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Right now, I swap my 16 to a 14 if I might encounter technical terrain where slow speed is needed. Then tediously swap back when long road is coming.

With the 600 first - it looks like I can run the 16 all the time? That would be wonderful!
I did see a 600 gear set on ebay for a reasonable price.. Did you ever post the level-of-effort/how-to to do the switch?

Great work!
 

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It's a big deal. It is necessary to entirely disassemble the engine and split the cases so that you can remove the OEM transmission and install the 600 transmission. As much as I want to do it, I need a reason that is more than a transmission swap to split the cases.

I kinda figured that I might someday run into a broken dog in my transmission and have no choice but to split the cases. The 600 transmission would be the silver lining to that black cloud.

Now, what you need to do for yourself is build a short wrench so that you can pop the countershaft sprocket off and back on in five minutes, coupled with a pair of flip-flop axle plates so that you don't have to fiddle with chain adjustment when you change sprockets. It needs to have a prevailing torque nut installed to make the process work, but that's no big thing.

 

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It's a big deal. It is necessary to entirely disassemble the engine and split the cases so that you can remove the OEM transmission and install the 600 transmission. As much as I want to do it, I need a reason that is more than a transmission swap to split the cases.

I kinda figured that I might someday run into a broken dog in my transmission and have no choice but to split the cases. The 600 transmission would be the silver lining to that black cloud.

Now, what you need to do for yourself is build a short wrench so that you can pop the countershaft sprocket off and back on in five minutes, coupled with a pair of flip-flop axle plates so that you don't have to fiddle with chain adjustment when you change sprockets. It needs to have a prevailing torque nut installed to make the process work, but that's no big thing.

I need to imagine what the flip-flop would look like, I've tried but could not do it. So I just know it's about about a nuts thickness width and it gets faster every time I do it. If you can imagine it for me, I'll make it.

I've been carrying around an extendable 3/8 ratchet with a pretty compact 3/8 socket that fits that nut. I did this cuz I thought I had to wrench the prevailing torque nut it pretty tight, and since I wrenched it pretty tight I need a same long wrench to loosen it.

Is that short wrench all the torque you need?
 

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*I just spoke with one of the owner's of topspring about the unpredictability of oil burn between owners. His found measurable evidence that some klr cylinder sleeves go slightly out of round with repeating heat cycles. Some do not. He thinks its a manufacturing quality control issue. Those that do go out of round -- get terrible oil burn at higher rpm. Other dont get the burn.
Re: oil consumption, had same experience, but worse. It s allowed over a quart/full tank when flogging it over 5000. Installed 685 piston and that problem is reduced, but not stopped. Decades ago while racing two strokes, we discovered that a fresh bore job on an ovalized cylinder tended to stabilize things once the iron cylinder liner had achieved its initial heat “treatment.“ I suspect a similar dynamic with 685 kits. Definite high rpm oil consumption reduction but not a total solution, although engine vibrations are reduced.
 

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Re: oil consumption, had same experience, but worse. It s allowed over a quart/full tank when flogging it over 5000. Installed 685 piston and that problem is reduced, but not stopped. Decades ago while racing two strokes, we discovered that a fresh bore job on an ovalized cylinder tended to stabilize things once the iron cylinder liner had achieved its initial heat “treatment.“ I suspect a similar dynamic with 685 kits. Definite high rpm oil consumption reduction but not a total solution, although engine vibrations are reduced.
Wow I thought I did something terribly wrong I lost a whole quart. Glad to know someone else has experienced that. And then when I ran under 5,000 RPM, I haven't lost much oil at all.
 

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Wow I thought I did something terribly wrong I lost a whole quart. Glad to know someone else has experienced that. And then when I ran under 5,000 RPM, I haven't lost much oil at all.
I also put the 685 kit from Mike. For a moment I thought I'd fix the oil consumption, but with my high speed run it was a not fixed for sure
 

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Mcnock, I believe the Gen 2+ KLR has too great % wt on Frt wheel for most dirt riding, so I attempt to have the shortest wheelbase possible whenever I change a sprocket; if that involves removing a chain-link, so be it. To that end, was happy to install bar risers, to help the weight transfer under throttle.
 

