Apr 28 2009

Work Weekend


Managed to get some great work done on the bike over the weekend. A few weeks ago I ordered the Wolfman Large Expedition tank bag (in black), ProiTaper ATV Hi handlebars and a bunch of cables and connectors. They finally came, so I worked out what smaller bits I would need, bought those, and got to work.

Naked, but for a fancy pair of handlebars

Pro-Taper SE ATV Hi Bars
I took a couple of phone-photos of the OEM bars in their current position in case I needed to compare them later, but in the end it was the front fairing and the dashboard that decided the angle of the bars. I’ve been holding off on buying a riser kit, but I think I’ll get one now. The new bars are almost the same bend as the stockers, which means they’re just a little too low when I’m standing up.

SAE Power Connector


Amongst the gear that I’d ordered (and waited some time for) from BlueRim were a couple of fused SAE wiring harnesses. I decided to go for these instead of a dashboard or handlebar-mounted Powerlet socket, since a mounted socket would require a connecting lead, which is both more expense and something else to go wrong down the track.


The cable I’d purchased was long enough to reach from the battery to the tank bag, but I ended up deviating from my original plan and adding in a relay, so that the tank bag would turn on and off with the ignition switch. By the time I’d run the cable from the battery to the dashboard (where I’d mounted the relay and sourced the switched power) to the tank bag, it was all too short. Since I had to cut the cable to add the relay anyway, I spliced in some extra cable, and it worked out pretty well.


I sourced the main power from the main fuse under the seat, just near the generator. This is the same as taking power straight from the + terminal on the battery, but the location is better. The switched power from the relay came off one of the dashboard backlights (which, it turned out, had a blown bulb).


I routed the connector itself up through the handlebars and used the tether on the end-cap to keep it in place. It seems to work pretty well there, and the cable is stiff enough that it isn’t going to move.

Powering the Tank Bag
Another item I sourced from BlueRim was a waterproof power connector for the tank bag. The external socket is made from hard

SAE Socket

rubber, and there’s a metal plate inside the bag that clamps the whole thing in place. On the inside I added a double adapter, so I now have 2 SAE connectors inside the bag. All-up, it came out looking pretty sweet.

I removed the cigarette lighter plug from the end of a 3-way lighter-socket powerboard, and replaced it with an SAE connector, and hooked that up to the inside plug on the bag. I also fitted a cigarette lighter plug on the AutoCom, and connected that to the power outlet, along with my Belkin iPod car charger. I connected the iPod and my mobile phone to the AutoCom, conntected the whole thing to the bike, and tested it. Apart from the mic not registering on the phone, the whole thing worked quite nicely. The AutoCom fades the music when you speak, and it really does cancel out background noise and wind (well, all I did was blow in the microphone, but it seems to work).

More to follow on the push-to-talk switch and other tank-bag gadgets… but it’s coming together.

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Sep 14 2008

Lifted Handlebars


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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