Need help- new to the KLR - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-13-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Question Need help- new to the KLR

I have an 09 KLR 650, first one ever. I have only had about one and a half total years dual sport experience. I like to hit off pavement roads as often as possible. Ok my questions. I am looking for more power at a budget. Is there anything wrong with the studebaker muffler or is Jardine better? I do not want crazy loud. Also looking at a better air filter, is the studebaker ok or should I do a K&N? I also need some tire recommendations. I hit off road dirt roads or gravel about 70% of the time. I appreciate any of you who take the time to assist and any other recommendations would be helpful.

Just fyi, my first bike was a XR650L Honda, but my wife and I like to ride together so the KLR fits our needs much better. Thanks guys and gals!!!!

One more thing. where can I find the had protectors that attach to the bar ends and and protect the side and the front of the hands?
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-14-2010, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indiana/ Michigan line at the Lake
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I hope more people chime in here as there are different opinions available
and mine is only one to choose from.
Not much more power can be had, even with a budget, unless going 705cc, headwork,
higher compression, etc.

What CAN be done, both free and/or Cheaply is some basic modifications that uncork a
few ponies, but mainly get crisp hard throttle response and noticably better performance
than stock. The ".22 cent mod, opening the exhaust a bit, and opening the air filter box
a bit, called the "L mod." The "pcv mod" lets the engine rev much more freely.
All of this stuff can be researched here on the forum.

It's a great and dependable workhorse of an engine, but has been choked off by some
EPA regulations that can be easily reversed. The intake has to work kinda hard to
get a gulp of fresh air but the filter is fine. Most aren't happy with the K&N unit.
Take out the restrictive rubber snorkel in the intake box. Also the L mod is drilling
extra venting in an L shape at the top of the airbox for even more fresh air.

The .22 cent mod is stacking one or two #4 brass or stainless wahers under the fuel
metering needle. This goes in concert with slightly richening the idle circuit 1/2 a
turn to one turn over stock. Anywhere from 2 to 3 turns from gently seated.
Stock jetting is usually fine. Some go up a size on the main. (I did for WOT peace
of mind.) Now the extra air has to get pushed out of the back easier. Cut a slot
in the inner wall of the baffle with a chisel or screwdriver. This also kills the annoying
whistle that some individual bikes have. I pulled the entire baffle out for maximum flow.
This doesn't make the bike noticably louder unless really hitting the gas hard. I wanted
a little bark with the bite and ran in an 18" long punch and knocked a 1/2" hole forward
of the baffle into the spark arrestor cavity. This part nullifies a USFS approved spark
arrestor and may violate some areas you wish to ride such as on Federal land. The pcv
mod is nothing more than adding an automotive pcv valve to the crankcase breather tube.
It helps pull the piston dowwards on the power and intake stroke so the piston isn't
fighting positive air pressure within the block.

These alone wake the beast right up and can all be done for literally 6 bucks. You'll
notice the power surge right off idle and responsiveness is smooth and predictable.

If you want to go into big bore, camming, aftermarket slip on mufflers then the cash
flow comes into play. I just wanted back what the EPA stole, not a rocket beater
and am completely satisfied with the available power for the price. To be fair, tho,
I'm sitting on my pennies for the 685 or 705cc BB kit. Not going any further than that.

I don't know of any side protectors available. (There are tho.) I just never checked
into it. The brush guards to protect my hands from the front are plenty enough
for my personal riding taste. The stock tires are fine,and Brigestone Trailwings
are popular with the guys here. Many more are available. Some more streetable,
some better in the rough.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-14-2010, 08:24 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 704
CBT pretty much nailed it. Take the KLR for what it is -- a basic oldschool bike that's more truck than sports car. When you get past the basic hands on mods that CBT suggested, your return on investment plummets big time.

However, like some of the guys here who like to wrench as much or more than ride, you can dip into the huge amount of stuff available for the KLR. Nothing wrong with that -- the process becomes the product.

Tire brands and types are a lot like motor oil -- we've got 4k+ members, so there's 4k+ opinions.

Ride safe. Ya'll will enjoy the KLR and especially this forum.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-15-2010, 11:48 PM
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Location: Lewiston ID
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A silver saddle on a sow doesn't make it a thoroughbred. You can spend a lot of money to try and improve performance, but the return is pretty low. A low rpm single with a carb just doesn't lend itself to improved performace compared to a high rpm fuel injected sport bike. Even sport bikes don't get much more than 5%-7% more horsepower. You'd be lucky to get 2%-3% on a KLR. 2% of less than 30 horsepower at the rear wheel would barely be noticeable.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-16-2010, 12:50 AM
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...sure it won't be faster, but there's the "FARKLE factor"!

Enjoy your KLR as it is, and read, you'll decide what you need!



Farkled probably WAY too much, but good 20' footer for sure. '96 KLR, '06 HD VROD, (girl friend hauler), '05 HD Electra-Glide, heh it's a HD and I'm old now ;-) and I'm proud of riding a 800+ pound bike at my age :-)
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-16-2010, 08:42 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Franklinville, NC
Posts: 650
Like everyone is saying...

Putting a pipe on it is only going to change where the power comes on.
Maybe you get 1-3 horse power more.. Thats about it untill you get into some cylinder/head mods.

Do those things CBT outlined, and that as good as it's going to get... cheeply. Which is nothing to sneeze at with 400 lbs.

- Joe

HighSpeed Hiker- DV o5'
Originally Posted by larryboy
come awn... it's not'll be fun..

sorry I can't....... I'm fishing today
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-16-2010, 11:02 AM
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The Jardine muffler is loud. Most non-stockers are. Myself, as already mentioned, there's not a whole lot to be gained. I'm getting excellent fuel mileage from a stock bike and I prefer not to mess with that. It gets me where I want to go, I just have to be patient.

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 #8 of 8 Old 03-16-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
I'm getting excellent fuel mileage from a stock bike and I prefer not to mess with that.

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