My KLR (Mis?) Adventure

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by TurTal, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Cibolo, TX
    I almost went the route of Royal Enfield and Cozy when I bought my Ural. I bet a Cozy sidecar would look great attached to a RE Interceptor 650. The red and black one, that’s what I’d do right now if I had the money. My Scrambler would make a good tug, but it’s already 13 years old and with lots of miles. Also, the chain would be between the bike and the car while with the RE, the chain would be easier to get to as it would be on the outside.

    I’m afraid I’ll never get over the trauma of my first Ural experience. It’s good to hear that others are having better luck and having fun without the heartache mine put me through. Oh and my wife would probably leave me if I ever even considered another Ural! Too many calls from the side of the road.
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  2. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    14,322
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    SWFL WNC
    Off subject but a guy asked if my Dong Fang was a Triumph. He was serious. I pointed to my license plate frame and he was happy.
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  3. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Cibolo, TX
    IMG_1489.JPG IMG_1487.JPG

    Uh-oh! Bill and I ride again. No problems because only one of us was on a bike with a sidecar. It wasn’t without incident though. I got to test the strength and ruggedness of the Tusk crash bars. And the working out I’ve been doing has been working. I picked up the KLR like it was nothing.

    Still miss having a sidecar though.....
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  4. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
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    891
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    Cibolo, TX
    Bill’s the guy I was riding with in my Ural mid-adventures, who tried to climb a 20 foot game fence with his Ural Retro.
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  5. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Cibolo, TX
    Thread resurrection.

    Today, my wife caught me looking at sidecar rigs on Cycle Trader. A 2018 Ural Gear-Up that just happened to be on the screen when she looked over and saw it. "Hell, no! Get any sidecar you want, on any bike you want it on, but we're not spending another cent on a Ural!" I said, "But look at the price, that's a good deal!" And she said, "You've got to be kidding me. Tell me you're not being serious."

    So, yeah, I'm now officially in the market for a sidecar or sidecar rig again. In the summer of 2019, I took a job that was only half the distance as my job when I had my Ural. Back then, I faced a 100 mile round trip five days a week. Starting last year, it became a 50 mile round trip. In August, we sold our house and moved in at a new house only seven miles from work. So I have a 14 mile round trip. I have virtually no gas bill. We made out like bandits selling our old house, getting ourselves out of debt. I was able to put my wife in a brand new car, getting her exactly what she wanted. So now I'm at the point where I could go and buy another brand new Ural. I could buy a brand new something else and have a sidecar put on it. It's within the realm of possibilities that I could get a BMW R1200GSA with one of those fully loaded sidecars from DMC. That's a thought. But, just a thought. Deep inside, I'm still really a tight-wad and want to be as frugal as possible. I think I'll just hang a sidecar on one of the motorcycles I already have in the garage. And for all this time, I've been thinking I'd put one on my Triumph Scrambler. But maybe not, anymore.

    I'm really thinking of putting a sidecar on my KLR. I know, I said I wouldn't do it. But, it really makes sense. For the type of riding I've been using the KLR for, I have something else now that does it all even better. My daughter no longer wants her Versys X-300, so it's become mine. And I've found that thing to be even better than the KLR at just about anything I'd do on a KLR. I wouldn't take it on single track, or any real off-roading, for that matter. But, I've found the KLR sucks in those environments as well, being a good pavement and un-paved street bike. And the Versys X-300 is simply better on the gravel and dirt roads I find in my area. It's lighter and has a lower center of gravity, so it just sort of glides over the dirt instead of sinking in. Sand has been easy to ride on with the X-300. Best of all, if I do need to, I can put a foot down and keep from falling over. Not so with the KLR. Once I get that feeling of tip-over, by the time I get my foot to the ground, it's already falling and that high center of gravity means it's just going to keep falling. So, it no longer is top dog for my backroads riding I like to do on the weekends.

