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shark_za

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2007, 01:26:14 pm »
I changed the springs in mine, I do use my KLR for a little bit more than the average adventure rider and wanted the improved performance.
 

Offline KiLRoy

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2007, 03:01:59 pm »
I may be an unqualified mac, but everything I did on my bike was after good research and lot of q&a sessions with people on KLR650.net - they live KLR's from the late 80's not only for the past 3 and half years like me - after the first A-model was imported.  So some facts:

Disable safety features:  IMHO the are more of a irritation than a safety feature - the are prone for trouble - all RTW riders on KLR's disabled or bridge theirs

Fork oil: The KLR come out with 'fish-oil' in its already vulnerable forks - replace them with any new oil for a better ride - try it it works.  Most people use anything from 7w-12w oil - depending on use and rider weight.  I've settled for 10w and think its a good compremise for my needs.  More off road rider will have a lighter oil with better springs and maybe a cartridge emulater.  I've bought Progressive springs with 190ml 10w oil and 60mm spacers.  Can't do much worse.  A cheap option is just to replace the oil with 10w for a bit better ride and less sag.  This i did in conjuction with Tro-taper bars - mainly because its higher but also because the alu helps with vibes - Acerbis guards to protect hands and helps with protection and gel grip - feels good and lessen vibes.

ITO stability I also added a Happy Trails H2 fork-brace - no more drifting, tank slappers, wild handle movements at any speed.  As stable as a KLR can gets at speed...

I've done a lot of other mods - mainly because I like to and because the all serve a purpose - from T-mod vents, alu skidplate, ss braided front brake lines, rad/res protection, UNI and Twin Air filters etc etc

As a qualified mac, what have you done to improve the KLR, and how long do you own a KLR?

Hein

Ps:  Baie kak ook aangejaag - meestal pilot's error :oops:
 

Offline Jaqhama

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2007, 03:22:02 pm »
Quote from: "shark_za"
I changed the springs in mine, I do use my KLR for a little bit more than the average adventure rider and wanted the improved performance.


Yes...I've seen some of your photos. :lol:  :lol:
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!
 

Offline El Zeffo

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2007, 03:49:26 pm »
Another issue on the KLR that needs attention.

The front brakes!!!

Let me start by telling you about my rear brakes. Well the rear brake on my KLR is bloody good. It bites sharper than the brake i had on the GSXR. Its actually a bit too sharp. It locks up easily.

I did a few emergency stops on a piece of deserted tar and found that the front dips and then the rear lets go, making a long black stripe down the road usually i can control the skidding of the rear but if cars are doing silly thing in front of me i'm definitely gonna crash.

The front brake has no feel to it. It feels like you are pulling onto a stone. I'm sure almost none of the force applied at the top reaches the caliper. Well thats it there is almost no power in the front.

What i cant understand is why is the back so powerfull but the front so weak. If i could get the front as good as the back i'll be happy.

I ordered a new front disk and pads from the stealer and i will probably put some new brake fluid in the system.

O yes i ordered the parts on Saturday the oke said no problem sir you'll have the parts in two working days. I'm still waiting.
I used to be called Captain Slow but then i got Zef
Most people say "Be like Elon" or "Be like Bill". I say "Be like Pablo" :biggrin:
 

Offline JourneyMan

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2007, 03:54:04 pm »
Quote from: "Captain Slow"


Let me start by telling you about my rear brakes. Well the rear brake on my KLR is bloody good. It bites sharper than the brake i had on the GSXR. Its actually a bit too sharp. It locks up easily.



Those knobblies respond/act way different than the tyre you had on the GSXR.

On the very first hardish brakes I did after I replaced the Tourance with Kenda at the back,  I was shocked with the ease with which the Kenda let go under the same braking conditions as the Tourance (on tar). Maybe this is what you are experiencing? :?
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Offline El Zeffo

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2007, 04:01:43 pm »
Quote from: "JourneyMan"
Quote from: "Captain Slow"


Let me start by telling you about my rear brakes. Well the rear brake on my KLR is bloody good. It bites sharper than the brake i had on the GSXR. Its actually a bit too sharp. It locks up easily.



