Adjustable Pre-Load Fork Caps

Adjustable Pre-Load Fork Caps

We understand that among the new products released recently are pre-load adjustable fork caps for the KLR650. If you are constantly changing the weight carried forward of where the seat and gas tank meet they might be helpful. If not, they’re superfluous. It’s more important to have Schrader valves in your fork caps (like the pre-‘o8 KLR650). As the […]

DR650 Important Service Suggestion

DR650 Important Service Suggestion

Once again, we have Elden doing double-duty on articles, so a short tip this month for DR650 riders. We at Top Gun are pretty anal about our motorcycle maintenance. In the areas of steering and suspension, we are especially so.We avoid fork braces and annual steering bearing replacements by ensuring proper steering adjustment, and are also very […]

Summer Gearing

Summer Gearing

Rod Morris recently talked to a customer concerning gearing his KLR650 down to 14/49 or 51.  In cool weather this might be an OK idea if the bike is equipped  with a Chain Master upper chain control unit. All KLRs need a “Chain Master”, but those with larger rear sprockets need it more in order […]

Shearing Forces and the KLR650

Shearing Forces and the KLR650

At first I wondered why Pauline and I with our gear all loaded onto the KLR650 never broke a stock upper sub-frame bolt. With over 40,000 miles two-up on and off- road carrying approximately 375lbs on the sub-frame, we should – according to the so called experts on the Internet – have been bitten by […]

Mel Clark’s 2007 KLR650 Rotor Problem

Mel Clark’s 2007 KLR650 Rotor Problem

Todd’s Note: We had Elden pull double duty this month with FFT and Technical Insights. This is a short article, but we thought it was important to get the word out.   Kenny “M” of KBM Motoworks (760 481-5341) finished his adjustment procedure of Mel’s 750 mile 2007 KLR valves. After replacing the cover etc., he headed […]

“Meredith” has KLR Transmission Problem

“Meredith” has KLR Transmission Problem

Several months ago, Jay Bass, Rod Morris, and I were north bound in Baja near Punta Prieta when we passed three north bound KLR650s which we later found out were piloted by Phillip Orth of Sierra Vista, Arizona and two female companions. Meredith, one of the two ladies, phoned me the other day from Mexico […]

KLR650 Drive Chains 101

KLR650 Drive Chains 101

As you probably know, there are three drive chains in a KLR650 engine; one drives the cams, one drives the balancer system/water pump, and the third drives the rear wheel. The balancer and rear wheel drive chains are probably the most abused in motorcycledom. Why you ask? The rear wheel drive chain, despite living in […]

48,000 Mile KLR650 Tune-up

48,000 Mile KLR650 Tune-up

I’d like to open by apologizing to our readers for goofing off on my lack of information production over these past several months. I’m not permitted to offer any excuses at this time, but I will attempt to do better from here on out.   Rod Morris recently brought his 1996 KLR650 to my garage for a […]

KLR650 Balancer System

KLR650 Balancer System

We commend Tim Carrithers of “Motorcyclist” magazine (Dec 07) for printing John Gorman’ s long overdue and scathing letter concerning the poorly engineered balancer system in the KLR650.  “Motorcyclist” is the first major magazine to address the problem, but alas, they were mislead by Kawasaki Service and inadvertently passed incomplete information along to their readers. […]

Suspension 101

Suspension 101

As you may know, we at Top Gun have introduced two custom rear springs (sold byMMP) for the stock KLR650 rear shock; a 6.6kg and a 7.4kg.  We toyed with the idea ofproducing an 8.5 or 9.0kg but were afraid the stock preload mechanism might be overstressed by such a heavy spring.Finally a vast majority […]

Traveling Around Africa on a KLR650

Traveling Around Africa on a KLR650

I recently got a beautiful picture post card from Bill Kamps of South Padre Island, Texas. The photo is of Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak, Cape Town South Africa:  Gorgeous stuff. Bill Kamps is one of several KLR world travelers that we have helped with bike set-up and prep.  I’ve never met Richard Kickbush of […]

Tale of Two Failed KLR650’s (Got an inspection hole?)

Tale of Two Failed KLR650’s (Got an inspection hole?)

I always chuckle a bit when I hear stories on the Internet about the Kawasaki’s “bullet-proof” KLR650. I have taken apart and studied more than 30 broken KLR engines in the past 17 years; most of them the victims of the poorly engineered balancer system or of faulty assembly at the factory. Pardon me if I’m a […]

Welcome to Fuel For Thought

Welcome to Fuel For Thought

Note: Due to time constraints, Webmaster Mark at www.multisurfacemotorcycling.com will no longer be adding a monthly “Fuel For Thought” article. He will however, continue to maintain the website with its treasure trove of informative articles, procedures, and all of the past Fuels. MMP will still operate its storefront from the site as well. We want […]

2008 KLR-650 Observations

2008 KLR-650 Observations

Over ten years ago I built a KLR650 using part of a KLR650B Tengai front end including larger disc (same diameter as the 2008); stoppier two-puck brake; and front fender which had a light, built-in fork brace. I used KLR650 inner fork tubes, progressive springs, and modified stock dampeners to improve action. I had fork […]

More on KLR650 Broken Subframe Bolt

More on KLR650 Broken Subframe Bolt

Note – We apologize for the late production of this month’s Technical Insights. We lost a member of our Top Gun family last week; we think you’ll understand that our priorities were with family. However, we hard at it and back to work. Look for product updates later this month!   Jay Bass’ KLR650 recently suffered a broken […]

Is There a New Engine Balancer System for the 2008 KLR650?

Is There a New Engine Balancer System for the 2008 KLR650?

To quote the factory, “New 2008 KLR650 refines on-road capabilities for improved touring performance”, is it true? Only if they have an all new engine balancer system. In you know anything about Kawasaki KLR600 and KLR650s you probably know that for 23 years they have been equipped with the most disastrous chain driven engine balancing […]

DR650 Potential Problems and Fixes

DR650 Potential Problems and Fixes

In the first half of 2005 I purchased two new motorcycles from House of Motorcycles in San Diego; a KLR650 and a DR650.The KLR650 stopped running at 11,000 miles due to faulty valve seals. Since I was under warranty I had “Vey” de La Cruz clean up the top end and install quality valve seals. Now at 15,500 […]

Compare and Contrast: The 650s

Compare and Contrast: The 650s

As you may know, the weather south of the border in Baja is getting to be just about  perfect for riding. Naturally, Elden and Pauline couldn’t pass up an opportunity and are  traveling to Mulege with several other riders. Someone, however, has to keep the place  running, so I’m filling in on Technical Insights with […]

Welcome to Technical Insights!

Welcome to Technical Insights!

Our webmaster at “topgunmotorcycles.com”, Todd Vosper, has asked me to revive the old  column that I used to do back in the 1990’s for “Kawasaki Dual sport News,” later called  “Dual Sport News.” The goal is to supply you with top quality, unbiased information that  you will not find anywhere else in this business-driven world […]