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KLR650 around the world with passenger to try and help
KLR650 around the world with passenger
My girlfriend and i have been traveling around the world since June 2012. We have driven across Canada into Alaska and down to San Deigo. We are planning to travel for the next 10 or 20 years or longer. We want to really spend months in cities to really know what its like to live all over the world. We want to learn about the different people of the world and try to see life from their perspectives. We want to know why we need all the horrible things like war and poverty and try and get people to come together and find solutions.
We are both on a 2011 KLR650 with all our luggage and camping gear. We are 300lb over the maximum bike weight of 833lb. We Could use alot of advice on keeping the bike running for many years and the best way to travel through different countries. I will start posting all the issues and questions and daily reports of how the trip is going.
We will be staying in San Deigo for a few weeks before entering Mexico so we have time to get ready and find someone to help us with maintenance. I think some people are going to help me install the Eagle Mike Dohicky and do a valve adjustment. What else should I do? I was thinking better rear supension because we scrape speed bumps but i am not sure.
After Mexico we will travel to Cuba (maybe without the bike) then central and south america. Hopefully we can then take a boat to Africa.
There are 3,000 pictures (from north america more to come) and a diary of our trip on our facebook page at the link below.
Have you been riding the KLR with that kind of load? I don't want to be obnoxious, but I spent a lot of time on my own KLR and considered myself overloaded at around 800 lbs. total (i.e., 200 pounds of Mark, 400 of bike, and 200 of baggage and fluids). Adding another 300 lbs. sounds to me unsafe. Most would recommend a larger bike, less baggage, or serious weight loss. For starters, at 1100+ pounds it's difficult to see the point of riding a big trailee in the first place--no way you're taking it off the highway.
Having said that, I'd definitely add stronger rear and progressive front springs, and I'd prepare for faster wear of the usual stuff--tires, for example. I'd think about upgrading brakes, too (but mine is a 2007, and yours already has better brakes so take this for what its worth).
There are lots of KLR-specific forums and discussion groups. I like this one: groups.yahoo.com/group/DSN_klr650/. You'll want to have a look at this, too: KLR650 FAQ. For parts, I use Arrowhead Motorsports On-line Parts List in part because I can call Fred with questions.
My girlfriend and I have done 24,000km with 1100lb (Monteal, Alaska and Sam Diego). *We have done some pretty bad off road riding with all our stuff. *I always drive slow at full weight. *There was a bad mountain, rocky, sandy, steep, cliff road (i can post the video) that i made it down at night and after spending 3 days down there finally got the courage to ride back up. *We have never really bottomed out (stock suspension). *
With this weight in the beginning i had 800lb on the rear wheel and 300lb on the front. *It was very hard to steer with the front so light (compared to the back) *I added bicycle bags over the front which really help and a one gallon spare gas can to the crash bars.
I bought EBC HH brake pads after getting 23,000km on the stock front brake pads. The thing i am most worried about is braking hard to avoid an accident. *The braking is much slower with all the weight.
Why we are riding a KLR650 2011. *I wanted a cheap bike that i could add to. *I love that the KLR Has been unchanged for so long so parts are everywhere. *The bike is very simple and bullet proof. *In third world countries there are more people that have KLRs. *The are small cheap bikes here but expensive big bikes there (hard to find BMW in small town Africa). *My girlfriend and I like the idea of living with as little as possible and we are always trying to get ride of more of our stuff.
We went though the stock back tire after less than 1,200miles.* Now we use 80% road tires and 20% off road (not 50/50 like stock). *We got 6000miles from the rear anakee 2, and i now have a shinko trailmaster on the rear with 3000mile ( it should make it to 4000miles). *Front anakee 2 has 9000 miles will make it to 10000 or 11000. *The stok front made it to 6000miles. *Original chain with 24000km is almost done (i lube it every 600km or after it rains).
I hope the bike with be good on bad roads but i have a center, stand tools and a spot satellite messanger if i get stuck. *We have no schedule and our tent and everything with us. *If we breakdown that will be good place to make camp (its all part of the adventure). *I want to cover what i can and try and make sure we are as safe as possible (good brakes) after that i just see what happens. *
I didnt think i would be this easy so far so i look forward to more adventurous times ahead.
I would love to post pictures (i took 9000 so far) and video (i have lots from hand held and go pro, i am currently cutting 15 about 5 minute videos of the trip so far) here can anyone help me with that? *Can i post picture from my i phone to here?
The basic trip is easy to Ushuaia. What people underestimate first and foremost is the difficulty of sustaining the effort over time. A year is a long time for most folks; ten years is for the very select few. Maybe you're one of those, but probably not.
Next is accidents. There are a lot of potential accidents between you and that boat to Africa (Grimaldi, by the way--Google it), and a lot of the reason we pay attention to brakes, tires, suspension and steering is to evade the inevitable close calls. I glanced at some of your photos, and it looks to me like your margin for error is thin at times. That's worth thinking about.
You might think carefully about that rear shock, and the consequences if it fails at this point or that in your journey. Mine lasted 80k miles, but it did cause some discomfort when it finally blew. Yours won't make it that long, all things being equal.
Ok, I'm done. Glad the bike is working for you so far, and hope it continues.
And another vote for keeping an eye on the rear shock, I have only ever seen one bike with the shock snapped in half and that was a KLR650, you really do need to think about reviewing what you are carrying. I would suggest after a few months see what you have not used and send it home or sell it, if you have not used it by then you possibly never will.
