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 do everything needed.

One of the areas talked about most is the lack of good usable power and how to boost it
to a more fun level. I feel the same way and have discussed this issue with several top
mechanics that understand the KLR and what happens when increasing horsepower in
big singles. Elden Carl has spent untold hours over the years on every aspect to the
KLR and can be credited with developing most of the improvements that we all enjoy
today. I’ve paid very close attention to Eden’s findings when it comes to increasing power
in the KLR and I soon became a staunch advocate of not over-boring which can cause
heating problems resulting in a warped sleeve and excessive oil consumption.

We’ve been consulting with several engine experts on the virtues of using a high
compression forged piston with either the KLR or DR. The jury is still out on whether
bumping the compression one point on the KLR would be a wise decision due to
possible overheating. Two negative things could happen with higher compression: more
heat and the requirement for premium fuel. On the bright side, the engine would actually
produce less pollution by having more efficient combustion. How about more power you
ask? Some unknown amount would occur, we just don’t know how much. Right now we
feel fairly good about using one in the DR650 but we would like to do some hands-on
testing before offering it to the public. We want better performance without affecting gas
mileage or reliability with the added bonus of lower pollutants.

What Does Dan Think?, by Rod Morris

More than two years ago you guys swapped out my rear spring in Elden’s garage as I
was departing for a five day Baja trip. 1,000 miles later I wrote back with a raving review
of this simple and inexpensive upgrade for my 07 KLR650. I stated it simply as the single
best upgrade and I’ve done quite a few to my KLR. So, here we are some two years and
10,000 miles later. I just finished reading Rod’s Fuel for Thought article relating to this
same upgrade and just wanted to express my gratitude once more. I stand behind my
original endorsement of your product more so now than ever.

Thank you guys so much for contributing as much as you have to the KLR650

Best regards, Dan C. (Los Angeles,CA)

Editors Comment:  As I’ve said before; the real thanks should go to Elden Carl for the
many years he put in suffering through all the problems that the KLR650 dumped in his
lap. He was the one that took the time and effort to find out why something went wrong
and how to fix it.  My only role was to sit back in awe as to how he ever figured out so
many things. Elden would have various parts made and then he and I would test them to
the limit and if they worked, they became a product that other KLR owners use on their
bikes today. Sounds simple enough, but it was an 18 year journey of trial and error.

Pine Mountain Club Area, CA, by Ron Jensen

Almost anyone who owns a motorcycle at one point or another finds himself going
through the Frazier Park and Pine Mountain Club area usually on the way to the Central
Coast, the Sierras or points further north. We have had our cabin now for six years, so I
have a lot of little hints and suggestions for roads worth riding. The obvious roads that
everyone loves are Cerro Noreste that continues through PMC to rt 166. From 166 you
can head west to Santa Maria or cross over to 58. 58 takes you to above San Luis
Obispo, Templeton. Also Rt. 33, one of the best roads in CA, runs from 166 to Ojai.
Lockwood Valley is one of the few roads in CA that has curves marked at 10 miles an
hour that you can take faster but not by much more! But there are a lot of little roads up
there that people do not know about. If you are taking the back way north to N2, you can
try Bouquet Canyon or San Francisquito Canyon that has remnants of the Mulhulland
Dam collapse of 1929, one of the biggest disasters in CA. My favorite is Lake Hughes
Rd. with great views of Lake Castaic & is also twisty following the river bed out to Lake

Also, two of the best kept secret roads around PMC are the roads to the top of Mt Pinos
& Mt Abel. Mt Pinos climbs to 8300 ft with great views. At the top are hiking and, in the
winter, cross country skiing trails. Mt Able is less well known with less traffic. When you
are heading west from PMC, you will see a left hand turn marked Mt Abel. The road to
the top is twisty with beautiful views (watch out for rocks on the road). This road is
usually closed in the winter. At the top is a campground that is deserted most of the time
with many huge, twisted trees. The weather at the top in winter time must be brutal.
Staying in PMC would make for a good base. You can be in the Sierras, the central
coast or Santa Barbara in 2 ½ hrs. There is a small hotel in town & cabins that be
rented, or you can stay in Lebec by the 5 freeway where there’s a new Holiday Inn
Express. There are some good restaurants in the area. At the freeway behind the Arco
station is a Mexican restaurant, Los Pinos. Make sure that you try their secret ingredient
green sauce. A block further along the main road is Rocky’s, which has decent food. I do
not recommend eating at the Flying J, but the gas is really cheap! Heading west from the
5 freeway to Frazier Park, take the first exit into town. The Coffee Cantina has good
coffee, microbrew beer, and food. The place is small but pleasant. Big John restaurant is
further down the road & has great breakfasts served all day, and a huge lunch menu
with reasonable prices. In PMC, my favorite restaurant is the Screaming Squirrel, open
all day. The Squirrel also has a coffee place adjacent to their restaurant. The Bistro, at
the clubhouse, is good but is not open every day. In town, is La Lena Mexican restaurant
owned by the same family who owns Los Pinos in Lebec. If your bike needs any servicing
or tires, Hang Time Motorcycles, off the 5 freeway, is your best bet. Hang Time shares a
space with Star Cycle. Pete, the owner of Hang Time, does all the work. He has worked
on all my bikes & is reasonably priced. Hang Time’s number is 661 248-2453.  Also for
dirt riders, there is an incredible variety of dirt roads ranging from easy to double black
diamond in the area.

Pine Club Area, California

Pine Club Area, California