Bought my first KLR, what next? - Page 3 - 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 #21 of 24 Old 04-04-2019, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 7
Thanks Dave for the detailed reply. At some point I suppose I’ll tear into it and make the mod. Sounds like I’ll be ok for awhile. Disappointing though. I didn’t come across this before buying. Heard nothing but positive reviews about the bike. - Mike
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post #22 of 24 Old 04-04-2019, 10:32 PM
Pretty in Pink, dunno why
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
Posts: 7,531
All bikes have flaws that are unique to the bike and seem to stay with the bike through years of production. Google "xr650 common issues", then replace "xr650" with "dr650". Heck, substitute any bike you want.

The KLR is infamous for the balancer lever, but it is really a rather minor and easily fixed at a reasonable cost. With reasonable care, these bikes will run trouble free for well over 100K miles. There is no bike that is better as a lightweight, inexpensive, off-road capable comfortable, good-looking in an awkward sort of way, touring-capable motorcycle.

You should look at Dpelletiers list stuff new owners need to be aware of.
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post #23 of 24 Old 04-05-2019, 10:08 AM
4th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,307
What Tom said. :-)

I suppose it's all in what you take away from my previous post but a Gen2 "doohickey" lever almost never breaks; yes the spring runs out of tension early but a person COULD remove the spring entirely and simply tension the lever by hand before tightening it down.....or just monitor the spring for tension and "intactness". The EM kit is a great thing and eliminates all concern for this part forever but it isn't strictly necessary, it just makes life easier.

On the plus side, despite this issue, the KLR is umatched and unrivaled in it's reliability and longevity. Maybe this will make you feel better about your purchase:

The KLR is generally an inexpensive bike designed in the 1980's which is relatively heavy and underpowered and is hampered by some budget components (suspension, bars, etc.) BUT it's also simple, reliable, long-lived, cheap, fun and easy to work on plus there are a plethora of suppliers and available parts to mould it into a better tool for whatever it is you want to do with it.

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post #24 of 24 Old 09-06-2019, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: South Australia
Posts: 3
A few more ideas for new owners.

Install some hand guards to save the levers. I use the solid ones. They clamp to the bars and go right around into the end of the bars. They are very sturdy and will save the levers most of the time.

If the bike is too upright on the stand get a shorter kickstand or cut/weld the current one. Because the OP's bike was lowered the kickstand is too long. So the bike is too upright and it won't take much to tip it. It may be possible to loosen it a bit to give a bit more play but this is only a short term solution.
Also look for a kickstand with a bigger 'foot' or end. The KLR is quite heavy and on dirt the kickstand can slowly sink into the ground and tip the bike.

Many thanks to DPelletier for the replacement tab link. A durable quick-fix is a strip of ally sheet a couple of inches long and a couple of bolts. Drill a couple of matching holes in the shroud and sheet and bolt them together. Bend the strip 90 degrees and bolt the other end to the bike. Not as pretty but it works. I also make a small nick or cut on either side of the 90 degree bend just to make sure it tears there and not where the shroud is bolted to it.

And the bike vibrates a lot. Every bolt you undo will work its way loose again. OK, it isn't quite that bad but when I first got mine I couldn't believe how much everything shakes loose. It is a good habit to check all the bolts fairly regularly, much more than you would on a car or multi-cylinder bike.

They are a great bike. Very rideable and reliable and very comfortable. Riding around on a sofa is how I describe it. Enjoy.
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