Touring mods: 12v socket, heated grips, bigger tank? - 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 29 Old 01-02-2016, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Touring mods: 12v socket, heated grips, bigger tank?

Having been head down for the last few months route planning for my Cape Town to Cairo trip this June I am now starting to focus on my bike (a 2014 KLR650 bought in South Africa).

I'd appreciate your insights on the following:

I need a power source of the bike - i was just going to run a 12v socket straight off the battery with an inline fuse. Is this sensible or should i wire into the ignition (see important caveat below)? If so is there a 'how to' guide somewhere?

I also want to fit heated grips if possible - I'll be riding at high altitude (2,500m +) in the rainy season in Ethiopia. Is this easy to do and can the bike handle it (alongside the 12v socket)?

Finally gasoline is potentially in short supply and i have been looking at the IMS 10 gallon (8.3 to us brits!) tank. A good idea? What's the trustable range for sensible road and gravel trail touring?

My big caveat is that i am no mechanic and i am going to be away from 1st world civilisation/big bike mechanical skills for months plus. I would sooner live without any of these if it increased the likelihood of electrical issues or other failure.

Really appreciate any guidance you can give.

Cheers
Andy
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-02-2016, 11:38 AM
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Directly connecting an auxiliary 12-volt socket to the battery, through a fused line, is recommended.

Your electrics will carry heated grips; as an alternative, you might consider heated gloves.

A larger tank remains an ever-present option, but . . . you have over 200 miles range in stock configuration. Will you travel in regions so gasoline-deficient you really need a larger tank? Roto-paks, or other auxiliary fuel carriers, might be a more workable option if you do.
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-02-2016, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Damocles - I will explore heated gloves, i'd not thought about them. Sounds like a more efficient solution than grips but one more thing to fit into my panniers (got a lot to carry - need to take tools, essential spares, camping gear and food/water etc).

On the fuel range point Ethiopia looks challenging. Lots of stations only stock diesel - i might need to cover 500kms between supplies (and even then hope they have not run out). My plan has been to use the stock tank and a 7litre aux carrier but not sure what range that will give me (i've not ridden the KLR yet as it's in South Africa and I'm in the UK 'till late May).
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-02-2016, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Temporaryescapee View Post
On the fuel range point Ethiopia looks challenging. Lots of stations only stock diesel - i might need to cover 500kms between supplies (and even then hope they have not run out). My plan has been to use the stock tank and a 7litre aux carrier but not sure what range that will give me (i've not ridden the KLR yet as it's in South Africa and I'm in the UK 'till late May).
So, it would be useful to talk to somebody who has actually taken your intended route in, say, the last two years. You need to know what kind of terrain and what your fuel mileage (sorry, I think in US units) will be over that kind of terrain. If it is 300-to-350 miles between fuel stops and you can make 35 mpg (I'm assuming that a constant forward movement at 3500 rpm in top gear is not possible and that you have not changed sprockets, though the mention of "stations" might promise better fuel mileage), then you need 10 gallons to make it, barring any mistakes, mishaps, or detours. So you need at least 2 gallons in a carry can for insurance above 10 gallons. Rotopax cans come in 1 gallon and 2 gallon sizes. I have one on the side that is generally under the soft side bag on that side. I've seen them mounted to the back side of panniers. One on either side evens out weight distribution. Gas weighs 6.3 lbs/gal. US. You are adding 40-45 lbs to your rig. Is your suspension up to it with the rest of your load?
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-02-2016, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Temporaryescapee View Post
Thanks Damocles - I will explore heated gloves, i'd not thought about them. Sounds like a more efficient solution than grips but one more thing to fit into my panniers (got a lot to carry - need to take tools, essential spares, camping gear and food/water etc).

On the fuel range point Ethiopia looks challenging. Lots of stations only stock diesel - i might need to cover 500kms between supplies (and even then hope they have not run out). My plan has been to use the stock tank and a 7litre aux carrier but not sure what range that will give me (i've not ridden the KLR yet as it's in South Africa and I'm in the UK 'till late May).
Temporary,
500kms=310 U.S. miles, correct?
Keeping your drive chain 'loose-enough' to almost touch the rear tip of the rubber slider 'UNDER' the swingarm, when the chain is lifted UP, the KLR should routinely achieve 45-52 mpg U.S. measurement.
The standard 6.1 U.S. gallon fuel tank allows 5.5 U.S. gallon to be used 'easily'. (Lay it down on the left side to get some more, from the right side.)
5.5 U.S. gallon x 40 mpg (minimum) = 220 U.S. miles.
5.5 U.S. gallon x 45 mpg = 247 U.S. miles.

