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Old 11-25-2012, 11:23 PM   #16
Parepin OP
The Filthy Nomad
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: That's... a tough one to answer
Oddometer: 1,133
From Silverton, I continued on my way. I was extremely hesitant to get rid of the frame as I saw the welds and repairs as scars, history. Each one was a different ride and had a story to tell. Much like Janis's rider and trail mate we were imperfect beings, marked with time and experience. Truly one of a kind, and in it's own twisted way, this made Janis more real to me. She had been around, and seen things few KLRs would see. It only seemed to add depth to her character, this entity, Janis.

I continued north towards Wyoming, passing through Crested Butte before blowing out my bottom end crossing the mountains into Marble, Colorado. I waved Jim down the road and told him not to worry, I'd figure something out. More details can be found here:

Anyway, it was during my time spent in Colorado, working construction for parts money, that a member of the forum here got ahold of me. DaFoole, out of central California, sent me a PM and offered up some assistance. As chance would have it, he had a 94 KLR that his father had purchased some time ago. It was parked up on his property in Oregon and hadn't been run in the better part of a decade. He seemed to appreciate my Ride Report, which he used to burn time and avoid his responsibilities if only for a few hours. He laid before me an offer, one I had a hard time refusing. "Come over to my place", he said. "I've got a few bikes here that need some work. You clean some carbs, replace some tires and bearings, and get everything running and I'll give you the barbie bike."

Fuck yeah.

And so I continued on my way, from Colorado to Reno for a few weeks worth of work, before high-tailing it south and into Phoenix where my buddy Rust (Dan) lived. We partied for a weekend and I laid an idea before him. I had a second bike, and I would like to make some mods to it. Some extensive mods, and bring Janis back to life. To make her safe again. A smirk crept across his stubbled mug as the extensiveness of the rebuild sank in. "I've got the shop and a welder. But we're gonna need more beer. This'll be fun...."

And with that I parked Janis in the garage and lined her underside with newspaper to soak up the phantom oil leak that, to this day, completely eludes me. I packed my bag, and flew out to Sacramento. DaFoole's posts can be found here:

So, yeah. I had this bike now. It had a purple seat. This would be a fun ride. I got everything sorted out over a couple of late nights in the garage and was back on the road within a week. I would take Yosemite, then Death Valley down and back towards Phoenix, a ride of 1100 miles. Lots of pics, but that's for another thread, another time.

Back in Phoenix, I spent the next day or two brainstorming with Dan over just how we would attack this project, and what we were looking to accomplish. We had a pretty obvious place to start, using my existing frame as a reference to the weak points in your typical KLR. We would sleeve the back bone and the downtube, and gusset nearly everything else the best we could. I also figured that, while we're in there, I might as well install a second radiator. Because... why not?

I stripped the barbie bike, previously named "Pattie", of her seat and plastics. I wanted to keep as much still attached to the bike as I could while I made up my templates, just to check for interference with any of the other components. I'd have hated to get in as far as re-assembly only to discover that I couldn't install the engine because of some poorly placed steel.

Things seemed to be going smoothly. I picked up a few chunks of plate steel, the dimensions of which completely elude me at the moment. I'll jump back on here later when I've figured some numbers out. The lower front gussets, of which I'd made three, were made of much thicker plate than the remaining gussets. The sleeves were thrown together out of some chunks of 2 inch steel pipe, the characteristics of which I'm also drawing a blank on. Anyhow, a quick trip to a neighbors house where I spent the evening knocking down shitty beer (Bud Lite) and playing around with his plasma cutter. Paul was a cool guy, and gave me the run down on the machine of Harbor Freight quality before setting me loose.


The next day Dan and I cruised over to his place of employment, a die making and stamping mill, where we trimmed up the gussets and made them look all pretty like.

Back in the garage with a new case in the cooler, I set about fine tuning and drilling out the gussets to fit. The pipe was sliced down the middle and notched out where existing welds and mounts on the frame would interfere with it's placement. As I tinkered, Dan sat back and offered up his help. "Got anything I can fuck with?" he casually mentions.

Sure thing. My header got notoriously hot on this bike and I've got the melted pants to prove it. A heat sheild would be a cool idea. And so he wanders back towards his scrap pile and pulls out some strips of fairly heavy gauge aluminum. He pondered for a moment as he scratched his scruff and smoked a cigarette. Then, he went to town.

I was fascinated by the thought process that this took. A thirty year stamping and die engineer by trade, his first instinct seemed to be to turn his vice into a stamping mill. He grabbed some scrap pipe and squished it to the right diameter, then just tossed it in the vice and applied pressure. Some liberal use of a ball peen hammer finished the job. Truly a master at work. I'm sure that whatever idea I would have come up with would have been no where near as professional as this.

