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Old 05-31-2014, 06:59 AM   #1
kevsta OP
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KLR 600 restoration / upgrade

Hi all. First post.

So I've had a good read through most of the stuff on the site that's applicable to me (2000 KTM 640LC Enduro & 1985 KLR 600) and got lots of tips but still looking for some inspiration. I've had the KLR since 2003 when I bought it in France, having just been restored the first time at that point, (see pic 1 - taken in 07 when the paint had started to crack a little)



It was my first big thumper and I loved it, I rode it around France for a few months then it came to the UK and got registered, then in 2007 came out to Spain where I am now, but in 2011 due to being taken away for a (fully paid for) "service" by a local "mechanic" ended up being dumped in a field to basically rot until 3 weeks ago when I finally went and got it. I actually found it over a year ago but it was so far past usable I couldnt even be bothered to go and get it until two weeks ago.

now it looks like this :(





I took the massively faded plastics off and am going to try to restore them like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJb5IPOx2l0 anyway, but think it will be getting all new bits to be honest.

I also have to admit that the delay is partially because a little while back I bought this beauty.



and it is obviously awesome and I fear that the old KLR will never feel quite the same again now, however, I also feel it is my duty to at least try, and put it back together nicely and a bit more modern.

was thinking maybe something like this (thats a green chain if my MSPaint skills dont make it obvious)



or perhaps this (green frame too)



but styling is obviously a little ways down the line just yet, I need to get it back to basically serviceable before that. and I'll be honest, I'd really only want to make it look like a KTM anyway now :) but in Kawa green and black, obviously. a KLRTM or KTMLR :)

So I have a few questions people may be able to advise on, and would really like pics anyone might know of other KLR 600's that have been done in a more modern style, for inspiration.

So, questions:

1. I noticed on the logbook, the frame number is KL600A but the engine number starts with KL250DE ? how can this be? Im pretty certain its the 600 engine, (not a 250) it has 564 (Q? cant make it out) at the bottom of the barrel. could the sidecase the number is stamped on be the same as a 250 and have been rebuilt many years back? its the only explanation I can think of that makes sense?

the guy in the Kawa shop also said that the frame number specified the bigger battery for electric start, it doesnt have a starter so there has obviously been an engine swap, prior to me buying it (for £500 in 2003) Also shows 33k miles on the clock, thats about when they blow usually isnt it?

2. Given that a) the front brake was always rubbish, b) now its truly history, needs new disc, pads, lines, and master cylinder ..rebuild at least c) the forks are a bit lame by modern standards, can I just put LC640 forks on it, along with wheel, brakes, fenders etc? ..looking at them it seems like it should be possible, and would obviously solve all these disparate things that need fixing and upgrading in one easy swoop.

3. Power wise, what can be done with these engines? there are kits for the 650s but Im not seeing much for the 600 engine? it already has a "Devil" aftermarket pipe on it and a bit of a crackle, can I upflow and upjet it like you can with the LC? (which I also need to do btw)

4. Styling-wise, I always preferred the high rear fenders on the KX500 than the KLR, does anybody know if these UFO (or others) "universal" mx style fenders will fit the KLR?

5. Tyres. it has Michelin Supermoto style now which have to go, I want something with aggressive motocross looks but still road legal (and safe) any recommendations? not going to do a lot of miles on it, so hard wearing doesnt come into it.

6. Rear suspension? it had a replacement unit in it just before it left the UK and has done maybe 2000 miles since then, but what are the popular upgrades at the back? will this work ok with a KTM front end as-is? or would the rates be wrong and unbalanced or something?

thanks for any / all help in advance, and especially so for any radical 600 project pics, I have (obviously) seen this one, and somehow doubt mine will be quite as shiny and nice as that :)

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=580558
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta View Post

So, questions:

