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.
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......