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Old 11-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #181
Canuman
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
I've own nothing but Kwaka's for 17 years... They've done me right & wrong, but I'm still wondering what Suzuki transmissions are like.
Suzuki DOES build great trannies. My '79 GS850 and the Wee are like buttah. What I'd really like to see is something like was attempted when Kaw slotted the EX500 motor into the KLR frame -- I forget the designating numbers, but a twin KLR.

From what I've read, Kaw's attempt wasn't a success, and didn't make it to the USA. However, if I ever had a Jay Leno budget, I'd take the motor and tranny from a V-strom 650 or a Versys, gear it down, pop it in a KLR frame, add the inverted forks from a KLX and throw a Moab on the back. With all the aftermarket available, one could have a pisscutter of a light adventure bike that would kick the snot out of practically anything on the current market. Pop on the big Safari tank and you'd be looking at huge range and high speed, with the capability for dirt thrown in.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:56 PM   #182
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The Parts Unlimited levers are cheap and work. For the cost of OEM, you can get several sets and keep some spares. About $14/ea, last time I bought them. Sunlines are good also.

We've installed several of the Moose Racing heated grip kits, and they work very well. You can fry bacon on them on high. They are almost too hot. A kit that allows you to use any grip is a boon, in my opinion. I'd avoid ones that come with a proprietary grips. While you are at it, buy a set of grips. If yours are OEM, there is a chance in hell of re-using them. Renthal dual-compound grips are fantastic.

I use the Western Power Sports guards on my bike, and have been pleased. They come all-in-one with guards, shields, and a mounting kit. Buy a tube of Loctite and use it! These are not take-no-prisoners guards, but are full loop and a decent value for the money. If you are hardcore and like to plow rocky soil with your bars, there are other options out there.
It's got progrips and barends on it right now. The Renthal ones look great, and at the price I don't see why not (though the color is a bit meh).

Do the Moose Racing ones have a knob or a toggle, I couldn't quite tell.

I certainly wouldn't claim to be hardcore, I've yet to try more dirt then the small dividers/grass islands in a local parking lot . I would however like to get onto some trails once I get my clutch straightened out (lever snapped when the bike was trucked to me), still works, but requires more attention than is really safe. How do those guards compare to the likes of Barkbusters or Acerbis?

Also, this might be stupid, but having seen so many levers marketed without specifying which bikes they work on I've gotta ask, are they all cross compatible? What are the differences between the expensive ones and the cheap ones?
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Adiventure View Post
It's got progrips and barends on it right now. The Renthal ones look great, and at the price I don't see why not (though the color is a bit meh).

Do the Moose Racing ones have a knob or a toggle, I couldn't quite tell.

I certainly wouldn't claim to be hardcore, I've yet to try more dirt then the small dividers/grass islands in a local parking lot . I would however like to get onto some trails once I get my clutch straightened out (lever snapped when the bike was trucked to me), still works, but requires more attention than is really safe. How do those guards compare to the likes of Barkbusters or Acerbis?

Also, this might be stupid, but having seen so many levers marketed without specifying which bikes they work on I've gotta ask, are they all cross compatible? What are the differences between the expensive ones and the cheap ones?
I assume you're talking about the heated grips in the first portion of your post. It's a rocker switch. Front position is high, mid is off, and rearwards is low. It's not as safe as a nuclear weapons trigger, but it works well enough. In some conditions, you may find your'e on when you should be off, but it's simple to detect. The rocker is low-profile, and easy to mount by drilling a small hole. Moose Racing hot grips are the goods.

The Western Powersports hand guards are fine, in my opinion. I try to keep my bike up (I'm a slightly older fella), but on the odd occasion it drops, I haven't broken anything. They offer less wind protection than some, but are a good value for the dollar. Search Motorcycle Superstore for them.

On the third front, almost everyone breaks a lever now and again. If you're not internet savvy, call into either MC Superstore or Bike Bandit and tell them you've bushed one. Some pretty lil' girl will get you the correct part for less than a twenty. There is no significant difference between Kaw factory and the cheap models. If you think you need something that pivots, folds, or sings opera, I suggest giving up your KLR. Pull there, kick there and it's in gear. If this doesn't work, pull out your credit card and buy something German -- or Austrian.

