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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 2009 KLR650 used with the goal to rebuild it to suit my needs. I am a kidney transplant patient, so minimizing vibration is one of my goals. The other is to increase horsepower & torque. Hopefully, these are not mutually exclusive goals.

Let me take a few minutes to list what I had planned and perhaps you can tell me if you can improve upon my solution with a better plan. Please don’t suggest buying a KTM, BMW, etc. as I know I could do that and choose not to because they do not suit my needs. At a very basic level, I was the older 30 year technology with no excessive electronics and complicated technology. The current engine has 14000 miles on it. I have already ordered a full Cogent DDC kit for the front and the Moab Ultimate Pro rear shock. Should becready in another couple of weeks.

The motorcycle already has a 19” front wheel - I have a spare 21” & 17” already, progressive springs - I’ll be passing these on to someone after I replace them with the DDC kit, SS brake lines, dohicky replacement, Happy Trails, skid plate, engine guard, highway pegs, nerf bars, KLRDASH & Zero Gravity Sport Touring windshield I just finished installing, EM fork brace, lowered front fender, radiator guard, and theirs probably more. It was nicely farkles before I bought it.

So the rest of the plan is:

· Rebuild the engine using the Eagle Mike 719cc piston kit. https://eaglemike.com/719-forged-piston-kit-719pk.htm
· The above kit uses a custom cylinder liner. https://eaglemike.com/aftermarket-cylinder-liner-for-klr650-cylliner.htm
. Might use the Schnitz Racing 705cc Kit as it has reliefs for the oversize pistons. I’m not sure the EM kit has relief pockets for the oversize valves I plan to install.
· Balance the crankshaft, create a stroker rod, and install it. http://crankworks.com/
· Head port polishing and regrinding for the oversize valves and verification using their flow bench. https://www.racetech.com/
· M-Tech oversize valves. http://www.mtechmotorcycles.com/service/other-klr-big-bore-kits-etc/
· Viton valve seals. https://eaglemike.com/Viton-valve-stem-seals-for-your-klr650-engine-vvss.htm
· May need new valve guides.
· New intake & exhaust (163 grind kit) cams. http://www.webcamshafts.com/pages_vehicles/motorcycle/kawasaki/2525.html
· Web Cam spring & titanium retainer kit (VC-K07). http://www.webcamshafts.com/pages_vehicles/motorcycle/kawasaki/2525.html
· Manual chain tensioner. http://www.webcamshafts.com/pages_vehicles/motorcycle/kawasaki/2525.html
· Potentially replace consumable components (cam chain, cam sprockets, various seals, various bearings, etc.) as while I’m in there I might as well make sure I don’t have to go back in anytime soon.
· A fuel injection system to replace the current carburetor would be a significant plus factor. I have a line on a custom electronic ignition system that will allow me to modify the timing advance curve, but that’s about it. FI system are outside of my knowledgebase so don’t know where to turn for this issue. Lecturing carburation is also a possibility.
. A Thermobob 2 kit to improve the heating/cooling system.
 

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Ride it for awhile before you go into recreating a new bike... adventure! You might find that most of those changes are not needed.....just wanted! Farkle slowly is my advice, i have learned through the years riding a new bike for awhile changes your prospective of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that’s good advice, but it’s an oil burner so one way or another it needs a new piston at a minimum.

I’ve also been riding on and off for over 40 years so have a good idea of what I want out if it as a street bike. The only real questionable options for me is stroking the engine out. I’m going to be splitting the cases to balance the crank anyway - I’m serious about minimizing vibration for my transplanted kidney - so a few hundred more into the build could add a good amount of torque and be worthwhile.

I’m just not sure if my list of parts is a good fit. I’m not familiar with all the brands. Or the KLR. it’s my first dual sport.

I’m in my late 50’s now and to go the places and do the things I want to do requires a dual sport. Mostly for fire roads, dirt roads, and occasional trails just to get there. Trails are probably about 1% though. I’m mostly talking about camping, fishing, or just taking in the view.
 

