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Old 07-29-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Utah
Oddometer: 3
Talking Just Bought 2007 KLR 650

Hello All!

I've just purchased a used 2007 KLR 650 with the following upgrades:
Skid plate
nerf bars
doohickey replaced
.22 cent
wheatwacker fairing mod
fork brace
uni air filter
fuse relocation kit
subframe bolt upgrade
progressive fork springs
rear suspension upgrade
choke lever
led tail light
black plasticoated all over
I think some other things but I don't have access to the list right now, so I might edit this part later.

The previous owner was an airforce jet mechanic, so when he said he took care of it I believed him :)

Also came with a not yet installed thermo-bob kit. Think it's worth it to pay to have this installed? Would probably cost me like $75 to get a mechanic to do it since I don't have near the experience to do that kind of thing and I don't want to mess up the bike.

I've ordered some barkbusters with the handlebar end weights and was thinking about the kaoko throttle control (but they're damn pricey for a throttle lock...). I've also got two 1550 pelicans, and a pack rat touring rack on the way. I'm not sure if I'll use a Pelican 1600 or a soft duffel for a top bag, what say ye in this regard?

I was also thinking about putting something in/on the 1550's so that they only open to 45 rather than 90 degrees, anyone got any ideas on this?

I know I also probably should get a gps and gps mount before I go on any long trip, but I do have land nav experience and am comfortable with paper maps/compass/protractor, so maybe I'll keep it old school. Bad idea?

I'm planning on putting a 12v outlet on there (there's already a dash installed), but I've been super confused about what wires, fuses, etc...that I need to get. I have ZERO wiring stuff experience. There are a few threads on it but I can't seem to find one that systematically covers everything. I might get an all in one kit like this one:
even though it's got a superfluous dash.
Or perhaps this thing:
which apparently plugs right into the battery and is good to go?

I also need handlebar risers, an air compressor, a better toolkit and I'm not sure what else. Anything else you all would recommend? Clutch arm mod, big foot kick stand, better front disk brake, etc...? I'm not gonna go for a 685 kit because that would be too expensive and not really necessary for me I don't think.

I'm hoping to practice quite a bit around Utah over the course of my final year in school and, when I graduate, head on a trip down to south america before I end up with a career, dependents, etc....My dad and his friends are big into adventure riding around Utah, so they're training me on and off road, which is sweet!
Before I go to SA I want to learn how to change the oil, chain, sprockets, tires, tubes, various lubes and regular oil applications, etc...what else do you think an aspiring adventure rider should learn to do themselves?

Thanks for any help and this great website! I've been lurking for a little while but this is my first post. :)

p.s. yeah I edited out the dogs face...I thought it was funny...
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GCAM105 screwed with this post 07-29-2014 at 07:50 PM
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Richardson, TX.... <sigh>
Oddometer: 129
IIRC, the Thermo-bob came with some pretty good instructions. Really isn't that hard. Just take your time and take pics if you're unsure about how it goes back together. If you don't like the seat you can swap on a new foam pad and cover from Seat Concepts... worth the $$$, IMHO. Take it out on some short trips before you get too crazy, and check your OIL! Before and after every trip... early models had some ring issues and would burn oil on the highway. My 09 does on the highway, but not in town. I have a 685 kit sitting on the shelf for when I decide to tear it down.

Sounds like you know where you're going with luggage. GPS is purely subjective, I like my Garmin and I have Google Maps on my phone... but there's no batteries to die in paper maps either! ...but it's also very hard to unfold a map without stopping. If you go with a GPS then a Ram mount is definitely the way to go.

The only way you're going to get any electrical/wiring experience is to get in there and just do it. Feel free to ask questions, that's what the interwebs are here for! ;) Handle bar risers... no clue. Air compressor, go to AutoZone and check out the Slime compressors... I have one in a nice little case that's about 6x6x2, fits nicely in my tank bag and plugs into the battery tender plug. Used it many times without fail.