2. Given that a) the front brake was always rubbish, b) now its truly history, needs new disc, pads, lines, and master cylinder ..rebuild at least c) the forks are a bit lame by modern standards, can I just put LC640 forks on it, along with wheel, brakes, fenders etc? ..looking at them it seems like it should be possible, and would obviously solve all these disparate things that need fixing and upgrading in one easy swoop.
so looking into this a bit more Fork-tube-diameter-crossover-chart I found out that the KLR forks are 38mm and (my) LC4 forks are 43mm

the stem head bearings are too different to work at:

KLR: Upper: 25 x 47 x 15 Lower: 28 x 52 x 16.5

KTM 29 x 50.3 x 15 Tapered Roller

but 43mm is also diameter forks are fitted (on a big long list of other kawas)

so if I were to fit a KX500 (or alternative) triple on there I should be able to slide the LC4 forks straight in with wheel and brakes attached? ..or could it be this isnt as easy as it sounds?

according to this http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=495335 KTM wheels / axles are all pretty much interchangeable if you're on the same fork size, so availability should be ok.

see http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KTM-lc4-64...item2a3db6f8d2



If I can just bolt a modern cutting edge front end onto it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta
3. Power wise, what can be done with these engines? there are kits for the 650s but Im not seeing much for the 600 engine? it already has a "Devil" aftermarket pipe on it and a bit of a crackle, can I upflow and upjet it like you can with the LC? (which I also need to do btw)
If anyone else is wondering about tuning airflow & jets I found this for the 650, but same principles should apply?

http://www.angelfire.com/mo/motormark/mikescarbmod.html (still up on Angelfire, so maybe best to print to PDF while you can) Picture of airbox cutout mod

Quote:
HI Mark, Want 20 % more power from your KLR ? I've found the key ingredients; Carb_ 42 pilot jet, 160 main, raise your stock needle with a .06 to .07 thousands washer. Remove the cap covering the air/fuel mixture screw, drill it out! Mine is set at approximately 1-1/2 turns out. While the carb is off, remove the intake screen in the boot between the air filter and the carb. Be sure to vacuum any screen remnants.

The screen is a restrictor. Cut the top of the air box, I used a 1 inch hole saw for the corners, sawed and filed the edges, finishing the edges with steel wool for a professional look. Stay within the radius of the air box top. Your cut-out should look like an "L". Leave your air box door on, your filter will stay cleaner longer. You should notice your temp drop to 1/4 hot or less, and no need for the choke unless it's really cold out.

Oh yea, with stock gearing, hold on. If you gas it in 1ST. up to 4000 to 5000 ,let off the gas then quickly grab full throttle, your front wheel will loft high into the air or you'll be on your tush watching your bike go down the street with out you. P.S. mileage is 48 mph. I've done three KLR's like this and everyone loves it.

kevsta screwed with this post 05-31-2014 at 04:22 PM
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:03 PM   #3
RFVC600R
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I like how the older KLRs look ahead of their time. Much better than the new KLRs

Another reason to not pay a mechanic.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RFVC600R View Post
I like how the older KLRs look ahead of their time. Much better than the new KLRs

Another reason to not pay a mechanic.
I've always thought that too. note "look ahead" though, not "were ahead" :)

but the KLR600 & the 640LC weigh almost exactly the same, so in theory if you could sort the suspension out and give it more punch you'd still have a half decent bike 30 years later.. we'll see
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:16 PM   #5
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That's the only place a newer bike has me beat. I need to modernize the suspension, or get a newer bike I bet those old KLRs are faster than the new ones.

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Old 05-31-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
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feels a bit odd to say, but all these years later the KTM doesnt feel that much faster than I remember the KLR being..

I mean dont get me wrong, it is faster, the delivery is way more brutal and it's higher geared so feels like it wants to stall in 2nd and 3rd where the KLR would pull hard and smooth from lower revs.

but I had the KLR showing 160kph a couple of times, although I doubt it was doing 100mph accurately, it wasnt a slouch by any means.

