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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I think I'm doing this correctly.

After riding for over 50 years and I finally bought my first KLR, a 2008. Where to start...
Since retiring from over 35 years in the Navy in 2003 I've ridden all over the US and Canada on a number of bikes. My best ride was to the Arctic Circle on a DL650 VStrom in 2015 at age 66. Upon my return I had a Sputnik sidecar installed on the Strom. My previous dual sports were a 2001 1150GS and a VStrom DL1000

I presently have a number of other bikes, to include some vintage Brit machines, a BMW and an Indian Scout (after selling my touring bikes, three Harleys, a Kawasaki Nomad and a Triumph Rocket 3 Touring) but I missed having a dual sport. I figured that at my age, with one new knee and one old one, that I was finished with off road riding but a good friend in San Diego recently invited me to come down to ride Baja with him. He now rides a 250 but I knew it was too small for me. One of the guys who rode to the Arctic Circle with me was a doctor from the Univ of BC who rode a KLR and thought it was the best all around dual sport on the planet.

I figured at my age I must be losing my mind to want to ride off road again but I started looking at used KLRs again. An extremely nice, low mileage 2008 popped up on Craigslist with some interesting upgrades so I just bought it.

I look forward to learning from long time KLR riders on the forum. My first challenge is how to remove the seat to replace it with a lower one that came with the bike.

I'd like to post a pic of my KLR but haven't yet sorted the process. I don't see a button to post an attachment but I'll figure it out.

Edit: I just completed a site search trying to figure out how to post a pic and found a sticky on it. The only direction I understand is the one that says there is a "drag and drop" file upload area under the text box but I don't see it. I went to the thread on posting a pick of your bike and there is a box under it that says I may not upload files. Hmmm. I'm not sure what that is all about.

Mike
 

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Navigator,
Welcome to the forum & Thank You for your service.

As to pics & attachments, the forum has a 15 posting minimum to reduce Spamming, before allowing pics, links, attachments with minimal effort. Or so I've read many times.

You can go to User CP / Edit Profile and put you pics in Your Garage, temporarily at least (then we can see them). And add your location & maybe a signature line. :)
Then kick back, explore, read, join a conversation. You will have 14 more postings shortly. Or you can go to the "Test Posting" tread and write non-sense to jack-up the count.

Have you read this, https://www.klrforum.com/introductions/58921-dpelletiers-common-new-klr-owner-mistakes-avoid.html
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ah, thanks for the clarification on posting pics. I posted one pic in my profile but will post some additional ones until I get to my minimum 15 posts. In the mean time I'll do some forum reading to try to get up to speed on the KLR. And I'll check out that link.

And maverick9611, I remember Whipple and believe I have an MAA badge from it, given to me by a friend many years ago.

Edit: Oops, it appears I made my first mistake. I just read the very good "Mistakes to avoid" and it appears buying an '08 was not the best thing to do. It had that dohicky gizzy done at 2K miles though.
 

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Unless you are planning on riding to Ushuaia or around the world, the '08 will be fine. Keep an eye on the oil level, checking it every time you get within 10 feet of the bike. If it is an oil-burner, you can fix it for $1000, do Paul's oil mods for $50, or simply add oil for the next half a million miles, which will cost you $1000 extra.

That is a very interesting looking bike, what with the IMS 6.6 on a Gen 2 and the fairing delete; can't tell if that is Ernie's headlight set up or not. The previous owner may have had his shit together. It would be enlightening to know more about the bike.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know much about the bike Tom, which is unusual for me. I always try to get records on any used bike I own and maintain meticulous ones on every bike and auto/truck I own. I just sent a text to the guy I bought it from who confirmed that the doohickey was done by the original owner right after he bought it. I bought it from the second owner and his friend, the original owner, had done the setup. The light I'm told is a Baja headlamp. It has a cracked plastic cover/guard piece so I need to get another one.

The only records he had were from last year when he had the carb rebuilt and the oil changed at Cliff Cycles of Bremerton, our local Kawi dealership. The bike just has over 5K miles on it. It came with lower seat, soft saddle bags (dry bags), a large tank bag and some soft bag rails that I've not yet figured out how to install. It has a Vapor digital gauges and S-E handlebar. Those are Acerbis hand guards. A nice riding jacket also came with it.

And thanks for the comments on the 08. Peace of mind it is. I paid $2400 for the bike so would not be out much if the engine grenaded somewhere down the road. I'l just give it uber great care, like I do all my bikes, and keep a close eye on the oil.
 

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I think that is a fairly good price for that bike.

In the past I recommended checking the oil at every fuel stop, then I changed to every time you swung a leg over it, and I'm now recommending that an '08's oil get checked every time you get within 10 feet of it. The intent is to emphasize how important it is on the '08 and '09s to check the oil, so I err on the side of silliness. I will also tell people that all is good as long as the oil pick-up is submerged. Nothing bad will happen as long as the oil pump is seeing a steady supply of oil. However, once the oil pick-up sucks air the head has only about 9 seconds left to live. At that point, exceptionally bad things happen as Benjies turn into smoke and come out of the engine.

Check yer damn oil.

