Several Updates - 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 12 Old 11-18-2012, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Several Updates

I've been fooling with this thing nearly non-stop for weeks now and am finally getting somewhere.

You may remember me having an upholstery shop re-shape my Seat Concepts seat kit, then me modifying it more myself later. Final shape is just about perfect......



I smoothed it out a bit more and then covered it. He used, so I used - a 4" cutoff wheel on a 90 angle grinder and it sculpts that foam like it was warm cheese, but be very, very careful. It cuts "very" fast and a slip could cost money. That deep notch is taking a bit of time for the fabric to break in, (stretch to fit) but the seat is super comfortable now and there's room to move around a bit to change pressure points. Still plenty of padding under my skinny old butt, too and no more sliding forward. On a ride of 70 miles the other day there was no dis-comfort at all. None. I'm very pleased with it.

Then fooled with windshields some and got more eddy-cation. I went from the shorty stock shield and Laminar Lip to the +4 Kawi shield with the Laminar Lip to fit that. I thank Laminar for their patience with me in my dithering on which to keep.



I sit tall in the saddle and wanted the wind flow directed as high as possible, so mounted the Lip as high as I could. It moved the air blast from my face to high on forehead, but I wanted more.

I called the folks at Laminar and the fella I spoke with told me that if I'd lower it a couple of inches, wind impact would be in about the same place, but airflow would be much smoother.



Well, he does make the things, so maybe he knows what he's talking about. So, I gave it a try. Wonder of wonders, he was right. I "thought" it felt just fine before, but now it's like riding thru silk...very smooth airflow...except in a strong crosswind, but I doubt anything would help there. With the helmet on, it's un-noticeable.

Looking for a little more performance and maybe a nicer sound than that crackling spitting the stock muffler gives, I took advice of you-all here on the forum and installed a Lexx slip on muffler. I could feel a difference in power - a little bit - it was a bit louder (about like the mod on the stock muffler) but still has that leaky exhaust gasket sound. Guess I'll hafta live with that.

Next came the installation - just a couple of days ago - of the Thermo-bob cooling system upgrade. Took some time, but the instructions were very well presented and it went with no glitches. More on that in a bit.

Yesterday I spent several hours carefully working my way thru the installation of a JD Performance jetting kit and followed the directions to the letter and double/triple checked each step. I have a somewhat free-er flowing exhaust, live at 6,000 ft elevation, ride mostly (almost always) between 4,000 and 8,000 ft, so followed the special instructions for those conditions.



Also installed the idle mixture adjustment knob to make fine tuning a bit (a lot) easier.

Weather was bad yesterday, so this morning I took off for Hwy 15 that goes about 40 miles of snaky, winding road thru the mountains to Gila Cliff Dwellings N.M. and it was a revelation.



First, the Thermo-bob did its job perfectly and the optional gauge overlay made it easy to see just what was what. Temperature held rock solid at 195 the whole time. After reading Bill's description of what the stock cooling system does, I couldn't get that thing in there quick enuf - and I'm very glad it's done.

The big news is the JD jetting kit. I wanna tell ya, sports fans - this are a whole 'nuther bike now. I can't believe it. It was good before and I was somewhat happy with it, but love to tinker. This was good tinkering and was simple enuf - with caution.

I've read quite a few how-tos on this forum about using the KLX needle and various jets and so on, but after tearing it apart once yesterday, I'm very pleased to pay JD the extra to work out all the details, do all the testing and experimenting and take that extra time to go riding.

It loves to rev now and power is smoother at all speeds. Idle was perfect right out of the box. Crank it on and it pulls harder to around 4,000 rpm - at which point it starts to breathe deeper and pull "a Lot" harder. Keep that wrist twisted and as it passes 5,000 the exhaust takes on a deep, hard roar and the acceleration, esp. in 3rd and 4th is incredible. Yah, you could say I'm a happy rider now.



This is a small sample of the type of road I was forced to suffer thru on this test ride. Some - 5 miles of highway to the start, then miles of this thru the mountains. What Fun ! ! !

It was still barking and crackling on de-celeration, tho', so I turned the idle needle in from 2 turns out to 2 turns out and it was much better, so tweaked it another 1/8 turn and it's great. Crank it hard and let off and it'll bark once or twice, then smooth right out with just a bit of popping.

Tomorrow, I'll tear the rear suspension out of it and install the 6.6 kg Top Gun spring. While it's apart, I'll install the zerk fittings that Bill recommends doing in one of his Watt-man pages. It makes nothing but good sense to my way of thinking and his instructions are clear and sharp.

When that's done, if weather holds, I'm going to make a 150 mile each way trip to Benson, AZ, near the Chiricahua Mountains of Cochise Apache fame to visit a lady friend there. I'll let you-all know how all the systems work when I get back.

Ahhh, this retired life is sooo boring. Where'd I ever find time to work ??

Lar.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 05:33 AM
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Yah, you "retired" guys are killin me. My motto has been "Ride to Work, Work to Ride" for too long. Looks like you have some great areas to explore there, I'm envious !!!

Great job on all you've done so far, but it never ends it seems. You have a few items I'm interested in. Where did you get the thermometer? I've seen some but not one that fits perfectly like that one. How much of a PITA was it to install the thermo-bob temp overlay? Did the D-Flex handguards interfere with your levers at all?

The popping on decel sounds like you still have a bit of a lean condition. I'm sure you'll get it worked out, probably elevation as you noted.

