More KLR Shock Stuff

More KLR Shock Stuff

We seem to do more articles on the KLR650 shock than any other subject and there’s good reason. Every KLR650 from 1987 to present needs a spring upgrade.   There are a number of springs available through the aftermarket (how many we don’t know) including ours. Do they all fit properly, are they able to […]

Honda NX250 – What?

Honda NX250 – What?

On Saturday 3/12/11 the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 60’s and I decided it was time for a ride. Before I could even get my gear on the phone rang and it was Elden wanting to also enjoy the great weather with a little ride. I had already prepped my 1999 KLR650 (with red/black […]

Bad Baja Roads

Bad Baja Roads

by Elden Carl Even though I’ve spent the past 20+ years riding, servicing, building and studying KLR650s, I find I’m still faced with new problems based on changing conditions.  The same is true with my WR250R, DR350 and DR650s and other bikes I’ve owned since being honorably discharged from the military in 1955 (the first […]

Passing of a Hero

Passing of a Hero

On May 21, 2010, Medal of Honor recipient John W. Finn passed away at a Veteran’s Home in San Diego California. Mr. Finn was the oldest (100) Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, the first Medal recipient of WWII and the oldest recipient from Pearl Harbor. John was born on July 24, 1909 […]

John W. Finn – American Hero

John W. Finn – American Hero

It’s not often in a life time that you encounter a true hero, but I’ve had that privilege in the person of John W. Finn. John is the oldest (100) living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II and Pearl Harbor. He was born on July 24, 1909 in Los Angeles and I’ve known […]

Power to the KLR650 and DR650

Power to the KLR650 and DR650

There’s always been a long list of negatives attached to the KLR650 that goes all the way back the the first models and continues through today. Makes you wonder why it’s one of the most popular all around bikes on the market. It doesn’t do any one thing especially well, but it does seem to […]

One Wild Motorcycle Weekend

One Wild Motorcycle Weekend

by Elden Carl The weekend of 10/3 and 10/4 of 2009 started out normally enough with and early morning 30 mile ride from my home in La Mesa, CA east to Restaurant La Fogata in Tecate, Mexico for breakfast. After a great meal, I re-crossed the border and headed west for my return trip down […]

History of the “Doohickey” Intro

History of the “Doohickey” Intro

Air Race Champion, Mexican Rally Car Champion and long time expert multisurface motorcyclist Bruce Redding simply called Elden Carl the best rider and builder of dual purpose motorcycles. Former Pro-Motocrosser Garry Wright called Elden the best motorcycle set-up man he ever knew.  Garry described a ride in Baja with Elden and wife Pauline Read two-up […]

How It All Started and Who Are We

How It All Started and Who Are We

There seems to be some confusion about “who is Top Gun?” “Who is MMP?” and “Who do I contact for questions or products?” I’ll try to confuse you some more; actually it’s simple. In late 2002 Elden Carl met a KLR650 rider Mark B. who became interested in all the KLR knowledge that Elden possessed. […]

Area 51 1/2

Area 51 1/2

by Elden Carl Nestled in the eastern San Diego County mountains on 40 acres of high desert is a two building facility dedicated to multisurface motorcycles. Despite the seriousness of what goes on there, Mark Behling dubbed the place Area 51 1/2 and the name stuck. The humor expressed in the moniker infected all of […]

Shock Spring Kudos

Shock Spring Kudos

OK, OK, I know I’m bombarding you with comments from customers that install one of our rear shock springs but it’s such an important up-grade on the KLR650 that I can’t stop. I’ll get to two after some other comments. I’m fairly certain that any person that wants to buy or has purchased a KLR650 […]

Funny DR Story

Funny DR Story

By Elden Carl In November 2001 on the same day, Ron Jensen and I each purchased new 2002 Suzuki DR650SE’s from House of Motorcycles in San Diego (619 229-7700). When Ron’s DR began leaking oil around the infamous fiber base gasket from hell, he went to Suzuki who refused to solve his problem even though […]

Mel Clark Update

Mel Clark Update

Mel Clark is originally from England and has been touring the North and South America Continents for about 5 years on a KLR650. His original 2004 KLR finally had to be replaced at 90,000 plus miles. While in San Diego he was able to purchase a new 2007 KLR650 and after a Top Gun prep, […]

