Lowering C of G? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 07-07-2014, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Lowering C of G?

I keep thinking of the approach taken in many bike designs and wondering about applying to the KLR. Part of the issue is long suspension travel & such but the fact that it is easier to lift a dropped 680 pound Honda ST1100 than a 420 pound KLR is interesting....

One advantage to many bikes is that the fuel tank is placed lower in the bike. I keep thinking of the ST approach in which the carbs and air box sit in the fake tank (turtle shell) with the fuel sitting down behind the engine.

Anyone happen to have the air box and carb off a KLR and can take some dimensions & photos? I keep forgetting to do this when things are apart.

It would require a carb swap but how about a down draft carb with air box above and the fuel tank down in the frame?

The Honda fuel pump only requires 1.1 amps so that would be doable.
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post #2 of 48 Old 07-18-2014, 11:04 PM
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That sounds like way too much work. Why not just throw a lowering link on the rear shock?
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post #3 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 12:01 AM
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Could also go for one of those big Safari tanks... Big bucks, but if you only keep a few gallons of gas in it the fuel is held in the bottom of those huge wings, much lower than the stock fuel tank. Only bad part is that those tanks are stupid expensive for the 2nd gen bikes.

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post #4 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Lowering links reduce ground clearance & "soften" rear spring action. They don't move the weight of the fuel lower within the bike's mass.

That said, and I know you were smiling when you said that, the "too much work" is certainly not overstatement. ;-)

We were talking about the idea at a friend's shop again today and I think I'll try placing some weight lower on the bike so get a feel for how a full tank might feel low down. Part of the decision regarding this will depend on whether an acquaintence decided he is willing to take part. Too much solo work but with some help and company....

I might have a line on a complete front end so that will take some attention.

It would be quite an advantage to have a full tank of fuel feel like a bike with an empty tank.




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Originally Posted by moparmansfield View Post
That sounds like way too much work. Why not just throw a lowering link on the rear shock?
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post #5 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 11:05 AM
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Ever thought of a different bike? The design is what it is. You could go to a lot of effort for very little gain and even possibly negatively affect handling.
I love thinking out of the box too but alas, sometimes it is just cloud talk......
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post #6 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not understanding what you intended by the statements. Likely only one cup of coffee so far...

While the design is what it is, I have 82 modifications done to this bike and 95 to the last one, not all duplicates. I've been part of maybe 20-30 mods to other bikes which don't overlap mine and there are many more others have done (such as PDwestman's oil system mods) which I have not undertaken.

I'm not arguing with your point that the KLR design has limitations but that's true of any system and the KLR does lend itself to significant improvement. Coincidentally though, a friend & I were talking along the same line as the point you made which shows that great minds think alike. Great minds = you + Dave....don't know that I could be included.

I think that your point, which is essentially that one should make a comprehensive plan as to one's intended finished product, is one which many of us fail to engage. Here's an example: I'm thinking of improving the front brake so could add the 320 mm rotor to the front wheel. I'm also considering improving the front forks which ultimately would require substituting superior front forks. I'm trying to decide just how far I wish to go with this because piece mealing might find me buying the rotor, then having to discarding the wheel because it's not compatible with the forks...then there's the speedo drive issue.

You've made a powerful point which is too often overlooked.

As for my bike: it's a very different equation than for most owners. Most people tell me that their primary or only interest is in riding. As time goes on, and I've had a motorcycle driver's license since 1965, more and more becomes "I've done it thousands of times + my body won't take that off road stuff in a way which is still fun." balance. I've always had a very high technical interest so the KLR is a test bed for learning and testing. I am responsible for quite a number of innovations because of that interest.

As for thinking outside the box versus cloud talk....hard to know how to respond to that because I'd have to know the standard/definition of the terms, "outside the box" and of "cloud talk". Often a concept which happens to appeal to one's own interests is accepted as positive while others are dismissed with disrespect.

I will use PDwestman's oil flow project because it is such a classic example. Any fair minded person reviewing the threads and hearing the back channel conversations would have to accept that he was the recipient of a lot of disrespect because some people were unwilling/unable to engage with the concepts which he advanced and to do this in a fair minded way. Some members of another group back channeled me in the attempt to engage me in criticizing someone who they were labeling "idiot". None of those people were prepared for my reaction; some came around; others are no longer on speaking terms. Laying aside that I like Paul very much for his (internet) personality and hope to meet in person at some time.

Even were this someone whose personality did not appeal, any fair minded person must accept that the concepts directed thinking in very new directions. I value that! Doing things over and over while expecting a different result/improvement is silly. The fact that Paul is risking his machinery and vacation time places me in his debt because he is spending the "coin" and then giving me the results.

If the nay-sayers had succeeded, we ... or maybe just me as I don't know who else is following the work...had succeeded in discouraging, then I would have been poorer.

Another side of this tetrahedron is that sometimes....no, in this group I choose "often" an idea which is floated will bring responses which turn out to be either more valuable or turn the original concept. I'd hope that this kind of "I feel comfortable in tossing out ideas here" can continue.

Don't know about others but I've bailed from several web groups because people are rude, intolerant, or dismissive of others. This group has been remarkably free of that which is why it is one of my two main KLR interests.

