How to improve your KLR650 - 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 18 Old 04-07-2008, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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How to improve your KLR650

If you want to improve your bike in about five minutes at absolutely no expense just remove those ugly ass hand guards.

If you have a lick of sense you wear gloves every time you ride so there is no practical benefit to those awesomely ugly hand guards.

The real bad thing about them is they catch so much wind and they are mounted on the ends of the bars where they get leverage to sway the bike all over the place so you have to constantly be correcting it just to stay on your line.

Take an 8mm end wrench for the bottom nuts and a 10mm socket for the top bolts and do yourself a big favor and remove them.

I bet that very few people who try this do not notice the improvement in both looks and performance and reverse course to put them back on.

While you are at it you can remove the passenger pegs if you know that you will not be riding any passengers. Weight is the enemy of performance.

And lube your chain once in a while. Actually it is probably more accurate to say that you are lubing the interface between the chain and the sprockets but you get the idea. Most any form of lubricant will do. If you are a cheapskate like me get a can of spray lube from your local dollar store or use used motor oil if you have to. I use some BelRay stuff but when it runs out I will probably use something cheaper. Few things look worse on a bike than a dry chain and rear sprocket.

And lastly, if you wear out the tires without ever having done much off of the road riding replace them with street tread tires that will last three times longer.
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 06:24 PM
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Sounds like good advice. Tho I did put my handguards back on, didn't like all the wind against my hands and arms, but to compensate, I took off that ugly front fender that is a huge sail and installed an acerbis. Love at first ride. No more front end movement with wind and looks so much better. But then again, looks are in the eye of the beholder....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 #3 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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The hand guards are uglier than sin. That is reason enough.

I do not need a wind tunnel to tell me that they are a detriment to street riding, where 95%+ of KLR650 miles are ridden.

But on the plus side they do make the bike look bigger and more substantial if that is the look that some owners crave.

No big deal either way. They come off in a couple of minutes and they can go back on in a couple more minutes.

To each their own.

I am more interested in knowing the benefits/waste of time ratio of inline gasoline filters and the PCV valve modification.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 07:32 PM
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I've got an inline filter. Not sure about it being a waste of time, but it has to have some benefits of catching crap that might get into the tank or is in the fuel. From what I have read, the PCV mod is a plus, helping to remove internal pressure from under the piston and the engine not having to work as hard, plus less oil consumption due to less force pushing the oil up past the rings. Am thinking it will be something I do in the near future. I just got to find the correct MB valve.

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 #5 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 08:28 PM
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I havent tried my bike without them but I do know they keep the wind off your gloves in cold riding and helps keep the roost off in the woods. I am not much worried about the looks department, if I was I would still have my HD. Way better to stare at then the KLR. WHo knows, maybe I can find a local chrome plater and chrome plate my hand guards, chain guard, handlebars, oh theres so much to do. lol

07 KLR 650 Silver/Black
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 08:30 PM
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Hand Guards

Good thought, they are ugly and will have to try removing them, however I will wait until the weather warms up considerably. As it stands warmth is more important than looks this tiime of year in Canada.

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post #7 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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As long as I was removing the oil and filter and removing the hand guards (which I know are not as bad as I make them out to be) I thought about removing the mirrors to get that enduro look but common sense overwhelmed me and I left the mirrors in place.

My goal is to take most all of the bike apart and paint all of the plastic bits other than the windscreen red and have me a monochrome bike except for a couple of parts that I will leave black such as the underpan and the windscreen bezel.

I do not much care for the orangey-red that Kawasaki uses but they know more about it than I do.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 10:25 PM
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If you remove the ugly ass stock guards then you can put on some nice brush guards that might save your knuckles as you off road.

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post #9 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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That is fine advice and I appreciate it but I do not do much off road. If I ever do try the off road I will probably be going about 10MPH in first gear and will not need brush guards anyhow.
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-07-2008, 10:40 PM
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Just saying, solid guards to protect and I'm not just talking about trees and shrubery. Even a droped bike can result in a broken clutch or break lever. But a good set of hand guards can keep that from happening.

*** KLR650, Tweeting long before your kids thought it was cool.

ADVFilmer videos of trails, reviews and other dual sport related stuff. http://www.youtube.com/user/advfilmer
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