Those knobblies respond/act way different than the tyre you had on the GSXR.

On the very first hardish brakes I did after I replaced the Tourance with Kenda at the back,  I was shocked with the ease with which the Kenda let go under the same braking conditions as the Tourance (on tar). Maybe this is what you are experiencing? :?


Yes i've got a serious offroad tyre on the back which i will replace with a tyre more suited to tar. But the problem still lies with the front brake.
I used to be called Captain Slow but then i got Zef
Most people say "Be like Elon" or "Be like Bill". I say "Be like Pablo" :biggrin:
 

D7

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2007, 04:17:25 pm »
unfortunately about the only cost effective thing you can do to make the front better is to put on a stainless steel brake hose.   It makes a subsstantial difference,  but you'll never have the brakes you want
 

Offline Jaqhama

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2007, 05:00:58 pm »
Leave more space between you and the car in front. :D

Flushing clean brake fluid thru the system sounds like a good plan also.

And I believe we're all in agreement about the braided cable.
(Nodding wisely here.)

Having said that I've had lots of trail bikes and it's just something you get used to.

If you've got lots of spare bucks I guess you can get a custom brake conversion done, get the disc from a Jap sports bike put on.
Plenty of motard guys do I suppose.

But then you could get into a lot of trouble off road.

Six of this and half a dozen of the other.
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!
 

Offline lecap

KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2007, 08:39:27 am »
Quote from: "Jaqhama"

...But I do look at the last statement in a different way...

You mean the bike manufacturers don't put decent fork springs in their bikes to begin with?

And that one should straight away go out and purchase expensive aftermarket springs?

Look, lets be honest here yeah...for the majority of riders who are not professional, or even gifted amateur riders, the springs that come as standard with the majority of trail bikes (and even most road bikes) are perfectly fine.

Now as most people here ride what we're starting to term "adventure bikes" I don't believe that they need anything more than the normal fork springs in their bikes...unless A: They have ridden thousands of kilometers of rough roads and the springs are just completly buggered.
B: they ride hard and fast over rough terrain constantly and due to the speed and road/trail conditions the forks that come as standard just aren't coping with the abuse.

If the latter is the case then I would suggest that they should be looking at a hardcore off road bike instead of an adventure tourer in the first place.


Let me formulate that differently:
If you are not happy with the performance of your bike's front fork the (not too expensive) replacement of the fork springs with aftermarket springs is the most promising way to go.
This is 100% true for the KLR (KL650A)
There is no need to replace the fork springs on every KLR or every bike.

Many bikes come with setups that suit an average rider under average conditions but that does not mean they are perfect.
No one needs a hardcore off road bike because his DS bikes fork is a bit soft.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline lecap

KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2007, 08:47:24 am »
There is actually another way to upgrade the front brake.
Have a look at the KL650C: Same disc, different twin piston caliper.
While the brake is not as effective as for example the one on the DR650SE or MZ Baghira it is lots better than the KL650A brake which keeps reminding me of my time on old XT's and XL's (those with drum brakes :-)

I am not 100% sure if the master cylinder on the KL650A and KL650C are identical (but I think they are). Will check that later today.
I will find out a price for a KL650C front caliper and will give you a price for a conversion kit (incl. steel braided hose).
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Offline El Zeffo

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2007, 08:50:53 am »
Quote from: "lecap"
There is actually another way to upgrade the front brake.
Have a look at the KL650C: Same disc, different twin piston caliper.
While the brake is not as effective as for example the one on the DR650SE or MZ Baghira it is lots better than the KL650A brake which keeps reminding me of my time on old XT's and XL's (those with drum brakes :-)

I am not 100% sure if the master cylinder on the KL650A and KL650C are identical (but I think they are). Will check that later today.
I will find out a price for a KL650C front caliper and will give you a price for a conversion kit (incl. steel braided hose).


