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Old 12-31-2017, 11:50 PM   #1
Aship
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Default Breaking in a KLR

I am going to be purchasing a 2017 KLR from a dealer in Mesa, AZ and that is about 650 miles from my home. I am going to be riding it back Normally I would buy it closer to home but this dealer is giving me a HUGE Veterans discount, (2k off the $6999.00 price tag). I do not want to damage it and can't do a proper break-in. Any suggestions on how I should ride or NOT ride during the return trip? Suggestions would help me out a lot!

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Stay a night.

Seriously. Take the time, break it in. That first oil change can be critical.

Pick it up, break it in, change the oil in the hotel parking lot, ride for home the next morning. Gotta get it done right. It doesn't take long to break in a motorcycle, but it does take time.

Get with the dealer. Arrange to pick it up, break it in, have them change the oil/filter, and ride it to a hotel. That's day 1. Heck, ask them to let you watch so you "learn" how to do an oil change (not really, just so you can make sure they do it right. Make sure they leave the oil bypass tube in there, and don't crack the case when they tq the drain plug... then make sure you have more oil to top it off with... top of the sight glass held level).

Day 2? You're in for it...

It's going to take you upwards of 10 hours to cover that distance. A KLR is not a cruiser. It is going to beat you like a rented mule... especially at 65mph... which is as fast as I would go with a 15t front sprocket and a new motor. I don't care where you live... it's going to get cold before you get home.

You are NOT going to fly in, pick up the bike, and ride it home the same day. (Well, you COULD... but I wouldn't recommend it.)

You are setting yourself up for failure, catastrophic, dangerous, possibly deadly, failure.

You will not get a chance to do this right twice... unless you overbore... then you will... but that's something different.

Seriously though... think this through... according to your post, regardless of how much experience you have in LD riding, you're gnawing on a chunk.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

I looked closer at the situation... here's my issues with your plan. Hopefully this will help you formulate something else.

1. You're buying for Kelly's Kawasaki. This is an assumption I'm making based on my ignorance regarding any OTHER Kawasaki dealers in Mesa. If I'm wrong... good... if I'm right... I wouldn't trust them with my bike. I wouldn't trust them to put the thing together from the crate properly. I wouldn't trust them to wipe my tailpipe. Caveat emptor. Give yourself a few hours to go over the bike. Check everything.

2. You will be crossing the desert. Whether you go via 1-10, skirt the LA basin to I-5, or head north from the basin through Cooper's and across Mojave... you're crossing the desert. It can be inhospitable. Know your fuel economy... how? Stop... a lot... Love's west of PHX... Quartzsite, Blythe, etc. Keep track... it can and will change. If you're looking to cross the desert at night? Don't. Just don't.

3. Your most direct route home takes you through Los Angeles. This is a time consuming task. Traffic, being what it is, could strand you in the basin.

4. The grapevine. I-5n out of LA is challenging in good weather. Depending on when you hit it, it gets cold... fast... Tehachapi isn't much better. The wind coming across the desert can get fierce. I've ridden with it in my face and at my back. It's disconcerting to be doing 75mph, with your face shield up, and no wind in your face... because it's blowing as hard as you're going.

5. Your ass. It will get tired. You will get sore. You will be stopping about every 100 miles for a break, and the breaks will get longer and longer. 10 hours is minimum I budget to drive that far in a CAR, much less a bike. I made good time heading to Oregon on a Gen1... of course, I had a seat pad, a sheepskin, highway pegs so I could push back against my luggage (backrest) and I didn't take very long at fuel stops. Get off, get a drink, walk around, get back on, ride. Maybe 10 minute breaks for fuel... except Quartzsite when I bought Jerky at Daniels. Good stuff.

Honestly, this time of year? I'd think twice about it... and end up doing it anyways, but I'd still think twice.

