Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear?
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.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 18 Aug 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 34
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Aug 2009
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 560
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Aug 2009
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 3,930
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
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Aug 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 42
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Aug 2009
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 146
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.

Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Halton Hills, ON, Canada
Posts: 1
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!

Reply With Quote
Old 28 Sep 2009
wildlands1's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Valencia, Negros, Philippines
Posts: 70
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Sep 2009
wildlands1's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Valencia, Negros, Philippines
Posts: 70
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.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
equiping a TT600 cornepol Yamaha Tech 0 10 Jan 2004 20:24



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! May 2-4 2025!

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:50.