Ahh thanks man.

Will it fit on my front shock bracket.
I used to be called Captain Slow but then i got Zef
Most people say "Be like Elon" or "Be like Bill". I say "Be like Pablo" :biggrin:
 

Offline El Zeffo

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2007, 08:58:34 am »
Allthough i complained alot about the brakes on the KLR i'm starting to get used to them now.

I think when i fitted the new disk, pads and fluid i'll be happy. Maybe is should get that stainless line. I'll see.
I used to be called Captain Slow but then i got Zef
Most people say "Be like Elon" or "Be like Bill". I say "Be like Pablo" :biggrin:
 

Offline lecap

KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2007, 09:01:46 am »
And let me get one thing straight:
I don't mind if anyone disables safety features on his bike and is smart enough to fold his side stand up before riding off.

But I think it's questionable to write on an internet forum that the KLR's side stand switch and clutch switch are prone to give trouble (this is only partially true for the clutch switch) and that it's best to disable them.
For the side stand switch I gave the procedure to sort out trouble with a sticking cable without loosing the safety feature earlier in this thread.
The procedure for the clutch switch is clean and adjust.

None of the two safety switches will leave you stranded on the side of the road should they go whacky. At least not if you have the knowledge and skill to disable them.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

shark_za

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2007, 09:10:13 am »
I would lean and lube the cable of the sidestand switch often, but riding in mud and riverbeds most weekends would have the thing gunking up every 2nd week.
It became a pain to always stop and clean the switch.

So while I have left the clutch as is, the sidestand switch is disabled on my bike.

I'm not even going to compare the hobby mechanic to the pro mechanic, my experience in that has been less than satisfactory.
This is why I service my bike myself.
 

Offline lecap

KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2007, 09:11:00 am »
Quote from: "KiLRoy"

...As a qualified mac, what have you done to improve the KLR, and how long do you own a KLR?...

I have owned 8 KLR's. Six KL650C and two KL650A. At the moment I own three KL650C and two KL650A. I always was quite happy with the KL650C and did no major modifications to the bikes.
Tried the C's brakes on an A. Nice. Busy checking for price of a possible conversion kit.
I do all service and repairs on my bikes including engine rebuilds.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline lecap

Re: KLR safety features
« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2007, 09:33:39 am »
Quote from: "Jaqhama"

There are hundreds of thousands of riders all over the world riding older model bikes that did not come with a side stand switch.
Few of my bikes have ever had the side stand switch.

I guess older riders or riders of older machines must just be smarter huh?
They can remember to flick up the side-stand before they take off

And before everyone younger than guys like me and KilRoy and Shark have a huge panic about leaving the side-stand down...9 times out of 10 it will hit the ground and flick up anyway if you've forgoten to put it up.


Since the early 1980's you will not be able to homologate a bike for road use in Europe or the US if its side stand does not flick up once the weight of the bike is taken off it (Guzzi's famous "knuckle knocker" and the replacement units retrofitted to millions of older Hondas in Europe and the US). Alternatively the bike might have an electric feature (=switch) preventing the bike to be ridden with the side stand down.

I actually thought this is a worldwide standard. My sincere apologies! I did not think that South African bikers are smart enough to get away without those gizmos. Or maybe they only lack the financial power and / or legal tools to sue the manufacturers?

I lived through the tenth out of ten: Highsided my beloved CB550F2 Super Sport causing considerable damage to my previously pristine and original paint job tank and also previously pristine 4-1 can:
I (illegaly) used the old "rubber block" side stand and only put the flick up retrofit on for biannual roadworthyness tests.
The physical pain suffered was rather minor and limited to bruises thanks to my leathers.
The damage inflicted to my ego was beyond imagination as I had some 200 bikers watching (probably 30+ of them knowing me)
Kept the rubber block side stand with self made cut off switch added.

Now you can call me a wimp.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline MrBig

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2007, 09:57:00 am »
Quote from: "shark_za"


I'm not even going to compare the hobby mechanic to the pro mechanic, my experience in that has been less than satisfactory.
This is why I service my bike myself.


