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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2008 KLR 650, 28,xxx ish miles.

So far I have:
  • Cleaned/rebuilt the carb. It was actually very clean inside.
  • Drilled plug out of the carb to access mixture screw
  • Changed oil & filter
  • Changed air filter. It had a K&N that I cleaned and oiled but after a little reading I decided to just buy a factory style replacement
  • Checked/adjusted valve shims
  • Checked topped off coolant
  • Flushed brake fluid front and rear
  • Doohickey done by previous owner
  • Clutch recently replaced by previous owner
  • Chain/sprockets look good enough
  • Checked fork seals, polished forks
  • Tires look good

What else should I do that can be accomplished in a few days worth of work. I leave June 27th but with work and other obligations I really only have a few working days left.

This was my first time rebuilding the carb and I didn't actually read the manual and watched one video before starting. Watched a video last night and I think I put the needle in the wrong spot so I'm gonna pull it back out and double check my work. Any quick/easy mods/work I should do while I'm in there?

As far as spares... I've never owned a bike with tubes so I'm sorry if this is a stupid question. My riding partner has a 2021 CRF450RL. Can we carry one set of tubes for both bikes or should I get my own set? If so, any recommendations? A fix wouldn't have to be perfect, just enough to get us to the closest town.

Any adjustments I should make to the carb for the altitude?

Thanks!
 

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You need a set of 21/17" tubes. I think your buddies rear size is 18". In a pinch, an 18 will work in a 17 but I wouldn't try a 17 in a 18. Bring oil. Have fun and ride safe. Oh, and take lots of pictures. I always neglect to take enough pictures.
 

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Hi - I ride that CoBDR stuff all the time and you don't have to mess with the carb for altitude if you get it working right. However, I'd recommend bringing along an extra pre-oiled air filter (TwinAir, Uni, etc.) in a ziploc bag, as it gets pretty dusty and dirty pretty fast; that can really slow you down, and it's so easy (and light) to just bring a spare filter all good-to-go.

RE: Tubes/flats - In addition to spare tubes, I always bring a patch kit and spoons - maybe you guys can just bring one of those, but you'll sleep better at night with the right-sized tubes for your tires. As far as "getting to next town", you might find that a challenge - so you'll want to be prepared for the flats. You'll be able to score extra tires along the way if they get too beat up (and they probably will), but try and work that out in advance, just to make sure that there are the right tires waiting for you. I'd called a shop in Durango to make sure that they'd have a rear tire waiting for me and was glad I did, as the other shops had nothing in my size.

RE: Route/dates - I'm afraid you may have to modify the CoBDR route somewhat, as some of the passes might not be "passable" in late June/early July. You can check CDOT's website or ask locally - they'll let you know what's open, but I got stopped by the gates up on Hagerman on July 4th a few years ago and some of those Alpine loop passes (e.g., Ophir, Hurricaine) might not be open yet.

I'll second Reveille's advice, and add bring half the clothing and twice the money. Have fun and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi - I ride that CoBDR stuff all the time and you don't have to mess with the carb for altitude if you get it working right. However, I'd recommend bringing along an extra pre-oiled air filter (TwinAir, Uni, etc.) in a ziploc bag, as it gets pretty dusty and dirty pretty fast; that can really slow you down, and it's so easy (and light) to just bring a spare filter all good-to-go.

RE: Tubes/flats - In addition to spare tubes, I always bring a patch kit and spoons - maybe you guys can just bring one of those, but you'll sleep better at night with the right-sized tubes for your tires. As far as "getting to next town", you might find that a challenge - so you'll want to be prepared for the flats. You'll be able to score extra tires along the way if they get too beat up (and they probably will), but try and work that out in advance, just to make sure that there are the right tires waiting for you. I'd called a shop in Durango to make sure that they'd have a rear tire waiting for me and was glad I did, as the other shops had nothing in my size.

RE: Route/dates - I'm afraid you may have to modify the CoBDR route somewhat, as some of the passes might not be "passable" in late June/early July. You can check CDOT's website or ask locally - they'll let you know what's open, but I got stopped by the gates up on Hagerman on July 4th a few years ago and some of those Alpine loop passes (e.g., Ophir, Hurricaine) might not be open yet.

I'll second Reveille's advice, and add bring half the clothing and twice the money. Have fun and be safe.

