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-   -   What to do. (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/kawasaki/what-to-do-9089)

jmborders 4 Jan 2005 07:32

What to do.

Tomorrow, I will pick up my 2005 KLR 650.

I will one day ride it to Alaska but in the short-term, it will be used for daily commutes to work and town, general riding, camping, hunting and fishing. Most of the riding will be in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. Do ya'll have any suggestions for modifications? I will be riding it home with the seat removed so the must-do mod is to chop the seat foam and replace with a gel pad, done on almost all of my bikes. Has anyone tried any of the linkage that lowers about 1.5 inches? Any favorite websites for these machines?

Thanks in advance.


Kurt 4 Jan 2005 19:50

Congradulations! There's some good stuff posted here as well as at advrider.com on KLR's. Also try http://www.klr650.net/forum/.

If you're planning on going off pavement, I'd recommending locktightening most of the fasteners on the bike. They tend to vibrate loose. Also, look into installing larger bosts holing the supframe to the frame.

You might try a chain oiler. I've had good luck with Pro Oiler. It's electronic as opposed to the vacuum system used by Scott.


liketoride2 4 Jan 2005 21:40

Yes, congratulations on your new bike. It's a great bike with a few known and correctable weaknesses, and a broad range of uses. Regarding modifications, there's a huge assortment of after market parts available for the KLR and you can select mods which will best fit the uses you intend for your bike. My own preferences:

1. Doohickey (a must IMHO)
2. Front brake upgrade
3. Radiator shroud bolt kit
4. Subframe bolt upgrade kit
5. Aluminum skidplate
6. Better handguards (with metal spine to better protect levers and hands)

Three of the companies which sell aftermarket KLR parts are Happy Trails, Dual Star, and Arrowhead Motorsports. All have websites which you can find via google. By going over the lists of parts these companies sell, you should be able to decide which modifications will best fit your bike and the type of riding you will be doing.

I would second the recommendation to loctite everything. Every new KLR I've seen has vibrated out the radiator shroud bolts, and the shrouds fell off, on the very first ride if the dealor hadn't loctited them before selling the machine. A more permanent fix are the self locking bolts sold by Dualstar and mentioned above. You don't have to go off pavement for bolts to loosen - it's the vibration of the engine, which, typical of singles, is at the right frequency to loosen bolts, that does it.

If you're going to be spending a lot of time off-pavement in remote backcountry hunting, etc. you might want to make your bike as "bulletproof" as possible (pun intended! ;o) ) regarding crash damage. The nerf bar set made by Happy Tails is excellent for this purpose and has saved me a lot of crash damage.

You certainly have beautiful country for riding a dual sport. In the fall of 2002 I road the section of the Trans America Trail that goes through the Arkansas Ozarks and the autumn foliage was spectacular - really beautiful.

I hope this is of some help.


[This message has been edited by liketoride2 (edited 04 January 2005).]

zrod 6 Jan 2005 10:06

Congrats on your new KLR.
For some of us, it is a life changin event!
To become an expert on the Mighty KLR, this site is a must!


I studied that site for 2 years and didn't even need to test drive a single KLR before I bought my new 03.
It's been compiled over the years by many very Loyal Gurus, and will quickly make you an expert!
Cheers and enjoy,

zrod 12 Mar 2005 14:46

Hey Jim!
You may want to forget about mods for awhile and join us at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the 24-26th of March.
50 Dual Sports will be there to ride and talk mods if ya want!
Rod,,,thinkin this may be one of the best rides of the year

tbecker 8 Mar 2006 03:42

By Far My Favorite Mods are (I use 60% offroad):

- Metal Skid Plate (if off road)
- Metal framed hand gaurds
- Metal from brake line
- heated grips
- Higher Windshield

I bought 90% of my stuff from Dual Star - great service from them. The best thing to do is buy stuff as you feel you need it, I went crazy with mods and now feel I dont really need them all.

I also found tires change the dynamics of the bike a lot. I bought some cheap offroad tires and had a lot of wheel slipage around corners on pavement, but upgraded to Continental TKC80. They dont look much but are amazing.

ekaphoto 14 Mar 2006 08:40

I put a Kuba link on my GF bike once and was happy with the results. You may need to lower the front end to keep steering geometry.


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