Got a Free* KLR - 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 7 Old 05-01-2017, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 22
Got a Free* KLR

Hello everybody,
just adopted this 2002 model C klr, 37k miles, was gifted to me by a friend.

I've been going trough the endless list of mods I could do since I got it,
but it really needs some minor touch up to go back on the road.

I'm currently looking for a front master cylinder/ brake lever,
I've seen that there's a fairly decent selection for it for the same price a stock brake comes,
what would be the best bolt-on option I should go for considering the disk and caliper are stock?
I've read about people mounting an ER-5 or even Ninja 250 master cylinder.

I've also been trying to bring back a bit of the liveliness to the fairing,
I started by sanding (320-500-1500) and then a few pass of buffing wheel,
pretty decent result but still kinda dull compared to the original finish.

Original polish:
Buffed side:

I'm thinking about trying the meguiar Plast X to see if I can bring a bit more polish to it.

I've already had the chance to try the bike for a couple of day long rides,
and the only gripe I had with it is the vibration, 20 minutes after getting off the bike the delirium tremens kicked in.
I was planning to get a pair of softer gel grips and maybe install a balancer set,
but taking off the grips to change the throttle cables I realized there's a weight welded in the handlebar that goes about the lenght of a hand inside, rest of the bar is empty.


I think this is counterproductive in terms of vibration reduction,
so I'm figuring out if I can just heli coil the weight and put a balancer on,
otherwise I'll probably get a new handlebar.

Whole piece:

That's about it for the mis en scene,
I'm gonna try it for 500 miles and see how the oil consuption is like,
then I'll see if I can afford modding something else.

Do you guys have any suggestion for grips (or anyting that can reduce vibration really)
and polishing the soft plastic of the fairing?

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-01-2017 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Turn links into pictures
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-01-2017, 05:13 PM
5th Gear
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,705
Your bike, but . . . I've found a 320 mm rotor and front braided brake line improved brake operation sufficiently to the level of, "adequate," on my Generation 1 (so scored by me) with stock master cylinder.

Don't think stock earlier KLR650s had handlebar weights, but you can add 'em, put in a BAR SNAKE, fill with lead shot, etc. ATV High Bend handlebars seem popular KLR650 mods.

My suggestion; ride the bike, "as is" for some miles; your modification priority list should materialize in your own mind.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-01-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 22
The bike already has a braided line, my friend a brembo master cylinder on it wich he kept to install on his new bike.
I remember the braking power felt more than adequate when I tried it, I wonder how it'll feel with a stock lever.
A 320mm rotor would be the most effective way to improve braking no doubt, but for now it's more economical to get the master cylinder,
and necessary actually because it doesn't have one atm.

The handlebar is no doubt aftermarket, I guess it'd be wise to try a new pair of grips first and the the balancer later.

Yeah the plan is to ride it as is for at least a month of two to get a feel of it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-01-2017, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,471
There is No Need to use a Heli-coil to mount an Additional bar weight. Just center the bar weight on the existing bar and use a bolt sized drill bit to make a Center Point in the Standard Bar Weight. Use an appropriate drill size to bore a hole for I'd guess a 8mm x 1.25p mounting bolt for the additional bar weight or an aluminum & plastic lever Guard.

Too tight of drive chain (looking at your pic) can make an Incredible Amount of vibration in the handlebars!
The drive chain Needs to be Loose Enough to raise the bottom run UP, to be able touch the rearward tip of the rubber under slider.

Pro-Grip #714, 'Soft Touch' Rally grips are fairly popular.

After investigating the drive chain slack, what do you know about the infamous Doo-Hickey?
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-02-2017, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 22
I tought the weights might have been made of a soft metal,
but now that i scratched some paint off I think it might be steel, so you're right, I could do that without the heli coil.

I just checked the chain slack, the bottom run does touch the plastic piece of the chain cover.

I've also just found out the current grips are Ariete off-road KX pro race,
can't find any review at them moment, but considering they're 3x the price of the pro-grips I'll hold on to them for a bit.

As for the Doo-Hickey, I wouldn't know enough about it to do it myself, but my friend sure did:

He also installed valve cartridge emulators in the front springs, did the 22 cent mod to the carburetor
and adapted an eagle fork brace to fit this european model.
He's also sending me a spare carburetor with a Klx needle, pretty hands-on guy.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-02-2017, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,471
I inscribe "Doo Done" above the doo-hickey locking bolt with an electric engraver.
Remove the plastic flywheel plugs and turn the engine CCW to TDC and loosen the doo-hickey locking bolt 1-2 turns. Re-snug the locking bolt, preferably with a small torque wrench to 80 INCH pounds or equivalent. Re-install plugs. Repeat every 5000-10,000km.

Loose or even Not Quite Tight engine mounts can allow excess engine movement / vibration.
Be Certain to hold the head of the lower rear engine mount bolt by the LH footrest & engine sprocket, while tightening the nut on the RH side. If the Bolt Head rotates counter-clockwise it usually twists the bottom chain slider UP against the drive chain, creating vibration and fouling chain slack.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-11-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 22
I haven't got around to check the engine mounts yet, but I'll be sure to do it as soon as I can test ride it,
I wanna be able to tell the difference in vibration once I've done that.

At the moment I'm on the look for a master cylinder still,
I can't find any for the 2002's model, only tengais and '88 models, wich may be adequate but they're not in very good conditions.

I've found a few er-5 and ninja 250 master cylinders in great conditions for a third of the price of the ones above,
I've read the ninja 250 should have a smaller bore piston, but the er-5 should be 12mm like the klr's (can find any definitive specs on this).
They should be fine as long as the piston bore is close enough and it fits the handlebar right?
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