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  #1  
Old 11 Sep 2011
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Some thoughts on the KLE

Hi!
Just moved down to Portugal from Sweden with the KLE and wanted to share some thoughts for those interested in the bike for travel.
First off, the bike is actually real fun on smaller roads and handles quite well with some luggage (used a top box, tank bag and strapped a large backpack over the saddle [cheapo solution!]). It's a comparatively small bike, and it sort of follows that the only real annoyance is it's not-so-great performance on bigger roads. Was short on time and covered much of Spain on the Autovias, and although the bike can keep up with the 130km/h limits, it's not the most pleasant ride. It gets quite thirsty (got about 150km on the main tank at 130-140km/h) and catches a lot of turbulence from other vehicles. To handle the highway speeds, I fitted it with the biggest screen I could find (eagle), and although this works great up until about 80km/h, after that I find that the turbulence from the screen will try to pull my helmet off. So I packed on another piece of plastic, lifting that mess above my head. Probably not great for fuel economy, but makes long distance highway travel bearable.
That said, in every other way it's been great. It's a great allrounder and probably one of the best value bikes for the money out there. Works great to ride here in Lisboa as well as up in the mountain ranges.
I had basically no mechanical experience, but fitted the bike with crash bars and center stand, as well as a new exhaust. If you're thinking about doing any of it, it's quite easily done.
One last thing - I bought the airhawk seat, and although it's great, it's the one thing I still wonder if it's really worth the money. Might be better of with some type of pelt..?
Attached: some pics crossing the Pyrenees (beautiful!), after having criss-crossed southern France.
Happy riding! /F
Attached Thumbnails
Some thoughts on the KLE-dsc00252.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-dsc00251.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 12 Sep 2011
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Hi FredrikH

What beautiful touring country, and commiserations on the seat problem.

I had to have an upholsterer remove some of the foam padding
so that the "hump" was moved backwards and now use a
lambswool cover on top.

It has changed the pain threshold from ~ 1 hour to more like
5 hours, enough for a days ride.

The little KLE sucks petrol over 110km/h which is our limit
here in Australia, I get about 250km/tank whether riding
slow in the bush or at 110 km/h on the highway.

The only problem I have when touring is that when loaded up for
a trip and it falls over (dratted stupid sidestand) I cannot pick
it back up without assistance (yes I am a 60+yo weakling)

regards Alex
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  #3  
Old 12 Sep 2011
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Thanks! It's funny - it's for the tipping reason I installed the centerstand, but once the bike is packed, I can't get the thing down!
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  #4  
Old 13 Sep 2011
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Centre stand & chain oiler

Hi Fredrick

Yes - I have the centre stand as well and have the same problem
it has it's mounting to far back and is a real struggle to
get the bike up. I purchased it so that I could oil the chain
regularly, but in the end made up a crude chain oiler.

I visited a pet shop aquarium section and came away
with a 100ml plastic bottle, 2 scew taps and a couple of
metres of 3mm ID tubing and a bag of plastic zip ties.
(bottle is a bird water feeder)

The bottle mounts upside down on the back part of the frame
(just under the side panel) in a couple of zip tied plastic clips, 100mm
of tubing to a valve (flow rate) and then another 100mm
of tubing to another valve (on/off). The rest then is zip tied to just in front
of the rear sprocket. A cotton bud stem in the end of the tube makes a
perfect feeder for the oil to the chain/sprocket.

I did have to drill a couple of holes in the plastic chain guard for extra
zip ties to help retain the tubing back to the chain.

At one drop/minute it is enough for a days ride. Just have to
remember to turn it on/off.

regards

Alex
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  #5  
Old 22 Sep 2011
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That's a great idea - thought about making something too, and this seems like a clever idea - do you have any picture of the setup?
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  #6  
Old 24 Sep 2011
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Oiler

Hi

I hope the pictures work, forgot to mention that I had a 600mm
piece of large copper wire in the tubing at the end so that
the oil dripper would stay in place.

Also the resevoir cap has to have a tube going to the bottom of
the bottle to allow it to vent.

Spring has finally arrived and after the next weeks rain it will
be time for a ride in the bush without being frozen.

Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Some thoughts on the KLE-copper-wire-in-tube.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-oil-bottle.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-oil-dripper.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-valves-in-line.jpg  

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  #7  
Old 24 Sep 2011
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Bush rides and Country Pubs

Hi Fredrick

Not quite as picturesque as your mountain vistas but looking
forward to country dirt roads and old pubs along the way.

Goldfields Inn at Tuena, and the Black Stump Hotel.

