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Old 07-04-2010, 12:33 AM   #1
othalan
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Default RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR


I'm starting a thread to track and discuss modifications I am making to my 2005 KLR (aka "The Phoenix") in preparation for a 2+ year trip riding around the world. This initial post documents my initial planned changes. Feel free to ask questions, suggest modifications, or tell me I am completely insane.

Trip Background
I plan to spend a minimum of two years on the road, but am planning for four or more years. I am assuming I will travel no less than 60k miles but am planning for 150k or more.

I plan to leave in May 2011. There is still a chance this date could change by up to six months in either direction because of some unknowns in my life which will not be settled until September.

The Phoenix
2005 KLR650 with 25,000 miles on it as of 3 July 2010. The Phoenix has seen a few hardships over in the past five years as have I, but we both have been carefully restored to health. I am taking this bike rather than hunting down a low mileage old model (pre-2008) because (a) I know its history, (b) it remains highly reliable, (c) I have already made several of the planned modifications, and (d) I have been convinced by others on this forum that the gain of a newer bike would be minimal.

Modifications
All modifications will need to satisfy one of the following requirements:
  • Maintenance: Ease of maintenance is critical to a well functioning bike on an RTW trip.
  • Durability: Repairs are inevitable on an RTW trip. The goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of required repairs.
  • Safety: Anything which increases my own safety is a mandatory change.
  • Comfort: I will be living on this KLR for the next two years, possibly longer.

