Tires / Pressure - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-28-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Tires / Pressure

Not to start another debate, but.........

I've been running Avon Gripsters (front and rear) now for about 2500 miles and would like to share and get other opinions on the Gripsters.

So far so good, I do mostly asphalt with the occasional run down a dirt or gravel road which is why I went with an 80/20. The rear is pretty compliant to most conditions, I just air down to 20 psi rear and 15 front if I plan on doing a day of backroading. I find the front VERY sensitive to air pressure especially on the asphalt.

On the street too much air in the front and the bike feels wobbly. As a test I put in the maximum. 36 psi front and rear and hated the feel, the bike felt like it was skating. Stopped after about 30 miles and checked the hot pressure and was alarmed to see 44 in the rear. The front was only up about 1 pound. This was on a 75 degree day, wonder how much more it would have been in summer temps of over 100.

Off road, well what can you say..........it is an 80/20.

Everybody seems to say "air 'em up" for highway use. So far they seem about best at 28 rear and 24 front, very close to what the recommendation is from the big K.

Planning a run down to the Texas Big Bend. What would be a good, but inexpensive, full knob to use for this excursion? I would be trailering the bike there, very little asphalt.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

Unknown
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-28-2009, 09:37 PM
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Discussions about tire air pressure is always good though the more information the better.
-Sag - has it been completed?
-Steering Stem Nut - has it been adjusted?
-Riders Weight - what is it?
-Tires - miles ridden?
-Tires/Rims - balanced or not?
-Rear Shock - what is it and what is it set to?
-Fork Springs - what are they and are there any modifications?
-Fork Preload Adjusters - do you have them?
-Swingarm Links - stock or not?
-Fork Brace - do you have one?
-Fork Oil - have you changed it? If so, what to?

All of these can have an effect on how tire pressures feel. An example would be 'frontend wobble'.

The two best items I installed was an Eagle Fork Brace and MotoWizard Fork Preload Adjusters. With these items and proper maintenance my tires, Avon Gripster's and Distanzia's, handle much better.
The Eagle Fork Brace allowed me to ride on the freeways without being blown aroud by trucks.
The MotoWizard Fork Preload Adjusters let me feel the frontend contacting the road. PCH and twisties have become a pleasure.

Tires are contact between the road and the motorcycle. If all of the maintenance is completed properly and the tires are in good condition, properly inflated, and balanced, then your KLR should handle and ride well. If the maintenance is not completed properly then your tires will let you know something(s) is not correct.
Moral of the story is make sure all of your maintenance is completed before judging the tires.

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015

Last edited by tomatocity; 03-28-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-30-2009, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't meaning to bash the Gripsters, great tire, just a little touchy on front air pressure.

Head bearings have been lubed and adjusted...rechecked.
Tires balanced.
No links.
Fork brace, yes.
Had the forks off to up the oil weight to Bel-Ray 15w to help diving. Added 1" spacer to stock springs to get ride height (sag) set.
Here's the red flag.....stock shock set at 5 and compresses 40 percent for my #220 weight.

But......had never noticed any problems with the stocker front tire.
The Gripster does fine. At the right pressure.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

Unknown
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-30-2009, 11:24 AM
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Flash, sounds like you have it covered. If you want a smooth riding front tire try the Avon Distanzia. I used Gripsters until this last set of tires when I installed the Distanzia front tire. Very smooth! so smooth I installed the Distanzia rear tire. Great on the highways and twisties.

6th Gear = a 658 kit and a 16T counter sprocket

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-30-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomatocity View Post

6th Gear = a 658 kit and a 16T counter sprocket
Must have been a typo (658 kit).

Right on !!! I keep going back and forth........685, 705, 685, 705. What to do? I've gone as far as looking into cams, head work, different carb / FI. A DOHC engine *should* be able to pump out at least 1 hp per 10 cc. It's hard to justify on a $5K bike.

I know, I'm dreaming.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #6 of 6 Old 03-30-2009, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
Must have been a typo (658 kit).

Right on !!! I keep going back and forth........685, 705, 685, 705. What to do? I've gone as far as looking into cams, head work, different carb / FI. A DOHC engine *should* be able to pump out at least 1 hp per 10 cc. It's hard to justify on a $5K bike.

I know, I'm dreaming.
Think of it this way... many people will drop $400 on an aftermarket exhaust that adds whatever HP but won't spend $500 on a 685 kit and Pre-stage head or... The 685 will definitely our performs the aftermarket exhaust and not make loud noise.

If you do a 685 now you can do a 705 later. Spend the money on the BIG head. You won't be disappointed.

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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