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Old 10-12-2017, 01:49 AM   #1
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Super Cool Since: Oct 2017
Locale: Minnesota
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Default New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Hello everyone! I think I have been to this site doing research but this is my first post. I just bought my first KLR650 today. I bought a used 2013 for $3000 with ~13,400 miles. Up to this point I have only owned a metric cruiser. The reason for buying this is that I want to start adv riding, perhaps some large trips next summer(Alaska?) I have done some trips on my cruiser where I took it ridiculous places I shouldn't have. It was time to get a better tool for the job. I am pretty happy with it so far, having done mostly state highways and some light gravel and mud today.

Doesn't seem to be any obvious issues except I definitely need to upgrade the suspension and tires. My fat ass is 380lbs with my normal gear and it is about 4in down when sitting on it.

- Suspension: Top Gun? Probably the 8kg spring. Should I diy or have them do it.
Any other alternatives I should be looking at? What about front fork springs?

- Tires: Needed soon. Any recommendations? thinking like 50/50 street/dirt but not sure.

- Doohicky: Is that still a recommended thing for this model year? Is there an easy way to know if this was done?

- crash bars: I think it is only a matter of time. Any recommendations on cheap ones that get the job done? The bike is mostly black with some grey.

- skid plate: Is it absolutely needed? Does anyone use the plastic one? I am new to adv so pardon if it is a dumb question.

- footpegs: any recommendations? considering both replacing the standard ones as well as adding highway pegs.

- Regular maintenance. Supposedly everything was done about 5k ago when the previous owner got it. What should I have on my radar? Anything I should check right away? Does anyone have a link to a service manual?

Well that is all I can think of. Look forward to corresponding with some fellow riders. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:49 AM   #2
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Super Cool Since: Apr 2012
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Default Re: New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Welcome and congrats on the new bike! You got a good deal!!

Lots of suspension options but at 380 I would consider calling Cogent Dynamics and just talking to them before you do anything. At least then you will have a better understanding of suspensions (front and rear) as well as the KLR limitations.

For 50/50 type tires I like the Shinko 244's but there are a million out there and you will get just as many opinions.

The 2013 Doohicky still has a crappy spring. I believe the only way to check is to pull the side cover off. Surely someone else will give you a better answer.

Lots of crash bars out there. I like our site sponsor, DirtRacks. I have them on all my bikes and they perform great and are made well. Visit their web site......several options for your bike.

Skidplate is not absolutely needed and depends on how/where you ride. The plastic one will work fine until you break it.......which may be never. For after market I like the Happy Trails since it has a built in bottle opener!! Lots of good ones out there!! JNS seems to be a site favorite.

Footpegs........again, lots of good ones out there and prices range from hundreds to about $10. I use the cheap cast steel ones with springs off fleabay. Look for the ones that fit a PW50 or PW80 I believe. Make sure you get springs. The high end aluminum ones are awesome if you want to pay for them.......check out Knight Designs. If you are going to be standing a lot i would recommend a quality set since you will be stressing them more than most.

Maintenance is basic but definitely get yourself a Clymer manual. Engine oil, air filter, battery, brakes and chain/sprockets are the basics. Learn how to properly tension your chain (think loose) and your engine and sprockets will thank you. There are some really good tutorials and Youtube videos on adjusting the chain. Hopefully someone can post a link to a good one because this is really important.

Good luck and let us know what mods you make and how you like them.
2012 black KLR650
2007 black KLR650

Last edited by JeffsDarkSide; 10-12-2017 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Welcome to the group/forum/asylum! The folks are friendly and work hard to be productive and not nasty.
Let's see, tires... Heidenau K 60 scouts is what I have. I like them, and the only surface they don't seem to like is steel grated bridge decks.
Skid plate? Depends on how hard you're going to ride it. I used the Ricochet unit for SW Motech crash bars. And yes, I have the SW Motech crash bars/cooling system protection. I like the SW Motech bars because they have three very widely spaced anchor points. They also allow me to MX style cornering with the foot out in front. Some of the other bars don't.
Doohicky is a problem I've read about but never met a person who's had one go bad. But like the skid plates, better safe than sorry, yes? The shop I deal with says they've installed a few of the upgraded Eagle Mike units, but never encountered a broken or damaged one in their shop.
Oops, rule number one with KLR's : CHANGE THE OIL AND KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THE LEVEL!!! Oil changes are about the cheapest insurance for the longevity of the engine. Check the air filter as well. I'm partial to the Twin Air unit, but the factory one is good enough as long as you don't spend all your time in the dust. Just keep it clean! It's amazing how quickly I can get mine dirty, and that's with a lot of road riding.
Most of all, have fun and be safe. The KLR is a great platform and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Doohickey is important and falls in a class of "Needed". Unfortunately no way to tell if its been done other than opening up the left side to look. Did mine and found the spring broken, therefore was not working at all. EagleMike sells the full quality doohickey upgrade you want. All other mods are optional.

The engine will eat oil when you get 5000 rpm or above, typically freeway. At those rpm's it eats it fast enough for you to be out of oil after 2 gas fill-ups, hence the wise rule of checking the oil at EACH gas stop. It's 10 seconds to check and keep you golden. New owners can get nasty surprise if they don't know about it, is why I mention it. Lower rpms it's normal to get from one oil change to the next without needing to add at all.

Above two items are a MUST. Everything else is personal choice.

If you do a lot of freeway you may want to change out the 15 tooth countersprocket for a 16 tooth. It cuts engine rpm on the freeway down so you don't get to eating oil all the time. Again, EagleMike for this... and he also sells a prevailing torque nut to make changing that countersprocket a breeze at trailside after the freeway ride to get there. Not needed, but nice.

Oil changes are every 1500 miles. The engine bearings tear up the oil, so changes really are needed that often. Rotella is the inexpensive and reliable choice of most members. If you want to get 2000 miles then use Mobil 1 or another good synthetic.

When full of oil, 2.5 liters, the oil is just a little above the top of the sight glass.

Am still running the stock plastic skid plate. Do get offroad enough that should get a serious skid plate, guard for rear brake cylinder, suitable hand guards, etc, but my bulk riding is local and touring. Motorcycle Towing Service annual membership is cheaper.
2002 70k smiles...

Last edited by WiRider; 10-15-2017 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:48 AM   #5
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Locale: Minnesota
Postings: 6
big_adv_rider is on a distinguished road
Default Re: New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Thanks. Here is where I am at on stuff:

Oil: Good to know about the oil use. The P.O. was running full synthetic and I have been doing that on my cruiser so I think I will continue that on the KLR and top off as needed.

Footpegs: ordered some $11 ones off ebay. They have the spring and look decent.

Doohicky: I have not pulled off the left cover to check the doohicky. Will do soon.

Tires: I am leaning toward kenda K270 tires. Someone somewhere said they were decent and cheap. $100 for the set at j&p cycle. Thoughts?

Crash Bars: Leaning toward the dirtrider full crashbars for $250. Is there any reason not to get the full ones rather than the standard. Other than a little weight of course. My thought is that it may be nice if I get additional lights to be able to mount them to the front part of the crash bars.

Manual: I was able to google the klr service manual. Not sure on the copyright stuff so I won't re-post here.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: New KLR rider in Minnesota.

Synthetic 5w40 diesel oil every 2500 to 3000 miles..
Change filter every 2nd change. HiFloFiltro part number HF123
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