Thank you for the tips. Hopefully we can ride the BDR as planned but we'll check as it gets closer. I have about a month and a half off work so may if we cant start it at the end of June we can hit it Mid/late July.

Also with current fuel prices I'll unfortunately need to bring 4x the money.

My buddy has tire spoons but I'm not sure if he has rim protectors. I watched a video of a tube swap and it looked like the rim protectors are essential. Are they? As far as tubes, is there a brand that you guys like? I was looking at these but other than the rim size I'm not sure what the other numbers mean.


$13 for the front and $18 for the rear doesn't seem bad.

As for tires.... It came with a Shinko Trail Tire on the rear and a Golden Boy Trail Tire on the front. Any feedback on these tires being up to the task?
 

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Did you allow the Doo-hickey to re-adjust? It only semi-automatic.

If you are Not Familiar with your bikes Appetite or lack thereof for engine oil, check it 5 times daily!

Does your bike have a Sturdy Aluminum skid plate?

Do you have any idea if the original owner ever re-greased ALL of the rear suspension needle bearings, sleeves, seals & the bolts that pass thru them?
Many people in the past have referred to "the Asian grease shortage"!
 
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Have not ridden the COBDR, but have ridden the Shadow of the Rockies route that was created by the same guy (Sam) who created the TAT. We went in August and temps in the mountains were perfect. A few rain showers, but all passes we went through were open. Not sure if COBDR takes you through Tin Cup Pass, but be ready for loads of big rocks to bounce around on. If you are above the tree line and a thunderstorm moves in, get below tree line ASAP. You'll feel as if you're under a mortar attack if not. Lightning bounces around back & forth up there. Tubes, oil, clothing... everything everyone said above applies. If you like your bike to be pretty afterward... forgetaboutit. :)
 

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What you need to carry, and replace before you go, will also depend on how far away from civilization you will get. And since you’re going with a buddy (smart move), you can get back to somewhere you can get parts if something major breaks.

Since PDW didn’t say it, allow me: set chain slack correctly. See his warnings about this. And Don’t just “look” at the chain and sprockets, measure the 21-pin length and compare to the specs. Also see if the chain is getting stiff and holding a “kink” against your finger pressure. I’ve noticed that the long-life chains are getting too stiff/seizing sooner than they are wearing out in length. To check for sprocket wear, try to pull the chain away from the sprocket. See the manual for a description and illustration.
 

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… and consider getting the towing and recovery option added to your insurance policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you allow the Doo-hickey to re-adjust? It only semi-automatic.

If you are Not Familiar with your bikes Appetite or lack thereof for engine oil, check it 5 times daily!

Does your bike have a Sturdy Aluminum skid plate?

Do you have any idea if the original owner ever re-greased ALL of the rear suspension needle bearings, sleeves, seals & the bolts that pass thru them?
Many people in the past have referred to "the Asian grease shortage"!
I don't have any service records on the bike so I'm not sure, I'm at least the 3rd-4th owner. That being said the carb was spotless inside and the exhaust valves were in spec so I'm assuming some maintenance has been done. I'm not familiar with taking apart the rear suspension but I'm not sure if I have time to do it.

I do have a sturdy aluminum skid plate.

What do you guys carry oil in on routes like this? Leave it in the bottle from the store or does it need something more sturdy?

I'm not sure if the doo-hickey has been re-adjusted. I just know it has the doo-hickey mod installed. Other than being a common mod on the KLR, I have no clue what it actually does.

Lastly I'm running into issues with the exhaust that I could really use some help troubleshooting. The bike came with an FMF Powercore 4 that did not have the spark arrestor or quite insert installed. FMF makes one insert that reduces decibels and has a spark arrestor but it is out of stock literally everywhere. I've spent 10-15hrs online looking for it with no luck. I contacted FMF directly and they weren't any help. I ordered the spark arrestor from Revzilla but I don't think it will do anything to reduce the noise. I don't mind loud but I don't want to be "that guy" that people can hear from across a mountain. I really don't want to buy a new exhaust as it will kill my budget. I've tried an Amazon baffle that works OK but I'm not sure if it allows enough flow through the exhaust as the bike sounds a little sluggish with it installed. I ordered a different style but it's the only other option for the size pipe on the KLR.

I thought about buying some tubing and making my own and then just having a muffler shop weld the pieces together. I'm open to other suggestions. Cheapest replacement I found was a Delkevic but after buying the spark arrestor/baffle I'm still looking at $300. My plan is to flip this bike at the end of the trip with an attempt on breaking even or a max loss of $500 and a new exhaust is gonna take a bite out of that.