I had no trouble following big groups of bikers on 650s & BMWs through the windy bits of the Alps in 2003, for as long as I could deal with the wind buffeting anyway.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:31 AM   #7
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so I just bought this from a 91-96 KX 250 which I believe to be for the 43mm forks.



so now it should be just a matter of getting the middle shaft from the KLR into this upper and lower and any 43mm forks should slide right in there? I like the idea of using LC4 stuff because of the identical bike weight, but ultimately it could be Kawa or anything else suitable

On Friday the bike had a new battery and a carb cleanup, and after a lot of kicking and a little persuasion (fuel down the plug hole) she started up and ran fine, after 3 years dumped in a field rotting.

The front brake master has completely seized and the rear brake is currently a combination of ineffective and jammed on at the same time, but interestingly the clutch hadn't seized and she puttered around fine.

Im going to have to take a 2 stage approach with it I think, restore & get working what's there to start with, and swapping out for new bits as they arrive.

Now I just need to find a competent machine shop (in the land of Mañana) to merge these triples and a rear damaged LC4 to unbolt the forks and wheel out of
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:37 AM   #8
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so Ive been plodding along on this. I stripped her down to frame / engine only, as although eventually I do intend to rebuild the engine (overbore, Wossner piston) and get the frame painted / powder coated etc) -that will be all done in phase two while the LC4 suspension is fitted, this winter probably.

I soaked what was left in degreaser, jetwashed it all,then soaked it all in penetrating spray and left it for a few days while cleaning painting everything I took off of it. It actually cleaned up better than I thought it was going to.



as it always had a bit of a saggy rear end I wanted to wind the spring preload up to maximum while I had it to bits, and clean the swing arm up properly too so I pulled those



well, as far as this anyway, as this joint would not seem to come apart, but thankfully was the smoothest free-est moving of these, so I left it in here.



there's a bit of a lack of specialist tools where I live, so improvised spring compressors and pipe grips had to suffice, I managed to get about another inch of preload on the unit, then painted it.





then the new tyres turned up at the bike shop so we're in putting back together mode again now. the header pipe turned out to be stainless steel and polished up nicely (for a quick job) once I got all the crud off it.





it didnt all go back together smoothly, irritatingly I ruined one of the 2 needle races under the swing arm on reassembly, and the rubber swingarm chain guide also disintegrated on removal, so yesterday a big Kawa parts list order went in, for needle races, new uni trak pins plus everything else I need, like 140 main jet, 40 pilot, choke cable, various menial but mandatory bits, so this has now slowed me down a bit until these bits turn up, but there is plenty more to be getting on with, including what I suspect might end up becoming "Kevstas KLR fender mod" in the fullness of time :)

I moved and realigned it, because its hangy down road look has always offended my eye when compared to the KX bikes of the same generation, hence



upwards and backwards, both for lines, and to get rid of those unsightly lumps the toolbag used to live on.

I haven't cut the bottom of it to line up with the frame yet so its still easy to see the amount of tilt required to get that rear look





oh and I also got this lastnight, the collection of goodies for the winter project grows..


kevsta screwed with this post 06-12-2014 at 06:13 AM
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:23 AM   #9
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ps

anyone know what this is? spotted outside the bike shop yesterday, nice job done on it.





I couldnt run those K&N filters sans airbox on a primarily dirt/enduro bike could I?

looks nice like that though.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:41 AM   #10
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I predict your ktm forks aren't going to fit your kx triple clamps. Just go with kx forks, brakes and wheel. The kx steering stem might slide right into your klr.

The ktm shock might foul up your airbox situation because of its reservoir

header looks good
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:08 AM   #11
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I predict your ktm forks aren't going to fit your kx triple clamps. Just go with kx forks, brakes and wheel. The kx steering stem might slide right into your klr.
hey. thanks for chipping in. why wouldn't they fit if they're both 43mm forks?

you might have a point if the actual tube diameters arent the same and 43 is an internal measurement, Im not an expert and just making it up as I go along as you can see. I've located a good machine shop who can build & modify custom suspension, so was planning on acquiring another KLR stem as a donor, to allow me to always put the standard ones back on as a fallback if ever required.