Saddlebags are those meant for a Minsk motorcycle
and brought from Vietnam, crude, but a truck could run over them
and no damage.

regards

Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Some thoughts on the KLE-black-stump-trunkey-creek.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-golfields-inn-tuena.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-track-through-hills.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-charleyong-causeway.jpg  

Attached Images
 
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  #8  
Old 9 Oct 2011
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I've got a nice shot of you Alex kle I could post up mate. On the road to Yalwal...
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  #9  
Old 11 Oct 2011
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Location: Gold Coast ,Australia
Posts: 27
Misk saddlebags

Hey there Alex,

just to break into the thread for a minute. The saddlebags in the photo look great. I currently use Motodry traveller (?) with neoprene between bike and bag, to protect paintwork/plastic on one side and bag from exhaust on the other.

Have done an internet search for the bags as you have, without any success. Did you buy these whilst in Vietnam or via the web? Do they have any protective backing fitted to them?

Any info appreciated.

Regards,

Shaun
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  #10  
Old 12 Oct 2011
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Minsk bags

Hi Shaun & Lonnie

Lonnie - I lost all the pictures of our trips when the old laptop died
and would appreciate copies if possible, and don't scare others on this
forum with my old mug.

Wombeyan caves trip will have to wait a while, body may need repairs.

Shaun - my little brother picked up the bags when he ran an import
business from Vietnam, purchased from the Minsk shop in Hanoi
that you should be able to find on the net.

They were ~A$30, are of very heavy duty vinyl stitched and riveted.
Heavy as heck. They have a large alloy plate on the inside surface next
to the bike that I have covered in yoga/camping mat foam to protect
the bike. This is because they also come with heavy steel folding
frame that bolts/welds to the Minsk frame. Never had the mat
melt while sitting on the bike exhaust. I also added 3mm ply
inside as I was worried about the rivets rubbing holes in
the 5 litre fuel container I had.

Not waterproof and need everything packed in plastic bags.

On a trip to Neville siding the bike kept falling over, away from the stand
side ,20kg of tools packed into that side did not help - grin and
I have learnt my lesson in balanced packing.

The Motodry bags I have are OK for highway use, but not durable
for bush bashing, nor can carry all the junk I think I need if
repairs required.

Hope this helps

Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Some thoughts on the KLE-bags-1.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-bags-2.jpg  

Some thoughts on the KLE-bags-3.jpg  

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  #11  
Old 12 Oct 2011
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Minsk bags contact

Hi Shaun

This is the place that the bags came from:

Mr. Cuong (the most famous Minsk motorcycle expert in the whole Hanoi region
) offers Minsk rentals and Honda Future Neo 125cc moped scooters. His team is
the most competent in Vietnam. His shop is at 1 Luong Ngoc Quyen street in
the Old Quarter (only one block away from our office), ++ 84 43 9261534.

See: http://www.cuongs-motorbike-adventur...cessories.html

regards

Alex
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  #12  
Old 12 Oct 2011
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Location: Gold Coast ,Australia
Posts: 27
Minsk saddlebags

Hi there Alex,

much thanks for the quick and informative reply. My Motodry are no longer gunna be dry, as I failed to tighten the rain covers properly and both sides were eaten by the rear wheel a 100 Km later. Live and learn!

The extra space the Minsk bags seem to have, will be handy to pack extra fuel. As more small outlets close their pumps due to high inspection fees and low turnover, the more range required to make the next (actual) fuel stop, especially in N.S.W. Been caught twice so far!

Enjoy the ride.

Shaun
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  #13  
Old 12 Oct 2011
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[QUOTE=. My Motodry are no longer gunna be dry, as I failed to tighten the rain covers properly and both sides were eaten by the rear wheel a 100 Km later. Live and learn!

The extra space the Minsk bags seem to have, will be handy to pack extra fuel. As more small outlets close their pumps due to high inspection fees and low turnover, the more range required to make the next (actual) fuel stop, especially in N.S.W. Been caught twice so far!

[/QUOTE]

Hi Shaun

Sorry to hear about your bags, not had that trouble with mine - yet
(Motodry).

I have struck the same problem with the closed servos in small towns
as they are taken over and "rationalised" which is why the larger
bags and 5 litre fuel drum. Besides the Coleman duel fuel stove
works on petrol as well.

I have been having thoughts (heresy) of picking up a Postie and modding
it for the XR230 tank giving 700km range. At the speeds I do on dirt roads
there would be no difference to the KLE, it is only the transport stages
to the dirt that would be dangerous from the cagers with a cruising
speed of 75kph.

It would also make it easier to pick up when I drop it - grin
especially the steep tracks that Lonnie tries to lure me to.

Regards

Alex
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  #14  
Old 13 Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex KLE500 View Post
Hi Shaun & Lonnie

Lonnie - I lost all the pictures of our trips when the old laptop died
and would appreciate copies if possible, and don't scare others on this
forum with my old mug.

Wombeyan caves trip will have to wait a while, body may need repairs
Geez mate, you ok? I'm keen to have a run out to the caves when I get some time off. I'll be in touch about that.
I will try and remember to burn a cd for you with some photos. Shame you lost your set.
I reckon that shot of you on the red dirt is a beauty.
Gonna let me post it up here?
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