KLR #2 starts on page 7

Finally, after many years of wanting, today I rode one into my garage that I call mine.

I have been searching for an adventure bike for some time. I've looked at vstroms, KTM's, DR's, BMW's, and just about everything in between. I have been tracking KLR bikes for about the last three months or so and finally sourced one for what I thought was an amazing deal.

The bike is amazing. They will go anywhere. The aftermarket community is amazing. These bikes are very easy to maintain and just all around an awesome bike. The KLR is arguably the best bang for the buck adventure bike.

It came with things I had intended to purchase as soon as I had the bike anyways. These bikes are so choked up from the factory its retarded.

$3600 got me a 2008 Kawasaki KLR with 2600 miles on it.
It came with:
Super trap IDS2 exhaust
rejetted carb (Moose Racing)
UNI filter / removal of the restriction bullcrap
Moose pegs
MSR Skid plate
Maier hand guards
14t sprocket
New Kenda tires

Future plans are hard bags and cogent moab suspension and put emulators in my front forks. Happy-trail windscreen kit is also in the near future. Ultimate goal is Indiana to Alaska 2013

My new bike by Frank Vest, on Flickr

Untitled by Frank Vest, on Flickr

Taken a year later

GOPR1118-4 by Frank Vest, on Flickr
I will continue to update this thread.
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nice bike frank!
you got a bargain there, I'm looking at buying the same thing as you say great value for money.


Keep your eye out. I was lucky and this one was about 20min down the road from me. search-tempest searches all craigslist ads within the radius you set. KLR owners seem to hold onto their bikes, thats for sure!

If you are where there is a "riding season" ...this is the perfect time to buy. People dont want to store their this was the case.

I also scored an "almost new" Aerostich Darien jacket and heated fleece for $330 shipped on adv. My goal is to set this bike up for a full weekend adventure with all new(er) gear for under $5000- including the bike.

If you have the funds, now is the time to buy!
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Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.04


More, better pictures are sure to follow as I am a super photogeek. The above photos were taken on its maiden voyage with my iPhone.

I have ordered a new helmet, the Aerostich gear and a few "farkles" (aftermarket parts) for my new bike based off first impressions. Pictures will follow as they come in.

From I ordered:
-Happy-Trail Rallye windscreen. -many reviews claim its a gift from god for tall riders. I am 6'3". I also REALLY like the "dashboard" it comes with. This will be a great place for me to mount my RAM mount/GPS.

-Happy-Trail 43ltr top box. I choose this because it claims to fit a full size helmet no problem. It was ordered in the silver color for the mere fact that it will reflect heat. As mentioned, I am a photographer. I believe that heat can make an impact on photog gear. I was recommended a GIVI as the cost is MUCH cheaper but a black plastic case to house thousands in photo gear just didn't feel right to me. I considered a Pelican but my lunch box wouldn't fit (and was more expensive) and this bike will get me to work and back as well.

-Magnetic drain plug. The local Kaw dealer claims the oil consumption on a 08 is very hit or miss and its due to the oil ring on the piston failing. I will closely monitor my oil. This bike doesn't even have 3000 miles on it yet...its no where near broken in. A magnetic drain plug could be a tool to detect ring failure.

-Happy-Trail heavy duty shifter. I rode the military version of the KLR for my unit while in Okinawa, Japan. Our unit had awesome KLR's but not the diesel converted bikes. Regardless of that info, during the training course, I snapped two shift levers....not because they weren't adjusted properly but because they are weak. An upgraded shifter lever was $25 and as of now the best piece of mind on this bike.

-Subframe bolt upgrade kit. -It was $5.

-Happy-Trail 5 function meter. I bought this to monitor the amperage and the clock. My wife hates it when I am later getting back than when I said I would be. haha! It will fit nicely on my "dash" that comes with the new windscreen.

I am still way under "budget" for what I had intended to spend.
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Supporting Sponsor
I am actually considering the same route as opposed to another GS or KTM as my riding time is scarce. I found a new one for about $1600 more than yours, but warranty is worth something I suppose. Great bike, and keep the pics/build coming, as I am also 6'-3" and will need many of the same items;-)


Awesome. Yesterday we went out for about a 150mi trip and after the trip I decided to toss in a pair of handlebar risers to my happy trails order. -38mm Eagle mfg.