If you're planning on a SA type trip then I'd say you need to be able to pretty much do a full tear down of the bike on the side of the road with what you are carrying with you. Take it apart and put it back together. Learn every inch of wiring harness and what everything does and why. Start small... pull the gas tank off and put it back. Change the oil, change the filter, tighten the chain to spec.. clean and oil it while you're at it. Start with the basics. Go get a test light and see how it works. See what wires get voltage when you turn on the key. Start small and as your confidence grows, you'll learn to do more. Everyone starts somewhere. Don't fear it, it's just a machine. If someone can build it, you can un-build it!

..and welcome to the club!

09 KLR 650, blue... Done the Doo!, Thermo-bobed!, LED driving lights, aux fuse box, HID high beam, gel battery, custom racks, tool tube, de-Californicated it, moved main fuses to side cover, relocated plate, PVC mod, Hurricane mod, bypassed the side stand switch...

RIP - 95 Honda VFR750 (the most vulgar shade of yellow I could find in the book!)

chuggins143 screwed with this post 07-29-2014 at 08:24 PM
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
Oddometer: 5,279
the gps ... a good source is the "city lights" connection. up by the head light is a pair of unused wires... the brown/white is plus, and black/yellow is ground. it turns on/off with the key. otherwise... straight off the battery is ok

for a throttle lock, I use a mini bungee cord. hook on to the mirror stem & wind the bungee through the gap between the throttle grip & housing.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Utah
Oddometer: 3
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
the gps ... a good source is the "city lights" connection. up by the head light is a pair of unused wires... the brown/white is plus, and black/yellow is ground. it turns on/off with the key. otherwise... straight off the battery is ok
I've found this connection before, but I'm still struggling to know what I need to put it all together. Something like:

In-line ACT Water-resistant Fuse Holder - 10 AWG
male bullet connectors (22-18 gauge?)
the 12v dash socket of course
some wire (18 gauge?)
some twist ties maybe?
what else do you think?

In addition, is it worth it to get a second, SAE outlet that goes into the battery? Than ebay mounting kit has one.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:59 AM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Abq NM
Oddometer: 1,747
I first tried running my GPS off the city light power. But that power is switched and the GPS wanted to turn off every time I turned the key off.

I switched to direct to battery and liked it a lot better. I spliced into a wire from the battery that goes to the power switch. I use a Montana GPS which has a fuse.

BTW I sold the bike earlier this year.

But I had an SAE connector down near the battery that I used both the charge the battery and to run an electric inflator for fixing flats.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
Forever N00b
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 2,387
I have the city-lights wires turning on a relay. Everything else up front gets power from that relay, or more correctly, a pair of wires from that relay to the battey. I LIKE having my GPS turn off every time I turn off the ignition -- it asks, so if I don't want it off I can have it stay on using internal battery power. If you're going to have several devices it may make sense to have an extra fuse block. I have 3 items, so use only 1 fuse more than the KLR came with.

My Pelican Storm cases open a bit farther than 90 degrees. Works fine as a shelf for light things. I don't put heavy items on there so I haven't needed more support. I use stuff sacks that wedge into the cases, so the side-opening cases work fine.

I've used a couple different soft bags on top, a roll-top and a roll-end. I also have a top box that is far more convenient for gloves and jackets. Just snap open, toss whatever in the box and close. A tail bag that's NOT a roll closed bag may be convenient, but for me the easy-access top box works well with the side-opening side cases.

Paper maps work fine. Sometimes the route that is the most fun involves lots of turns on little roads with missing road signs. That's when the GPS really helps. That and when you need a specific shop in a strange town. People reciting directions can sometimes be, um, creative. Having them point to the location on the screen makes it easier for me to get there.


EDIT: The city-lights wires are really small, so if you have multiple items or any heated gear, you'll need a thicker wire to the battery. That's why I have the city-lights wires powering only the coil on the relay and have the relay turning on and off power that comes through a thicker wire.
Motorcycles are magical.

