Let me guess, you're a data analyst?
Heard of analysis paralysis?
Change the spring out at least, do the .22 mod, go ride.
I'm about as far from a data analyst as you can get. Maybe kind of an amateur social psychologist. I went with the EM lever and torsion spring on my '09 two years ago. So, the question remains: If I've already done it, why am I asking about it?
At least a few folks expressed interest in the subject since they were considering what route to take with their own machines. While there are a lot of gurus on this site, there also seem to be quite a few first-time owners and new riders that come here for advice who, if they have even learned the balancer lever can be an issue in the KLR, might not realize there's an "improved" lever in the newer ones. So, that's one reason.
It's interesting to see the "whys" involved when people choose and do their mods. I think a lot of it depends on how long you plan to keep your bike. Mine? It will be the last motorcycle I'll ever own, so I try to plan accordingly based on the best info I can get, or what I believe to be the best info to make it last longer than me. Funny, I don't seem to take the same measures to make sure I last as long as the KLR.
Some people buy, sell and trade bikes on a regular basis. Probably no point in upgrading a doohickey if you're only planning on keeping the bike for a couple of years. There may be a reason to put an aftermarket exhaust and kit on it if you get your money back plus some when you sell it. A lot of people will pay more for a used bike with obvious "performance improvements." Not knocking the exhausts, but they're a change that is readily seen and look good and, I think, suggest to a lot of folks that the bike (or even car with one on it) is "better than stock," thus "worth more."
In the case of elfigalaxie, I believe it was, if you've got a 5-year warranty on the bike, why bother with the doohickey? If you've still got the thing when the warranty is about to expire and you're going to keep it, why not just open it up then and check it out? The only thing with that is, would you have to prove you've kept the balancer adjusted per the manual throughout those five years? Would you need documents from a dealer stating they'd performed the adjustment at the stated intervals? I'm not even sure how often it's supposed to be done. I do mine every other oil change, so about every 2,000 miles.
I also am interested in how "proof" and "facts" steer people. Has anybody seen an instance of a GenII balancer unit failing? If there are no reported failures, aside from people finding springs that apparently are no longer functioning, does that mean there is still a problem? Is it possible they were non-functioning because adjustments weren't made, or improperly made, or no "adjustment" ever occurred because something was bound up inside, even when the "outside procedure" was done correctly? If everything is working as it should, there's no way to tell if an adjustment really worked or not from the outside unless the chain WAS loose and was noted to be much quieter after the adjustment. Then you could assume it worked, I guess.
My opinion, at this point, is that even though the GenII "balancer assembly" is "improved," the spring is still the weak point, even though I've heard no instances of a failure with severe consequences in a GenII KLR, just a few noted instances of people who found springs that seem to be non-functioning and even then, maybe 4-5 reports, tops.
But, even with a spring that stays in place, but offers no adjustment, the assembly could hold up for a lot of miles before resulting problems occur and maybe none of these unmodded GenII bikes have racked up enough miles on an unchanged and non-functioning balancer spring if they happen to have one to where there's a big-time failure.
And then there's the lever. Are the aftermarket levers proven to be any more durable and reliable than the stock GenII lever? There seems to be no denying this in the earlier model KLR's, but how about the new ones? Anybody compared any critical dimensions on the aftermarket lever to see if it "fits" better, which seems to be its biggest attraction rather than strength?
Another reason is that I like to see how people think because I am on the forefront of developing and producing a modification to the KLR (both GenI and GenII bikes) that will make any and all previous modifications to the KLR seem akin to a simple paint job and will raise the machine to the level set by the bar of the most proficient and esteemed motorcycles in the DS/Adventure genre. I predict it will make me a very wealthy man, indeed.