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soapdodger 6 Nov 2011 19:52

klr650c subframe
Hi im hoping to head to morroco next year on my klr650c european model,i have read some comments about the c model having a weak subframe,can anyone explain the problem and the fix .thanks

Growler 7 Nov 2011 01:00


Originally Posted by soapdodger (Post 354999)
Hi im hoping to head to morroco next year on my klr650c european model,i have read some comments about the c model having a weak subframe,can anyone explain the problem and the fix .thanks

If the C is the same as the A, some people claim that the bolts in the frame just aren't good enough. The 2 bolts at the top of the frame(one each side) don't go all the way through the frame but more importantly the threaded section of the bolts are in the shear section of the connection. In other words, if you look at the threaded section of a bolt you'll notice that the threaded section is as wide as the top or thick part of the bolt but the meat of the bolt is much thinner , there is material machined from the bolt to make the thread, this makes the threaded section of a bolt much weaker in shear and tension. Some KLR's when heavily loaded and ridden hard have broken these bolts and the bike actually breaks in 2. You can either buy 2 bolts with shorter threaded sections or drill through the frame and replace the two bolts with 1 stronger one and more important there is no thread in the shear area of the joints. I did this on my KLR just to feel safer when heavily loaded in the back of beyond in South America. I hope this explains it, there are all sorts of retailers in Canada and the US who sell kits to do this.

Cheers Growler

MountainMan 7 Nov 2011 04:54

The C model has a subframe that is rated for some minimal weight in the range of 6 kgs or something like that. Along with a smaller tank (14 litres?) it has a different rear sub frame structure than the A model, which is sold in North America (and also Australia in more recent years).

The concern is that if you attach a rear luggage system with rack and bags that attach to the rear subframe like most standard systems do, your subframe will eventually crack and break. I've got a nice photo of my friends rear bags dragging on the ground after he found this out the hard way.

The solution for this is to either not carry any rear luggage (which is fine for short trips) or to make sure that your rear luggage rack connects to the main frame as opposed to the sub frame. This isn't too hard to do as the C model doesn't have any off the rack luggage solutions so if you want to outfit it, you have to build your own rack design anyway.

soapdodger 7 Nov 2011 09:49

Thanks for the replys guys gonna travel lite as i can using throwover bags and a lite top box.i'l change the mounting bolts and rig up a rack onto main frame.thanks again

Fredontour 27 Jan 2012 00:33

dont worry about the rear frame

Originally Posted by soapdodger (Post 354999)
Hi im hoping to head to morroco next year on my klr650c european model,i have read some comments about the c model having a weak subframe,can anyone explain the problem and the fix .thanks

have a klr tengai with 140000km and now a klr 650 modell 2008,
full loaded with alooycases and now close to 100000km,be shure yuour suspensions better than the oringinal onces the will not lasting long, never else probs with the rear frame and the original srews in it,
and I'm going rough roads too,fredontour.de
always keep your mirrows up

soapdodger 27 Jan 2012 19:04

Unfortunately my trip might be over b4 its begun.the engine which has only 24000km has done the left hand main bearing ..AGAIN.this is the 2nd time it has happened.this cant be replaced so its a crank change.i didn't change the casings after the 1st time but i will this time even though i had them checked for out of round and there surface was good but il not take any chances this time.gutted as im on a tight budget.my patience with the klr650 is wearing out....it dosent help that there not an officially imported uk bike so spares are not plentiful.the next bit of engine grief when its been repaired and its the plasma cutter treatment for it and il get a yam xt600e..........

Cam Johnson 1 Feb 2012 23:38

Sorry to hear that you're having doubts about the mighty KLR. I've done the subframe modification by drilling through the frame and replacing the two bolts with one 12.9 rated bolt just as Growler has outlined. It's not a difficult procedure and all you need is a power drill and a good eye to do the job. See the below link:

KLR650 Subframe drill thru step by step walkthru - ADVrider

As the subframe holds the seat, I'm not sure where the idea of a 6kg limit came from. Maybe that's got to do with the rack behind the seat?

As I understand it here are the differences between the two frames:


Good luck and don't go the plasma cutter just yet.

MountainMan 2 Feb 2012 00:59

Hey Cam,

Aye, to clarify the suggested max. for the luggage rack is something in the single digit kgs, can't remember exact number. The strength of the sub frame mounting to the main frame can be addressed by the stronger bolt fix you mention, but the issue of the weak subframe itself is a different issue (the C model has a different rear subframe that the A model which deosn't have that issue).

We were initially somewhat surprised by the low weight rating on the rear luggage rack and guessed that it was primarily related to the rack itself, but after having mounted a normal weight rack with panniers (that had some weight on the sub frame as well as on the main frame) it became abundantly clear that the sub frame is limited in how much weight it can handle and it will crack.

I don't have the bike in front of me, but by memory the top tube of the rear sub frame extends rearward beyond the point where the bottom support comes up to meet it and thus you have an unsupported tube beyond that point. Weighting that tube will cause it to stress to the point of breakage.

It's an easy workaround, you just have to ensure that the your lugagge rack is bolted to the main frame for the front portion of the rack and NOT bolted to the subframe at the back, but instead all the rear weight is carried by the support bar that runs down to the rear foot peg.

I see you are in Libya. Must be an interesting place to be workig at the moment. Did you bring your bike or not quite safe to be wandering round yet?

soapdodger 2 Feb 2012 17:46

Hi guys havnt been able to source a bottem end yet,the doubt is total frustration as i really did like the klr but the bad luck just keeps a coming as my main transport,a tiger955i is giving grief with electrical issues and leaving me stranded,so its now prior
ity .the plus point is a pal has lent me his new 660 tenerre to ride.good all round bike.really enjoy riding it

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