Elden Tops 200,000 Miles on KLR-650’s!

Elden Tops 200,000 Miles on KLR-650’s!

On a recent ride to Baja, Elden Carl logged his 200,000th mile on KLR-650’s. The big mile occurred on the return trip from Ensenada to Tecate, with Rod Morris and Todd Vosper along to witness the event. Elden’s KLR’s have performed well over the years, a testament to his maintenance prowess and attention to detail. […]

Wheels vs. Wings

Wheels vs. Wings

I loved flying jets. I enjoyed some of the other aircraft I had the opportunity to fly, but flying passengers in a Citation business jet is nothing like pushing the throttle up and slicing towards an impending merge with a bandit. Or tipping into a 45 degree dive from 15,000 feet towards a target 3 […]

Perfecting the DR650SE – Top Gun Shows You How

Perfecting the DR650SE – Top Gun Shows You How

Rod Morris, an excellent all-around multisurface motorcyclist, has been a riding companion to Top Gun’s dynamic tandem duo Pauline Read and Elden Carl for almost 3½ decades. Having long ago formed his own opinions concerning the thousands of miles traveled with Pauline and Elden, Rod decided to get the opinions of a couple of other […]

That Pesky Ray Chapman!

That Pesky Ray Chapman!

(Photo: Elden (firing) and the great Ray Chapman (observing) at a demonstration circa 1963.) If you are an aficionado of modern combat pistol shooting, you may know that of the original five founding masters only Thell Reed and I are still alive. We have lost Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, Jack Weaver and Ray Chapman. I discussed previously […]

DR-650 Chain Master

DR-650 Chain Master

Applications: Suzuki DR650 ’96 – Present Manufacture: Exclusive for MMP MMP P/N: 10065……………………………………..$39.95 Chain Master replaces the stock upper chain wheel which is prone to breaking out of the frame and leaving a large hole.  The Chain Master will prevent this from happening.  A “necessity” for street or off-road use!  Kit includes bracket, hardware and chain-wheel […]

Chassis Wear

Chassis Wear

When we think about a motorcycle frame we normally are thinking of an item to which engine, swing arm and front steering parts are attached.  On the other hand we don’t often think of the frame itself as a component that wears out like the other moving parts that are attached to it. Well, wear […]

Oldie but a Goodie – Dual Sport News December 1999

Oldie but a Goodie – Dual Sport News December 1999

Reaching back 15 years, this article first appeared in the now-defunct Dual Sport News. I thought it would be a worthwhile look back at some of Elden’s developments with the KLR-650. This will probably get me in trouble, but Elden will be 80 this month and Pauline turns 88 in 2015… they’re still riding two-up on […]

Supermoto!

Supermoto!

If you are serious about motorcycling, you are likely to be the type of person reads your favorite moto mag for the riding techniques and safety articles, not just the latest product reviews. You may also buy an occasional book or DVD to further enhance your skills. But do you also occasionally attend some type […]

Acerbis Supermotard Fender

Acerbis Supermotard Fender

We are generally not fans of most aftermarket parts. Not that we are necessarily fans of the major manufacturers either, but we often find that aftermarket parts lack the quality, and more commonly, the fit of the original factory part. Additionally, customer service can be spotty. We try very hard at Top Gun to ensure […]

70th Anniversary of D-Day, 6 June 1944

70th Anniversary of D-Day, 6 June 1944

I thought it would be fitting on this 70th anniversary of D-Day to reprint a couple of short messages from General Eisenhower. The first is his message to the troops on the eve of the invasion: “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we […]

Wheels and Wings

Wheels and Wings

Image credit United States Marine Corps (This article reprinted from 2006) I loved flying jets. I enjoyed some of the other aircraft I had the opportunity to fly, but flying passengers in a Citation business jet is nothing like pushing the throttle up and slicing towards an impending merge with a bandit… Or tipping into […]

Choosing Your Formation

Choosing Your Formation

(Photo credit United States Marine Corps) Military pilots use formations in a calculated way to achieve an objective. That objective might simply be to move more than one aircraft through congested airspace, or it may be to provide mutual support and maneuver space to allow the flight to react to, or engage the enemy. Although […]

Product Highlight – Top Gun KLR650 Chainmaster

Product Highlight – Top Gun KLR650 Chainmaster

KLR-650 Chain Master Upper Chain Run Control Device* (*Engineered using a stock KLR-650 with properly adjusted chain.)   You know we are big fans of the KLR-650 and we think it’s one of the two finest big-bore multisurface motorcycles on the market. For some reason though, the folks at Kawasaki have produced a motorcycle for […]

Product Highlight – KLR650 Rear Shock Springs

Product Highlight – KLR650 Rear Shock Springs

We see Kawasaki has added a 2014 “New Edition” KLR650 with revised springs and rebound damping at both ends, and some mods to the seat (and we will try to get some feedback on it ASAP). However, here at Top Gun, we’ve had a selection of KLR-specific springs available for several years (and the original […]