Grinnin screwed with this post 07-30-2014 at 10:09 AM
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Old 07-30-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
Semi-reformed Tsotsi
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: South Texas
Oddometer: 1,565

Half the fun of riding is fixin'. The KLR is simple enough to learn. If you are going to ride distances, you will learn how to take the bike apart as has been suggested above.

What you need;
1. 1st is a new attitude. The, 'I cant and I dont know', has to go.
2. Then, get a workshop manual/Clymers and start reading.
3. We can help you with the rest.

With the manual and a proper set of tools (you will pay for those in the 1st project you do) , get to it!

Before long - who knows.

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Old 07-30-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
Joined: May 2014
Oddometer: 82
I agree do the work yourself incase you take it some place off the map you will have some experience to fix it yourself. Don't want to be stranded.

Get some tools and mark the ones you use with blue tape, then you can find smaller versions of them for a toolkit for when on the road.
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Old Yesterday, 09:59 AM   #9
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Utah
Oddometer: 3
Thanks for the advice. I didn't mean to come off like I have a 'I cant and I dont know' attitude, quite the reverse actually in the sense that I want to learn to at least "change the oil, chain, sprockets, tires, tubes, various lubes and regular oil applications, etc...," I just thought it maybe isn't worth the time and pain to do the thermo-bob myself because it's not something that is a regular maintenance item, just a one and done.

Any advice on a good toolkit? I've just got the stock one. I'm looking at this:
and this
or this:
with this:

and I'm not sure what else I would need, besides the replacement parts themselves like tires, tubes, oil, chain, sprocket, etc...
Here's a list I found:
and here's a forum post on it:

I've already got the Clymer's manual, so I guess I'll wait until I get a better tool kit and then try all of these things myself. There's a regular maintenance section so I'll probably just go down the list of all of that and try each thing, those being the most important.

There are, of course, mechanics in south america, so if something like the whole engine needs to be taken apart, or all of the bikes wiring replaced, or anything dramatic like that I imagine I can find someone to do it (after hitchhiking a ride on a truck to the mechanics shop that is...). Anyone have experience with long distance riding and the necessary mechanical knowledge to plausibly make it where you want to go? I'm trying to find the balance here between knowing the minimal necessary maintenance work, and being a full on bike mechanic who can tear down and put back together the whole thing piece by piece (do most motorcyclist need that level of expertise, even to ride to SA? I would think major stuff could be handled by a local professional. How often am I really going to need to pull the whole thing apart?).

Also, is this thing:
the way to go if I just want to plug straight into the battery?
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Old Yesterday, 05:28 PM   #10
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Philthadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oddometer: 1,318

I got these wrenches for tire changes on my KLR.
Unfortunately, the KLR doesn't have the same size bolts/nuts holding the wheels on and you need multiple sizes.
The third link is a combo size wrench to save some weight and space.

And for fixing flats, I have this slime kit
But I also carry spare tubes. Remember that a front tube can be used in a rear tire in a pinch.
And in case the battery is dead or the pump fails, I also have a foot pump and CO2 inflators.

I use this attached to my SAE plug running off the battery.
But I also have a dash with a BMW outlet and standard 12v outlet and four switches. Two switches operate the two outlets, and the other two switches are for later applications. One of those applications being LED lights, which I have to install when I get off my lazy ass.

And I find this extension cord can help

Add electrical tape and plastic wire ties to your kit as well.

Oh. And the two city lights wires under the front fairing are low amperage. Good for charging a cell phone or running a GPS, but nothing more than that. I have my GPS wired to these wires.
1999 KLR 650 (her name is KLaRissa) DOOHICKEY DONE!
2013 BMW F800GS (her name is FranGelicaS)
Please. Ride careful, ride safe, ride defensively! This thread should be mandatory reading!
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 PM   #11
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
Oddometer: 5,279
Motion Pro has tire spoons that have axle nut sizes on them... thats what I have.... they actually work too. not cheap, but a too that does 2 things and is light weight. also get a "Bead Buddy"... it's like a 3rd hand when changing tires... very useful.
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Old Today, 07:23 AM   #12
Forever N00b
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 2,387
Here's how to connect a relay to the KLR 1st-gen "city lights" wires to turn on and off larger devices with the ignition switch.

