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

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

  1. East Coast Rider

    East Coast Rider Just Me...

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    This is exactly what I did......plus a 16 tooth front sprocket. :thumb
    #21
  2. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    Good advise, I would have gone with heavier oil. What do you yhink of using ATF? I just had that thought.
    #22
  3. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    Got the shock, emulators, SS lines. Still got some $ left to try and get the thing to stop properly, might have to go a bit over budget.

    Anyone tried the gel seat? It's a Do it yourself kit. Or should I make the kid work harder and wait till he can afford a proper corbin or something similar?

    I'm at bay on the front sprocket "upgrade" still want the thing to be able to wheelie! :evil It's a dualsport after all, never know when lifting the front end can be needed.

    We don't have high speed highways around here, well a couple of them but we avoid riding them so I rather have a bit more low end punch than a few less revs at top gear. Pothole filled twisties is the game around here.
    #23
  4. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    A week ago my youngest kid turned 16 so next monday he was going to take his license test but he crashed on his enduro bike today. Dislocated shoulder and broken wrist. No license for at least 6 more weeks. Guess I get to play with the KLR for a bit longer.

    I know, I know... Asshat dad and all that.

    Hector
    #24
  5. beemerjim

    beemerjim Been here awhile

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    I'd look a cheap topcase (JC Whitney or the like) to keep your stuff locked and out of the weather.
    Seat Concepts seat foam & cover (about $150) will make a big difference


    JIm



    .
    #25
  6. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    fork dive can be at least partially cured by proper servicing. at local tech days I have done maybe 3 dozen sets of Gen 1 forks... NONE had even the minimum oil per the manual. the dealers don't put enough in.... one was 200cc low per leg. anyway, the ORIGINAL oil level is 170mm. remove the springs, collapse the fork, fill until 170mm from the top. the book says 190 for later Gen 1, but 165-170 works great. trim with 10 psi air if you want a slight bit stiffer. more oil reduces the air column... thats where the dive comes from. stick with 10 wt oil, I use ATF.

    as for the Ricors... YES, when you can afford them... way good. don't waste money buying springs... go straight to the Ricor valve, they work fine with stock springs. the oil level on Ricors is set to 40mm with 5 wt oil. thats what I have on mine. I use a 50/50 mix of ATF and Marvel Mystery Oil. after doing some flow tests that mix is the same as Belray 5 wt but a hell of a lot cheaper than $20 a can

    fork brace is good. get the Eagle Mike so you can lower the fender

    be sure the doo is done
    #26
  7. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    Ricor Intiminators
    Ricor IAS shock or CD Moab shock
    16t front sprocket
    Shinko 705s front and rear
    Cargo of preference (I prefer tank panniers over a tank bag, etc.)
    Adjust the mixture screw on the carb if you haven't already, and re-jet if necessary (lean factory settings)
    #27
  8. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    I had a small Givi top box that I reused on the KLR. The first farkle on any bike I have owned is always a top box. Good tip. Thanks.

    Hector
    #28
  9. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    I didn't installed the ricors and went with racetech springs... I'll try and get the ricors but I have been expanding the budget for this project a bit more than planned.

    The bike developed this little problem this past week where the forks are compressing unevenly, the right tube dives faster and deeper.

    Hector
    #29
  10. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking about the tires. Shinkos are not available locally. I imported a set of anakee 2 that have not been installed yet. I'm wondering if I should go with IRC GPs instead since I just found out on friday that they are in stock locally.

    Hector
    #30
  11. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    i would try and loose as much weight from the bike so if he was ever droped it then it be less of a pain to get it back up.

    you can ride a 650cc bike at 16 in the usa? in the uk you are stuck on a 50cc bike til you pass a big test at 17+
    #31
  12. The Stew

    The Stew Why not Zoidberg?

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    Yeah there are no limits in the US. On an thumper 650cc is alright to me as the KLR was my first bike and I still ride it every chance I get. I could see how a 650cc racing type bike should be restricted but I digress, we live in the land of a sorta freeand I dont want the government involved in that stuff. Darwins law and all.

    On a side note - I always wonder why people say the KLR is hard to pick up after a biff even when its not fully loaded. Just use your knees! Its only like what? 500lb? I've never ever had a problem picking mine up.
    #32
  13. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    I don't live in the US, I did lived there for four years about a decade ago though. But it's the same here, as soon as you can get a license at age 16 you are allowed to ride you dad's hayabusa if you get a hold of the keys.