He spent the rest of the evening stamping out a few more samples which we then cut to shape and cleaned up. As he worked out a way to mount it to my header using just a few hose clamps, I got all sharpie happy before retiring to the back corner for an intense dremel session.

Not bad, right?

Parepin screwed with this post 12-01-2012 at 10:39 PM
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:25 PM   #17
Parepin OP
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Location: That's... a tough one to answer
Oddometer: 1,133
Originally Posted by orangebear View Post
with the weight of the bikes i thought the frames would be solid. would it not be a good idea to get a new frame and then brace it.
You're good at this game.

*Places a gold sticker awkwardly on your forehead*
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:56 AM   #18
High Desert Rider
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Location: Fallon, Nevada
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Originally Posted by Parepin View Post
Yeah... that's me. That's gotta be my second most popular photo...

Second only to this one.

You know, I've done other things with my life. Great things. Fantastic things. I'm drawing a blank right now, but things were done. Awesome things......

I've been waiting for details on the Janis/Barbie mash up since you told me about your "new" bike. Subscribed!

There's a real beer (i.e. NOT Bud Light) in the fridge for ya if you ever find yourself back up in Nevada.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:49 AM   #19
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Location: Kentucky
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Once more with feeling eh?

Good luck with the build!

2008 Suzuki DL 650....Wee Strom
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:33 AM   #20
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Location: Mt. Vernon, Illinois
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Originally Posted by WaywardSon View Post
Once more with feeling eh?

Good luck with the build!

This is awesome----I've only personally known a couple people that could tear up a KLR. can't ride my KLR

2008 Yamaha WR250R/2006 KTM 450EXC/2014 KTM690/2013 Husky 650 TR650
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #21
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Location: Wandering...
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I'd been wondering what you were up to!
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:16 AM   #22
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Near Cortland NY
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You know this happened because you named the bike, right?

I assume you used welded repairs because they were all out of tire-irons and hose-clamps.
---->>Thanks for the rotor, guys!<<----
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:11 AM   #23
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Location: chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
Oddometer: 12,902
A man and his KLR shall not be beaten. You are much,much, braver man then me riding a bike around that long with a disintegrating frame. After being pitched off once with it broken in half.
I can see the romance of it and all but jeez louize if it had broke in half again with cars around it might scuff you up some.

Carry on and just remember the more a frame is welded/heated and fucked with the weaker it is and tends to crack around the welds.
Some bikes around at times
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:25 AM   #24
bk brkr baker
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: The Bluegrass
Oddometer: 5,985
My KLR frame has held up so far, but now I think I'll look it over for cracks. It just turned past 55,000 miles , so maybe it's near to timing out.
I once had a TM400 Suzuki that I used to play at racing trains beside the tracks, chasing cows in the fields and in "Let's Moto here " down where they built the ball fields.There was a 20 ft. hill that led to a flat area where the outfield is now.
One day the TM started handeling worse than normal. The frame broke behind the countershaft sproket. I took it to Lawson's who were the best welding shop around. The guy welded it up and pronounced it fixed. I got him to add a gusset anyway , even though he said it didn't need it.
It did. It needed more than that , it broke the next time out and after rewelding it and regusseting it 5 or 6 times , the thrill was gone for me . I sold it on for what I'd paid for it.
RR's Catnip Hill to Peoria ___Loopin' Seattle to WestFest
It started with some beers __1500 miles to the Dentist
Skeedaddle to Seattle______ A 30 year old on a Three Flags Run
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:42 AM   #25
Jettn Jim
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Location: NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
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Well well... you are still taking pictures aint cha!

Looking gooood man! Love the heat shield brotha, can't wait to see the right side Rad!

Yo guys I've been preaching about gett'n a new frame, do this, do that for...................................


he's stubborn save your breath!

How was the Baja last week???
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #26
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Central Coast, Cal
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I'm in with no advice to give, just watch'n.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Juvenal
(Who watches the watchers)
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #27
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Mukilteo, WA
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This kind of fix is befitting a KLR. Subscribed.
2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 /// 2000 Suzuki DRZ400S
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:15 AM   #28
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Location: Just East of Weird, TX
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I noticed your La Kiva sticker in the second pic. Were you in Big Bend when you went all broke back? I've had a few steaks and beers there. Cool story bro.
Look, a chicken!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #29
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I was going to say that aluminum isn't a good material to make a heat shield with but f*ck it. He did a good job with them and they probably work fine.

If your adding another radiator, where are you going to put the coolant overflow?
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:16 PM   #30
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Location: minneapolis
Oddometer: 612
I recently had my frame powder coated and was amazed at how light it is. There really isn't much to it.... I'm surprised there aren't more failures considering how much people load them down.

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