The KLR Baja Transformo

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Mondo-Hondo, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    I'm leaning in that direction as well.
    #41
  2. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,954
    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    I'm on the side of not using those shitty little brackets on the IMS. I've dealt my fair share of abuse to the KLR and never installed them for the same reasons you describe.

    I do feel that a more appropriate bracing system is warranted but I have never done it. Both my radiator and overflow frame are bent.
    #42
  3. PacificPT

    PacificPT Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    +1 on Cogent Dynamics suspension upgrades for the KLR. I didn't use the website, called and talked about what I wanted with a real person... Got the 1" taller bike I wanted, with significantly better handling everywhere. Excellent service from start to finish.
    #43
  4. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    Just a few updates. First, I ended up going with some Pro Taper ATV Hi bars. The extra height is nice. Could still use an inch or two more but I'll ride it for a while before deciding on bar risers. It really needs a taller seat too, so I'll probably address that all at once at some point in the future. Running out of time before the trip down south, though.

    Spent a bit of time messing with the suspension. Rick at Cogent had sent me a new shim to add to the stack on the Cogent DDCs, so I pulled them out of the forks and added the shim. Adds some more damping. I also reduced the oil level to 170mm and cut down the preload spacers to get 2.5" of sag with me and half a tank of fuel. Much more compliant now.

    Started making the rear rack last night. Wanted somehting just a bit longer and wider than the stock rack, and something that was easier to strap to and didn't flare out so I can move the Giant Loop bag fore and aft a little easier. Got the main tube bent and tacked onto the main bosses:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still needs an X-brace in the middle and side braces, but it's coming along.
    #44
  5. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    194
    looking good!

    Dave
    #45
  6. Dirtnrocks

    Dirtnrocks Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    Utah
    I fitted the 6 gal tank a few weeks ago. Its the most ill fitting tank and bag of hardware I've ever dealt with. The tank does fit down on the pucks although loosely. None of the hardware brackets fit. I was able to bend the body/seat shroud pieces enough to get the bolts in. None the front brackets came close to lining up with the holes in the tank. I fabricated my own "L" brackets for the right side that attches the tank to the coolant overflow tank bracket. I left the radiator side alone, no attachment to fuel tank, for all the reasons listed by the thread author. Tank is bolted at front on the right and the rear under the seat. Its solid and stays put. I thought about making a "tanker bracket" as mentioned but haven't gotten around to it.
    #46
  7. trasko

    trasko Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    283
    Location:
    Bay area, CA
    This is my exact experience from 4 years ago. Shitty mounting setup.

    I've since drilled out and increased the size of the bolts for the main tank bolt position in the rear since the PO f-ed those up crossing-threading them 1 or 10 too many times.

    The slop in the system after the years and drops tells me a bracket up front makes sense but not to the radiator. I'll fab something someday.

    At least you can know that I've gone 4 years and maybe 20 good drops on it as-is and it's still going.
    #47
  8. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    #48
  9. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    That's good to know. I'd also say that whatever gets fabbed up for a tank support needs to allow the tank to float a bit. The pucks and rear mount are designed to float, and it's never a good idea to mount something with a mix of floating and rigid connections.

    Thanks for the link. And I'll make GAS GUY happy and definitely update my thoughts on the wr250r. I've ridden it briefly and really liked it, but didn't get a chance to do any highway on it.

    Now on to the build... I got some more done on the rack. I decided to do it the hard way (for me, anyway) and embed the aft mounting bosses into a cross tube rather than tacking them on to the side of a tube. Looks nicer, but trickier to get everything lined up. Here's a shot of turning some bosses on the old CNC Hardinge chucking lathe. If anyone's curious, the CNC control was made in 1977. It's an interesting beast to program, but does the job quite well:

    [​IMG]

    And here they are in fit up:

    [​IMG]

    And a few more tubes and everything welded up. I must have gotten the weld sequence correct because I tacked it on the bike (disconnected the battery just to be safe) and fully welded it off the bike. Slipped right back on like a glove.