I'll suggest that 2 U.S. gallons extra should be 'enough', how ever that you carry it. You might look at the 'Safari' fuel tank. It has NO/Needs no fuel pump!
KLr650 safari fuel tank Safari Tanks USA

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Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-02-2016, 09:43 PM
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As for the power point, I would use a USB type socket if possible. The round power point/cig lighter ones tend to wiggle loose on rough terrain and come out. I however did buy and install both into a new dash on my Gen 1. It gives you the option to charge your phone and use a 12v air pump if need be.

Hard wire it into the battery and add a switch to the dash. Some of them have an LED light in them so the switch allows you to turn off the power completely if need be or let it run while you are stopped without having the key on. Yes, use an inline fuse at the battery.

I also bought a hard wire kit off Amazon to run my GPS while on the bike without needing the 12v socket and having it come loose over every bump.

As for the heated gear, I would get both. The heated grips keep the inside of your hands warm but people tell me the outside of their hands would get cold so they bought the heated gloves to round everything out.
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-03-2016, 06:47 AM
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TemporaryEscapee, I refer you to a South African gentleman who completed a 45,000 mile (or so) ride of the western hemisphere last year on a KLR650, "Wotnext:"

Riding through the Americas | Adventure Rider

(Place cursor on colored text and left-click for access to his ride report.)

You may contact "Wotnext" (Peter) by registering on the Adventure Rider forum and starting a "conversation" (their designation of personal communication/private messages) with him.

Among the modifications to his bike, Peter installed a 10-gallon fuel tank:



Peter has now returned to South Africa; I confidently believe he will gladly share his experience with you.

Here's a list of his mods; lifted from his ride report:

-----------------------------

This was added to my KLR to make it even better:

1. Moab rear shock Cogent Dynamics - purpose made
2. Progressive front springs Cogent Dynamics
3. Emulators Cogent Dynamics
4. Doohickey with torsion spring EM
5. Sub frame drill through kit EM
6. Thermabob
7. 10 gallon IMS tank (Yee Hah!)
8. S/Steel front brake line
9. Happy Trails skid plate ( nice and high to give some protection to the Water pump.
10. New sealed , ''no maintenance battery''
11. Moose racing hand guards
12. Pro Taper 7/8 aluminium handle bars
13. Rox handle bar risers
14. Heated grips with multi stage controller
15. Heated gear controller (Digital)
16. PDM 60 Rowe Electronics. This is a sweet little control box for all electronic accessories. Set it up the way you want to and if something trips just switch the engine off and back on to reset it as before.
17. Bajaworx touring windshield
18. Acerbis lower front fender
19. Fork brace and lower fender kit (EM)
20. Aluminium dashboard to hold voltmeter,12v compressor switch and 12v cigarette type power outlet. Kindly powder coated byy Alpheus
20. Digital voltmeter, marine grade
21. Safety oil filler cap (EM)
22 .Prevailing torque nut for front sprocket. (EM)
23. 22 cent mode a slide drilled
24. Highway pegs
25. Mesh headlight ptotector.
26. LED flashing rear tail light kit
27. Dirt racks pannier racks modded for soft bags
28. Two, covered and hinged lid 12v take offs in left side panel for heated gear and the compressor
29. Moose racing longer gear shift
30. Rear master cylinder protector
31. Bolt upgrade for carb
32. Bolt upgrade for oil filter plate
33. Mega tool tube mounted under left side of seat (on pannier rack
34. PVC tool tube for tyre changing kit mounted on highway pegs
35. Rear licnce plate mod with ''built in' lighting
36. Ram universal ball joint mount for the GPS
37. ALL electrical wiring sheathed and rub points protected
38. Uni air filter
39. De californicated.

EISH!

(An African term used in instances of surprise, confoundedness, sorrow, exitement and when you just don't have any more words to express yourself. This word is used often and the meaning is ALL in the tone.