As to meh: you should be far to busy to look at the color of your frikkin' grips. If you want to be a poseur, drop your KLR in a ditch and stumble over to somewhere that will offer chrome. The Renthals work like Sunday, and I don't give a cold damn about the color. Mine are slimy/dirty, but what joy!
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
I assume you're talking about the heated grips in the first portion of your post. It's a rocker switch. Front position is high, mid is off, and rearwards is low. It's not as safe as a nuclear weapons trigger, but it works well enough. In some conditions, you may find your'e on when you should be off, but it's simple to detect. The rocker is low-profile, and easy to mount by drilling a small hole. Moose Racing hot grips are the goods.

The Western Powersports hand guards are fine, in my opinion. I try to keep my bike up (I'm and older fella), but on the odd occasion it drops, I haven't broken anything. They offer less wind protection than some, but are a good value for the dollar. Search Motorcycle Superstore for them.

On the third front, almost everyone breaks a lever now and again. If you're not internet savvy, call into either MC Superstore or Bike Bandit and tell them you've bushed one. Some pretty lil' girl will get you the correct part for less than a twenty. There is no significant difference between Kaw factory and the cheap models. If you think you need something that pivots, folds, or sings opera, I suggest giving up your KLR. Pull there, kick there and it's in gear. If this doesn't work, pull out your credit card and buy something German -- or Austrian.

As to meh: you should be far to busy to look at the color of your frikkin' grips. If you want to be a poseur, drop your KLR in a ditch and stumble over to somewhere that will offer chrome. The Renthals work like Sunday, and I don't give a cold damn about the color. Mine are slimy/dirty, but what joy!
Hah, I did buy the KLR, beauty wasn't exactly my first priority was it? I was just impressed by the puke colored kevlar dual compounds. I'm not really interested in something fancy and German, though I have liked many pretty Swedish things, I'm just trying to get an understanding of a market I have no experience in. My internet-fu is up to speed, but I've found the variety of options, and lack of specificity pretty confusing.

FWIW I've already ordered some cheap replacements, I'm just interested to know whether the expensive overly complicated parts would also work, or if I am just missing the subtle differences.

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:14 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
Suzuki DOES build great trannies. My '79 GS850 and the Wee are like buttah. What I'd really like to see is something like was attempted when Kaw slotted the EX500 motor into the KLR frame -- I forget the designating numbers, but a twin KLR.

From what I've read, Kaw's attempt wasn't a success, and didn't make it to the USA. However, if I ever had a Jay Leno budget, I'd take the motor and tranny from a V-strom 650 or a Versys, gear it down, pop it in a KLR frame, add the inverted forks from a KLX and throw a Moab on the back. With all the aftermarket available, one could have a pisscutter of a light adventure bike that would kick the snot out of practically anything on the current market. Pop on the big Safari tank and you'd be looking at huge range and high speed, with the capability for dirt thrown in.
You and I think a lot alike.

I'm not sure I want an older used one now, but back in the day I was pretty miffed that the Africa Twin was never sold in the United States.

Like you, I see a hole in the market (maybe not a gaping hole... not sure how many buyers there'd be) for a modern, smooth, higher-revving twin-cylinder of reasonable size (yeah, even an updated 500cc would be just fine for me (if I could even have a KLE500, I'd probably stop whining), but a 650 to 800 would be even better) in a true dual-sport configuration.

Sometimes I get to wondering about just how controlled the markets are here in the States... I'm tired of being played when it seems other countries get better products, for less, than we ever see.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:41 AM   #186
Murphy Slaw
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
You and I think a lot alike.

Like you, I see a hole in the market (maybe not a gaping hole... not sure how many buyers there'd be) for a modern, smooth, higher-revving twin-cylinder of reasonable size

Sometimes I get to wondering about just how controlled the markets are here in the States...
The cost of doing business in the U.S. is what's killing us. Too much red tape and too many people to grease,

It appears to be no accident.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:57 AM   #187
Canuman
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Originally Posted by Adiventure View Post
Hah, I did buy the KLR, beauty wasn't exactly my first priority was it? I was just impressed by the puke colored kevlar dual compounds. I'm not really interested in something fancy and German, though I have liked many pretty Swedish things, I'm just trying to get an understanding of a market I have no experience in. My internet-fu is up to speed, but I've found the variety of options, and lack of specificity pretty confusing.

