Sold my GSA and am back on a KLR !!!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by GAS GUY, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    My DDM Tuning, single bulb 35W HID kit ($25) gave me back 20W. Nice. But when I really NEED 100% from the Gerbing and grips, I switch off headlight.

    Illegal in CA, but no cop has EVER bothered about it here. At night I use a "real" Heat Troller for Gerbing jacket which is more sophisticated than a typical rheostat. It's some sort of Pulse Wave controller invented by the owner of Warm & Safe (now owned by First Gear). Really saves battery as it continually switches OFF and ON. Keeps jacket fairly warm, gives Stator a chance to charge up Batt. Seems to work well.

    For LONG night I have to lower Gerbing down to about 75%, grips set to Low. But if doing only an hour or three ... I can run at 100%, battery OK.

    The HID 35W kit seems to help and puts out 3 times the light over stock 55W H-4. Plug and play, $12 replacement bulb. Going on 3 years, still working perfect. :freaky
  2. KnowFear

    KnowFear Adventurer

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    This is the best KLR thread I've seen.

    I'm trying to decide between a new KLR, or a new 650 VStrom. One is more dirt and one is more road... I know all the major differences.

    Does anybody here have some experience with both of them? If so, can I get your thoughts on living with one vs the other?

    The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity. However, I really appreciate quality suspension so it seems that either bike will need suspension work to satisfy me. Thanks in advance.
  3. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    I'm glad you are enjoying the thread.
    What are you planning on doing with either bike, or what kind of riding and whats most important to you ?
    You really can't go wrong with the wee strom either, unless the klr really speaks to you.
    More than likely the wee will do more better of what you want, but it will cost more and be a little heavier.
    The wee has always appealed to me.
  4. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    They are very different bikes. Best to test ride both before making a decision. If you ride more than 50% off road I would go with the KLR.
    I owned 2 V-Stroms, an '02 and an '06. Both were DL1000's. But I rode with 2 guys on Wee Stroms (pics below) and we swapped bikes frequently.
    I know the Wee pretty well.

    I loved the Wee on a tight, twisty road ... and with knobbies on, it's better than the 1000 on dirt roads. The Wee has some power and smooth cruising over the KLR, but if you get into mud, deep sand, steep up or down dirt roads on the Wee ... you are in trouble. Trust me on this.

    In a strong headwind the Wee runs out of POOP ... and the MPG goes in the toilet. My V-Strom had no such issues. Wee and V stroms get blown around BADLY in gusty cross winds. The KLR is pretty stable, not affected like the Wee is, which can have you changing lanes suddenly. :eek1 Maybe the "new" adventure version is better in the Wind?
    [​IMG]
    Wee, KLR and my DL1000 in Copper Canyon, 2006
    [​IMG]
    One of three major tours into Baja and Mexico on my Vstrom. 90,000 combined.

    [​IMG]
    My first ride to Copper Canyon (2004) on the Vstrom. Here with friend Andy T who was headed to S. America on his KLR. He made it of course.

    On rough dirt roads on a loaded bike the KLR rules over the Wee. More fun, less stressful. The Wee will do it ... but you will work harder as a rider. I'm a retired AMA B enduro rider ... and it stressed me. I loved my Vstrom but was never 100% comfortable riding it off road. Not good in Mud or Deep sand ... but neither is the KLR .. but better than the Wee.

    The KLR is underpowered and needs suspension and better brakes. It's a blank canvas ... and you won't believe HOW MUCH BETTER it will get if you do all the right mods. The KLR is a "Slow Down, Smell The Roses" sort of bike. Once you adapt to it's pace and relax ... it's great. :thumb

    The Wee needs fewer fixes. It's tough as nails. The Wee pictured above was up to 65,000 mi. (with LOTS OF OFF ROAD) before my buddy sold it off.

    At about 50,000 miles you need to go through the WEE and replace ALL the bearings on the chassis and linkage arms: Swing Arm, Steering head, Link, and Wheel. It's gets loose and sloppy. The new bearings tighten things up, like a new bike again.

