KLR 650 Modifications

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by VascoMerlin, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. VascoMerlin

    VascoMerlin He'll Stab Your Cat

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    Indian Mills, New Jersey
    This thread is to be about what everyone has done with their klr. Besides the basic things (like the doohickey) What makes yours unique? What farkles did you like?
    For example----
    progressive front fork springs
    new rear shock
    nerf bars
    highway bars
    different exhaust systems
    front fork bace
    stainless steel brake lines
    320 mm front rotor
    corbin seat (or any after-market seat)
    new handle bars
    different headlight
    new front fairing

    just anything you have worked on, did you like it, would you have done it differently?
    #1
  2. Chronus24

    Chronus24 Space cowboy

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Florida
    I think one of the best mods for the money was bar end vibration dampers. made a huge difference on the highway. Combined with a windshield-ectomy, it made high speed cruising infinately more tolerable.

    Knobs for the dirty stuff - They do better on the pavement than street tires to in the dirt. I got Kendas. me likes'em:evil

    Supertrapp exhaust - I like the reduced weight more than the "increased" power. I think it is just an increase in noise. It is about time to repack them anyway.

    Progressive springs - I don't weigh a real lot but they do make a difference. Not the first thing that needs to be done but if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, why not?

    Next I am going to do a Trailtech Vapor dashboard and HID lights.

    I believe the fork brace can do as much harm as good. I understand that it will definately change the handling of the bike, but I am not convinced that a KLR with stiffer forks is a better KLR. I would like to hear more opinions on this matter as I haven't ridden a KLR with the brace. Maybe I will fork(no pun intended) out the money just for an experiment.
    #2
  3. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    44,304
    Location:
    Salida, coloRADo
    Different footpegs. Something with teeth. I'm a poormofo so I put on pegs from a DR650. The best mod I've done. Now I can stand and ride in the dirt securely, wet or dry....
    #3
  4. DMZ

    DMZ Castor Bean Addict

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,134
    Location:
    NE Oregon
    I have not done any of the mods you listed. I made a few minor changes to my KLR, LED tail light, brighter headlight bulb, removed the cheapo handguards, replaced the grips, removed the ugly decals from the rad covers, moved the lic' plate up a bit and put a heat shield over the muffler. Everything else is stock save for the doo' and the air filter. That's about it and am completely happy with the current way I have the bike set up. Runs great all day, gets me home, no complaints.
    #4
  5. rick danger

    rick danger Off the wagon

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,010
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    Motarded it. I love this mod:clap
    #5
  6. rick danger

    rick danger Off the wagon

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,010
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    2
    #6
  7. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    28,728
    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    My biggest issue w/ my KLR is my hands (especially my right/throttle hand) going to sleep. Beyond the Doohickey, my mods have been:
    Renthal 666 bars
    Bar snake
    Meyer Deluxe Woods Pro hand guards (bars and plastic deflectors)
    Pro Grip Gel 714 grips
    Pelican 1450 "top case"
    and, of course, TKC80s - I think these tires were made for KLRs

    I can now go half an hour before my hands fall asleep instead of the five minutes I used to be good for. I'm hoping that carpul tunnel surgery will enable me to never need to deal with this nagging problem again. YMMV.
    #7
  8. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,395
    The great thing about this is everyone has different needs.

    Welded on metal pegs/ so they wouldn't break off anymore

    Added an extra radiator/ so when I mashed my fan from crashing, I still could finish the race.

    Air in forks/, great way to be able to jump mx doubles without bottoming!

    Chain guide(real one)/ anyone serious about offroading has this. Why doesn't bmw/ktm/suz/or kawa have them?

    fork brace/anyone who rides agressive has one

    rim locks/if you are in the rough, they are lifesavors, if you go where I go you have to have them

    K&N air filter/ great for water, lasts forever. have ridden about 10,000 miles including an national enduro, on the same filter service!!! Also have 82,000 miles on same filter! and bike!
    #8
  9. cmack

    cmack Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hmmm, KLR mods, I know a few things about those... As you'll see from my list, I've definitely leaned toward a more dirt oriented setup for the KLR. Most of what I've done, hasn't cost me much in terms of the KLR's road handling though. I bought the bike from a guy setting it up for a Baja trip that never happened. It's a 2004 model that had a lot of the aftermarket on it already, and only 1100 miles! I've now got just show of 3K on it and added a few things of my own.