    [​IMG]

    Still need to add the turn signal bosses and then powdercoat the thing if I can find something bigger than the toaster oven I usually use to powdercoat small parts.
    #49
  10. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,341
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Nice work, looks great, and much nicer than the stock rack!
    #50
  11. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    194
    nice rack! hmmm; that doesn't sound right somehow! :D

    Dave
    #51
  12. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    So the bike is almost done (for this trip, anyway) but what about the rider? I'd mentioned earlier that I was having trouble figuring out my pants situation. Another inmate suggested that I wear some. I'm taking that advice. But what to wear? Well, i think I've got it all figured.

    Naturally, if it were just a Baja trip, I could gear up with some motocross stuff and a rain jacket and call it good. I could probably do that regardless, but where's the fun in that? So for all who never even knew they wanted to know, here is what I'm wearing (though not right at this moment):

    • Icon Stryker Rig pressure suit
    • O'neil retro jersey (because it's wonderfully obnoxious and has lots of holes in it)
    • Aerostitch Fallstaff jacket I bought from the ADV flea market
    • Klim tactical pants
    • Filson Double Tin work pants
    • Some O'neil motocross boots that I bought to race the San Felipe 250 a couple of years ago (something of a lark…on a bone stock Yamaha Blaster quad, no less)
    • Gmax dual sport helmet (cheap and I haven't had any snap issues like some)
    • I've got some mesh gloves but need to figure something out for cooler days

    I love the icon pressure suit. It's not too hot, easy on/off and isn't terribly bulky.

    The aerostitch and the filsons are an experiment. I like the look. And I figure if it doesn't work out I can sell the jacket and use the pants around the shop in the winter.

    I took the armor out of the jacket and pretty much always wear the stryker and a jersey. When it's not hot or I'm on the highway I'll throw the jacket on over that.

    Any recommendations for some knee pads that don't have shin guards built in?
    #52
  13. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    194
    No, but some of the cheaper sets are very thin. Having trouble fitting them in your boots? I would worry that the knee pad would move off my knee after first contact without the shinguard in the boot holding it in place.

    ...I know, I didn't answer your question. :D

    Dave
    #53
  14. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    I can probably make them work inside the boot. Gets a bit tight with the pants in there as well. I've never used kneepads before. But if that's how they're supposed to work then I'll give the long ones another chance.
    #54
  15. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    Isn't it just a "Baja Trip"? Are you crossing to the mainland and heading further South? Different considerations in that case. If going as far as S. America ... then things really change.

    Seems to me you've chosen some great items ... and you've thought it out very well. :clap
    If the pressure suit works, they offer great protection. Too hot for me. I'm assuming it's the TOP only?

    The KLIM pants should be good in heat. I like padded shorts under and knee pads. Stock foam on most is crap. I replaced with the good stuff. I wear regular Moto style pants (nearly identical to KLIM) and in cold just slip a pair of inexpensive rain pants over them. Works good (cuts wind) down into low 50's. Colder than that, you'll need to layer up. Hot weather base gear helps both in hot and cold.

    The Falstaff is great if you have room to stow it for hot weather. That is what I did. With all armor out it should roll up fairly small. Life saver at night or cold/rain.

    Knee pads are personal. I've custom made mine, starting with standard Moto knee pads, replacing crap foam with high quality impact foam. I retained the plastic shell and strap, just relined inside with better foam. Mine DO have shin guards and tuck into boot tops. Comfy. (I have one Titanium leg... must protect shin)

    Not familiar with Filsons. I assume it's One or the other? I'd go with Klim pants ... and just have something to put on over them. (rainpants). Be sure to pack a pair of walking shorts ... or better yet ... nice no wrinkle pants. Ever notice Mexican men don't wear shorts in "real" Mexico?
    Don't be a Gringo mark ... wear long pants whenever possible. Fit in, look respectable. Shorts are for the beach only ... and women.

