is, that Alpha bag does everything I need..
Decisions decisions..
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post #3 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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LOL life of a KLR owner...Decision, decisions...........

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #4 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Nice

That looks factory!
I've been kicking around relocating my tailights as well since they get in the way of my bag.

My dad relocated his after he mounted to penguin cases to the rear of his bike, he drilled holes in the rear fender and mounted his lights there with a big fender washer on the inside (sorry no pic handy), but this looks way cleaner.
Any reason you couldn't just cut down the rear lights?

I'm still not entirely clear on how you attached the lights to the longer 8mm bolt - but maybe if I take mine off tonight I can figure out how
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post #5 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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You can use the rear lights if you want, we just also wanted to have the front lights a lil shorter, not sticking out so far. The rear's are a lil shorter than the fronts. I can try and get some more pics tomorrow and show you in better detail what we did. I didn't have the camera when we did the mod, as usual, lol.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #6 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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This shows where I cut the stalk, and drilled a hole in the housing in the rear to reroute the wires. A sawzall works great for cutting the stalk. You need to remove the lens and pull the wires and bulb housing out of the signal housing before you start cutting and drilling. Once inside you will see there is a nut on a threaded part of the stalk that the wires go thru. This is the part that you need to drill out to accept a bolt that will go down thru the rear rack to hold the light on. I say 8 mm bolts, but am referring to the size socket that is needed to use on the bolt, we used the exact same size bolts that are in the rack, just longer. Don't forget to drill out the threads in the rack so the bolt can slide thru. On the rear of the signal housing is a dimple. This is where I drilled for the wires to go thru. You will notice when you pull the wires out from inside the housing, there is a rubber grommet the wires go thru. Save this. When I ran the wires out of the new hold I slid the grommet down the wires and pulled it into the new hole with needle nose pliers. This grommet helps make this waterproof. After you have the wires run and the grommet installed and bulb housing re-installed it is time to put the signal housing on the rear rack. Run the longer bolt down thru the rack and thru the cut off stalk. Slide wide shoulder washer on and I used a nylock nut so it wouldn't back off with the vibrations. Tighten, but just enough to keep it from being able to move. reinstall the bulb and the lense. I routed the wires back thru the origanal factory holes in the side of the fender and hooked them back up to the factory wiring. That is all there was too it. It took maybe an hour and a half of time to do all this.


2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #7 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 11:42 AM
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Curious about the holes in the exhaust.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #8 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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A preventative act to keep the nasty tweety sound from coming from my exhaust. So far it is working. Do a search for 'tweety'. A lot of KLR's will get a sound much like that of old volkswagons thru the exhaust. My buddies 05 has it somewhat now, but not as bad since drilling the holes and splitting the screen inside the exhaust hole with a long screwdriver.

Exhaust

Why does my bike sound like an old VW?
This is affectionately known as "tweety," and can happen to bikes anytime after a few thousand miles. It seems to appear earlier on bikes that are ridden on a lot of short trips, thereby allowing condensation to remain in the muffler. It also seems to be traced to clogging of the spark arrestor system. The noise is merely an annoyance; it will not damage your engine. Aside from replacing the exhaust system, you can try to fix it:

Take a huge straightblade screwdriver (like 12" shaft), and sharpen the end with a file. Look in the end of the exhaust, there is a small perforated pipe running from the opening to about 8" inside. It has a seam on the bottom (6:00 position) that may already be split open. Using the screwdriver and a hammer, drive the screwdriver into and along the seam, opening it up to within 1" of the end. Start the motor and listen for tweety. If it's still there, make another lengthwise slit at the 12:00 position, start the motor and check. Some people have had to make four slits (at 90 degree intervals) to fix the tweet.

Drilling holes in the end also seems to help some.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #9 of 37 Old 12-23-2007, 01:13 PM
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just performed signal light move as described. it went very easy with no problems. i really like the rear light location and the shorter front signals. the only thing i had to do was 2 washers on each front signal to take up space for the through bolt to the frame. thanks for the great idea.
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-23-2007, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Rob, thanks for the reminder of the washers, I knew I would forget something. Yes a couple of washers are needed for the rear signals to mount to the front locations. My bad.

Oh yeah...show us some pics!!

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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Last edited by DXKLR; 12-23-2007 at 03:46 PM.
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