Ben & his new-to-him Gen 1 KLR650 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-03-2018, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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Ben & his new-to-him Gen 1 KLR650

Hey all,
I'm Ben, currently living in west-central PA. I recently bought a 2003 KLR650 with intentions of putting some serious miles on it. I've been riding for five or so years - street and track. However, any time I've taken a motorcycle off road was never intentional and usually expensive. So, with a penchant for travel and a desire to get some dirt miles under my belt, I picked up the KLR. I don't have any serious plans to take the bike outside the US right now, but that scenario isn't terribly unlikely either.

As far as necessary modifications, I've got the Eagle Mike Doohickey kit due to arrive Monday. My next step is some crash protection (as I successfully white-knuckled my way through some mud this past weekend, but really thought the bike was going down). I'm a bit overwhelmed with the amount of farkles available, but I'm currently looking at crash bars (probably Dirtracks full kit) and a skid plate (not sure). So, just saying "hey" and welcome any advice and recommendations on "mandatory" mods.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-03-2018, 04:14 AM
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Location: Granger, Indiana
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I have a 2002. I'd say that the 320mm front disk while not mandatory is a massive increase in safety. I did it and highly recommend it.

Valve clearance check is a must.

If your really going to do serious miles, suspension front and back will serve you well.

LED lights (which still suck a bit from a light perspective) but get you a lot of reserve power back for heated gear. If you will be in the cold this is a must. If you don't want to suffer.

Also a thermobob is a benefit IMHO. Others may disagree. It made a big difference to my bike. So I recommend it.

Bar risers if you will be standing when off road a bit.

Good quality o or x ring chain.

Skid plate if off road a lot.

Spare throttle and clutch linkage cables. I installed mine and ties them off. Nice to have in place if you find yourself off road and screwed.

Frame screw upgrade kit from eagle Mike. I think mandating if you will be carrying a load off road.

And by all means, don't wash that thing.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-05-2018, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
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As you say, there are tons of mods......and the best choices depend on usage, expectations, experience and budget. As far as the skidplate goes; JNS is the best though I also like the Ricochet's on both my KLR's.

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post #4 of 4 Old 11-05-2018, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 16
Welcome. I have owned many bikes over the years, and this is my second KLR. It's a good fun bike, and it's kinda liberating because it allows you to go and keep going.
My bike has crash bars and a skidplate. Handle bar risers and a Corbin seat. These are all vast improvement over stock. Also upgraded are the handguards and the FMF muffler. They're good but not necessarily required. Since the bike only has 11,000 I am going to keep it, and will upgrade the suspension and front brake in future.
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