BTW, it was only about 2 hours after I sent them an email I got a nice reply saying she already added them to my order. I cant remember the last time I got a personalized email from a company at 10pm on a Sunday night. +1 to

Pictures will sure to follow...probably be a big install day on Saturday afternoon...hoping to get a small ride in on Sunday morning.
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Thanks! I forgot to mention brother in law has a Givi as a top case on his KLR. While following him this past weekend over some not so forgiving roads, that box bounced all over the place. On the other hand, my father in laws Givi on his KTM990 seemed solid.

I am happy I went with the happy-trail metal box. Everything shipped today, should be here Friday. Perfect.


Glad to see another KLR rider. I live just south of Indy and would love to meet up and do some rides. I am trying to plan a trip to Alaska so maybe we could work out a route and ride together. Anyways they are great bikes I have a 2011 and have about 7k on mine. Good purchase.


Thank you sir! The big brown truck will be pulling up sometime today!

The downside, my HT rear top box will not be here until next weekend, shipping today. This was the biggest thing I was looking forward to. Still, everything else comes in today and lots to go on the bike. I will also be hard wiring my GPS (Garmin NUVI 550) and my Aerostich heated fleece/Darien Jacket.

Pics to follow.

Recommended books for Overlanding


progress today

Lots of progress on my bike today. Ive had the bike a week as of this past Friday and its close to where I want it to be, for now.

Everything came in except my top box which is what I was most looking forward to having. HT sorta upset me with how they handled it. Evidently, the top box I ordered was not in stock and wouldn't be in stock for about 3 weeks when my order was placed and shipped. HT never notified me of this and I found nothing in my package that would have told me why my top box was not in the package. After a few phone calls, a box is on its way and will be here Thursday. All of that said, I would buy from HT again.

After reading all of the claims of what to do with the bike right out of the box, we decided to tear it down to the frame and look into everything for ourselves.

DSC_0371-3 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

What was found was nothing that we didnt expect to see. -lots of potential prone failure areas with wiring.

The entire main harness was very loose and of course this could lead to major issues down the road with rubbing.

DSC_0376-6 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

If you look dead center in the picture, you will find a 100% pinched wire. Im going to assume this is from when the sprocket was changed via the previous owner

DSC_0386-10 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

In the bottom center of the picture, you will see a hose with a red line on it. This was actually resting right on the engine and already had a decent rub mark on it.

DSC_0381-7 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

Everything was tied back and/or re-routed. I left the tabs on the zip ties so you could see where I tied everything back. Almost everything got lock tight "blue" when going back together

DSC_0389-12 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

That hose that was longer sitting on the engine

DSC_0390-13 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

Then it was onto the new Happy-Trail windscreen relocation:

DSC_0367-1 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

DSC_0369-2 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

The install was fairly simple. The instructions are fairly worthless.

Wiring for my GPS and the meter I also purchased was cleanly installed behind the "dash"

DSC_0374-4 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

Installed with the meter and my RAM ball mount for my GPS. This meter is ok, not great. The wires coming out of the unit are the smallest wires I have ever seen. I didnt have a wire stripper that would strip them and my fingernails actually ripped the wire in half. Be careful if you decide to get this meter.

DSC_0382-8 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

DSC_0396-15 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

From the front

DSC_0383-9 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

DSC_0391-14 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

I also mentioned that I am tall, 6'3". I decided to add Eagle Mike 38mm risers and play with the location of my handle bars a bit. The bar risers and moving my bars forward a little made a massive difference. My posture on the bike is totally different now. I cant wait to take it on a long ride

DSC_0375-5 by Frank Vest, on Flickr

I still have to install my shift lever and magnetic oil plug. Not pictured but is installed is my wiring for my Aerostich heated fleece and battery tender. Its coming along...
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Tomorrow I will hopefully get a few miles on the bike to try out the new windscreen location. Initial reaction on my short trip home, it deflects A LOT of air and the dash NEEDS to be more secure. I almost couldnt even read my GPS as it was bouncing around so bad. A simple hole at the top of the dash and a zip tie I think would secure it. More pictures will follow on that.