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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WARNING: This has been an ongoing project for about a year and a half now, and it ain't nowhere near done. Money is tight and time is tighter. Most of this bike has been built a few minutes at a time before bed. If you like to see a quick project then look elsewhere, cuz this ain't it.

Hello All. I have been lurking here for a few years but haven't really posted much before. I thought I would post up my project for everyone to see.

A little about me. I am 36 years old and have been riding off road and street for years. Like most, I didn't have a whole lot of sense or a concern for self preservation when I was younger, but time and age has changed that.

My last project was a XR400 that I enjoyed, but like most smaller moto's it didn't really fit me as I am a pretty big guy at 6'4" and 325. My right knee also doesn't like kick starting a bike much anymore, it tends to swell up and retain fluid at the slightest provocation, probably due to a couple dozen too many bike crashes.

About a year after selling the XR I started to miss having something smaller, more agile, and dirt worthy. Having just had a baby, I didn't really have the money to buy anything new, and no time to ride it if I had one. So one night I decided to buy a frame and just start building something as time and money allowed.

Then I had to decide what to start building. After hours of research and thinking back to personal experiences with different bikes I decided on a KLR 650, mainly due to the fact that it fits me well and is comfortable, and the large aftermarket and readily available used part market.

Since I had all the time in the world, I figured I would try to do a custom build. In my opinion the biggest problems with the KLR besides being ugly are that it is overweight and underpowered. I know I can never make it a modern race machine but I thought I could at least make improvements to these negative attributes.

So I found me a good frame with a title.......

 

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good start :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So I went ahead and finished stripping the frame. Since it isn't going to be a standard KLR and is kind of a experiment, I decided to cut everything off the frame I wasn't going to use. Front fairing mount, steering lock, safety switch mounts, one passenger peg mount on each side, side fairing mounts, and several other various and unimportant mounting tabs were separated from the frame. Then I painted it and the subframe. Almost went with black, but decided that too much of a good thing might be a bad thing. I was able to take about a pound off the frame cutting off the unneeded brackets.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Next up was suspension. I didn't want to cheap out on the suspension basically because I feel like suspension makes the bike. I'd gladly give up 20 horsepower for a top notch suspension.

Anyway, it took me awhile to save up the cash, but I had Rick at Cogent Dynamics build me a rear shock, and it sure is pretty.




I wanted to do something for the front that might be on par with the rear, so after reading around I found that Emig Racing was making a conversion stem that allows you to mount KXF triple on a KLR. So I got me a stem and won an Ebay auction for a set of forks and a triple from a RMZ 250. Took the Emig stem and RMZ triple to work and pressed it all apart and then back together with new bearings.

Crappy cell phone pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After awhile I had enough pieces to start putting something together. I wanted a swingarm from a new style KLR since they look better and allow you to run a better brake setup on the rear, but new style swingarms were still selling for a premium on Ebay so I went with an old style instead. Installed new bearings and chain slider while I was at it.

I did manage to get a new style KLR seat. Also picked up a front wheel from an 06 model KX250F, a front axle and spacers, and an airbox. The upper triple clamp came with the forks and is a Pro Taper with mounts for a 1 1/8 bar.

Check out the awesome red tire.



 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the next thing I got was a set of Pro Taper Evo handlebars. They are supposed to be the lightest yet strongest handle bar on the market. I don't know about all that but I can tell you that they weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 ounces less than a stock KLR 7/8 bar. I'd have to go back and look in my notes for the exact number.






I also picked up a rear brake master cylinder bracket from Happy Trails. The stock one is supposed to be weak and prone to cracking.






And I found a stock master cylinder guard I had laying around from a long gone DRZ400, modified it a bit and mounted it up.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Next up is a rear wheel and some tires. I found a guy parting out a nice 2006 model KLR and bought his rear wheel. I then mounted a hybrid Supersprox sprocket on it and a Galfer wave rotor. The hybrid sprocket weighs a pound less than a stocker and the rotor is like a pound and a quarter lighter than it's stock counterpart. The rear wheel was mounted using an axle from a KLR 600. Same diameter and length, but it's hollow instead of solid so it weighs about 4 ounces less.

