New KLR! - 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 15 Old 05-22-2018, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 271
New KLR!

Yesterday I traded my worthless HD for a brand new 2018 KLR with 10 miles on it. Got the all black model.
I'm soliciting your opinions as to what to do with it next. Can't be doing much performance mods as I sprung for a 7yr Platinum warranty for $900.00 and don't want to void it, but there's things like skid plates, crash bars, bags, LED driving lights etc. What are you guys using and do you like/dislike it? Were your addons worth it? One thing I want right off the bat is a set of those vib isolating bar risers. To me the bars are too low, but that's just me.
Factory Dunlop is OK, but when it wears out I want to go more aggressive. Any tire recommendations?
Also, is the 2018 model still using the old doohicky?? Seems to me that by now they'd have sorted that thing out.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 04:10 PM
4th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,456
Welcome and congratulations.

you'll get a ton of recommendations but there are literally hundreds of mods and upgrades and which ones are important to you is hard to tell from here; it really depends on usage, expectations, experience and budget.

For eg. I ride my KLR's offroad extensively so protection (skidplate, handguards, rad protection), control (bars, pegs) and performance (suspension and brakes) are the most important mods for me. Conversely, someone commuting or using thier KLR for longer pavement duty consider things like taller windscreens, crampbusters, aftermarket seats and panniers to be important....where I want none of those things.

....and sorry, it's still the same old "doohickey" since 2008.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 04:11 PM
4th Gear
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,456
....the one thing I would recommend for a brand new bike is a thermobob 2......not sure how that does or doesn't interfere with your warranty

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post #4 of 15 Old 05-23-2018, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 5,700
Thermo-Bob 2 and EM Doo-Hickey with Torsion Spring installation are my only two recommendations. And they will Not affect your warranty if installed properly & correctly.

Even the installation of your handle bar risers could affect warranty status of related or associated parts IF done In-correctly.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-23-2018, 12:02 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: South of Charlotte, NC
Posts: 338
Have my doubts about the necessity of the thermobob but having just come from the Harley world a month ago, crash bars and if you can, a shorter kickstand cause this is the first bike I've ever dropped in a parking lot. Get on and off using the horse stirrup method and don't just hike up your leg to get on.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-25-2018, 08:10 AM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 215
Here's a few ideas
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-25-2018, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
2nd Gear
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by Hvymax View Post
Here's a few ideas
like the OD paint. Is that a custom skid plate?
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-25-2018, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,456
As far as the thermobob goes, here's a recent post that sums up my thoughts on it;

Honestly I think the bore has a propensity to go out of round on the bottom end regardless......but the T bob may lessen the distortion to the extent that the rings can compensate. Cary theorized that after a number of heat cycles the bore tends to become relatively static - which is why it stays fairly stable after a 685 rebore job. The '08's and '09's have a well deserved reputation for oil burning due to the ring (re)design, not because the bores are way worse than earlier or later bikes.....this is based on my review of some of KLRCary's material as well as my discussions with Eaglemike. Cary described the bore distortion as a design issue. Mike's belief is that if you put an earlier or later piston/ring set into a virgin 2008 or 2009 bore that it would have no greater chance of being an oil burner than other years.

To recap my thoughts;

- early Gen2's ring design was poor leading to a much higher incidence of oil consumption; as the bores distorted the rings couldn't control the oil.
- KLR650's have a propensity for some degree of bore distortion due to the design (lack of support on the bottom end of the sleeve and the thickness of the sleeve)
- the bore shape tends to stay relatively static after a certain number of heat cycles which is why the 685 kits usually solve oil consumption issues (and Mike's rings seal better)
- Aftermarket sleeves such as the 705 sleeve are beefier and don't distort much, if at all.
- the Thermobob helps lessen bore distortion by greatly reducing the delta T of entering and leaving water (cold shocking the cylinder). It's logical, given Cary's thoughts on the heat cycle issue, that the benefit of the thermobob is much greater if it's installed when new or very early in the engine's life. That said, it can only help regardless of when it's installed (do no harm! :-) ) least that's the synopsis I've come up with after some research and discussions with the guys that have the first hand knowledge and experience on the subject.

my 2 cents,
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-26-2018, 02:27 AM
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 2
Hi. I have a 2008 (original owner) and have had no issues with excessive oil burning. It burns oil reliably and normally.
zephyr424 is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 05-26-2018, 10:31 AM
1st Gear
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 16
Congrats!Ride it and enjoy it.It is a fun fun bike.
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