KLR for regular 120 mile commute - 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 20 Old 04-29-2017, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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KLR for regular 120 mile commute

Hello all,
I have a 2009 KLR with 23,000+ miles on it. I bought it a couple years ago with 17,000 from a dealer. All I've done to it since I've had it is change the oil twice, I just did it the second time a 150 miles ago with synthetic. New tires installed at a shop and it had to have a wire repaired in the main harness that was causing fuses to blow which was done at shop also.
I don't know what the previous may have done, but they did install crash bars, center stand (I don't think it comes with one stock) heated grips, adjustable handlebars, possibly jetted the carb (I say this because there was a jetting kit that came with the bike in its rear bag, and I think that's all I am aware of.
The reason for my post is I am going to be starting a job that is a little over 60 miles away, and I will probably use the KLR vs my F150 to commute for fuel cost reasons. For those familiar with the area, I'm going to be going from OC area to Camp Pendleton and back using the freeways, so traffic allowing, my top cruising speed is to be 70mph +/- 3mph. I know it burns oil at those speeds so I must keep an eye on that, I've done a poor job of that so far and both times I've changed the oil, I was way low, very irresponsible of me, now I will keep oil with the bike at all times.
I am curious as to should I be concerned about doing any other things preventatively before I start making the commute? This is my first bike, and while I'm not a mechanic, I don't mind trying to do things myself, especially with youtube and forums such as this that are full of knowledgeable people willing to give advice.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

Grady
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 03:28 PM
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60 mile commute Will not hurt KLR as long as you keep track of oil. There not the most comfortable bikes though. I would think about adding seat concepts saddle, parebelem windscreen and some 50/50 tires if needed. Also stay clear of big trucks.

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post #3 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 04:26 PM
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Normal maintenance items are:

Oil: Should be kept near the top and changed every 3,000 miles or so. Some will say every 2,000. I have one with 100K miles changed every 5,000. Oil changes are a good marker/reminder for other maintenance items.

Oil filter: can be changed every other oil change.

Air filter: It is simple to check it every oil change until you learn how long it last on the highway. You will learn from use how often you need to clean the air filter.

Chain and sprockets: Wear rate seems to increase as they get older. I would start checking once a week. A good x-ring chain should be good for around 15,000miles. Check it for wear by pulling it back at the center of the rear sprocket. If you can see light between the chain and the sprocket, it is time to order a new chain. Adjust the chain so that you can push the bottom up to barely touch the end of the rubber slider on the swingarm. When the sprocket teeth start to look sharp pointed and hooked like sharks teeth, they should be replaced.

Valve clearances: At your mileage every 25,000 miles should be a good check interval. Now would be a good time for the first check if you have not done one.

Balancer chain adjustment. If the adjuster lever (doohickey) and spring have not been replaced, I would do so. Then adjust every other oil change.

Bearings: Check for roughness and add grease if necessary at each tire change. I get about 50,000 miles.

Tires: you will be changing tires every couple of months and can experiment with brands and models. With you high road mileage street tires would seem best. Keep the air pressure around 30 rear and 32 front.
oolant level: Look through the slot in front of the radiator reservoir to check the level with each oil change.

Brakes: Pad wear is a function of the number of stops rather than miles. I would start by checking each oil change.

Last edited by GoMotor; 04-29-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 06:45 PM
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Foam Air Filter Must Be Thoroughly Re-Oiled after Cleaning.

Modification #7 from this thread and the Blue Hi-lite link in #7 mod may reduce your 70mph oil consumption some,
http://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-wr...mportance.html

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post #5 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for the responses so far, much appreciated. I will look into the suggestions. I just replaced the tires with a 60/40 I believe. I do hope to use the bike to go camping or to go to hiking trails on weekends here and there, but that hasn't happened lol.
For the doohickey, is there a simple way to know if it's been upgraded or not? I assume if it's got this many miles on it, it most likely is not the original based on how bad it seems they are.
Also, with all the tutorials online and YouTube, is there still a need to buy a clymer or similar manual, and if so, what's your go to one? For the air filter, when I did my most recent oil change, I also replaced the foam filter with a K&N one. Not sure on protocol on maintenance for that, other than I believe to rinse it out, let dry, and reinstall with the sealant.
Bearings, sorry for the question, but what bearings are being referred to, the wheel bearing?

Thanks again, appreciate the help.

Grady
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 07:32 PM
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K & N air filter Must Be Re-Oiled after Cleaning, and flows less air than a properly oiled OEM foam filter or any other oiled foam KLR air filter, because of the flat metal end cap on the K&N.

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post #7 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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So, is the OEM air filter better? I will definitely go back to it after I get a few miles with current if that is recommended. My goal as I assume is most people's is durability and longevity.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 07:56 PM
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Yeah, I was referring to wheel bearings and the one in the sprocket carrier. If you do your own tire changes, it is easy to stick a finger in the bearing and rotate it a bit. If it feels like it is catching catching on a grain of sand, and especially if you can wobble it some, it is time to put in your spare bearings.

I sometimes pull the dust seal off with a pick to get a better look at the grease. If it doesn't seem full, I press in some waterproof grease.

I can't speak from experience because I have 100K miles on the original foam filter, but there are many here who think the K&N lets too much dirt through if you are riding dusty roads.

Thinking of tires, you will be changing a tire every month and a half or so. You might want to look into a motorcycle tire changer.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 09:03 PM
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For that much highway riding I would swap out to street tires when your D/S tires wear out. The street tires will last a lot longer on the road.

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-29-2017, 10:23 PM
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I'd change the front sprocket to 16T if not already done. Nice highway improvement over the stock 15T.
Toney and Bluehighways like this.

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