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Discussion Starter #1
For you guys traveling on road whats your max crusing speed? My 2011 at 70mph is cranking out 5200 rpm and seems like its pushing it. Wish I had another gear to pull the RPM's down a bit. I like to cruse around 65 to get where I'm going, seems like a lot of engine speed on this new DLR. Planning a 2 up 2500 mile trip late July..Thanks Walt
 

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A popular "sixth gear alternative" is to switch out the 15 tooth front [counter shaft] sprocket for a larger 16 tooth sprocket. This lowers your highway speed RPM's by about 300. Running a taller tire than factory stock, such as a 130/90-17 as apposed to a 130/80-17 will lower your RPM's a little, although I've never investigated how much.

This change to a 16 tooth sprocket has a few trade offs. You may find yourself working the clutch harder, and finding taking off from a dead stop on a fully loaded, two up bike something that might require developing a technique to pull off. I'd experiment a bit before I headed out on a journey with that sprocket combo. The stock gearing offers a pretty good compromise.
 

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For you guys traveling on road whats your max crusing speed? My 2011 at 70mph is cranking out 5200 rpm and seems like its pushing it. Wish I had another gear to pull the RPM's down a bit. I like to cruse around 65 to get where I'm going, seems like a lot of engine speed on this new DLR. Planning a 2 up 2500 mile trip late July..Thanks Walt

Installing a 16 tooth front sprocket will help, OEM is 15. You'll drop about 400 rpm @ 65 mph. Do you know that the speedo is 8-10% optimistic? Mine is exactly 10% high.
 

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where'd that post go where someone said they had their case split and said they found a switch to change from 5 gears to 6? i couldnt find it. thought it was a senior member, but we need some followup!
 

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where'd that post go where someone said they had their case split and said they found a switch to change from 5 gears to 6? i couldnt find it. thought it was a senior member, but we need some followup!
I keep tugging on the shifter hoping there's another one stuffed in there but I haven't found it yet. I'll probably just get use to the RPM's, sounds like the motor will handle it just fine
 

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I keep tugging on the shifter hoping there's another one stuffed in there but I haven't found it yet. I'll probably just get use to the RPM's, sounds like the motor will handle it just fine
"Looking for 6th gear" could probably be in every KLRista's signature line.

The motor will handle highway speeds all day long.

Make sure you check your oil level at every gas stop.
 

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I did the 16 tooth change years ago and it gives me comfortable driving on the open roads. I also have a rear sprocket that I'll try next time I change tires, it will drop a tooth on the back and lower the rpm even more. Problem is that if you gear up too much there isn't enough toque left.

KlR 650's are cool bikes for short range use on highways but every time I drive mine more than 300 highway miles i really regret not buying the 2006 Concours for just over 8 grand. For road riding where you gotta do 65 - 75 mph just to keep pace with traffic the KLR is not the ticket. The option is to not be in a hurry, then you can do 60. If you're in a hurry you need something different for highway use.

Then there's the tire wear issue. I tried a pair of quality street style tread and yes they wore great. Problem was that when I took off on a trail in the Hatcher Pass area here in Alaska the tires were pretty much useless. I took them off and put on a pair of Mefo Explorers. These tires seem to be the best of both worlds in that they will stand hardtop use and you still have some grip when you get into mud.

What I have done is to realize that the KLR is what it is. I do not want to own several motorcycles anymore so I use the bike when it makes sense. I am no longer planning long road trips for it although they sometimes happen without plan. It seems that there is always several hundred miles of pavement between me and any dirt road that I want to explore here. The Haul Road to Prudhoe Bay is a classic example. It is dirt / gravel surface but it is also a 500 mile ride on pavement before I hit the dirt.

Long story at its end; if you are living and riding on paved roads you might want to consider a dedicated street ride. Granted the KLR gives that 'Devil May Care' appearance of an adventurer but in reality they are not an optimum touring machine. I've owned a few bikes that you could take off on a 6+ thousand mile ride on and no doubt this KLR I have now would do it if I left tomorrow. It's just not the perfect ride if I were headed down the Trans Alaska road to the lower 48. Reason; the road is now paved all the way from here to the Montana border. When I first came here in 1989 there was still about 90 miles in BC that were not paved but that has changed.