KLR650 Rear Shock Springs

KLR650 Rear Shock Springs

For a long time we’ve been preaching about spending your money wisely on aftermarket items for the KLR650. We often find that owners are way too willing to fork-out big bucks on parts that do nothing more than look good and often simply add unwanted extra weight to the already heavy KLR. In fact, we’ve […]

D.I.D. vs Takasago

D.I.D. vs Takasago

by Elden Carl When I first started having my competition and Baja dirt bike wheels built by Buchanan’s it was the 1970s and the current President and General Manager Robert Buchanan was about 10 years old. At the time, Buchanan’s featured D.I.D dimpled rims with their fine stainless steel spokes and nipples. Since that time, […]

Let the Kawasaki Vs. Top Gun Games Begin

Let the Kawasaki Vs. Top Gun Games Begin

by Elden Carl As you may know, Top Gun is doing a study of the 2008 KLR650. We had made many improvements on our 2008 before we confirmed that we had an oil guzzler on our hands. We attempted to get Kawasaki to fix the problem within the one year warranty period only to be […]

From Atomic Submarine to a MSM DR650

From Atomic Submarine to a MSM DR650

by Elden Carl In the middle of June we got a phone call from Tom Hawkins, our Hawaiian MSM Squadron One member who opened by saying, “Hey Elden, I have a conference of several days in San Diego.  Do you and Pauline have time for dinner before I return to Hawaii?” I of course answered, […]

Mel’s Back in the U.S.A.

Mel’s Back in the U.S.A.

by Elden Carl MSM Squadron 1 member Mel Clark has headed back south from Canada, but it almost didn’t happen. Seems like our Homeland Security wanted more than a passport from England and he came up short on paperwork.  They finally gave him 3 months to visit and then he must leave. Mel’s plan is […]

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

Kurt Grife has passed 125,000 miles on KLR650s.  For 70,000 miles he’s had a Jake Doohickey and spring in his engine and we recently added a Wexman/Carl inspection port. Kurt’s engine history includes a stock balancer lever failure and a broken cam chain both of which caused serious engine problems. The moral of the story […]

Dangerous Travel in Baja and Mainland Mexico

Dangerous Travel in Baja and Mainland Mexico

Lately there have been numerous stories about travelers in Baja and Mainland Mexico encountering bandits and other bad elements; fortunately this has happened on a relatively small scale. Usually it’s because the traveler is unaware or ill-prepared for safe travel in not only Mexico, but third world countries in general. Most crime in Baja occurs […]

Baja Ride January 2008

Baja Ride January 2008

On the 3rd of January, Jay Bass, Elden Carl and I took off for a whirlwind 7 day Baja ride to San Borja, San Francisco de la Sierra, Mulege and Rancho San Isidro near San Jose Magdalena, Baja Sur. The highlight of the trip was the time we spent eating Elsa’s great food and watching […]

Motorcycle Air Bag Jacket

Motorcycle Air Bag Jacket

Air bags in cars have been used with great success for some time, but what does the motorcyclist have for impact safety besides the standard leather, pads and other skid resistant fabrics ?   The Japanese came up with an idea that has now reached the U.S. Impact jackets were originally designed to save Japanese construction […]

Top Gun Custom KLR650 Rear Shock Springs; 1987-2008

Top Gun Custom KLR650 Rear Shock Springs; 1987-2008

6.6 kg, up to 675 lbs GVW 7.4 kg, beyond 675 lbs GVW   *GVW includes rider and full tank of fuel. Features:   Straight wound springs made of the highest quality materials available. Excellent fit allowing installation from either end of the shock. Spring length designed for compatibility with the stock pre-load mechanism. Springs […]

KLR650 Drive Chain Control

KLR650 Drive Chain Control

17 years ago, Elden discovered the KLR650 was lacking a very important part – it had no upper chain control wheel. Every other long-travel bike he had ever owned had some way of keeping the chain running smoothly without flopping around and hitting things – but not the KLR. Elden ended up drilling a hole […]

10 Year Anniversary Writing about KLR650’s

10 Year Anniversary Writing about KLR650’s

If you’re reading this article then you already are aware that there have been some recent site changes. Here’s how it breaks down now: www.multisurfacemotorcycling.com(MSM) –  MSM will maintain archived FFT articles, procedures and Multisurface Motorcycle Products (MMP). www.topgunmotorcycles.com (TGMP) -“Fuel For Thought” (FFT) will appear on this site monthly with articles by me, Rod […]