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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently bought this 2006 klr for my first bike It's the first vehicle I've had with my name on the title. I've barely gotten my m1 license and still have a lot to learn about motorcycles, but I'm excited to start. I thought I'd share the bike here along with some of my plans for it. I want to repaint the plastics, the previous owner coated all of them in some rough black paint. I'm still trying to decide what color scheme I want to go with but I'm probably going to incorporate some white. I am looking for some affordable crash bars for that inevitable first drop. I'm happy with the headlights, the previous owner installed a flood light and a bright led bulb.
I want to mod the front brake pedal which is on the small side and I have to really dig my foot inward to make contact with it. The exhaust header gets pretty hot and I feel it radiating on my leg. I was reading that wrapping it in titanium exhaust wrap will help slightly with performance and also comfort because I want to do some touring on the bike eventually. I also heard that buying some industrial fiber glass strips might be an effective cheap option but I'm still researching all that.
I'm also planning on changing the exhaust and replacing the heat shield pad on the rear right plastic which is burnt through and falling apart. I stuck some tin foil between the exhaust plastic to temporarily repel some heat. I'm also researching the best ways to make the bike handle highway speeds. I was reading that swapping the front sprocket could help the engine out a bit, I also read that getting a different jet kit might help but I'm not sure how yet, I'll have to read more into that.
So many questions and possibilities with this bike, I'm not sure where to start, but I'm young, employed, and ready to impulse buy so what could go wrong?

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Welcome to the forum. Put a set of good handguards and an aluminum bash plate on your shopping list.
 

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I want to mod the front brake pedal which is on the small side and I have to really dig my foot inward to make contact with it.
You may want to check the height adjustment of the rear brake pedal,
OH! You meant FOOT brake pedal!! :)
Yeah, loosen the nut, remove the cotter pin & clevis pin. Spin the bracket a few turns & test fit. I leave just a little air gap between the lever & the clutch cover.

Bleeding Fresh Fluid thru both rear & front systems will also probably help quite a bit. There is possibly an air bubble in the system. ;)
 

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Work out what the main purpose or style of riding you want to do. No use making an off road beast when most of your time will be on the pavement. Just remember, there isn’t a single bike that can do it all. It’s alway a compromise. Just like tyres.
It’s all a matter of what you can live with. Most of us have more than one motorcycle to suite what we want to do on the day.

And remember, don’t ride faster or jump higher than your guardian angel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
How about you just ride it, go from there.
Oh yeah, I should ride the bike huh? Thanks for tip man 👍
Edit: I took this comment the wrong way and I want to apologize. Pete helped me realize that you're saying I should ride the bike more and make my modifications based on that. Sorry for the attitude, lots of sass runs in my family lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Work out what the main purpose or style of riding you want to do. No use making an off road beast when most of your time will be on the pavement. Just remember, there isn’t a single bike that can do it all. It’s alway a compromise. Just like tyres.
It’s all a matter of what you can live with. Most of us have more than one motorcycle to suite what we want to do on the day.

And remember, don’t ride faster or jump higher than your guardian angel.
I'll definitely keep what I'll mainly be doing on the bike in mind. I do want to make the bike as versatile as possible though. I know it's not the best bike for anything really but if I wanted a bike that did one thing really well I wouldn't have gotten a klr. I'm hoping to get a nice balance between long distance comfort and casual dirt trail readiness with any modifications I make. And I will be sure to ride within my abilities!
 

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KLRs: 2013, 2005, 1998; 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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For a young guy with his first ride, you sound pretty sensible. The previous suggestions to "just ride it" are so that you see how you actually use it, rather than how you "think" you want to use it. After you've accumulated a few miles, you'll see that what you plan, and what really you do, can be very different. Don't ask me how I know that-- I'm still relearning that lesson at my arthritic age!

And since you just got your motorcycle license, let me ask to be sure: Did you get some good training? If not, go do that first. The software between your ears is the most important and effective modification you can make.

Specific items:

Rear brake pedal. It's small and tucked in close for a reason; so it doesn't snag on stuff offroad, and to protect it in side-dumps. Try to get used to it first. Personally, I don't like the brake pedal sticking out under my foot. Otherwise, it's easy to bend the lever a bit.

Insulation under the right rear plastic cover: Yeah they do that. I used some aluminum tape to tape it down and cover it. Works fine.

Crash bars: good investment. Lots of options. Search the other threads here. Don't forget aluminum handgaurds, "Bark busters." They will pay for themselves in the number of bent brake and clutch levers you'll have to replace. The skid plate can wait until you see that you will go off-road enough to make it worthwhile. But it's good insurance too. My bikes have 'em, even though I don't go off-road as much as I thought would.

Exhaust wrap: It helps reduce the heat, but doesn't do anything for performance. I don't much notice heat from the exhaust pipe on mine. Does it still have the heat shield on it?

Speaking of performance, be sure to read the threads about it on this Forum. But I'll save you some trouble; the KLR engine "is what it is." There is no secret power waiting to be unlocked with exhaust or carb changes. Any carb jetting changes provide small returns, mostly in better drivability. Real performance increases require lots of money and effort and major changes to the engine. All of which are very "un-KLRista."

I noted that the rubber bellows that cover the fork tubes were removed and replaced with some "seal saver." if you have or can get the original bellows, put them back on. They are far superior to any other fork protection.

And post more pics of front, back, and both sides so we can see what you got. Also put your location in your profile. It will help you if you need in-person help form someone on the Forum, or want to hook up for a beer or a group ride.