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Let me take a few minutes to list what I had planned and perhaps you can tell me if you can improve upon my solution with a better plan.
Can't offer a better solution, although I can think of an alternative I think more likely achieving your design goals.

Won't suggest acquiring alternate bikes you mention, but . . . why not a Versys 650?

Reducing/eliminating vibrations on a single remains a hard row to hoe; the Versys as a twin naturally has the advantage. Plus, you get road manners the KLR never heard of; factory fuel-injection; more power than you'll likely get from your KLR hop-up, ABS, 6-speed transmission . . . I could go on! :)

Regarding, "balance the crankshaft;" ain't it balanced already? You mention, "stroker rods." What about the, "stroker crank" accompanying them? Custom build? Kit commercially available?

With reducing vibration as a priority goal, I question the choice of platform (single cylinder); even some of the mods (trick cams you mention lope a lot) seem to run counter to your design goal, my opinion only. Increasing torque doesn't reduce vibration, AFAIK, nor does a stroked engine.

About, "no excessive electronics and complicated technology;" your ambition for fuel injection; even the electronic adjustable timing you mention; seem contradictory, to me.

Regardless, your bike, your choices; best wishes toward modifying the KLR to fulfill your goals, if you must use that machine as your platform.
 

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I am going to be as candid as I can, but no offense is intended.

One and all here will support the notion that I'll do wild, crazy, and questionable things to a KLR. I'll carry coals to Newcastle. Hell, I'll carry carbon dioxide to Newcastle, separate the carbon from the oxygen, and make my own damn coal right on the streets of Newcastle.

But I wouldn't do what you are proposing.

There just isn't that much potential for increased power or reduced vibration in the KLR motor.

To the level of purity of Ivory soap (“99 44/100% pure", they say), what you are looking for can be gotten by installing a 685 kit and a KLX needle.

The predecessor of the KLR650 was the KLR600. Kawasaki designed the balancer system specifically for the 600. When they built the 650 in '87 it required a heavier piston. They did not change the weights in the balancer system at that time, nor at any time right up to 2018, because it was 'good enough'. Any aftermarket piston is going to be lighter than the OEM piston and the balance will be better and the vibrations much less. I have a Wossner 678 piston in my bike and I swear that it vibrates less than my BMW flat twin.

The KLX needle and the appropriate (smaller) jet will solve the AFR issues and provide about as much more oomph as you're likely to get. Going beyond that is running into seriously diminishing returns.

If you are hard over on building a motor for the KLR I strongly suggest that you get ahold of KLRChris. He has built an injected KLR with revised cam timing and small-port heads. It was done at considerable expense and effort; he's made a career of dragging obscene horsepower out of cars and knows a thing or two. His is a better plan.

You did mention suspension mods and that is spot-on. Money destined for engine hop-ups would be better spent on suspension. The vibration, jolts, and shocks you are going to encounter off-road will be far greater than the vibrations you'll feel from a stock KLR engine. The KLR is poorly suspended and building good suspension for it will be far more beneficial. My KLR's suspension was built about 10 years ago; the damn thing floats over washboard and is exceptionally compliant in the rough. If you are going to be riding unpaved roads you're going to be riding over washboard surfaces. There are even better options today from Cogent than when I built mine.

Setting aside money for a decent seat from the likes of Corbin would be money well-spent, too. The stock KLR seat (at least prior to the '14.5 model) is an ass-hatchet.

The advice here is free and I suppose it is worth every penny you have given for it but, as William Mulholland so famously said, "There it is. Take it".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Versys, well I considered it. Really, but don’t want it. Pretty much for the same reasons I don’t want a F800GS. Don’t want ABS, electronic suspension, or anything that must have a computer to work on it.

I know, FI kinda says otherwise, but in all honesty that’s not a requirement. More if a maybe as I hadn’t found another way to do much with the fuel air mapping or ignition advance curve. Plus RPM limiter. If I balance the crank assembly and use high performance valve springs with titanium retainers and keeps I know the RPM limiter will be way lower than is needed and I’d like to be able to use those extra RPMs. Maybe. It would need to be dyno tested and adjusted to know.

