Showing posts from April, 2016


Update: I decided to go flat black and khaki, keeping the with classic tail of the KLR and the more tech nature of the front fairing.

Bleeding red (as in Honda), it was a switch to ride something green. That's not to say that Kawasaki is inferior to Honda, but we all know how we are when it comes to brand loyalties, and that's whack. And that's not the only reason I decided to change the paint scheme on the KLR. I saw one featured on the KLR650 forum page painted khaki and I really liked it.

I also like the factory paint on the new KLRs, not so much the digi camo, but the blacked-out bikes with simplified graphics, not to mention the few older camo-rattle-canned KLRs I've seen on the interweb.

I played around a bit on Photoshop to see what a khaki scheme might look like on the KLR's lines.

I decided to make some changes, going simplest form first. I didn't want to change the tank color so I reversed the black and gray motif, going black on the headlight cowl f…


Forrest Gump would have something to say about buying a used motorcycle, much like a box of chocolates. Unless you're kicking tires with an 8mm socket in your pocket and the the owner's permission to disrobe the bike, you never know what you've got until you've got it home and have it unclad.

I posted earlier about an initial teardown, leaving the headlight/instrument cluster faring still in tact along with the LH radiator shroud. It all came off this past weekend to prep and paint all the plastics.

A couple of notes: Large wood screws are no substitute for proper, specified and engineered hardware. There's one instance of these beasts force-threaded into the embedded nuts on the rear frame crossmember to which the rack is attached. This kind of quick and dirty fixing gives me the shivers. And it pisses me off. A trip to the hardware store would have taken care of the problem, even if it were a roadside repair (which, I can't imagine it was).
Always a good ide…

Pannier Repair

The pannier system is from Caribou with 35 liter Pelican cases that straddle a steel, powder-coated frame. This is an older design compared to Caribou's latest offerings, but still features lockable cases and lockable quick-release systems for case removal. The system is expensive, and factored heavily into my decision to purchase this particular KLR. 
I've been working with Pelican cases sine they came on to the market. They're a mainstay in film production and photography and I've had at least dozen in various sizes to contain delicate and expensive film gear, handled by the world's worst airline baggage tossers, bellmen, shipping companies and failed tie-down straps at freeway speeds. Despite all the abuse, the cases never failed and their contents were never compromised. 
The Caribou system has been engineered to have the cases break away in the event of a collision since they're more stout than the frame upon which they're mounted. This system has bee…

The State of the Bike

The initial tear down showed the good, bad and ugly. The good being the integrity of the main wiring harness and electrical in general, a new(ish) battery, a well-tended and stored fuel system and carb, good rubber - Shinko Trail Masters, and it runs perfectly. All fluids are fresh and level. The bad is the shift of a fairing mount on the radiator reserve tank frame from a side hit of a fall - nothing serious, just a bit out of whack where the RH side fairing doesn't mate up to its mounts in a factory fit. The frame is fine. The left front turn signal has been supplemented with electrical tape. The ugly is the air filter which I doubt has ever been changed, along with the cosmetic scar-tissue of a previous rider too short for this bike.

The KLR has a Caribou (Pelican Case) pannier system that is lockable. The system is design to have the cases breakaway in the event of a spill since the construction of the cases is more durable than the frame to which they're mounted.
The en…