Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cairns, Australia.
I bought the bike in 2012 with 6000 Klm on the clock.
It came with ‘Happy Trails’ nerf bars a big heavy-duty bash plate and a ‘Staintune’ exhaust. I’ve added a Cogent Dynamics ‘Moab’ shock and ‘Intiminators’ in the forks, drilled a couple of holes in the air box and ditched the snorkel. Otherwise the bike is standard. It now has about ( not sure exactly, speedo cable broke on the trip as well) 70,000 on it.
I weigh about 85 kg fully kitted up and carry 30 to 40 kg (no point in carrying 6kg of water and 5kg of fuel if there’s plenty around) when on these rides.
Of the 64,000 Klm I’ve done on the bike I’m guessing about half of that would have been on ‘outback’ dirt roads of varying degrees of roughness. Thousands of Klm of corrugations (washboard) which really, really shake things up when they are bad.
I found other cracks in the frame late last year when servicing the bike after another outback ride-see my thread ‘Swing Arm Pivot Bolt’.
I got that wrong-it was the other one, the one that runs through the rear of the engine, whatever it’s called.
Anyhow, yes, I’ve ridden it hard, thousands of kilometres across rough roads with a decent load and the frame is finally showing signs of fatigue. Whether this cracking is unusual or not I cannot say, this is the only KLR I’ve owned.
What I can say is that the guy who welded up the frame at the bottom put it down to age ( 2008 model, so 10 years old) and cheap metal ( no surprise there!) and a hard life.
The welder ( Will, my buddy and saviour!) who fixed the spine said he’s seen more expensive and better built bikes ( read: European stuff built in Austria and Germany) with all sorts of frame cracks as well.
Lesson for me is to pull the seat and plastics and tank off and give the thing a good inspection on a regular basis, this bike or any other for that matter. More so if you ride it hard or are planning a big trip.
I got lucky discovering that spine crack when I did. If it had broken a couple of hundred Klm from any town and the bike was not in rideable condition then it would have been ‘touch and go’ whether or not to abandon it and hitch a ride home. When you’re riding a bike worth maybe $2500 on a good day and the ‘recovery’ cost is going to exceed that then it maybe easier to unbolt the expensive stuff, push it into the bush and give it a decent christian burial.
The recovery for the ‘Barbie bike’ was $3500 and that was only an hour south of Birdsville. That was an insurance deal though, and the bike was trucked first down to Adelaide and then north to Cairns, a journey of about 4,000klm.
Another mate on a BMW R 80GS came to grief beyond Mt Dare, and needed a 100 Klm recovery-his bill was $1200, no insurance.
Pictures to come in another episode!
Last edited by iddy; 10-04-2018 at 06:16 AM.