suspension swap GEN1 vs GEN2 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

  • 1 Post By DPelletier
  • 1 Post By barty
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-03-2017, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4
suspension swap GEN1 vs GEN2

Hi There,

Sorry to rush in like that. I bought gen1 klr650 a while ago, as we speak I'm overhauling the entire bike. They are difficult to find here.
Some of the things that bother me are suspension and brakes.

I'd like to swap the entire swingarm and front suspension from a gen 2 from 2012. Does anybody have any experience with this as to what is going to be altered or modified.

I noticed that I would have to sort out the brakes, I'm not sure if diameter is the same, neither I know if the wheels will fit.

The klr is first generation 1987.

All input is welcome.
cheers Bart

btw I'm from Belgium
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-03-2017, 11:24 AM
5th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,810
Hi Bart.

I actually prefer the Gen1 suspension. Both need upgrading but that's a different subject.....the Gen1 has 9.1" of travel front and rear, the Gen2 has 7.9" front and 7.3" rear, not a good change for offroad use!

The Gen2 forks are slightly larger diameter (39mm vs. 41mm), the brake rotor is larger (280mm vs. 250mm) and the caliper is a twin piston unit, all of these things are positive though the differences aren't huge. IIRC the differences in the triple clamps will cause issues trying to use the Gen1 gauges or cowl.

On the rear, the caliper is twin piston vs. single and the chain adjusters are nicer.....again, nominal differences though it is an upgrade.

If it was my bike, I'd do the swingarm upgrade (assuming the parts can be had cheaply) but I'd use the Gen1 linkage and dogbones to keep the rear travel at 9.1".

On the front, I'd keep the Gen1 forks and do the same upgrades I've done to my Gen1's; Cogent Dynamics DDC kit c/w springs, EM fork brace, 320mm rotor, SV caliper, Eaglemike SV caliper adaptor, SS brake lines (all available from Eagle Mfg & Eng except the used Suzuki SV caliper (ebay).

If you google "Alpheus 1999 KLR650" you'll find info on a Gen1 with the Gen2 suspension swap (as well as other things)

2 cents,
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-03-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4
Thanks Dave for the exellent advice. I'll do my research on what you've wrote.

Great forum already!
cheers Bart
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-30-2018, 09:45 AM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 227
I was thinking about going in the other direction. Gen1 swingarm on Gen2. I want to stretch the swingarm 6" and the Gen1 seems easier. I'm pretty sure extension kits will fit as well.
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