    I have decided that the KLR would be better to put a sidecar on than my Scrambler. First of all, it's still relatively new, just two years old and still in good shape. My Scrambler is 14 years old and starting to act like a 14 year-old bike. In my possession, motorcycle years are like dog years. So, my Scrambler is like a 14 year old dog. It's still running, but any day I know could be its last. Also, it's never got gas mileage anywhere close to the sort of mileage my KLR typically gets. I get mid thirties to low forties on the Scrambler, depending on my riding, and get from the mid forties to mid fifties on my KLR. The KLR has a much larger gas tank meaning I wouldn't have range anxiety. The chain for the Scrambler is on the right side, meaning that chain maintenance would be more difficult with a sidecar. The chain is on the left of the KLR. The oil is already hard to get to on the Scrambler with those pipes; it would much more difficult with a sidecar. Finally, I know the types of roads I'd be looking to ride most of the time. Now that I'm not doing 500+ miles of commute per week, the majority of the riding I do is for fun. My commute comes up to 70 miles per week if I ride to work every day. On weekends, I head to the dirt and gravel roads through the farms and ranch land. The KLR is made for that sort of stuff. I think it holds up to that sort of abuse better than the Scrambler does. The KLR wouldn't be as fast as the Scrambler, but I no longer have a paved 100 mile round trip on 65 mph roads to do any longer.

    Now, all I need to do is find an appropriate tub to hang to the side of the KLR. I have in my possession a Spirit of America Eagle tub I could renovate and put on the KLR. But, it's a light-weight fiberglass tub. I don't know if it would hold up to the sort of abuse I'd be putting it through if attached to the KLR. Besides, all I have is the tub and a couple parts of a frame. I was looking up frames I could put that tub on and for just a bit more money, I could buy a complete sidecar. So, I think a Sputnik sidecar is what I want to hang on my KLR. I was looking at the DMC website to find out what they had for frames and looked at the Sputnik. I could probably just get the Sputnik for a lot less worry and maybe only a few more bucks. Maybe in the future I could still use that Eagle tub and hang it on the Scrambler for on-road sidecar riding only.

    So, does anyone have any recommendations? Is there another sidecar I should consider? I believe the Sputnik body is sheet metal construction instead of fiberglass, but I'm not positive. I do know that I want an enclosed sidecar, not an enduro type. I'd like something as stout or close to as stout as a Ural sidecar. That being said, all this speculation of hanging a sidecar to my KLR could be moot. There's a guy up the road that occasionally gets an old Ural body in and puts a BMW motor in the frame. Now, that, I think I could get away with because my wife would see BMW on the engine case. If he currently has one available, I might not be able to resist that temptation. He most recently had a Ural Bavarian (don't know what year) which he put a R80 motor into. Looked really good.
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  6. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,960
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    As the owner of a Triumph sidecar, I can tell you that you will appreciate the fuel range of the KLR! I've done some performance mods, and now getting nearly 70 RWHP. I averaged about 100 miles per tank before AND After the mods. A KLR doesn't have quite the power of your Scrambler, but with a Sputnik tub (yes, they're steel) you should do pretty well.
    Inmate "Red Menace" had a fleet of 3 first generation KLR outfits, one with a Sputnik tub, and 2 with open enduro chairs. I liked the one with the Sputnik, which was his daily driver. That chair is now on a Triumph Scrambler. Speed and style, and it's his new daily driver. I have an auxiliary tank on my Bonnie outfit that doubles the range, and I'd still like a little more.
  7. CCjon

    CCjon Gypsy Rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,266
    Location:
    Under the Texas Sun
    Built out a 2015 KLR rig using a DMC naked frame, subframe and aluminum tool box for cargo. Easy to gear down with a sprocket change. step up to a stronger 525 chain. Do add the front fork brace to stiffen it. There is also available an easy to install larger front brake rotor to use with existing caliper, which is nice. Also bought the DMC sidecar brake but not sure I really needed it.

    KLR's are so easy to work on, parts are available and not overpriced.

    Wish I still had mine.

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  8. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,945
    Location:
    South Dakota
    My old jdrocks built 650 versus based bike that I put a Sputnik on. But I did splice in an extra 4” width to the Sputnik.
    I think it’s for sale again.
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  9. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
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    1,258
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    Had to laugh when I read that. Reminded me of my wife's reaction when she saw me looking at old Bultacos. She always called the one's I had Bucktakees.
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  10. Bar None

    Bar None OLD DUDE Supporter

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    Mar 2, 2007
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