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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Olive Oyl, a 2004 KLR 650 I acquired last spring with 53,000km or 31,000 mi, https://www.klrforum.com/threads/2004-refresh.75782/#post-747920 is turning out to be a spectacular success this riding season as a day tripper for trouting, berry picking, moose hunting (just started) and wood cutting just around the corner. As well she came into my life coincidentally with the recent increase in fuel prices, and has served as a top notch town run about. Sadly, I have been forced to rename her Olive “Oil “ 😜as she burns the stuff like there is no tmrw. Either way, I have grown fond of the little Beast and have been considering a winter “keep busy” upgrade program….otherwise know as mission creep. 😎
Not in any particular order……
Project 1. Doo Hickey- simply procrastinated on this last spring. Need to check first to see what’s in there and upgrade if necessary.
Project 2. JNS engineering headlight. Was going to swap out to a LED bulb but reading on this site suggests to me there is no true replacement LED tech for this purpose. Feedback appreciated.
Project 3. Thermobob. See
Project 4. Fix oil burning (1.5 litre / 1000 km, quart and a half / 600 miles) Options…
Use heavier oil…not a fan. Or
simply bore to next size up with any head work required. Or if cylinder is really out of shape 🤔maybe a 685 kit. That would really get the boss rolling her eyes. 🙄
Project 5. Get a front brake on the bike. Maybe a steel line will do it. Maybe need a rotor. Maybe bigger rotor and bracket kit. I have a bit of brake but not enough to have saved me from a couple of ass clenchings this summer.
Project 6. Tire/s. 50/50 or perhaps even 40/60 Highway Off-road. I could live with a little wear on the highway just to have a little better traction in the dirt. I won’t be putting a lot of km on the bike….something in the order of 1000-2000 km / year.
Project 6. Exhaust. The mods I did to existing aftermarket muffler holding up well but quiet is better for me. Original can would be fine. Not to concerned about weight.
Project 7. Master switch. 18 year old harness which may not have been top shelf 18 years ago. I could live with the bike burning. But more difficult if it takes a bunch of stuff with it. I cleaned up the electrical last spring but a master switch is a cheap mod for peace of mind.
Project 8. Some type of platform/rack to make rear rack more useful….maybe get a quarter of moose up there someday 🥴. Currently using variety of milk crates, sorting trays, pelican cases depending on the need, but would like to have something a little more universal.
Project 9. This turned out logically to be the first project. I have a bike lift but wanted a rear axle stand just for chain adjustment, oil checks etc. So I fabbed up one from a mower handle and other assorted bits and pieces.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system

Man, ya gotta check that oil regular like. She actually used to randomly smoke on startup for the first month or so…. Just like the old mosquito foggers. 🫣. Seems to have given that up but she is still going through the oil.
Some of these items are gotta dos, some are should dos and others are wanna dos. For example my front tire is still in good enough shape for another season but the back tire is living by the skin of its teeth.
But the wind turned north easterly a couple days ago up here in the North Atlantic and we are in for several days of RDF…rain, drizzle, and fog. Figured it was a good time to get the todo list organised, start costing, sourcing etc. and let everyone know Olive Oil is doing well. Been snooping at everyone else’s doings over morning coffee throughout the summer so figured it was my turn to chime in. Everyone take it easy. No doubt will reach out from time to time for opinions on one thing or another.
 

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Project 2: JNS Engineering LED headlight.

I finished installing mine last night. As far as effectiveness, I love it. I haven't really done any night riding, but the upgrade is definitely brighter, and it has good coverage. I took it out last night to properly adjust it (see pic below).

I do wish that it sat in my headlight faring a bit better. But I can live with the wonky look just to be able to see (and be seen).


Project 5: front brakes.

There are lots of 320mm front disc kits out there. The PO of my bike put one on, and I have no complaints. Bike stops when I tell it to.


Project 6: Tires.

With those restrictions, I'd be running Motoz Tractionator Adventure tires. I recently put Tractionator GPS tires on mine, but I freeway commute with my bike and need the road manners and mileage. The Adventure tires are supposedly still great on the road (But noisy), but give up a bit of tire life in favor of off road capability.

Automotive tail & brake light Grille Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire

Automotive lighting Road surface Automotive tire Wheel Asphalt

Automotive lighting Tire Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks like great results from your JNS light install. I currently run a couple of aux led’s, fender height, which are really my main light source compared to the “candle like” H4 OEM headlight. Thanks for posting pics.
As for brakes, I expect I’ll have one more thorough look at components and then try a metal brake line and if that doesn’t get it done will bump up to a large rotor kit. I am quite curious as to why the brake bits I have aren’t doing a better job.
The bike came with a well worn Shinko 244 on the rear. I’m not stuck on a brand yet but will likely go with that type of lug style. I’m only 15 km max to any of the bush roads I use.
Thanks for the input.
 

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I am quite curious as to why the brake bits I have aren’t doing a better job.
Maybe the brake pads got oiled-up from a leaky fork seal in past history? Are the air holes in the disc Grungy?
If so, that oily grunge will contaminate New Pads. A brass rifle bore brush & brake cleaner & patience.

