Under powered KLR, Any Advice? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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Under powered KLR, Any Advice?

Hello all
I have a 2017 KLR650. I have owned it for about four and half months and and have travelled about four and a half thousand Kilometres on it in that time. Most of my riding is to work and back. I enjoy my bike, but I find it to be woefully under powered at highway speeds of 100 kph - 110Kph. At 110, the legal speed limit on South Australian highways, the bike has very little left. It actually struggles to maintain that speed up moderate inclines. Not the "Any distance any terrain" type of performance promised by Kawasaki.
Has anyone on this forum performed any of the many modifications I have seen mentioned on the net. If you have, please let me know how effective the modifications are. I would like to hear from any one that has changed the slide, and, what is the KLX kit? I welcome other advice also...

I would appreciate any helpful advice,
Kind regards

Timberfoot
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post #2 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 09:35 AM
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The "22-cent mod" fuel-enriches mid-range operation, offering modest power gain (drilling the slide may improve throttle response), but . . . at the end of the day, it's still a KLR650. (The KLX needle, by the way, has a "richer" profile than the stock needle.)

Not blowing you off, but . . . the most operationally, and probably economically effective modification in your case would be: Jack up the KLR650 and slip a KTM690 under it.

Don't think the most heavily-modified KLR650 could match a stock KTM690 out of the box (305 pounds dry, according to KTM; nearly 70 hp).

Please don't misunderstand me--the KLR650 is GREAT for what it is, but . . . it IS what it IS.

Best wishes.
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post #3 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 10:25 AM
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I remember posted here there is a limiter in some countries. I think it had to do with the vacuum slider. Can anyone add info to that?

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #4 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 11:43 AM
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Yes there is a large hole in the vacuum slide as a limiter in some markets; it can be epoxied shut. Other than that, I'd echo Damocles' comments; the KLR will never be truly powerful and even spending buckets of money and tons of time will give you a bike that can't hold a candle (power-wise) to many other bikes.

That said, the KLX kit is a worth addition along with the other "standard formula" mods: KLX kit, snorkle-ectomy and optional L mod (or equivalent), uni filter and silencer of your choice. All that stuff corrects the poor EPA driven factory jetting and gives the bike better throttle response and a moderate HP boost....maybe 2-3.

After that it's, BB kit time with Eaglemike's 685 kit getting the recommendation nod. Beyond that you're looking at porting, cams, increased compression but that is starting down a slippery slope of diminishing returns.

The real question for the OP is; is your bike running properly or not? .....topping out at 60mph isn't normal but not having a bunch of power at that speed is; if you have the opportunity, ride another KLR to ensure yours doesn't have an issue.

Dave
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post #5 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 01:05 PM
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I timed out due to an interruption and lost my partial post, bummer.

I'm pretty certain that Timberfoot will eventually confirm that his bike is one of the lower speed/power Australian Learner bikes.

Somewhere on this and other forums are pictures of the vacuum vent holes in the upper portion of the throttle slide. Glue them closed with epoxy glue and carefully sand any excess off of the exterior sliding surface so the slide fully/smoothly re-installs into the carb.
Do Not Pinch the rubber diaphragm when re-installing the slide or your bike will be even slower.

As to jetting, do we North Americans know or could confirm that the Australian bikes run the same USA EPA lean jetting that we get from the factory??

I'll suggest to glue the extra air holes closed and not confuse the issue with altered jetting, yet.

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post #6 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 01:14 PM
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With even the factory USA EPA jetting a stock and standard KLR650 will pull 90-95 mph on most normal roads and run acceptably well from -280ft below sea level to +14,000 above sea level.

If you even slightly pinch a diaphragm you get about 50-60 mph. Same effect as the Learner bike throttle slide.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 01:19 PM
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No pic yet,
http://www.klrforum.com/112264-post5.html

Just more info,
http://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-...el-aus-do.html

Here is the thread and the pic that you need,
http://www.klrforum.com/366610-post2.html
One can 'click' on the title of the thread to read the whole thread.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 10-28-2017 at 01:41 PM. Reason: more info
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post #8 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 01:41 PM
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As I understand it in Australia "Learner Bikes" are throttled back on power. Your KLR may may be a Learner" have holes in the carburetor slide to restrict how far it opens and thus restrict its power.

Link to photo of holes in carb slide (upper left photo). You can fill them with epoxy and sand smooth or replace the slide with one from Harley Davidson :

https://www.google.com/search?q=KLR6...xWwcxcmVLa59M:

Harley sportster carb slide: #27585-88:P about $65 AUD from Harley Heaven in Melb CBD
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Last edited by GoMotor; 10-28-2017 at 01:46 PM.
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post #9 of 43 Old 10-28-2017, 07:13 PM
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Youíve definitely got something wrong if itís having trouble going faster than that. Mine will do 90-95 with throttle left, on a long 6% grade just recently it did 75 mph at about 3/4 throttle.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #10 of 43 Old 10-29-2017, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies guys
He He, Damocles, your advice made me smile,
Mine is an Australian learner approved bike Pdwestman, you're right about that. I knew it would not be powerful, but, gee whiz, I did expect more than it's got..

I'll look at the slide. Thanks for the info about the HD slide GoMotor

At the moment I am very dissapointed in the bike.

Thanks for all the great advice and friendly replies guys

Kind Regards
timberfoot

Last edited by timberfoot; 10-29-2017 at 01:27 AM.
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