I know you've got weather on you, but you might want to start thinking about a day trip over to the Grand Coulee by way of Rt 2 and back again. Get the beast up to highway speeds and run it at 5000rpm, in fourth if you have to, and stop every 50 miles and check the oil. Keep track of how much oil you need to put in it for the trip. This will give you a good baseline of your oil consumption. I have always carried two 1-liter Nalgene bottles, that are marked in 2-ounce increments, just for this purpose. Even though my oil-burning is cured I still carry those bottles.

There is a trip that I have planed, the Tour De Volcano, where I will start in the eastern Sierra and visit all the volcanos up to the Canadanian border. I've had to put it off twice; maybe this will be my summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took your point Tom and I'll watch it closely. I'll be taking the bike to Death Valley in the back of my pickup in the near future, staying at Panamint Springs.

I too carry extra oil whenever I travel but have never had a bike that uses oil substantially. I'll keep close tabs on it and get a good baseline. One of the friends I did the Dust to Dawson trip in 2015 has an 93 BMW R100GS PD with about 380K miles on it and he had to adD about a half quart at the end of every riding day, most of which were about 350 miles.

You referred to Paul's oil mods so I'll find out what that is. I'm not interested in putting any money into this bike such as a $1000 upgrade and candidly probably won't put 3k miles on it in my lifetime. It's for Baja, the occasional trip to Death Valley and riding up in the Olympics.

On the price, that was good for around my next of the woods. They generally run about $3500+ private sales. I've seen them on ebay back in Chicago or Michigan for less but that's a buy without seeing deal plus $600-900 shipping.

My immediate need is an owners and shop manual. I just looked in my shop library and I have about 50+ shop manuals, about half of them for my vintage Brit twins and the rest for BMW and Japanese bikes. NO KLR. I won't touch the KLR without one. Going to figure out how the change the seat this evening. It looks like I have to pull the side panels. Silly
 

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Navigator,
Most older model dirt bikes had to have the side panels removed to access the seat bolt. ;) Remember we are talking 1980's designs here.
Some people hole-saw access holes thru the side panels! Newer dirt bikes incorporated the rear side panel & seat bolt as one!

This link has links to my original work, https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-wrenching-mods/48377-pdw-oil-flow-mods-order-importance.html

But Toms final edition is so much quicker to read, videos to view & hopefully understand, https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/table-of-contents-sorted-by-topic

But then you'll miss many mis-adventures if you don't at least skim thru this, https://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/36041-oil-pressure-experiments-2009-klr650.html
I always intend to ask Tom, just how many local KLR riders made a U-Turn to inquire about his array of pressure gauges. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OMG. I had no idea there was so much information about KLRs and that there were some real problems with some of them. I've admired them over the years and thought that I might own one some day. What are the odds that I bought a nicely farkled KLR but the worst one in the history of the universe that Kawasaki ever produced. Stupid me. I should have done my homework by joining this site before purchase.

Oh well. I obviously have a lot of reading to do and much to learn.
 

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From your opening post you managed to find a super clean, well kept 2008 that used to be someone elses pride & joy.

All of the 2008's & 75% of the '09's have or had the 'deep hole' on the lower starter reduction gear hole bushing. The sloppy fitting doo-hickey with usually too long of spring affects all 2008-2018's. What can or did the PO tell you about those items?


The potential oil consumption issue I'm reasonable certain was blown way out of proportion by internet forums because the owners of non-oil burners didn't go searching for a free or cheap cure for a problem they didn't have.
My best guess is that there is an 80-85% chance that your engines oil consumption rate will be 'normal' for a KLR, which means 'some' when pushing 4500-6500+ rpms on faster highways.
I have a printed copy of a posting from the 650.net site years ago by "kannonvaggon" who rode his 2009 KLR650 202,000 miles with 'some oil consumption'. With only Doo-hickey, deep hole, valve tappet adjustments, oil changes & filters changes and external consumables & maintenance items (like greasing the steering & rear suspension bearings and shafts Early in life).

I'll suggest that you quit worrying about what you might not have. Ride it and enjoy what you do have, one of the most versatile bikes ever built (warts & all).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I quit worrying about it after reading some of the posts in this thread. I was more angry with myself for not having done my homework before buying the bike, which I normally do. The original owner really did do a nice job on it though.

The second owner didn't know much about what mechanical upgrades the original owner performed, except for the doohickey and I must say that I've never really understood just what that is. They were good friends and he had confidence that he was buying a reliable bike so I'll just go along with that and not be overly concerned. I be mindful to pay attention to things like the oil and general maintenance, but I do that anyway.

I've got an aftermarket service manual on the way.

And thanks for the pics Maverick.
 

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...except for the doohickey and I must say that I've never really understood just what that is...
https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/doohickey

BTW, I'd appreciate more pictures of your bike, some detailed ones that show the mods that have been done. It's cold and dreary and I'm a bit laid up here. I've nothing of interest to do except read books and watch film noir and dream of warmer and healthier days to come.

Have pity on an old gimp and throw us a bone here.

You can e-mail the pictures to me and I'll get them hosted and posted for ya!
 

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Had a walker for a few days, then switched to a cane. Used that for a few days before ditching it. I did take it with me last night on a trip to UCLA where I might have had to do a lot of walking.

Turned out to be unnecessary, but would have come in handy if the word had got out to the chicks that I ride a motorcycle with a kick-starter (unlike @DPelletier, who carries a very manly battery in his pocket. Or is it that pink bunny? I forget.). Whenever they find out about the kick-starter I have to swat them away; it's a mob scene.
 
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