May be able to salvage fairly new pads with multiple cleanings with brake cleaner & compressed air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe the brake pads got oiled-up from a leaky fork seal in past history?
I did give all the bits a pretty thorough cleaning when I was going through the bike last spring but you are right….. I had ordered new pads but an incorrect fit showed up for the front so I used what I had as there was lots of life still in them. Will put the pads back on the suspect list.
Of course I’m do not know the history of the bike but suspect the brake line is the original and can observe it flex as I pressure up the brake so suspect it is at least part of the problem.
Thanks for reminding me about the pads.
 

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Hello Tinkerman from another 1st gen KLR owner on "Da Rock". I'm a townie...;)

The original front brake leaves a little to be desired for sure. My 06 came to me with stainless lines front and rear, and they are better, but there is still a long way to go to get to good. The original rubber brake lines are well past the end of their lifespan. I definitely recommend putting a few $$ away during the winter for this upgrade.

If you did your own valve shims then the doohickey is definitely within your ability. I run 15 w 40 diesel oil in my bike as do many others and its fine. I buy it in the 20 litre drums. My bike does not seem to burn anything between changes (3000 km). I would suggest you try a heavier oil before getting into a rebuild. It's certainly the cheaper option. Just my 2 cents. I hear nothing but great things about the 685 all the same. More power, less vibration definitely sounds win win.
 

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nice norton too
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey 8382, good to hear a voice from the rock on this forum. Appreciate your input. Parts just starting to trickle in here now. Working on the front brake one bit at a time. It was such an issue all summer that one way or the other it’s going to be better by next spring one way or the other.
As for the oil burning, I am inclined to take the big leap on that one if I don’t get distracted with something else. I could go the heavier oil route but if that doesn’t do it then I would have one hand on the throttle and one eye on the oil window all next summer. Never owned anything that burns oil like the KLR. For me, the wrenching during the winter months is nearly as satisfying as the biking in the summer so just getting into the projects now and will milk them along all winter. Great for stormy days when the parts are already in the shop.
 

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Hey 8382, good to hear a voice from the rock on this forum. Appreciate your input. Parts just starting to trickle in here now. Working on the front brake one bit at a time. It was such an issue all summer that one way or the other it’s going to be better by next spring one way or the other.
As for the oil burning, I am inclined to take the big leap on that one if I don’t get distracted with something else. I could go the heavier oil route but if that doesn’t do it then I would have one hand on the throttle and one eye on the oil window all next summer. Never owned anything that burns oil like the KLR. For me, the wrenching during the winter months is nearly as satisfying as the biking in the summer so just getting into the projects now and will milk them along all winter. Great for stormy days when the parts are already in the shop.
Your “I’ll enjoy what it gives me” attitude will go far in your relationship with the KLR!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thought I’d drop a note with a mid winter update. Upgrades to Olive Oil moving along swimmingly but waiting for out of stock parts and shipping delays a bit frustrating.

Project 1. Doo Hickey - Done along with balancer sprockets and guides. I’m a believer….check your tensioner system to ensure it is working. Also learned with the helpful input from some of the KLR gurus here that my 2004 has a 1992 engine. What a beautiful beast. 🫣
Project 2. Headlight upgrade - Done. Flip flopped on this. Went with an Aux Beam H 4 bulb. Plenty bright in the shop with a good cutoff line. Will report further when I get it outside and adjusted.
Project 3. Thermobob. TBA depending on…..
Project 4. Fix oil burning. TBA lots of winter left up here yet. Probably going to get to it but planned budget for this year is getting depleted which is not that critical to the conversation. No worries as I’m the best example of mission creep on the planet. 🙄
Project 5. Front brake - Tried a new set of pads. Don’t think that will get me where I need to be. Pretty much decided to get a 320 kit and SS brake line.
Project 6. Tire/s. Done. Got a new knobby and tube on the back. Going to live with the front for this season.
Project 6. Exhaust - Done. The great success storey. Located a “mint” takeoff that could be delivered in 5 days. Received a “mint” takeoff in four days from Zdeno Cycle in Kitchener On, Canada. Hats off to em. Bolted it up in five minutes. Beautiful thing.
Project 7. Master switch. Have one sourced. Just looking around for a few more things tojustify minimum shipping charges.
Project 8. Expanded Rack - 85% done. Pretty pleased with this so far. Will send pics when complete.
Project 9. Rear axle stand - Done

So Olive Oyl / Olive Oil / Olive Oil the Frakenchild, 😜 is progressing as a project. We are having a wet miserable winter up here in the NE. Finally got in the woods for the first time and hauled out 3 PU loads of firewood yesterday but raining again today so the bike project will provide some entertainment for the day. Will tighten up all the fasteners, check her over, put in some oil, and fire her up to ensure everything in the timing side is spinning ok and check out some of the other new bits like the muffler. She is doing what she is supposed to do in the wintertime, keeping daddy occupied. 😜
 
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