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XR650L performance improvement suggestions

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Hey everyone!

New to the forum but I have ridden thumpers since my Elsinore 50 in 1972! Dang I'm old!

BRIEFLY-have 2009 KLR650 that I love-great bike, but my bike riding is changing-more trails and the same amount of road AND we (me, my 2 sons, brother-in-law, and 1 nephew) are doing the Shadow of the Rockies trail next June. SO, I want to get rid of (sell or trade) my KLR for a Honda 650L. If any one near the great state of Tennessee is interested, please contact me and we can talk in more detail.

My questions are several, but I'll shorten the list-

1.) Best light weight panniers for pelican cases.

2.) Best large volume plastic fuel tank? Clark 4.7 gal is what I know of so far.

3.) Best lightweight rear rack?

4.) Best skid plate/disc guard ?

5.) Best 60/40 dirt/road tires for this bike? I am going to have an extra set of wheels with aggressive dirt

tires for the true off road stuff.

6.) best simple power improvement/increase mods that don't cost thousands?

Me-48 yr old, overweight, professional, lives outside (we are hugely involved and invested in boyscouts-I have hiked 79 miles at Philmont-may be pudgy but I ain't no candy butt!) just not as active as I use to be. I recently embarked on an exercise & diet regimen with a goal of

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I can't answer all of your questions but:

 

2) Just go with the Clarke 4.7 tank.  It's narrow enough at the seat to not get in your way and can give you a range of as much as 200 miles.

 

5) Pirelli MT-21 front and Dunlop D606 rear are considered by many to bet the best DOT legal dirt tires.  If you want better street traction, consider either the Shinko 705 (or 700) or the IRC GP-110.

 

6) Read the FAQ on this forum, or even the recent posts about tuning.  Look up Dave's Mod for jetting information.  It still works without drilling the slide if you don't want to make changes that can't be reversed.  Oh, and avoid DynoJet jet kits because they don't use standard jet sizes.

 

Let us know when you get your bike.

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I don't see a lot of people putting too much luggage on an xr650. (Are you sure you want to get rid of your klr;-)

The stock gearing is pretty tall on the 650L, especially if you're a big guy. Dropping to a 14 tooth sprocket up front is a must, and you'll still be fast enough in traffic (comfortable at 65mph). If you then go from 45 to 48 on the rear (14 front), you'll get even more torque, but then you're looking at cruising around 55-60mph.

Cheers!

Edited by Event Horizon
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Okay, thanks for the info.

Couple of things-I only want one bike, not 2 (or 3), I haven't the time, money, nor patience to deal with a bike that sits unattended/unridden for to long.

Second, I want something dependable that will trail ride and hill climb well-not looking for competition CR performance, just a good, dependable, stable performer. Trying to put the KLR on some of the hills that we just rode=BAD IDEA, very top heavy and the fairing makes it a challenge in tight spots.

I can abate the wind from road riding with an aftermarket, universal wind shield that will work great riding it back and forth to the clinic-which I do 4 days a week (62 miles round trip). The panniers will only be for SoR/TAT/those type rides and won't stay on the bike (I have soft saddlebags for daily commute items).

I love the KTM690R enduro, but don't want to drop $10k and then start adding upgrades, plus KTM seems more off road at heart while KLR seems more on road. Just my observations, not bad mouthing either platform, but I would like to find that happy medium-that leaves XR650L or DR650SE. Honda won in that comparison with my experience with them.

Hope that better explains my dilemma-and NO I really don't want to get rid of the KLR (one of the best handling and comfortable bikes I have ridden hands down), but I dare not really put her in the woods or I will spend a small fortune replacing that fairing and windshield!

Thanks

Bob

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There is another bike that sounds better for what you want with panniers/rear cargo , hiway cruise but offroadable , dependable/reliable=DR650 .They are basically in between the KLR(more street) and XR_L(more offroad).

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There is another bike that sounds better for what you want with panniers/rear cargo , hiway cruise but offroadable , dependable/reliable=DR650 .They are basically in between the KLR(more street) and XR_L(more offroad).

I noticed they already have an oil cooler installed. It looks like it could handle off road terrain almost as well as my XRL. A nice looking bike. 

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I noticed they already have an oil cooler installed. It looks like it could handle off road terrain almost as well as my XRL. A nice looking bike. 

I've noticed they're ridiculously undersprung. Might adjust out with a lighter rider but count on buying stiffer springs carrying gear.

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The XR will work perfectly for what you want to do. I rode the entire TAT last year on mine and couldn't have been happier with my choice of bike. I weigh around 240 pounds and carried all my camping gear on stock suspension. Wolfman panniers work very well. I also used the billet top rack from procycle. You can strengthen the sub fram with the braces from Twisted throttle, they work with the stock exhaust. I like the MT21 front tire and D606 rear tire combo. they last a lot of miles and work well for offroad. Do Dave's mods and de-smog and you'll have a great running machine for an added 30 bucks or so.

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IF you want the single best performance mod, get a OEM FCR MX pumper carb.  It will transform your bike for about $400.  Check out my top 7 mods on my ytube channel

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