    [​IMG]

    Here's my list:

    Progressive Rear Shock and Front Springs: Both can be had for under $400, and would be one of the first mods I would make to the KLR. The stock suspension on the KLR is adequate for highway and light trail, but is pretty horrible for the typical Advrider! Once setup properly, the Progressive setup makes the KLR much easier to whip through whoops, rock crawl, and jump. It also doesn't compromise the KLR's on-road handling! Let's face it, the KLR is never going to be a lightweight dirtbike, but with the proper suspension setup, there are very few places that I would feel uncomfortable taking it. As someone who has MX experience, it's still more capable than I am.

    IMS 7g tank and Dual Star Rad and Pump Guards: Fit and finish of the IMS out of the box leaves something to be desired, but the thickness of the plastic trumps any aftermarket tank I've seen. It offers superior protection for the radiator when used in conjunction with the rad and pump guards and is lighter than the stocker and/or nerf bars. It also can be polished up, making it much more attractive. In terms of range, I'm getting 300 miles to reserve, and another 20-30 miles thereafter.

    IMS Footpegs and shifter: I have the IMS superstock footpegs and aftermarket shifter. Both are much better than their stock counterparts. The pegs offer more bite and a bigger surface. The shifter is beefier, offers better case protection (welded on protector), and is a bit longer.

    Bigcee Shark Fin: They don't make it anymore, but it's a quality piece and does a great job protecting the rear disk. I've banged it off several large rocks, and it doesn't flinch!

    Dual Star rear brake mount and master cylinder protector: More ruggedized for those inclined to venture well off the beaten path. Both have proven themselves worthy in all sorts of terrain.

    Dual Star pannier rack: I'm not sure if they're still making this, put it has proven to be very rugged indeed. I rolled my bike down a steep embankment, and the rack took the bulk of the trauma. The paint had some chips and scratches, but no indication of bending or any tweaks to speak of. It literally protected the whole rear end of my bike from any damage whatsoever! Aside from the protection element, it also offers a very nice mount for my Givi luggage, which I've also been happy with.

    Acrylic/Lexan Light guard: I have one of the thick acrylic/lexan headlight guards, and it works surprisingly well, and is pretty cheap (around $10 shipped). I'll eventually need to order another, so you might want to order 2 to start with. A little Novus 3 step plastic polish cleans it up nicely with no visual distortions, and I'm guessing I'll get at least a years worth of heavy off-roading out of one of them before it's time to repalce it. I think this is a better alternative to the wire type protectors which would work well in terms of rocks, but impede the light, and may actually cause more damage than protection if they bent inward during a crash.

    Aftermarket mirror mounts and turn signals: These are essential to any true dual-sporter! I've cracked an aftermarket mirror mount already, and it's much easier and cheaper to replace a $15 mount than a whole handswitch assembly! Same for the turn signals. The stockers are bulky and expensive to replace. Either cut them down, remount them, or go aftermarket. The KLR stockers are 23W so you may need to replace the flasher relay if you go aftermarket.

    Moose Bark Busters and Skid Plate: Truly essential off-road items. They're worth their weight in gold in terms of protection for your bike and your body. I can't tell you how many times I've deflected my bark busters off trees in single track, or laid the bike down gently which would have otherwise resulted in broken levers. The skid plate also has taken it's fair share of heavy duty scrapes from rocks. If you're going to stick with the stocker, at very least, get a low profile magnetic drain plug or your asking for some costly repairs!

    Protaper ATV high bend SE bars - A lot of people go for the mid-bend which is closer to the stock bar bend. Personally, I like the high bend better, because it's more relaxed and a better fit when I'm in attack mode (standing) for jumps or technical trail riding. Combined with the bark busters, they are nearly impossible to bend, and also take care of a lot of the vibration from the thumper engine as well.

    Corbin Dished Seat - I've never ridden with the stocker, but I really like the Corbin Dished. Even if you don't need the extra lowering due to an inseam of more than 32", it's nice because it has a narrower dirt bike feel at the front, and added support in the back. It's on the firm side, but lightyears ahead of the stocker, and can easily accomodate 500 mile days.

    Scottoiler - Not sure I'd pay the $150 for it (on the bike at purchase), but it is EXTREMELY convenient. It weighs practically nothing, and it's held up to trail abuse better than I thought it would as well. Overall, it gets a thumbs up for everything other than price.