-------------------------------------

Bon voyage!

Last edited by Damocles; 01-03-2016 at 07:06 AM.
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-03-2016, 08:12 AM
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You don't have to be an electrician to add reliable outlets to a bike.

I add a single fused circuit to each of my bikes. It goes from the battery to the front of the bike and ends in an SAE plug. I can connect an outlet or a power-distribution box into that single SAE plug. For the KLR what I plug into that SAE plug includes a relay so it turns off when the ignition is off.

I build the single fused circuit but it looks something like this:


I use Powerlet outlets and 90-degree plugs. Here's a pic of my KLR power box with the GPS plugged into the side outlet and the top outlet available for the jacket. The display is bike voltage.


This all runs on a single 10-amp fuse near the battery. A fuse block with a separate circuit for each device seems like overkill for such modest needs.

Powerlet makes a 3-device version of the wire in the first pic:

This is similar to what I built inside the power box but Powerlet did it smaller and tidier. Theirs doesn't turn off with the ignition and it's so short that it would have to be under your seat or perhaps under the side cover.

As I said you don't have to be an electrician. The fuse will protect the bike from a short circuit. Worst-case is a partial short that would generate heat. Careful attention to connections should prevent that. Cigarette outlets and Powerlet outlets have positive (red) to the center and negative or ground (black) to the surround. USB is fine for powering electronics but the connectors are too small for heated gear and they are not nearly as robust as these other plugs. If you choose cigarette-lighter style outlets and plugs, adding a rubber-band retainer can keep the plug from vibrating out.

I have avoided heated gloves because it adds two more wires to plug in while tucking in here and getting zipper pulls to lay flat so the velcro flap seals well and all the other trials and tribulations of my very complicated motorcycling addiction. Handlebar mitts really do help a huge amount:


Pls excuse post from 1st-gen owner.

Last edited by Grinnin; 01-03-2016 at 08:16 AM.
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-03-2016, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Touring mods: 12v socket, heated grips, bigger tank?

Thanks for all the inputs - really helpful and I've used this to do a bit of digging. Here's where I've got to.

Grips: I'll wire in the grips i think. I am so tight on space it's one less thing to pack. For most of my trip i'll be in hot weather so wont need them. In my european mountain riding, being able to flick on the grips over the peaks has been a relief when needed and there was no need to stop. I use and value muffs for winter trials, but they are too bulky to carry with me in Africa and too hot for most of the trip.

Fuel: I've looked at IMS and Safari tanks and the Rotopax cans. The latter are a considerably cheaper option for me (and I really like the system) but i only have lightweight pannier frames so am nervous about the stresses over time. I found Desert Fox 5 litre bags for $38 each which weigh 0.4kgs empty and fold away. I am thinking of strapping these to my panniers to be available to use when I need them.

Electrical supply: I like your set up Grinnin. I might get the Powerlet adapter, wire in the heated grips directly and bring wiring for a panel forward to the front of the bike. I found this (chinese wholesaler) http://dgmaiyu.en.made-in-china.com/...otorcycle.html which is the sort of thing that would be great (don't want 50 though!). Anyone seen anything like this?

Tyres/tires: i've attached my 'shopping list. You'll see the rear tyre is a 140/80 rather than 130/80 - is this ok or a problem? (I couldn't find an equivalent 130/80).

If it is of interest my route is here: https://temporaryescapee.wordpress.com/route/. I was enjoying this video (not of me) of the Sani pass, which I am due to ride on the first week of the trip. https://youtu.be/kCCwc8c2Zhc

Appreciate all insights - if you disagree with me on any of this please challenge away.

Cheers
Andy

p.s. R1,000 is $65
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Last edited by Temporaryescapee; 01-03-2016 at 01:50 PM.
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-03-2016, 02:45 PM
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I have a 130/80-17 Heidenau K60 Scout on my KLR right now. The 140 should fit and the 130 is missing the center rib that is on some larger sizes of K60 Scout. IDK if the 140 has that rib or not. But I know they make 130s.

That power port looks good although it's hard to tell the quality of small electronics these days. I don't know anyone who has that one. Amazon sells it (in multiples of 1) so you should be able to find it.
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