    Not sure about the KLR ... and how it ages with time, miles and hard use.
    I'm sure it's similar, especially if ridden fully loaded off road.
  5. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Why is the KLR (gen 1) stable in wind? (I don't mean to hijack the comparison, but hope we can have another parallel discussion.)

    There's a question in Trip Planning about riding in wind with top boxes. I was going to respond that it's not usually problem but decided that although I've been out when trees* were being blown over, maybe I just haven't experienced the right winds. I often have a top box on my KLR and only on the KLR.

    I also have two 500-lb Honda road bikes. They ought to be similar, right? The CB750 SOHC is stable and planted and precise. The CX500D gets blown around a lot more (the suspension is softer but not as soft as my stock KLR). Both these road bikes use the same soft luggage.

    So what gives? Is this a function of rake and trail and sail area at the front wheel? Looking at the KLR I'd immediately conclude: kite. I'd be wrong. Why?

    (Is this as bad as a countersteering thread?):hide

    * Fir trees may be stronger than balsa wood, but not by much.
  6. KnowFear

    KnowFear Adventurer

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    One or two trips per year with the following general mix of road:

    40% paved road
    40% graded dirt/gravel
    15% dirt/two-track
    5% single-track

    For the rest of the year, occasional around town usage, with the very occasional 100% paved weekend getaway.
  7. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The Klr would probably be the ticket for you,so long as you can live with some vibration and less power.

    ADV GRIFTER summed it up pretty well with this statement.
    The KLR is a "Slow Down, Smell The Roses" sort of bike. Once you adapt to it's pace and relax ... it's great. :thumb
  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I have no real answers on this. I believe geometry is more a factor than top bags or panniers. Certain bikes with certain Rake & Trail, offset, front to rear bias, just end up being sensitive to side wind gusts. The Vstrom is one of those bikes. The fix (sort of) was to lower fork tubes in the triples and add rear pre load.

    No idea why the KLR is more stable ... but it's not bad ... I can not tell you why for sure. Sure, luggage may have some affect ... but on the Vstrom even with NO luggage ... it will be blown all over the road.

    I ride in and around the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Serious, suddenly shifting and deadly cross wind gusts can literally blow you OFF the road. 70 to 80 MPH worst case.

    Neither my DR650 or my 1050 Triumph Tiger all that sensitive to such winds. Although recently in Baja a MAJOR storm had me in 70 mph winds that constantly changed direction and would go from Zero to 70 mph in an instant. I was fully loaded. Had to slow down to just 35 mph. Very scary. :eek1How windy was it? Check out the rock on the road ... all blown off by wind alone.

    [​IMG]
    Newly paved section between Puertocitos and Rancho Grande.
  9. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Excellent post !! Lots of usefull real world information there,as usual.
    When you made this statement I think you hit the nail on the head.

    The KLR is a "Slow Down, Smell The Roses" sort of bike. Once you adapt to it's pace and relax ... it's great. :thumb

    I think alot of people dont understand this and is the reason the KLR ends up not working for them.Which is fine,thats why we have all kinds of bikes,and riding styles,but it is good to understand why.
    Everyone just needs to figure out what is most important to them at the time,including finances.
  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The final part came for my LED watt saving and improved lighting and visibility mods.
    It is the Generation 2 WOW kit from Happy Trails.
    [​IMG]
    This Led board saves 3.6 watts in running light mode and it saves 11 watts in brake light mode and it flashs 4 times quickly before staying on when applying the brake light.It is also very much brighter in both modes than stock, so it is a win win mod.
    So along with the HID low beam,3 instrument light bulbs and removing the liscence plate bulb and moving my plate up under the tail light I have managed to free up 36.6 watts in running mode and 44 watts while braking, while improving my lighting tremendously.
    I think I will also run my low beam through a switch so I can shut it off during daylight hours if I need to free up more wattage for heated gear.
  11. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The LED board brightness is incredible !!
    [​IMG]
  12. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The new Cycle World adventure issue is out with this interesting article.Alot of good things are said about the Klr.
    [​IMG]
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I haven't seen that mag yet ... do subscribers get a copy or is it sold at news stands/bookstores only?