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Tom, do you have any idea why KMC changed the internal ratios from the KLR600 to the KLR650? 🤔
The 600’s wider overall spread of 2.43 would be better for most users than 2.26.
I am not one of the idealists wishing for a 6 speed gearbox. Merely a wider ratio 5 speed would have been sufficient and not required total crankcase reengineering.
 

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Mcnock, I believe the Gen 2+ KLR has too great % wt on Frt wheel for most dirt riding, so I attempt to have the shortest wheelbase possible whenever I change a sprocket; if that involves removing a chain-link, so be it. To that end, was happy to install bar risers, to help the weight transfer under throttle.
I have noticed the front end is sinky and tends to wallow. I guess it's not just my technique!

I have bar risers as well...and I just moved my pegs back to help have a more relaxed stand up riding with that wide tank. (Like riding with a watermelon between your legs?) This move should also slightly help get weight off the front...

Thanks for the input..
 

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I need to imagine what the flip-flop would look like, I've tried but could not do it. So I just know it's about about a nuts thickness width and it gets faster every time I do it. If you can imagine it for me, I'll make it.

I've been carrying around an extendable 3/8 ratchet with a pretty compact 3/8 socket that fits that nut. I did this cuz I thought I had to wrench the prevailing torque nut it pretty tight, and since I wrenched it pretty tight I need a same long wrench to loosen it.

Is that short wrench all the torque you need?
Let's start with the wrench. When you want to remove a sprocket you install the wrench onto the prevailing torque nut and rest the 'handle' of the wrench on top of the swingarm. Then you rock the bike forward a few inches and push it hard backward. Your lever arm is the radius of the wheel and tire compounded by the ratio of the year sprocket radius to the front sprocket radius. Sumbtichin' nut is going to pop loose, easy. Keep rolling backward until the nut comes off. To tighten the nut you mount the wrench to the nut with the handle under the swingarm, rock the bike backward a few inches, and push it forward. Then keep pushing until you feel the nut get tight, or until the rear tire begins to slide, or just before the chain breaks. <VBG

I could have sworn that I had some pictures or a video of this but, if I do, I can't find them.

Now, why do I specify the prevailing torque nut? Simply so that you can get rid of that lock washer that you are supposed to bend up to retain the OEM nut.

Now to the flip-flop plates. All this is, is a plate that you can flip around to take up chain slack when you put a different sprocket on. Presuming that your chain slack is right in the first place, they keep you from needing to fiddle with chain adjustment. If you are going to be making a change from a 16 toof sprocket down to a 14-toof sprocket you'd set the flip-flop plate up so that it took up two teefs worth of chain slack.

Start with the stock adjustment plate. This is the plate that the axle goes through and upon which the adjustment bolt bears against to tighten or loosen the chain. Make an extension out of some angle iron and weld it in place, then grind as required so that the axle washer can bear flat against the plate, not against a weld bead.

What follows is not an official formula, rather, it is derived from the results of the true formula for sprocket centerline distance given a pair of sprockets of differing diameters and a given chain length. The real formula involves sines and cosines and one-half alphas and full thetas and a bunch of stuff invented by old, dead Greek guys. Meh. If you go to a chain and sprocket calculator that uses that formula and you put in a pair of equally sized sprockets you find that, for every added (or removed) tooth on a sprocket, the chain slack will change by one-fourth of the pitch of a chain link. Thus, if you were to go from a 16-tooth sprocket to a 14-tooth sprocket you would be changing the chain adjustment by .25*.625*2, or .3125". Now, using the precise formula for a chain running on a 16-tooth sprocket and a 43-tooth sprocket you'd find the difference to be a few thousandths of an inch different from that, but that is way beyond our ability to fabricate via grinding and welding on old washing machine parts and it doesn't really make a dang bit of difference in this application. To make a flip-flop plate you'd want to create an extension to the end opposite the stock adjustment point that was 5/16" longer than the stock adjustment side.