As for the whole stoker thing, that’s what Crank Works Inc. does. They provide a new rod, radius the corners so it fits with the current crank assembly, and lengthen the stroke. They can do this for just about any engine.

I’d have gone with EM 672cc stroker kit, but he told me it’s not available. So I can build my own if I want one.

As for vibrations, again I know it’s not the optimal platform. I just want to minimize what I can with the platform I’ve chosen. I know it’s not perfect, but I like the KLR. I just think I can modify it to be better for within certain boundaries limited by its design.

Yeah, I know it’s not cost effective. That’s not an issue for me. It’s not even an issue for me with my wife. And no matter what I do with the KLR it will be cheaper than a new $25,000 motorcycle. To be honest, I hate chains. I was going to buy a BMW 1200/1250 GS but didn’t want the weight thought about the F650/800/850 as I’ve driven them and owned many BMWs. Don’t want the complexity. Don’t want the weight. Don’t want the oh my god it fell over and now I have to ... worries/mentality.

I want a tank. Or maybe I should say VMW Bug. That platform has been around it seems like forever. Doesn’t do anything really well, but just keeps on going. And you can make it do anything you want with some money, some ingenuity, some labor, and sometimes some crazy tossed in there too. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the post Tom crest assured I’m not taking any offense with your - or anyone else’s - reply. I’ve done quite a bit of research. Spoke to Mike too. He agrees with you and doesn’t think the changes I want to make are worth the money or effort either. I wish he didn’t feel that way as then I could get his assistance in rebuilding the engine, but that just doesn’t appear to be an option. So, if I want to get it done I’ll just have to do it myself.

Some people, myself included, follow the philosophy it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. That’s where I am now. Mapping out my plan to get what I can out of the engine. Mike had a stroker in the works and from what I’ve read it produced additional power & torque so I know it’s possible. Been on other stroked out thumpers so I know it works.

I know that larger valves on a cc upgrade can also be beneficial. Not sure if the cams I’m looking at will match up to an appropriate power/torque curve though. That’s part of why I am looking for FI or after market EDI/CDI or different carburetor too.

And I forgot to mention I already have the KLX needle upgrade and resetting of the stock carburetor. It’s going to be too small though if I upgrade the cc to a 700+ piston and/or stroke it too.

I’m also looking at another seat. Not from Corbin though as theirs is too rigid for me. I bought a used seat pan to be modified. Just haven’t decided who’s going to build it. I want it a bit narrower up front so I can get better foot placement, soft enough for commuting, but still rigid enough for some off road riding. Don’t want a premise seat though. I want a custom one. Got a couple of ideas on who’s going to make it, but nothing pinned down yet. I’ll probably wind up with a drive in service to get it just right. I should also note, it will need dual heating pads. That and heated grips are two items I really do miss from my BMWs.

FWIW if I can get 10-20 more usable horsepower out of the engine I’ll be very happy with that alone. The KLR - as it stands today - is just too underpowered for my highway driving style. I’m in southern CA and we cruise at 80 on the highway. I usually drive a few mph faster than surrounding traffic so I’m visible as a moving object rather than stationary and therefore attract the human eye rather than be invisible. Plus, that extra power will come in handy when fully loaded.

I compared the KLR to a Volkswagen Beetle, but don’t want to be crawling up hills in traffic. So I need more from the motor than it is stock. And I don’t see a reason to ever put in a smaller piston than is possible unless I’m after a high rev engine. I don’t think the KLR is suited for that, so larger pistons with an increased stroke and maybe - just maybe - an extra 1000 RPMs is doable safely.

And yes, I could be a nut job. Just comes with the territory. I will see if KLRChris has any suggestions, but NOS is not going to happen on my ride. That’s one step too far even for me. 🙂
 

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Nah, no crazy involved. A reliable bike tricked up because the journey is as much fun as the destination.

