Pretty in Pink, dunno why
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
This is Page Two of Common Mods and Issues, dealing with Chassis and Suspension. Covers things that are hooked to the frame or that go boingy-boingy..
Common Mods and Issues, Page One (Engine)
Common Mods and Issues, Page Three (Electrical)
The stock seat is pretty uncomfortable for most people; many find that severe butt-ache sets in after about 45 minutes. There are lots of seats out there that improve the comfort level. This is a basic seat mod to widen the seat with some stiffer foam. Yes, it's a rip-off of the Corbin flat, but we call it simultaneous invention...
The front fender, especially on the Gen2s, is big. While it affords good protection from spray, it also allows the bike to get blown all over the place. A common solution is to install a supermoto fender from Acerbis or Cycra or use a KTM fender. With a fork brace installed it is even possible to install the fender down low just like those odd German bikes that cost so much. If you don't want to be a Freddie, Fender of the supermoto variety is the way to go.
Installing the Acerbis, with a good photo comparison to stock
Modifying the stock Gen2 fender
Installation of a lowered fender, from a member's blog
Nerf/Crash Bars and Skid Plates:
Ok, it's like this, see. If you're going to ride that Gen2 in the dirt, you can spend a coupla benjies to get some crash bars, or you can spend a coupla benjies to replace the plastics, THEN buy the crash bars. Your choice. On all KLRs a dump in the dirt, a biff off the berm, can cause radiator damage. That can leave you standing beside the bike in a puddle of ...coolant. You can prevent that with some crash bars. Your choice; it can be a long walk home. The stock KLR skid plate is a, um, joke. Get a real one. A squished frame tube or a holed case is really bad ju-ju.
General discussion, some experiences and opinions
Happy Trails on a Gen1
For some reason, Kawasaki decided to put Extra Slick ™ foot pegs on the KLR. They are slippery even in the rain; they are especially scary off road. There are many options for replacing the stock pegs. It can cost anywhere from $20 - $100. Good, cheap pegs can be had on eBay or from vendors (even Amazon) for about $20. They are made in China and come without springs. You can add springs, but it isn't really necessary. Metal serrated pegs are less comfortable on long rides or when standing for long periods of time (think bruises in the arches of your feet), but well worth the minor pain.
It is a good idea to put some decent bolts in when you change the pegs...cheap and if you're going to be standing on them, you want a strong base.
Discussion of E-Bay pegs
And another, with pictures
Difficulty 1 (takes literally five minutes)
Importance 4 (8 if you want to do any off-roading)
Cost 2-5 (depending on your approach)
Lowering the foot pegs:
The KLR is a tall bike, but the on-bike ergos were sorta designed for a mid-size person. Some of us are a bit lanky, and most of us are old. Some of us tall, old farts ride in an NSAIDS induced euphoria. Put the two together and ya wind up wishing for a bit more leg room. Over the years there have been some infamous foot-peg lowering projects, but the latest is clean, simple, and reasonable. It should be noted that lowered pegs have the potential for getting knocked about off-road, so take care if serious off-roading is in your future. Carry some extra bolts just in case.
A good discussion of the need (pay particular attention to post 7 and on)
Importance 6, if your NSAIDS bill is over $20/mo
Side case installation:
The KLR is an adventure motorcycle, among other things. What's an adventure without a way to take all yer junk along for the ride? If you need some ideas about how and what to install for side cases, here are a couple of threads by some really good fabricators!
Mr. Miyagi's mad MIG manufacturing skills
Colorado Tom does Pelican cases
SD Charlie's top box - a foray into fantastic fabrication!
