New to KLR from South Central Washington (the State) - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-07-2012, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Yakima, WA
Posts: 8
New to KLR from South Central Washington (the State)

Hello, Just got my new KLR about a month ago and have put oabout 1,700 miles on it so far. Would be more, but was sick a whole weekend when I didn't ride at all.

First vehicle I owned was a motorcycle. A Honda 450 4 cylinder. Then I went in the Marine Corps and while stationed in NC I got a Yamaha 750 Special which I rode across the states from NC, up north, then down through Kansas (to check out my grandpas homestead where my dad grew up) then Southern Cali and up the coastal highway. The entire trip was 5,400 miles. Good time for sure! When I pulled into Yakima (home) I had 38 cents in my pocket. Good thing I won $50 during a short stop in Vegas!

Then I had a Honda xl250r. Fun but wimpy. Next up a Honda XL600R (at least I think it was a 600???)

Just went through my longest period without a motorcycle, 8 years!!! I am getting a divorce, which solved that problem

I like riding slow and easy and enjoying the scenery (although I haven't had a motorcycle yet where I didn't scrape the pegs while cornering, except this one). I discovered I am not invincable after all.

I am 52, 6'5" and weigh in at around 270#, so my next upgrade is definately the wimpy to the extreme front suspension. Brake dive? Heck, I experiance deceleration dive! So yea, upgrade limp spagetti springs next.

I usually take a short trip (under 200 miles) every weekend but planning some longer trips. One this summer, a few day trip to the coast and next Summer I plan on doing a week long trip around the North Cascade Loop, coming back over Stevens pass, with some off road exploring along the way. I am also looking into the parts and maybe eventually the entire Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, after I get my motorcycle legs back and suspension upgrades.

Well, that should cover it for now.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-07-2012, 08:44 PM
1st Gear
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 68
Welcome and enjoy the KLR! They are a blast.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-07-2012, 09:39 PM
3rd Gear
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Rolla, Mo
Posts: 576
78 dollar fork progressive springs from happy trails. I just ordered them today.

You can also get an upgraded rear spring for $75-100. Otherwise I think your looking at 400+.

Lots of farkles to do, enjoy the ride!

2006 Red KLR 650

1)Doohickey Planned and purchased 2)Aftermarket Grips 3)Grip Heaters 4)Happy Trails Hard Luggage Rack 5)20 mm ammo cases planned soon 6)Aftermarket Exhaust 7)Thermobob 8)Happy Trails Fork Brace 9)Stainless Steel Oil Filter 10)Magnetic Drain Plug

See profile visitors post for details and planned mods.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-08-2012, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Yakima, WA
Posts: 8
Right now I am looking at two options for the fork suspension. The monotube insert for around $300 or straight springs with emulators. Not sure, but from what I can tell the emulators are trying to emulate the monotube insert for really not that much difference in price by the time you figure in the extra work to install springs and emulators. Still in the air on it, will decide within the next month when I have some extra money that doesn't have a bills name on it already.

Down the road I am looking at a rear shock upgrade, but that might wait until next summer before my trip around the North Cascade loop in Washington.

Just got back from a 165 mile round trip with my daughter with some gear loaded. Gel seat not as good when riding two up I found. But still lots of fun!
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-08-2012, 07:23 AM
2nd Gear
fradsham's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Paradise, NL, Canada
Posts: 378
Welcome to the forum....I am in that 6ft+ category too and first thing to do is change the presets in the centre suspension to the maximum (5) plus changed the rebound on the bottom of the shock. The initial setting is for some in the 125 lbs category (haven't seen that since elementary school).

Ride safe....
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-08-2012, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,339
I'm your size. You might consider some raising links for the rear suspension. I found they help the rear shock and, at least in my opinion, improved the overall handling characteristics of my KLR. I could tell the difference on the first sharp curve on my first post-installation test ride. Another added bonus is that they will increase the lean angle while on the kickstand so you don't have to worry about it falling over so much.

Considering their relatively low cost, I think you get a lot of "bang for the buck." I bought mine as a temporary improvement until I could save up the money to do something with the rear shock, but gave up on that as I find the links are really all I need since I never carry heavy loads on the rear.

If you decide to upgrade to a better shock/spring in the future and don't want or need the links anymore, you could probably sell them and recoup some of your money.

Welcome to the forum.

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