The list of modifications I will make or already have made:
  1. Maintenance Modifications
    1. Volt meter - to monitor battery health
    2. Centerstand - Makes maintenance easier, and regular maintenance is the key to reliability
    3. 12V cigar lighter socket, waterproof (2?) - Many uses, including jump-starting, battery charging, charging of electronic devices, etc.
    4. Sealed battery
    5. [complete] Bark Busters - Protects shift/brake levers better
    6. [complete] Choke/mirror relocation bracket - Less likely to break
    7. Extra cables pre-routed next to existing cables
    8. [complete] Fuse relocation and ATO replacement - ATO fuses are less likely to break because of vibration, relocation makes replacing them easier, and allows easier addition of accessory fuses
    9. Tool Tube - store long tools and double as footrest
    10. Sink-No-Bob - Sidestand footprint enlarger for stability on soft surfaces
    11. [complete] LoobMan chain oiler - Automatic chain oiler which only applies oil when I want it to (so that it doesn’t cause problems in dusty offroad conditions)
    12. [TBR] Reusable air filter - Are air filters hard to come by? Difficulty of cleaning in dusty locations?
    13. [TBR] Reusable oil filter - In case oil filters are hard to come by in some locations. May not always be used?
  2. Durability Modifications
    1. [complete] Folding shift lever - stock shift lever is a weak design
    2. [complete] Eagle Doohikey
    3. Eagle Torsion Spring for Doohikey
    4. Subframe Bolt Upgrade
    5. [complete] Moose Offset Footpegs
    6. Footpeg bolt upgrade
    7. LED Turn Signals - Not expected to ever need replacement
    8. LED Dash Lights - same plug as stock lights. Source: Super Bright LEDs
    9. [complete] LED Tail Light - flashing - Not expected to ever need replacement
    10. IMS Gas Tank - increased capacity and radiator protection
    11. Radiator Guard - helps IMS tank protect the radiator on crash
    12. Thermo-Bob - better engine temperature regulation
    13. Cogent Dynamics rear shock and front springs - better than stock and rebuildable
    14. Braided Steel front brake line - improved stopping power
    15. [rejected] Braided steel rear brake line - I have always found the rear brake plenty powerful (It will lock up easily)
    16. Metal bash plate
    17. [complete] Low profile magnetic drain plug
    18. Replace phillips head bolts with hex-head bolts - Many existing bolts are too easily stripped, especially carb bolts
    19. Replace bolts with harder bolts in stress areas
    20. [complete] Carb T-Mod - To prevent stalling in water crossings and heavy rain
    21. Sealed Bearings on front and rear wheels
    22. [TBR] Excel Wheels - Stronger than stock
    23. [delayed] 685cc Bore Kit - Delayed until the first engine rebuild on the road (see notes below).
    24. [TBR] Auxiliary driving lights - A backup in case the main headlight fails and better night lighting - Use small HID lights?
    25. [TBR] Heavy duty wiring harness - Depends on headlight solution, current headlights already have a special wiring harness
    26. [TBR] Grease Nipples on swingarm / suspension links
    27. [TBR] Adjustable idle screw (Recommendation from Sgt Marty)
    28. [TBR] drill out the carb slide’s vacuum hole and put a thin shim under the needle (Recommendation from Sgt Marty)
    29. aluminum connector from the choke cable to the carb
    30. trim the rear inner fender shorter and re-locate the license plate and reflectors.
    31. [TBR] Shark fin rear brake protector
    32. Rear master cylinder guard
    33. Rear brake pedal bracket from Eagle Mike
    34. [TBR] Water pump guard (only if bash plate does not protect the water pump)
    35. [rejected] Nerf Bars - The IMS tank with a radiator guard provides sufficient protection and the nerf bars are difficult to modify to fit.
  3. Safety Modifications
    1. Oversized front brake rotor
    2. [TBR] Headlight: Stock headlight is insufficient for riding at night
      1. KLR current has Brittania Composites fairing with H9 bulbs. Very good, but I have doubts about durability.
      2. HID bulbs cannot be easily replaced on the road, but is very bright and saves power. Can HID be used in a H9 housing? Use for high beam only?
      3. Riding at night on an RTW trip will generally be avoided. Perhaps stick with stock headlight with auxiliary bulbs?
  4. Comfort Modifications
    1. [TBR] Custom Seat - currently using Corbin Dished, but I am not (quite) satisfied.
    2. [complete] Panniers: Caribou Cases (converted pelican cases)
    3. [rejected] Tool box for Caribou Cases left-side case. I have this now and it is only a nuisance. Remove before leaving. May relocate to a more useful location but unlikely.
    4. [rejected] Top box: Caribou Cases. I currently do not see a need for a top box, but will revisit this decision once I have a better idea of how gear will be packed (unlikely to change)
    5. Intiminator (cartridge emulator) and if necessary improved front fork springs
    6. Tank Panniers
    7. Heated Grips
    8. [complete] Aluminum handlebars, taller than stock and different angle (ProTaper ATV SE Mid or High)
    9. Vibranator - Decreases handlebar vibration, makes long days more comfortable
    10. Throttle Lock - Makes highway days more comfortable (style TBD)
    11. [complete] Mirror Vibration Dampeners - Makes using the mirrors easier
    12. [TBR] Dry bag for supplemental rear storage?
    13. [TBR] Dash board - If a location to mount switches, GPS, etc. is required
    14. [TBR] 16-tooth sprocket - Offroad is more difficult, better highway performance
    15. [TBR] Handlebar risers - Experiment with new handlebar before deciding
    16. [TBR] Widshield - If not using a fairing from Brittania Composites (see headlight discussion), should a larger windshield be added, or run entirely without? Lamilar Lip addition to stock windshield?
    17. [TBR] Fork Brace - Supposedly improves stability, undecided if worth adding
    18. [TBR] GPS - Sometimes useful but I have never felt the need for one before. Perhaps a very cheap GPS permanently bolted to a dash board?
    19. [TBR] Acerbis front fender brace (only if not using Brittania Composites custom fender as per headlight discussion)

The 685cc modification
The 685 kit was a hot topic in more than one previous thread I've posed questions on, so let me address the issue preemptively. The engine currently runs great with no oil loss, even at highway speeds. I could rebuild the top-end of the engine now and delay my first rebuild on the road, however I am 90% certain that I would still need to perform an engine rebuild before this trip is complete. I see no compelling reason to do the rebuild at this time. What I will do instead is have a 685 kit prepared with a spare cylinder as a "rebuild in a box" ready to ship to me when I need it. My hope is that this will simplify a major maintenance/repair on the road.