FWIW I've already ordered some cheap replacements, I'm just interested to know whether the expensive overly complicated parts would also work, or if I am just missing the subtle differences.

Thanks
Didn't mean to be rude. I'm glad you realize that this is a bike to be ridden, not polished. IMHO, the puke color Renthal grips are great, but not very durable. If I were racing, I'd use 'em, but not otherwise. I have the medium compound gray/blue ones. They hold up very well, offer great hand-traction, and don't look like a wad of baby doo.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:33 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Mala Suerte View Post
.............................

Now I'm having trouble getting stock rings w/o having to buy a piston - evidently the rings have been discontinued and replaced w/ a ring that won't fit the stock piston. I may just have to go w/ either the 685 or 688 kit.
Kawasaki redesigned the piston and the rings are different, so you can't do it that way. I know. I tried too. What I did was to buy a Woessner piston and ring set. They come in stock size and are really well made. You can see the details in my rebuild thread here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699117

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Old 11-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
Didn't mean to be rude. I'm glad you realize that this is a bike to be ridden, not polished. IMHO, the puke color Renthal grips are great, but not very durable. If I were racing, I'd use 'em, but not otherwise. I have the medium compound gray/blue ones. They hold up very well, offer great hand-traction, and don't look like a wad of baby doo.
NP mate, thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:46 AM   #190
Canuman
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Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
The cost of doing business in the U.S. is what's killing us. Too much red tape and too many people to grease,

It appears to be no accident.
It pisses me off when I truck over the border to Canada (which has a tenth of our population) and see so many great bikes and cars that are unavailable here: the Canadian spec Honda Varadero, for example. Our neighbors up north pay a premium for their machines, but appear to ride the snot out of them for daily transport. They seem to be less concerned with flash than function. Their diesel Smart gets a reported 85 mpg. Our porked-up gas version gets half that.

And, as a demonstration of Canadian good sense, the KLR is a very popular machine. They recognize what works.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
Kawasaki redesigned the piston and the rings are different, so you can't do it that way. I know. I tried too. What I did was to buy a Woessner piston and ring set. They come in stock size and are really well made. You can see the details in my rebuild thread here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699117

Thanks for the info. I actually read about the Wossner piston and ring set and LA Sleeve in a four year old thread at KLRworld, but when I looked at LAsleeve's website, I couldn't find the piston/ring set, so I thought they discontinued it. Good to see they didn't. I read your thread, good info, I'm surprised how much lighter the Wossner combo is - must do wonders to reduce vibrations.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the Wossner Piston/ring kit cost you? The new OEM piston/ring set I looked at cost $150 plus s+h.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #192
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Comforta-bum-ma-lizing KLR seats

Dual sport seats are unfortunately a compromise. They have to be. A big, wide, cushy throne may be great on the road, but gets in the way when things take on the gnarl. That's why dirt bike seats are skinny and hard, and trials seats go away altogether. A lot of this has been covered elsewhere, but I thought it might be useful to put it in this thread.

The KLR seat is no bed of nails, but it's not a Barcalounger either.

One can spend any amount of money on a custom seat, and new foam and cover kits appear to start in the $150 range. As KLR owners are noted for their (ahem) highly honed sense of value, what can be done on the cheap to make the hindquarters happy?

The three strap-on options I've tried are these:

First is the $17 Stearns Comfort Ride Seat Protection, available at finer Mall-Warts everywhere. These are intended for ATV seats, but fit nicely on the KLR and offer almost full coverage. The top is a grippy fabric, the bottom is rubberized non-skid material. There's about 3/4"/18mm of molded foam with air channels. This prevents butt-stank. Three very secure web straps with quick-release buckles attach the pad. If you duct-tape the straps to the bottom of the seat pan, it can be taken on and off in a flash as conditions dictate. The pad wraps around the seat, which widens it out a bit. This adds to road comfort. It's not waterproof, but doesn't absorb much moisture on a wet day.

The red KLR in the center is sporting one, for lack of a better picture.



