Archive for the ‘KLR650 2008+’ Category

KLR Commuter

Posted: January 18, 2014 in KLR650 2008+, Maintenance
Another oil change...

Another oil change…

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.

Nice! :)

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.

 

BMW GS with MTB...

BMW GS with MTB…

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.

MTB rack attaches to rear of moto...

MTB rack attaches to rear of moto…

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.

Fork close up...

Fork close up…

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.

Rear view...

Rear view…

Gas Guy's KLR650...

Gas Guy’s KLR650…

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. ;)

2009 KLR650 – before…

Click here to read a good thread over at ADVrider.com about installing a 10 gallon tank on a 2008+ KLR650 started my MacG.

IMS 10gal tank installed…

Touratech metal headlight guard for the 2008+ KLR650…

I just noticed that Touratech now offers a metal wire headlight guard for the 2008+ Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle.

Touratech headlight guard…

Deep Water…

Posted: July 10, 2012 in ADV Ride, KLR650 2008+

Rear Michelin T63 tire…

Well I got her done! ;) Swapping in some new tires on my KLR650 wasn’t crazy hard, but it did take some time and I’m glad I had access to the internet to confirm a few details.

Tools I used…

I used the tools from my bike’s toolkit to install the new tires. Good thing as I realized I was missing a couple key items I needed.

Michelin T63 on the front…

I consulted the videos I found on Youtube as a general guide and although they miss a couple useful points they are pretty handy.

Having a centerstand was great…

I used the centerstand on my KLR to lift each wheel so I could pull them from the bike.

This was good practice!

It would have been way easier to get a local shop to install the T63′s, but this was good practice for me and it gives me confidence knowing I have the tools and knowledge to get my bike sorted if I do flat out on some remote logging road.

I need to swap some Michelin T63 knobbies onto my KLR this week and pull the stock Dunlops.

So I hunted down these videos to help me.

I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 17 and never had a flat.

As you can imagine I am not a tire changing Jedi so wish me luck!

My 2010 KLR650 with wire headlight guard installed…

I’ve been after a wire headlight guard since last summer. My DIY efforts failed to produce anything useful so I was really happy to find someone selling a production unit on EBay.

Guard close up…

For under $50 it’s hard to beat this guard and it looks sweet as it protects your expensive headlight assembly.

Guard attaches via well nuts you have to install…

To install the guard you have to drill 4 holes in your fairing where the well nuts that come with the guard are placed and the guard then bolts on securely to them. Total install takes 5 min without a beer and 10 min with a beer.

Front view…

The guard came at the perfect time. I’m about to spoon on some Michelin T63 knobbies so I can ride up to Lake Nitnaht on forest service roads to kiteboard. All that gravel riding is bound to send some rocks my way from passing vehicles.

Side view…

$50 is cheap insurance for rock damage.

The complete KLR ready to rumble…

Wire headlight guard for 2008+ KLR650…

I’ve been looking for a wire headlight guard for my 2010 KLR650 for a while now. I tried to modify a Touratech BMW guard unsuccessfully and sort of gave up on the project as it was getting expensive and wasn’t going to look awesome.

Front view…

Happily a member over at ADVrider.com pointed me to Ebay where I found these guards for sale. Just search for “KLR headlight guard”.

Not bad for under $50…

They are a bit under $50US + shipping. I ordered one and will post a review when I get it.

2012 KLR650…

Posted: October 13, 2011 in KLR Culture, KLR650 2008+

She's back in black!

Not much has changed for the KLR650 in 2012 other than the black frame/forks and wheels. It’s a nice look. If I was starting all over again I’d score one of these triple black beauties. Click on the image above to jump to the Kawasaki spec page.

Happy Trail KLR650 centerstand…

I don’t have a motorcycle lift at home and I like being able to work on my bike anywhere I find myself on tour.  A centerstand makes many maintenance jobs much easier – like fixing a flat tire or lubing the chain. I know that the easier I make it to take care of my bike the more likely it is that I’ll do the regular maintenance that she needs.

The stand mounts using the two footpeg bolt holes…

So I ordered up a Happy Trail KLR centerstand. I’ve been pleased with the quality of the other Happy Trail products I’ve bought and they are very easy to deal with when it comes to getting stuff shipped to Canada.

Step 1 – remove footpeg mounting bolts…

The instructions provided were dead easy to follow and the whole process took under 15 minutes.

Don’t forget the Loctite!

The centerstand bolted right on. All the mounting holes lined up without any hassles.

You’ll need:

  • 13mm & 14mm socket
  • 13mm wrench
  • 6mm allen key
  • blue Loctite
  • beer [optional]

Doesn't lift the rear wheel in deep gravel...

Once you bolt the stand on the bike you have two adjustments you can make:
  1. bike height – higher or lower depending on tires and if the suspension has been lowered
  2. side to side adjustment to clear swing arm if needed
I didn’t bother messing with either adjustment as the stand worked fine as setup from the factory. You’ll notice the rear wheel isn’t off the ground in deep gravel, but it does get lifted on a hard surface which is great for lubing the chain.

