Steroid Mods: Yes or No? Why? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Steroid Mods: Yes or No? Why?

After viewing some recent posts about what I consider "performance-enhancing mods" (I call them Steroid Mods) I wanted to throw this out there as kind of a poll, if you will.

We all have our opinions, largely based on what we read here and what kind of riding we do. Some push our KLR's harder than others, both on the street and off-road.

Not knocking what anybody else does, but I personally don't push my KLR that hard and tend to stay away from "performance-enhancing" mods because I just don't think they're necessary for the way I ride my KLR.

I believe the doohickey and brake and clutch safety switch bypasses are "must-dos" but I think these fall more into the "dependability" category.

My mods largely tend to lean toward either dependability or riding comfort; i.e. raising links, peg-lowering brackets, windshield, means of carrying more tools and supplies, etc.

So, let's hear what you think about some of the following mods, or feel free to add any I've overlooked but please don't bring up the Thermo-Bob. If you've done these mods, I would like to know why you chose to do them and how they enhance the experience with your KLR.

Feel free to bring up the big bore kits, but they're definitely something I'm never gonna do, not because I think they're pointless, but because I'll never be able to afford doing one.

.22 Mod: Haven't done it. See no need to, but might if I ever detect any pronounced symptoms of the bike running too lean: haven't noticed any yet.
Guess this could fall into the "dependability" mod considering long-term effects of a too-lean condition if present.

L-Mod or other airbox mods: Haven't done it. See no need to. Bike pulls and runs plenty good enough for me with regular filter cleanings.

"Premium" Air Filters: Same as above

Needle Changes: Same as above

Brake Line/Pads Upgrade: Haven't done it: see no need. The thing stops plenty fast enough for me. When replacing pads, I might go with "premium" pads since I'm already doing it.

Exhaust Change/Mod: Haven't done it. See no need. Bike runs fine with the stock exhaust and I don't care what it sounds like.

My "dependability" mods on the slate for this Summer are:

-Clutch and sidestand safety switch bypasses.
-Petcock "no vacuum" mod.
-Carb drain tube mod.
-Relocate choke control to carb instead of handlebars.
-Extra lights as backup for headlight circuit/bulbs & for more light at night on country roads.

Opinions, please.



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post #2 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 11:40 AM
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I've got the KLX needle kit and airbox opened a bit. It made a slight difference. I think you either like the KLR or you don't. You definitely can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear power wise.




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post #3 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post

...


.22 Mod: Haven't done it. See no need to, but might if I ever detect any pronounced symptoms of the bike running too lean: haven't noticed any yet.
Guess this could fall into the "dependability" mod considering long-term effects of a too-lean condition if present.

...

-Clutch and sidestand safety switch bypasses.
-Petcock "no vacuum" mod.
-Carb drain tube mod.
-Relocate choke control to carb instead of handlebars.
-Extra lights as backup for headlight circuit/bulbs & for more light at night on country roads.

Opinions, please.

You want to do the .22 mod. The bike is lean stock on the low spead carb circuits stock to meet emissions. You will definetly notice better throttle response, wakes it up so to speak.

I haven't had any issue with the vacuum petcock. If you bypass it you'll have to remember to turn off the gas everytime you stop or risk gas getting past the float needle and hydro locking the motor.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #4 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 12:11 PM
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I did the .27cent mod (.22cent adjusted for inflation) and drilled the slide. It worked fine for me, seems to have stopped the backfiring the bike had been doing.

I will be putting on the larger brake rotor since I am going to be adding some more weight and commuting in the DC area, there are a lot of idiots out there. I find the stock rotor to be a bit lacking.

Erik
2003 Bandit 1200S
2009 KLR 650

74 Honda CB360
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post #5 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
You want to do the .22 mod. The bike is lean stock on the low spead carb circuits stock to meet emissions. You will definetly notice better throttle response, wakes it up so to speak.

I haven't had any issue with the vacuum petcock. If you bypass it you'll have to remember to turn off the gas everytime you stop or risk gas getting past the float needle and hydro locking the motor.
Ah, didn't realize that about the petcock mod. Sounds like the risks of that one outweigh the potential rewards, especially as much as I forget stuff.



