Project Bike Kawasaki EX500 + KLR

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by R'oli, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    I have an EX500 coming my way, I have heard a KLR 650 front end and rear end will strap right on, does anyone have any experience with this, or know where I could find out if this is true?:eek1:huh
    #1
  2. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    don't know if that is true. look up the KLE500 (available in Europe). it's the ds version using that engine as a base. it had different cams, etc to move the power band down. it was on my list to build one.... might still. it would be cool if there were bolt ons. can't imagine that it would be too hard to adapt something.... if it came to that the klr front end would not be 1st choice
    #2
  3. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Breezer,
    Only reason the KLR front end is I may have one available.

    It will be a Frankenbike, I don't want to spend a tonne of money or I'd go buy something else.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    #3
  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    Ricor valves in the klr forks work wonders.... I have 'em in mine. if I was going from scratch I might choose something better, but if you already have them they can be made decent. I have many years on klr's, contact me if you go that way, there are a couple tricks even if you stay stock
    #4
  5. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Breezer,
    that would be great, picking up the EX this week and awaiting reply from KLR owner, engine blown and wants to part it out. But if there are other options I am interested in hearing all you have to contribute. I don't want to buy the KLR parts if they are not a fit, require extensive mods, or there are better options.
    #5
  6. dbarale

    dbarale Squiddly slow

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    Fitting the EX engine in the KLR frame would make a pretty good ADV bike...
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  7. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Internal of tank is in bad condition, any suggestions on liner products?
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  8. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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  9. ban

    ban Adventurer

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  10. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    there is also the kle 500 that the rest of the world gets ,a quick check on the net brought up only an italian forums site but many reviews and comments like"how come my kle500 handles better than my gs.?"
    a high end builder uses that engine for their RTW bike.
    #10
  11. dakman74

    dakman74 moto-butcher expert

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    http://www.kbs-coatings.com/tank-sealers.html

    Not a one-step and done type of thing, but the kit comes complete with the cleaner, rust-converter, and sealer, plus instructions and tips on how to do it properly. The hardest part for me was the sealing process since my tank didn't allow for drainage of the excess sealant so I had to spend about 4 hours of going out at different intervals and rolling the sealant around until it stopped flowing.

    It should be cured today, and from what I've seen so far, it's looking like it's gonna last. I've read on other forums and have heard from hotrodders and Jeepers that this stuff works a LOT better with high-ethanol content fuels than some of the other products.

    http://www.hirschauto.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ARK-01

    Some have used those on tanks, but I've heard that because it dries so hard that with vibration it tends to break up.

    http://damonq.com/Red-Kote.html

    More guys swear by that one, and supposedly it remains flexible like the KBS coating. The downside is having to order the cleaner, converter, etc. separate...at least when I was looking at it.

    My 3.1415729 cents
    #11
  12. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    my 7 gal tank under construction....


    [​IMG]



    finished


    [​IMG]


    I welded & brazed every pinhole I could find but when I sloshed it with POR15 it still weeped out pinholes in a couple places. but it don't leak after the por. I don't remember when I did this but at least 6 years now. I did a kz1300 2 years before that & it was still good last I saw of it 3 years ago. all told I've por'd 4 tanks. I use it again.
    #12
  13. dakman74

    dakman74 moto-butcher expert

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    Just out of curiosity, any idea how much ethanol in the fuel around where you live? I'm curious because here at 7000 ft they put in close to the 10% max (E10) and I've heard of a few guys with Jeeps having issues with the POR softening up and coming loose, clogging the fuel pumps and such. I still use the products for high-temp coatings (I have some stock AMC V8 manifolds I'm about to install on my CJ5 that I just finished PORing).

    http://www.por15.com/US-STANDARD-TANK-SEALER/productinfo/TSG/

    Just found this...so makes me wonder if they guys were using older versions of POR15. :-S
    #13
  14. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    Either older versions, or improper prep work.
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  15. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Por 15 seems to be the product of choice. going to try electrolysis method to remove majority of rust first. boys at work say "use coca cola; it will work faster"...thoughts?
    #15
  16. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

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  17. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    After cleaning a rusty tank with water and drywall nails, I tried the electrolysis method of removing rust today, it seemed to work well; the inside of tank is now covered in black scale. The amp meter read 10A when battery charger was connected but within minutes it dropped to 4A, and down to 2A within 10 minutes. I used 1 1/2 cups of swimming pool PH+ (sodium Carbonate powder mixed with water). I must have cleaned the anode 10 times, and changed the solution once.
    Not sure if I should continue the process, what should the inside of the tank look like when job is done to the extent required??
    #17
  18. Lizrdbrth

    Lizrdbrth Wackjob

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    I started one of these a long time ago, got injured, then healed and haven't yet got back to it. I slapped KLR forks on it and made one "proof of concept" run at 100 mph on it.