Alaska Leather sheepskins are a long-time ADV favorite. If you mention "deadsheep," they'll give you the secret ADV discount. These are nice if you want a bit of padding and something to allow a little air circulation. Ask for the front strap (otherwise the thing flaps up when standing.) Get an additional center strap or two so you can swap it across the stable, and duct-tape one to the KLR seat pan. They stash pretty small when not in use. When yours gets filthy, just throw it in the wash -- cold water and gentle cycle with plenty of fabric softener -- and put it on a towel to dry. They last practically forever if taken care of. Here's one on a frost-covered Wee. It certainly lessens the shock of sitting on a frozen gel seat.

The big disadvantage of these is they soak up water in the rain and take a long time to dry.



The last strap-on comfy device is expensive, and takes getting used to. It's the original Airhawk seat pad -- the one made of neoprene. The cheaper PVC version isn't as good. I found mine for about $120 on sale. It's significant investment, but it goes on every bike I own on long tours. It's certainly NOT off-road capable. The fastening straps appear to have been stolen from a lady's lacy underthings. The straps frankly suck, and tend to come loose at the worst possible moment. If you spend a few bucks on cord locks and a yard or so of 3mm round elastic cord, you can engineer a much more secure system. This is the best pad I've found to prevent butt-burn for long days in the saddle. Airhawk manufactures hospital beds, and the technology was developed to prevent bed sores in patients. It works. It's kind of strange and squishy initially, but you'll notice that after a twelve-hour day in the saddle you can still walk, and the wedding tackle feels remarkably OK. It's not a sponge in the wet.

Again, not the best pic, but my Kwak is sporting the Airhawk here:

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Canuman screwed with this post 11-27-2011 at 06:16 PM
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:54 PM   #193
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I have the walmart pad, now with a coleman label on it, and it works fine for shorter rides. For longer rides, the airhawk goes on. I agree, it is the best pad that I have found. The only reason it does not stay on all the time is that it is easy to steal.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:16 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by IDRIDR View Post
Let's talk suspension mods. Who's done them, what have you done, why, and what/where do you ride?

Me? Just picked up a 2006KLR650 with 10K miles. Don't know much about it yet. Looks pretty stock. I weigh 200# and will be riding street, gravel, FS roads, desert, single track, goat trails, etc with and without gear for camping out. Wherever I can manage to take it. Idaho is a DS rider's mecca and I have the need to make the most of it. Suspension mods on my '06KLX250 made a huge difference in off-road rideability. Is the KLR similar? It's not clear to me because so many don't seem to do much if anything.

What are your thoughts on fork springs? Flat rate or progressive? Are heavier springs even needed?
Emulators vs. Intiminators? I've hear rumor that progressive suspension is going to release a complete cartridge replacement system for the forks, but it's not listed on their site yet.

What about the rear? Who's done the 465?
I put the Eibach Springs and Cogent Moab rear shock on the bike and it doesn't bottom out anymore (unless I really drill some good undulating terrain). I had the manufacter make it to accomodate my weight with gear (about 210lbs kitted up) and Pelican cases and Pack Rat frame. Bike is noticably better (cost about $700.00 for both) but the best fix was raising the handlebars 2.7" inches with a combination of 2" ROX risers and .7" Eagle Mike riser. Of course I had to go with new cables from Motion Pro (both clutch and throttle) as they pulled at their left and right limits. Front brake hose was just long enough. The ergo adjustments allowed me to stand more comfortably especially on uphill climbs. That mod with the suspension made my 08 KLR much more capable offroad. Since I had the Cee Bailey extended windscreen I had to cut and sand the plexiglass to fit the handlebars at their left and right limits--all good now.

Below is a link to a RR a buddy and I posted on our ride through Idaho (McGruder/Lolo) and CDT. Will give you a better idea of how the KLR handled, pros and cons of hard luggage, and other mods done to the bike.


http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=Chief+Joseph

Aces 6 screwed with this post 11-27-2011 at 08:28 PM
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:43 AM   #195
Ragin Rabbi
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I did (am doing? forks are mounted, just not "prettied" up yet) the YZ426 Forks/wheel/brake and the MOAB shock. Night, day.

Awesome set up, and not too much money, we are talking suspension after all.

About $300.00 for the front? About $600.00 for the rear? Not sure of exact price, I blocked some of the "ouch" out.

The Yamaha front brake was a twin piston set up, so I kept it. I figured it was better then the stock front brake.

Now, just need to clean up the "dash" (read, make one) to mount ignition and Vapor, and get new fork seals put in, and I am done.
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