    Hector
    #33
  14. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    I don't see where I can shed weight off the bike, nothing that would make a big difference at least The kid is in good shape, he picks up his enduro bike 250 times each time he rides and calls that fun! :norton

    Any ideas on how to make the thing a bit less porky?

    Hector
    #34
  15. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    The KLR is a heavy beast and there seems to be very little you can do except major surgery. I bought a project KLR with the idea of making it lighter and more dirt worthy, so here's some random ideas and observations.

    The KLR is really heavy and most of the extra poundage is in the engine itself. No easy fix for that one.

    The frame is lightly built. Too lightly built and is prone to cracking under extreme use. It needs some reinforcement in some key areas, but then the sub frame is overbuilt. I'm sure it was designed that way for heavy carry loads. You could try to substitute a KLR600 aluminum sub frame to save some weight. However, I don't know if the attachment points line up. And, speaking of attachment points, there are a ton of brackets that are welded to the frame and sub frame that could be cut off to save some weight.

    The rear wheel is very heavy. It uses a cush drive, so you could maybe find a dirt bike (KX?) wheel and substitute it and save some good amount of weight there.

    The rear tail light assembly is very heavy and overbuilt. I switched that out for an MX rear fender with an LED light assembly. That switch alone saved between 4-5 lbs and the LED lights are far better than stock.

    As to the lighting, the front light and instrument assembly are also very heavy. I switched the entire front end and grafted a YZ125 front end and switched to a TT Vapor speedo. Again, that probably shaved about another 4-5 lbs off and gave a HUGE improvement to the suspension and braking at the same time.

    The stock muffler and head pipe are heavy. Aftermarket units will save some weight and add some performance.

    The battery and airbox are very heavy. An easy way to save weight is change out the battery for one of those new Lith Ion or whatnot type batteries. You could also get rid of the airbox and go with an open Uni filter covered with a filter skin.

    The last weight savings I can see, but haven't done it yet, is Kawi uses heavy brackets to attach and organize the wiring harnesses, radiator overflow bottle and whatnot. Many of those could be jettisoned. You really don't even need an overflow bottle. Just put a higher pressure cap and check your water often.

    But, doing all that I suspect you'll be saving around 30-40 lbs at best. Of course, that's huge, but it is still going to be heavy compared to the competition. :deal
    #35
  16. Kentuckysurfer

    Kentuckysurfer retrojets

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    After almost getting killed on my KLR650 a few times in L.A. traffic due to the frightening stock, crappy front brakes, I decided to put something better on my 2 older KLRs. So, I picked up a DRZ400 entire front end off ebay for around $300 and at the time I also had a Yamaha WR426F front fork set with an oversize rotor sitting around, so I grafted the 2 fork sets on to the 2 different KLR650s I had. I tore the stock KLR front ends off, had new center spindles made at a machine shop, bolted the dirt bike fork sets onto the 2 different bikes, and lo and behold I had front brakes that REALLY hauled the bikes down at speed with much more forking action adjustments available...Of course I did have to make adapter plates to relocate the instrument panels, and I used the calipers from the donor dirt bikes, but the forks were awesome in the way the KLRs would now glide over the biggest holes I could find. I put German MEFO Adventure tires on and had bikes that rocked!. What a difference!... And I did this all while living in a 3rd world country way out in the provinces...it is possible to do if you get the parts from the USA and ship them to where you are. There are so many good parts available rather cheaply on ebay to experiment with bike mods such as these.... the KLR with the Yamaha forks was sold to a local guy who already had a 2010 Honda CBR1000RR, but he liked the way my modified KLR650 with the WR forks turned out so much he was still gushing about it a year later telling me what a great bike it was and how he rode it much more than his CBR.
    #36
  17. CHAPIN

    CHAPIN Been here awhile

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    To hell with the budget!

    I will end up over spending on this thing... But it's so much fun!!!

    Hector
    #37
  18. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    I had YZ forks on my KLR for about a year... pretty nice. The big USD tubes limit the lock (side to side) a bit though. after trying the Ricor valves, I put the stock forks back on with valves. that and a fork brace work wonders. steel brake line and good pads make the brake adequate... not great but ok.
    #38
  19. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Beezer is correct about the USD forks. I was looking for a DRZ400 set up, which I think is the best choice, but couldn't find one for a price that was acceptable. I did find a guy who was parting out a blown up Yammie in my area. I picked up the entire front end for $100. I then had a new steering stem machined out of aluminum for under another $100. So, for under $200 total investment, I got my new front end. :freaky
    #39