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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2009 KLR. Lots of mods have been done. I read about the frame bolts that can be replaced. How can I tell if they have already been replaced? The seller bought it from someone else who did the mods and doesn't know where he is now.
 

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Ain't sure, but . . . if we're talking SUBFRAME BOLTS, don't think those parts are of critical nature from 2008 models forward.

Again, not sure of aftermarket KLR-specific bolts, but . . . markings on bolt heads, in general, indicate their "grade" (strengths).

Reckon I oughta Google, "bolt strength markings" or something like that for some valid information . . .

EDIT: Well, whaddaya know!

This link pops up early in my quest:

https://www.engineersedge.com/hex_bolt_identification.htm

Metric bolts have different nomenclature and markings.

https://www.nutsandbolts.com/v1-bolt-grade-markings.html
 

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Thanks for finding the sites. I'll check the manual (when I get it) to see if the bolts are spec'd. I think I need to take a hard look at the foot peg bolts. They were replaced with the short steel pegs so I'm hoping the bolts are strong enough. I read a story on this website about a guy that broke some bones in his foot when the foot peg broke off. The dirt roads around Mesquite Nevada are pretty rocky and rattle the bike around a lot. The bike has about 6K miles on it but it's a 2009.
 

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This just my opinion, but I'd be willing to bet all those stories of broken bolts are due to loose bolts on bikes loaded to the gills riding on rough terrain. Unless you're loading up your bike and riding it hard, about the only thing you need do is make sure they're torqued to spec at all times and chances are even if you do ride the snot out of it your stock bolts will be fine as long as they stay tight.. Just take them out one at a time, inspect it, squeeze out some blue loctite on it and screw back in tight. top bolts are 33ftlbs. (I think) Bottom subframe are 18. Loose bolts tend to shear, but tight ones never seem to do so. Again, just an opinion, but one I'll stand by.
 

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I like your idea about the bolts PaddyD. Time to get that new torque wrench I've been meaning to buy and get to work.
 

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This just my opinion, but I'd be willing to bet all those stories of broken bolts are due to loose bolts on bikes loaded to the gills riding on rough terrain. Unless you're loading up your bike and riding it hard, about the only thing you need do is make sure they're torqued to spec at all times and chances are even if you do ride the snot out of it your stock bolts will be fine as long as they stay tight.. Just take them out one at a time, inspect it, squeeze out some blue loctite on it and screw back in tight. top bolts are 33ftlbs. (I think) Bottom subframe are 18. Loose bolts tend to shear, but tight ones never seem to do so. Again, just an opinion, but one I'll stand by.
Proper torqueing and sealing fasteners remains sound maintenance, however . . . some KLR650 owners actually load their bikes to the gills and ride over rough terrain. Upgrading subframe bolts (and/or installing a robust drill-through bolt) provides an increased margin of durability and reliability, IMHO. Torqueing isn't entirely effective, when strength-of-material yield strengths are exceeded.

Generation 1s were somewhat notorious for OEM subframe bolt failure; factory-corrected to some extent on Generation 2s, if I'm not mistaken.

Wouldn't hurt to take a look at footpeg fasteners; again, IMHO.
 

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Proper torqueing and sealing fasteners remains sound maintenance, however . . . some KLR650 owners actually load their bikes to the gills and ride over rough terrain. Upgrading subframe bolts (and/or installing a robust drill-through bolt) provides an increased margin of durability and reliability, IMHO. Torqueing isn't entirely effective, when strength-of-material yield strengths are exceeded.

Generation 1s were somewhat notorious for OEM subframe bolt failure; factory-corrected to some extent on Generation 2s, if I'm not mistaken.

Wouldn't hurt to take a look at footpeg fasteners; again, IMHO.
Very true when referring to the top bolts. You can't beat a grade 5 or heavier single bolt vs 2 bolts threaded into the frame itself, but when you look at the chintzy, flimsy frame mounts on the bottom subframe, I don't think a bolt upgrade is the answer for the guy who loads 400 lbs to go X country with. Those are some of the cheapest, lightweight mounts tack welded to the tubes I have ever seen on a motorcycle. At least the ones on my bike are. For the bottom, if I were loading up and riding hard in the back country I'd weld on some better mounts for those upgraded bolts to go through. If you weigh over 200 lbs and ride standing up in the rough stuff the footpeg bolts might be worth considering. Still, I say keep em all tight and the odds are nothing bad will happen for the rest of us.
 

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@PaddyD,

[SARCAMS=PaddyD;673673]

You really need to cease and desist with this common sense BS. To insist that fasteners be properly torqued and kept that way to prevent breakage is sheer madness. Reckless lunacy.

Far better to advocate for larger, stronger, heavier fasteners that can be run loose and not break thus causing the next weakest, and hard to fix, component to break.

[/SARCAMS]


SARCAMS mode, from old usenet usage; the deliberate misspelling of "sarcasm", wrapped in HTML
 
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Perhaps Kawasaki anticipated lax maintenance among its customers, up-grading subframe fasteners with Generation 2s. I think Fastenal suggests such an approach in, "Bolted Joint Design," on the 'Web:
Engineers compensate for the inability to consistently and accurately determine bolt tension by
massively over-designing joints. This accommodates inaccurate tightening and avoids catastrophic
failure. Designers will specify more or larger bolts than needed in order to ensure that the joints are
sufficiently clamped together. Fewer or smaller fasteners can be used when bolt preload is
accurately and consistently controlled. Historically, the over-design of the joint has been far cheaper
than controlling the assembly process.
Certainly, inadequate bolt torquing in dynamic stress applications (like those of subframe bolts) contribute to FATIGUE failure (not to mention tension and shear failure).

If proper torqueing alone prevents subframe bolt failure, regardless of load (stress), [Sarcasm] I mistakenly (un-necessarily) bought Eagle Mike's upgraded subframe bolts for my Generation 1. [/Sarcasm] I DID NOT perform the drill-through, jumbo bolt mod.

As to the importance of applying proper torques: Even . . . some have suggested improper torqueing (excessive) of Generation 1 doohickey hold-down bolts sometimes caused idler shaft lever failures . . .
 
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