I'll quote the OP (some of it out of context but it fits IMO):
'The KLR platform "has been around it seems like forever. Doesn’t do anything really well, but just keeps on going."'
"Don’t want ABS, electronic suspension, or anything that must have a computer to work on it."
"Don’t want the complexity. Don’t want the weight. Don’t want the oh my god it fell over and now I have to ..."
"...older 30 year technology with no excessive electronics and complicated technology."
"I’m mostly talking about camping, fishing, or just taking in the view. "

The KLR sounds ideal. It isn't a horsepower monster and never will be but that can be increased, it is heavy for its size but it is possible to lift it up again, all the bugs are known so can be easily fixed, it handles like a dead fish in stock configuration but that can be fixed, etc. Plus it is really great to ride.

It does vibrate a lot but I have found that it doesn't affect the rider as much as it just works all the bolts loose with amazing regularity.

IMO the new-fangled CDI ignition stuff is a bit whizz-bang high-tech but I bought the bike anyway, so I guess I'm just an early-adopter!:laugh3:

Great choice, let us know how it goes.
 

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FWIW if I can get 10-20 more usable horsepower out of the engine I’ll be very happy with that alone.
You're talking an extra 25%-50% of rear wheel horsepower. Easier said than done, IMHO.

Further . . . none of the modifications you propose address significantly the VIBRATION issue you mention, as far as I know. I'd think some of the modifications, like stroking, might INCREASE vibration; certainly, trick cams will.

As Tom mentioned, the counterbalancer system was not changed between the KLR600 and KLR650 models, although the change in mass and geometry might suggest it should have been. Stroking? The center-of-mass location and magnitude of the rotating weights might want some sophisticated adjustment, given the change in dynamics consequent to stroking.

A supercharger or turbocharger might satisfy your increased power ambitions.

Regardless, please keep us advised on your hop-up progress; ideally, with before-and-after dyno runs and/or quarter-mile drag strip timing slips.

Again, best wishes, good luck!
 

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IMO the new-fangled CDI ignition stuff is a bit whizz-bang high-tech but I bought the bike anyway, so I guess I'm just an early-adopter!:laugh3:
A minor detail, 89a3: Generation 2 KLR650s (2008 and later models) have no CDI (capacitive discharge ignitions); rather, the latter-day bikes have what Kawasaki once called, "Fully-Transistorized Breakerless Ignition," a great leap backward, IMHO, to an inductive discharge ignition system.

Although Kawasaki marketing literature may claim, "electric CDI," in specification sheets, they ain't got no stinkin' CDI! :)
 

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Well, I'm late to the conversation. I'll add:

- your suspension mods are money well spent IMO, although the Pro-Series is a bit overkill (I have one too. ;-) )

- I was going to suggest just talking to Mike and dealing with one vendor rather than 3-4 on your engine mods, but it appears you've spoken to him already. The BB kit will lessen vibes, I have no idea on the stroker except to say you're now treading down a path that VERY few people have taken. .....your 10-20hp goal is well within range without the stroker kit (or a supercharger, LOL) using the BB kit, cams, porting, etc. along with supporting intake, exhaust mods https://www.klrchris.com/60-hp-fuel-injected-klr-650/ . Personally, if I was building a KLR with little concern about budget, I'd do the 719, ported head, bigger valves, intake mods and your silencer of choice and leave it at that - more or less a tried and true solution that should get you 10+hp....but to each their own.

Cheers,
Dave

On edit; I see Tom already gave you Chris' link.
 

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I'll offer a couple of suggestions,

[Quote, "Let me take a few minutes to list what I had planned and perhaps you can tell me if you can improve upon my solution with a better plan. Please don’t suggest buying a KTM, BMW, etc. as I know I could do that and choose not to because they do not suit my needs. At a very basic level, I was the older 30 year technology with no excessive electronics and complicated technology. The current engine has 14000 miles on it. I have already ordered a full Cogent DDC kit for the front and the Moab Ultimate Pro rear shock. Should becready in another couple of weeks."]

