Sep 26 2008

Bolts, continued

tim

I forgot to mention that last weekend I headed back to the bolt shop with a list and a bunch of samples, and got stainless steel allen bolts and washers to replace the bolts on the radiator shrouds, the side covers, the pack rack and the hand brake lever.

Another one ticked off…

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Sep 26 2008

First Service… and Mods

tim

Just picked up the bike from its first service. As helpful as the Kawasaki dealer has been, I decided to get my mate Richie to do the first service. He did the de-restriction of my KLX250, and he’s a top-notch wrencher.

So, the plan was to do the normal first service stuff (at 1000km I was a couple of hundred kays late), plus plug up the holes in the carby that Kawasaki (in their wisdom) add to the Australian KLR. What I got was a Richie-special. He did the service, plugged the holes, then kept going.

He pulled a big rubber restrictor out of the airbox, plus some big dicky plate off the top of the opening. I’m not sure I even get the point of the restrictor. The snorkel on the old KLX at least sat on the outside of the airbox, and had a hope of keeping water and gunk out. This one must have sat entirely inside the airbox, so other than to keep things quiet and literally restrict the flow of air into the bike, the thing seems pretty useless.

He also punched a couple of holes in the exhaust baffle. The combined effect means that the bike is breathing a little freer, and is a little bit louder both at intake and exhaust. The extra noise is not much (and it’s a pretty nice sound at that), and the power gains are worth it.

Richie also shimmed the carb needle to suit the changes. I’ll need to take it back in another 1000kms to check the spark plug and work out whether the mixture is right.

The bike pulls better from lower revs, and even from the quick ride home it feels more responsive.

That’s a few more mods ticked off.

I can’t recommend Richie’s work highly enough… so this is a shameless plug for Valley Force Husaberg.

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Sep 14 2008

The tool kit is rubbish

tim

Seriously, the stock tool kit is just garbage. I’d learnt as much back in the KLX days. To it’s credit the KLR’s kit provides you with the tools you need to get the wheels off, so that’s an improvement, I guess. But after that, it just gets scary:

  • The 6mm / 8mm spanner is actually 6mm and 6mm. Don’t believe everything you read
  • The side covers, probably one of the most-removed parts of a bike, require a 8mm socket (plus extension post) or tube spanner. Kawa don’t do sockets (not that I’d trust them if they did), and they don’t do a 8mm tube spanner. Flat battery? Tough.
  • There’s a 12mm tube spanner, but it’s capped on the other end, and doesn’t have a hole to use a screwdriver for leverage, so you need a 17mm spanner on the other end to use it
  • 19 and 27mm ring spanners are made of pressed steel. They need an extender (a flattened tube spanner, effectively) to get any real leverage. Considering the use they’ll get (axles) and the space and weight they occupy (almost none), I’ll keep them
  • The 10/12 and 14/17mm open spanners are typical stock kit stuff. Forged, but not great. Since adding the crash bars I need a 13mm spanner, so I need to add to this anyway. The whole lot are going.
  • The spark plug spanner doubles as a screwdriver handle. Not a beautiful piece of engineering, but it wills stay.
  • Small and large Phillips Head drivers aren’t wonderful, but they’re a job lot with the spark plug spanner, so they’ll stay.
  • Multigrips are trash. I’ll be looking for a replacement for those
  • Allen Keys are OK, though I’ll probably replace them down the track. I’d just rather know where I got them from, I guess
  • The spanner extender is simple enough, and will add leverage to the spanners and the allen keys, plus the screwdriver shafts fit inside it. It stays.

So, the plan is to keep the 6, 19 and 27mm spanners, the allen keys, the spark plug spanner, the screwdrivers and the spanner extender thingy. Everything else goes.

First purchase (I tried today, but they were closed) will be these Bahco Reversible Ratchet Spanners. The three spanners each have 4 different metric sockets, which is quite nifty, and they’re ratchets too. As you can see, I’m showing off my tool knowledge (that is my knowledge of tools, not the other kind), which is almost nil. Still, they cover off all the spanner sizes I could need, and they have to be better than what I have.

I’m also going to replace the side cover bolts with allen-head bolts, then removing the need for a socket or tube spanner. I’ll keep an eye out for any others that are likely to be a problem, too.

I’ll replace the multigrips, add tyre irons and probably add one or two other things. I’d like to strike a balance between the useless stock kit, and the monster kit on this thread. This guy has thought of everything. I’d be happy with the best of what he’s got, if I can find somewhere to house it on the bike. I’m thinking the left side cover might be a suitable host for some of it.

UPDATE: Picked up the spanner set and a dozen allen drive bolts today. I realised that the radiator shrouds use the same size bolts, and I figured with a little effort I’d find more to replace. What I didn’t realise is that the washers on the side covers and shrouds are captive, so I’ll need to get some washers. Only the smallest of the spanners will fit in the stock toolkit case, so I’ll need to do some thinking about where I’m going to put the full kit once it is all assembled.

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Sep 14 2008

Lifted Handlebars

tim

I’d got the impression that the ‘bars on the KLR were mounted by the dealer a little lower than they might have been. I have every intention of replacing them at some point soon, but I figured it would be worthwhile getting the best position I could out of the existing ‘bars before forking out for a new set. It means that if the new ones are a similar bend, they’ll be a more direct swap.

So I loosened them and raised them a little (after marking the old spot with a sharpie), then set about adjusting all the switch gear to match. Initially I wasn’t going to bother, but the mirror posts were pointing too high, and when I went to move them, I found that they fouled the throttle cable. But you can’t loosen or adjust the throttle cable without removing the hand guard… etc. Got there in the end. The indicator switch is possibly a little high, but it hasn’t been too noticeable when I’m riding.

I took it for a quick spin around the car park next door to se how I’d go standing on the pegs. It’s great. I still find myself putting a little too much weight on the ‘bars, but at least I can stand up straighter now, and don’t have to crouch at all. Another inch might be needed, but there’s still vertical swing I can do. Also the Pro Taper SE ATV High handlebars I’m looking at will need an adapter kit, which will add up to an inch to the whole affair anyway.

All up the control of the bike is probably better, and the riding position feels more commanding without being too high or uncomfortable on-road or in traffic. I’m happy with the change so far.

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