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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yeah I know revalving it would be a big improvement but what weight rider are the stock 2014.5 new edition settings for? While it’s apart for some maintenance and greasing I’m considering changing the fork and shock fluids. What fluid weights and fork oil height would you recommend for my 200 pound weight without gear with stock valving? I might consider a fork spring upgrade if needed but I think the stock shock spring seems decent.
 

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Men say, adjust the pre-load to about 1/3 travel with you and your luggage aboard (more-or-less, 3" on a Generation 1 KLR650). Change "shock fluids?" Haven't heard of this, outside of rebuild; knowledgeable forum members will help you with answers to this and your other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, you can change the KLR shock fluid, rather easily actually. I even saw a Rocky Mountain ATV KLR tutorial video once. As long as your seal heads aren’t already wiped out. You will also have to find a dealership to recharge the nitrogen buts it’s easy.

My question basically is how close are the KLR new edition spring rates and rebound for a 200 pound rider? I know they firmed up the fork springs and rebound something like 40% and 27% respectively and the shock spring like 83% and shock rebound 63% so they are probably
much closer than in the past. I’m just trying to maximize the performance of the stock suspension with some fresh fluids and am trying to tweak valving rates by adjusting the fluid viscosity and oil volumes.

Personally I’m of the opinion that if you aren’t satisfied with a stock KLR don’t invest too much money. You’re better off just buying something closer to your ideal.

As far as rear sag the 2nd gens are only running less than 7.5” of total travel so I want to keep it higher. Again my personal opinion, since revalving for your weight is obviously a good thing but I think part of the reason people notice such a radical difference when they get their bikes revalved is because their old fluids were so wiped out fresh fluid alone makes a noticeable difference.
 

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Appreciate the 14.5 + rear suspension travel correction, EricZ! I'm lost in the Generation 1 specifications!

Now, if changing fork and shock fluid's ineffective improving your suspension; there's always Cogent!

:)
 

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Gen2 rear travel is 7.3"....I'd personally run around 30% due to the limited travel. I believe the NE spring and damping rates are good to around 200 lbs but the proof is in the sag setting as Damocles mentions. As far as the suspension fluid; definitely change the fork oil as part of regular maintenance but I'd leave the shock alone; changing the shock fluid (and recharging the nitrogen) is a relative PITA and the stock, crappy, emulsion shock wouldn't get much of my time and effort - unless there is a problem with how the shock is functioning, I'd leave it alone.....and if there was a problem with the function of the shock, I'd replace it before bothering to take it apart myself but to each thier own.

oh, and if I couldn't get adequate sag and didn't want to spring for a good shock, the EM raising links effectively raise both springrate and damping for cheap.....a good bandaid if you aren't short.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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What's even better is to swap in a Gen 1 knuckle and links...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok now we’re talking! Do either of these increase travel and aside from a slight height increase are there other drawbacks?

Like I said previously I’m not looking to dump a ton of money. Assuming the stock new edition spring and rebound rates are close for a 200 pound rider, I simply want to maximize the stock suspension performance with low cost changes and if possible increase travel even if slightly. I’m not really interested in revalving or a new shock due to the resale value vs investment down the road. I am about to pull the swingarn, linkage and steering head for greasing after I finish my doohickey.

What about fork oil viscosity and oil height? Should I consider fork springs and are progressive springs ideal for a 65/30 pavement/other bike? I’m not loading up to camp and rarely ride 2 up. I’ve prowled around different posts but the volume of information is so large it’s very difficult to process
 

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The Gen1 knuckle and links increase the travel to the Gen1 specs as far as travel goes BUT the shorter Gen1 links will increase leverage on the shock effectively increasing the effective springrate AND damping. You could use the Gen1 knuckle with the Gen2 links and have close to Gen1 travel without the change in stiffness caused by the dogbone length....the Gen 1 links on a 2014.5 shock might stiffen things up too much.....you'd need to check sag to know for sure.

The links by themselves have a negligeable effect on travel; they just change the ride height and leverage

I could go on for hours about the difference between damper rod and cartridge forks but here's my best take on the salient points in your case;

- I prefer straight rate (or dual rate) springs over progressive springs which are a bandaid for the KLR's typical lack of damping and springrate - not as much of an issue on your 2014.5+. I'm not convinced the progressive fork springs would be an upgrade on your bike.

