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I never understood why this is a good idea. Why would I want to depend on the battery?
I can only suggest that the TransistorControlledBreakerlessIgnition system was simply a prelude to going Computer Controlled EFI.
But dang it, there are real dirt bikes with kick-starters & snowmobiles with rope-starters that have magneto powered, battery-less Ignition & EFI systems!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I never understood why this is a good idea. Why would I want to depend on the battery? My 1980 Honda XL250s has CDI and a magneto. In fact, I don't even remember the last time I checked the battery. But I know I can count on it whether the battery is dead or not.
the xl's also had a kick starter, so that went hand in hand with the cdi......
 

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Yea they want lower revs in top gear but on my gen 2 first gear is barely low enough for the real shit, I have had to fan the clutch on steep ascents, a klr kryptonite, on more than one occasion. and on the open road it won't pull redline. so if your looking for anything mow than lower revs from a 16 your going to be dissapointed. If I was only riding in the dirt then yea a 14, and if I was only commuting on the highway then yea a 16 but those are the two things out of everything that the klr sucks at namely just dirt and just the freeway. So I run stock gearing and when im on the highway I rev it out! I do have the 685 and a tube of tub and tile caulk in the handlebars so it is bearable. Also I run a factory rear sprocket, they are super hard and take forever to wear out.
 

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i can't believe how many threads i am seeing where people want to increase the size of their front sprocket.... do they live in perpetual "downhill land"? i can't wait to get a 14 tooth on there myself.... maybe because i'm about 240lbs, and live in the catskill mtns, so it seems i'm always pointing up a hill on takoff, lol!
Yes! I love it how armchair pundits think they know better than the entire engineering departments of Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha etc. - sure, there are inevitable glitches that need fixing on nearly all bikes (the doo on KLRs and the Neutral sending switch on DR 650s for example) but it blows my mind how much money and time people waste on trying to make silk purses out of sow's ears!
 

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鈥淚 can't believe Kawasaki is still, in 2022 with an over cooling engine and the same poorly designed tension assy in the balancer.鈥
Me too. It seems that my radiator is twice the size it needs to be.
But more puzzling than that is the fact that the engine balance is better with a lighter piston (like 685 kit) which, by the way, is about the same weight as the original KLR 600 piston. In other words, they threw off the balance factor when they went to the 650 and have never bothered to change that.
On one hand I love the 鈥渞elaxed鈥 power character of my Gen 2 old pig, but on the other hand I disrespect the KMC engineers who continue to ignore some basic facts
I live and ride in the tropics in the Philippines and I don't think that there is anything wrong with the cooling system of the KLR, nor do I think I have the slightest need for a wattman thingy and I like the size of the radiator, the fan and the thermostat exactly the way it is - just hope it keeps working! Air-conditioning would be nice for heavy traffic though!
 

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I think the problem here is Kawasaki labeled it as a dual purpose bike and everyone bought it. After 5 yrs of ownership I have came to the conclusion that the KLR is only a decent short trip commuter bike, fantastic for exploring gravel roads where a 4x4 would not be required completely worthless in soft sand or other difficult terrain. Then some load it up with panniers and try to easily cross the globe on.
Mine gets me back and forth to work, saving me gas. It is great on dirt roads, but I don't think it is engineered for a tru dual purpose.
As I get older I like going innerstate long distance. Anyone looking for a good 2018 with 4,200 accident free miles with thermostadt bypass,crash bars , led night running lights and bag racks hit me up. I am selling it.
 

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I think the problem here is Kawasaki labeled it as a dual purpose bike and everyone bought it.
They originally labeled it as "Triple Purpose". Street, Dirt & Touring and I have used mine as such since 1987.
It has been ridden countless hours at Interstate speeds (and above) and on many true 4x4 required routes, slogging along in 1st & 2nd gear and everything in-between.

Sorry to read that it is 'not your choice'. :(
 

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They originally labeled it as "Triple Purpose". Street, Dirt & Touring and I have used mine as such since 1987.
It has been ridden countless hours at Interstate speeds (and above) and on many true 4x4 required routes, slogging along in 1st & 2nd gear and everything in-between.

Sorry to read that it is 'not your choice'. :(
Not saying it "can't" go interstate, I just feel it isn't the best option for that. You must have an ass made of steel.. After 50 miles on my KLR I'm ready for a cold beer and a recliner.
 

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After 50 miles on my KLR I'm ready for a cold beer and a recliner.
After 50 miles of 4x4 roads I'm ready for a beer & a recliner also.
My longest highway only day was in 1988, 748 miles.