Welcome, you'll like it here. Just don't ask about Dr. Hook.
 

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There was some stuff in this thread (though at least one option seems to have left the market).

There's also some info here on making large changes in height by swapping parts.
 

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I agree with everything Pete said. A big brake pedal is potential liability in a crash, you don't want it to stick out, have the bike fall on a rock and have it punch a hole in the engine side cover. And yes, the KLR motor is what it is, make sure it's maintained ( oil changed, doo hickey done, valves checked, air cleaner clean and oiled, spark plug changed in some recent history) but don't expect it to become a powerhouse. Get crash bars because they protect the radiator, and tires that match your riding needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For a young guy with his first ride, you sound pretty sensible. The previous suggestions to "just ride it" are so that you see how you actually use it, rather than how you "think" you want to use it. After you've accumulated a few miles, you'll see that what you plan, and what really you do, can be very different. Don't ask me how I know that-- I'm still relearning that lesson at my arthritic age!

And since you just got your motorcycle license, let me ask to be sure: Did you get some good training? If not, go do that first. The software between your ears is the most important and effective modification you can make.

Specific items:

Rear brake pedal. It's small and tucked in close for a reason; so it doesn't snag on stuff offroad, and to protect it in side-dumps. Try to get used to it first. Personally, I don't like the brake pedal sticking out under my foot. Otherwise, it's easy to bend the lever a bit.

Insulation under the right rear plastic cover: Yeah they do that. I used some aluminum tape to tape it down and cover it. Works fine.

Crash bars: good investment. Lots of options. Search the other threads here. Don't forget aluminum handgaurds, "Bark busters." They will pay for themselves in the number of bent brake and clutch levers you'll have to replace. The skid plate can wait until you see that you will go off-road enough to make it worthwhile. But it's good insurance too. My bikes have 'em, even though I don't go off-road as much as I thought would.

Exhaust wrap: It helps reduce the heat, but doesn't do anything for performance. I don't much notice heat from the exhaust pipe on mine. Does it still have the heat shield on it?

Speaking of performance, be sure to read the threads about it on this Forum. But I'll save you some trouble; the KLR engine "is what it is." There is no secret power waiting to be unlocked with exhaust or carb changes. Any carb jetting changes provide small returns, mostly in better drivability. Real performance increases require lots of money and effort and major changes to the engine. All of which are very "un-KLRista."

I noted that the rubber bellows that cover the fork tubes were removed and replaced with some "seal saver." if you have or can get the original bellows, put them back on. They are far superior to any other fork protection.

And post more pics of front, back, and both sides so we can see what you got. Also put your location in your profile. It will help you if you need in-person help form someone on the Forum, or want to hook up for a beer or a group ride.

Welcome, you'll like it here. Just don't ask about Dr. Hook.
I understand the comment about riding the bike now and I agree, I need to ride it more and let that decide what changes to make.
Regarding my motorcycle training, I took and passed the cmsp course. I definitely plan to take an intermediate riders course once I've got some more hours on the bike.

I'll ride with the current brake pedal and try to comfortable with it.
Same goes for any of the mods I was thinking of making, I'll ride and see what makes sense changing as I go.
I don't have the bellows but I start looking for some online.

As for the heat shield on the exhaust, the bike didn't have any heat shield on the header when I bought it.
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One thing about the engine, could I expect to put less strain on the engine at highway speeds with an aftermarket front sprocket for the chain or will it not make a difference?

Also, do I want to know what this Dr. Hook business is?

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That's an aftermarket exhaust system. Since it doesn't have a heat shield on the head pipe, that's why it's cooking your leg. Yes, you can put a wrap on it, or rig up some kind of heat shield using some aluminum sheet metal and stainless steel hose claps. if you make your own, leave about 1/4" space between the pipe and heat shield. Also look online for that brand and see if it originally had a heat shield. Maybe you can buy that separately.

Nice brake lever. Get some bark busters on the handlebars before you drop it and bend the levers.
 

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I would put some proper gaitors on those fork legs. Dried bugs & gravel nicks above those short neoprene wraps will prematurely damage the fork seals.
OEM fork boots fit the best, but are quite pricey.

I last used the Large 28 pleat Polisport brand fork boots and trimmed the bottom 5 pleats off of them. I used 2 wraps of safety wire in the new bottom pleat to engage the groove on the lower fork leg. Then one needs to use a hot wire to melt a few small air vent holes into the underside of the bottom pleat to prevent ballooning.
 

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Half the fun of owning one of these bikes is getting to work on it. Not to mention, there’s a slew of aftermarket parts available for you to buy.

Briefly glancing at your bike….I would definitely get rid of those rubber mounted footpegs. You can get a set of Krator pegs for around $20. You might also enjoy a set of handlebar risers. Makes for a more comfortable riding posture, and they are only $20 as well.

Also a very important one to mention here….the gen 1 brakes suuuuck compared to the gen 2 & 3. They are fitted with undersize calipers and pads, so make sure you have a good quality set of pads (front and rear).

Ask lots of ?’s if your uncertain about something, keep up on the maintenance, and ride as much as you can!
 
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i'll add to check the bottom of the airbox (above the connection between the headpipe and midpipe) for melting. you can add some heat shielding (the flexible self adhesive type, sandwiched using the stock heat shield is easy to do).

a hole here can let dirty air into the clean side (post filter) of the airbox and introduce dust into your motor.
 
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