- same thing with thicker oil; it increases the damping - a good thing on low speed hits and a very bad thing on high speed hits.....this is the problem with the stock damper rod forks; they have a very progressive damping curve which is opposite of what you want (and the way cartridge forks, DDC's or Emulators work). People use heavier oil in an attempt to fix the undersprung and underdamped stock (pre-2014.5) suspension but it's a compromise at best. With the stiffer factory suspension, I'd avoid it.

- you can play with the oil level (air spring); lowering it helps initial plushness.

Hope this helps.

Dave
 

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I like the Gen 1 linkage on a Gen 2 swingarm because it is both cheap and effective.

Usually, you can get the parts for ~$40. The bearings are a crap shoot. You may be able to grease and go or you may have to replace them. It's part of the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. When I got my linkage it simply needed to be cleaned and greased. The cleaner the linkage is, generally the lower the mileage and the better the bearing. Patience can pay off.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/87-1987-klr-650-klr650-suspension-linkage/152771544610?fits=Model:KLR650&hash=item2391e4c622:g:rJ0AAOSwyP5Z-9X9:rk:2:pf:0

I mentioned this to a friend up in Winterpeg and he went and measured everything out. He found less than a millimeter or so difference in the Gen 1 swingarm vs the Gen 2 swingarm; they are geometrically identical. He found a 7/8" increase in ride height if memory serves. The suspension travel simply goes to the Gen 1 spec of 8.1" vs 7.3".
https://advrider.com/f/threads/klr650-only-thread.742912/page-1592#post-35983817
 
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
This does help. Your other comments and tips have been spot on. I agree on the progressive rates. I think aggressive riders blow through the initial travel too quickly with progressive springs and it exacerbates the high speed compression problems. Good point with the thicker fluid too. I think I will play with the fork oil height using stock weight fluid (which from what I understand is another issue since there is no standard among suppliers for fluid weight)

I think I will try a gen 1 knuckle also. Thanks again.
 

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I like the Gen 1 linkage on a Gen 2 swingarm because it is both cheap and effective.

Usually, you can get the parts for ~$40. The bearings are a crap shoot. You may be able to grease and go or you may have to replace them. It's part of the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. When I got my linkage it simply needed to be cleaned and greased. The cleaner the linkage is, generally the lower the mileage and the better the bearing. Patience can pay off.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/87-1987-klr-650-klr650-suspension-linkage/152771544610?fits=Model:KLR650&hash=item2391e4c622:g:rJ0AAOSwyP5Z-9X9:rk:2:pf:0

I mentioned this to a friend up in Winterpeg and he went and measured everything out. He found less than a millimeter or so difference in the Gen 1 swingarm vs the Gen 2 swingarm; they are geometrically identical. He found a 7/8" increase in ride height if memory serves. The suspension travel simply goes to the Gen 1 spec of 8.1" vs 7.3".
https://advrider.com/f/threads/klr650-only-thread.742912/page-1592#post-35983817
Good post and up until now, I haven't had the chance to compare swingarms to ensure that the travel change is all in the linkage. Thanks. One correction; Gen1 travel is 9.1" not 8.1"

Using the Gen1 dogbones on a Gen2 is basically the same as mild raising links;



Dave
 

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This does help. Your other comments and tips have been spot on. I agree on the progressive rates. I think aggressive riders blow through the initial travel too quickly with progressive springs and it exacerbates the high speed compression problems. Good point with the thicker fluid too. I think I will play with the fork oil height using stock weight fluid (which from what I understand is another issue since there is no standard among suppliers for fluid weight)

I think I will try a gen 1 knuckle also. Thanks again.
Check Toms SouperDoo site for his fork oil testing, https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/fork-oil-vs-atf-a-shocking-story
 

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Good post and up until now, I haven't had the chance to compare swingarms to ensure that the travel change is all in the linkage. Thanks. One correction; Gen1 travel is 9.1" not 8.1"...
Thanks for the catch and the correction, Dave!

We owe GreatWhiteNorth thanks for having both swingarms at hand and taking the time to check them out.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I have to say I’m very impressed with the knowledge base of this forum. Granted the bike has been out 30 years but I think you all know as much or more in some ways as the original designers themselves.
 
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