Overwhelming - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 20
Overwhelming

Well, hello to everyone.......I'm about as new as a newbie can get to this site and also the "KLR" world. I bought and 09' last year and put around 2000 miles on it, so for the most part I'm totally green. I'd really like to start putting some miles on my bike by starting off with some short trips here and there to get the feel and hang of what a longer trip would be like. I've ridden bikes since I was a young lad, but now at 38 I've decided that I'm not interested in a Harley or anything that's going to require more cleaning than riding.
My bike is stock......no fancy bags, tires, exhaust or farkles...still don't really know what a farkle is........thought it was a dice game. Anyway, I've been surfing this site during the winter months trying to figure out what I need to do to make my ride more effective on the road and more enjoyful in the seat. I gotta say, I'm totally overwhelmed with everything I see on here, and to be honest, I'm not really sure where to start. My rear stock tire is about shot so I know that'll be a start, but if the rest of you had $1000 to spend on your stock bike, where would you start and what would you do? It would be great to see someone elses bike up close and personal, but I have yet to meet anyone else with a KLR in Eastern Iowa. I know, I know.... cornfields and cattle.......but man, what a great place to grow up and live. Looking forward to some thoughts and opinions.
Thanks,
Iowa
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,331
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.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-13-2012, 11:00 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 1,790


Yep... What he said.

MB4





Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
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 riders, 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.

PPMC # 3

Yo! To the brothers.

RIP Darin, Ben, Carey


"I am the muffin man"
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-14-2012, 07:47 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,700
Iowa,
The above info is great and the only thing I'd add is (while not cheap) my MOAB shock that was built for me was a great item for my KLR..j

And keep in touch.. I, and several other KLR riders are often wandering eastern IA on our KLR's.. I have a place to stay in Prairie Du Chein and we're wandering the river gravel roads and level B roads..
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-16-2012, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR Iowa View Post
My rear stock tire is about shot so I know that'll be a start, but if the rest of you had $1000 to spend on your stock bike, where would you start and what would you do? It would be great to see someone elses bike up close and personal, but I have yet to meet anyone else with a KLR in Eastern Iowa. I know, I know.... cornfields and cattle.......but man, what a great place to grow up and live. Looking forward to some thoughts and opinions.
Thanks,
Iowa
Im from eastern Iowa....around Rathbun Lake.....lots of B levels, water crossings and forest to ride down here....dont know much about your area - look around you will be surprised at what you can find.

This is my bike:



I like to keep it simple.....just what I need (or think I need). I dont do long distance touring on that bike so I dont need all the stuff hanging off it.

Im running Shinko 705s front and rear. A set can be had for around $100. So far I have about 3K or so miles on them and still plenty of tread left - work great on dirt, gravel and pave......but they fill up pretty quick in the mud (to be expected).

For comfort improvements I have a set of highway pegs.....dont remember how much but they arent expensive. Im 6ft4in so I need to stretch my legs a bit. Also using the $15 seat pad from WalMart.....improves the stock seat big time.

Im running some hard plastic panniers I got cheap off the net.....on some mounts I have no idea who made them.....again, cheap but "enough" storage for my needs. That little tank bag holds my phone (which doubles as my GPS if I need it) and a few other things. Ive got a MSR fuel bottle in a water bottle holder bolted to a pannier for extra gas. Thats it for storage.

Actual bike mods. The DOO has been done......Im running a "real" metal skid plate (MSR I think) and a set of Acerbis handguards. I modified the stock exhaust by removing the tweety and attaching an exhaust tip. Ive also done the "wheatwhacker" mod to the fairing. I swapped out the front stock fender for an Acerbis super moto fender. I also recently added a tool tube.

Thats it......just a simple bike for hammering on some gravel and b levels.

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-16-2012, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 20
Beautiful area down there.......I'm about 3 hours North of you. Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. I'll more than likely tinker around with the exhaust mod and the .22 cent mod just to play around with it a little bit. I ordered a Dakar windscreen and have picked up one pelican case on Ebay so far. I'm thinking I can fab the racks myself and maybe the front crash bars and skidplate.......we'll see. Powdercoating may cost more than I think it should. I enjoy working on things and creating low cost ways to provide the same effect from something that cost an arm and a leg. Call me cheap, but I seem to learn more about things by working on them myself and fitting them with items I come up with myself. Once again, I appreciate the info.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-16-2012, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR Iowa View Post
I enjoy working on things and creating low cost ways to provide the same effect from something that cost an arm and a leg. Call me cheap, but I seem to learn more about things by working on them myself and fitting them with items I come up with myself.
That's what I'm talking about! A true KLR guy!



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post #8 of 8 Old 02-17-2012, 08:07 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR Iowa View Post
Beautiful area down there.......I'm about 3 hours North of you. Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. I'll more than likely tinker around with the exhaust mod and the .22 cent mod just to play around with it a little bit. I ordered a Dakar windscreen and have picked up one pelican case on Ebay so far. I'm thinking I can fab the racks myself and maybe the front crash bars and skidplate.......we'll see. Powdercoating may cost more than I think it should. I enjoy working on things and creating low cost ways to provide the same effect from something that cost an arm and a leg. Call me cheap, but I seem to learn more about things by working on them myself and fitting them with items I come up with myself. Once again, I appreciate the info.
Sounds like you got the right idea.
What mods you do to the bike really depends on what you use the bike for, and that use may change over time. If you keep the bike long enough, it may go through several iterations as your needs change. When I bought mine a couple years ago, it was going to be mostly for off road recreational riding, life changes, these days it's pretty much all commuting to and from work. Thats really the strong point of a KLR, with the addition and subtraction of a few aftermarket pieces, it can effectively go from weekend off road toy to daily commuter or any stage in between.
Work on the mechanicals of the bike first (ie: Doohickey, $.22, ect), then start the mods based on shortcomings that present themselves while you ride. Get out and spend some time on the bike. As you ride along you will inevitably say to yourself "I wish ****was better, or I wish my bike had a *****, or this trip would be better if I had a ****"".
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