I usually play my cards fairly close in terms of advancing all that I know about a system so nothing makes my blood boil quicker than someone who clearly knows almost zip in comparison and takes it onto themself to become competitive as to who knows more. Just so there are no misunderstandings, nothing I have said is directed towards SkiBumBrian as will be clear to those who have read his posts.

I truly don't know where to draw the line on where is the border between outside the box and cloud talk but keep discovering that what I initially think is cloud talk by someone turns out to be very, very incisive.

Let's say, for example, that someone had suggested advancing the exhaust cam and dyno testing. I'll bet a box of donut holes that they'd have been laughed off several groups. How about raising thermostat temperature and installing a bypass? Laughter and ridicule.

I just metaphorically took a "puffer fish" buy the collar and straightened him out with regards the VRR effects from adding loads to a bike using shunt type VRR.

I'm engaged in diagnosing an ABS brake system which is throwing codes when a modulator which I recently serviced is installed. There's only one guy on this blue planet who is working with these systems and that came out of cloud talk...

I hear you, my friend but just don't know where to find that line.

As you can discern, I also wrestle with this issue quite a lot. Much of the success in my careers has been out of perhaps not being able to quite see that line...

Too bad I can't buy you pie & coffee as your thoughts would be very interesting and valuable. Please put me on your list if you are through this area and can spare some time.



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Originally Posted by SkiBumBrian View Post
Ever thought of a different bike? The design is what it is. You could go to a lot of effort for very little gain and even possibly negatively affect handling.
I love thinking out of the box too but alas, sometimes it is just cloud talk......
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post #7 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 02:42 PM
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No disrespect intended Norm, sorry if it may have seemed that way. My KLR is highly modified as I am one who loves to "think out of the box" and am prone to cloud thought and talk. I enjoy people who push the envelope.
I have shaved over 30 lbs of my bike, extensive engine mods and installed a 44mm carb that nay sayers were saying would never work.... The CVK is on a shelf in the garage and I have never looked back.
I applaud your ideas and ingenuity but, as I always have to tell myself, "how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?"
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post #8 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Slap me on the side of the head, SkiBumBrian! It never occurred to me that anyone would think that what you said was disrespectful.

I should have tried harder to emphasize that I wasn't feeling disrespected in any way, especially by you.

If I had expressed feelings of being disrespected, I'd expect everyone to weigh in to tell me that I had to be misinterpreting what you said because that's not your style... Very, very sorry!

No, I was just talking in general. I sometimes forget that everyone else doesn't see this group as sitting with good friends and coffee. Throwing things out there is not personal and simply intended to learn what people I highly respect and trust think about something. Best way I know to find out if I' on or off track.

I never know where that magic line is located and, judging by over 30 years or marriage, not likely to discover.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBumBrian View Post
No disrespect intended Norm, sorry if it may have seemed that way. My KLR is highly modified as I am one who loves to "think out of the box" and am prone to cloud thought and talk. I enjoy people who push the envelope.
I have shaved over 30 lbs of my bike, extensive engine mods and installed a 44mm carb that nay sayers were saying would never work.... The CVK is on a shelf in the garage and I have never looked back.
I applaud your ideas and ingenuity but, as I always have to tell myself, "how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?"
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post #9 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 05:32 PM
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Norm-

It might be that the way to come closest to your cg lowering goal would be install the IMS 10 gallon tank.

I'd have to measure (and will if it would be of help), but I think that 6 gallons in that tank would all be below the back bone of the frame.

I should have about 7 gallons in mine right now. Perhaps I'll take a measurement. There's also an overall weight loss since nerf bars are not required.

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 07-19-2014 at 05:34 PM.
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post #10 of 48 Old 07-19-2014, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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If you don't mind measuring, Tom, I'd be curious. I'd also be curious as to the effort to lift the bike from lying on its side to the vertical. One big issue is lifting these things as all will know. Even you big, young guys start to feel the strain when doing off-road but for a 5' 7", over 65...nasty. I only have a few lifts in me over a time interval and then risk hurting myself.

It's a real head shake that a 400 pound KLR650 is far harder to lift than an 800 pound Honda ST1100. Some people refer to the KLR as a "pig" but that's wrong, IMO. Pigs are short, compact, good in mud and water. The KLR is more like an elk, tall, heavy, small feet so no good at all in mud. Put a saddle and camping gear on Eric the Elk and you have the average KLR. Taking off the saddle helps a lot but if one can get the elk to keep his legs folded, it's far simpler to get him upright.

Part of the reason for the interest in lowering C of G is the lifting part. One of these days, I will remember when feeling ambitious (not a frequent intersection. VBG) and ratchet strap the front and rear to compress the shock springs. This lowers the leverage, road surface to C of G, which should make the bike easier to lift...or is my physics off target?

That might serve as an indication of the effects of lowering C of G....

I've not used a large enough pull scale to measure the lift weight with full and empty tank. It might be that the IMS tank is the simple solution...might be justification to buy one for those who have lifting issues?

The difference in having the ammo boxes holding the bike up a bit verus lying on its side is significant. Of course, once one passes the horizontal, the lift becomes much less.

Stuff to consider... hadn't even considered that tank. Thanks!
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