Try the 16 tooth sprocket,

Ard
 

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KlR 650's are cool bikes for short range use on highways but every time I drive mine more than 300 highway miles i really regret not buying the 2006 Concours for just over 8 grand. For road riding where you gotta do 65 - 75 mph just to keep pace with traffic the KLR is not the ticket. The option is to not be in a hurry, then you can do 60. If you're in a hurry you need something different for highway use.
Different strokes for different folks.

I've done 900 mile days on a KLR, maintaining the speed limit or better, and was excited about hitting the road again the next day.

My Gold Wing sits a lot since I bought a KLR. I should just sell the GL.
 

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where'd that post go where someone said they had their case split and said they found a switch to change from 5 gears to 6? i couldnt find it. thought it was a senior member, but we need some followup!
/shame on/
I did that.
/shame off/

It's in the Jokers Lounge....

T
 

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"Yeah, that's right," Tom said foolishly.

T
 

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Different strokes for different folks.

I've done 900 mile days on a KLR, maintaining the speed limit or better, and was excited about hitting the road again the next day.

My Gold Wing sits a lot since I bought a KLR. I should just sell the GL.
I gotta reply to your post, I have been driving motorcycles for 41 years and when I add all my odometers I have logged some miles. Speaking of 900 mile days: In 1981 I rode from 46 miles east of Omaha Nebraska leaving at about 7:45 AM and at 1:00 AM the next day I was at the Utah state line west of Evanston Wyoming. Thats just about 915 miles, I drove a 1978 GS750 Suzuki and I averaged 80 - 85 mph on interstate 80 and stopped whenever I hit reserve. At times I traveled as fast as 110 mph if I felt I needed to make up for a long rest stop, this is not an option when driving a KLR 650. The bike had a 5 gallon tank and I rode hard, even riding like that it took 17 hours to cover 900 miles. I am too old to want to prove how far I can ride a motorcycle in a 24 hour period. However I have ridden many different bikes for some really long tours and I know that in order to ride 900 miles in a day a fellow has to be able to really haul ass.

If you do the speed limit (65 - 75 mph) and never stop you can ride as many as 750 miles in ten hours. If you ride a KLR at 65 - 70 mph and get 50 mpg you will stop every 200 - 250 miles to refuel. Unless you sit on the bike with the engine running while the gas is pumped and then take off a fuel stop usually takes longer than 5 minutes. Myself, I used the can, grabbed a drink and some munchies and even took a seat for a while if one was available. Then after a little rest I went back at it. Riding anything for 900 miles in one day does not sound like fun but telling me this because I said that anything over 300 made me wish for a Concours sounds kinda silly to me. I don't even like to drive a car for 900 miles in one day :63a:
 

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I wish mine had a 6th gear as well, seems like the bike wuld have plenty of torque and you could always...downshift. I had thought about the front sprocket change but my KLX seems a little on the high side in 1st already....
I have a HD Heritage, which will cruise but the KLX is great to throw around. I dont know if I could do the 900 miles on either of them though. Need a butt rest every 100 miles or so.

Keep a Smile On
Alan
 

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.... telling me this because I said that anything over 300 made me wish for a Concours sounds kinda silly to me.
I wasn't telling you anything, just offering a counter-point to some of your opinions.
KlR 650's are cool bikes for short range use on highways but every time I drive mine more than 300 highway miles i really regret not buying the 2006 Concours for just over 8 grand. For road riding where you gotta do 65 - 75 mph just to keep pace with traffic the KLR is not the ticket. The option is to not be in a hurry, then you can do 60. If you're in a hurry you need something different for highway use.
As I said, different strokes for different folks.

Some people like to ride short distances at more sedate speeds, which is perfectly fine.

Those who do like to cover some ground between sunrise and sunset can do so on a KLR, in spite of what other riders pronounce.

I had an '80 Honda CB750K that was painful after 8 hours in the saddle. The Gold Wing has seen many 16+ hour days without dismounted fuel stops, I find the KLR to be nearly as comfortable and much more entertaining to ride.