650 miles is a long way to go on a KLR in one hop... and I would not recommend it to a new KLR owner.
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Yep Kelly's is the one I was talking about. Not really what I wanted to hear I was hoping they were better than most as I was trusting they would have done an outstanding job out of the crate.

My plan was to do about 250 a day. I have been trying to figure out a way to carry a Corbin with me and switch it out along with tools and a few other things to do some minor maintenance along the way. New KLR rider? Yeah your right and I have a lot of experience in the dirt and quite a bit on the street but it is old. I haven't rode a bike since I crashed in 2003. I always did my own work on all of my bikes, but so many things have changed. I have never bought an Enduro so yeah I feel like I am kinda sorta lost. It's why I asked for help here, and I feel like my skills are weak both mechanically and technically, another reason I asked this forum. So thanks.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Ship your seat to someone local.

Send a PM to one of the AZ guys, Chuck B, Haldor, etc. Tell them you're planning a fly and ride and need a shipping point and a garage.

I mentioned those guys specifically as they both have garages and all the tools you'll need to do whatever you need to do.

They've also been known to help the occasional motorcyclist... and both live just far enough away from Kelly's to make for a good break in.

Ship your stuff, pick up bike (check oil level, top off to the top of the sight glass before you leave) break in the bike on the way to their place (Keep the rpms down, lots of engine braking, etc), change oil at their place, go over the bike, etc...

250 miles a day is a good, safe distance to travel by KLR. I would recommend Palm Springs as your first stop, assuming you leave in the morning. I made the trip from Maricopa AZ to Hollywood CA in two hops. Copa to PS, then PS to Hollywood. The run to PS wasn't too bad, and the follow up was easy... even went through downtown so the daughter could see the big buildings...

Making it into a 2 day trip is very much bettah than trying to do it in 1...

Make sure to check out Glenn's thread on breaking in a 2008. Not enough has changed over 11 years to warrant anything really different.

TBH, the weather across the south right now is fantastic during the day. Stretching the trip out to three days and taking some back routes (ie Mojave) is what I'd prefer to do. Just don't be caught riding at night. It does get cold fast.

So, quick recap.

1. Contact local, arrange for shipping point, garage time.

2. Pick up bike from Kelly's, expect nothing. Quick check before riding away, bring oil.

3. Break in on the way to pick up your supply drop.

4. Change oil at supply drop, make modifications, inspect bike for incompetence.

5. Stay night.

6. Head for home.

Information to arm yourself with prior to picking up the bike.

1. Oil. Level, how/when to check is far more important than brand.

2. Chain adjustment. I wouldn't doubt it'll be too tight out the door.

3. Front and rear wheels. I would pull them, grease them, and make sure they're reassembled correctly. Lube the caliper pins on the brakes.

That's the minimum I would recommend if I had to buy a bike from Kelly's. #3 is because you'll be running those things, make sure they're lubed and assembled correctly, or it will be a short ride.

Now, let's talk kit...

I'm assuming you're going to ship some gear if you can, right? Carry on as little as possible? Maybe buy a helmet on site?

There's a cycle gear at the corner of Southern and Country Club. Just up the street from Kelly's. They have a full supply of riding gear. Helmets, jackets, pants, boots, etc.

You can pick up the bike, ride to Cycle gear, get a helmet, etc. Their house brand BILT isn't the best there is, but it'll do. You can get bungees, straps, etc. from Harbor Freight. Depending on where you're heading, there's Harbor Freights everywhere.

IF you're shipping ahead of times, why not consider shipping racks and luggage (saddlebags, etc.) as well? Doesn't take long to install some luggage racks.

What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that there's far more you can do than show up, hop on bike, and ride away, to make this into more of an adventure, and less of a chore, with some planning and prep.

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Old 01-01-2018, 08:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

I'm going to suggest some of what RobertZ posted, but with a slightly simpler approach.