    I've done several Baja runs since 2006. Two of these trips crossed over to Mainland Mexico as well. We didn't do super technical Baja routes, but several sections of the old Baja 1000 course, stopping and moteling along the way (Ensenada, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Franciscito, San Ignacio, Mulege', Loreto, Scorpion Bay, La Paz, Los Cabos)

    Surfing.
    I first Surfed Baja as a kid late 60's. We loaded our Honda 50's in the Van with the boards! There are a few Ride Reports where guys carried "real" boards on the bike. Might be a possibility? Not sure an inflatable board is ideal?:ear
    http://en.wordpress.com/tag/surf-baja/

    Good luck, have a safe trip! Surf should be coming up in October or so.
    #55
  16. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    A south America trip is definitely in the future. I've spent several months backpacking and hitchhiking down there. Told myself the entire time I should have had a motorcycle or a bicycle :) But I meant that this particular trip is more than just Baja because me and the bike live in Bozeman, Montana so I'll be riding the bike down to San Diego to meet up with my friend there before heading into Mexico. Said friend is letting me store my bike in San Diego and we plan on doing 3 or 4 short trips this winter. But the ride down will be something of an adventure as well. I've decide to take as much as possible of the UTBDR down. I'd like to do the whole thing but I've only got 6 days to get to San Diego, so we'll see. I make no promises other than to give it a healthy go. I get kind of bored if I'm not riding at least ten hours a day, and I love night riding (this holds true on long mountain bike and road bike tours anyway), so maybe it's possible. It always seems we roll into a camp at six in the evening, eat and then get a second wind, saying you know, why not get a few more hours in? :wink: I'll cut over somewhere near I-40 and over into Joshua Tree then down through Indio and S22 over through Borrego Springs (final destination is actually Anza). So if anyone has recommendations for the bottom of the UTBDR over to Salton Sea, I'm all ears.


    It's just a top but it has the elbow pads as well (not just a vest). I like the heat so I can get away with it. With a vented jersey over it and a t-shirt under I feel comfortable in 90ish-degrees (dry heat, hottest we've had up here) while moving.

    The Klims are just the padded underpants. The Filsons are heavy-duty waxed cotton work pants which i wear over the Klims. I have some motocross pants in San Diego which I might bring with to baja, but the Filsons are water resistant. As for shorts, I only wear them in the water or on a bicycle.

    Baja is my favorite place on the planet. I've driven all over it but have only ridden motorcycles in and around San Felipe. So I'm really looking forward to being able to explore it by motorcycle. As for the surfing, yeah, the inflatable isn't ideal, but rolls up into checkable luggage size...not bad for a 10' board. Saying it's got a soft rail would be generous, but they're still fun. We use them on whitewater up here. I do have a fish in San Diego which would be suitable for a rack carry. Planning a moto surf trip to Scorpion Bay in December so maybe I'll have to to make a board rack.
    #56
  17. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,128
    Location:
    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    If you're a bicycle guy then your fitness will be tip top! :clap ... and dealing with heat should not be a problem!
    Temps in Baja on the Gulf side will be over 100 until maybe mid October. This varies year to year. Can sometimes stay HOT into November. Other times, cools down by Oct. 1st. So who knows? I've been snowed on in and around Mike's Sky Ranch twice in ... MARCH! But temps are usually good in November further South.

    You may luck out and find a Gringo who will sell you a board down there. Lots of those SoCal boys bring more than one board down ... or just borrow it?
    #57
  18. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,710
    Location:
    Philthadelphia, Pennsylvania
    I have military knee pads that don't have shin guards attached.
    #58
  19. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,149
    Location:
    Central Coast, Cal
    Check out the old Mormon trail through the Nevada wildlife refuge. It crosses the southern part of the state, so in theory you can cross the southern part of Nevada without more than crossing pavement. If you're creative, you can bypass Lost Wages via dirt power line roads, cross into Commiefornia around Primm. Then around Primm, you get into the Mojave Reserve there are power line roads and Jeep roads that will take you the direction you want to go. :deal
    #59
  20. Mondo-Hondo

    Mondo-Hondo Delusional, but very excited

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    So I'll be jumping on to the GDR south of Bozeman near Henry's Lake into Wyoming, then I've got a cut across from pinedale to bear Lake to pick up the UTBDR. From there I need to get to St George to visit some family, then over into Nevada/California to Anza.

    I'm looking for route suggestions between the end of the UTBDR and St. George, and St George to Anza.

    On the map below, the green path near the top is the GDR. The purple segment is my Google-Earth-derived connection between the GDR and the UTBDR. It looks rideable but if anyone knows otherwise, I'd love to hear about it. The red segment at the bottom is all road. If there's a more entertaining way to do that section, again, let me know.

    <iframe src="http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2334626/1377524545-14019%20%281%29.html" width="600" height="500" frameborder="1"></iframe>
    #60