First ride on my KLR - 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 14 Old 09-17-2019, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 29
First ride on my KLR

I took my KLR out yesterday and rode the rocky fire road along side of the CSX RR tracks, then hit some dirt trails. Some observations:
1. You guys are tough! I was on the bike for maybe 40 minutes and it beat the crap out of me. I need to get in shape.
2. The KLR is a big off-road bike. I rode dirt bikes 40 years ago, but when I got my license, it was strictly street.
3. I need to find a school for off road riding. Any suggestions?
4. The Pelican cases and RotoPax stuck out way to far and gave the bike wide hips. I banged up the RotoPax pretty good by bouncing it off a few trees.
5. I need to change some things up before I hit the TAT next year. I am probably going to ditch the RotoPax altogether. I may end up permanently removing the pelican cases and going with soft side cases. I would be grateful with any recommendations.
6. I need good riding gear. Again, recommendations welcome.

That's about it for now. I'll start posting pictures after I hit that magical 15 post count
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-22-2019, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Nobody has any recommendations?

Nothing?
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-22-2019, 05:57 PM
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I'll take shot on riding gear but don't know how helpful it will be. There are so many choices out there and everyone has different requirements. I've had/have gear by First Gear, Scorpion, Olympia and Tourmaster. Right now my go to gear is from Olympia. It just seems to fit my needs. My jacket is a bomber length which works well on warmer days. As it gets cooler I tend to wear my Tourmaster 3/4 length a little more. It's not that the Olympia is good on colder days I keep the Tourmaster hung up with the liner inside and the Olympia without. Is there better gear out there - for sure but not everyone can afford Klim.

What kind of gear are you in the market for? Maybe then folks can be a little more specific to your needs.

As to pictures feel free to post links to a hosted site (other than Google) and either Tom or myself will fix it so they display for the interim.

.

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 #4 of 14 Old 09-22-2019, 06:26 PM
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First of all, you need to get the suspension set up properly.

Unfortunately both the front and rear suspension components on the KLR are lacking. If you are planning mostly off-road adventures, then I advise you to buy Cogent stuff. It will cost you about USD 1,000 to get the components needed for proper off-road riding. And then you will automatically become a member of the Ultra-Exclusive Cogent club. For a list of the membership entitlements contact DPelletier. Dave is a life-long Cogent Club member and is the go-to guy for all-things suspension!

Jason
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-23-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
I'll take shot on riding gear but don't know how helpful it will be. There are so many choices out there and everyone has different requirements. I've had/have gear by First Gear, Scorpion, Olympia and Tourmaster. Right now my go to gear is from Olympia. It just seems to fit my needs. My jacket is a bomber length which works well on warmer days. As it gets cooler I tend to wear my Tourmaster 3/4 length a little more. It's not that the Olympia is good on colder days I keep the Tourmaster hung up with the liner inside and the Olympia without. Is there better gear out there - for sure but not everyone can afford Klim.

What kind of gear are you in the market for? Maybe then folks can be a little more specific to your needs.

As to pictures feel free to post links to a hosted site (other than Google) and either Tom or myself will fix it so they display for the interim.

.
Thanks for the tip. I tried to attach a link, but the message wouldn't post.
As far as gear, I am looking for recommendations for protective gear (jacket, pants, gloves, boots, and helmet) to ride the TAT. We are starting on the east coast and going the entire way to the Pacific Ocean via Oregon. We plan on riding off road through the Colorado Rockies, then hitting pavement on the east side of the Rockies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norton 850 View Post
First of all, you need to get the suspension set up properly.

Unfortunately both the front and rear suspension components on the KLR are lacking. If you are planning mostly off-road adventures, then I advise you to buy Cogent stuff. It will cost you about USD 1,000 to get the components needed for proper off-road riding. And then you will automatically become a member of the Ultra-Exclusive Cogent club. For a list of the membership entitlements contact DPelletier. Dave is a life-long Cogent Club member and is the go-to guy for all-things suspension!

