Finally got a KLR - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-04-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Front Royal, Virginia
Posts: 38
Finally got a KLR

Well Guys,
I finally pulled the trigger and traded the old Boulevard for a KLR Friday. So far, I'm absolutely loving it. More so than I thought I would. It's a 2011 with 9200 miles on it and is Matte Black and Gray in color. It's the same one I had mentioned earlier with the water in the oil issue and was going to pass on but I kept coming back to it. Got more info from the dealer. They had all of the service records since when they sold it new, but they did not rebuild the top end. My feeling (and theirs) is it was probably done by a dealer over towards the city when the thing crapped out. Regardless, I did it and it's mine now. I put a couple hundred miles on it yesterday and see no evidence of any problems.
A few things I'm going to change. One is the sprockets. They're almost new with the front being 15 teeth and the rear 42 I think. It runs about 4000 rpm at 65 mph. Great out on the road but it's missing a good bit of that bottom end torque. It lugs down around 3500 rpm forcing me to downshift. I'm thinking somewhere between 4250 and 4500 would be a good range for that speed and hopefully will pick up some of that lower end torque again. If any of you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I'll check out the mods and wrenching forum too. The seat will probably go too as it's a little hard so any suggestions here would be appreciated also. The last thing for the moment is lights. I plan on switching to LEDs as I think they're brighter and consume less power but I also want to add some auxiliary/fog lights. It can get really foggy at times here in the mountains on a moments notice. I'm looking for something that will do double duty. Good in fog but also will add more light under normal conditions too. Need to figure out mounting also. Saw some that mount under the fairing that look pretty good but might be a little high for fog application.
That's it for now. The bike is doing everything I hoped it would. It does need some better off-road tires. It's got the Michelin Anakees on it now. Which are great for the road and do surprisingly well in gravel, but are absolute crap in dirt. Not sure what I'm going to replace them with but it will probably be something like a 70/30 tire like the Continental maybe. Need something more aggressive for off-road but still has good road characteristics and isn't overly noisy. I probably won't worry much about that until spring. What's on there is nearly new so I may as well wear 'em while I'm getting used to this one. I won't be doing any off-roading anyway. Nothing outside of gravel for the next few months and they do pretty good in that. So that's it for now. I'll update more as I learn more about this in the future.

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post #2 of 4 Old 09-04-2016, 03:22 PM
3rd Gear
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 527
Congrats! I'm new to KLRs myself, but I also an loving mine. When you find yourself gravitating back to a particular bike it's a nice feeling when you finally get to take it home.

I can't speak on tires since by experience limited, but when I was asking around I kept hearing Kenda 270 for a good balanced tire that wears well, and Pirelli MT21 for a more aggressive tire that doesn't wear out horribly fast. But again, I've never ridden either. It can give you some names to research, though.

That said, when I first got my bike it has Shinko's street oriented tire on it. 705 it's called, maybe? I am coming to KLRs from inline fours running sticky 17" sport bike tires, and I must say, those Shinkos were amazing on pavement. Their dry traction is simply amazing... I drug a peg. In rain, they are good, but not great. If I was planning to ride pavement I'd definitely run those tires.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-04-2016, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Salisbury, MD
Posts: 6
Just bought a new '16 and will install motech crashbars. My inseam of 32" may lead me to a seat concepts commuter as I can't touch down flat footed. Should I do a doohicky yet? Also any recommendation on where to pull power for a cigarette lighter for charging devices?
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-04-2016, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 5,636
Welcome to the forum.
As to the doo-hickey, I'll suggest you do a proper adjustment now. Some owners have found loose locking bolts!

Remove the LH plastic access plugs.
Turn the engine to TDC.
Remove the rubber cap over the Doo-Hickey locking bolt and loosen the bolt a full turn.
Snug the locking bolt back down, not super tight. Preferably use a low inch pound 1/4 drive torque wrench set to 80 INCH pounds.

IMO you should replace it with an Eagle Mfg. Doo & Torsion spring by the 10,000 mile mark.
Some will say "do it Now", and at least you wouldn't have crash bars installed which you would have to work around.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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