Comments? Suggestions? Declarations that I am insane?
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

My thoughts are in blue. I've ridden a KLR from North to South American and toured in India, for what its worth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fiacaid View Post



  1. Maintenance Modifications
    1. Volt meter - to monitor battery health
    2. Centerstand - Makes maintenance easier, and regular maintenance is the key to reliability
    3. 12V cigar lighter socket, waterproof (2?) - Many uses, including jump-starting, battery charging, charging of electronic devices, etc.
    4. Sealed battery Get an Odyssey Battery
    5. [complete] Bark Busters - Protects shift/brake levers better
    6. [complete] Choke/mirror relocation bracket - Less likely to break
    7. Extra cables pre-routed next to existing cables
    8. [complete] Fuse relocation and ATO replacement - ATO fuses are less likely to break because of vibration, relocation makes replacing them easier, and allows easier addition of accessory fuses
    9. Tool Tube - store long tools and double as footrest
    10. Sink-No-Bob - Sidestand footprint enlarger for stability on soft surfaces
    11. [complete] LoobMan chain oiler - Automatic chain oiler which only applies oil when I want it to (so that it doesn’t cause problems in dusty offroad conditions)
    12. [TBR] Reusable air filter - Are air filters hard to come by? Difficulty of cleaning in dusty locations?
    13. [TBR] Reusable oil filter - In case oil filters are hard to come by in some locations. May not always be used? Why not use it all the time so you don't have to carry filters? Those stainless steel filters work well I think. You just have to clean it.
  2. Durability Modifications
    1. [complete] Folding shift lever - stock shift lever is a weak design
    2. [complete] Eagle Doohikey
    3. Eagle Torsion Spring for Doohikey
    4. Subframe Bolt Upgrade Is your sub-frame upgrade the drill-through kind where the top bolts are replaced with larger diameter bolts? If so -- good. If not -- do the drill through. A different "kit" is available which merely substitutes harder bolts, and is not nearly as effective.
    5. [complete] Moose Offset Footpegs
    6. Footpeg bolt upgrade
    7. LED Turn Signals - Not expected to ever need replacement Waste of time. Just bring some spare halogen bulbs. LED turn signals are difficult to get to function properly on a KLR
    8. LED Dash Lights - same plug as stock lights. Source: Super Bright LEDs
    9. [complete] LED Tail Light - flashing - Not expected to ever need replacement
    10. IMS Gas Tank - increased capacity and radiator protection
    11. Radiator Guard - helps IMS tank protect the radiator on crash
    12. Thermo-Bob - better engine temperature regulation
    13. Cogent Dynamics rear shock and front springs - better than stock and rebuildable
    14. Braided Steel front brake line - improved stopping power
    15. [rejected] Braided steel rear brake line - I have always found the rear brake plenty powerful (It will lock up easily)
    16. Metal bash plate
    17. [complete] Low profile magnetic drain plug
    18. Replace phillips head bolts with hex-head bolts - Many existing bolts are too easily stripped, especially carb bolts
    19. Replace bolts with harder bolts in stress areas
    20. [complete] Carb T-Mod - To prevent stalling in water crossings and heavy rain
    21. Sealed Bearings on front and rear wheels
    22. [TBR] Excel Wheels - Stronger than stock
    23. [delayed] 685cc Bore Kit - Delayed until the first engine rebuild on the road (see notes below).
