What I like best - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-07-2008, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 15
What I like best

I like the suspension on the 2008 the very best of any of the features.

That is one smooth and compliant suspension. I live in this place called Las Vegas where there are not many potholes or frost heaves or railroad tracks and the roads are mostly very smooth. But when I see some little imperfection I try to ride over it because I hardly even feel it anyhow. The suspension just soaks it right up better even than my car.

I also like the clutch and transmission and the neutral finder. I can find neutral from either first gear or second gear on the first try every time.

The push-to-cancel turn signals are also neat. Easier than trying to center it after completing a turn.

There must be some sort of counterbalancer in the engine because there is not much vibration that gets through to the frame and the rider. Sometimes I will be at a stop and go light next to a Harley Davidson and that poor thing is just sitting there bouncing around like a paint shaker. I try not to laugh.

I am not so fond of the mirrors because they around round and should be rectangular like the turn signals.

The brakes have an odd feel. The rear brake seems like it is hardly working at all enough when I push down on the pedal pretty far. I am guessing that Kawasaki makes it like that so that the brakes do not lock up the wheels in the dirt and sand. It does not really bother me so much because I ride like Miss Daisy and do not need to make sudden stops. At least I will not have to worry about a low-side or a high-side because as of yet I cannot see how to lock up a tire. So if worse comes to worse I will most likely just run into something like that Pittsburgh Steelers player did.

I cannot say much about the engine as of yet. I am still at low mileage and I am following what it says in the owner's manual and shifting at 4000 RPM. My experience tells me that their is more performance to be had betweeen 4000RPM and 6000RPM but I can wait on looking into that.

It first it would not even start but the dealership took it back and ground some bit off of the cam so that the KACR would not hold the valve open and ruin the compression needed for starting.

Once that ordeal was over with it has been faultless in terms of both starting and riding.

I changed the oil today just to do something and the OEM oil was black in just 300 miles but the new oil in the little sight window is nice and amber so far because I have not ridden it anywhere.

I am undecided thus far about luggage so I am just making do with a stretchy net. The stretchy net is doing a fine job but does not offer much in terms of security. Sometimes I have left my leather jacket and gloves under the net but if somebody took my stuff I would feel bad.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-12-2008, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 26
Have you tried bleeding the rear brakes? I've never seen a bike that wouldn't lock up the rear tire.

When I first got my bike I actually used the rear brake to slide the rear end around corners. Of course I was a lot younger and healed a lot faster then.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-14-2008, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 15

There is something not quite right with the rear brake, and it is not my riding ability, thank you very much.

I tried stopping from an indicated 50MPH using only the rear brake and it took about a city block (1/8th mile) and I was standing on it pretty hard. And even when I eventually whoaed it down to a slow speed like 5MPH the rear tire was still not skidding or squealing on doing anything else but slowly coming to a stop.

Simply shutting down the throttle going an indicated 50MPH in 4th gives more braking from the engine than I can get from the rear brake. That is not a good thing.

I tried doing simulated panic stops from 50 - 0 and the unsettling part is that when using the front brake I could not feel the difference in applying the rear brake even though it seems to me that I was applying a pretty significant amount of force to the brake pedal. And when I release the rear brake pedal completely I still could not feel any difference. It felt for all the world as if the front brake was doing 100% of the braking and the rear brake was contributing nothing. I know this cannot be true in the literal sense but it feels that way.

The front brake is an entirely different story. That front brake works perfectly and I generally only use one finger.

After a series of 50 - 0 tests the rear brake rotor was warm, so there is at least some friction taking place.

I was not keeping score, but I guess I did about a dozen 50 - 0 tests and that was enough to tell me not to get in a real panic stop situation because the rear brake is pretty much out to lunch on the whole deal.

In reference, my last bike was a Honda Nighthawk 750 (CB750) with the same sort of rear disc brake. If memory serves correctly that bike would stop in one-third the distance from an indicated 50MPH using only the rear brake with maybe half the pressure on the brake pedal. The stopping distance on this KLR650 using only the rear brake is nearly suicidal.

What is the procedure from bleeding the rear brake? I see where the bleeder valve is located and I know I should put down shop rags or paper towels or napkins were the brake fluid would be expected to drip because brake fluid is somewhat corrosive to many finishes. If the procedure is the same on any vehicle I guess I could find it in the internet search engine Google somewhere.

Thanks for your help.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-14-2008, 09:29 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 704
The rear brake on my 05 works a little better than RBs, but still not what I think it should be. It's got plenty of pad, linkage adjusted and it's been bled properly (several times). There's no leaks. So I am also looking foward to ya'lls advice.
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