Nice bike & mods. Ride safe.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 07:00 AM
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The popping you are getting on deceleration could also come from a slight leak with the exhaust gasket between the head and header. Did you try and retorque the two nuts to make sure you don't have a leak? Maybe the gasket isn't lined up 100% correctly? When ever I remove the headers now I use some high heat silicon to help hold the gasket in place as I'm installing the header. Sure it will burn off, but it will not allow the gasket to drop slightly as you install the header pipe. You may be able to turn the screw in a hair more, but I wouldn't go too far before checking that exhaust gasket. They are cheap and you could just replace it to take it out of the equation....?

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:19 AM
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Nice mods, biglar. And that road looks like it would be a blast to ride.

Let me know how the spring install goes. I was going to send my whole shock to them, but money's tight so I'm just going to buy the spring. My cousin's kid has an automotive shop here in town and he should have some kind of spring compressor. I'll just get him to do it or let me use his stuff.



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post #5 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:38 AM
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I have installed many of these heavier springs and the first few I used good quality hose clamps to compress the springs. BEWARE!!!! It is very dangerous to do it this way but 6 strong hose clamps will work. Normal coil spring compressors won't work as there isn't enough space between the spring and the shock on bike shocks. Also most spring shops use these types of spring compressors for vehicles so they can't do it either. In the end I made my own and it is much quicker but still dangerous. You just need to compress the spring enough to get the locking collar out from under the top clip, then it's a simple reversal to get the new spring in. Remember the new spring is much stiffer and takes more pressure to get it to the same length as the stock spring. Something else to think about.

Hope this helps....

Willys
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
Yah, you "retired" guys are killin me. My motto has been "Ride to Work, Work to Ride" for too long. Looks like you have some great areas to explore there, I'm envious !!!

Great job on all you've done so far, but it never ends it seems. You have a few items I'm interested in. Where did you get the thermometer? I've seen some but not one that fits perfectly like that one. How much of a PITA was it to install the thermo-bob temp overlay? Did the D-Flex handguards interfere with your levers at all?

The popping on decel sounds like you still have a bit of a lean condition. I'm sure you'll get it worked out, probably elevation as you noted.

Nice bike & mods. Ride safe.
Yah, but I sure paid my dues - over 50 years of working like a dog, so I'm real pleased to have time for me now.

I bought the thermometer thru Amazon.com. It's hard to dig out the numbers, but it was shipped by AEI; Item model #RTM2. I just tried that on google and it came right up. Price with shipping was $28.00. I think it's worth it - it's accurate and simple.

Installing the Thermo-bob temp overlay was simple enuf, tho' a bit awkward. I found it simpler to pull the nose cone/headlight ass'y loose to give more finger room. Went easily then.

The D-Flex handguards are a disappointment. The bike had the big Tusk aluminum hand guards when I got it and I thought the D-Flex would be a wind barrier. After I got them installed I found that they're brush guards, so ordered some new pieces from Rocky Mountain last week and there's parcel pick up notice in my mail box tonight. We'll see how they look in the morning.

Uh oh - I thought the popping was from too rich an idle mixture, so have been leaning it out. Maybe go the other way, eh ??

Thanks...........Lar.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willys View Post
The popping you are getting on deceleration could also come from a slight leak with the exhaust gasket between the head and header. Did you try and retorque the two nuts to make sure you don't have a leak? Maybe the gasket isn't lined up 100% correctly? When ever I remove the headers now I use some high heat silicon to help hold the gasket in place as I'm installing the header. Sure it will burn off, but it will not allow the gasket to drop slightly as you install the header pipe. You may be able to turn the screw in a hair more, but I wouldn't go too far before checking that exhaust gasket. They are cheap and you could just replace it to take it out of the equation....?
That possible exhaust leak has been plaguing me from day 1 with this thing. Shop I took it to was pissed cause I didn't buy it from them and just sneered and said it sounds like a KLR. It still makes that sharp spitting sound and tho' I think it's the muffler, I'm going to pull that exhaust pipe out of there soon and see how it looks. Bolts are tight - 1st thing I checked.

Thanks...........Lar.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I can't reply with 2 quotes at once.

That rear spring has turned into a nightmare. I was very nearly killed by a released spring on a logging truck brake many years ago and it made a permanent spooky out of me for that kind of thing. I'll let the shop fool with it and keep my head on my shoulders.

I went to every auto repair in town and they all have the compressor for car springs and are far too large to work with this thing. Local bike/ATV shop has it now and will change springs for $42.50. I'll pick it up in the morning.

Meanwhile, never having done this and going by what I found as I dis-assembled this thing, I thought the top rear spring mount had a nut and bolt like most other items, so I tore the whole d----d thing apart to get at the nut in back.



Had the rear sub-frame pulled loose (above) and was well on the way to pulling the air box when I finally got enuf room to see that it was a captured nut on back and didn't need to go thru all that. What a raging PIA that all turned out to be.

I read Watt-man's idea of putting zerks in the rear suspension bearings to make future maintenance simpler. Hah. Wonderful idea and it's gonna get done, but I'm stuck. Gotta email him in a bit to find out how to get the double bearings out. Single bearings, as in the swing arm bearings I pressed out in the bench vise with 2 sockets - and it's finicky. Those swing arm bearings are not centered in their bores and it was tedious getting them back in there "just so." Not sure how these with 2 separate bearings in the same hole will work and none of the mechanics - including the bike shop - knew what to tell me.

The education continues.............Lar.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 08:57 PM
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That's a lot of good mods. I'm curious how the seat looks like with the vinyl on? You did a lot of buzzing.

Kawasaki KLR650 - Adventure Lite
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 09:06 PM
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Talking Friends in Silver City

Biglar,
I have a couple of longtime friends in Silver City.
Do you know Ken Foster? Retired in your city from Lompoc, CA.
Pismo
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