    There's a thread floating around on here somewhere in which a few of us were building and learning simutaneously. Most of the pics are probably gone by now. Nuclieye and TonyMoore built less ambitious versions using mostly EX500 components and they seemed to work fairly well.

    If I were to do it over again I'd probably take the opposite route from the one you've planned. Find some knobbies in the proper sizes and ride-as-you-bulid as they did rather than going all out from the git. Change the footpeg and riding positions, kickstand layout, exhaust, adapt the EX upper triple to conventional bars and work out handlebar heights, ditch or work out less breakable plastics, get the gearing spot on, get some kind of sump protection and do all the little sniggling things over time, then work on longer legs. I coulda been having some fun on the thing instead of parking it til I could find the time to perfect it. Just my .02. Prolly would have been real giggle on fire roads and been a decent road-biased dualsport tourer in the bargain, meanwhile.

    Think "streetfighter, with knobbies". At least initially.

    I still think it's a worthwhile project. Like you I went with the KLR front end because I had one on hand. It's a "good enough" solution in most ways, but there are a few engineering difficulties to be overcome.

    Bear in mind that your new creation will be a boatload qicker and faster than any KLR (and nearly as heavy) and the KLR front brake is dubious, at best.

    The KLR front end is more or less a bolt-on, but I remember that it was a minor hassle finding one of the tapered bearings in the correct size. Think it was the upper bearing.

    The fork tubes will kiss the very top front seam of the tank long before reaching full lock, so this will need to be dealt with immediately or you'll have no steering.. I intended to weld 2 circular clearance notches in the forward edge of the tank. USD forks are gunna be much more hassle and maybe nearly impossible in terms of clearance due to that huge wedge of frame aft the steering head. Most dualsport triples don't have nearly the offset that the EX triples have.

    You'll need new steering stops.

    KLR rear wheels and disc brakes bolt right into the EX swingarm, and vice-versa. IIRC I used a combo of EX250 rocker and EX500 links to get the height right to match the front with the stock EX500 shock arrangement. Rode like a rock, but the height was right and I reckon I'll work out the rest later.

    Anyway, I'm about two projects away from resuming work on mine and will be watching your progress.

    For those of you contemplating going the other direction and installing the EX motor into the KLR frame, I've tried that, too. Not worth doing, IMO. I've already hacked up a perfectly good KLR frame so you don't gotta. lol.

    The rear mounts are fairly easy. A couple of the rear mount bolt spacings are similar enough for easy mockup and front sprocket falls in the right place ahead of the swingarm pivot, but that's where the joy ends. The EX motor's front wounting points are substatially diiferent and more problematic and the motor is deceptively longer, wider (in all the wrong places) taller and hangs lower relative to the KLR motor in addition to being about 40 lbs. heavier. Among other things you'll have to cut out the entire engine cradle and move the front downtube forward several inches. Once you get it into the frame you'll have to remove the engine to adjust the valves. and when you get finished you'll have about the same ground clearance as a lifted EX, the right carb will suck the paint off your shock spring, the tank won't clear the heads, etc., etc.

    Dirtifying an EX is much easier in the long run.
    #18
  19. R'oli

    R'oli Been here awhile

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    Thank for your post Lizrdbrth.
    My first step, before I do any mods is
    to get it running reliably.
    Cleaned carbs and it fired up the other day.
    still lots to do just going over the unit before the serious
    work starts.
    #19
  20. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    ya.... good post. this one is still on my list. also, I have put USD forks on a KLR & it limits steering lock on that bike too... thats the main reason I tell people to go to the Ricor valve on klr forks. no loss of steering ability
    #20