I would consider KX shocks if LC4 ones wont work, but I'd rather make that work if possible to be honest. maybe a mating of KLR stem to KTM triples instead would be required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
The ktm shock might foul up your airbox situation because of its reservoir
:) thats why I was wondering about a smaller filter arrangement on the carb.

I know it can be done, on the rear at least, see http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=624084

and the closer I can make this feel to an LC4 the better

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
header looks good
gracias. I was advised by bike builder friends yesterday (these two https://www.facebook.com/RagBoneCustoms ) that it would polish up to a mirror finish if I kept going.. I will eventually..
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:47 PM   #12
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The 43 mm spec is for the inner tube outside diameter. The outer tube that is gripped by the triple clamp may or may not of similar diameter, even if both forks are "43 mm"

I did a dirt ninja with KTM 43 mm forks in YZ250 triple clamps. I had to use sleeves to make them fit right. Here is a recipe for you:

1. You need to start at the top and build your way down. I think all kawasakis use the same head bearings so your kx triple might bolt right in without shims or spacers or changing the stem.

2. Next get the forks bolted into the triples using sleeves or adapters if you are mixing Japanese with European.

3. Then get the wheel centered between the fork legs and adapt the axle diameter to the fork bottom.

4. adapt your caliper to match the disc diameter and location of the front wheel.

Crossbreeding issues: you are mating KYB triples to WP tubes. These tubes want a 20 mm axle and you have a 15 or 17mm axle. The forks want Brembo calipers set for a 300 or 320 mm brake disc, you have Nissin caliper for a 250 mm or ? brake disc. The KX triples want an axle length of ?mm and you have ?mm.

5. All these adapting issues melt away if you buy a whole front end: triples, forks, brakes, axle and wheel. Skip steps 2 through 4!

Here is details on KTM frontend into a ninja:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654184

And here is my klr600 franken bike with kx500 forks and "custom" airbox:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=956702
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:16 PM   #13
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thats great information thank you muchly.. and you have a franken KLR too.. :)
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:36 AM   #14
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still waiting on swing arm bits so cant tighten very much up yet but I decided to put the back wheel in to see how much change the spring pre load made and to see where she sits wrt to the rear fender change.

thats the height she sits at now, I bounced it up and down gently a couple of times and slid the stands in where she settled just to stop her tipping.

I like it. it looks like the back is higher even if its an illusion from the fender move, although she still sags noticeably when you sit on her.









I, er, also spanked eBay this morning for a load of goodies

amongst which were new sprockets, this is on stock 15:43 and was well suited for towns and suburban riding and leisurely touring, but I don't need it to go past 70mph here, ever really, I'd far rather have a fire breathing 3rd gear wheelie monster that will go up that rock face its currently parked in front of in first, so I've got a 13:45 replacement coming, and a 14 spare for in case its just too stupid low.

oh, and the awesome Orange conked out and wouldnt start yesterday afternoon 50m from the bike shop in town. seemed like fueling issues. hopefully.

I considered the 4 mile walk home but id just loaded my rucksack with 15kg of water and milk, so the bike shop got her in again (serviced there 6 weeks ago) and I got a lift home instead
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:57 AM   #15
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I predict your ktm forks aren't going to fit your kx triple clamps.
correct. the triples turned up yesterday and appear to be 52mm diameter.

my LC640 forks (WP43) are 50mm diameter at the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentvet View Post
The kx steering stem might slide right into your klr.
also correct to a point. the top bearing appears to be identical. these are the head bearing sizes according to here

KLR

Upper: 25 x 47 x 15
Lower: 28 x 52 x 16.5

KX

Upper: 25 x 47 x 15
Lower: 30 x 55 x 17

as far as I can measure (with it in place on the KLR) we seem to have a 30mm press fit shaft at the bottom of both triples though and similar length, the KX shaft is very slightly shorter.

other than that the Kawa bits havent turned up yet and the bike shop still haven't even looked at my LC yet.

kevsta screwed with this post 06-21-2014 at 01:16 AM
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