    The KLR has earned its rep starting in 1984 ... pretty close behind the intro of the first GS in '81. And, unlike any BMW, the KLR, with it's low cost of admission and low maintenance costs, has made adventure/dual sport riding accessible to a broader range of riders. After all ... until just recently BMW total sales in the US were less than 3%. Kawi has averaged between
    8% and 10% overall ... and has 20 times the dealer network.

    I hope CW go back further than 32 years! I was in school then ... didn't ride much. But in the 60's we'd take whatever bike we had down to Baja or out to the Mojave. Honda 50's to start, then CL175, even my Bultaco Matador did ADV duty. Back then ... we just called it "Scrambling". I never trusted the Bultaco ... but those Honda NEVER failed. ('cept flats)

    The Baja trips were really Surf trips for my buddies and me ... but we took the bikes to for exploration ... looking for hidden breaks. The bikes were perfect for that. We had a blast ... and did really crazy stuff ... as kids do.

    In the Mojave, since our older brothers raced there, we'd just go out and ride around all day. Mostly cross country. Is that Adventure riding? :lol3

    In 1975 I rode a Jawa 350 from Oaxaca, Mexico to Guatemala. First time doing a major road ride on a bike in a foreign country. Opened up a whole new world.

    What's funny is that for years the US Moto press all but ignored so called ADV touring and barely covered dirt or dual sport. Really it was guys like Ted Simon and Helge Pederson that brought it into the spot light. Now the guys here on ADV ride a race bike around on Nat. Forest trails for a weekend ... and they call that Adventure riding :lol3 Whatever. :D

    The original intent of ADV Rider, far as I could tell, was more in the spirit of Ted Simon ... than Ricky Racer. The KLR gets a ton of flack from the flashy Orange Underpant fast guys. But fact is KLR's have done 10 times the real adventure miles any KTM has ever done, anywhere ... and with fewer breakdowns.

    What is that worth? :deal :D
  14. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    I believe it is just the normal april issue, even though it is a special adventure issue, and imagine it will get mailed to subscribers.
    I picked this copy up today at Barnes and Noble.I am okay with the Kindle stuff but it sure is a treat walking in a real bookstore, and they are quickly becoming extinct.
    I do love all types of riding and different bikes and have had a taste of most of them, but it is the epic rides on gnarly Klr's or Dr's that really stir the soul.
    That is some incredible history there Advgrifter, you can proudly say you were an Advrider before Advrider was cool.Keep the passion alive !!
  15. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Right On! :D
    I'm a huge Barnes & Noble fan too. I read the Brit mags like BIKE and MC Sport & Leisure every month. Damned if I'll pay $14 a copy though but staff at B&N are cool with browsers. Looking forward to my next Cycle World.

    Lots of the current crop of guys in the Moto Press now weren't riding in the 60's and have NO IDEA what happened when the "You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda" campaign kicked off and the massive sales juggernaut began.

    California led the charge .... and a whole MC/Surf sub-culture was born. Ad to that race venues like Ascot Park, Riverside Raceway and Willow Springs ... the rest is history! On Any Sunday really captures that too! Sadly, most of the early ADV pioneers are now passed on. Check out the Husky Monument in the Mojave Desert.
  16. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

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    I just did this same brake light...they are very bright for sure:clap and I like the hey wake the F*#^ up flashing
  17. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    Absolutly !!! I also ordered a Rev It High Viz vest to wear over my jacket and lots of Reflective stickers on the bike.
    I'm going to do everything I can to be seen.
  18. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    You're inviting them to you much like a bug light invites bugs. :rofl
  19. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    [​IMG]
    I finished up the wiring and here is a picture of the dash showing the setup I am using.
    The green toggle on the left is for the heated grips and activates a mini relay.
    Then the Piaa surface mount switch under the voltmeter is for the low beam HID so I can shut it off and it also does this through a mini relay.
    And the other PIAA switch on the right is for the green LED running lights on the rear.
    I had eliminated the liscence plate light so I used that lead for the switched power for the heated grips and LED running lights.
    I ran its own power and ground from the battery for the Power point on the handlebars to power the gps or charge a phone.
  20. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    The mini relays I used are on the left, I put it next to a standard relay so you can see the difference in size.It is half the size.
    I use two sided sticky tape to mount them and add a zip tie for insurance.
    [​IMG]