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Old 08-07-2017, 09:12 PM   #1
ramitupurs84
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Default Highway question

I'm new this motorcycles and this is my first KLR. So this maybe a silly question: I see all these posts and YouTube channels globe trotting. How often is people rolling at highway speeds all bagged down with gear? Or are you mapping out roads with a lower speed limit?
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Highway question

Both and yes.

Very individual... depending on your gear, your setup, and yourself.

Also, define "freeway speeds" that can be anywhere from 55mph to 80mph here in the states.

First you need to figure out what you want to do.

Then figure out what you can do.

Lastly, make a compromise between the two.

Just remember. The speed limit is the MAXIMUM speed allowed by law. Doing 55 in a 65 zone is not going to get you pulled over... and some freeways limit big trucks and those hauling trailers to 55, even if the speed limit is 70.

Some freeway, some two lane, a little bit of everything makes for an adventure.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:53 AM   #3
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Smile Re: Highway question

for some the freeways are it.
for others dirt trails are it.

you have to answer this yourself. try different ways. but just remember the point of it all is not the how, but the end result.

do not worry the trip, just enjoy the ride.

i have a couple bikes, both do it worlds apart. and both are fun. get me away.

and i live.


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Old 08-08-2017, 09:02 AM   #4
ramitupurs84
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Default Re: Highway question

Sorry I'm talking about 70 mph for highway speeds. I've had mine up to 65mph. I've read that they wobble pretty bad at highway speeds. I also heard the 2nd hens burn oil at maintained speeds. I'm 300 lbs and a lot of bikes look like they have more than myself alone running around the world on a KLR
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Highway question

i've had mine at 80-90 for extended periods with a passenger, saddlebags and tail box. yes, the bike is capable of such abuse!

before doing so, i checked and tightened the steering head bearings, adjusted suspension sag (with only me on the bike) and made sure the tires were around 32 psi each.

there are a few things that can contribute to a high speed wobble. if you're experiencing this, research more here and rule them out on your bike.

yes, these motors can burn oil above 5k rpm, check your oil at least at every fuel stop if you're asking it to do so.

not the end of the world to wobble, even at high speeds. gently roll off the throttle, don't try to fight with the grips and lean forward slightly, the bike will stabilize.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Highway question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramitupurs84 View Post
Sorry I'm talking about 70 mph for highway speeds. This is addressed through several things, mainly gearing and overbore.I've had mine up to 65mph. I've read that they wobble pretty bad at highway speeds. Does your wobble?I also heard the 2nd hens burn oil at maintained speeds.rpms, not speeds I'm 300 lbs and a lot of bikes look like they have more than myself alone running around the world on a KLR
Everything effects everything. Here we go.

1. Tires. If you're going to slab, have street tires, otherwise, SLOW DOWN.

2. RPM's. The magic number seems to be 5k. Change your gearing to increase your top speed while staying under that number. Change sprockets as needed. Stock is 15/43. You can change to a 14 at the trailhead, and to a 16 (or 17) to slab with. I like 16/42 for in town commuting.

3. Overbore. The only way to get real power increase, and not much of that at all, is to go bigger. A 685 is a good kit (Eagle Mike) that will provide noticeable power while reducing vibrations.

4. Load correctly. Weight needs to be down low, and keep the center of gravity towards the middle. Don't put a crap ton of weight on the rear deck, you will lift the front, and there goes your stability. Take half the crap...

5. Lose weight. I'm guilty of this. It is very simple. If you want your bike lighter, lose weight. I'm 6' and crowning 260. In order for my bike to perform better, I should lose at least 60lbs. It's on my to-do list.

6. Suspension. Stock sucks. Especially at your weight. Adding luggage will make it worse. Couple of good options out there. The stock will get you by, but barely.


Now here's some all around wisdom.

Keep your tires inflated properly.

Check your oil every time you throw a leg over. Yes, I do it every time. Some people say at each fill up, but I've had a situation where I went full throttle, overloaded, with a 17t front, and ate about a third of the oil before I stopped for gas.

Seriously... go light, check your oil obsessively, throw a 16t on the front, and you should be fine for sustained 70mph travel.

Been there, done that, 70k miles worth. I used my 2011 for commuting, battling the cagers in the afternoons at speeds of 70-80 mph, five days a week.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Highway question



My bike, loaded in that photo, was ridden for many hundreds of miles at a time at 80 mph. Dunlop D606 rear, Pirelli MT-21 front, OEM suspension. I weigh 200 lbs plus my riding gear.

And yep, I rode it 700 miles once at those speeds with a 14/43 final drive and over that distance it burned about a quart of oil.

It will wobble a bit over 85 but it'll run over 90 even with my current 14/47 final drive.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Highway question

KLR is a compromise. It will go 80 mph and will do dirt, but you have to be sensitive to what the bike is doing and manage your riding carefully. To handle both ends of the spectrum, I have found that having a good set of dual sport tires at appropriate pressure (32-35 psi for street, 20 psi for gravel and dirt), using a fork brace, and swapping out the stock fender for a motard (KTM) fender, all seem to help. Avoiding overloading is important. The motor will consume oil at higher rpms. Be prepared to adjust speed if wind, road and other conditions make things a bit sketchy. KLRs have been ridden successfully from coast to coast in all kinds of crazy conditions, so handling your MI road conditions should not be a big deal. Ride safe and have fun!

Best wishes...
Dave
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Highway question

There are better bikes out there that are more complicated, more expensive, faster, more power, bigger. There are smaller bikes too. The KLR 650 is adequate for some but some of us want more for different reasons. If that reason is important enough maybe you have the wrong bike.

There are vast numbers of KLR 650's, parts and technical support, and yes even some good dealers here and there. There is still world-wide travel appeal.

There are known proven modifications that have track records over time and miles.

The two areas most improved thru mods are suspension and engine performance.

It remains a tall, five speed, 50mpg thumper with limited horsepower. It's design is dated and not going forward. Each new year people wait with baited breath for a new color. Some of us run 85-90 with an overloaded KLR and think it's OK.

Some of us test drive a Versys 300X, a CB500X, a KTM 1090R, a Ducati Multistrada and see the beginning of the end of the KLR.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Highway question

I was 300 pounds, fully loaded, riding the KLR to bay city and farther. It's no big deal, keep an eye on your oil.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:55 AM   #11
ramitupurs84
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Default Re: Highway question

Quote:
Originally Posted by verboten1 View Post
I was 300 pounds, fully loaded, riding the KLR to bay city and farther. It's no big deal, keep an eye on your oil.
Awesome to know a local on here.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Highway question

Fork brace and smaller front fender really helped when I started taking it up around 80.
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