    24. [TBR] Auxiliary driving lights - A backup in case the main headlight fails and better night lighting - Use small HID lights?
    25. [TBR] Heavy duty wiring harness - Depends on headlight solution, current headlights already have a special wiring harness
    26. [TBR] Grease Nipples on swingarm / suspension links
    27. [TBR] Adjustable idle screw (Recommendation from Sgt Marty)
    28. [TBR] drill out the carb slide’s vacuum hole and put a thin shim under the needle (Recommendation from Sgt Marty)
    29. aluminum connector from the choke cable to the carb Good call
    30. trim the rear inner fender shorter and re-locate the license plate and reflectors.
    31. [TBR] Shark fin rear brake protector
    32. Rear master cylinder guard
    33. Rear brake pedal bracket from Eagle Mike
    34. [TBR] Water pump guard (only if bash plate does not protect the water pump)
    35. [rejected] Nerf Bars - The IMS tank with a radiator guard provides sufficient protection and the nerf bars are difficult to modify to fit.
  3. Safety Modifications
    1. Oversized front brake rotor
    2. [TBR] Headlight: Stock headlight is insufficient for riding at night
      1. KLR current has Brittania Composites fairing with H9 bulbs. Very good, but I have doubts about durability.
      2. HID bulbs cannot be easily replaced on the road, but is very bright and saves power. Can HID be used in a H9 housing? Use for high beam only?
      3. Riding at night on an RTW trip will generally be avoided. Perhaps stick with stock headlight with auxiliary bulbs?
  4. Comfort Modifications
    1. [TBR] Custom Seat - currently using Corbin Dished, but I am not (quite) satisfied.
    2. [complete] Panniers: Caribou Cases (converted pelican cases)
    3. [rejected] Tool box for Caribou Cases left-side case. I have this now and it is only a nuisance. Remove before leaving. May relocate to a more useful location but unlikely.
    4. [rejected] Top box: Caribou Cases. I currently do not see a need for a top box, but will revisit this decision once I have a better idea of how gear will be packed (unlikely to change)
    5. Intiminator (cartridge emulator) and if necessary improved front fork springs I don't think you will need this if you get the Cogent springs.
    6. Tank Panniers
    7. Heated Grips
    8. [complete] Aluminum handlebars, taller than stock and different angle (ProTaper ATV SE Mid or High)
    9. Vibranator - Decreases handlebar vibration, makes long days more comfortable
    10. Throttle Lock - Makes highway days more comfortable (style TBD)
    11. [complete] Mirror Vibration Dampeners - Makes using the mirrors easier
    12. [TBR] Dry bag for supplemental rear storage?
    13. [TBR] Dash board - If a location to mount switches, GPS, etc. is required
    14. [TBR] 16-tooth sprocket - Offroad is more difficult, better highway performance How much highway cruising will you be doing outside of the US? I'd stay stock
    15. [TBR] Handlebar risers - Experiment with new handlebar before deciding
    16. [TBR] Widshield - If not using a fairing from Brittania Composites (see headlight discussion), should a larger windshield be added, or run entirely without? Lamilar Lip addition to stock windshield?
    17. [TBR] Fork Brace - Supposedly improves stability, undecided if worth adding
    18. [TBR] GPS - Sometimes useful but I have never felt the need for one before. Perhaps a very cheap GPS permanently bolted to a dash board? I think it would be a big mistake to pass on the GPS
    19. [TBR] Acerbis front fender brace (only if not using Brittania Composites custom fender as per headlight discussion)