Sounds like you have already had a very exciting trip. I would have to agree with Mark about the bike weight. It is pretty exciting to hear that you have driven so far, so heavy, on the stock shock. It really SHOCKs me. (all pun intended). I have two 2008 KLR’s and have already changed the rear shock on one and have not done the other because of finances. In a trip like your and the weight you are carrying I would look into changing that shock. It really could save you some trouble later.
I like your choice of bikes. I have been told that the KLR is great for one up with your baggage but not a bike for two up. I ride through the mountains here in Kyrgyzstan all the time two up. My wife and I enjoy taking a trip and going where the cars cannot go. Now were not anywhere near 1100 lbs, but once I changed the rear shock we have not had any trouble with the bike. Parts are hard to find but you would be amazed at how easy it is to get something that will work till you can order the parts.
I can give you some insight on your quest. You wanted to know why we need all the horrible things like war and poverty. In the Bible the book of James and chapter four you will find a good start for you answer. Verse one is a very good start. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lust that war in your member?” It is the old nature of man, it is sin, it is greed, and the desire to obtain at the cost of anything or anyone.
We have an orphanage here in Kyrgyzstan and this is the same reason the majority of our children are here. Many of them have parents but the parents are too busy trying to take care of self they have no time, no desire, nothing for the children. It sounds like you two have big hearts. I pray they don’t get broke or harden. I wish you a wonderful and safe trip. Meet many people and share good times. Keep us all posted and if you get to Kyrgyzstan look me up.
14,000 kms into my South American trip. Started in Vancouver and presently in Ecuador. I am riding a 2008 KLR650 carrying 42 kilos of luggage, including the weight of the panniers, and 60 kilos of me. The one thing I wish I had done was to install a stronger shock. The stock shock is doing its job, but it is soft. All throughout your trip into CA and SA you will encounter, as Sara stated, topes. Lots of them. Not to mention some very bumpy roads. With the weight you are carrying it would be wise to get the shock replaced in the US before entering Mexico. Anyway, you have heard it all before. Consider carrying some spare wheel bearings as well. They won’t add too much more to your weight . I wish you both all the best in your travels. It will be an amazing journey.
Congratulation on your decision , I did over 80000 miles with my KLR and if you do maintain it they can last for a very long time , check what others already indicate and carry extra wheel bearing , with the weight that you carry they may fail more often. After travelling arround the worl my advice will be for you to see if all that you carry is really necessary and if not sale it or give it away , carry extra part like sprokets but chain can be found everywhere, brake pads are another stories. I like the fact that you do take your time , many traveller go way to fast and do not take enough time to enjoy thier trip . If you have a list of what you carry put it up for us to see .
Have fun no matter what
Good luck with the ride of a lifetime or maybe it will be your whole life!
I could help you with the photos and video as I have a small video editing suite at home home _ Apple Final Cut Pro so I can do some editing if you want and sorting your phots into albums and slideshows. You will have to find a way to email them to me or drop them into a FTP site.
Please let me know what i have to do to get to 80,000mile on a klr. I have so many questions. What non mainenance work did you have to do? Any big problems or expensive replacement parts? Did you get the doohickey fix? What
Oil did you use? How often did you adjust the valves? What air
Filter did you use? What kind or riding did you do (off road or highway mostly)?
I could go of forever please just try and help me
get my bike that far too. Its amazing you got
A klr that far and it makes me feel good about this trip. I thought i would have to replace the motor at 45,000 miles.
For the pictures I have posted 3000 pictures on facebook out of the 9000 pictures I have taken. I would love it if I could have only 100 out of those 3000 as the best of the best but its alot of work. The facebook page is below.
As for the movies I am currently edditing 19 videos from the first half year of the trip. I have about 5 so far on youtube under 2012theperfectworld. I am not very good at cutting them (most are too long like 16 minutes) and they need music. If you can help me make shorter movies or put them all together as one short clip that would really help me out. Below I have a link to the longest video. You should be able to find the rest from there.
One of the thing I do on all my bikes is first to use good oil (syntectic if possible ) I often change oild prior recommanded mileage , I also never push my bike while the engine is cold. For the KLR the regular air filter are good , I choose to have the foam one as they are easy to clean on the road , for oil filter the metalic one did good to me . Many small bike ( 250 )do very easily 60000 miles so getting to higher miles with yours should be a no brainner. what will go first will be bearing , fork seals ,sprockets . A regualr maintenance will help to keep you on the road. I am a bit of a maniac for weight on my bike and always try to limit myself to a comfortable but practical amount of gear ( you can always buy more clothe but good spares parts are not always easy to find).For my next RTW I will most likely use a 650 DR or similar and I am expecting way more that 60000 miles from it . keep a good check on your screws a bit of blue will help them to stay in place , your exhaust if original will need some minor repairs but any mechanic can fix those small details . a good battery will last a minimum of 2 to 3 years so same thing goes , take some extra spark plugs and put a fuel filter on your beast if you don't have one already. few riders did a RTW on KLR so why no you .
You make good progress as it is. I wish you both in good health and safe always.
When you get into the Far East, Malaysia in particular please look up for me (dont know when you will arrive here). Mighty glad to give you a helping hand. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Scary one lane mountain road video on a 1,100lb KLR
Below is a movie of us driving the overloaded bike on paved and unpaved
Mountain roads. *At the end of tje movie is the climb up a steep gravel road and you can see how we had the bike packed at the end. I was very concerned the brakes would overheat with heavy braking going down hill. *I actually threw water on the brakes and It flash boiled, not sure if that was a good idea, i dont want to warp the brakes.
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