Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Have had my KLR for not quite a week now and am still getting used to it. What are the proper operating ranges for both speed/RPM for different gears? I've been going mostly by feel and sound of the engine but am unsure if a motorcycle engine is different from a truck engine.

For example it seems that I tend to run @ 2500 rpm/45 mph in 5th. Does that seem too low and like I should be in 4th?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Hi all.

Have had my KLR for not quite a week now and am still getting used to it. What are the proper operating ranges for both speed/RPM for different gears? I've been going mostly by feel and sound of the engine but am unsure if a motorcycle engine is different from a truck engine.

For example it seems that I tend to run @ 2500 rpm/45 mph in 5th. Does that seem too low and like I should be in 4th?
Yep too low. Generally you want to be at least 3500 rpm any lower and you risk lugging the engine. You can tell if you open up the throttle and it bogs vs. takes off. Also you'll hear/feel the engine knocking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
What generation do you have? I run my gen II from 2000-5000rpm during any normal operating times. I usually shift around 3000-3250rpm and cruise speed (yes i know its not a boat but this is where i find my self when road limits are between 30 mph to 40 mph which is the majority of my riding) at 45 mph which is just around 3000 rpm. When running on the highway i get up to around 75 mph and that is right around 5000rpm. When making my way through a dense traffic area, ie city downtown, i ride around 2000 rpm and there is no "lugging" issue as long as you arent going up a steep hill or all of a sudden decide to open up the throttle.

Other than normal riding, when i am doing spirited riding i keep the rpms above 3000rpm. This includes canyon carving with the riding group and off-roading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
What generation do you have? I run my gen II from 2000-5000rpm during any normal operating times. I usually shift around 3000-3250rpm and cruise speed (yes i know its not a boat but this is where i find my self when road limits are between 30 mph to 40 mph which is the majority of my riding) at 45 mph which is just around 3000 rpm. When running on the highway i get up to around 75 mph and that is right around 5000rpm. When making my way through a dense traffic area, ie city downtown, i ride around 2000 rpm and there is no "lugging" issue as long as you arent going up a steep hill or all of a sudden decide to open up the throttle.

Other than normal riding, when i am doing spirited riding i keep the rpms above 3000rpm. This includes canyon carving with the riding group and off-roading.

You're in the wrong gear/rpm range if you can't open up the throttle without shifting down. 2k rpm is barely off idle. Shifting at 3K rpm puts you at about 17 horsepower.

Patman's KLR dyno page

To the OP keep the bike above 3k shift in the 5-6k range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
You're in the wrong gear/rpm range if you can't open up the throttle without shifting down. 2k rpm is barely off idle. Shifting at 3K rpm puts you at about 17 horsepower.

Patman's KLR dyno page

To the OP keep the bike above 3k shift in the 5-6k range.
I can open the throttle fine about 2500 rpm, just stating that riding around downtown i can maintain 2000 rpm without any lugging whatsoever, just gotta down shift when i am ready to go. the whole point of gears is so you can be at the desired rpm during a given situation. If you are driving for fuel economy it is perfectly ok to be in a gear that requires a down shift if you want to open the throttle, as long as you stay out of the lug load for any give rpm feel free to ride at that rpm, or if you like always having peak power keep her in the 5000-6500 range. If you arent lugging and you arent redlining, you are in the right gear.

What kind of car do you have spec? Automatic or manual?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
I can open the throttle fine about 2500 rpm, just stating that riding around downtown i can maintain 2000 rpm without any lugging whatsoever, just gotta down shift when i am ready to go. the whole point of gears is so you can be at the desired rpm during a given situation. If you are driving for fuel economy it is perfectly ok to be in a gear that requires a down shift if you want to open the throttle, as long as you stay out of the lug load for any give rpm feel free to ride at that rpm, or if you like always having peak power keep her in the 5000-6500 range. If you arent lugging and you arent redlining, you are in the right gear.

What kind of car do you have spec? Automatic or manual?

Lugging shows up when you open the throttle. You're giving the bike more gas than it can process at the RPM and you get engine knocking (predetonation). It's bad for the engine. Lower gears have quicker engine response so yea you can ride around in 1st or 2nd @ 2.5K and not lug the engine. 3rd-5th no.

Same with a manual trans car, step on the gas in too high a gear and you get knocking.

You may get marginally better milage running your motor at very low RPM but it's not designed to operate that way. Notice that an auto trans won't let you do that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
So, in conclusion. Keep riding at whatever rpm, gear, road grade, and throttle amount you want as long as there is no knocking, pinging, or lugging. For me, that would be between 2000-5000 rpm depending on the situation.

For example...

road grade = 0
rpm = 2000
gear = 5
throttle = just enough to keep rolling at 30 mph

knocking - no
pinging - no
lugging - no

Conclusion - safe operating conditions

What do I do if...