Comments? Suggestions? Declarations that I am insane?
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Wow! Can I go with you?
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

FWIW, before you buy/don't buy a GPS, make sure maps are available for the area(s) you will be traveling. GPS isn't any better than a compass without the maps.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neubz View Post
My thoughts are in blue. I've ridden a KLR from North to South American and toured in India, for what its worth.

Great comments Neubz, I'll definitely consider all of them!

Out of curiosity, did you use the stock headlight? Was it (or whatever you used) sufficient, or did you wish for more? Or able to get by on less?

A few notes:

1.13: Oil Filter: OOPS, that shouldn't have been [TBR], I am taking along a reusable oil filter, but I will be using a paper filter when easily available. I've seen too much controversy over them to stick with it entirely.

2.4: Subframe bolt upgrade: You are correct, I am using the drill-through upgrade.

4.14: 16-tooth sprocket: I was thinking of the run up to Alaska and back, which is what I will probably be starting with next may. Even then, I'm not 100% certain I'll want it as I'm not certain I'll use the highways enough to be worth using it.

Thanks for the comments!
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertratliff View Post
Wow! Can I go with you?

I've had a surprising number of people ask me this and be completely serious about it, so let me put my standard answer out there for anyone wondering:

Join me virtually? Absolutely. Blog location to be announced at a later date after I finish site setup. I hope to post updates regularly, but not daily.

Meet up on the road and perhaps travel together for a time? Certainly, just let me know and I'll be delighted to meet up.

All the time? Absolutely not. I specifically do not want a full-time traveling companion for this trip so that I meet more locals and feel more free to go where I want. This has been important to me in my USA travels and, from what I have heard from others, even more so once I'm out in a strange culture.

See you on the road!

Last edited by othalan; 07-04-2010 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:22 PM   #7
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One of many things that I have discovered in my 15,000 miles of solo adventure touring is there is nothing like the freedom of one; to go anywhere, to do anything and not be constrained by the desires, limitations, presumptions and expectations of others.

The other thing I have discovered is that happiness is nothing if not shared.

Funny pickle I've got in my head there, isn't it?

Well, if for any reason you reconsider, do let me know, because I, unlike you, do not have the big balls of steel to undertake and accomplish this kind of an adventure by myself. All the best to you. I'll be following along one way or the other...
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiacaid View Post



Out of curiosity, did you use the stock headlight? Was it (or whatever you used) sufficient, or did you wish for more? Or able to get by on less?


I used the stock headlight, and you are right that it is trash. Obviously, the goal is to never travel after dark for a multitude of reasons. But obviously it will happen sometime due to unforeseen circumstances.... and often in inclement weather, which makes the light even less useful. If I was intending to travel for as long as you are planning on it, I would upgrade the headlights... its one way to reduce the danger.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertratliff View Post
One of many things that I have discovered in my 15,000 miles of solo adventure touring is there is nothing like the freedom of one; to go anywhere, to do anything and not be constrained by the desires, limitations, presumptions and expectations of others.

The other thing I have discovered is that happiness is nothing if not shared.

Funny pickle I've got in my head there, isn't it?

Well, if for any reason you reconsider, do let me know, because I, unlike you, do not have the big balls of steel to undertake and accomplish this kind of an adventure by myself. All the best to you. I'll be following along one way or the other...

I understand your pickle very well. I've traveled somewhere around 20k - 30k miles solo around the USA. It is a long and lonely road. The trick, to me, is to find ways to share the happiness on the road. Meeting up with other rides. Sharing my adventures with locals and other travelers (I frequently share a campsite with someone when traveling). Always strikes me as a bit odd that as a dedicated introvert I so freely meet people while traveling.

Balls of steel? Hardly. My original reason for undertaking this trip I am planning was actually as a way to run away. That has changed over the past couple years, but even now the thought of the trip and what I will encounter scares me. Terrifies me sometimes, even though this trip has become my dream; my obsession. Yet that will not stop me.

As for finding someone to travel with ... head over to https://horizonsunlimited.com. Lots of people there who also want someone to travel with. They also have an annual traveler's meeting in August down in Silverton, CO.

If you do find yourself on the road at the same time as I, give me a shout. We can meet up and travel together for a time until our paths diverge.

Last edited by othalan; 07-04-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Stock headlight works fine with a little work. Put one of the relay kits on it and a Silverstar bulb. If something fails you can always revert back to the stock setup using a bulb that is universally available. Like was mentioned before, riding after dark is an iffy situation even in the states. About half of all motorcycle fatalities occur at night.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
Stock headlight works fine with a little work. Put one of the relay kits on it and a Silverstar bulb. If something fails you can always revert back to the stock setup using a bulb that is universally available. Like was mentioned before, riding after dark is an iffy situation even in the states. About half of all motorcycle fatalities occur at night.

I tried that setup before I got a Brittania Composites fairing with projector style headlights. I was not satisfied with the result for riding at night (which I do a lot of for commuting to/from work).

I agree I will try to avoid riding after dark while on the trip, however in 2-4 years riding the world I expect it will happen at some point.