The OP was asking if the KLR motor can handle riding at a steady 5200 rpm.

It can.

I consider "pay-at-the-pump" gas stations to be among the greatest innovations ever. Pump gas from the saddle and ride.

Needless to say, I generally ride alone.

Different strokes.

Calling me "silly" because I offer a counter-point of view to your post seems a little narcisistic.

Many Miles in a Day
 

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We are all a bit insane, but that is irrelevant. If I can get my butt pain issue and my hand issue worked out, this will be a dang fine bike for any distance. No, it isn't really meant for 80mph riding. However, my opinion is that if you are touring, isn't the purpose to see things? It seems to me that flying through at 100mph isn't touring at all, but just driving. Isn't part of the adventure the journey to the destination?

Yes, the Concours is set up more cushy. If that is what you want, go for it! However this is a KLR forum. Guess what the people on here are generally enthusiastic about.

I can go 75mph without the bike fussing about it. I am going to find a seating arrangement that will keep my arse from pain. I am going to buy me a small bungee cord cruise control. I am going to go places as I can, and I am going to enjoy what I see.
 

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I am going to buy me a small bungee cord cruise control.
Have you looked into a 'cramp buster' / throttle rocker? I use one that attaches with a velcro strap for long hauls - I think it makes a big difference on the comfort level when burning up slab.
 

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We are all a bit insane, but that is irrelevant. If I can get my butt pain issue and my hand issue worked out, this will be a dang fine bike for any distance. No, it isn't really meant for 80mph riding. However, my opinion is that if you are touring, isn't the purpose to see things? It seems to me that flying through at 100mph isn't touring at all, but just driving. Isn't part of the adventure the journey to the destination?

Yes, the Concours is set up more cushy. If that is what you want, go for it! However this is a KLR forum. Guess what the people on here are generally enthusiastic about.

I can go 75mph without the bike fussing about it. I am going to find a seating arrangement that will keep my arse from pain. I am going to buy me a small bungee cord cruise control. I am going to go places as I can, and I am going to enjoy what I see.

I have spent about the price of a medium sized village trying to gain an upper hand on the ergonomics of Concourses. The KLR is wonderful right out of the crate by comparison. KLRista's hold no corner on the market as far as farkling goes. A typical Concours owner might keep the gas tank, and dispose of the rest of the bike. I seem to have a flawed selection process when it comes to bikes and women. Both seem to require a tremendous amount of tweaking to be useful and / or enjoyable. I pursue both with the idea of low maintenance in mind, and both soon require my every available moment and dollar. I have trimmed my extravagances down to one for the time being. And I ain't here 'cuz I miss my bike....
 

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My sig other is paying $500 a month back in student loans on a degree she doesnt use. She owes on those loans a most what we owe on the house. I make more on my primary job than she does. I have a college diploma in electronics servicing. I am working 3 jobs. My primary has cut my hours.( still making more than her.) So I am likely going to have to add hours to my second job. My 3rd job is adjunct teaching and here is summer so no income from that for about 4 months. So she buys groceries, childcare, and pays her studen loans. I pay everything else. I could ease my burden by getting rid of all cell phones but mine, but I want her to have one. I could cut off satellite and Internet. I could cancel life insurance. We have about 3 more years of childcare to go. In 3 years her minivan will be paid off. In 5, two others will be paid. So in 5 years, I ought to be able to climb from under this load. Maybe sooner if she can help once the childcare is done for. So yes, families are expensive.
 

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Comfort is about more than the bike. You need to have decent clothing and a better seat than the standard 2X6 plank. I use a Happy Trails Corbin seat and I also use a sheep skin.

Next week I am flying to Palm Springs to pick up my bike and bring it back to Calgary Alberta. I expect to have four 400 mile days on the road. Wind protection on the KLR is pretty good. The ride is comfortable and I have put on a Kenda 761 on the rear. I will spoon on a fresh set of knobbies when I get home.

I cruise at 70 mph when on the highway and I am looking forward to exploring the 365 highway up the eastern side of California.

Are there other routes through eastern California that I should consider? I have done the Arizona, Monument Valley - Moab route and it was great.
 
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