You said I could ask; so here goes - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
KLR & Other Motorcycle Related Discussion Grab a seat and discuss whatever you like about the KLR or other related topics. Within reason.

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post #1 of 56 Old 06-28-2014, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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You said I could ask; so here goes

Hi, I'm Frank from Jacksonville. I did post in the introductions posting first, but a quick review. Brand new rider, retired Navy, Taking the MSF class in two weeks and bought a 2014 KLR 650. Being 51, I have the discipline not to ride until I finish the class. Bike gets delivered this Wednesday. So during the time I have to wait for the class and endorsement 17-18 July, I want to know what can or should I do to the bike?

1. I've heard I should loctite nuts (which ones)
2. Center Stand?
3. Fairing guards, engine guards?
4. How are the brakes on a 2014, should I replace with steel brake line and bigger rotor? dealer said no?
5. I am going to read Proficient Motorcycling
6. Can I fit Givi top boxes on the bike?
7. OK, last one, my riding will consist of 95% road, and the 5% trail, my plan is to keep the stock tires until they wear down and trade for a more street mix later on, does this sound OK to learn on? Please, and before I'm told I should have got something more street instead of the KLR, please understand that I love this bike and tried street bikes, they did not fit me or give me that comfortable feeling; and besides, it's the best looking bike I've ever seen and it is simple.
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post #2 of 56 Old 06-28-2014, 11:41 PM
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Sounds like you got it covered. I'd change the oil. But I'm anal like that. Crash bars might save you money if you drop it. Brakes are fine. Boxes are plentiful - mine's a cheapo. The "doo" is the only thing that you might want to think about doing. And BLUE loctite is your friend. Red? Not friendly.

Other than that, study! Read Hough for sure, good call.

Oh, and the stock tires get bashed, but they're fine tires and you'll burn em up.




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post #3 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 12:07 AM
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Hi Frank!
Thanks for the questions! Here are the answers in no particular order:Yes, NO!, Sometimes, never, It was a beautiful wreck!! Bahahahahahah!!
Sorry I couldn't resist. Try these:

1)Loktite everything that might fall off. If you use Loctite 290 you don't have to disassemble the bolt/nut to apply. put a little on the joint and through capillary action the loctite will migrate in and lock the nut/bolt.
2) Centerstand plus for maintenance minus due to loosing some ground clearance and adding some weight.
3) Guards are a must have. A small tipover will be expensive without them. I have the SW Motec guards on mine and really like them. Saved me bigtime when I crashed the ditch last year due to a flat rear tire on the highway.
4)I have stock brakes on my 2011 with NO mods and am very happy with them.
5) Good
6)I believe there is an adapter you need to buy to mount the box.
7)Wear the tires out before replacing them. My rear lasted 3500 miles. They are adequate for street, not great in mud. Don't worry about the naysayers. Ride the hell out of it on the street. It's no crotch rocket but when did you see a crotch rocket on a gravel road!
Ride safe and have fun on your KLR! I have over 10000 miles on mine on everything from dirt trails to pavement, commuting to long distance trips.
Regards....justjeff

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
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post #4 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 03:36 AM
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# 4:

Stock brakes are adequate for typical KLR650 speeds and applications, I think; however . . . a stainless front brake line offers crisper, more responsive caliper action than the stock system, IMHO and in my experience. Further, an oversize front brake rotor gives better modulation and control of braking. That said, I wouldn't claim either provides significantly shorter stopping distance.

You do not ask about upgrading the doohickey; not of immediate concern, I think, since your bike will be under warranty, and . . . since no stock doohickey has experienced a component failure since release of the 2008 models (although spring tension issues have surfaced).

Finally, a question for YOU:

Did you get a NEW EDITION 2014 KLR650? With the stronger suspension and improved seat? If not; if you're taking delivery on just a plain 'ol 2014 model, I'd consider swapping it for a New Eddition, even if you must pay some more money for it. The improved suspension and seat would be worth the extra hundred or so dollars to me; YMMV!

Last edited by Damocles; 06-29-2014 at 08:26 AM.
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post #5 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 07:26 AM
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You asked about doing things to the bike. All well and good, but if you are a new rider, you should be as much concerned with your ability, and attitude on riding a bike. The bike can be "farkled perfectly" but it's no good if you are not prepared to ride safely. Don't forget the protective clothing. Jacket, helmet, etc.