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post #6 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 12:36 PM
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I see where you are going with this…. I like my bike and I enjoy adding little things and tinkering on it… But at what point do some of these thing become “You must do” verses “when I have time and want to tinker – do’s”
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post #7 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 12:58 PM
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22 cent mod was a night/ day difference on my 09.
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post #8 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Jake View Post
I see where you are going with this…. I like my bike and I enjoy adding little things and tinkering on it… But at what point do some of these thing become “You must do” verses “when I have time and want to tinker – do’s”
In a way. I certainly don't want to come across as critical of people who do these mods (or any other) and don't want to imply they're wasting their time and money. They all seem to be pretty widespread and thus there must be some benefit to them otherwise people wouldn't do them: I just don't see any of them improving the performance of my KLR the way I ride it. I may be wrong, but just really don't think I'd notice a difference.

I think most folks would agree that the only thing close to a "must-do" is the doohickey upgrade unless you're willing to take your chances with it if you don't.

I was really thinking hard about upgrading my rear shock, but then decided "What's the point?" The raising links took out all the sag I need under my weight. I don't jump the thing or go flying over rough desert terrain or whoop-de-doos or rocky trails: my rear tire never even comes close to contacting anything else on the bike. The only real plus I see is that maybe a performance shock (or the stock shock with a bigger spring) might last longer, but I would imagine my stock shock will last for quite awhile the way I ride.

I would say every mod is suited to an individual's riding style, how they use their KLR and demand of it and some just like to tinker for the hell of it and there's certainly nothing wrong with that and I think it's a bug most of us have been bitten by.



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post #9 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 01:43 PM
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I bought a decent pair of BarkBuster aluminum guards and feel it is worth the money spent. Not because i plan on riding tons of single track where the trees are 28" apart, but because I've dumped bikes numerous times, jamming the grips into the dirt and would have tweaked the levers/controls had it not been for the Busters. Trick I learned from trail riding was to leave the lever perches slightly loose so they have a chance to spin freely for when your unlucky enough to dump your ride. Maybe I should just learn to ride better...
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post #10 of 90 Old 05-25-2011, 02:24 PM
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I did the KLX needle, uni filter, rejet, FMF Q4, de-snorkel, slide drilling, etc. How much actual increase in performance is netted from these changes is debatable, and with the relatiively expensive exhaust, $/hp or $/ft-lb its not a lot of bang for the buck on paper. That being said, my bike will now wheelie in 1st easily, and with a fair amout of clutch abuse can be hoisted up in 2nd. Major improvement in throttle response and general rideability and it sounds good without being loud. Money well spent? Perhaps not, but if i bought another KLR i would do the same mods to it too.

Moab rear shock & Progressive front springs: Expensive but worth every penny to me. If you have spent years riding MX bikes and sport bikes with actual competent suspension, the KLR's boingers just dont cut it.

Pro Taper Evo's: Taper section bars are the bomb. Seriously, i had no idea how much difference they can make in how a bike feels in terms of feedback thru the bars. A friend had them on his MX bike and raved about them. I decided to try some on his reccomendation and have been hooked ever since. I will not own an offroad bike without them. They seem to damp vibrations better, and if you crash hard enough to bend or break them, its probably not a crash you are going to walk away from, they are hell for stout.

Fork Brace - Steel brake line: Brake line improved front braking by maybe 10%, but every little bit helps. Fork brace benefits are arguable, but it looks cool and I have convinced myself that it adds something useful, so in my make believe world, its an awesome upgrade.

I guess I could have ridden my KLR in stock form, but to me its a lot more fun with the upgrades i have made. 20 more HP would be nice, but seeing as its not up for sale, i must be pretty happy with what its got now.

A friend of mine asked me why I use a $1000+ .375 H&H mag instead of a 250$ Wal-mart .30-06 when the only things i hunt are deer and feral hogs. My answer is that my rifle is more interesting, more fun, has more capability, is a challenge to shoot well with the recoil, and to me, its just more "cool". I guess its like the KLR, I just like to blow $$$ on cool stuff for no damn good reason.

Dave

____________________________________________
2008 B-King - Bone stock

2007 KLR650 - Moab shock - Progressive springs 10wt oil - Happy Trails fork brace - Steel front brake line - ProTaper Evo - Acerbis Rally Pro guards - Uni Filter - KLX needle - De-Snorkled - Slide drilled - FMF Q4 - DooHickey done - Swingarm pivots drilled/tapped for grease Zerks - Custom (homebuilt) mount and Pelican 1450's.
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