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Old 06-02-2013, 01:19 AM   #1
majorpayne OP
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My 2000 KL250 Super Sherpa Build

So recently I picked up my first bike. It's a 2000 Super Sherpa. Thanks to some members here and some other places around the web I decided on the Super Sherpa.

I decided on it for a couple reasons. One, it should be good to learn on. It's light, simple, etc. Second, as far as 250s go, iit's difficult to find something that even remotely fits a person who is tall like myself. This wasn't too much of a compromise in that regard. Third, it was inexpensive and should be reliable.

I am pretty active on ExPo and do a fair amount of exploring so it was only a matter of time until I ended up with a bike. Also, it was a bit of an anticipatory buy as I'm planning on being in WY in the next few months. If you've been to WY you can understand why I'd want a bike.

Anyway, I'm not under some false understanding of what the super sherpa is and what it's capable of. I'm not going to try and make it something it's not. I plan on doing some mods that will make it a little more adventure friendly (which admittedly, it doesn't need much) and having some fun along the way.

My background is as a mechanic and fabricator. I worked for one of the bike shops that was on the Discovery Channel's biker build off shows a few years back. I built engines, frames, handlebars, exhaust systems, etc. I say that to point out that I'm not completely new to bikes, but embarrassingly enough, I've never ridden much at all.

I look forward to the sherpa being something I can do some fun little fabrication projects on for various parts and pieces while keeping it light and useful.

Here she was when I picked her up:



I got her from an older guy who put 6700 miles on her since he bought it new. He kept tedious maintenance records and evidently babied it. It was garaged and likely never saw any furious bursts of speed (is that even possible?) or redline. I'm pretty sure the tires are original and there really wasnt even a scuff on the bike. I guess we will see how it does!
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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Since I brought it home...

Since I got the bike home I changed the spark plug which was probably original. I had to replace a turn signal bulb that was out. Apart from that it was pretty much good to go maintenance wise being that the oil had just been changed.

I'm gonna bleed the brakes soon and get a new air filter even though it looks ok.

First official mod:

Fancy shmancy reflective tape. Had it lying around. Meh.



I also took off the sprocket cover and cleaned it out. It had a fair amount of grease packed in lower corner. That ignited my OCD and I started cleaning all the nooks and crannies I could find. Didn't find anything too bad. It seems that the valve cove gasket on the front left is a little leaky but not enough for me to go pulling off the valve cover yet.

majorpayne screwed with this post 06-02-2013 at 01:36 AM
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:51 AM   #3
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Despite that the tank was super clean inside I thought it might be a good idea to put a clear inline filter in the carb feed line, just for peace of mind. I ended up finding a filter that will trap most of the big stuff. I believe it's only 140 microns or so. Not really a "filter" as much as a "screen". I'll see how it works. I can always drop a Visu-filter in there in about 2 minutes.

I also used clear fuel line so I'll have a little more idea of what the fuel looks like.



The lines sort of look kinked, but they aren't. I gave it a good test run today and it's working just fine. I figure anything's better than nothing. You can't tell by the pic but it's actually tucked back in there and shouldn't get snagged on anything. Loosely zip-tied in place and is nice and secure.

I also took the rear pegs off as I won't ride two up for a long time. My wife would do it, I just don't feel comfortable by myself yet, let alone with someone else on the bike.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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Tonight I decided the little reflectors on the upper sides of the fork had to go. I cut them off the headlight frame in such a manner that I could re-attach them pretty easily if necessary.



It looks a bit cleaner and as far as reflectors go I prefer reflective tape. I find that it works pretty good and of course its lighter and snag free. :P



Future plans are as follows:

-might try a high fender...Im thinking acerbis supermoto...not sure yet
-handguards
-bar riser...I'm really close to being ok with the stock height, but 1" would be great
-larger tool tube
-even with my limited time on it, I think a SC seat would be great...ATV seat pad might hold me over for a while
-IMS xr650L tank
-better mirrors
-larger foot pegs
-round headlight/windscreen...the round headlight isnt necessary, but it sure looks cool...and I've never been a fan of the rectangle lights

Of course right now I've got bigger things to worry about like moving, so the more expensive items may be on hold, depending on funds. For the time being I've got a shop and welder so I may make some small items like a master cylinder guard and things of that nature to fill my spare time...plus fabrication keeps me sane.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:29 AM   #5
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That is a really clean Sherpa. Congrats! Wish I could find one that nice.

Reflective tape, huh........Hmmmm.

Just a safety related question.....are you absolutely sure that clear "fuel line" is really rated to handle gasoline? I have never seen clear fuel-rated hose.....only the poly stuff from hardware stores. Reason I ask, is that if it isn't rated for gasoline, it will disintegrate and you will end up with goo in your carb. Worst case, it falls apart while you are riding, and you end up with fuel pouring over a hot engine. If it IS rated for fuel, mind posting a link? I'd like some for my bikes!
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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How tall are you? Do you feel cramped on the Super Sherpa?

Somewhere on this site is a thread about a man who recently drove his Super Sherpa from Nebraska to Colombia -- I don't think he ever mentioned his size, but from his photos he didn't appear to be a large man. He couldn't say enough nice things about his Sherpa.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x32792 View Post
Subscribed.

How tall are you? Do you feel cramped on the Super Sherpa?

