How to make a KLR 650 more roadworthy on a budget?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by CHAPIN, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    I own a 1997 KLR 650 which will be my youngest son do it all bike in a few months when he is old enough to get his license. My son has been riding dirt roads and trails for over four years, competing on enduro races, so even though he is not new to motorcycles he is new to the tarmac. I have taken him to riding lessons and he even did a trackday on a F800GS, this bike belongs to one of his older brothers.

    After the long intro let me ask you guys what would you do to make the KLR more road worthy with a budget of $1,000? I'm not going cheap on him but he already owns two dirt bikes so his "allowance" has been spent on those bikes.

    I ride the KLR almost daily and find that the bike DIVES hard under braking, rear shock needs to be replaced too I would guess. Tyres are taken care of as I have a set ok Anakees waiting for him, running more dirt oriented Dunlops at the time. Crash bars already on the bike, auxiliary lights for conspicuity already installed, handguards and Givi top case. Air horn already purchased but waiting to be installed, I consider a loud horn a must so I bought the loudest Nautilius I could afford. I'm going cheap on the windscreen with a homemade hack. Oh, and he already owns all the safety gear I can strap on him, both for off and on road.

    Rides will be family group at a moderate pace in the twisties, notbthat the KLR can be riden at anything but moderate pace LOL!

    Any advise is welcomed! Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. Lakeguy556

    Lakeguy556 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Tyrone, PA
    How bout some new fork springs correct for his weight?. New rear shock

    Intiminators ^

    Fork Brace

    SS Front Brake line.

    Tank Bag

    That should about cover your budget
    #2
  3. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    Yup, thought about the items you mentioned. Any specific advice on what brand/models you could recomend?

    And forgot to mention the bike already has a tankbag and a nice little bag that attaches to the handlebar, convenient to store celphone, wallet, keys and any other small items one shouldn't carry inside the pants pockets while riding.

    Thanks for the input!
    #3
  4. rustynut2

    rustynut2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    illinois
    #4
  5. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    I'll look into that idea and will chek that website.

    Thanks!
    #5
  6. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,363
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Did you armor the wiring harness yet?

    That mod is almost free, and keeps one from walking home in the event the wiring harness fails....

    Get three different sizes of the plastic wire split sleeve stuff, keep it in place with zip ties and or hockey stick or baseball bat tape. Seems to hold better than elec. tape.

    Even the small bundles of 1-3 wires that run up to the backs of the gauges can fail from simply rubbing on plastic.

    Ask me how I know... :puke1

    In the end, from pulling the tank, fairing and plastics, you will know the bike well, and know that at least those bolts and fasteners have been checked recently and blue-loctited.

    Also, consider a sealed, no maint. glass mat DEKA battery that is not going to boil dry like the stock batt. is prone to. Also does not need to be vented, and can be tipped, etc., no acid will spill....

    Best 79$ i ever spent, mine two years old and running strong. Link is for source with FREE SHIPPING too:

    http://www.etx15l.com/
    #6
  7. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,867
    Besides the braided steel front brake line (already suggested), the oversize EBC front brake rotor is highly recommended. I'd vote for Galfer green brake pads, for their kindness to the rotor, although OEM pads stop well, and perhaps out-mile the Galfer greens.

    While additional stopping power is theoretically available from the larger rotor, its main advantage seems, in my experience, the additional modulation and control of braking intensity available, including faster response (no "squish" with the braided line).

    These brake upgrades will make the bike definitely more roadworthy and safer for your son, IMHO.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,363
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    I'm actually happy with the stoping ability of my 2009 KLR, I understand they made some changes.

    I do see the original post was in regard to a first gen.

    That's good to know about the improvements realized from the braided line and those brake pads mentioned... I am going to look at those improvement-mods for my 2009 at some point, I am at 20,000 miles.
    #8
  9. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,867
    I think Generation 2 KLR's have larger-diameter front rotors (although perhaps not as large as the EBC product), and two-piston (rather than single-piston) calipers.

    Improvements; however, I installed the EBC rotor, braided brake line, and Galfer green pads on the recommendation of my 2008-model (Generation 2) riding partner, who now has 41,000 miles on this setup. One squeeze of his brake lever was all I needed to convince me of the value of these upgrades.
    #9
  10. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,663
    Location:
    So. Oregon
    I would suggest Ricor Intimators for the front and see if they have anything for the rear. Maybe Racetech can do something for the rear?
    #10
  11. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,363
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA

    :D well stated!
    #11
  12. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    Excellent sugestion! I'll have my son do that, he is much more mechanically capable than me.
    #12
  13. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    You mean these things are actually supposed to stop when one pulls the lever? LOL!

    Being able to stop in the shortest distance possible is defenitelly something I put high on my list. Will shop around and see if there is still money left for the intiminators (I can't spell their name).

    I always tell my sons: if your car doesn't start you have a small problem, if your car wont stop then you have a BIG problem. Guess this applies even more so when motorcycles are involved.
    #13
  14. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    Will go as sugested with the fork if budget allows.

    For the shock I need something that is plug and play, can't send shock to get rebuilt as the cost of shipping will make a brand new shock a lot more appealing, being not in the US and I don't trust any of the local shops except for the one that do the ohlins which has a great service, but I don't have ohlins on this bike :D
    #14
  15. south

    south Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Florida
    Cogent Dynamics Moab Adventurer shock: $480 http://www.motocd.com/cd/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=3&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=59.

    Race Tech cartridge emulators #FEGV 3801: $145 from a number of online retailers--Google shopping is your friend.

    Happy Trails fork brace: $100 http://www.happy-trail.com/KLR650A/K-9-Fork-Brace-KLR650A.aspx

    That leaves about $250 for the oversize rotor and SS brake line--fresh fork oil and brake fluid is considered to be "off budget". :wink:

    With those upgrades and your Anakees, the KLR will rail on the streets :thumb--mine certainly does, although I went a slightly different route with regard to the front brake. And I'll recommend the EBC "Greens"/organic pads, especially when matched to the EBC oversize rotor. If you don't mind skimming through, you can check the KLR project thread in my sig to see these mods firsthand.
    #15
  16. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    I can stretch the budget a bit to include the oil or increase his chores until he pays up the difference :D

    I think that will make for a nice road handling KLR. Muchos thanks!
    #16
  17. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,663
    Location:
    So. Oregon
    I believe Racetech offers a rear shock assembly for that bike, but I might be wrong.
    #17
  18. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Guatemala, Central America
    Hmmmmmm... I want your bike! :D

    Wish I had 10% of your mechanical/ tooling abilities. I can write mean computer code though LOL!
    #18
  19. south

    south Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Florida
    I've been around enough actual/real welders and machinists to know that I'm absolutely not one of them, but thanks all the same. :thumb
    #19
  20. Gooch

    Gooch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    East of the river
    If you spring for the intiminators, be sure to go with the lighter fork oil, as directed. It may seem counter-intuitive given that you're trying to decrease "dive," but they're engineered to work with it. Heavier fork oil (normal stuff) will mute their effectiveness.
    #20