Underside view from the right...

The KLR rolls up onto the centerstand fairly easily. Happy Trail offers a lifting handle to provide a handy spot for lifting the bike onto the stand. It’s not essential, but I can see that it would be useful and I’ll grab one next time I am ordering from them.

Underside view from the left…

The stand works fine with the Happy Trail skid plate as you’d expect. You have to deploy the sidestand to put the centerstand up or down. The centerstand can handle the weight of the bike and luggage, but don’t do anything goofy like trying to ride your KLR off the stand or jumping up and down like a madman while sitting on the bike on the stand. ALthough Happy Trails doesn’t suggest it’s a good idea I think the centerstand can handle the weight of a rider and bike as long as you are just sitting still.

I’ll report back with a long term review of this stand after my winter trip to Baja.

 

Dave posted another great KLR video over at his blog. 

JNS KLR Radiator Guard

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Farckles, KLR650 2008+
Tags:
JNS Engineering radiator guard installed on my KLR…

I’m working my through the protective bits I want to add to my KLR to prevent damage on the road/trail. Crash bars, skid plate and hand guards have all been installed. Next up was protecting the KLR650′s radiator better. The Happy Trail engine bars do a good job of stopping the radiator from being crushed, but all that’s there to protect the rad from rocks thrown up by my front wheel or another vehicle is some flimsy plastic.

The JNS guard powder coated….

JNS Engineering makes a metal radiator guard for 2008+ KLR650′s so I ordered one up. It looks well made and is strong while being lightweight. It comes in black and I was powder coating a bunch of stuff so I added it in for laughs.

JNS rad guard mounted to my plastic rad shroud…

Installing the JNS guard is straight forward. You drill 4 3/16″ holes and bolt it to the KLR’s plastic rad shroud. You’ll notice I cut out a bit of the JNS guard. This is because I am running a set of Happy Trail crash bars [aka Paris Dakar Nerf Bars]. They have a cross piece running in front of the rad – see top image – which wold have been touching the JNS guard and in a crash might have pushed back hard enough to damage the rad mounts. Not wanting to damage my bike because I mounted a protective farckle I cut out a bit of the JNS guard so the HT bars can move back a bit without anything happening. Because the HT cross bar is in front of the cut out area the protection from rock is maintained.

JNS rad guard in place…

You have to remove the left side fairing cover and in my case unbolt the left side crash bars. Once you do that the JNS guard attached to the plastic stock radiator shroud slides right in.

View from below showing cut out in JNS rad guard…

The JNS guard will do a good job protecting against flying debris. It may clog up with mud, but I don’t ride in mud regularly so I don’t expect that to be an issue. It’s no worse than the stock plastic rad shroud when it comes to mud. I will post a long term review next year.

 

Happy Trail Rallye System with stock KLR screen…

Like a lot of KLR riders I wanted better airflow/protection than the stock windscreen could offer. First I tried a Bajaworx Dakar taller screen and was glad for the improvement, but I still had a lot of noise and turbulence up at the top of my helmet [I'm 5'11" with a 33" inseam]. So I was looking around for something else and found the Happy Trail Rallye System and decided to give it a shot.

The Rallye System Kit…

Here’s what you get:

  • steel windscreen bracket [comes in black I made it white locally]
  • optional dash that mounts above stock KLR instrument cluster
  • plastic trim pieces x 2
  • all hardware needed
  • instructions

Screen bracket and option dash mounted...

The installation instructions are easy to follow and mounting the bracket takes only a few minutes. You’ll noted that the upper stock screen mounting holes are not used and Happy Trail suggests cutting the extra fairing material off. Keep in mind if you do that you can never  [easily] go back to using a normal windscreen in the stock location. I had already removed the sharp points that were there when I installed the Bajaworx Dakar screen so I left everything as is.

Optional high dash installed...

I installed the optional dash part of the kit. Eventually I’ll mount my GPS there and a 12V lighter socket. For now it just makes the install look nicer. If you have some DIY skills you could build a handy storage compartment there as well.

Bajaworx Dakar screen mounted on the Rallye bracket...

Mounting your screen back on the bike is as easy as it would be for a stock KLR. Happy Trail provides 4 plastic bolts to use so that if you hit your screen in a crash it breaks free. That’s a nice touch, but it would have been great if they included 4 extra bolts so you can reattach your screen if it comes off on a tour. The extra cost would be minimal and the convenience of having the spares would be nice. As you can see the rear of the screen is raised higher than the front [2.5" vs 1.25"] tilting the whole thing forward. How this will work with a particular screen and rider is hard to say.

The Dakar from the front...

I tried my Bajaworx Dakar first and took a highway run to test out the new position. I was wearing my motorcross helmet with sunglasses. This is my least protective setup and it does little for debris or noise with the stock KLR screen. It also has a big visor which doesn’t like turbulent airflow. Overall there was a noticeable improvement in airflow and protection. I was effectively shielded from debris and the noise levels were reasonable. I didn’t have any issues with the visor catching wind at all. This would be a good setup for long distance highway rides – especially in bad weather.