 :?
Not quite sure in which of those catagories you place yourself with that statement Shark? :lol:

Myself? Definately a 'hobby' mechanic. At what point would you classify yourself as a pro? When you do it for a living?
Or when you complete a couple of courses? Or do you think experience is what counts?
I can't help but think back to the days as a 15 year old overhauling my 50cc MTX with 3 spanners a pair of pliers and some bloudraad on the back lawn.:shock:
Ok, I didn't use any bloudraad. :lol:

Fact is, I dont trust just any spanner jockey with my ride.
Too many times have I picked up on kak work after (in good faith) using 'accredited' workshops. Professional my ass.
The attention I'm putting into the details can NEVER be matched by anybody who does it for no other reason than getting paid for his time.

You don't need any skill to work on motorbikes. Just patience. And lots of it.
Some decent tools might help.:lol:

Regardless, I'm pretty certain I know my own limitations.
And thats another important part.

I thus say it with pride:
My name is MrBig and I'm a hobby mechanic..
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Offline El Zeffo

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #77 on: March 02, 2007, 09:57:57 am »
I like this thread.

I try to fix up my KLR.

People fighting about safety switches.

Le Cap that brake conversion sounds very interesting.

Carry on guys its very entertaining. :D
I used to be called Captain Slow but then i got Zef
Most people say "Be like Elon" or "Be like Bill". I say "Be like Pablo" :biggrin:
 

Offline Jaqhama

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KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #78 on: March 03, 2007, 03:31:23 am »
Some of us took umbrage at Mr Lecap's slur regarding unqualified hobby mechanics mate.

I agree with Mr Big...I have paid good money to have bike shop mechs do less than a stirling job on my sleds.

It's also true that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to do a lot of the work on bikes yourself.

But this is good stuff being written here Captain...you are getting different views on things, that is useful.

As regards different countries having different rules about automatic flick up side stands, stand switches and clutch switches etc etc....yes different countries do have different systems.
In the USA my VLX 600 Honda Shadow had neither an auto flick up stand nor a side stand switch. Had the clutch switch.
Valorie's bike, a brand new 650 cruiser likewise only had the clutch switch.

One of my BMW 650's Boxer's had the flick up stand, the other does not.
The second one only has the clutch switch.
Terri's Ducati only has the clutch switch.

In Oz pop-up stands (if they came with the bike) were normally disabled by the shops selling brand new bikes because they knew riders hated them.

I think most of the bikes being sold brand new in Oz shops today probably do have the side-stand switch and the clutch switch.

This debate is great...everyone's learning something about the switches and the different kinds that bikes come with.
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!
 

Offline lecap

KLR650 Restoration....Please help......
« Reply #79 on: March 03, 2007, 08:37:26 am »
With "unqualified hobby mechanic" I was not referring to people who fix their own bike and have decent tools, patience, some skill and can eliminate lack of knowledge or experience by using a workshop manual or by phoning a friend who (hopefully :-) knows more.

That's a qualified hobby mechanic!

I started off as one of them and I was working on my own bikes, the ones of neighbours and friends for years before I decided to turn bikes into a career.

As "unqualified hobby mechanic " I would categorize the guy who comes to the workshop and has tried to fix it himself before AND DOES NOT ADMIT IT.
The guy who bought the bike new or perfect condition, services it himself and has dozens of stripped threads fixed with helicoil, all kind of DeLaRey bolts on his bike, 'cause he could not find the originals any more.
Guys who replace gaskets with GunGum and Hylomar.
Or the one who claims that one morning the bike just would not start. And after hours of troubleshooting you find this carbs airscrews tight and the needles sitting atop the slide springs.
The guy with the self made luggage rack with protruding sharp edges.

You have probably guessed that these guys are not fictional ;-)

I have seen lots of profesional and qualified mechanics. Some of them have been living, breathing and talking bikes for decades longer than me.

Others are useless. Unfortunately.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)