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post #1 of 17 Old 10-01-2014, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Joisey, southern half
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I'm searching

As I wrote in my introduction, I'm searching for a 4 stroke dual purpose motorcycle. Please indulge me while I tell my tale.

Being the most familiar with Honda, I looked at their dual sport offering first. Air cooled I could live with. Careful reading revealed a bad habit of the engine dropping valve seats. Shame, Honda used to be as dependable as a rock. Then there is the matter of the coated lightweight valves (titanium) that don't last. Buy a new bike and in a few years have to spend $$$ to install steel valves that will last. No thank you, I'll pass. Shame Honda doesn't still offer their water cooled 650.

Next, for no particular reason was Yamaha. Had a Banshee for a while before I discovered it was as crazy as I was, but it didn't bleed when it got hurt. Anyhoo, I looked at the Yamaha 4 stroke dual sport offerings. Titanium valves and a 250cc engine. No way I would take a bike that small on the street. Their larger offerings were ignored due to price, as was offerings from BMW, KTM and Triumph for the same reasons.

So, here I am looking at the KLR Kawasaki. The bike seems nice, but it seems to have it's drawbacks like all modern offerings. Steel valves are a large plus. Higher ground clearance would be nice, but I can honestly say that I've taken my Harley down some nasty dirt roads with no trouble. They don't have anywhere near 8 inches of ground clearance. I'm not looking to hill climb, those days are long behind me. Lazy dirt roads and woods trails are more my speed.

There is a short laundry list of things that appear to need replacing on the KLR, but nothing that is scaring me off. So I'm here reading and learning, and asking questions if I have any. I honestly think the KLR will do all that I need it to do.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-01-2014, 11:45 PM
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I honestly think the KLR will do all that I need it to do.
That just about perfectly sums up the KLR!! Good bike, good price and LOADS of reasonably priced aftermarket farkles. You can tailor it to suit a wide range of activities.
Have fun!!
Regards....justjeff

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!

Last edited by klr4evr; 10-02-2014 at 07:24 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 07:43 AM
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The KLR is the HD of dual sports. Lot's of stuff available to make it the bike you want. Only limited by your budget.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 08:24 AM
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Good luck on your search. The KLR is a nice all around bike.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'll be visiting a local dealer this coming Tuesday. I want to see the bike in person and check where the alternator wires exit the side cover in relation to the front sprocket.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 09:28 AM
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I'll be visiting a local dealer this coming Tuesday. I want to see the bike in person and check where the alternator wires exit the side cover in relation to the front sprocket.
Just curious here...why is that important to you? Not knocking it, you understand; I just don't see why that would be a consideration when checking out a bike. Maybe I can learn something (I hope).

FWIW, I bought my KLR back in 2010 on the used market. I've put a bit less that 16,000 miles on it in the last four years, and like it better each time I ride. Most of my miles have been accumulated either while in the woods, or while enroute to the woods. I have other bikes, but the KLR remains my favorite.

Good luck, whatever you choose. And ride safely!

"Chet from Chattanooga"
2009 KLR, blue
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'm curious to see how much room is in between the sprocket and the alternator wiring where it exits the cover and what means has been taken to protect the wire.

I am amazed that major manufacturers have teams of designers and engineers on staff and still can't find a better place for alternator wires to exit the case. Honda did that on their air cooled twins in the seventies. The wire ran so close to the sprocket that an overly loose chain would contact the wires. Hopefully this being a dual sport bike the manufacturer at least has some means of clearance and protection for the wires.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-02-2014, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joisey View Post
I'm curious to see how much room is in between the sprocket and the alternator wiring where it exits the cover and what means has been taken to protect the wire.

I am amazed that major manufacturers have teams of designers and engineers on staff and still can't find a better place for alternator wires to exit the case. Honda did that on their air cooled twins in the seventies. The wire ran so close to the sprocket that an overly loose chain would contact the wires. Hopefully this being a dual sport bike the manufacturer at least has some means of clearance and protection for the wires.
You don't need to go to the dealership to see that. Here's a picture. Sprocket is removed but I think you can figure it out. The wire runs behind some guards between the guard and the case for lack of a better way to describe it. To the left of the blue line. Photo from market.



.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #9 of 17 Old 10-03-2014, 02:21 AM
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No expertise claimed, and no data base to submit in evidence, but . . . I don't think the maintenance history of KLRdom contains many malfunctions/failures traceable to vulnerable wiring between alternator and regulator/rectifier.

In my experience, I once shook a neutral switch connection silly, to the point of intermittent connection, from vibration of an electric impact wrench when tightening a countersprocket shaft sprocket nut. Neutral switch wire follows same path as alternator output wiring shown above (on Generation 1).

From installing a high-output stator on my Generation 1, seems like a foldable metal tab or two, and maybe a grommet stabilize alternator output wiring internally.

Bottom line: Many opportunities citing shortcomings exist to reject KLR650 acquisition; don't think vulnerability of alternator output wiring is one of them; YMMV!
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-03-2014, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
No expertise claimed, and no data base to submit in evidence, but . . . I don't think the maintenance history of KLRdom contains many malfunctions/failures traceable to vulnerable wiring between alternator and regulator/rectifier.

In my experience, I once shook a neutral switch connection silly, to the point of intermittent connection, from vibration of an electric impact wrench when tightening a countersprocket shaft sprocket nut. Neutral switch wire follows same path as alternator output wiring shown above (on Generation 1).

From installing a high-output stator on my Generation 1, seems like a foldable metal tab or two, and maybe a grommet stabilize alternator output wiring internally.

Bottom line: Many opportunities citing shortcomings exist to reject KLR650 acquisition; don't think vulnerability of alternator output wiring is one of them; YMMV!
I tend to agree with what you posted Damocles. After searching through two different manufacturers that both exhibited shortcomings (unnecessary, if I may), I am looking at the KLR with a magnifying glass I guess. I have to wonder why the designer/engineer chose such a bad place for the alternator wires to exit the case, when ultimately the wires go upward and towards the center of the bike. Make the wires 4 inches longer and route them out the back of the case thru a rubber grommet. Zero chance of the chain ever causing them trouble either thru lack of maintenance, thrown water or debris picked up by the chain when off road. As I previously stated, I'll go next Tuesday to see the bike in person. Not many (good) Kawasaki dealers in my area. I'm going to B&B cycles in Bridgeton.
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