Jason
I'm not sure I want to spring for 1k in suspension upgrades when I am unsure if I am going to like adventure riding, and if I do, if I will keep the KLR. Maybe after the trip, I will have a better direction. If I am into this type of riding and want to keep the KLR, then the 1k will be money well spent.

Thank you for the responses
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-24-2019, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Let's see if the pictures upload...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg KLR 1.jpg (512.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg KLR 2.jpg (513.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg KLR 3.jpg (516.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg KLR 4.jpg (533.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg KLR 5.jpg (527.5 KB, 7 views)
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-24-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Success!

So there it is, my 14.5 KLR. Came with all the farkles you see, along with the doohickey upgrade (spring change twice), the thermobob, and the carburetor shim and jet kit.


Since the photos were taken, I have removed the RotoPax, along with the side and top cases. I will probably ditch the water and fuel cells, along with the wider Pelican cases. The top cases are Rigid (Brand) and have a narrower profile than the Pelicans, so I think they will go on the sides and a waterproof duffel for the top. I will keep my heavier objects low in the side cases, and put my sleeping gear in the duffel bag.

That's what I think anyway. Suggestions from experienced riders would be well received.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-24-2019, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercu136 View Post
Success!

So there it is, my 14.5 KLR. Came with all the farkles you see, along with the doohickey upgrade (spring change twice), the thermobob, and the carburetor shim and jet kit.


Since the photos were taken, I have removed the RotoPax, along with the side and top cases. I will probably ditch the water and fuel cells, along with the wider Pelican cases. The top cases are Rigid (Brand) and have a narrower profile than the Pelicans, so I think they will go on the sides and a waterproof duffel for the top. I will keep my heavier objects low in the side cases, and put my sleeping gear in the duffel bag.

That's what I think anyway. Suggestions from experienced riders would be well received.
If you plan to ride off-road, you should ditch those hard bags and install something soft that will withstand the bike landing on its side. You may not break the hard bags when you lose footing on a dirt trail and go down, but you'll probably damage the mounting system, hence the soft bag recommendation. I would contact GoMotor regarding storage bag recommendations as he's ridden off-road for thousands of miles at a stretch and lived out of what he packed on the bike for that time period.

And once again it's important to get your suspension setup properly. I would contact DPelletier for suspension recommendations.

I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but based on owning two KLRs over the past ten years, that's the best advice I can offer.

Jason
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-25-2019, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6
The KLR can definitely be a work-out riding off road!
As has been mentioned, suspension upgrades make a a big difference.

I too would go with soft luggage. The hard topcase is OK but I'd go with waterproof saddle bags instead of side cases.
Hard cases are very convenient for on-road travel but I don't feel safe riding with them on anything more challenging than a well groomed gravel road. Would hate to get a leg caught under a case in the wrong place at the wrong time...
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-25-2019, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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All responses are appreciated. I am looking into Wolfman and Nelson Riggs soft bags. Meanwhile, I have been tinkering with the bike. I removed the RotoPax and Pelican cases. I mounted the Rigid boxes to the support bars. As you can see in the picture, they have a much narrower profile than the Pelicans did. I was also able to mount them a few inches lower. I have included a "Before" picture for reference.

I will keep it like this for now, but will keep looking for the right soft bags. I am registering the bike tomorrow (plate on the bike is an old one) and plan on getting some saddle time this weekend. A buddy of mine has a number of fire roads and trails by his house. I'll start there and sort things out as my budget allows.

Thanks again for the responses.

BTW, I am looking into suspension mods. Moab shock and Progressive springs. Only looking, I will research before I buy anything.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 59043075270__C40E8773-5117-46F2-B48B-16BC6F70B66C.jpg (518.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 59113393605__C8EB38D4-9002-4FF1-9043-9224DC2B5D29.jpg (535.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0459.jpg (513.7 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Mercu136; 09-25-2019 at 07:43 PM. Reason: additional picture and text
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