Long trip advice/suggestion - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 01-26-2018, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney
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Long trip advice/suggestion

Hey everyone,
I am planning to ride my KLR650 about 4 to 5k km soon.
I did long distances before on various bikes and most of those trips were unplanned. I didn't have anything but my backpack. But this time I would like to make it more comfortable and less dramatic.
Now, thinking to travel from Sydney to Cairns OR to Outback OR Tasmania. I am not sure where I am going to be heading but definitely heading somewhere. It is going to be my first long on KLR650.
I know something would happen such as flat tyre, which scares me . Another thing is that decrease in engine oil level concerns me. I have read that KLR650 has some issues.
I am going to change the oil before I get on the road and also check main things.
It got 48 Lt top-box and large TUSK side cases. Crash bars, center stand and hand-guards too. I think I am going to reinstall OEM exhaust because this Staintune would probably annoy me on the road.
Is there any brand/type of oil that you may suggest especially good for Australian roads/weather for KLR650?
And are there anything I should avoid while on the road like high rev?
Bike is 2014 KLR650 and 7k on odo.

Thanks for your valued suggestions

Last edited by dfree; 01-26-2018 at 06:26 AM.
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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Generally speaking, all KLRs burn oil when ridden with the engine in the 5000+rpm range.

You can ride in a manner that does not cross that threshold or you can take active steps to cure the problem.

It's not hard. Take 10 minutes to read this Paul Westman's Mods to Fight Oil Burning and see how you feel about making these mods. The originator is on this forum should you have more questions than are answered in that article.

As to oil, use Kawasaki oil if you can get it, otherwise any oil that has the spec called for in the owners manual with respect to viscosity and API service.

Also very important on a long trip (and under the conditions most of us whose knowledge of what Australian is like comes from Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee) is the air filter. Keep it clean and properly oiled. If you anticipate dusty conditions, travel with a spare so that you can clean the dirty one at your leisure.

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 01-26-2018 at 06:25 PM. Reason: added 'and properly oiled' after being reminded by Paul....
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post #3 of 30 Old 01-26-2018, 10:29 AM
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Check oil level at each fuel stop. Shut off engine, give the oil time enough to drain to the sump, then examine oil level through sight glass with bike held level. Add oil to bring level up to mid-point of sight glass or higher.

Fear not flat tires, but . . . have spare inner tubes, tire patches, tire-changing tools and an air source on board; learn how to change a tube (many good videos available on Internet).
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post #4 of 30 Old 01-26-2018, 04:51 PM
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Anything that reduces wind and road noise will also reduce fatigue.

As far as oil, yes check it, but don't get hung up on a specific brand. Unless you're crossing the dessert and can't get your hands on a litre when needed. Mixing conventional oil brands will not harm your engine.

Bring a towel in case you need to change a tube, that way the wheel bearings aren't laying in dirt while you wrestle the tire, tyre, rubber,.......

Don't overpack, too easy to have excessive weight bouncing up and down in all the cases which may cause hardware failure, (bolts, welds, etc).
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-26-2018, 06:16 PM
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I always urge members to always type, "clean & Re-Oil air filter" for the benefit of newer members.

Successfully Practice inner tube / tire replacement Twice in your garage, on each wheel with only the tools you will carry.

The oem Kawasaki oil in the USA is great stuff.
But any oil is better than Not Enough, like 'Candu' suggested. At least look for the JASO MA/MA2/MA3 approval on the back label if possible.

As to the PDW oil control mods mentioned by Tom.
Consider the 4 simple, primary mods. Which is only 3 banjo bolts and an oil control orifice screwed into the 6:00 port of the oil filter CAP.
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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 30 Old 01-27-2018, 04:15 PM
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I take many cross continent trips on my 2011. I don't mind cruising at 5,500 rpm or occasionally 6,000 (up a long steep hill at highway speed in forth gear). Oil maintenance is a simple matter. After a bit of riding you learn how much oil your KLR uses at various speeds, so you know when to check the oil level.

I carry a half liter Nalgene type hard plastic see-through bottle for oil. Not a soft crushable one (TROUBLE). If I wish to change oil at 4,000km intervals and have added 500ml at that point, I can go another 800kl on that extra fresh oil before changing. I usually add oil when the level gets down halfway in the sight glass and change the filter at every other oil change.

I clean the foam air filter with gasoline in a plastic bag and oil it with engine oil.

You can lube the chain with some engine oil on an old shortened tooth brush.
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post #7 of 30 Old 01-28-2018, 08:38 PM
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I found that the only spare I really needed was a clean oiled air filter. That was going outback on a 2015 with 5500km on it. Did 1800km in a week.
Of course I carried the essentials, spare tubes, fuses, spark plug. If you ride in dusty conditions you will definitely need the spare air filter.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-29-2018, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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first of all thanks to you guys
I think I am going to focus on spare tube, oil, spare air filter, spark plugs and fuses. I dont think I am going to be in dusty conditions but just in case.
Still reading your replies and I think I need to learn more about tube/tyre staff
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-29-2018, 11:09 AM
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I wouldn't oil the filter with engine oil. It runs off with gravity, and makes a total MESS in your airbox. It also doesn't protect the engine. Carrying a spare (oiled, and ready to go filter in a ZIPlock) lubed with proper filter oil, is easy. Some brands of oil come in the small applicator bottles, size of a spark plug. Why not stash one of them on the bike. Filter can be washed with gasoline in the middle of nowhere, let it air dry, stick in the same ZIPlock, and oil later when you are sure it's dry.

That's what I would do, if I would go on a trip like that (did MANY of them all over Europe, and Northern Africa "back in a day").
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-29-2018, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Danielsand View Post
I wouldn't oil the filter with engine oil. It runs off with gravity, and makes a total MESS in your airbox. It also doesn't protect the engine. ....................
You need to squeeze the excess oil from the filter so that it doesn't make a mess in the air box.

The Kawasaki owners manual recommends 10W-40 oil for the filter. I have 100k miles on my 2008 and over 50k on my 2011 on the original filters. Other oils and other systems will also work fine. I just like to keep it simple on the road. No extra oil bottle to carry and no plastic bag to break open with an oily filter in it.
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