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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all--

New rider, new member. Just scored a 2006 KLR 650 and am hooked. I'm looking for some advice on how to start learning about my bike, so I can move towards mastery and can learn how to maintain it without spending a fortune. Of course, it's always good to know how to fix common problems for when on trips.

Is there a resource, video, website, etc. that would take me through how a motorcycle functions? Any recommendations about where to start and what to learn first? I literally know nothing. Luckily, I am a quick learner--for example I just remodeled our bathroom with zero prior experience.

Anyway, thanks for any help you can offer!
Harry
 

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Hey Harry,
Im new here as well but have been riding and learning as I go for a while. My advise would be to pick up a good service manual then identify the most common maintenance tasks suck as oil changes, valve checks and adjustments, chain adjustments, doohickey, and tire changes and learn those first. There are some good youtube videos out there, Tim2wheels has 2 great videos on valve checks and adjustments. After that I look at it as tackle it as it comes up.
 

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Daisy's given you good advice, to add to it;

- 1) get a service manual; factory one is great but assumes you know what you're doing (being read by a trained tech) and for that reason I think the Clymer manual is a bit better for a beginner.

- 2) take your time and be careful and patient; do NOT use excessive force on anything.

- 3) you will need to get some proper, decent quality tools to do most jobs right.

- 4) there are excellent videos on Youtube about most procedures.

- 5) read this if you haven't already; http://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-wrenching-mods/58945-dpelletiers-common-new-klr-owner-mistakes-avoid.html

ask questions here whenever you have a need. I've performed virtually all the maintenance on my 39 motorcycles in the last 40+ years and I started out with zero training just like you. taking the bike to the dealer isn't an option when trying to keep 3 race bikes running perfectly 200 miles from the nearest dealer....on a weekend. Patience, preparation and being methodical and clean go a long way IMO. :)

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for such sound advice! It's overwhelming, but I get the picture--start slow, be patient, do things right, and learn little by little. Patience is not my strong suit, but I see there is no other way :) I am also planning on attending the Tech Day here in Portland to try and get the Doohickey done. Thank you.
 

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Hi all--

New rider, new member. Just scored a 2006 KLR 650 and am hooked. I'm looking for some advice on how to start learning about my bike, so I can move towards mastery and can learn how to maintain it without spending a fortune. Of course, it's always good to know how to fix common problems for when on trips.

Is there a resource, video, website, etc. that would take me through how a motorcycle functions? Any recommendations about where to start and what to learn first? I literally know nothing. Luckily, I am a quick learner--for example I just remodeled our bathroom with zero prior experience.

Anyway, thanks for any help you can offer!
Harry
Harry, you just helped yourself a bunch. Looking to Learn.
I will encourage you to start by reading, A Lot! Start your reading with the owners handbook for Your Bike, read it cover to cover, no skipping pages and I don't mind if you disagree with some things that you may read in it. Read it all.
Next order and read one or two of books from here,
Books / Manuals - Tools :: Aerostich Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear

Next read this posting,
http://www.klrforum.com/introductions/58921-dpelletiers-common-new-klr-owner-mistakes-avoid.html

Now you may open the owners tool kit that hopefully came with your bike and properly adjust the slack of your drive chain.

Next you will need to purchase a Small 1/4 inch drive, Inch Pound torque wrench (say 50-200 INCH Pound range) and socket set with extensions. You NEED #'s 6,7,8,10,12,13,14,17. The 17mm will probably need to be purchased separately and may have to be 3/8 inch drive with an adaptor.
With the 8 & 17mm sockets and all the information gleaned from dpelletiers info and the owners handbook you may now perform an engine oil and oil filter change on your KLR650. IF you start with oil changing, before completing the prior steps, I quit.

ps, I should have refreshed before posting, oh well.
 

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I took a Motorcycle Maintenance course at the local Tech college. It was a total of 18 hours over two weeks but man did I learn a lot! Worth the $425 I paid because my first 1000km service at a shop for my new 2017 KLR would have cost me $305. I've already saved that much and more since I was able to install my own heated grips, do an oil change in the class and adjust the chain tension. Food for thought.
 

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Don;t worry about needing to know everything in a day. Start by changing your oil. Let your research into that lead you into other areas. Concentrate on the maintenance items and don't worry about knowing how to replace a clutch or stator...yet.
 

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As the others have said,
A; Get a service manual and read (a little dry I know, but worth the learning)
B; Research what you want to do by searching threads on forums, YouTube (but be careful there).
C; Search for "Tech Days" in your area.

And I also see that you've reached out for help with the DooHickey in the Portland area. That might be the best, network a little and find other KLR riders around you and learn from them. You might find a mentor willing to show you the ropes and give you some great advice on your needs. It's still amazing what a Pizza or box of donuts will get you. Save the beer until AFTER you are done working on the bike.

Wish I was closer, could give you a few extra little parts around here.
 
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