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Adventure MX

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Adventure MX KLE 500
« on: November 11, 2008, 12:31:21 am »
OVERVIEW
I have had a couple of people approach me about the changes I have made to my KLE 500.  Most of them have been very interested and have asked if I could share some of the info.  When I started looking at a Dual Sport bike it had to be affordable.  At that particular point in my life I was not ready to make debt.  So I either had to go second hand or demo type.  Of all the bikes, I made up my mind that the KLE would be the one that I would start my dual sport career with. 

As most of you know the KLE 500 is not the best trail machine for various reasons and therefore I decided to make some changes that would suite the type of riding that I am use to.  Below is a list mods I decided to do, but there are a couple which could be classified as bling to add to the character of the bike.

Windscreen
The tiny OEM windscreen is an absolute waste of plastic.  It gives very little protection against the elements and it constantly feels like you are fighting the wind.  So I decided to replace this with my own mod.  I bought some clear Poly Carbonate sheet and cut out a screen.  What makes poly carbonate so effective is that it doesnâ??t break.  It is extremely flexible and it wonâ??t splinter or crack under stress.





The screen needs to be supported further up with an aluminium frame otherwise it flexes to much at high speed.  The frame can then also be used for a GPS mount which is actually very well positioned to keep an eye on the screen without loosing sight of the road in front of you.

GPS Mount
As explained above the frame used to support the extended screen can also serve as a mounting point for the GPS.  The picture below will show how accessible the GPS is and that its positioned in such a way that you donâ??t loose sight of the road/trail in front of you.  Another advantage is that the extended screen also helps protect the GPS from rain and dust while riding.



Footpegs
I replaced the standard footpegs with aftermarket wide stainless ones.  The OEM ones just donâ??t give the grip that you require when riding technical terrain and wet weather conditions.



Handlebars
I replaced the standard bars with Trailtech X-Bars (High bend).  These are fat bars made from 7075 heat treated aluminium.  They are about 4-5 times stronger then the standard bars.  They also absorb vibration far better which alleviates the need for bar ends.



Tyres
When I bought the bike it only had 460km on the clock.  I immediately replaced them with a set of Kenda K270â??s.  I wasnâ??t to happy with the off road performance of the K270 front tyre and decided to replaced with a Dunlop D606 front tyre after 7000km.  Then at 8000km I replaced the rear K270 with a D606 rear tyre.  I did a recent trip into Lesotho and I must say that I am extremely happy with the D606 setup.  Besides the fact that they work off road, they have a great appeal and just make the bike look more aggressive.





Suspension
I needed to raise the ground clearance of the bike.  The bike has an extremely low ground clearance especially if the pre-load is set to the lowest setting.  If it is on the lowest setting you may only be looking at about 18cm.  I decided to change the suspension in 2 ways.
Links
The standard links are 136mm in length.  I decided to cut new links and shorten them with 10mm therefore making them 126mm.  This in effect pulls the suspension in raising the bike and giving it more ground clearance.



Pre-Load
As I said before when I got the bike it was set to the lowest setting.  When I replaced the links I also decided to set the pre-load to the 2nd hardest setting.  This would then alleviate bottoming out to a large degree and give the bike the ability to handle the extra weight when you load your panniers and top bags.

So what did these changes on the suspension bring about?  Ground clearance is now at a staggering 245 â?? 250mm.  That is almost a 70mm increase.  With the latest trip through Lesotho I never once had a bashplate knock and we did some technical terrain.  This fact makes me extremely excited as this really gives the bike a whole lot more capabilities with regards to terrain conditions.



Front Forks
By raising the rear suspension it was necessary to implement a change on the front suspension as well otherwise the bike gives you the feeling that the nose is leaning down.  The easiest solution to this problem was to release the pinch bolts on the triple clamp and push the forks down about 10mm.  This would then even out the riding profile of the bike.



Exhaust
The standard exhaust is a massive piece of steel with the pipe measuring a wall thickness of at least 2mm.  The standard exhaust is so heavy that by purely replacing it with an aftermarket exhaust will be advantageous.  The other reasons for replacing it is that the throttle response becomes a little more responsive and then the bike obviously looks and sounds far better then the restricted one it comes out with.



Pannier frames & Tail Plate
I developed a universal pannier frame system that mounts to a steel tail plate.  The system allows the frames to be moved forward or backwards so that the weight on the rear wheel can be aligned with the rear axle.





Power Point
Every bike needs a power point to run the GPS or other electronic items.  I decided to mount this power point inside the left radiator shroud.  I did it like this for 2 reasons:
1.   I wanted it out of sight as I hate these unsightly lighter plugs hanging around.
2.   It is reasonably protected from the rain and dust as it is behind the headlight and the front cowling.



Side Stand
I took 5mm aluminium plate and cut a wider foot for the side stand.  Very often the terrain can get very soft and it is then difficult to find a surface to put the standard side stand foot on.  Now with the expanded surface area it makes it easier to park the bike on these softer/sandier surfaces.





Break Disc Guard.
As I have a lot of Touratech stuff to sell in my shop I decided to see what I can use to bling up the bike.  I found that the African Twin Rear Disc Guard will work just as well.  The only thing you need to do is drill 2 new holes for the mounting points that are already on the caliper bracket.



Front Fender
The standard over the wheel fender in front tends to give the bike a very road going appeal.  Besides this fact many riders have complained about the front wheel getting clogged up with mud in wet conditions.  For this reason I decided to remove the front wheel guard and replace it with a raised fender.  I used a Polisport black supa motard fender.  The standard universal off road fender is just to large.



Hand Guards
Here is another OEM item which needs to be replaced.  For this exercise I used the Zeta Aluminium inserts which allows you then to choose the colour plastic guard of your choice.  In this case I used black.   



