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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 18 Aug 2009
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equiping the klr

greetings, i have just purchased an 02 klr 650 with 8000 miles and am planning to travel south into the americas for 6 months starting this nov. i hvae researched the various upgrades for the klr. the bike came with ht panniers, and the fork support gadget, and a few other small things. since i'm doing this trip on the cheap, there are still a few others i'm debating, so i was hoping to get a little help.

1. alum engine guard? is it that much stronger than stock? it's 300 bucks for the full on engine coolant side stuff guards and highway pegs.

2. debating on how exactly to upgrade kickstand. does anyone recommend the dual leg stand for 139.99

3. this guy has stock brakes and make seldom screeching noises. should i just change pads or is the bigger caliper package worth the ching?

i'm planning on the doohicky and flashing front and back lights so as to be made more aware to other drivers. anything else i shouldn't forget?

many thanks in advance.
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Old 18 Aug 2009
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The KLR650.net people have a lot of info.
KLR650.NET - Your Kawasaki KLR650 Resource! KLR Discussion Forum - Forums Home

As for the flashing headlight (modulator) not all people react the same to them. In some locations it is taken as a signal to go ahead.
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Old 18 Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by pocketumbleweed View Post
greetings, anything else i shouldn't forget?

many thanks in advance.
As long as you hit the basics, especially doohickey, sidestand cutout switch, maybe upgrade the headlight and carb vent, plus find a way to carry all your gear, you're probably good to go. Obviously you should also check the valves, chain, sprockets, tires, tubes and so on. And try to take a few long-ish rides to see how that seat agrees with your butt. I added an Airhawk after 25,000 miles, but lots of people can't tolerate riding around the block on the OEM seat (or so they report).

Many people could come up with a list of 25 to 30 "essential" upgrades, so unless you've got plenty of time and money you'll have to pick and choose.

I prefer this forum for KLR stuff: DSN_KLR650 : DualSportNews' KLR650 Discussion List

Friendly, supportive, reliable, etc.

Hope that helps.


Last edited by markharf; 19 Aug 2009 at 18:06. Reason: clarity
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Old 19 Aug 2009
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I don't have a KLR so can't tell you specifics, but I have found that an inline fuel filter can prevent a lot of problems. You are likely to get crud and/or water in your gas at some point in Central and South America and it will gum up your carb. I have a clear glass and metal one I bought at a marine parts store, used for outboard motors which are similar to MC engines. Also, though most won't want to carry one, a marine filter funnel can catch the crud before it goes in your tank. You wouldn't believe all the crap in gas even in the U.S.A. That was one of the nice things in the old 2-stroke days--the motors could eat through almost any crud eventually--but 4-stroke carbs have very small passages that plug up easily. Some people have had problems with some types of inline filters reducing gas flow, but I haven't with the marine-type filter.
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Old 19 Aug 2009
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KLR adds

A couple of other suggestions.....put the 'T' in the carb air line. My KLR used to be balky in the rain but with the T, purrs along great.

Also I think the DS Center Stand is a terrific add on for chain lubing, tire changes etc. I also added the flickering brake light but don't really see any real reason to have done it. Just fun really.

I have changed the doo, the spring and put on an engine guard and a corbin seat. I've also added a larger windshield which is a bit of a pain on some off pavement stuff but adds comfort on highway.

Brakes are stock, suspension is stock, bars stock, tires are TKC 80s, everything else is pretty stock - home made racks to keep the soft bags out of the wheels.

As others have said, there's lots of info on KLR upgrades etc. that you can read and consider....my thinking has been to not get carried away to the point that you spend all your money and time on gearing up and don't have enough left for travelling. But that's me.....

One last thing I won't leave home without are earplugs - good for reducing strain on the road and for all those campgrounds that allow generators.

If you haven't already, read through Sgt Marty's travel tale posted at KLR650.net for KLR hints.

Good luck with your prep.

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Old 21 Aug 2009
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Equiping the KLR

Hi, I've got a 2000 KLR and am very happy with it. The KLR is a very reliable bike in stock form and you shouldn't have much problems with it.

The advice I would give is to learn as much as can about your bike. There is a wealth of info on the KLR on the internet and lots of aftermarket support (parts etc).

The changes you had mentioned are good - doohickey replacement, new brake pads, center stand, t-mod for the carb.

Aluminum skid plate - I would recommend as the stock plastic engine gaurd does not cover the rear engine casing/oil drain plug or water pump. A low profile magnetic drain plug is a good cheap replacement vs. stock as there is a possibility that the stock plug could get caught/damaged by a rock etc.

Aluminum handgaurds with plastic covers - I would recommend vs. the stock plastic covers which do nothing to prevent your clutch or brake levers from snapping off in a tip over. If not bring some extra levers with you. They will also protect your hands much better from rain/cold and buffetting will be reduced.

Engine/rad gaurds - good idea - the rad and rad fan on the left side is vunerable in a tip over.

Clutch/Side Stand safety switch by pass - good idea - they are prone to failure and it's an easy thing to do.

I've mention tip overs a lot - it will happen! I've done plenty on my KLR in sand, mud, and even standing still in a parking lot. The KLR is a top heavy beast especially with a full tank of fuel and loaded up with gear. It likes to sleep on its side occassionally!

Other than that - good tires, and attention to every day maintenance (loose nuts/bolts/screws, oil changes, chain, tires etc) should help you to get thru most stuff.

Oh yeah - a good tool kit is helpful as well. The stock one doesn't offer much.

Hope this helps and enjoy your trip!

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Old 28 Sep 2009
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my 99 klr mods

i did all kinds of stuff b4 leaving in '03 for a year solo lap from canada border, around CA/SA to Ushuaia, and back up thru brazil/amazon/caracas/miami/montana. some things not mentioned i did; extra thick tubes (never had a flat), progressive front fork springs and rear shock spring, hyperlite (super brite leds) amber front running lites and flashing led extra brake lites, (had the twirling led brake lite too but it burned out fast), stronger headlite bulb, (also burnt out- use stock one), contact cabinet liner sticky paper lining inside of panniers= no alu stains on stuff, corbin flat seat, acerbis alu/plastice hand guards, wrist deal for hand relief on throttle, throttle locl cruise control, 2 bicycle water bottle gages on sides of front fairing, a pvc "tooltube" hose clamped in front of rad/crash guards for heavy tools/tire irons/etc.. better brake lines, inline filter, spare set of radiator hoses (never used), turn signal "beepers" from asia. one wierd thing, i had my tank top bag crammed tite with stuff and cinched down tite on top. while around Vegas in 100*F temps she just kept dying and i had no idea why, nor did 2 mechanics. it was cuz my tank couldnt breathe and so i duct tapped a plastice tube going from cap to front of tank to let some air go under the tank bag=problem solved. i even took a mtn bicycle with me most of the way to ride for exercise! see trip pix on klr650.net under username or tom sewell.
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Old 28 Sep 2009
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oops forgot a few

i also "blue" locktited all bolts, had a big washer welded to my side stand for soft groung cux i got sick of using that smashed can, changed pegs and shifter for heavy duty off road types and took spare shift lever (which i did use later), and wore a NEON roadcrafter, which along with maybe the flashing led brake lites surely saved my ass one evening in mexico from a drunk guy in a truck almost rear ending me. next time im gonna put a flashing led bicycle lite on back of my helmet, and bulid some type of bicycle rack to hold mtnbike on back to easily get it off.
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