Somewhere on this site is a thread about a man who recently drove his Super Sherpa from Nebraska to Colombia -- I don't think he ever mentioned his size, but from his photos he didn't appear to be a large man. He couldn't say enough nice things about his Sherpa.
I'm not the OP, but I'm 6'5", 220lbs with a 38" inseam and I can spend a couple of hours on the Sherpa without much discomfort. I wouldn't ride it to Tierra del Fuego, but I have no problem with day rides. It's probably the shortest/lowest 250cc dual-sport on the market, but not terribly cramped.

My wife is more average height (5'11 - 6') and can ride her Sherpa all day long. We both use an Alaska sheepskin pad which raises the seat height ~1/2" or so and makes a big difference in comfort.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #8
Luke308
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Nice looking bike, and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds! Thanks for the picture updates. Since your good with fabricating have you considered a rear rack or saddle bag racks? It's always nice to have a place to lash down a backpack or a little extra fuel. In addition to that, one of my personal favorite pieces of gear for a lightweight dual sport (I ride a WR250R) is the Wolfman Expedition Lite tank bag. I'll be watching...
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:10 PM   #9
majorpayne OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnj View Post
That is a really clean Sherpa. Congrats! Wish I could find one that nice.

Reflective tape, huh........Hmmmm.

Just a safety related question.....are you absolutely sure that clear "fuel line" is really rated to handle gasoline? I have never seen clear fuel-rated hose.....only the poly stuff from hardware stores. Reason I ask, is that if it isn't rated for gasoline, it will disintegrate and you will end up with goo in your carb. Worst case, it falls apart while you are riding, and you end up with fuel pouring over a hot engine. If it IS rated for fuel, mind posting a link? I'd like some for my bikes!
Yeah it's fuel line and not just clear tubing. It's used a lot on lawn mowers. Check that section at your auto parts store. I would prefer to use some nice braided fuel line I trust but I like the transparent factor. I will keep an eye out on it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
majorpayne OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x32792 View Post
Subscribed.

How tall are you? Do you feel cramped on the Super Sherpa?

Somewhere on this site is a thread about a man who recently drove his Super Sherpa from Nebraska to Colombia -- I don't think he ever mentioned his size, but from his photos he didn't appear to be a large man. He couldn't say enough nice things about his Sherpa.
I'm 6'3"-6'4". Of course I'm only 165 lbs. I feel a little tight on it. Mostly in part to the seat that wants to slide me forward. A seat concepts seat should help. That with the bar risers should make it acceptable.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Luke308 View Post
Nice looking bike, and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds! Thanks for the picture updates. Since your good with fabricating have you considered a rear rack or saddle bag racks? It's always nice to have a place to lash down a backpack or a little extra fuel. In addition to that, one of my personal favorite pieces of gear for a lightweight dual sport (I ride a WR250R) is the Wolfman Expedition Lite tank bag. I'll be watching...
Thanks! A rack is definitely in the works. Haven't really hashed out the details but I have some cool ideas. I will check out that wolfman bag, thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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If these are the original tires, shouldn't they be replaced? I don't know what the shelf life of rubber is or if it only depends on if they have dry rot. I was looking for a nice sherpa and couldn't find one around Boston at the time, so ended up getting a Honda CRF230L which is even smaller and probably will be easier for my wife.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
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If these are the original tires, shouldn't they be replaced? I don't know what the shelf life of rubber is or if it only depends on if they have dry rot. I was looking for a nice sherpa and couldn't find one around Boston at the time, so ended up getting a Honda CRF230L which is even smaller and probably will be easier for my wife.
Probably, yes. As I said before, I haven't ridden much. Once I start riding on the street (more so than up and down my street) I will have them replaced. I did inspect them, however, and they seem to be ok.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:51 AM   #14
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Had a little time in the shop tonight for a fun little project. I work midnight shift and being on this schedule affords me uninterrupted time (from the wife mainly :P) to work on stuff.

I saw a master cylinder guard the other day and thought it would be a cool to make. Should serve a purpose and be something fun to drink a beer and make. Welding is good for the soul.

Anyway, I started with some old chromoly v-twin pushrods. I had them lying around and as you know, chromoly is good at being light and strong:




Little cutting, bending, welding...add some flat stock:



Did a little test fit, function check, etc:



Everything looked good. Now for some paint. A little krylon for now. I have plans for some other parts. Once they are all done I will likely have then all powdercoated. But for now this will work just fine:



I worked out well and when all was said and done I bet it only weighed 4oz. or so. I did swap out the stock hardware for some 10mm head longer bolts. One of the things I will have to say is I hate the over abundance of Phillips headed fasteners on the bike. They strip out too easy so I likely will begin the process of swapping them out as I go for stainless hardware. Not sure what Kawasaki was thinking on that one except maybe ease of maintenance....at least they could've used higher grade hardware.

Thanks for looking. It was a fun little time waster...I'll have to see what I get the itch to make next.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:24 AM   #15
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Not much to report except that I bled the rear brakes. It's a good thing, the brake fluid was pretty dark and nasty. While I was at it I swapped the piece of hose to some nice braided stuff I had around and added some stainless worm drive clamps instead of those little springy clips.



I also decided I couldn't take it anymore with the chrome heat shields. I prepped them and hit them with some BBQ paint. Much better. I hate chrome.




I have some goodies coming in today, so I'll have some more interesting updates next time.
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