All/most of above... Plus:
Bars do save plastic.
I'd suggest building a good tool kit. My 2011 came with a kit, only 20% of its contents fit anything on the bike. It will get you familiar with all the fittings on the bike, and allow you to check everything to make sure it's properly tightened. ( Some dealers are not so good at "Pre-Sale-Checkups" )
These "cheap tool stores" would be fine for the amount you will use the tools.
Use the bikes tool kit while doing normal maintenance to get familiar and see what works, and what does not work, before you have to do something on the road.

Ride it around in parking lots, back un-traveled roads a lot to get used to how it handles. Practice emergency braking, and maneuvers a lot. Read every thing you can on how to ride safely. ( "Motorcycle Consumer News" has articles on this each month in their magazine, as well as other bike magazines. )

To be as safe as you can.. "Be a little paranoid" all the time. Expect that guy to pull a boner, that gal to not see you and pull out in front, etc. Be ready to brake, "properly", all the time.

It may sound like I'm preaching, but I've been riding since I was 40. I'm 75 now, with both on and off road experience. I just had my first traffic related "put-down".
See it here.. http://youtu.be/e7TXgaPZnn8

Ageing Gracefully



2017 Yamaha XT250
1990 Honda NX250 (Green/White)
2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Orange & White )

My KLR Page..http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm

Mod's to KLR:
Power socket, L.E.D. Battery Indicator, Camera bag holder
Custom Saddlebag frames .
Louder horns, Firstgear Onyx tail bag.
Custom Aluminum Skid Plate.
Cut down seat with Custom pad.
Go Pro Camera mount.
Doo-Hicky

Last edited by larry31; 06-29-2014 at 07:45 AM.
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post #6 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 08:20 AM
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Personally, I'd save the money on bike mods and use it to buy gear if your just starting out . The most important part of a bike is the rider, so protect yourself accordingly. My two cents

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post #7 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
Personally, I'd save the money on bike mods and use it to buy gear if your just starting out . The most important part of a bike is the rider, so protect yourself accordingly. My two cents
THIS^^^^^. Get yourself geared up first. Good helmet, jacket, boots, and gloves. Worry about getting some riding experience before you start modding your bike out. The crash bars should be the only thing you really do at this point. As a beginning rider I can almost guarantee you will dump it a few times starting and stopping. Personally speaking I recommend to all newbies that they start in the dirt, on a dirt bike and get all the basics down first before transitioning to the street. And I would have recommended a smaller bike like a 250cc first. But to each their own.

2009 KLR650
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post #8 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 08:37 AM
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I just had my first traffic related "put-down".
See it here.. http://youtu.be/e7TXgaPZnn8
Glad the damage was no worse, Larry!

Wish you lived closer; I've an extra pair of knee-and-shin guards, and a serviceable pair of motocross boots (O'Neal Elements, if you can wear size 9) I'd donate!

The knee/shin guards and proper motorcycling boots may have mitigated, if not prevented, your knee and foot/ankle injuries.

Last edited by Damocles; 06-29-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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post #9 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 09:47 AM
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Gear/videos/wheelies

Always wear your gear. Craigslist is a good place to score good geAr cheap till your ready to buy gear that you know you will like and works.

(We all buy lotsa gear that just doesn't work out for whatever reason) just trying to save you sum money....

Videos....
Youtube has lotsa professionals that post riding videos covering the FUNDAMENTALS! You will use this knowledge every time you mount and ride. Notice I wrote FUNDAMENTALS.... your MSF instructors will constantly cover these points throughout your course. Things such as, weighting the pegs, keeping your head up while turning, pressure on the back break during slow riding, etc...

Lastly.... Get out there and practice in a parking lot.... Become familiar with everything about your KLR. EVEN WHEELIES!!!!! They have sum teaching potential in regards to throttle control....
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post #10 of 56 Old 06-29-2014, 03:49 PM
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Buy gear, it doesn't have to say Klim on it, ride, practice, play, have fun, don't read online about it or you will get paranoid and think you just bought a POS and get conned into dumping 5k in mods into it.
WELCOME! They're great bikes!

Kawasaki KLR650 - Adventure Lite
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