Hey, same here in NW Missouri: not many cattle, though, just cornfields and soybean fields.
In my opinion, the best thing to do is just keep riding the KLR and determine what you need for the kind of riding you do.
For example, at 6'4", I didn't care for the wind blast with the stock shield, so I put on an aftermarket tall windshield. Money well spent for me.
I also was concerned about the stock bash plate protecting the engine and the oil drain plug, so I bought a metal one. Never really 'tested," but I like the peace of mind.
I found my back started hurting on longer rider, so I added some highway pegs so I could shift around a little while riding. Money well spent for me.
Found my butt started hurting on longer rides and didn't have the money for an aftermarket seat, so put on a Sweet Cheeks "system." Love it. Money well spent for me.
Decided I'd like some more protection for the engine and radiator, so added a set of nerf bars. Wanted to carry more tools and stuff for roadside repairs, so added some nylon bags to them to carry inner tubes, a compressor, etc. Money well spent when I had a flat several miles from home last Fall.
Started commuting to work on the KLR and needed a place to carry my work stuff and a place to store my riding gear while at work. Didn't have the money for a nice topcase, let alone panniers, so went to Wal-Mart and bought a cheap plastic tote and bolted it to my rear rack. Works fine. Money well spent for me.
I ride home from work at night, so added an auxiliary headlight in case both mine go out, so I can at least limp home on it. It's cheap and only a 55w light and doesn't augment the stock headlights. My headlights may both never go out, but if they do, I can press on and at least get home and fix them later. Again, simply peace of mind.
There are lots of good threads on this site discussing tires. Again, depends on what kind of riding you do and how much money you want to spend, but I'd rather get folks' opinions on tires from this site than read the "reviews" on some vendor's site.
I replaced my doohickey with the Eagle Mike one. This always seems to be a point of contention, but it's my money and for me it's worth it for the peace of mind.
I'll admit, there have been a few mods I've basically done just for the hell of it like the .22 Mod and the Low-Buck Exhaust Mod.
In closing, I would voice my opinion that a Clymer manual would be a very good investment at a small fraction of $1000.
Let the KLR and your body tell you what you need, not other people. If you decide you'd like to change or add something, you can surely find a discussion about it on this forum with "reviews" or opinions voiced by fellow KLR riders who have done it before you.
Last edited by planalp; 02-14-2012 at 07:51 AM.