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Hello everyone. Mike here from San Diego. Glad I came across this site.

I've been telling my son that when he turned 16 he and I would ride from our driveway to the tip of Baja. I started telling him this when he was 3 or 4 years old. The time has come! I've always liked the KLR650 but never rode one.

I've been around dirt bikes, 4x4's, etc. since I was a kid. Other than running a very short distance down the roads(illegally), I've never ridden on the street before. Years ago I was considering an XL500 (yeah, a long time ago) so I got my M1 License on a borrowed bike. I never did get one and figured I'd stick to the dirt.

Fast forward.... I'm in my late 50's now. My son just turned 16 and won't let me off the hook. He's been riding and racing MX since before he could peddle a bicycle. He started banging on me to look into the bikes for the Baja trip. Seeing how "I" had to purchase "BOTH" of them, the logical choice was/is the KLR650.

First, I purchased a 2013 with very low miles. It is all stock with the exception of the "doo", a center stand and led lights in the dash. The bike runs flawlessly. Only complaint....Suspension SUCKS and the SEAT just makes my backside scream for relief.

Buying the first KLR just made me go crazy searching for another. I know, it's a sickness!

Second, I found a SUPER low mile stock 2016 KLR650 for an incredible price. The guy I bought it from didn't know what the "doo" was. I'm guessing it has not been done yet. However, he was the second owner. He bought it from a dealer that took it in on trade. I thought the 2016 was for my son. But I figured...I paid for it, I'll take the newer one!

Since the purchase I've started to get these bikes ready for the trip. We're doing them one at a time to make sure we like the finished product before making 2 bikes we don't like.

Done so far (2016):
Sargent Standard Height Seat (I'm not sure that it is any better than the stock 2016 seat)
Tusk Foot Pegs
Extended Shifter
SW Motech Crash Bars
Rear Racks for Soft Bags
Nelson Riggs Soft Bags
Rear Soft Bag
Bar Risors
Oil Change
"Doo" adjustment
Relocated the License Plate

Done so far (2013)
Stock seat from the 2016 (much better than the 2013 seat)
Tusk Pegs
Bar Risors
Bark Busters (he broke a stock one already)
Oil Change
"Doo" adjustment
Rear Spring Change for 220lb Rider/Gear
Service front fork with 15w oil and spring.
(We may be upgrading the suspension completely since my kid likes to ride way harder than I do). With the tweaks we did to the front (added an inner spring and heavier oil), The front feels better than the stiffer front on the 2016. The rear spring rate is perfect but I don't think the shock itself is up to the task of really hammering it out on anything rough.

Anyway, we love riding these bikes and have logged just over 2000 miles in 2 months. Only 150 miles of the 2000 has been off the pavement. What better way is there to get out and "Social Distance"? None that I can think of!

I've been a "race dad" for years. For those that have done it, you know how much work that involves! At one time I was the KTM 50 & 65 Stateside Guru. I built suspensions for the 50's that went to almost every country that has kids MX. These bikes are a whole different animal.

I welcome any feedback, suggestions, etc. I have a lot to learn and a short time to do it.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Welcome Mike!

The KLR is closer to the tractor end of the dualsport spectrum rather than the KTM-Racer. But with a few thousand miles under your belt, I'm sure you know that well.

The KLR in Gen-1 and Gen-2 varieties have had long production runs, and have developed phenomenal on-line support (forums) and excellent aftermarket support. You can find how-to guides in text, photos/pdfs, and videos. There is a huge wealth of knowledge and experience from hundreds of *opinionated* riders and wrenchers, and most are willing to freely share their knowledge. These aspects make the KLR a cheap-to-keep scooter that delivers good value, and for which fixes and mods are often very well mapped out.

In San Diego, you have the luxury of living just down the road from Eagle Mike -a source of some of the best aftermarket parts/accessories, and provider of unbeatable customer service to this community. Here in Q2 of 2020, most of CA is still wrestling with the shelter-in-place paradigm due to COVID, so tech-days and other meets and greets are on hold. But when we get back to some sense of normal, wrench and ride sessions should be back on the plate.
 

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Welcome.

Be leery of the 'yeah the doo has been done' story. The DPO of the 2011 I have said that to me. I even went so far as to put the sticker on :) . A few thousand miles in and it got really noisy. I cracked it open and found a stock doo. Luckily the spring was intact but it had no tension. Since I ASSuMEd it had been changed, I was doing adjustments and was causing the tension to slack on the balancer chain.

sre
 

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239 Posts
Welcome Mike, how cool that your son didn’t let you off the hook. You two will make lifelong memories of riding your KLR’s. Your son will no doubt have a similar ride tale for his son.

Cheers, Dick
 
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