Problems with commitment - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
KLR & Other Motorcycle Related Discussion Grab a seat and discuss whatever you like about the KLR or other related topics. Within reason.

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post #1 of 28 Old 03-21-2018, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Problems with commitment

I used to have a KLR but did not feel it had the power I wanted once loaded up and so I got rid of it. I have had numerous bikes since but I cannot seem to get away from the simplicity of the KLR. I am now considering trading in my Harley on another one but will I just be disappointed again? It seems the Tiger and Africa Twin are too expensive if they were to be dropped and there is so much tech on them. I also am taking three day a trip across country in May from NC to CA and wondering if that is possible with the KLR? Anyone here done a stretch like that?
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-21-2018, 09:09 PM
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There are three guys who are currently riding their KLR’s from Alaska to the tip of South America including crossing the Darien Gap. You’re not going to have a problem with your trip plans. A good seat will have you riding all day.

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 #3 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 12:02 AM
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"including crossing the Darien Gap"

Not the sharpest pencils in the box, eh?

The swamps and the jungle not-with-standing, I should think the possibility of lead poisoning would be pretty close to the purity of Ivory Soap ie 99 44/100%
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 08:32 AM
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The KLR can do the planned trip.

I don't know where in NC you're starting, or where in CA you're ending, but it looks to be an approximately 39 hour trip. That's an average of 13 hours in the saddle per day. I've done single 13 hour days on the KLR, but I haven't averaged 13 hours per day over three days. The closest I've come to that distance/time is on my trip to Alaska. I did Chicago to Anchorage, with a quick side trip to Valdez, in 6 days. That was an average of 10.5 hours in the saddle each day.

Lube the chain daily with the number of miles you'll be putting on. Adjust chain tightness as appropriate, which you likely won't need to worry about in only three days, and check the oil level when you stop for gas. The bike will be fine.

Good luck with the decision on your next bike.
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post #5 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
"including crossing the Darien Gap"

Not the sharpest pencils in the box, eh?

The swamps and the jungle not-with-standing, I should think the possibility of lead poisoning would be pretty close to the purity of Ivory Soap ie 99 44/100%
Four guys actually completed this itinerary (across the Darien Gap, anyway) on KLR650s from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

One KLR was abandoned in the jungle because of a slipping clutch (they did not follow my MacGyveresque approach of, shimming clutch springs with washers under clutch bolt heads, or . . . swapping one good clutch friction disk from each of the sound KLRs, for one "thin" friction disk from the disabled ones (I know you disapprove, pdwestman)).

A thread was started on ADV, but abandoned . . . understand they have a blog.

Ain't the first time the Darien has been conquered by motorcycle; q.v., "Obsessions Die Hard;" also, I think a man and his wife made the journey with a Rokon.

GoogleMap Parque Nacional Darien, Panama; not a whole lot of roads or trails visible . . .

Last edited by Damocles; 03-22-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Arob804 View Post
I used to have a KLR but did not feel it had the power I wanted once loaded up and so I got rid of it. I have had numerous bikes since but I cannot seem to get away from the simplicity of the KLR. I am now considering trading in my Harley on another one but will I just be disappointed again? It seems the Tiger and Africa Twin are too expensive if they were to be dropped and there is so much tech on them. I also am taking three day a trip across country in May from NC to CA and wondering if that is possible with the KLR? Anyone here done a stretch like that?
Arob804,
I've no idea how well or poorly your previous KLR ran. Or why. But with half the engine size of the average HD, shouldn't one expect half the power?

The KLR650 is probably the 1st choice of ride by more around the world travelers & inter-continental travelers than the next 3 models of bikes combined. So the bike is capable if the rider is capable.

There are 2 very simple things which severely affect the overall performance of the average KLR650.

#1, Tire pressures.
With a touring load & solo rider I would recommend a minimum of 34-36 psi in the Front tire and 32-34 in the Rear tire. The skinny front tire NEEDS more psi than the wider rear tire.

#2, Drive chain Slack.
Coming from street bikes, most all new KLR riders take TOO Much slack out of the drive chain! Then when one sets on the bike & the suspension compresses the chain is Bow String Tight, which again steals hp.
With the rear shock topped out while either on the side stand or a work stand/center stand, the drive chain NEEDS to be Loose Enough to push the lower run up & just touch the rear tip of the rubber slider.
Do Not re-adjust until one can nearly touch metal Behind the rubber slider.

And I'll recommend that all KLR owners read & heed these 8 common owner errors,
http://www.klrforum.com/introduction...kes-avoid.html

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
...
Ain't the first time the Darien has been conquered by motorcycle; q.v., "Obsessions Die Hard;" also, I think a man and his wife made the journey with a Rokon...
That adventurer, Bob Webb, was an acquaintance of an acquaintance of mine, Loren Upton and his wife Patty. Loren was the first to cross the Gap in a vehicle entirely by land. It took more than two years to travel 125 miles. He and Patty later crossed on a pair of Rokons, but Webb was the first.

A few years ago I had ridden the KLR out to a long-term stay area in the desert and met Loren and Patty. Loren came over to my camp and we chatted for a while. He asked me to regale him with stories of my motorcycle adventures. It was a bit like the guru coming down off the mountain to ask for my take on life. "Uh, well. Loren, I rode the White Rim Trail once", Tom said rockily...

I have enjoyed their company a couple of times since.

In January I was back out there and was asking around about them, fearing the worst (Loren is getting up in years) as I didn't see their rig and they are quite often there.

Not to worry, they had finally gotten permission to finish a short section of their RTW Jeep excursion that they had been forbidden to do, so they were off to Jordan. Richland men help fix Jeep to help finish a 40-year-long quest for an Idaho man | Tri-City Herald

Quite a guy! Patty ain't no slouch, either.
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I saw those Darian Gap stories pretty interesting. Nice that they have the time to embark on such a trip. My trip won’t have that amount of time unfortunately. I like that line PDWestman “ So the bike is capable if the rider is capable.“ That’s how I look at it as well. It will be easier on other bikes but easy doesn’t translate to adventure for me. Has anyone had any trouble with the 16t sprocket? Is the engine stress from the 16t a rumor or is there anything to it? Also I appreciate all the input, I am already enjoying this forum.
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 05:19 PM
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If one accepts conventional wisdom regarding geometry and leverage, a 16-tooth countershaft sprocket multiplies torque less than a 15-tooth sprocket does.

Thus, inescapably, greater stress is put on other components by the higher-tooth countershaft sprocket.

If the saying, "For every stress, there's a strain," is TRUE, then . . . a maintenance issue rises with higher (lower numerical) final drive.

A better question of yours might be, "Is there SIGNIFICANT trouble with the 16-tooth countersprocket?" Voices of experience will then ring out.

That said, I don't think a 16-tooth countersprocket will be of particular advantage, crossing the Darien Gap, but . . . I've never crossed it!
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-22-2018, 05:58 PM
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lots of guys running a 16 tooth sprocket without any issues. I run 14's, 15's and 16's depending on what I'm doing.

Dave
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