I am satisfied with the light from my existing setup: I have the Brittania Composites XS Twin fairing which includes projector style high and low headlights using H9 bulbs. The light output is sufficient, though still less than I might wish for compared to other bikes I have ridden (V-Strom for example). My complaint with the XS Twin fairing is that the headlamps are mounted on the fairing and NOT attached to the frame. This seems like a weak setup which might give me troubles given the beating the bike will receive on an RTW trip. If the fairing gets seriously damaged I may completely loose the mounting point for the headlights.

I'm almost tempted to go back to the stock headlight + relay + Silverstar bulb setup for the durability.

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Old 07-05-2010, 07:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR


Just realized I missed an item on my list:

[complete] Fork Brace - increase front-end stability. NOTE: Having made this modification already I will keep it, however I do NOT consider it worth spending money on!

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Old 07-05-2010, 08:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Thanks for the heads up on Horizons Unlimited. Sorry to hi-jack your thread. Had a moment of weakness...

Now back to business:

-My Brittania fairing just breezed through the worst Off I've had on my KLR. Bent fairing subframe, broken blinker, bent bars and KX fork mounts, bent rear master cylinder mount, huge new scratch on the IMS tank and an achy shoulder. Aside from a little scratch below the blinker, the fairing looks brand new. It will definitely be a part of my future long hauls. Fiberglass is easy to fix and the increased wind protection (huge benefit on a long haul), better lighting and higher placement of my Vapor instruments outweigh any forseeable negatives.

-the aluminum choke plunger cup from Stead is cheap insurance on a very delicate (and, when broken, frustrating and problematic) part of the fuel system. If you're going to keep the stock choke cable routing, consider getting this:
https://steadengineering.com/

-I've had great luck with UNI airfilters. Good filtration, good performance flow, easily cleaned and they take up no room at all. I carry at least one spare and clean and rotate them as I go along.

-I thought I hated GPS units. Worked an outdoor retail store and loathed talking about them. As I started solo touring, my Mom insisted I get one. I reluctantly did some research, and she purchased me a Garmin 60csx. Long story short, even if you don't have the map software, it is pretty cool. Displays moving stats and elevation, and displays latt and longitude, regardless of what map software you have. I've been disoriented, had paper maps and re-oriented according to the latt and longitude. With the proper map software, I've found I stop to look at the paper map a lot less, which is a huge time saver. I'd never rely on it soley and always have a good map and compass, but I finally gotta admit, it's pretty cool to have along
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertratliff View Post
-My Brittania fairing just breezed through the worst Off I've had on my KLR. Bent fairing subframe, broken blinker, bent bars and KX fork mounts, bent rear master cylinder mount, huge new scratch on the IMS tank and an achy shoulder. Aside from a little scratch below the blinker, the fairing looks brand new. It will definitely be a part of my future long hauls. Fiberglass is easy to fix and the increased wind protection (huge benefit on a long haul), better lighting and higher placement of my Vapor instruments outweigh any forseeable negatives.

I was just talking to Ian, the guy who makes the XS Twin fairing. He has had lots of feedback over the years and never had a complaint about the way the headlight is mounted...however the bracket the fairing is attached to will break as the steel tubing is weak. This (and your above experience) has satisfied my concerns and I will use the XS Twin fairing, though I will weld on a support brace at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertratliff View Post
-the aluminum choke plunger cup from Stead is cheap insurance on a very delicate (and, when broken, frustrating and problematic) part of the fuel system. If you're going to keep the stock choke cable routing, consider getting this:
https://steadengineering.com/

Already on my list, I have heard of this problem before. I'm halfway tempted to put in a plunger style choke and completely eliminate that cable, but I don't know if the plunger sticking out would be easily broken. Something that requires more research....

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertratliff View Post
-I've had great luck with UNI airfilters. Good filtration, good performance flow, easily cleaned and they take up no room at all. I carry at least one spare and clean and rotate them as I go along.