    Clearview +4 Windshield: It was on the bike when I bought it, and was the first thing I took off and sold. If you're 5'8" - 6'0", get something bigger or smaller... You will get terrible buffeting with this thing! The stocker is a better overall compromise, and won't take your head off when bouncing around off-road.

    Upgraded Sub-frame bolts, rear brake mount bolts, etc. - The heavy duty bolts are cheap protection. Consider them preventative maintenance.

    T-mod: Anybody who has ridden in heavy rain or water crossings knows this is an essential mod.

    Odyssey Battery: A little on the heavy side, but I still recommend the PC545, since it's light years ahead of any other battery out there in terms of specs. and quality. Battery power is not something I want to compromise on.

    Carb Mods: Thumb pilot screw is very nice to have at $15! It lets you adjust for altitude as necessary on the fly. Rather than go with a Dynojet needle, I'm running the shimmed stocker (2 - #4 washers) and the slide drilled to 7/64. In conjunction with the L-mod or 1" holes in the airbox, this mod really wakes up the KLR's powerband. I haven't gone aftermarket pipe yet, due to cost and not much reported real world improvement based on other's dyno runs. Eventually when my stocker gives up the ghost, I'll buy either the Pro Circuit or FMF Q2. I'm partial to the off-road style, and they both salvage the Spark Arrestor for USFS roads.

    14T CS gear: The 14T is a must for off-roading. It costs you about 500rpms (higher) at cruising speeds, but makes the bike very much more rideable in the lower gears. It will also make the bike a wheelie machine :evil if you're so inclined... If you go with the Arrowhead CS nut, you can also carry the stock 15T with you for prolonged highway rides, and it makes changing sprockets a 15 minute affair.

    Home Depot Welding Rod Tool Tube: This is one of the best $10 mods out there. It's rugged, and offers just the right amount of space you need to get all of the essential off-road tools into a single compartment.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff... but whatever I've missed, I'm sure someone elese will cover.
    #9
  10. cmack

    cmack Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    407
    Location:
    Georgia
    Oh, and for those wondering about the stock tires.... Yes, they do suck off-road... especially in loose dirt, mud, and wet Georgia clay! I've got a set of new tires and rim locks which I'm getting ready to spoon on this weekend. I went with a K270 rear and a CS858 front. It seems to be an all around decent compromise. I'll post some impressions after I get some miles on them.
    #10
  11. VascoMerlin

    VascoMerlin He'll Stab Your Cat

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    Indian Mills, New Jersey

    When you put your new pipe on did you re-jet the carb? Has anyone for that fact? Does it make a big difference or can you do damage if you don't?
    #11
  12. rick danger

    rick danger Off the wagon

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,010
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    You should re-jet . I put in a dynojet kit. It worked great. I dont think it'll do any damage unless you beat the shit out of it in its probably way lean condition, but it will pop on decel and not have the power it could
    #12
  13. TomN

    TomN Long timer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,510
    Location:
    Chalfont, PA
    Crampbuster - for the throttle, very nice

    Rad guard - have not needed it yet

    Centerstand - Like it a lot, comes in handy of working on the bike

    Got a +4 shield which is nice but only works if I have a tankbag on, otherwise the wind beats the heck out of my head

    LED Taillight - Nice and bright, I love it

    Got a muffler cover for soft bags but it was too small, I just got the bigger cage deal that covers the sides, have not tried them yet though.
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,519
    Location:
    Toronto
    :drif :drif :drif

    :bow :bow :bow

    Absolutely outstanding.. the best looking KLR I've ever seen!

    :thumb
    #14
  15. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,519
    Location:
    Toronto
    My KLR mods, yes, I went overboard:

    - Magura hydraulic clutch
    - IMS 6.6 gallon tank
    - Scottoiler
    - Progressive fork springs
    - Rick Mayer custom saddle
    - Alum skid plate
    - Happy Trail engine guard and pannier racks
    - Handlebar risers
    - 320 mm front brake rotor
    - Stainless steel brake lines
    - Big Cee's sport dashboard and rear brake rotor's shark fin
    - Side stand large foot
    - Security oil filler cap
    - Stainless steel washable oil filter
    - Brake! LED brake light and auxiliary running light
    - Stainless steel screws / bolts throughout: engine and body panels
    - Shock sock
    - Big Cee's rear subframe reinforcement kit
    - Heated grips
    - Kisan's headlight modulator
    - Kisan Chargeguard: Charger, voltmeter, ammeter, ambient temp thermometer
    - Accessory sockets for GPS and tire pump
    - Low vibration mirrors
    - Mirror pivots to fold down mirrors while riding on trails
    - Carb T- mod
    - Stainless steel footpegs
    - Doohickey
    - Maier bark busters and deluxe ATV plastic guards to protect hand levers
    - Fork brace
    - Choke relocation perch
    - Headlight assembly / turn signal replacement with push to cancel for turn signals and off position for headlight
    - Brake speed bleeders
    - All glass fuses replaced with ATO fuses
    - Stebel Nautilus airhorn
    - LED dash bulbs
    - Center stand
    - Fan relay bypass to turn fan on, on demand
    - Folding gear selector
    - Headlight protector