I mounted a new Dunlop 606 on both the front and rear wheels. This front wheel also got a new Braking USA rotor. Galfer stainless lines installed on both ends, and the front caliper and master cylinder are from a 2006 KX250F. The front fender is a Polisport UFX Freeflow.










 

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Nice work, sweet build for sure. Any plans for a set of supermoto wheels/tires in it's future?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice work, sweet build for sure. Any plans for a set of supermoto wheels/tires in it's future?

Thanks for the compliments guys.

Yes, I plan on a set of sumo wheels in the future. As a matter of fact, I ran across a damaged front wheel on Ebay awhile back that I was able to pick up for cheap just to get a good hub to build on. Still on the lookout for a cheap rear wheel or hub.

My pressing concern right now is an engine. I have had the cash saved for an engine twice and had to spend it on other things both times. The first time my wife hit a 4x4 post on the interstate and busted all 4 tires and bent a rim on her car, the last time my little dog got sick and had to have emergency surgery. I hated to turn my engine money loose, but not much choice in the matter. I couldn't let my little dog suffer and die. That's just not me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Since I am trying to take off weight where I can and still be practical and within budget, every piece and part gets scrutinized to see if there is a lighter, better, or cheaper alternative.

One good thing (I guess) that I have going for me is that I have nothing to build this bike with, meaning that when I get ready to install a part, I have to buy it or make it. So I get to research and look at all the options and make a decision. Most of the time it means waiting awhile until I have the money saved for the part I need but it also means that I end up with a cool new part.

On the flip side of that coin is the fact that this is a KLR. There isn't anything cutting edge about the cool new parts that I get. They are, in a lot of cases, cutting edge compared to the technology that was around when the KLR was designed, but not by todays standards. At least most of the time anyway. One exception to this is the rear axle I used. It was from a KLR600, the daddy to the 650. It's virtually the same except that the 600 axle is hollow and 4 ounces lighter, and thats 4 ounces of unsprung weight.

The next exception is the kickstand. The 600 had an aluminum kickstand that weighed in at a little over a pound. The 650's kickstand is steel and weighs in at a whopping 3 pounds. WTF?

I needed a kickstand. I didn't have one. I bought one from a 600, made a couple of minor mods, and bolted it on.






Then I turned my attention to the luggage rack......... Yes, I said luggage rack.


On a bike like this, a luggage rack is a handy thing. The bike is comfortable enough to ride pretty much anywhere you want to go, but you need to be able to haul some junk with you. That coupled with the fact that I couldn't figure out a single way to ditch it and still have the ass end of the bike look decent convinced me to keep it. The stock rack weighed in at 4 pounds and 4 ounces. After I got done with it, it tips the scales at 1 pound 15 ounces. Mounted that along with a new style rear fender that I painted with Krylon Fusion paint and obviously needed another coat in this picture.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since I had cut off the front fairing mount bracket on the head tube, I needed to find a headlight and turn signal setup. Since both were installed on the stock KLR fairing and now I had no provision to mount up either, it was like having a blank slate up front.

After looking at way too many options, I decided on the Trail Tech X2 headlight and Zeta handguards with the integrated signals. I think this really cleaned up the front and took a bunch of the ugly off. I had to make a little aluminum support bracket for the X2 because the little brackets that came with the headlight just weren't working out with the KX250F lower triple.


 

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Subscribing! Great job! I never should have sold my KLR.
 

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Updates...updates!!!!

I have a 2006 KLR650 and just got ahold of some 2004 KX250F 48mm forks/triples/brakes/wheel for cheap. I ordered the EMIG Racing conversion stem and it should be here any day now. I have no idea what springs I am going to go wit so I am keeping an eye on what others are doing. I am already running a TrailTech Vapor speedo and have mated on a KLX650 fairing, so I really do not need to worry about the stock stuff fitting or not.


I probably wont do the fork install this wekend because I will be putting in a 688 big bore kit along with a stage II head. I'll probably ride the snot out of it while I do a little more homework on the front suspension conversion.
 
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