I tend to ramble. If you are just interested in the Mods and not the trip, skip to the paragraph that starts, 'As for the mods'.
At the invitation of a member of this forum who probably wouldn't want me throwing his name out (thanks man!), I took a ride down south yesterday. Left the bay area about 7 in the AM and it was about a 4.5 hour ride. Little chilly, but a nice ride overall. I've lived in CA for a long time, but it always amazes me how many different areas of the state there are. And mostly pretty.
Passed about 40-50 newish Corvettes driving back to back. Was glad I was on my bike. To stay with the flow of traffic, I was doing 90 pretty much the whole way. Bike was extremely stable even with the crosswinds. I was glad I put the Acerbis Fender on. I was surprised though. I usually don't ride that fast, but the bike only started getting squirrely if I went above 90. 90 was a little twitchy, but not much. 85 was solid as a rock. And 90 put me directly at 6K rpms.
Saw a bald eagle. And two vultures exploded from the side of the road right by me. I was really glad we did not come into contact. They're even bigger and uglier up close than you'd imagine.
Got down to my destination about 11:15 and then got super lost for almost an hour. I thought a guy was going to fight me, he was so adamant that the road I was looking for did not exist.
Anyway, I got there and we got right to work.
We put the KLX needle kit in. Did the 'L' airbox mod. Pulled the snorkle. Checked various things that needed to be checked. All said, spent about 5.5 hours working pretty steadily. I learned a LOT about my bike. And we didn't have any bolts left over, Mark.
As for the mods, we took a quick spin after the work was done and I didn't really notice much difference. I think this was due to the fact that we stiffened up the rear suspension and it wasn't a real long test ride. It was already 6 and I was looking at a long ride back. So, I said my thanks (which weren't adequate) and got on my way.
After about ten minutes I REALLY started noticing the difference. The bike sounds great. It has way more pull from a stop and from speed. I was doing 80 on the highway and could pass people with authority. Really pretty amazing. The throttle response is much smoother. And it just runs plain better. I did one involuntary wheelie when a car tried to race me from the line at a light. I think it scared the crap out of both of us.
I know I am preaching to the choir, here for a lot of you. But for those who are considering these mods, I would definitely do it. I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own, but I'm not that handy. Well, I could have pulled the snorkle and done the 'L' mod. The carb mod was a bit trickier. But seriously, the KLR is now what I wanted it to be. And it was well worth 9 hours of riding. (this IS the first time I wished I had highway pegs)
One final thought...and I've said it before. I grew up in the south and neighbors were almost like family. Where I live now, I wouldn't ask my neighbors to help me carry a couch. Hell, I wouldn't even ask to put a bag of used diapers in their trash when mine is full. This KLR neighborhood never ceases to amaze me. 5.5 hours of work and my host got nothing from it. Just a six pack and the chance to help someone out. That's pretty cool if you ask me.
So, do the mods if you haven't. I would be going for a ride today, but I'm a bit tired.