Gen 1 FORK BOOTS - 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 pdwestman
  • 1 Post By pdwestman
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-20-2018, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,168

As I'm sure that you all know, the OEM GEN 1 fork boots are pricey, but they do fit the best!

The Daystar 58 series boots come close, but the upper legs actually rub the interior of most of the pleats all the way up & down.
They also have a collapsed stack height that actually is too tall, unless slid down to the 1st pleat on the lower leg. This makes the interior of the pleats even tighter on the upper legs at full extension!

This brings me to the Polisport Brand,
Click on the Tapered Blue Boots!

The 250 x 32 x 60 - 20 pleat model is way too short. The 350 x 41 x 58 - 28 pleat model is too long.

The Gen 1 KLR fork boots are 330 mm (13 inches) at full extension and must compress 230 mm (9 inches) of stroke.
The fully collapsed stack height of an OEM boot is about 110 mm, with about 25 mm of that being mounted down on the top of the lower leg. There is only about 5 mm of Unused fork boot travel with the front forks properly mounted in the triple clamps.
When people slide the forks up thru the triple clamps to lower the bike the fork boots actually 'coil-bind' which keeps the front tires from rubbing the front fenders.

The Polisport 350 x 41 x 58 - 28 pleat model have a compressed stack height of about 140 mm! Too tall to fit!
What to do, what to do???

I wound up using a razor knife to cut the bottom 5 pleats & the mounting flange off of the bottom of the Polisport 350 mm - 28 pleat fork boots. That is 70 mm of their free length, but more importantly about 35 mm of their compressed stack height.
Then I used 2 wraps of stainless safety wire between the 23rd & 22nd pleat to squeeze down into the lower fork leg mounting groove.

"Now wait a minute, you say 350 minus 70 = 280 length, ain't that too short?" Correct, but they will easily extend to the 330 mm which is required.

Next issue,
When clamped & wired to the fork legs and then quickly compressed, the Polisport boots would 'balloon out' because they only had six, 2mm air vent holes spaced vertically up the lower 12 pleats and I had removed two of them.
I wound up using a red hot welding rod to melt seven, 1/8th inch holes above the bottom safety wire on the back half (similar to oem), to eliminate the ballooning.
Tom Schmitz likes this.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
pdwestman is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-21-2018, 09:48 AM
5th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,609
Post a pic. I ended up buying OEM ones because I thought the Daystar ones looked cheap/silly .....yeah, I know; I'm the only one that cares what my KLR's look like! LOL

DPelletier is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 12-21-2018, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,168
Sorry Dave, I didn't even take any pics. Worse yet I don't know how to load them into this 'puter. And I kinda' really don't wanta' learn ta'.
Because if I learned ta' I'd really become a post-a-holic.

Did you click on the links & click on the Tapered Blue Polisports? I tried to find better pics, but couldn't readily.

About 15-20 years ago I called DayStar and tried to get them to specifically make a Gen 1 series fork boot. He said, "takes about $30K set up for each size"!
But they were making Yamaha PW80 boots! Do we suppose they ever re-couped that $30K? I still say that statement was bogus.

May be we ALL Ought to call DayStar and reguest either or both Gen 1 & Gen 2 fork boots, depending on which we are riding!

Maybe motorcycles are just the ugly step-children side of their business these days.
DPelletier likes this.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 12-21-2018 at 02:31 PM. Reason: added phone # & link
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