Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi there

recommended tyre pressure for my KLR is:

front: 21 psi/ 215 LBS
rear: 28 psi/ 401 LBS

recently, bumped the front psi to its max (21 psi)

upon hitting a dirt track, it wasn't long before the front end bounced so much that self and bike ended in a ditch

reckon the problem was my not taking into account the difference between on-road/ off-road terrain

any experience/ suggestions as to the best tyre pressure for the front end when off-road?

am after a pressure that will keep the front wheel on the ground, and where it bloody-well should be!

(and self and bike out of ditches ...)

(for those in north america et-al, please excuse the tyre pressure metrics - we operate under the metric system down-under)

many thanks

tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Please describe the KLR you have (year) and any modifications, especially suspension.

When is the last time both the front and rear suspension have been serviced?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
Yep, I agree with R/L. Also the manual only recommends 28psi in the rear if the bike is heavily loaded or you are carrying a passenger - otherwise it's 21 front and rear. FWIW, I run 22-24 front and 20-22 rear for mixed use, little highway.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I'm really surprised you guys run that low of pressure for the street. In another thread we got off topic and we collectively believed F(32-36psi) R(30-34psi) was 'good'. Off-road I have no experience with, but below 30 seems awfully low.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
I'm really surprised you guys run that low of pressure for the street. In another thread we got off topic and we collectively believed F(32-36psi) R(30-34psi) was 'good'. Off-road I have no experience with, but below 30 seems awfully low.
30-ish is arguably better on the highway but will beat you up and cause traction issues offroad....since 21 psi is Kawi's recommendation, you should be safe enough around that number. In a perfect world, you'd run 18 - 20 offroad and add another 10 or so on pavement, but I'm waaaay to lazy to bother with that. I ran 12-14 front and 10-12 rear on my offroad racebike but with the extra porkage and lack of rimlocks on the KLR's, I keep them at a minimum of 18psi.



Dave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
thanks R/L

hadn't given any consideration to the front springs

wound too tight?
An overly stiff springrate can cause problems but what you describe is more likely due to inadequate damping - stock is too light on low speed movvement and too harsh on high. suspension fluid type/weight, degradation and level can contribute to increased damping problems beyond even the stock, crappy damping. stiffer springs exacerbate damping issues as well by overwhelming the weak damping (the damping keeps spring compression and rebound under control - the stiffer the springrate, the more damping required)

DAve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Do you balance your tires? I always do. How is it on the road at speed?
 

·
Premium Member
2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
Since I was having a high-speed weave problem (70MPH-ish) last year, I increased my tire pressures to the 32-34 psi range to help solve that problem. I haven’t done much off road with it yet, and I’ll probably let those down to the Kawi recommended pressures when I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Do you balance your tires? I always do. How is it on the road at speed?
Rear, no.

Front just gets a quick spin to find heavy side and then add a weight if needed. Not rocket science.

I think concentricity and runout are far more important. Concentricity can be off if you don't get the bead fully seated (ask me how I know!)

I run low 20's all the time front and rear. Tracks straight and true without drama as fast as I need or want to go.

I find most people on these forums don't have a clue how to properly set up a motorcycle. I've got Cogent suspension front and rear, properly set race sag, and properly set preload on the steering head bearings. All of the discussions about the flag of a front fender, fork braces, and wheel balance etc. is just noise as far as I'm concerned.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
Rear, no.

Front just gets a quick spin to find heavy side and then add a weight if needed. Not rocket science.

I think concentricity and runout are far more important. Concentricity can be off if you don't get the bead fully seated (ask me how I know!)

I run low 20's all the time front and rear. Tracks straight and true without drama as fast as I need or want to go.

I find most people on these forums don't have a clue how to properly set up a motorcycle. I've got Cogent suspension front and rear, properly set race sag, and properly set preload on the steering head bearings. All of the discussions about the flag of a front fender, fork braces, and wheel balance etc. is just noise as far as I'm concerned.

well said and I agree 100%. ...and I don't balance knobbies but it wouldn't make any difference offroad anyhow. Like you, I check that the ri,ms are round, runout is minimal and tires are seated properly. With full Cogent suspension, adjusted and setup properly, my KLR's have been rock solid at speeds up to 75mph with one hand on the bars, through sweeping turns on the hwy....with 21 psi, knobbies, no braces and the stock fenders.

Dave
 

·
Premium Member
2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
I weigh 225-230 bare; with riding equipment, a lot more. Plus panniers and other crap on a Gen2. That may have something to do with my stability with low tire pressures.

As for steering head bearings: I will state this authoritatively: they have almost nothing to do with high-speed weave. But adjusting them too tight will cause low speed handling instability. They will make the bike fall into a turn—and keep falling over—instead of naturally balancing and returning to center. To keep it going where you want, you have to keep making steering corrections. If your seat is clamped firmly between your butt cheeks, your head bearings are too tight!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,720 Posts
But adjusting them too tight will cause low speed handling instability. They will make the bike fall into a turn—and keep falling over—instead of naturally balancing and returning to center. To keep it going where you want, you have to keep making steering corrections.
Yep, that's my experience as well......couldn't put my finger on it until I rode my other KLR.....sure enough, backed off on the steering head preload a hair and low speed steering/handling was back to normal

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Please describe the KLR you have (year) and any modifications, especially suspension.

When is the last time both the front and rear suspension have been serviced?
latest model KLR - 2020 here in australia

5 months old

no modifications to suspension or any other part of bike/ stock standard

suspension unlikely to need a service given age & low mileage

thanks RL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, I agree with R/L. Also the manual only recommends 28psi in the rear if the bike is heavily loaded or you are carrying a passenger - otherwise it's 21 front and rear. FWIW, I run 22-24 front and 20-22 rear for mixed use, little highway.

Dave
dave, had 15KG backpack strapped to the back when bounced into the ditch

might have been a factor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rear, no.

Front just gets a quick spin to find heavy side and then add a weight if needed. Not rocket science.

I think concentricity and runout are far more important. Concentricity can be off if you don't get the bead fully seated (ask me how I know!)

I run low 20's all the time front and rear. Tracks straight and true without drama as fast as I need or want to go.

I find most people on these forums don't have a clue how to properly set up a motorcycle. I've got Cogent suspension front and rear, properly set race sag, and properly set preload on the steering head bearings. All of the discussions about the flag of a front fender, fork braces, and wheel balance etc. is just noise as far as I'm concerned.
pete, is that low 20's on rocky, bush tracks?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,433 Posts
I ride with 32 psi front & 30 psi rear 99% of the time. I can ride from the Rocky Mountain rock piles to the Red Desert Basin of the Continental Divide of the USA in about 1 hour. I can use either asphalt or dirt roads to make the transition.

I don't air down, because I don't like to have to air back up. A Dual Sport bike & its tires are always a compromise.
You just have to get used to it and adjust your riding habits accordingly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TONY

·
Premium Member
2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
Yep, that's my experience as well......couldn't put my finger on it until I rode my other KLR.....sure enough, backed off on the steering head preload a hair and low speed steering/handling was back to normal

Dave
Yup. With the friction from cables, brake hoses, and wire harness, sometimes it’s real hard to find just the right setting for steering bearings. In those cases ALWAYS err towards the loose side. In my experience so far with KLRs, it’s a very fine line between too tight and too loose.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top