KLR Valve and Balancer Adjustments

KLR Valve and Balancer Adjustments

Between 1990 and 1992 I hated my 1989 KL650 so much I almost sold it. I saw no possible way I was going to overcome all the built in flaws mainly in suspension and engine. Then I found former European pro motocrosser and Ohlins expert Stig Pettersson (Pettersson Pro Suspension 714 323-5779) , who built […]

Fresh Engine and Hints

Fresh Engine and Hints

by Rod Morris We just finished rebuilding the engine in my 1996 KLR650A and I wanted to share some things with other KLR owners. I’m  the second owner of the bike which had  29,000 miles on it when I purchased it from a friend and original owner, Joe Carpenter. The bike had 55,610 mile on it when we started […]

Modern Technique of the Pistol

Modern Technique of the Pistol

This photograph first appeared in the Tenth Anniversary edition of American Handgunner magazine; to be specific, the September/October 1986 edition. It’s the only photo ever taken of the five original combat masters who are credited with reinventing practical pistol shooting. Facing the photo they are from left to right, Ray Chapman, Elden Carl, Thell Reed, […]

Check Six… Really!

Check Six… Really!

by Todd Vosper I consider myself a pretty safe rider; I wear full armor even on short errands, try hard to remain conspicuous and take advantage of proper lane positioning, and try to keep track of all my threats using a good scan and mirrors. I’m not saying I’m perfect mind you, I make plenty […]

Beware Aftermarket Parts Fitment

Beware Aftermarket Parts Fitment

by Elden Carl Over the years I have seen lots of poor fitting aftermarket parts. Many of them did not contribute to rider safety and in fact some negatively affected handling and performance. The internet has accelerated this “dumb” idea syndrome; Rotella truck oil, raising links and 16/43 gearing for KLR’s comes immediately to mind. […]

Setting Up KLR650 “A” Front Forks

Setting Up KLR650 “A” Front Forks

I’m not aware of any conventional forks that function better than those found on the original 1987 through 2007 KL650 A. The new “E” model forks have (according to our calculations) 10% greater cross-section area and have a four bolt fork alignment axle cap, but I like the longer travel and smoother damping characteristics of […]

Multitasking… Really?

Multitasking… Really?

Honest… I had collected several articles for source material about multitasking but it seems that while I was reading those, emailing readers, doing my nails, and walking the dog… I managed to misplace them. Can I ask you to trust me? A few months back I had the idea to do an article on multitasking. […]

Old People Shouldn’t Drive…

Old People Shouldn’t Drive…

Editor’s Note – I wrote this article a month ago and debated whether or not to post it. I didn’t want to seem overly dramatic but I do feel strongly about honoring our Greatest Generation before they are relieved of their final duty and report home. This was brought into sharp focus this week when I saw the news […]

Good Habits Make Better Riders

Good Habits Make Better Riders

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle If your mom was anything like my mom, any discussion about “habits” was usually  referring to my “bad” ones… leaving doors open, elbows on the table, etc. She even  warned me about the possible adverse affects of some “keep […]

Go Around!

Go Around!

2015 hours, 8 nautical miles northeast of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Ceiling 300 feet, visibility 2 miles in light rain. Winds out of the northwest, 20 knots gusting 30-35 knots. Atilla 600, twin engine Cessna Citation, is on final approach… Copilot: “Approach, Atilla 600 final approach fix inbound, three down and locked.” Approach: “Atilla […]

Stock Spring Upgrading

Stock Spring Upgrading

Q. I’m a 215 lb rider and normally ride solo without much gear. However, from  time to time, I take longer trips with 50-60 lbs of gear. I want to upgrade from  my stock spring; which spring should I buy? A. This is probably the most common question/situation we get asked about at Top Gun  […]

KLR650 Oil Consumption

KLR650 Oil Consumption

This month Elden answers a “burning” question about oil consumption… Q. My 1987 KLR650 has only 24,000 miles on the odometer but it is using lots of  oil, much of which is being blown out the vent. What’s my problem? A. You probably have a combination of factors contributing to your oil consumption problem, but […]

First and Last, by Melvyn Clark

First and Last, by Melvyn Clark

  When I first met Elden Carl and Pauline Read some four years ago in Mulege, Baja California, I had a little less than 10,000 miles on my 2003 KLR650. I remember that he was very scathing of all the gear I was carrying. Little did I realize that after four years I would ring […]

2008 Balancer Adjustment Lever

2008 Balancer Adjustment Lever

One of my tasks at Top Gun is to monitor the different websites and groups and see “what’s new.” Since we are a vendor, I try to avoid commenting since it’s too hard to appear impartial. However, I recently waded into a discussion about the 2008 balancer lever and realized that it would be a […]