My KLR is a 2010 model that gets ridden year round on the coast. I do all the easy maintenance like oil changes, lubing the chain and such. Hitting 10,000kms recently I figured it was time for some professional love at the dealer. I got a new chain/counter sprocket, flushed the rad and rebuilt the brake calipers. Apparently they put down corrosive de-icing chemicals on the highways around here [I didn’t know that] and my chain and brakes both suffered pretty badly from regular winter use.
Because the brake parts took forever to come in I lost the bike for over 3 weeks and got a pretty hefty bill once all was said and done.
On the other hand the bike is running great now and aside from my first 1000km service this is the only dealer service it’s had.
I’ll need some new tires next year, but I have the nearly new stock tires and I may throw them on and wear them out since I have no dirt riding plans after the spring in 2015.
A KLR650 and a nice lady. What could be better? ;)
My local Ducati dealer let me demo one of these bad boys on the weekend. I knew I was in trouble when I sat on it and started it up. It felt and sounded so amazing. He offered me $3K off retail to move a bike in the winter. If the demo went well I’d probably go home with a new bike.
Luckily for my bank account the demo wasn’t great. The handling was downright strange verging on scary.
I’m not a super moto guy and only been riding tame DS bikes for the last decade so maybe I just don’t have the skills for a performance bike, but I was feeling gripped riding this baby at 80kph on a normal secondary highway that should have been a chill cruise.
My KLR is not sexy nor exciting to ride, but it feels very predictable and safe. At my advanced age that’s a good thing! ;)
I’ve been lazy and ignored my air filter despite riding a bunch of dusty forest service roads. So I knew it was time to get a fresh filter in my bike.
I found a brand new Uni filter in my parts box and picked up some No Toil filter oil as well as some rim grease.
Oiling the filter was easy and it installed into my bike with no fuss after applying some No Toil rim grease to the bottom of the filter.
I didn’t bother saving the stock filter. I’ll get another Uni filter so I have a spare ready to rock on longer trips.
Despite riding the KLR nearly daily this blog has been slow because the bike is working great, I’m not adding any farckles and I haven’t gone on any adventures of note. That said I did break 10,000kms recently! Living on an island it’s hard to rack up huge mileage so 10K is a nice milestone. :)
In honour of the occasion I figured I should do some maintenance on the bike. I replaced a burnt out head light which was quite a pain in the ass to get to! Changed the oil. Checked the air filter and started buying a replacement for it. I also installed some new tank fairing decals. I was bored with the old ones and I actually made 2 different sets so I had some spares.
All in all the bike has been running great.The stock motor is purring right along with regular oil changes. It’s mostly seeing commuting duties at the moment, but getting to ride for an hour or so each day is great even if I am not exploring Outer Mongolia! ;)
My KLR adventures are mostly commutes to work these days, but I’d rather be riding the moto to work than not riding it at all. =)
I’ve got a new contract which requires me to drive out to the airport most days – ~50kms round trip. I’m not stoked to put the miles and pay the gas bills on my F150 so my KLR650 gets the call most days. – unless it’s raining fairly hard.
I’m no wet weather hero! ;)
The KLR is ideal for 25kms each way of low speed highway [~90-100kph]. It’s fun to ride and mobile to work through traffic. Weather on Southern Vancouver Island is excellent for riding even in the winter. I can ride 75% of the days in the winter and close to 100% in the summer without being super cold or wet.
I decided I better do an oil change today as it’s been over 6 months since my last one. With my regular commute I’ll probably be doing oil changes every 3 months now. I’d rather stay on top of the oil than save a couple bucks now and end up with engine hassles later.
The only thing I like more than riding my moto is riding my mountain bike so if I can combine the two I would be very very happy! :)
I saw this setup down in Sedona AZ over Christmas and it looks ideal for what I need to do.
I’ll have to do a bit of research on this bike rack, but if it all looks good I think I’ll get one for the summer.
I need to confirm that it will work with my bikes that have 15mm & 20mm thru-axle forks as well as one that has a standard QR fork. Since those are all pretty common these days I’m assuming the rack can accommodate them.
I ride my KLR for work whenever I can. It’s often a bit of a pain to show up at a business meeting looking professional when using the bike. Wearing heavy duty pants and boots limits my clothing options without doing a full change at my destination – which is too much hassle to consider. Carrying my computer and paperwork is less elegant on the bike than if I drove my truck and hauled it all in a leather briefcase. Plus I have to deal with my helmet and riding jacket at the meeting which is cumbersome.
So why bother when I have a truck I could use?
I spend enough time working that it only makes sense to use that time to do things I enjoy as much as possible. Getting in a few extra bike rides a week while getting paid to do things at work is a win-win situation. Not to mention it’s easier to find bike parking and cheaper to operate the KLR.
And that’s the bottomline – every KLR ride I can fit into my week is a bonus so I’m going to do it whenever I can.
Not KLR related, but Alex has posted a super fun ride report about his trip along the Great Divide with his dog. I’ve always been stoked on Ural’s and their sidecars. I don’t have the mechanical skills to keep one running properly, but I do enjoy reading about them.
It’s been a bit of a boring summer KLR-wise. I’ve been riding around town a bunch, but no dirt exploring. I’m hoping that will change this fall. I need to check out some mountain bike touring routes up on the north part of Vancouver Island
I’ve also got a 50km round trip commute starting this fall that I will be doing with my pedal bike when I have time and my KLR when I need to make tracks.
In all my years of riding a KLR I’ve never had an oil leak or an oil burning issue. So when I started to notice my oil level dropping in the sight glass I was not happy. Initially I feared the worst – my bike was an oil burner – which has no easy or cheap fix. Then I noticed some oil on the gravel where I park my bike. I wasn’t sure if it was from the last oil change or if it was a leak so I threw something under the bike to catch any drops and confirmed the bike was leaking quite a bit of oil.
I had replaced the stock oil plug with a magnetic unit soon after buying the bike. I tried simply tightening the magnetic plug a bit, but while the leak slowed it didn’t stop. So advice from ADVrider.com told me the crush washer was likely toast. I decided to swap the stock plug back in for now and replace the crush washer on the magnetic plug at my leisure.
The stock plug fixed the oil leak. I’ll buy a new crush washer and try the magnetic plug again when I do my next oil change. I’ve got a magnet in my oil filter anyways so having a magnetic oil plug isn’t really necessary.
The only way you can be sure you’ll have the tools you need on the road is to use your bike’s tool kit at home. I know that’s a pain because the travelling tools are all nicely bundled up and you’ve got more tools at home that are easier to get to.
Don’t use ‘em!
Break out the on bike tool kit and use it for every repair you would want to be able to handle on the road. If you are missing something or your puny wrench won’t break a bolt loose better to find out at home than 50 miles from nowhere.
I’m always looking for the next bike even when there is no next bike coming! ;) This Husqvarna TR650 Terra looks like a great update on the KLR. I love the video below – sad, but true that’s how my KLR gets ridden. I’m not some hot shot MXer.
There is a dealer up island from me so I may just have to saddle up the KLR and check it out!
Click on the photo above to jump to a great thread on ADVrider.com – detailing one biker’s move from a BMW GSA to a tricked out KLR650. Just be ready to feel like you are neglecting your bike when you see the maintenance he does to it. ;)
I keep a basic record of any service I do to my KLR more serious than lubing the chain as well as any farkles I install. Only takes a second to update and a year or two down the road it’s great to have this info when you need make some decisions about your bike or evaluate how something is working.
When I sell the KLR someday a buyer will be stoked to know what I’ve done to keep the bike running well which should result in a higher price.