The best suspension available still needs a freshly inspected and thoroughly greased set of suspension & steering pivots. The lower suspension rocker arm bolt is prone to rusting into the frame. But I wouldn't install grease zerks into those 2 stupid holes. :)
https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/why-won-t-that-damn-pivot-bolt-come-out-or-two-very-important-zerk-fittings

[Quote, "And I forgot to mention I already have the KLX needle upgrade and resetting of the stock carburetor. It’s going to be too small though if I upgrade the cc to a 700+ piston and/or stroke it too."]

You really need to read All of klrchris' performance upgrades. The Keihin CVK40 carb is actually quite good in his opinion. The problem is multifaceted.
His 685cc carburated engine with his porting seems to be quite effective. No real need to add a stroker crank which would add vibes.
https://www.klrchris.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
FWIW, I’ve read KLRChris mods on his web site many times. It’s actually wear I started with the upgrade concept. I just hadn’t looked at the link to make the association previously. I’ve also looked at some of his other postings here and there about owning the fastest KLR650 on the planet. I’m not looking to do that. No NOS. No records. He’s already hit 60 hp so, I know getting 10-20 hp more is doable. Where I’ll wind up on the scale though I won’t know until I’m done.

I’ve looked at the 719cc piston on Mike’s web site. It doesn’t look like it has relief pockets for oversize valves. So, I’m not sure that will work for me or not with the higher lift/duration cams. I’ll have to call and ask him and see if he can tell me

Pdwestern - Pat - I’ve read all the info on the web site. And followed up with a lot of your historic postings. I’ll have to think about the zero fittings. I have considered a bearing upgrade/replacement since I’ll have the back end off anyway. It will get lubed at a minimum before my new shock goes on.

And I have to ask ... do you still think the oil mod is a good idea? Good idea for the modified engine I’m suggesting? I purchased the three bolts with larger diameter holes but haven’t used them yet.

Dave, well I have to say the only reason ... and I mean only reason ... I bought the Moab Ultimate Pro was because it has adjustable compression damping. In fact, any shock I could find with compression adjustability was over $1300. I checked with everyone I could find. I really wanted a Touratech with adjustable high and low speed compression but they didn’t offer one and didn’t have a body that would fit the KLR with those options. I know it’s more shock than I’ll ever use to it’s extremes, but it’s adjustability is what I needed to soften up the ride.

As for the vibrations issue Damacles brought up again, I’m never going to get rid of all the vibration. I know that. And I know some things I’ve proposed might make it worse. Then again, I’m trusting Crank Works Inc to minimize the vibrations. You do realize I hope that balancing a crankshaft, rod, and piston assembly means removing or adding weight? It doesn’t matter what the stock setup is or what it was made for. I’m aware the engine was balanced for a 600cc piston, but again that doesn’t matter since Crank Works Inc is going the balance the entire assembly.

If I can follow my plan and build out the engine as described, I think my biggest issue will be air flow - carburetor & exhaust - tuning. Air fuel ratio might also be an issue.

Just curious but has anyone used the Ecotrans EFI Kit? http://www.ecotrons.com/news/suzuki-dr650-dual-sport-fuel-injected-with-the-ecotrons-efi-kit/ It’s used by some for the DR650. So, yeah, I’ve been wondering about it too.
 

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You really need to read All of klrchris' performance upgrades. The Keihin CVK40 carb is actually quite good in his opinion. The problem is multifaceted.
His 685cc carburated engine with his porting seems to be quite effective. No real need to add a stroker crank which would add vibes.
https://www.klrchris.com/
KLRChris claims 20 % more power from stock with, "First stage mods consisting of KLX needle, 142 main jet, air box mod with 2/3 door removed, FMF Power Bomb and PowerCore4."

Given this dramatic increase in power from relatively minor mods, the 10-20 additional horsepower 89a3 desires appear more easily attainable than I thought.
 

