First time KLR owner in LA, with a few questions- hello all! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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First time KLR owner in LA, with a few questions- hello all!

After recently finishing a 14K trip around the us, on a Honda Magna, and seeing how much fun I was missing out on by not having a proper dual-sport/adventure bike, I've finally sold that bike and purchased a KLR!

Actually, it was a CL find that was just too good to pass up- 2008 in fairly good condition, 685 kit, crash guards, full Pelican luggage, other goodies. Flew from LA to Seattle and rode it down in two days. That part was terrible- wayyy too many miles per day, and it flat-out sucked. Still, the bike did great throughout the trip, in fact did so well I got pulled over for speeding...oops

A couple items did come up, and I'd really appreciate any experienced users with time to help out on these:

1) While not at-speed, temp was constantly sitting at about 2/3 up, above the midline, leaning toward the redzone. Not comforting. It never overheated, but it didn't seem to be cooling properly...or maybe it is?

2) Engine will choke and falter sometimes when throttle is twisted, or even if rolled on with a bit of speed. In fact, overall, the engine just felt surprisingly clunky and doggy, despite having the Schnitz 685 kit (supposedly, anyway). I totally understand it's a thumber and not the V4 80hp Magna, but man this thing was dogging...

3) Previous owner lowered the bike 1.5 inches, but not the kickstand...it barely stands up properly now, arrg. Anyone selling a lowered kickstand?

Thanks for any thoughts! Really looking forward to getting out and piling up the miles again!

PS- I'm also interested in good methods to lighten the bike. I've heard the muffler is a good place to start, and perhaps other items as well?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 08:10 AM
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yahodahan: Welcome to our little corner of the Net, the home of the world's most dedicated KLR 650 owners.

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My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #3 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 08:18 AM
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Couple comments related to your post:

1. What was the ambient temperature when the temp gauge was beyond center. Were you in stop & go traffic etc.?? So far it sounds normal. Was the cooling fan running?

2. I'm no carb expert but there are folks here who are. Sounds to me like a carb jet problem. Were jets changed when the 685 kit was done.
Also a loaded down KLR with a set of Pelicans on the wings is a little gutless. You cut your HP in half from your previous bike. May just take some getting used to.

3. If you are happy with the lowered position of the bike you can cut your stand down and weld it back together.

As to saving weight by changing the muffler you will add the noise factor.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 08:30 AM
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I'm new to klr's as well and have the same temperature gauge situation. Might be how they run.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-23-2014, 07:06 PM
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Congratulations on the bike and welcome.

I had a friend cut and re-weld my side stand. It is on a stock bike and he took 3/4" off. Not sure how much you would need to take off on a lowered bike.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas- didn't realize the sidestand could just be cut and re-welded, I'll look for a shop nearby to do that.

Not too worried about the extra noise from an aftermarket muffler, right now the front end (fairings or something) is so friggin loud, I can't hear a thing. It's like a constant scream, might be something off-angle in front...not sure. Anyone else have a similar issue? At highway speeds it's terrible.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahodahan View Post

1) While not at-speed, temp was constantly sitting at about 2/3 up, above the midline, leaning toward the redzone. Not comforting. It never overheated, but it didn't seem to be cooling properly...or maybe it is?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alldayphila View Post
I'm new to klr's as well and have the same temperature gauge situation. Might be how they run.
this is normal for the KLR. when there is limited airflow across the radiator the temperature will climb until the thermo-switch located in the rad turns on the fan to create airflow. just make sure the fan is coming on, and it sounds like it is as the temperature stays consistent and the bike doesn't overheat.

2013 KLR650
1994 YZ250
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahodahan View Post
1) While not at-speed, temp was constantly sitting at about 2/3 up, above the midline, leaning toward the redzone. Not comforting. It never overheated, but it didn't seem to be cooling properly...or maybe it is?
Sounds like mine. Unless you have the thermobob installed, the temp goes all over the place. Never in the red, through, not even in stop-and-go on 95 days.

Make sure the fan is running when it gets warm. (Fan fuse is in a small capsule next to the radiator overflow on the gen1.)

Quote:
2) Engine will choke and falter sometimes when throttle is twisted, or even if rolled on with a bit of speed.
This does not sound normal to me. First thing I'd try is to put a can of sea foam in the tank and see if it helps, but that's the first thing I always try.

Quote:
3) Previous owner lowered the bike 1.5 inches, but not the kickstand...it barely stands up properly now, arrg. Anyone selling a lowered kickstand?
Sometimes I'm blessed to be 6'4".
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-27-2014, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahodahan View Post
Thanks for the ideas- didn't realize the sidestand could just be cut and re-welded, I'll look for a shop nearby to do that.
of course the other option, if your inseam can take it is to look for a pair of used or new stock dog bones or even raising links.

where do the fork tubes sit in relation to the top triple?

2013 KLR650
1994 YZ250
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-28-2014, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahodahan View Post

2) Engine will choke and falter sometimes when throttle is twisted, or even if rolled on with a bit of speed. In fact, overall, the engine just felt surprisingly clunky and doggy, despite having the Schnitz 685 kit (supposedly, anyway). I totally understand it's a thumber and not the V4 80hp Magna, but man this thing was dogging...
When you say it "sometimes" chokes and falters, do you mean that it takes throttle okay sometimes and not okay other times?

If so, it may be a bad throttle slide diaphragm in the carburetor. If the diaphragm is intermittently leaking vacuum, it will work sometimes and then not work right when it leaks.

If the bike always chokes and falters I'd check the filter and/or the carb manifold for air leaks.
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