One mod leads to another; LE$ LEARNED! - 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 3 Old 06-07-2013, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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PNWcrazymike's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bend, Oregon
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One mod leads to another; LE$$ON LEARNED!

Well, it all started with a beautiful '09 with only 2k highway miles on it. Then I got my hands on it.
The first thing I did was install an IMS 10 gal tank and get rid of those godawful nerf bars with highway pegs. This shaved about 17lbs off the bike. The second thing I did was remove the entire "beak" off the front which included the fairing, windscreen, dashboard, headlights and turn signals. This was replaced with a Trail Tech 8" round race headlight with a 100W bulb and Trail Tech's Vapor tach/speedo.

This worked great for the next 3500 miles of which 80% were offroad until the radiator let loose, literally. I screwed up by NOT supporting the bracket on the upper left of the radiator. Because the IMS tank came with a steel bracket that supports and protects the lower left corner of the radiator, I didn't see the need to support the UPPER left corner of the radiator normally supported by the upper fairing's frame. This allowed the upper half of the radiator to dance left and right until the upper RIGHT bracket tore an irreparable hole in the header.

This caused me to overheat before I saw the coolant pouring out. I stopped twice to get water out of a creek but the damage was done. I don't think I was any hotter than 230 but apparently that's enough to warp the cylinder. I welded a tubular bracket to support this weak link and two weeks later my new radiator arrived and everything seemed fine during a fast 70 mile midnight race through the mountains. When I started the bike the next morning you couldn't see the garage or the whole house through the grey smoke.

Apparently I toasted the piston's oil rings while overhearing thus creating an "oil burner" KLR and didn't see I was running on little to no oil during the midnight ride. The bottom end survived just fine but the head is destroyed due to oil starvation. I'm now sending off a check for a used head in great condition and then having M-Tech machine it for bigger valves, hot cams and a larger bore. What an expensive mess! The lesson is make sure you support the upper left corner of the radiator if you ever ride with the factory fairing removed, ESPECIALLY off road!

Last edited by PNWcrazymike; 06-07-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-07-2013, 06:24 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: ajax
Posts: 108
lesson learned,thanks for posting.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-07-2013, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tampa
Posts: 402
I like to call that, "When Farkling Goes Wrong."


And here...

Welcome to my world!
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