Engine
Many of you may be asking what mods have been done to the engine?  So far I have not done a thing.  For the type of riding that I do, I will not compromise on reliability and I have seen all to often that as soon as you start with mods like cams, porting, high compression pistons etc, itâ??s not long and you start picking up problems.  So far I havenâ??t done any changes and my bike hasnâ??t given me an ounce of trouble.

Conclusion
The bike is extremely capable in all types of terrain.  It has 2 major disadvantages and they are:
1.   Fuel Range
2.   Power

The above points can be overcome, it just depends on where your priorities lie.  You need to make your bike as comfortable for you as possible and make the changes to it that will allow you to do the type of riding that you want to do.
 


   
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 07:23:43 am »
Nice setup you have there :thumleft:
"Stercus accidit..."
 

shark_za

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 07:38:10 am »
Power is overrated but looking forward to seeing a solution for the fuel range issue.
Very well setup bike you have !
 

Offline husky

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2008, 07:48:46 am »
A very good advert for your work and products on a bike that would not immediately come to mind as a DS one (although I've seen Gunda Gunda navigate his through tricky places pretty casually). Really impressed.
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 07:53:11 am »
The fuel issue is actually not that much of an issue any more. See the thread below.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=24312.0

I didn't get time to connect the tank so I used a syphon pipe to transfer the fuel from the auxillary tank to the main tank.  A couple of minutes and the fuel is transfered.  For the bash I only used one 3 litre tank and it was sufficient.  In total I could carry 18 litres with me which would roughly put me in the same range as a KTM 950/990.

Unfortunately I have also found out that the breather system on the main tank does not allow for the auxillary tanks to be connected in. Pity though.  Then it wouldn't be necessary to syphon the fuel across.

If you have a look at the picture below you can see that the auxillary tank is nicely tucked away between the barrel bag and my tent bag.

 

Offline Tr0jan

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2008, 09:49:05 am »
Yeh, the KLE is a great bike, pitty about the lack of power.

Do you have a weave with the knobs at about 150km/h?
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2008, 10:00:28 am »
Nice setup you have there :thumleft:

+1

Very good changes to the bike, no bling. Just good functional up grades.

What about a folding gear lever, is there one available for KLE.
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 10:23:21 am »
Nice setup you have there :thumleft:

+1

Very good changes to the bike, no bling. Just good functional up grades.

What about a folding gear lever, is there one available for KLE.

I am looking into the gear lever thing.

As I upgrade the bike further I will post the changes here.
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 10:24:44 am »
For sure one of the best looking KLE's out there  :deal:
FTS
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008, 10:26:30 am »
Yeh, the KLE is a great bike, pitty about the lack of power.

Do you have a weave with the knobs at about 150km/h?

I don't get to 150 that often, maybe down a mine shaft :mwink: and we only have one (on the N1 from Rigel to lynnwood offramp).

The only time I pick up a bit of a weave is when I am doing 130-140km and I get a crosswind.
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 10:27:41 am »
For sure one of the best looking KLE's out there  :deal:

Thank you ;)
 

Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 10:36:26 am »
Nice Adv Mx, thanks for sharing.  :thumleft:

Do you have the std springs in front?
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Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 11:02:40 am »
Nice Adv Mx, thanks for sharing.  :thumleft:

Do you have the std springs in front?

Yes, I still have the standard springs.  I am actually quite happy with the front suspension.  The only problem I have is when I would come across a very rutted section in a corner on dirt roads.  It some times feels as if the suspension is to loose which then gives me the feeling as if I am loosing grip.
 

Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 11:25:55 am »
I fitted progressive springs in mine just before the bash last year, front end is better now. The shocks had pressure in them, then the seal went, so lecap removed the pressure until the new seals arrived. After the springs it is about the same as before the pressure was let out.

With regards to the bars, could you maybe post a piccie of how it mounts to the triple clamp? It also looks like you rerouted the front brake hose, did you have it lengthened as well? It looks like they taper to the end, so the std goodies still fit?

Lastly, what front mudguard did you fit? Maybe a piccie or so about how it was fitted to the front end.

Thanks.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
 

Offline Hammerhead

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2008, 09:55:40 am »
Now how did I miss this tread??
Cannot see the pics, will go check out tonight.
From the sound of it, you have addressed most of my issues/concerns.
Crashbars though - I know SW Motech used to make some for the KLE - they still available in SA???
 

Offline Loopy

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 01:39:38 pm »
MX

Can you possibly give a indication as to the cost of the footpegs and the front fender? Am looking for some for my Wee-Strom.

Thx
 

Offline Big E

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2008, 03:06:35 pm »
Very-very nice
Nou kyk nou net waar het daai hond loop lę!
 

Offline Yefimovich˛

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2008, 04:18:32 pm »
Thats alot of hard work there! Looks awesome! :thumleft:
If at first you don't succeed, lower your standards
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2008, 09:44:45 pm »
MX

Can you possibly give a indication as to the cost of the footpegs and the front fender? Am looking for some for my Wee-Strom.

Thx

I used a supa motard fender = R250
The footpegs cost R490 but need to be slightly modified as you need to use GS footpegs. 
 

Adventure MX

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Re: Adventure MX KLE 500
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2008, 09:48:58 pm »
Now how did I miss this tread??
Cannot see the pics, will go check out tonight.
From the sound of it, you have addressed most of my issues/concerns.
Crashbars though - I know SW Motech used to make some for the KLE - they still available in SA???


Not sure if SW motech still has stock.  I must be honest, I haven't found the need for them.  I am sure they help but I would rather put a form of plastic shielding on the shrouds before I go with the crash bars.