Man, that's a lot of words to describe something that is incredibly simple! Here are two pictures so that I don't have to write 2000 more words.
Font Gas Circle Metal Automotive tire

Sports equipment Gas Font Composite material Bumper


The 5-minute procedure for swapping sprockets is this: Spend 5 minutes getting the stupid plastic sprocket guard off.

Install the wrench and remove the nut. Loosen the axle nut completely so that you can push the rear wheel far enough forward to unship the chain. Remove the sprocket and install the new sprocket. Install the chain. Flip the flip-flop plates around and pull the wheel back so that the adjusting bolts will rest on the plate. Tighten the axle. Install the wrench and tighten the sprocket nut. This really does take about 5 minutes after you get down the learning curve.

Spend 5 minutes putting the stupid plastic sprocket guard back on.

By the way, if you want to have a stupid plastic sprocket guard that really does something, get a Gen 1 piece. It doesn't have the slots in it for sticks to go into...
 
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...Tom, do you have any idea why KMC changed the internal ratios from the KLR600 to the KLR650? 🤔...
TL;DR (and truthfully) Nope.

There was a group of guys who decided, after three years of KLR600, that they would mess up the new KLR650 by giving it its own bespoke transmission with gear ratio steps that came out of a broken random number generator. These guys were in the new-to-Kawasaki WFGSU* department and were the guys that trained some new engineers on how to change the clutch design every few years, even though there was nothing wrong with it and nobody complained about it, ever. They were also the guys that looked at some gear-driven balancer mechanisms and decided that they could come up with a better chain-driven design that they would never need to change. Their legacy continues in many ways, even with the '22 KLR Of Many Designations, to this very day. They only hire people who, as school children, were at least the first-runner-up in the annual Rube Goldberg Contest. This assures that all WFGSU members are imbued with a true sense of what not to do.

*This department was christened by a distant descendant of Shōzō Kawasaki as the "Watashitachi Wa Yoi Zaregoto O Fakku Shimasu Department".
 

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Let's start with the wrench. When you want to remove a sprocket you install the wrench onto the prevailing torque nut and rest the 'handle' of the wrench on top of the swingarm. Then you rock the bike forward a few inches and push it hard backward. Your lever arm is the radius of the wheel and tire compounded by the ratio of the year sprocket radius to the front sprocket radius. Sumbtichin' nut is going to pop loose, easy. Keep rolling backward until the nut comes off. To tighten the nut you mount the wrench to the nut with the handle under the swingarm, rock the bike backward a few inches, and push it forward. Then keep pushing until you feel the nut get tight, or until the rear tire begins to slide, or just before the chain breaks. <VBG

I could have sworn that I had some pictures or a video of this but, if I do, I can't find them.

Now, why do I specify the prevailing torque nut? Simply so that you can get rid of that lock washer that you are supposed to bend up to retain the OEM nut.

Now to the flip-flop plates. All this is, is a plate that you can flip around to take up chain slack when you put a different sprocket on. Presuming that your chain slack is right in the first place, they keep you from needing to fiddle with chain adjustment. If you are going to be making a change from a 16 toof sprocket down to a 14-toof sprocket you'd set the flip-flop plate up so that it took up two teefs worth of chain slack.

Start with the stock adjustment plate. This is the plate that the axle goes through and upon which the adjustment bolt bears against to tighten or loosen the chain. Make an extension out of some angle iron and weld it in place, then grind as required so that the axle washer can bear flat against the plate, not against a weld bead.

What follows is not an official formula, rather, it is derived from the results of the true formula for sprocket centerline distance given a pair of sprockets of differing diameters and a given chain length. The real formula involves sines and cosines and one-half alphas and full thetas and a bunch of stuff invented by old, dead Greek guys. Meh. If you go to a chain and sprocket calculator that uses that formula and you put in a pair of equally sized sprockets you find that, for every added (or removed) tooth on a sprocket, the chain slack will change by one-fourth of the pitch of a chain link. Thus, if you were to go from a 16-tooth sprocket to a 14-tooth sprocket you would be changing the chain adjustment by .25*.625*2, or .3125". Now, using the precise formula for a chain running on a 16-tooth sprocket and a 43-tooth sprocket you'd find the difference to be a few thousandths of an inch different from that, but that is way beyond our ability to fabricate via grinding and welding on old washing machine parts and it doesn't really make a dang bit of difference in this application. To make a flip-flop plate you'd want to create an extension to the end opposite the stock adjustment point that was 5/16" longer than the stock adjustment side.