And everything you ever wanted to know about the different options and who can carry the most beer
Cost 6-8, depending on what you use
Sub frame bolt upgrade:
The KLR's sub frame is held in place by four bolts. A common issue is the shearing of these bolts under heavy loads as well as the loosening of said bolts due to vibration. Loc-Tite is a friend indeed here! If you're planning on carrying heavy loads, then you may want to consider an upgrade to the bolts. Kaswasaki thought it was a good idea, and upgraded the bolts on the Gen2 bikes (who says Ma Kawi doesn't listen?). There are a couple of routes to go, one being a visit to the local hardware store for higher grade bolts and a simple swap-out, complete with Loc-Tite. Fast, easy, and cheap. Another somewhat more complicated option is to install the "Drill-through" bolt upgrade at the frame backbone with upgraded bolts in the other two spots. Here Josbek shows how to do the drill-through.
Josbek's post on the bolt upgrade
Left side mirror and choke relocation:
They say that Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down. The KLR is another matter. It does fall down when you having fun in the muck and the mire, and stuff can break. Here's a mod to help prevent some damage before it occurs, thanks to LoneRider. By relocating the mirror mount and the choke you can make the switch housing far less vulnerable in a get-off. It puts the choke lever in a bit handier position, too.
LoneRider's mirror and choke relocation
Adventure touring. Long days in the saddle. Miles of riding to get to miles of fun. Right hand cramps are common; here are some ideas for wracked right wrist rectification.
moriver's clever and inexpensive cruise control
aaronrkelly found this bit of kit; it gets kudos from forum members
Some general discussion of cruise control options
More discussion (gad, this is a popular topic)
It's unknown who was the first to do this, but we give props to theotherbigjoe for the bungie cord
The Wheat Whacker Mod:
An odd sounding name for a cool mod that increases the storage area under the fairing and gets the windscreen a little more vertical, all in one swell foop. The idea is to cut a slit in the fairing, then rotate the windscreen forward. This makes the windscreen more vertical and deflects air a bit higher, plus you get an additional storage area above the instrument cluster.
Here's a link to our thread on the mod
And here's a good post on the how-to from Curtis in Texas
Curtis also shows how to exploit the extra storage area.
Rear Left Side Storage:
Storage on the KLR is at a premium. We build tool tubes and look for handlebar bags, side cases, tank bags, the Wheat Whacker, et al. Once you've removed the evaporative control canister from the rear left side, there's a big space left! Here's a clever idea on how to build some storage back there.
gaucho10's featured fine fiberglass fabrication
Fixing The Sticky Trip Meter:
The trip meter is pretty important on the KLR, 'cuz it got no gas gauge. You need to know when you are about to go on reserve so you can flip it over and get on down to the gas station and fill her up. And we know how important it is to frequently change the gas in these things; that's where all the fun comes. The trip meter in the Gen 2s is a bit balky from time to time and sometimes it's just plain stuck. Push real hard when it's stuck and you might wind up with a busticated unit. Bad ju-ju. Captain campfire (as of this writing) created a clever correction to this confounded condundrum!
campfire's fix for the sticky trip meter
Rear Spring Swap:
On both the Gen1 and Gen2 bikes there is often a need for a stronger spring, and there are a couple of manufacturers that can provide springs in different rates. Upgrading the spring can be just the ticket to improving the KLR's off-road and load carrying performance. The suspension is very slightly different, but not enough to make a difference in the spring swap process. Some special tools are required, but it's not real difficult especially when you have a good set of documentation to go by. Aron31 set out to upgrade the spring on his Gen2 and did a great job of documenting the process.
Aron31's write up on how to install a beefier spring
Suspension Package Mod:
If you and your stuff weigh more than about 220 pounds, you are probably going to find the KLR's suspension lacking. Not to worry; there are solutions. There are several good rear shocks available on the aftermarket and better springs for the front.
Suspension package installation
Emulators or Intiminators?
Stock vs. progressive springs:
An effective front suspension mod is the installation of progressively wound springs. Buildit has done some excellent work comparing the characteristics and performance of the two different springs.
Buildit's thread comparing the springs
Tom [email protected]
“It could have been a beautiful friendship. Except for the ice pick, of course.”
'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.”
Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 07-09-2014 at 08:44 PM.