Dakar from the rear...

One issue I had with this screen and the Rallye System was that it bounced quite a lot on rough roads. I assume that’s because of the extra weight and rearward bias of the screen’s weight. It wasn’t a huge issue, but I wouldn’t want to take that setup on a long gravel road tour. I’d be afraid it would eventually fail at one of the attachment points.

The stock KLR650 screen mounted...

I figured I should test out the stock KLR windscreen back to back with the Dakar on the Rallye System to compare them while things were fresh in my mind. So I bolted on the stock unit [the swap took 2mins] I covered the same route with this setup.

Stock screen side view on the Rallye System...

I was quite impressed with the way the stock screen worked in this new position. Although I didn’t get as much protection as the taller Dakar it was still excellent and the airflow around my helmet was really smooth.

Stock KLR windscreen from the rear...

The lighter screen didn’t bounce on rough roads and I could see totally over it which was nice. I came away liking this setup the best for most of my riding. It adds enough improvement over the stock position of the screen to make me happy without any of the negatives of having a tall screen you have to look through. I liked it so much I left the stock screen on.

Surprised to be loving the stock screen so much again...

Overall my initial impressions of the Happy Trail Rallye System are quite favourable. The cost is similar to buying a quality tall windscreen and besides the extra protection you get from the higher mounting position you also get a bunch of really useful dash space. As a bonus I think it makes the KLR look pretty sweet!

In terms of improvement I am having one issue with the Rallye System. At higher RPM/speeds [~4K and 90kph+] I get a very loud annoying vibration noise. Loud enough it’s all I can think about. I have been playing around with trying to identify what is causing it and have some ideas, but haven’t nailed it down 100% yet. Two likely culprits are the optional dash [which is only supported at the very bottom] and the outside plastic edge cover [which is not supported at the very front]. I’ll try some DIY solutions to resolve this issue and figure it shouldn’t be too hard to ride in silence again…=-)

KLR650 Canada…

Posted: September 14, 2011 in ADV Ride, KLR650 2008+

KLR650 Low Front Fender?

Posted: August 26, 2011 in ADV Ride, Farckles, KLR650 2008+
Tags:

Photo: Colebatch @ADV Rider

I’ve got a 2010 KLR with the stock front fender. I’m thinking about tackling a low front fender project over the winter. I’ve found a couple options that are easy, but look like crap. I’m hoping to end up with something along the lines of the KTM fender on the BMW X-Challenge shown above [photo - Walter aka Colebatch over at ADV Rider].

I thought I would see if anyone had any suggestions for a good place to start. I’m going to head down to my local KTM dealer and check out the Adventure 990 front fender.

BTW – I’ve got the EM/HT fork brace on my KLR.

Note the sharp fairing points on each side of windscreen...

The Bajaworx Dakar windscreen bolts right onto a KLR650 with some minor filing of the mounting holes to get the stock well-nuts in. However, as you can see above the different shape of the Dakar compared to the stock screen means that there are two sharp points on the fairing aimed right at the rider.

Not ideal!

So I went about removing them.

Dremel time!

I marked the cut line with a sharpie and a ruler. Pulled off the Dakar and used a Dremel tool to cut off the excess material.

Cut and sanded...

After cutting off the point I used a sanding wheel to remove any sharp edges. I didn’t get too detailed as this is KLR not a BMW! It just has to work. It doesn’t have to impress anyone…=-)

The finished product...

After the extra points were removed I reinstalled the Dakar. The bike looks better and I can still use the stock screen if I feel like a lower unit at some point.

Bajaworx Dakar windscreen on my KLR650…

I wanted a taller windscreen on my KLR650 for highway riding. The low stock windscreen puts the air flow right at helmet level which is noisy and results in lots of buffeting. The Bajaworx Dakar is considerably taller than the stock unit and quite vertical.

Stock KLR650 windshield…

The Dakar bolts right on to the KLR using the same 4 mounting bolts as the OEM unit. There are two sharp points on the front fairing that need to be cut off with the Dakar, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. They are visible in the top photo.

OEM on left and Dakar on right…

Although the Dakar is quite tall I am looking over it when riding. At highway speeds it pushes the air to a level about at the top of my helmet – I’m 5’11″. This eliminates any buffeting, but it’s still quite noisy. If I lean forward slightly or slouch down I can get into a pocket of silent air. The Dakar provides lots of protection from bugs and cold air.

Side view…

Overall the Dakar is a definite improvement on the stock KLR windshield. If I was 1″- 2″ shorter it would be perfect. I’d like to have a quieter ride on the highway so I am going to look at a removable spoiler from Touratech or maybe the Happy Trail Rallye Windscreen Kit.

Dakar on my KLR...

I should note that getting a Bajaworx Dakar shipped to Canada was no problem and Gerald at Bajaworx was very easy to deal with. I’ll post a long term review at the end of the year.