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Dave, well I have to say the only reason ... and I mean only reason ... I bought the Moab Ultimate Pro was because it has adjustable compression damping. In fact, any shock I could find with compression adjustability was over $1300. I checked with everyone I could find. I really wanted a Touratech with adjustable high and low speed compression but they didn’t offer one and didn’t have a body that would fit the KLR with those options. I know it’s more shock than I’ll ever use to it’s extremes, but it’s adjustability is what I needed to soften up the ride.
Don't get me wrong, I believe the Ultimate Pro-Series is the best shock for the KLR that money can buy - I love mine......it's just a bit overkill for the rest of the bike but I have a (perhaps unhealthy!) strong interest in KLR suspension mods so I had to have the "best of the best" to compare. There is zero downside other than cost.


Cheers,
Dave
 

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As for the vibrations issue Damacles brought up again, I’m never going to get rid of all the vibration. I know that. And I know some things I’ve proposed might make it worse. Then again, I’m trusting Crank Works Inc to minimize the vibrations. You do realize I hope that balancing a crankshaft, rod, and piston assembly means removing or adding weight? It doesn’t matter what the stock setup is or what it was made for. I’m aware the engine was balanced for a 600cc piston, but again that doesn’t matter since Crank Works Inc is going the balance the entire assembly.
From your comment, you assume KLR650 vibration results from improper crankshaft, rod, and piston balancing? And, said vibration correctable by proper balancing?

So, Crank Works, Inc. is fabricating a stroker kit for you? The firm doubtless has the equipment and know-how to compensate the counterbalancer system, accommodating their stroked configuration.

Keep words and pictures flowing, documenting your modifications!
 

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ILove2Ride2Wheels,
The reason that I would NOT use grease zerks on those 2 Stoopid Holes in the lower cross-pipe is so as to Not Ever Fill the bottom 8 vertical inches of the main frame with grease & have it melting out on hot days, like Tom Schmitz aka Souperdoo eventually discovered. The pipes are apparently vented to each other before welding.
Two simple 5mm phillips screws or even RTV is sufficient to keep the water Out.

Yes I'll suggest a #43 / 2.26mm / .089" crankshaft oil control orifice in the 6:00 oil port of the oil filter cap along with the KLX, KLF oil pipe banjo bolts in the oil pipe.
klrchris even mentioned using this mod on his engine. :)

(Heck, klrchris might have even used the 100% oil filtration on his engine. I'm uncertain on this.)
 

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From my drag racing days; "internal balancing" is a term we used when the piston and rod weight was offset by the crankshaft counterweights (by drilling or adding "mallory metal), "externally balanced" is if you needed to add an external weighted damper (like a crankshaft damper/balancer). Internally balanced is/was always better if you can acheive it. On my 440-6 race engine, it was externally balanced from the factory due to the very heavy pistons and rods being too much for the crank counterbalancers to deal with but I was able to eliminate the external damper and have the reciprocating assy internally balanced by using lighter than stock rods and pistons.

In the KLR, we use what would be considered an "external balancing system" even though it is "inside" the motor. As Tom mentioned, the KLR650 counterbalance weights seem to have been designed for the lighter KLR600 piston so it isn't functioning 100% in the stock configuration. The use of an aftermarket piston that is lighter (like Eaglemike's pistons) helps by more closely matching the counterbalance weight.

If you were going to do up a KLR650 stroker, it would be advantageous to have the new/modded crank, rods and pistons balanced to match the external balancer weights to reduce vibes as much as possible - especially if you were going to raise the redline a bit. ....would take some work to do it right.

Dave
 

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ILove2Ride,
I am 99% certain that all of Eagle Mikes JE brand oversized pistons are probably relieved for up to 1mm oversized valves and higher lift cams, but still best to confirm with him. I can see valve reliefs in the pic, just not sure of the size.

https://www.eaglemike.com/719-forged-piston-kit-719pk.htm
 
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