Hey Guys, Complete Newb question here. I just picked up my 1st bike this weekend. I was able to score a 2008 KLR for a killer price and low miles. The only thing the bike needs is a set of tires. Which brings up the question of lowering the bike. Im 5'9 and right now Im able to reach the ground on the balls of my feet. Im worried that once I put some tires with some better tread it's going to raise the bike more that Im comfortable with for such a new rider.
I already have a custom seat that helped a bit but I am a bit worried about me reaching the ground.
I guess my question is what is the best way to lower the KLR a bit and also the best economical. Im not really worried about bottom out I think since most of my riding will be side streets and fire roads. Nothing too gnarly for this guy.
Funny, this sounds exactly like my situation.
I just bought a 2009, and I'm 5'7", 30" or 31" inseam.
I lowered mine 2" in the rear and 1" up front. I'll probably raise the back up to just 1" in the rear shortly, mainly because lowering it seems to soften the rear suspension. I've got my preload adjusted to 5, and it's OK, but couldn't picture lowering it more. It feels like when the bike was stock height and the preload was adjusted to 1.
EDIT: See my thread on the kickstand too. I'm running it without ANY of the removable sections, and it's even still feeling too long sometimes. If I raise it back up 1" in the rear, it'll probably be perfect. Easy route out for you would be to just have a welder take 2.5" out of the kickstand and call it a day, if you are lowering it at least 1".
You can buy lowering links for the rear - the ones I bought have three sets of holes to allow lowering 1", 2", or 3". I can't imagine why you'd need to lower it 3". Installing the links was easy.
Up front, all you have to do is loosen the triple-tree bolts, and move the shocks up. Look for my thread - torque specs for the triple three were provided by helpful forum members.
I'm also about to remove a set of Michelin T63 knobbies that are almost new, as I've chosen to put a tire on it that resembles the stock tire.
I'd consider selling these Michelins. Not sure what shipping would be.
Or, the Michelins aren't cheap tires (well, I suppose they aren't expensive), but the ones I bought were - Shinkos only totalled $104. Even more expensive tires for this bike seem to ring in around $200-$250/set, which is less than the back tire on a crotch rocket.
Lots of people seem to push the SW Motech bars. I installed the Givi bars on my bike, in part because I figured with my first bike, I wanted the most disposable, easiest to replace option. My logic was - I'm already writing them off before I even buy them. So perhaps surprisingly, they seem really solid, they are nice. And no removal of the seat or tank required to install them. And they cost $100 less. I'd recommend them.