I agree, it looks cool. But there are reasons for the loss of feel and trust
Here's the deal: the reason there is less grip in the front end of the klr with
17" front wheel is this; Rake and Trail.
Functions of: The frame's designed in geometry and the following; Front ride height (that's the fork length), triple clamp offset combined with leading axle distance (built into the fork legs) and the front wheel/tire diameter. Along with the rear wheel/tire diameter, plus the length and angle of the swingarm. (rear ride height)
When you put 17" wheels and tires on the KLR, you lose trail, from a very generous 125mm to a paltry 86mm That's if you use a typical 120/70-17, if you use a 120/60-17 the trail is only 80mm.
Before any ride height changes.
That is why the front end "goes away" with out warning, and the feel is so nervous. Any time you see someone tuck the front, it is because of lack of trail at that moment.
An 18" set-up is only slightly less loss of trail.
It will take special triple clamps to restore proper trail. Along with very specific ride height changes front and rear to give the bike Optimum rake, trail and swingarm slope. The stock suspension has to be shortened, revalved and sprung for the best results.
The above mentioned EX500 front end conversion wont be long enough. It would have even less trail.
There is more to it but I will leave it there as I have to get to work.
The big klr has good potential if done right, if anyone is interested in doing a proper geometry set-up they can contact me at [email protected]
"It's all in the numbers"