-I thought I hated GPS units. Worked an outdoor retail store and loathed talking about them. As I started solo touring, my Mom insisted I get one. I reluctantly did some research, and she purchased me a Garmin 60csx. Long story short, even if you don't have the map software, it is pretty cool. Displays moving stats and elevation, and displays latt and longitude, regardless of what map software you have. I've been disoriented, had paper maps and re-oriented according to the latt and longitude. With the proper map software, I've found I stop to look at the paper map a lot less, which is a huge time saver. I'd never rely on it soley and always have a good map and compass, but I finally gotta admit, it's pretty cool to have along

Exactly the type of situation that keeps nagging at me and why I haven't rejected the idea of a GPS entirely. There will be times when finding my location on a map could be somewhere between tedious and impossible with just a compass. This doesn't mean I necessarily need a GPS, however it would simplify things....
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Have you thought about replacing chain and sprockets (maybe more than once) as they won't make it the whole trip. Reuseable oil filter sounds nice but I think I would go with paper element as the metal ones don't filter as well, don't have as much capacity and it is hard to clean 'em in the field. Also center stands are nice sometimes but reduce ground clearance and bang and such. Fork braces are not good in mud.

Are you planning on taking a spare set of waterpump seals? Fan relays have been known to fail. What are you planning on doing for tires. What kind will you start on?
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
Have you thought about replacing chain and sprockets (maybe more than once) as they won't make it the whole trip. Reuseable oil filter sounds nice but I think I would go with paper element as the metal ones don't filter as well, don't have as much capacity and it is hard to clean 'em in the field. Also center stands are nice sometimes but reduce ground clearance and bang and such. Fork braces are not good in mud.

Are you planning on taking a spare set of waterpump seals? Fan relays have been known to fail. What are you planning on doing for tires. What kind will you start on?

Chain & Sprockets: I will put on an X-Ring chain shortly before I leave along with new sprockets...possibly starting with a 16-tooth sprocket for the run up to Alaska and back which will (probably) start off the trip. I'll be replacing the chain several times along the trip (likely 3 chains minimum), and will have to watch out for when it needs replacing and plan ahead.

Oil filter: My plan is to take a reuseable oil filter, but use paper when I can find one (plan subject to change.....)

Fork Brace & Mud: Thanks for the warning, I'll have to do some more research into that topic! Never been a concern here in Colorado, so that side hadn't occurred to me.

Center Stand: If I use one at all it will be the Happy-Trails Centerstand which has been shown to not reduce ground clearance. I keep going back and forth between a quick-jack and a center-stand so I've gone ahead and ordered a quick-jack and will test that out, then decide if I want a centerstand instead.

Spare parts: I will be taking spare parts, but have not yet put together a list. Known wear items will be high on the priority list (thanks for the additions).

Tires: I'll probably start with Mefo Sport tires assuming I begin with Alaska. I'm happy with their durability and dirt-road performance. TKC80's are a strong possibility when I'm about to leave the USA/Canada.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Time to start making modifications! Up this weekend: EBC 320mm oversized front brake rotor, Galfer Braided Stainless Brake lines, and new DP Brake Pads [HH Rated] (front only).

The calipers are also not floating on the pins like they should, which can't be helping my braking performance. While I have the calipers off the bike I will dismantle them, clean them, and smooth out the pins. If I have time I'll do the same treatment to the rear caliper.

I've not been satisfied with the front brakes since I first rode a V-Strom (which I now use for commuting to work each day). Looking forward to being able to stop!

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Old 07-07-2010, 12:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

If you break the plunger style choke, you have much bigger problems. It is as protected as you can get. It is possible if you try to gorilla the carb out or spin it in the boots without watching, but if you pay attention you can rotate it far enough to remove the slide w/o removing it.

Definitely need better lights, plus backups. Brittania w/ HID plus LED aux lights is probably the best light per watt.

LED lights everywhere!! Dash lights add up!!! It can mean the difference between running heated gear AND aux lights vs. have to choose only one.

CS sprockets are pretty small, easy to carry a couple. I usually have a 13 and a 15 on trips. 14 and 16 would be good, too. Get the EagleMike countershaft nut so you can change it easy on the road.