Man, that's a lot of words to describe something that is incredibly simple! Here are two pictures so that I don't have to write 2000 more words.
View attachment 37057
View attachment 37058

The 5-minute procedure for swapping sprockets is this: Spend 5 minutes getting the stupid plastic sprocket guard off.

Install the wrench and remove the nut. Loosen the axle nut completely so that you can push the rear wheel far enough forward to unship the chain. Remove the sprocket and install the new sprocket. Install the chain. Flip the flip-flop plates around and pull the wheel back so that the adjusting bolts will rest on the plate. Tighten the axle. Install the wrench and tighten the sprocket nut. This really does take about 5 minutes after you get down the learning curve.

Spend 5 minutes putting the stupid plastic sprocket guard back on.

By the way, if you want to have a stupid plastic sprocket guard that really does something, get a Gen 1 piece. It doesn't have the slots in it for sticks to go into...

Purr -Purr - Purr. That is the cat's meow of an answer.
A real xmas present.
Thanks for thinking it all through.
I am off the shop!
 

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Mcnock, I believe the Gen 2+ KLR has too great % wt on Frt wheel for most dirt riding, so I attempt to have the shortest wheelbase possible whenever I change a sprocket; if that involves removing a chain-link, so be it. To that end, was happy to install bar risers, to help the weight transfer under throttle.
Did a little research tonight using my “bedroom scale” to see how much Static weight difference there was on my Gen 2 as it sits*, with the R axle all the way forward vs max aft. Short answer: not much difference in the +/- 1” fore-aft movement.
Max Fwd: 205/241=446#
205÷446=46% frt/ 54% rear
Max R: 211/235=446#
211/446= 47.3% frt/ 52.7% rear
I was surprised, because my seat of the pants subjective impression suggested more than that. My rationalization is that with the rear wheel further forward, in the dynamic world of climbing slippery uphills, I’m able to lever more weight onto it than the above small % diff would suggest. 🤔
* As it sits: 1/3 tank gas; heavy crash guards and solid steel crankcase protector, tool roll ahead of crankcase (tire levers & heavy bits), Li batt, Std-ish muffler, soft bags, bar bag, tank bag, GPS & cellphone mounts, Nat Cycle med windshield; lotsa duct tape.
 

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Did a little research tonight using my “bedroom scale” to see how much Static weight difference there was on my Gen 2 as it sits*, with the R axle all the way forward vs max aft. Short answer: not much difference in the +/- 1” fore-aft movement.
Max Fwd: 205/241=446#
205÷446=46% frt/ 54% rear
Max R: 211/235=446#
211/446= 47.3% frt/ 52.7% rear
I was surprised, because my seat of the pants subjective impression suggested more than that. My rationalization is that with the rear wheel further forward, in the dynamic world of climbing slippery uphills, I’m able to lever more weight onto it than the above small % diff would suggest. 🤔
* As it sits: 1/3 tank gas; heavy crash guards and solid steel crankcase protector, tool roll ahead of crankcase (tire levers & heavy bits), Li batt, Std-ish muffler, soft bags, bar bag, tank bag, GPS & cellphone mounts, Nat Cycle med windshield; lotsa duct tape.
Thanks for doing that and getting the facts out there. As has been said so many times that KLR is what it is. The small tweaks we do, really don't change it much, even though we swear by them.

This suggest that moving the foot pegs back 2 in, will also not change the weight distribution significantly. Moving the foot peaks back is more about making your stand up position slightly more comfortable--or at least making you feel it's more comfortable. For me it makes a difference and was worth it.
 

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Continuing the topic drift, although I believe the KLR has too much weight on the front wheel for mud & sand riding, so many of them get loaded up with a lot of camping gear etc. on the back, that it does change this F/R wt percentage significantly, so, at the end of the day, it makes some sense for the long distance adventure traveler (even though it sucks as a porky motocrosser.)
 
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