Speed reduces? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift

incline? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift

need to accelerate? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
So, in conclusion. Keep riding at whatever rpm, gear, road grade, and throttle amount you want as long as there is no knocking, pinging, or lugging. For me, that would be between 2000-5000 rpm depending on the situation.

For example...

road grade = 0
rpm = 2000
gear = 5
throttle = just enough to keep rolling at 30 mph

knocking - no
pinging - no
lugging - no

Conclusion - safe operating conditions

What do I do if...

Speed reduces? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift

incline? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift

need to accelerate? if knocking, pinging, or lugging will result down shift


OK you ride your bike the way you want. 2k in 5th is severely lugging the motor but hey it's your's.

I'm done.
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Since no one is backing Spec here, I will. I agree, do what you want with your bike, but 3500-4k is the range you want to be in.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,363 Posts
I shift at about 5000-5500, cruise at 4500 in normal operation.

(Somewhat evil cackle emanates from background)...

Sometimes I shift at about 7000-7500....

T
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
I shift at about 5000-5500, cruise at 4500 in normal operation.

(Somewhat evil cackle emanates from background)...

Sometimes I shift at about 7000-7500....

T
Whatever fancy pants 685. ;)

I spend a lot of time @ 5K rpm which puts me just under an indicated 80. I don't go anywhere near the redline. Scares the KLR. And makes me buy too many replacement bolts. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,363 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,506 Posts
I had a good time when I was young and my memory's not what it used to be, but I believe the KLR is the first DS bike I've had that even had a tachometer. Thus, the only time I ever paid any attention to it was during the break-in period.

I did watch it today and I generally tend to shift between 5000 and 5500 and at 75 indicated I'm running around 5100-5200. When not on the Interstate, I seem to usually be in the 4K range at around 60 or so.

Simply based on sound, feel, pull, etc. mine seems to be "perfect" around 3500 to 4000 rpms. I don't intentionally look at the tach to keep it there, but when it feels good and I look down, that's generally where it is. More or less.
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Yup. I have advocated before...new riders should should cover the tach in tape and learn how to shift by feel.

I had a good time when I was young and my memory's not what it used to be, but I believe the KLR is the first DS bike I've had that even had a tachometer. Thus, the only time I ever paid any attention to it was during the break-in period.

I did watch it today and I generally tend to shift between 5000 and 5500 and at 75 indicated I'm running around 5100-5200. When not on the Interstate, I seem to usually be in the 4K range at around 60 or so.

Simply based on sound, feel, pull, etc. mine seems to be "perfect" around 3500 to 4000 rpms. I don't intentionally look at the tach to keep it there, but when it feels good and I look down, that's generally where it is. More or less.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,363 Posts
Mine, an '08, was a terrible oil burner. A 685 kit fixed that completely.

I hope that they've really gotten that issue behind them and that yours continues to not burn oil.

T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Mine, an '08, was a terrible oil burner. A 685 kit fixed that completely.

I hope that they've really gotten that issue behind them and that yours continues to not burn oil.

T
I hope so too, but from what i have read, my klr is a little premature for the oil burning phase (purchased in august and just rolled over 2k miles). I have also heard that many people tend to notice an increase in oil consumption when riding harder, as in more throttle and higher rpms, so hopefully my "economical" riding style will decrease future chances/amounts of oil consumption or maybe increase it if i really am lugging the motor (highly doubt it tho because i have driven/rode way too many miles using the same style without any issues except excellent fuel economy).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
You're in the wrong gear/rpm range if you can't open up the throttle without shifting down. 2k rpm is barely off idle. Shifting at 3K rpm puts you at about 17 horsepower.

Patman's KLR dyno page

To the OP keep the bike above 3k shift in the 5-6k range.
My other ride has 16 peak hp, 17 hp is prolly 4 times the output i get when i shift the tu250x (in 5th gear by 30 mph on flats, this thing you can really lug down without a single complaint from the engine).

My versys didnt like being under 2500 at all, running at 3k is like running the klr at 2k. My magna could drop down in the mid 1000s without a complaint, love that motor hate that riding position and performance (and it was one of the best handling cruisers out there lol)

I shift my car at 1600 rpm and never exceed that either, 60 mph at 1600 rpm in sixth. :evilgrin0007:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Hmmm

Well, it all depends on grade, traffic, destination & approach.

For example- I typically shift from 2800-3300 for 0 grade w/ no traffic and I'm easy on clutch & throttle.

Now, if it's hilly, lots of darting/dive bombing in traffic and posted speed is (say, 35 mph) I will keep it in third with RPMs rolling 3000 to 3800 for a whole slew of reasons.

That being said, I have always babied my machines never "winding them out" at start up or stopped at stop sign/lights. I know I shift my vehicles (all manual trans BTW) like a grandpa but that's cool with me. A little bit slower and easier on the machine. If it starts to knock or glug then I'm obviously to low. But personally speaking from experience with singles, I just don't like to wind them out too hard especially over 5k rpm.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top