I can still reel off 500 milers, even on mixed route road surfaces. I'm only 165 lbs & 64yo. :)
 

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Most of my mods on my 2009 are suspension and ergonomics. I rode 10 hours from Montrose Colorado to Phoenix Arizona going over Ophir Pass in the process; it will do it ALL and for sure its a filthy pig in the real hard going and its a tiresome buzz box at 85+ hauling 100 pounds of gear. But Im tentatively planning on shipping it to Argentina and riding back early next spring. I could buy a new bike, something faster, more high tech, better on whatever but im not going for the single track OR the interstate so I think its going to be the KLR.
 

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I ride the speed limit, so I am not looking for higher top end, but I run a 16/42 setup so that the rpms are lower on the highways. 90% of my riding is on road and when I go off-road I rarely need the lower gears so I am really happy with my setup for me. Since I bought the bike and I am the one who rides it, that's all that matters. This is my answer and I'm sticking to it.
 
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Not everyone wants a higher ratio; I have two KLR's and 14, 15 and 16 tooth CS sprockets with EM prevailing torque nuts to facilitate quicker changes........after several years, I almost always keep the 15's on. I don't do enough highway to justify the 16's and my offroad use is "spirited" enough and my KLR's have enough power that I don't really need the 14's. Whooda thunk it?

Dave
 

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I have a 2009. A typical trip would have me riding up I5 from LA to Redding or up I395 from LA to the area around Bridgeport. Generally, on roads like I5 and I395 I'll run at 65 to 80mph, depending on traffic, for 300 to 400 miles. Once I get to where I'm going I'll wind up taking Jeep trails into the backcountry. This quite often will involve stream crossings that range from mid-wheel to just over the top of the tire. A fair amount of steep riding in loose conditions is to be expected in the Sierra. Much of this riding is done at a jogging pace.

I changed the ignition system on the 2009 to a Gen1 CDI. It also has a kickstart. After some serious oil-burning issues due to a dusted piston, I installed a larger high-compression piston. Meh, you need to buy good gas to get away from ethanol, so buying premium isn't a big deal in the CONUS. I thought the Gen 1 suspension was better, so I installed a Gen 1 suspension link. I also installed a shock from Cogent that was built an inch longer than stock. More ground clearance is better in loose conditions and stream crossings. The lighting sucked so I installed a pair of HID projectors from an Infiniti coupe. The primary gearing is from a KLR600 because the lower ratio gives me more options in final gearing ratios than the KRL650 ratio does. I tried an IMS 10 tank and didn't like it, so I swapped it for an IMS 6.6, installing a Gen 1 radiator to make it fit better. I kept the Gen 2 mode of fan activation but adapted it to the Gen 1 type of switch. Since I ride in temps that range from ~110*F down to below freezing and I like to have a constant coolant operating temperature, I installed a Thermo-Bob. I have had a Thermo-Bob 1, 2, and 3 at various times. The seat is an ass hatchet, so I modified mine to be comfortable for me. I didn't like the OEM wiring with its safety switches and an excessive number of splices and, since I was changing to a Gen 1 ignition, I built my own wiring harness from scratch. I included quite a few changes that were a result of installing a Vapor dash, which was necessary to make room for the HID projectors. I added quite a bit of instrumentation with that dash. All KLRs burn oil when the engine gets spun up so, to combat that, I did @pdwestman's oil mods. I had some involvement with that project, as well. I made accommodations for easy lubrication of the rear suspension bits due to the stream crossing and rain/snow riding and Kawasaki's famous lack of lubrication down there. The front suspension got cartridge emulators, springs, and preload adjusters because the OEM forks are shitty. The carb has gotten quite a bit of attention so it delivers a 13.5:1 AFR from idle to redline. I installed an O2 sensor so that I could hook up an Innovate LM2 to do the carb tuning. The engine takes advantage of the carb tuning through airbox mods and the installation of a Gixxer pipe. The OEM Regulator/Rectifier was replaced with a Shindengen FH020AA, which works a bit better, especially with LiFePo batteries. There are other mods that go unmentioned, either because I can't remember them or they are fairly common. In the future, If I ever split the case I'll be installing a KLR600 transmission. There have been a number of failed mods such as an attempt to install a 1984 KLR600 alternator, rotor, and case in order to eliminate the starter motor and attendant parts.

It's still just a KLR, but doing all this was a whole lot of fun and kept me off the streets and out of the bars and honky-tonks.

Of course, since I don't know shit from Shinola compared to the Kawasaki engineers, all this was done from my armchair and I'm just an internet pundit.
 

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After doing a couple sections of the WABDR, and toasting my clutch on one knarly rocky pitch, I鈥檓 putting the 14 on before I tackle the next section. But otherwise I use the 16, because, yeah, 90% of my riding is on pavement. 15 is probably the best 鈥渟et it and forget it鈥 compromise.
 
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