Fly in....give the bike a good check over, focused on some basic things. Does it have a full crankcase of oil? Are the fasteners torqued? Tires aired up? Proper chain slack? (see pinned thread on chain slack) etc. Nothing too crazy. As long as they didn't forget to put oil in it, or left the axel nuts loose, you can't go too far wrong. I trust RobertZ and thus don't trust Kelly's. But assuming it is a brand new bike, there's not a whole helluva lot they can do to hose it up.....again.....assuming they don't do something evil.

Buy an Airhawk seat pad, or if you can't find one of them, just get a Coleman seat pad at Wal-Mart. Riding 300 miles a day is not that bad. Your butt will be talking to you, but you won't be in terrible pain. The post 2014 KLR seats are much improved.

As to routing.....Find a route that avoids the freeway. While some KLR riders have no problem riding the interstate, I avoided it like the plague. Back roads are so much nicer and less stressful. The KLR isn't happy over 70 mph. Get on Google maps and find a back road way home.

Ride it 300 miles at varying RPM's. Then find a Wal-Mart, buy some Rotella and change the oil in the parking lot. Ideally you'd swap out the filter, but just look it over. If it's not full of metal bits (and it won't be) you'll be okay. The oil change is easy peasy. No problem. Check YouTube and you'll find a video on how to do it.....Then get a motel, clean up, have dinner, and hit the hay.

Day 2.....Nice easy ride home. No big thing.

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Old 01-01-2018, 11:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

An excellent second opinion...

I will say this though...

I-10 west from Phx is a nice highway for KLRs... wait, should I bite my tongue?

Yeah, no... anyways... you can keep the bike around 65 and not get run over. Stay in the right lane, and you'll be fine. Even though the speed limit is 75, and people do 90, the trucks own the right lanes, and they don't go that fast (generally). I've traveled that highway a few times... both on a bike and in a car. Never known it to be different.

Smart people stay out of the right lane because of the trucks... but at 65, you won't be catching them that often, and they won't be catching you.

Airhawk... *scoffs* Look at Mr. Fatcat over there, with his expensive butt padding... Probably has a whole BAG of lentils, just sitting in his cupboard... Likely eats out at those restaurants I've heard about...
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

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Originally Posted by Robert Z View Post
An excellent second opinion...

I will say this though...

I-10 west from Phx is a nice highway for KLRs... wait, should I bite my tongue?

Yeah, no... anyways... you can keep the bike around 65 and not get run over. Stay in the right lane, and you'll be fine. Even though the speed limit is 75, and people do 90, the trucks own the right lanes, and they don't go that fast (generally). I've traveled that highway a few times... both on a bike and in a car. Never known it to be different.

Smart people stay out of the right lane because of the trucks... but at 65, you won't be catching them that often, and they won't be catching you.

Airhawk... *scoffs* Look at Mr. Fatcat over there, with his expensive butt padding... Probably has a whole BAG of lentils, just sitting in his cupboard... Likely eats out at those restaurants I've heard about...
Never owned an Airhawk. I rode the OEM saddle from day one and every day after. As to lentils in the cupboard....nope....none of that either. Black beans and white rice. Mmmmm good. As to restaurants, my favorite is a local joint called "The Flying Weenie". It's a really pinkie up type place. Nuttin' Fancy.

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Old 01-02-2018, 01:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

I know I'm threadjacking a bit... sorry to the OP... but Mitch deserves this.

As always, the best part is the comments...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal_Jerk/
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Z View Post
I know I'm threadjacking a bit... sorry to the OP... but Mitch deserves this.

As always, the best part is the comments...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal_Jerk/
I enjoy both Reddit and Imgur, not because of the postings, but because of the comments under the postings. There are some seriously funny people out there.

I try to be funny.....but most the time people just stare at me with a blank look, then shake their head and walk away. It's why I hang out here. Cuz I can be as annoying and unfunny as all get out and not see the rolling of the eyes and shaking of the heads.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aship View Post
I am going to be purchasing a 2017 KLR from a dealer in Mesa, AZ and that is about 650 miles from my home. I am going to be riding it back Normally I would buy it closer to home but this dealer is giving me a HUGE Veterans discount, (2k off the $6999.00 price tag). I do not want to damage it and can't do a proper break-in. Any suggestions on how I should ride or NOT ride during the return trip? Suggestions would help me out a lot!

