Newbie looking for some advice - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie looking for some advice

Hi everyone. New to both the site and to the klr game as well. Just bought a 2008 a week ago. So far I love it. I want to kit this bike out to be able to take on some decent length rides as well as be able to handle some light off road riding. I know it can be done stock, but what are the mods that should be done to make life a bit easier? I have been told for reliability I should leave the motor carb and exhaust stock? is this a valid theory or just one mans oppinion? The previous owner already has almost everything happy trail offers installed, the aluminum panniers, skidplate, highway bars, Lg rear rack, sub frame upgrade. Also i believe it has a 16 tooth front sprocket on it. My concerns are with breaking stuff on a ride from an off while riding in the dirt or gravel. Should tank protection be a concen? will it hit when dropped? Also who makes the best handguards to protect the levers from damage? Basically I just do not know what should be done from here. It seems all the basic stuff is already on it but where should my next step be? Thanks all.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 09:44 AM
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Welcome aboard.

Mechanically I would do the 22 cent mod and the doohickey. A search will clue you in to those.

For the rest there are a number of hand guards out there and as many opinions. I have the Maier Pro hand guards and like them . Also like the Acerbis.

Tank protection is also up to you. It certainly helps but it also adds weight.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Happy trails also has the nerf bar kit which extends around the lower fairings and tank. Nothing can promise no damage when you dump one. I saw a post somewhere about hand guards that have a heavy metal frame supporting them. That my be what you want.
Remember this isn't a dirt bike that has lights on it. This was designed to do many things, thus compromises were made.

What you really need to do now is ride it and enjoy it. As you say, the po has done much of the work for you.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 AM
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This will come across as smart ass-y, but I mean it with the utmost of sincerity.....ride that bike a thousand miles, and it will tell you what it needs. Or your butt will.

You have a valid concern about advice and opinions on internet forums. We have some people that can not fathom that someone could buy or try something different than they have invested their buck or time in. For some, transferring a motorcycle title into their name brings with it phenomenal mechanical insights and riding skills, that some of us, the lessor developed of the species, gain through wearing out tires and trial and error wrenching. On that note, I'm one of those who believes that the modest gains one might realize from going to after market exhausts and air boxes is offset by problems and constant need for tweaking.

If I ever found a 20% increase in usable performance, you'd have to spray repellent on those items to keep me away from them. I've taken some bikes that were "improved" at a time the owners wallet was fatter. When the world went on "lean", and the bike was a pain in the ass to even run to the Post Office, let alone around the world, the bikes were converted back to stock for reliability. Some of these "problems" are due to the after market component selected for the upgrade, some is attributed to the installation. We have some meticulous tinkerers in our midst that find peace, love and understanding through their upgrades, and I believe their experience is real and valid. It just isn't real consistent across the board out there, meaning these upgrades don't work well for everyone. The rider at 600 foot elevation isn't going to need the modifications that might benefit a rider at 7500 feet elevation. Dropping a number of Benjamin's to experience a 1.148% increase in appreciable performance........sorry, I can't get on board with this one.

Welcome to this forum. I hope you'll find open mindedness and support in what ever it is you want to do to your bike. This is not the forum that labels parts or procedures as "wrong". We may end up setting next to you in the jail cell, saying "I think I saw this coming", but we won't tell you or anyone else they "can't".

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ďmany a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceasedĒ- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
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[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
This will come across as smart ass-y, but I mean it with the utmost of sincerity.....ride that bike a thousand miles, and it will tell you what it needs. Or your butt will.

You have a valid concern about advice and opinions on internet forums. We have some people that can not fathom that someone could buy or try something different than they have invested their buck or time in. For some, transferring a motorcycle title into their name brings with it phenomenal mechanical insights and riding skills, that some of us, the lessor developed of the species, gain through wearing out tires and trial and error wrenching. On that note, I'm one of those who believes that the modest gains one might realize from going to after market exhausts and air boxes is offset by problems and constant need for tweaking.

If I ever found a 20% increase in usable performance, you'd have to spray repellent on those items to keep me away from them. I've taken some bikes that were "improved" at a time the owners wallet was fatter. When the world went on "lean", and the bike was a pain in the ass to even run to the Post Office, let alone around the world, the bikes were converted back to stock for reliability. Some of these "problems" are due to the after market component selected for the upgrade, some is attributed to the installation. We have some meticulous tinkerers in our midst that find peace, love and understanding through their upgrades, and I believe their experience is real and valid. It just isn't real consistent across the board out there, meaning these upgrades don't work well for everyone. The rider at 600 foot elevation isn't going to need the modifications that might benefit a rider at 7500 feet elevation. Dropping a number of Benjamin's to experience a 1.148% increase in appreciable performance........sorry, I can't get on board with this one.

Welcome to this forum. I hope you'll find open mindedness and support in what ever it is you want to do to your bike. This is not the forum that labels parts or procedures as "wrong". We may end up setting next to you in the jail cell, saying "I think I saw this coming", but we won't tell you or anyone else they "can't".
Agreed, very well put.

Kurt

Mind over Matter:
If you don't mind, then it don't matter!

Def. of a man:
We spend 9 months trying to get out and the rest of our lifes trying to get back in!\
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 03:36 PM
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Yup. Good one, brother.




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post #7 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Ive ordered a sargent seat, led tail light, msr wide footpegs, msr waterproof fenderpack for some tool storage, zero gravity touring windscreen, a clock battery gauge and temp gauge in one bar setup, stainless brake lines front and rear, as well as some leds to back light the instrument cluster. I am still debating on which hand guards to get. Also looking into some of the mods suggested, such as the 22 cent mod. Im not sure if shimming the needle is better or just to get the klx needle ive been hearing about. I want to get ahold of the previous owner to see if he maybe did the doo, since he was pretty into his klrs, before spending the money. The other thing I have noticed riding it is that it likes to track when on the road. If that front tire catches a groove its following it unless i really fight it. Im not sure if thats a bike characteristic or just crappy tires. It has some avons on it now. My other concern is that when 2 up the rear shock is just too soft. even when fully preloaded. So im thinking that has to go but thats money and im not sure if its a must change right this moment. Its not really a 2 up motorcycle anyway and having a passenger is not very frequent. I think once these parts are in and installed ill be very pleased with it. But does anyone see something im overlooking? Ive heard about the klrdash.com windscreen riser and dash kit. Anyone have this? good? bad? indifferent?
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-26-2011, 09:52 PM
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I would look into replacing the balancer lever tensioning spring....when convenient. I'm not aware of any doohickeys failing on the Gen II ['08 and newer] bikes. It is a solution for a problem that it appears the factory has addressed.... There have been enough tension springs found not doing their job that it would be prudent to upgrade this item. We are now into the fourth year of production on this Gen II bike, and if the doohickeys were grenading engines, I can reasonably assure you the screams would world 'round the world. I can safely say the scream would be incessant.

As far as agonizing over the "right" hand guards, keep in mind that the handlebars these guards will attach to were made and supplied by the lowest bidder that could meet the minimum requirements on a bike that has a retail profit margin equivalent to a mid-grade BBQ grill. The handlebars will collapse before the hand guards exceed their design limits.

Some riders are finding suspension improvement by adding a load / weight designed shock spring. It won't make you think you're riding a 990 Adventure, but it will improve your suspension. The stock shock and spring were set up for naked welter weights. Anything over welter weight, and you have suspension issues. Here's an example of what is available out there:

http://www.topgunmotorcycles.com/KLR...lrsprings.html

******
ďmany a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceasedĒ- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
[IMG]http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww187/vatrader01/KLR%20mechanical/04e28c5e.jpg[/IMG]

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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