    and a few other things.... It's a commuter bike, it's a dual sport bike, it's used on trails, on streets and on highways... It's the Swiss Army knife of bikes and it doesn't bust the budget.
    #15
  16. rick danger

    rick danger Off the wagon

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,010
    Location:
    Oneonta, NY
    You coulda bought a whole nuther bike for the price of those goodies!:lol3 I mean Gadgets. I always wondered about the hydaulic clutch. Does it decrease the pull? Or just give a nicer feel? Or wasit the only thing left you didn't have?:rofl
    #16
  17. zeze

    zeze Ready to ROLL!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    North Alabama


    Danger, that bike looks awesome. Great freakin job, man....

    My first mod? Well within a week after I bought the 06, I left it running in the VERY slightly downhill driveway. Went inside to find some gloves, came back out it is on the left side, scuff marks in pavement, where it had vibrated and finally toppled over. I was crushed, but except for a few scratches on the hand guard, a scuff on the grip and the clutch lever has a really nice bend in it with the ball broken off, perfect for 3 fingering, no damage to tank or anything else. LOL, I love it. I need to file it down smooth though. Oh yeah long lasting as well. I have since dropped it in the dirt, and the mod made sure it didn't get broken again. lol, thank goodness no damage to the KLR, my ankle hurt like hell though, lol.

    Good luck and trip it up the way u want bro/sis. :freaky
    #17
  18. Oldrice

    Oldrice oldrice.com

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    531
    Location:
    Detroit - East Side
    So far, the mods to my own bike are;

    Relocating the license plate
    rear subframe upgrade (www.ArrowheadMotorsports.com)
    'T' or 'Y' mod to the carb vent line
    adjusted pilot screw - huge difference!
    160 main and 42 pilot - snorklectomy - reversed back to stock settings...still working on this one....
    replaced almost every piece of hardware with high grade stainless Allen heads - and blue or red loctite! (www.ArrowheadMotorsports.com)
    waterproofed as much of the wiring harness as I could - good thing too! (long story)
    added 12V power harness & Battery Tender Jr. harness (will be a sealed batt soon)
    inner fender flap to protect the rear shock from mud & debris
    Magnetic Drain Plug
    Doohickey - DONE! (www.ArrowheadMotorsports.com)
    MSR ATV Midrise Handlebars (I like these a lot)
    Doskocil rear box - like a Pelican 1500 - dovetailed easy mount system
    rear 12" LED brakelight
    Mobil 1 oil
    MEFO's - AWESOME TIRES! (www.ArrowheadMotorsports.com)
    Hella 3.5" aux lights - HIGH Beams! WOW!
    Braided Front Brake Line - Orange! from the great folks at www.cyclebrakes.com
    Fork Brace
    Headlight guard
    Front HP Engine Guard w/hiway pegs

    So far, that's it. I think. There may be one or two more but...?

    Oldrice-
    www.oldrice.com/KLR650.htm
    #18
  19. Chronus24

    Chronus24 Space cowboy

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Florida
    Yeah it has been rejetted. I had a good carb mechanic do his thing with it.
    #19
  20. moragabiker

    moragabiker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    On a dirt road
    I have a 2005 KLR. I've ridden it 18,000 miles in the last year, so I'm most interested in how to make the KLR comfortable to ride over long distances -- my best mod has been the Corbin "flat" seat. It allows me to do 400+ mile days in comfort.

    I also tried two other seats: the Corbin "dished" seat and a "gel" seat. I disliked both of them because the Corbin dished seat squished sensitive parts of my body and the gel seat was too soft after a few thousand miles.

    I've been using the Corbin flat seat for more than 10k miles, and I love it.
    #20