Any suggestions on exhaust would be appreciated.

This is what I tried first, but I think it's to restrictive : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JCMT9PD?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

This is what I'm trying next: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003177T80?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Since I have to install the FMF spark arrestor at the tip of the exhaust, I slid this in between where the slip on joins the factory header. It fits like a glove but I'm not sure if it's ok to put a baffle there.





Thanks again for all the help!!!!
 

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My two cents: For carrying oil, I usually carry a "recycled" pint whisky bottle full of oil in my saddlebag; it's sturdy, won't leak, and a pint is usually all I'll need in a few weeks. Be careful not to drink it (ask me how I know)... 🤢

Doohickey adjutments only take a few minutes, and there are great instructions here on this site for making that adjustment; if you're absolutely certain that nothing is broken down there, you might want to do that before you leave. (It's purpose is to tension the counterweight balancer chain, which ensures "silky smooth" thumper action - otherwise, it's like a two-wheeled paint shaker with a headlight.)

Regarding the spark arrestor - it's illegal to be in the forest without one, and for good reason - Smokey Bear will kick your butt. In the interest of expediency, I'd suggest maybe calling a few local motorcycle or muffler shops and seeing if they can weld/fabricate something that is effective for a fair price. That might be a cheap yet effective solution that'll keep you legal. Otherwise, you could look around on the internet for a stock muffler before you leave. Good luck!

PS: One of you guys might want to bring a motorcycle tow strap along, in case of emergency - that can be a real life saver, you can get one pretty much anywhere, and it weighs almost nothing. I once pulled a R1150GS out of the forest with my KLR, and I've never felt so validated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My two cents: For carrying oil, I usually carry a "recycled" pint whisky bottle full of oil in my saddlebag; it's sturdy, won't leak, and a pint is usually all I'll need in a few weeks. Be careful not to drink it (ask me how I know)... 🤢

Doohickey adjutments only take a few minutes, and there are great instructions here on this site for making that adjustment; if you're absolutely certain that nothing is broken down there, you might want to do that before you leave. (It's purpose is to tension the counterweight balancer chain, which ensures "silky smooth" thumper action - otherwise, it's like a two-wheeled paint shaker with a headlight.)

Regarding the spark arrestor - it's illegal to be in the forest without one, and for good reason - Smokey Bear will kick your butt. In the interest of expediency, I'd suggest maybe calling a few local motorcycle or muffler shops and seeing if they can weld/fabricate something that is effective for a fair price. That might be a cheap yet effective solution that'll keep you legal. Otherwise, you could look around on the internet for a stock muffler before you leave. Good luck!

PS: One of you guys might want to bring a motorcycle tow strap along, in case of emergency - that can be a real life saver, you can get one pretty much anywhere, and it weighs almost nothing. I once pulled a R1150GS out of the forest with my KLR, and I've never felt so validated.

I'll check the doohickey this week.

I ordered the FMF spark arrestor, I just couldn't find the model that was combined with a baffle to kill some of the noise. I'm legal now but I'd like to be able to hear at the end of the trip. I bought a couple of universal baffles that I'm gonna try, otherwise I might just end up getting a new exhaust.

The battery was also going bad so I got a new one. Dealer gave me one of the unsealed types that you have to add the acid and distilled water to. Never had a battery like it before but the dealer said it's what was factory and my wallet enjoyed the price lol.

Tow strap is already packed! I rode a friends CRF last year and the shift fork(?) broke off inside the transmission. I was stuck in 6th gear with a couple thousand feet of mountain to climb and we didn't have a strap. Luckily someone drove by and let us have an old tie down strap from his truck bed. I'll never leave pavement without a strap again lol
 

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If I'm gonna ride faster than about 40mph, even on dirt roads, I ride with earplugs even with my oem quiet muffler. Much more enjoyable at the middle & end of long days in the saddle.
 
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I watched a video of a tube swap and it looked like the rim protectors are essential.
I don't think so, but I could see why a shop would use them on a customer's bike. For what it's worth, my (black) rims are pretty of scratched up from many tire changes; when the bike was newer, less beaten up, and I was more concerned I used the plastic cut from a 2 litre bottle to protest the rim from spoon scratches. I wouldn't worry about that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I'm riding more than about 5 miles I always wear earplugs. My Versys 650 isn't crazy loud but I never ride without them. I've heard that the forest service can hassle you for noise even if you have the spark arrestor. I've got some baffles in it now. Still loud but takes the edge off.