The quick version:
  1. Connect the city lights wires to relay contacts 85 and 86. Technically 85 is for ground which is black w/yellow trace on the KLR and 86 is for positive which is brown w/white on the KLR.
  2. Connect the + wire from the battery (and fuse) to relay contact 30.
  3. Connect the + wire going to your dashboard or devices to relay contact 87. This contact is normally open (i.e. there's a gap in the circuit). Contact 87 gets power only when the electromagnet is on.

How I do it.

Most of my bikes have a single pair of extra wires from the battery up to the steering head. It's just ring-terminals, a 10A fuse in a sealed holder, and thick wires up to an SAE plug. I can attach whatever I need to that SAE plug by the steering head. The purpose of this fuse is to protect the wires from overheating and catching fire. The fuse at the battery is not intended to protect devices such as GPS.

I put ONLY a single extra ring terminal on each battery contact. Stacking them up gets messy after a while.

For the KLR, I used a pre-wired relay plug. The black and white wires go to the electromagnet, so they are the ones that get plain 1/8" bullet plugs to match the city-lights wires. Both are male because both of the city-lights wires end in females.

The positive wire from the battery (or from the SAE plug) goes to the "common" contact of the relay or 30 on a standard relay. On the pre-wired relay plug that's the blue wire.

The "normally open" contact from the relay powers the switched devices: voltmeter, jacket outlet, and GPS outlet. This is terminal 87 on a standard relay or the yellow wire in the picture. I connect this to red in my wiring. All the quick-connects on this wire are females with insulation covering them completely -- if something comes loose I want to prevent a short-circuit.

You may note a thin wire and disconnect on the blue wire. This was to power a clock that I wanted to remain on all the time.

The green wires from the SAE plug don't go anywhere near the relay. These have disconnects for negtive or ground for all the devices, both switched and unswitched.

The big relay above is rated for 30A. The picture below shows one of those plus 2 relays that are each rated for 20A. The small relay with wires has black and red for the electromagnet, yellow for common (to bat), and brown for normally open (to devices you want to turn on when the relay is on).

The small relay with quick-connect terminals is made by Hella, but the numbers are different: 1 and 2 are the electromagnet while 3 is common and 5 is normally open. Looking at the arrangement of the terminals themselves helps identify some of them; 2 terminals oriented together are the electromagnet while the other 3 are for the switch. The common contact is in the middle so you have 50% chance of guessing the normally closed and normally open contacts correctly.

Another inmate asked for this info. My intent is not to derail your thread, but this seemed as good a place for this as any.



Notes on wire gauge.
14AWG is fine for 20 amps and if the circuit has only 14AWG and larger wires then the fuse should be 20A. But using 14AWG wire with heated gear, the voltage will drop on that circuit. You have to include the WHOLE circuit in this calculation, so a jacket plugged into a dashboard outlet will have permanent wiring 4' away for 8' total plus another cord 4' to the jacket and back for a total of 16' of wire even with 4' pieces which is cutting it close. I have a volt meter and a heated gear outlet at the front of each bike. In this example turning on a 6 amp jacket would cause the voltage to drop about 5% below what the battery actually has. It would also cause the jacket to get 5% less voltage and be more than 5% cooler.

Notes on other fuse boxes.
There are fuse boxes that let you configure some circuits as always-on and some circuits as switched. If you want to move the stock fuses out from under the seat and move the fan fuse from behind the radiator overflow tank, one of these fuse boxes with 4 or more circuits may be easier to maintain than this extra circuit. I have had no trouble at all with fuses on my KLR so the stock setup works fine.
Motorcycles are magical.

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