Thanks!
I'm sure you probably already thought of this, But No other dealers anywhere closer to home will match that price for a Vet? Seems to me that's a lot of stress right out of the gate , Any thoughts of a fly out . Rent a cheep truck and truck it home, Then you can take your time going over the bike and break in at your leisure? I'm thinking even if you could get a grand off local ,By the time you pay for the ticket, fuel ,food ,lodging and a few days on the road, Hoping something doesn't go wrong .even a flat tire could ruin your trip. Might be worth it to buy local for not quite as big a discount. Personally I'd be worried A friend of mine bought a new Kawasaki Vulcan a few years ago and on the way home from the dealer it crapped out ,he was dead on the side of the road in rush hour traffic several hours later he was home with his brand new non running bike. ,Long story, short he wound up getting a different bike something bad happened to the motor, I can't remember ,Anyway it happens, Rare but none the less, You have several options ,How about a new used one, a low mileage bike someone has already farkeled up and is selling it a a loss... Winter 's here. Craig's list, cash and patience are your friend . Good luck to you and Thanks for your Service .Keep us all posted ..You got to love this website look at the thoughtful responses from the inmates
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

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Originally Posted by donA View Post
I'm sure you probably already thought of this, But No other dealers anywhere closer to home will match that price for a Vet? Seems to me that's a lot of stress right out of the gate , Any thoughts of a fly out . Rent a cheep truck and truck it home, Then you can take your time going over the bike and break in at your leisure? I'm thinking even if you could get a grand off local ,By the time you pay for the ticket, fuel ,food ,lodging and a few days on the road, Hoping something doesn't go wrong .even a flat tire could ruin your trip. Might be worth it to buy local for not quite as big a discount. Personally I'd be worried A friend of mine bought a new Kawasaki Vulcan a few years ago and on the way home from the dealer it crapped out ,he was dead on the side of the road in rush hour traffic several hours later he was home with his brand new non running bike. ,Long story, short he wound up getting a different bike something bad happened to the motor, I can't remember ,Anyway it happens, Rare but none the less, You have several options ,How about a new used one, a low mileage bike someone has already farkeled up and is selling it a a loss... Winter 's here. Craig's list, cash and patience are your friend . Good luck to you and Thanks for your Service .Keep us all posted ..You got to love this website look at the thoughtful responses from the inmates
Just another thought ,You should check Calif DMV on bringing an out of state bike
into Calif might have a emissions issue ....
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:36 PM   #13
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Cool Re: Breaking in a KLR

Thanks for all the insight on this. I am probably going to trailer it back home at this point. I have been keeping an eye on CL for a new/used bike as well. I am hold off and see what pops up on there over the next few days. I went and picked up a 98 KLR yesterday up by Yosemite for a friend. Great bike but needs a little work. Needs to be raised back up and a few nuts and bolts tightened. I will defiantly post on here on what I find and finally decide to get.

Thanks for all the help, and cheers!
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Breaking in a KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aship View Post
Thanks for all the insight on this. I am probably going to trailer it back home at this point. I have been keeping an eye on CL for a new/used bike as well. I am hold off and see what pops up on there over the next few days. I went and picked up a 98 KLR yesterday up by Yosemite for a friend. Great bike but needs a little work. Needs to be raised back up and a few nuts and bolts tightened. I will defiantly post on here on what I find and finally decide to get.

Thanks for all the help, and cheers!
I think that's a great decision ! Especially if your not in a hurry you can score a really good deal. If your stuck on buying that bike in Arz. trailering it home makes total sense to me for so many reasons .. Did you check with DMV on emissions?
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