Love a good old KLR project? Then watch this guy resurrect an 1987 cucaracha into something else: with a shoestring budget and a lot of creativity, Lennart Vonk, a Dutch adventure rider, is transforming an old KLR into an ADV – slash – rally beast.

“I bought this bike because the KLRs are notorious for being simple, indestructible, and reliable, and it’s always fun to strip a bike down completely and rebuild it into something new. I wanted to raise the windshield and make a dashboard so I have space for extra USB sockets, switches, and potentially, a roadbook holder at some point”, Vonk said.

The original KLR fairing suffered a minor surgery:


Then, got some lightweight aluminum inserts and a dashboard:

Finally, a USB port leaving plenty of space for more gadgets:

“This isn’t about aesthetics, it’s about function, and it’s about making this bike my own. Next up, I’ll be installing a custom suspension setup – I bet that’ll make a huge difference – and working on carb mods, bearings, and wiring. I’ve replaced the cam tensioner lever with an aftermarket one because I’d read this is a weak spot of the KLR; other than that, a paint job is long overdue, and I’ll need to add some crash bars and a skidplate. The bike has 30,000 miles on it, and I think that’s not even a warm-up for the KLR”, Vonk explained.

Project Bike: Resurrecting an 1987 KLR // ADV Rider

Kawasaki may have come up with a brand new KLR model, but let’s face it – there’s no replacing the nostalgia.

If you want to watch the 1987 KLR resurrection unfold, follow the ensuing mayhem on Instagram.

Tips? KLR hacks? Words of wisdom for the rebuild? Share them in the comments below!

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