Got a few other questions. I know this info is on the forum and I'll do some searching but I'm going down to the wire on my departure date and only have about 5-6 working days available for wrenching.

When putting the carb back in, getting the choke lined up was a PITA and I wanted to be able to rotate the carb in the field if needed without removing it so I got a choke cable eliminator but I'm not sure if it's working right. I tested the exhaust baffles before installing it so the engine is warm. I got the choke eliminator installed and went to test it. With it pushed all the way in, the engine runs like it should, or at least how I think it's supposed to. If I pull it out about half way it starts to sputter slightly but doesn't kill the engine and if I pull it out all the way the engine actually starts to speed up. Is this normal? Should I just stick with the stock choke setup? I'll post a video of how the engine sounds in a little while.

I also set the mixture screw to what the Clymer manual says is spec, all the way in and then out 1-5/8 turns. Should I lean it a little closer to what actual factory settings were since I'll be at higher elevation? When I took it out to service the carb it was out about 1- 1/4 turns. I thought about getting the mixture needle that allows you to adjust the mixture without having to rotate the carb. It smells a little bit rich.

Lastly not sure if either of these mods are necessary, helpful or harmful. Part of the reason I'm taking this trip is so I had an excuse to buy a KLR and learn the mechanics of how carbureted bikes work. I like wrenching almost as much as I like riding 😆 So if it's best to just leave it as it was from the factory as far as the choke and mixture are concerned lemme know.

Really Appreciate all the advice
 

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If you already put the choke cable eliminator on it, I’d leave it alone, as long as it starts cold and idles well when warm. Ditto for the idle mixture screw. Leave it at 1.5 turns. If you get to the top of Independence Pass and it won’t idle, then maybe I’d try adjusting it. OTOH, it might not idle at less than 1500RPM anyway at 11,000 ft. I’d just live with it until I got to lower altitude.

And a final suggestion: don’t keep messing with the bike, you may just cause more problems. Instead, spend the time packing efficiently, minimizing what you take, and knowing where to put your stuff.

“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”
 

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It sounds like your new cable-free choke is working the way it should, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn't loosen up or back out of the threads - that will cause some strange affects. As Pete said, try and keep it simple and close to stock, and it'll be fine. Carbureted bikes are a gas, and they won't have any fuel delivery problems as long as gravity keeps working.

Say, where are you from and how are you getting to the CoBDR starting line? Are you driving it down to Cortez or coming in on a trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm from Nashville. The plan was to haul the KLR and my Versys out to Baily, CO then take the KLR to the northern end of the BDR and head south, then afterwards sell the KLR and spend a few weeks riding mountain passes and canyons in CO on my Versys. With gas prices, that plan is likely going to change. Unfortunately I'm probably going to just ride my Versys to CO and have another street summer, to expensive to drive my truck out there unless something changes in the next week or so.

Finally got the KLR mostly back together. Decided to paint it. I went to test ride it today. Started up just fine and rode for about a quarter mile before it died at a stop sign. Got it started and back to my garage but it would die unless I kept it moving and throttle on. Now it won't really start at all. Sounds like it's not getting fuel. Turns over fine. All the fuel lines and vacuum lines are where they should be (I think). My only thought is that maybe there was some dust in the fuel line from being around all the sanding and painting. I smell a little bit of fuel but it doesn't smell so bad to make me think it's flooded. Its doing what I think it'd do if the fuel valve were only 1/4 open or something, like not enough fuel is flowing fast enough down to the carb. Am gonna let it sit with the fuel shut off in the on position while it's cooling and then test again. If that doesn't work I guess I'll pull the carb again and take a look.
Tire Wheel Automotive fuel system Fuel tank Automotive lighting

Before

Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive tire

After

I'll post some pics of where I have all the lines running once it cools down and I can start to troubleshoot
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Pulled the tank and everything is where it's supposed to be. Tested the fuel shut off valve by opening it and applying a tube to the vacuum side and applying light suction, opens fine and fuel flows. Put the tank back on and made sure all hoses were attached securely. Ran at idle for a few mins and then died like if the shut off valve was off. Also started the engine with the shutoff valve vacuum line disconnected to see if it was pulling vacuum and it is.

Ideas?
 
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