The sidestand safety uses the same relay as the fan--onboard spare if you know how to bypass the safety.

Work your plan on carrying spare oil. I thought I had it figured out, but vibrated a hole in a bottle and made a MESS of my gear.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_W View Post
If you break the plunger style choke, you have much bigger problems. It is as protected as you can get. It is possible if you try to gorilla the carb out or spin it in the boots without watching, but if you pay attention you can rotate it far enough to remove the slide w/o removing it.

Definitely need better lights, plus backups. Brittania w/ HID plus LED aux lights is probably the best light per watt.

LED lights everywhere!! Dash lights add up!!! It can mean the difference between running heated gear AND aux lights vs. have to choose only one.

CS sprockets are pretty small, easy to carry a couple. I usually have a 13 and a 15 on trips. 14 and 16 would be good, too. Get the EagleMike countershaft nut so you can change it easy on the road.

The sidestand safety uses the same relay as the fan--onboard spare if you know how to bypass the safety.

Work your plan on carrying spare oil. I thought I had it figured out, but vibrated a hole in a bottle and made a MESS of my gear.


Great tips...That relay suggestion is nothing short of brilliant!

Lights: I'm thinking I will probably use an HID low beam and normal halogen high beam. High beam halogen so that it turns on immediately and so that I can use it more often (in my experience, HID needs to be turned off sooner). I'll get a Sylvania Silverstar bulb for the high beam. This will also allow me to use that bulb as a spare low beam bulb if the HID fails.

Heated gear: I'm not entirely certain I'll need it. I've ridden in weather down to freezing with only my hands getting cold, but I never had heated grips. I will have the heated grips in place by this winter so I can take some test rides and determine if I even need to worry about a heated vest.

Do you have any suggestions on carrying oil? I too have run into similar problems, but don't have a solution yet. Perhaps dedicate a 1-quart nalgene type bottle to spare oil?

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Old 08-07-2010, 12:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: RTW Preparations on a 2005 KLR



It has been a busy month, but I am finally back to working on the KLR. Busy, but still all preparations for the trip: I am selling my house and over 95% of everything I own.

The house is now on the market so I have at least a little bit of time to begin making modifications.

Yesterday I fixed the front brakes:
  • Smooth the pins so that the caliper moves around more easily.
  • Galfer braided stainless steel brake line (front only)
  • New brake fluid
  • EBC 320mm oversize rotor
  • DP Brake pads (HH Rated)

I am delighted with the change in braking power. I still have control to brake gently for offroad use, but can now stop quickly on pavement when the situation calls for it.

I ordered a large pile of parts from Eagle Mike and will be installing them as I work on the relevant locations on the bike. I did decide to add the shark fin to protect the rear brake rotor as a bit more insurance against problems on the road.

I have also decided on the fairing/lighting issues:
  • Use the Brittania Composites XS Twin fairing (already installed)
  • Upgrade the low beam to HID. If possible, do not remote the H9 bulb connector in case HID fails on the road. At worst, the high beam bulb and wire can be used in the low-beam housing.
  • Add the "dash" to the XS Twin fairing as a location to mount switches and a GPS
  • Upgrade the XS Twin windshield to a new design which is 2 inches taller and 4 inches wider. This should provide a quieter ride with better protection from rain and bugs.
  • Weld additional support braces to the mounting bracket which holds the fairing (same as bracket which holds the stock fairing and headlight). Other people have found these (thin) tubes to be the weak spot in the XS Twin design.

As you may note from above, I have decided to use a GPS. I am still not convinced it is worth the money I will likely spend on one, however I have been convinced by other travelers that there are some locations where having a GPS can be highly useful or sometimes even invaluable. I will find one I can leave semi-permanently mounted to the bike so that I do not need to worry about it, and which can use map files I download from sites which offer them for free.

I forgot to take pictures before I began modifications, but I will put some up later today before I do any more modifications, then try and update the pictures when I make significant changes.

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